[This is a 47hats Tip.]

You. Specifically, you and your microISV. Not some faceless legion of corporate drones laboring endlessly in some cubicle farm to bring you products you don’t need. MicroISVs are personal companies. So today’s 47hats.com Tip is Audit your About page and the rest of your site for personal vs. impersonal references.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Every time there’s an impersonal mention, like [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] deduct at point – your customers will, since they can tell real quick when a small company is impersonating a large company.
  • Give yourself five points if you introduce yourself on your About page – you’re the person behind the app or web service. And customers are interested in your story.
  • Give yourself another 2 points for a good photo of yourself. Give yourself 7 points if the photo has some authority attached to it – you are speaking at a conference, getting an award, meeting with a customer, anything that rubs off some credibility in your direction.
  • Add a three points for every testimonial that has a person’s name attached to it, 2 bonus points if you’ve got a web site or blog URL to go with it. You only get 2 points if you attribute a testimonial to “A user in London, England”, and zero points if you just use a title like, “An IT manager”

The point of the tip is simple – being small, personal and human in a world of larger, impersonal faceless companies is a strategic strength, not an embarrassing weakness.

11 thoughts on “So what’s it all About?

  1. I pretty much agree with everything except the personal picture. The reason is, what if you’re Black? I know that this may not be the place to discuss this, but it’s something that I constantly debate. In theory, a good product with a fair price and good customer service should be enough. But what if my picture keeps me from getting in the door in the first place?

  2. It is a legitimate issue. But consider: do you want to help those who in 2007 have an issue with the color of a person’s skin? I don’t – I want them gone.

    There’s actually a reverse – if lame – argument to be made. Many large companies who do business with the government need to demonstrate their commitment to diversity by doing business with “minority and women” owned companies.

    (Just to be clear, because this is a topic with a hell of a lot of land mines, a) discriminating on the basis of race, creed, color or national origin is not only wrong, it’s Evil, illegal and completely unacceptable to me. b) It happens, every day, in every country. Pretending it does not is as stupid as the people who discriminate on the above basis – and that’s saying a lot.)

    So George, the bottom line is are you going to let your business be defined by a bunch of know-nothing SOBs or not?

  3. So true, great article.

    Personally, I prefer using a more informal picture. A picture with a suit and tie is exactly the “impersonal faceless” image you’re trying to avoid. Leave the professional impression to the testimonials and the picture will set you apart from those corporate guys. But that’s just my opinion.

  4. Great article…

    But I as well prefer informal picture, I would like when I release my website to add one picture of me wearing t-shirt with the name and logo of my company…:-)

  5. My more savvy customers actually see it as an advantage to deal with a micro ISV: I can negotiate, make decisions quickly and accommodate them flexibly in ways the big operations cannot. The personal contact I have with my users gets me constant and priceless feedback, and the customers benefit from personal attention, too.

    And regarding the picture issue: people who won’t do business with a black person are plain stupid. Do you really want to have jerks as customers?

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