What Responsive Website Means: Improve Engagement On Your Website With 4 Easy Steps!
If your ideal client visits your website right now, would they be welcomed by a process for them to follow that feels like you’re holding their hand as they learn how to work with you? Can you safely testify that they leave your services shouting, “Oh my gosh! That was so simple, I only wish I had more things to buy”? Or, are they typically overwhelmed by having too many options to choose from, and feel like you’ve left them hanging on account of not knowing where the starting line is?
Chances are you don’t even know.
Hobbyists and freelancers tend to put a possible client’s indecisiveness solely on them “not knowing what they want except to waste their time”, and that one-dimensional perspective keeps you from thinking about your endeavor as a business and by extension seeing the possibilities to make it function like one to eliminate those encounters.
Despite having a website when I started my business, I would encounter comments from people feeling like they weren’t sure what I did, and when I would finally get a client, they wouldn’t listen to my creative advice, and amazing projects despite being completed and approved would never see the light of day.
Blaming them didn't help me. If anything, it was actually threatening the genuine love I have for designing. It wasn’t long after the right project entered my inbox on the heels of a blog I wrote, that I set my mind to the task of mapping the path that created the encounter, and later on, designed my client project process, (more on that part in another blog).
Here is the path that led my unicorn client to me. But first, a bit of context.
Think Of The Best Book You’ve Ever Read
You probably didn’t need to go very far in your memory to recall the moment you experienced that. From the cover to the smallest detail I’m sure it’s all there. Well, when you place your business online, essentially, you’re setting the opportunity for your ideal client to encounter the best digital book they’ll ever read. And the way your onboarding and client project process unfolds instantly communicates how much experience you have under your belt, doing what you do in the form it’s presented with people like them.
This is what separates the hobbyists and freelancers from founders considered experts online: a system built into their design that produces conversion. It’s always advisable to get professional help when building an online presence that sells itself, but, if you have a bit of a design background, you can afford the aforementioned result if you build with these four things in mind.
1. Find Your Focus
Without it, you’re basically building in the dark. The focus of the brand is like the title of your online book. It’s there to get the right “readers” interested and ready to learn more by preparing them for what’s on the inside of your website. Essentially this part helps them understand what it is you do.
Everything you do afterward only builds upon this foundation. So, don’t be lame and choose something #SlickRicky-ish or inauthentic. Turn over everything in your business and examine how the clients you have gotten responded to it. Why did they buy it? Then, decide if it’s worth being on the cover of your book. If you’re too close to the project, ask someone you would consider an ideal client what their reaction might be to whatever the main attraction is. If you’re getting crickets or even a hint of boredom mixed with a lost stare, you should probably go back to the drawing board.
In other words, don’t lead with something your audience doesn’t want to speak about.
2. Productize Your Offers
Sometimes, a client can very specifically want something until they are in the actual process of a project where the real needs come up. An example of this would be a client coming to me for a One-Page-Website but needing a brand logo and/or a business logo designed as well (this has happened a few times).
What are the needs of your ideal client? Using the power of 3, can you create specific offers that cater to those problems instead of a grocery list of services for them to choose from? The idea when creating your offers is to make it easy for them to upsell themselves instead of you pitching.
Like most, in the beginning, even under instructions, I broke this rule. But that happens when you’re green to how the online world works and also have no clients! As I got clients, and also sharpened my listening skills, I was better equipped to create offers that I know my ideal clients need.
Do you know what your clients really need?
3. Sell A Bite-Sized Way For Them To Work With You
The experience you’re going for here is for a prospect to feel like ‘OMG! This is a sweet offer!’ and magically converts into a client.
This is an ice breaker, the idea isn’t to just sell something but to sell something obviously connected to your brand that also solves a problem and an immediate requirement of the client. It’s without a doubt the best red beryl I found in my possession. Each time a new prospect learns about it, the expression “OMG are you kidding me!?”, is always right around the corner, and it’s super easy for them to upsell themselves to my other offers without coaxing on account of this experience.
What red beryl do you have in place for your ideal clients to experience before they possibly make a bigger investment in the service you provide?
4. Create Focused Content
When I first began writing, I felt confused about what I should write about because I didn’t know myself as a business yet . Sure, I needed clients in order to discover that, but, without a voice, it can make the process of doing the work to get them very frustrating.
Some local founders stumble upon successfully creating content only to eventually feel like a deer in the headlights about what to talk about next because they don’t know what their voice is all about. You can avoid starting random conversations on social media or even bothering yourself with what the competition is talking about if you focus on why you do what you do. The topics you’re best aligned with will be found there. It takes time to consistently create good content, but you'll make it even harder on yourself if you approach it thinking about how much visibility you can get out of it.
These 4 things affect your bounce rate. According to this report by visitor analytics, my bounce rate dropped to 39% after restructuring my blog and grooming the path potential clients take on my website when they want to check out my work and initiate working with me. Compared to the 54% my bounce rate was the month before, the way someone experiences your brand online can make or break the level of engagement on your website.
Again, just think of reading about something that should make you happy but instead confuses you ruining the entire experience of the story.
The design strategy of your website should be based on a goal, a story you’re trying to tell a potential ideal client about themselves. And the steps you want them to take? Subtle hints that indicate how you want them to feel during that experience. How the story unfolds either hinders that goal or supports it.
I am the Founder and Visual Brand Strategist at The BrandTUB Branding For Small Service Businesses.
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