As an owner of a service based business I have to say this is one of my biggest frustrations and almost without fail, every website owner I’ve worked with has started off making this mistake.
For all their careful planning and hard work, they end up missing out by overlooking this key thing, and when I sit down and tell them what it is, they see it so clearly!
Want to know what it is?
They’re marketing to themselves, not to their target audience.
Obvious when you think about it, right? Most people make the website or marketing peice that they want to use, and forget that they’re coming at things from a completely different direction to most of their customers.
Even people who have a strong relationship with their audience do this, because it’s easy to get into a mindset of how you want your website to function, and forget about how your audience wants it to work.
As soon as people pay for design their inner Van Gogh gets all tingly and they start to conduct their design ideas. I want this colour, can we use this font and can we use a picture of my dog!
When I come across this problem, I have 5 pieces of advice I use to try and steer them back on course
Forget What You Know and Keep It Simple
The biggest problem with advertising to yourself is that you already have all the information at hand. You Know This Stuff Inside Out
You know what your product is, and what’s so great about it, so you skip over so much of the most important information. The thing is, your customer doesn’t always know all of this stuff, and they’re relying on you to tell them.
So, forget what you know, and tell your audience all about what you’re selling and why need it!
Start from the beginning. Don’t think about what makes your product better than everyone else’s, think about what your customer is looking for and the problems help them with. Make sure that you tell them what you can do to solve their problems, and how.
Benefits not features.
It’s not just technical information either, but depending on what you’re selling, and how, it might be price point, usability or delivery times. Some people get so wrapped up in what makes their product special that they forget to mention what it’s even supposed to do and the problem it solves!
The small stuff that you don’t think is worth mentioning is usually exactly what your customers are looking for, and it’s incredibly frustrating when they can’t find it. Make sure you give them all the information they’re looking for, even if it seems obvious to you. Worst case scenario, you prove that you know what you’re talking about.
When I was in senior school my art teacher gave me some great advice. Always design for the simplest mind. If a 12 year old can identify what and where to go next you’re onto a winner.
Make it obvious
Some people know exactly what they’re looking for. Others need time to be convinced. You need to be prepared for both.
Crafting a customer journey that works for everyone is vital to getting conversions. The customer journey is all about user experience. A good experience means they won’t even notice they’re headed down the conversion funnel until they’ve already been convinced. A bad experience will make it difficult to convince people, and even more difficult for them to actually convert.
Think about how your customer wants to use your website. If a visitor wants to buy something right now, is it easy for them to go directly to the conversion page? If they want more information, is it obvious where to find it? You probably know your website like the back of your hand, but your customer doesn’t. They need a signpost pointing them in the right direction.
User experience makes or breaks your conversion rates, so make sure that you’ve got a good one.
If you want them to take a demo and that’s your main call to action. Make that your most obvious thing for the user.
Once they hit the demo page what’s the next step from their? A call or to fill out a form?
Don’t think about how you’d use your website, think about how your customers will want to use it, and make sure they can find everything they need.
Craft Killer Calls to Action
The secret of a good call to action is that it gets into your customer’s head. “Buy Now” is all well and good, but it doesn’t inspire anyone to think “Yes, I want that!” A good call to action is all about knowing what your customer wants, and using that to convince them to convert.
It’s not just words on a button. Text leading up to your call to action is pivotal in creating conversions. Figure out what your customer wants, then create some leading text that offers them exactly that. Finish with a killer call to action and you’re 90% of the way to converting.
None of that is possible if you don’t know what your customer is looking for. Generic sales copy will fall flat, and misjudging your customer’s needs will even turn them away. You need to make sure that you’re offering what they’re looking for, not just what you think sounds good.
Know your customers, and put them at the centre of your marketing. People don’t want to hear about you, they want to hear about themselves, and how you’re going the help them.
Once you realise that you’re making this simple mistake, it’s easy to fix it and you’ll stop losing conversions.
If you need more help figuring out how to sell to your customers, we have plenty more to tell you.
Stay on brand
If you are a serious business you should have had some sort of brand guide put together.
This will highlight your logo, your colour codes.
Keep your designer under control – I’ve seen it so many times. When you let a designer loose on a marketing piece you could end up with a very overwhelming piece of design.
If you have a new designer and have other pieces of marketing that have worked well before. Get them to understand the brand and keep it simple.
Your calls to action and benefits to the user are more important than your logo or imagery.
Your Nan and Tea lady aren’t designers.
Just because your Nan doesn’t like blue doesn’t mean you all of a sudden ditch your brand colours and use pink. The colour tones you use need to be on brand with contrasts for the most important elements – your offers and call to actions.
Good designers and marketers understand the message and media. If you poll people on design you will end up making bad choices that can affect your marketing results.
Great example of this going against you.
We did a website redesign recently where their previous site had a live chat box and a pop up offering a free guide after around 15 seconds. They averaged around 12 sign ups for the guide per week and 6-7 genuine live chat’s of interested people. They had a office vote on what they wanted to do when redesigning the website.
70% of the team said they found these annoying so they decided to remove them from the site. Mad mistake they lost their 12 sign ups a week and live chats that helped convert visitors.
Look at what’s happening now and what’s working – Simply removing it because you or your team find it annoying can kill your conversions and your sales.
If you’re serious about making your marketing work for you – stop being a designer and leave it to the pros. If you have a brand guide in place there shouldn’t even be a discussion on the design.
Your job is to help create a compelling message for your reader that informs and engages them, making them a lot more likely to engage with you and take the next step to a conversation
Thanks for reading
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how designing for yourself has affected your business?