What’s the “secret sauce” for entrepreneurs? Making it easy for customers to pay. – Fast Company

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Entrepreneur Jae Hermann can’t be put in a box. She’s an empowerment coach, provides copy editing and proofreading services, runs a virtual women’s writing group, and offers 1:1 motivation coaching to help storytellers reach their potential.

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To keep her business running smoothly, it’s been key for clients to be able to pay for her services in a way that’s quick and intuitive. As Hermann gets more repeat customers, offering a subscription for her services has helped keep her focused on her clients’ needs without interruption.

Jae Hermann

All of this was done by implementing buy buttons on her website. “I just saw how easy it was,” Hermann says. “I could send [customers] directly where I wanted them to be and have them check out, and it was done.”

That decision has had a huge impact on her bottom line. “My business went from getting maybe five clients through [my website], to like 20, within a month,” she says. “Those are my core clients. I get repeat business from that core and I get referrals, so I haven’t really done any advertising. I will say that that’s been the secret sauce to my success: making it easy for people to pay me.”

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What is a buy button and how do you use it?

A buy button is a clickable button that enables your customers to quickly and easily pay for your service or product, allowing you to sell online without having to set up an eCommerce store, because you can embed the button on your existing website. If you don’t have a website, there are also options for sending payment links via text message, email, or social media.

No matter the size or stage of your business, you can test the waters with selling online and start getting paid by customers right away.

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You can sell a product, offer a service, and collect one-time or recurring donations, membership fees, and subscriptions. The versatility lets you easily experiment with new revenue streams without too much commitment.

Additionally, you can customize your buy button so that the color, font, and call-to-action text fit your brand and what you’re selling. This is particularly appealing to businesses that provide professional services, like Hermann’s.

“Previously, it felt odd to send people to a shopping cart for a service-based business,” she says.

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Now, her buy buttons have fun CTAs like “get motivated” and “get badassery” that better align with her brand and take customers directly to the checkout page.

Why use buy buttons

In addition to making the payment process painless for customers, buy buttons can have additional benefits for your business.

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Build trust with customers

Hermann says using buy buttons on her site has helped build a sense of trust with her customers. She uses the same graphics for all of her buy buttons, so her clients recognize the button, they know they aren’t going to be routed to a different site for payment, and that they aren’t going to be scammed. She believes this has helped her make more sales with new clients.

Have more options with memberships, donations, and subscription models

Some restaurants experimented with membership models, cooking classes, and subscriptions during the pandemic — creative solutions that may be here to stay. Retailers like Civil Alchemy also tried out these new ways of bringing in revenue by adding wine and flower subscriptions to their offerings. In addition to these new types of business models, businesses with social impact arms want to make it easy for customers to donate money or products for a good cause. The flexibility of buy buttons makes the payment solution for each of these options incredibly simple.

Hermann recently started using the subscription function. She initially just wanted to experiment and didn’t really promote it. Serendipitously, she then had a client ask if she could just automatically bill them.

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Hermann says using the buy button for subscriptions has helped her retain clients who might have lost interest otherwise, since the recurring cost pushes them to keep building on their work with her. And it saves her time since she doesn’t have to go back and forth with clients about whether they want to continue using her services.

Launch and cross-sell new offerings

Buy buttons are also helping Hermann diversify her offerings. She’s launched writing workshops for women and she can now sell tickets to her workshops without having to use a separate events merchant, allowing her to cut down on additional processing fees and track all payments in one place. The buy buttons enable her to cross-sell her services to clients as well.

“I have a client who went from being in one of my workshops, and then we did some consulting stuff, and then she knew that I had the writing thing,” Hermann says. “And she’s able to just hit the buy button and sign up.”

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Tips for using buy buttons

Customize your buy buttons

Play around with different colors and CTAs so that the buttons both visually stand out to customers and clearly explain what they are for. Additionally, make sure the look and feel represent your brand well.

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Experiment with placement on your site

“I used to have the buttons only at the bottom of the page, because I figured customers would read the whole page and expect to find them at the bottom,” Hermann says. “Now, I add them to the midsection for customers who have already made their decision. I don’t need to sell them [with content] any more, they can go ahead and check out.”

Find what works for you

“The tools are there, so use them and don’t be afraid,” Hermann advises. “And don’t feel like you have to use them all at once. For a minute I was only using just the buy now buttons. Now, I use the subscription too. So be strategic and find what works for you.”


Learn more at squareup.com

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