Did you know that people only spend 10 seconds on your homepage before leaving if they don’t immediately connect with your marketing messages? Yep, you read that right.
If the prospect came by your website in search of a specific solution and what they saw didn’t resonate with them, they will go back to Google to look somewhere else. That means you have only one shot to acquire a lead, here, even if you will try to lure them back with eye-catching remarketing campaigns.
But, if the prospect came by your site because of the content you publish resonates with them and engages them, then you have bigger chances of that person converting further in your funnel.
The first impression counts here. So, how to make your chances for conversion bigger in that first scenario? And, we’re not talking about an extreme makeover of your site. Maybe what’s on your site isn’t really the case. Or your messages need a more psychological approach. Remember, in this case, it’s better to make A/B tests of one element on your site rather than changing everything without any proof of what fails.
And if you’re a prospect who looks for their perfect solution provider – isn’t it a tedious job to find one? Especially if Google or any other search engine is your way to go about it.
The good news is, there are more platforms now that focus on presenting the profile of a solution provider. And, I’m not talking here about LinkedIn or Facebook. Let’s take a closer look at one of them, one on which Ladder is as well.
What is Clutch.co?
Your data-driven field guide to business buying decisions. We interview real clients, collect data, and compare competitors to help you find a firm for your next big project. (…)
A platform of in-depth client reviews, data-driven content, and vetted market leaders.Clutch.co
That’s how Clutch describes their platform. It says it all – they provide you with all the information they can get their hands on about the companies. Of course, the non-confidential ones like minimum project size, their portfolio, and focus of the company.
But most importantly, it’s about you. The customer who looks for a business to work with on a project.
To help you make a good decision, Clutch only allows companies to create their profile and maybe buy a subscription that will enable them to rank higher in your searches on the platform. The rest is up to you, as the brands can’t communicate with you through Clutch or can’t delete harmful reviews (only the reviewee can change their review).
Below, I go more in detail about how it works for both a company and customer.
How does it work for the companies?
Each company can create their Clutch profile for free. In order to become listed on the platform you need at least 3 customer reviews to prove that you are a legit business.
Completing your profile consists of submitting:
- Company name and logo,
- Description of the company,
- Minimum project size,
- Size of the company,
- Founding date,
- Contact information
Then, it comes to the company focus. What are the service lines that you provide? In our case they are:
- 20% Marketing Strategy,
- 25% Social Media Marketing,
- 25% Pay Per Click,
- 15% Conversion Optimization,
- 15% Mobile App Marketing.
Next step is client focus, where you choose what company size clients you’re interested in. In other words what percentage of your portfolio is made up of each of the segments. The options are:
- Small Business, making less than $10m ARR,
- Midmarket, $10m-$1b ARR,
- Enterprise, more than $1b ARR
Our industry focus is:
- 25% Business services,
- 25% Consumer products & services,
- 25% Financial services,
- 25% E-commerce.
Next are areas a company specializes in. Since our services include Social Media Marketing, our Social Media focus is also in there. We submitted:
- 30% Facebook Ads,
- 30% Instagram Ads,
- 20% LinkedIn Ads,
- 10% Twitter Ads,
- 10% Snapchat Ads.
The same for PPC, where we submitted:
- 70% Google Ads,
- 15% YouTube Ads,
- 15% Bing Ads.
After this, there’s the portfolio where a company is able to submit its client names and any case studies they have produced.
Last but not least, it is the reviews. The review process is not so simple. In order to leave a review, a customer has to be verified by the Clutch staff themselves. You can do that over the phone or online via your LinkedIn profile.
Each review consists of:
- A score given on the quality, schedule, cost and willingness to refer on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is the highest,
- A summary of the project,
- A summary of the feedback.
The more positive reviews you score, the better for both the social proof as well as for Clutch itself. It will rank you higher for the services that you provide.
Your profile and how you fill it out then reflects in how easily you can be found by users. Also, it impacts what customers it will attract. If the profile won’t be filled out well, it may bring leads that don’t match the business.
On top of the visits to your profile, there are some lead auctions organized by Clutch. Companies submit a need for particular services and some details of the project, then Clutch reaches out to companies that fit the profile of a possible supplier of these services to ask how much are they willing to pay for the opportunity to speak with this company.
For example, an E-commerce is looking for PPC services, so I would get an email from Clutch with the description of the project and a link to submit my bid for this lead. I would place a $100 bid because the project looks very good and it would be a good fit for Ladder services. Later, Clutch gets back to all the auction participants saying how big of a bid won and introduces the E-commerce business to the owner of the winning bid.
How does Clutch work for users?
Every single day companies struggle to find good service providers that can help satisfy their needs. The big unknowns are if they can trust a company and if it is skilled enough in a particular service.
As the old saying goes – “Nobody gets fired for buying IBM” (but they should). These days the range of choices is much wider. The choice is much more difficult and therefore people need help making it. On Amazon, you can browse a wider range of products and read their reviews, so why not have something similar for service companies?
This is the niche that Clutch fills in the B2B world. If you need to find a company to provide you with a service within any of these categories, then this is the place for you.
Once you pick the category that interests you, say Advertising & Marketing and then Social Media Marketing, you are taken to a list of 32,582 companies that are listed on Clutch and provide these services.
This still feels overwhelming but bear with me. You can filter these results to fit your specific needs.
The available filters are:
- Minimum project size,
- Average hourly rate,
- # of employees,
- Client focus,
- Industry focus,
Say you are looking for someone that will do a big project that is supposed to lead to the growth of sales in your ecommerce, not too big nor too small of a company, focusing on the midmarket because working with enterprise agencies is hard and local to you in New York. This leaves you with 5 firms and the top one happens to be Ladder.
What if you don’t have such specific needs and end up with hundreds of companies to choose from?
Clutch is able to provide you with a free consultation to help pick the right company.
Among the companies listed, there sometimes appears a banner like the one above. Click on the CTA and select your budget from a drop-down:
Then you can schedule a consultation by choosing a time and day that works for you in a calendar link.
What happens later is Clutch gathers more information about your project and is able to pick a number of companies that fit your project. Then, they are bidding in order to be introduced to you and the highest bidder can talk to you.
Conscious business buying decisions
All of this you just read about has one purpose: to help users make conscious business buying decisions. There’s also another platform similar to Clutch, but focused on SaaS – G2.
Yes, there’s LinkedIn already. It’s yet another channel you can use to communicate with your target audience. But, it’s less likely that someone will convert from LinkedIn than from Clutch.
Use your business’ social media presence to educate people, engage them with content relevant to them, and thus, build brand awareness. That’s something you’ll need, too, as this will build trust and assure them that you are the right company for them.