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Chapter 4. Creating Relevant Site Content > Defining your client's voice

Defining your client's voice

Your client's voice encompasses many things: the manner in which your client does business, your client's mission, the image your client portrays to his customers, and so on. When you define your client's voice through a Web site, you're answering the question: Do I want to do business with this company or individual? In order to gain the trust of Web site visitors, the site must leave a positive impression. But more than that, the site should be unique enough to stand out against the client's competition.

Most of your client's competitors probably have Web sites. And it's almost a given that Web sites within a certain industry will have a common look. Therefore, the only way you can make your client's site rise above the competition is to portray your client's unique assets — the client's voice, if you will. When defining the voice of a company, the message you portray on the Web should be consistent with the client's other communications, such as printed ads, television commercials, and audio advertisements. If your client has a startup company, the Web site helps define the client's essence. To define this intangible, you need to brainstorm with your client and consider the following:

  • Audience: Who is the client's intended audience? What's unique about your client's intended audience? How do you portray your client as part of this clan? What type of message will set your client apart from his competition, in the eyes of his intended audience?

  • Mission: What is your client's intended mission? How does your client plan to serve the intended audience? When defining the client's mission, steer clear of the usual clichés, such as highest quality, superior service, satisfied customers, and so on. You can reword clichés to make your client stand out from his competition. In addition to instilling confidence in your client's intended audience, his mission statement must portray his unique core values.

  • Style: What is your client's style? Is she an entrepreneur? Where does the client fall in the broad spectrum of similar businesses? Is she smack‐dab in the middle? Or is she conservative or bold and brash?

  • Customers: How do your client's customers perceive her? The competitors? Do the answers to these questions match your client's perception of herself and her business?

  • Future goals: Where does your client see herself in five or ten years? Will the message your client portrays now be viable in five or ten years?



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