What is a business? A business is simply seeing a need and filling it. Having a solution for a problem.
If you sell something or provide a service for something that people need, and are willing to pay for it, you have a business.
That's it in a nutshell. When you boil down what we do, we find a need and we fill it.
How do you grow your business? Well, people need to know about your solution! You have to express that you understand their problem and clearly explain the solution. But this is complicated, isn't it? Sometimes it's hard to relate to the people we are selling to. Sometimes we don't like to promote ourselves. And sometimes we are so busy providing the solution, we actually don't have time to promote at all!
Here's where systems come in. You have to have stable, dependable systems to promote the solution to the problem that your people are facing. You can use your website, email, Facebook, direct mail, word of mouth, etc. But you can't decide to promote your business only when business is slow. Honestly, your marketing and advertising needs to be a system in itself! Do you have a repeatable process that is a checklist that you complete every single week?
If you don't have enough people seeking the solution that you offer, then focus on your marketing. Focus on improving your messaging. Make sure you are speaking to the need that your customer already knows they have. They have pain--and you have the solution. Simply put, that is marketing and advertising.
Need some help with your marketing? Let's talk! Book a call here:
It's a simple fact: people want connection. They want to know a real, living, human being cares about them. This is such an easy, simple thing to implement into business or ministry, and yet most of us are missing the mark.
Through connection, you can grow your business with 3 simple systems: using your website, email, and Facebook. (Chances are, you’re already using these 3 things! Whoo hoo!)
The #1 mistake that 90% of websites make is not capturing the reader’s attention with BENEFITS for the reader on the home page. Why should people choose your business? What sets you apart from other businesses just like yours?
Home page rules
The average visit on a website is 1 minute! To make matters worse, between 21-79% of your readers only look at the first page they land on. They won’t even attempt to click through your other pages.
You have only seconds to grab the attention of your reader and give them the answers that they are seeking. Are they looking for pricing? Contact info? Directions? Information? Do you have the answers to THOSE questions on your front page?
If you have sentences like: “Thanks for stopping by our website. We hope you will browse around. Let us know if you don’t find what you are looking for” then you are WASTING an opportunity to connect with your audience! You need to GRAB your reader’s attention with a headline (or a question) that they are already asking.
If you have a very beautiful "cool" website without the pertinent information, you will frustrate your reader. If your website is not on a responsive theme, they may not be able to see anything because your site originally designed for a desktop computer. It’s hard to keep up with all the changing trends! If you haven’t updated your site in the last year or two, it's time for a redesign.
The right Pictures
Make sure you have pictures on the home page of your site! Your site should reflect your audience, so pick pictures that look like real people (not like fake models or stiff stock photos). Portray the clients you are trying to attract! The best thing you can do is take real pictures of your real clients!
Answer the questions they are asking
Make sure you have text on your home page. Answer your audience’s questions quickly and swiftly, and let them know why they should choose YOU.
Search engines love text (and can't "read" images with words on them) so this will help when users are searching for what you do.
Call to Action
The very last item on your home page should be a Call to Action. Do you want them to call? Stop by? Request more information? Make it clear. People are in a hurry and want to be told exactly what to do!
Next week we'll talk about email and Facebook!
I was the editor of our school newspaper in high school. It was supposed to be a rotating position, but right away it was clear that I was the one who loved editing, correcting grammar, and cracking the whip on deadlines. I remember sitting in Government class, secretly editing articles and passing them back to my fellow newspaper contributors. It was a position that I loved so much that my plan was to pursue Journalism in college. (Until God made it clear that I should major in music. But that's a story for another day.)
An important consideration for any newspaper team or editor is the article that is "above the fold." You know the newspaper that's folded in half, lying on the stand at the end of the counter at Starbucks while you wait for your grande latte? You scan the headlines, right? You might pick up the paper and look underneath. But the most attention goes to article above the fold.
The same is true of your website. First impressions are everything and "above the fold" is valuable real estate. For websites, we want to maximize the first few seconds the reader is on your website. Is it clear what your business is all about? Does the reader know what to do next? Are the pictures visually clear on who the target audience is?
PLEASE don't waste the top half of your home page with announcements: "Enrollment ends soon. Hurry!!" or "We will be closed on Labor Day." These announcements are for your current clients. Use email for your announcements, not your website. Your website is mostly for new visitors. Potential clients. You have only seconds to win them over and to keep them reading. Please don't waste those seconds on "insider information."
If a reader can't decide in 3 seconds that "this is the place for me," then you've probably lost them forever. Use only 2 different fonts on your page, keep your colors clean and appealing, and use photographs that are happy, smiling, and that draw in your reader.
Make sure your address, phone number, and email address are front and center! This is super important for both current and prospective clients. Please don't make the reader search for this important information. Also, be sure to have a link to your Facebook page in the upper right hand corner. (Social Media is how clients can peak into the life of your business and decide if they want to work with you.)
First impressions are everything. If you are stuck on how to improve your site, ask a friend or co-worker to give you their opinion. Then listen and make changes!
Yesterday I made my morning coffee and reached beyond my favorite red coffee cups to one in the back. It was chipped, but held memories of the years when my kids were all babies and I was working SO HARD to grow my company. The coffee cup was a gift from a Mary Kay lady--it has motivating quotes all around the mug and even on the inside. For a couple years, I used that cup every day and as I sipped my coffee, I reflected on the words: "If it's to bee, it's up to me."
Now, I believe in God and He definitely guides and helps me, and of course my husband helps me, too. But ultimately, I am responsible for the actions in my life. I am the only one that can choose the direction I am headed. I believe in personal accountability, and during those years when I had to cut coupons for everything and make meals stretch so I could stay in our grocery budget, I knew it was MY responsibility to sneak in work during every nap and every evening when the kids were (finally) in bed so I could keep moving my business in the right direction.
Yesterday, my eyes welled up with tears as I held that coffee cup and remembered how far I've come. I'm so thankful for the years when I pushed HARD to grow my business. I worked to multiply myself by hiring staff, I studied marketing and copywriting to improve my ads, I studied web-based tools to make my systems more powerful and streamlined, and I never quit believing that my little side business could explode into supporting our family and allow us to travel multiple times a year.
If you feel alone, we are here to support you. If you are hustling every day to grow your company, I'm telling you--I understand!
Here's how we can help.
We can improve your website so it converts visitors into customers.
We can improve your web presence so when people Google you, they find you.
We can create print materials that mirror your website so you have something to put in the mail when prospects call or email you.
Or, we can coach you through the process while you make all theses improvements on your own. Yes, the success of your company is in YOUR hands. But you do not have to walk alone. We've been in your shoes. We know how crazy busy you are. Just email or call us and we'll help you get to the next level faster.
Now, I have to go get some more coffee.
Picking the pictures for your website is one of your most important jobs. Your reader will subconsciously relate to the images they see. I can’t tell you how many times people have called my music school (www.rogersmusiclessons.com) and told me that the students look so happy!
That’s exactly what I wanted to covey.
Our school is a fun place to take music lessons and I want every parent to “feel” that when they visit our site.
Both your words and your pictures should make your ideal client say, “That’s me! I want that!”
Your website should have words that resonate with your future clients and with what they want. This isn’t a time to brag about yourself, but rather to appeal to what they are looking for. Avoid stock photos (they look too perfect) and instead use real photos of real people you’ve worked with! Use words that resonate with what they are hoping to achieve after working with you. Focus on what sets you apart from your competitors and what benefits the client will receive when they work with you!
HINT: It is worth the expense to hire a professional photographer to get professional pictures! You can pay them or swap services—just get it done!
Websites are like cars. There are outer, visible parts that you can see, and there are vital parts “under the hood” that aren’t seen, but are vitally important.
SEO is the “engine” of your website and allows potential clients to find you online! If your SEO isn’t properly hooked up, your website will fall to page 2, 5, or 8 of Google and the people who are searching for you won’t find you.
It’s not enough to have a beautiful website if no one can find you! You need to make sure that your website is “Google friendly” and that’s why you need SEO.
Now, unfortunately, the essential elements of SEO are always changing. Fortunately for you, we have made it our mission to stay informed so your company gets exactly what Google wants, so your site is ranked higher and your potential clients find you!
What is SEO?
SEO is simply the ability for Google (or other search engines) to find your website. Remember that your clients won’t be searching for your company’s name (because they don’t know you yet!). Instead they will be searching for what you do.
For example, if you own a bakery, they will be searching for “cupcakes” or “cakes.” If you’re a dentist, they will be searching for “dentist” and the name of several towns near you.
SEO is not something you fix and forget about. Google is constantly changing the rules of the game (so scammers can’t ruin it for all of us) so we have to continually be staying on top of what is expected and what is best practice. If you’re not super techy or if you’re just a really busy business owner, this can feel like a huge burden to add to your already full To Do list. However, it is really essential that every single month you take the time to check on your website’s rankings. You can do this by googling your key words and the cities that you draw from. Make sure your rankings are improving or holding strong and not dropping.
If you just don’t have time for this, we can help. You can choose monthly hosting support and we will check on your website’s rankings and send you a full color report each month, so you know how your site is performing. You can breathe a sigh of relief because we’ll take care of it. But we’ll keep you informed, too. Most SEO firms take your money every month, but you have no clue what they are doing or how your site is doing. We’ll make sure you know exactly what’s happening.
You need to get found on Google so you can make a difference in the world. People are searching for you--can they find you?
Each of these 13 secret strategies are vital to the success of your company. Alone, they are important. But when they work together, they create a firestorm of power for your marketing!
Most web designers are either:
The primary reason for working with us is that we are marketing experts. We have studying copywriting and marketing while also having certification in SEO. We drive traffic to your website and then win over your potential client with the look, feel, and words on your site!
You can certainly build your own website. There are easy-to-use platforms available that make this accessible to any business owner! But, if you don’t have expertise in marketing and SEO, you should outsource this to get it done quickly and correctly, so your company can grow and you can focus on everything else on your to do list!
Here’s what makes your experience with working with us exceptional:
We won’t build your website and then hold it hostage from you. After it’s built, we will actually train you so that you can edit your site whenever you want to.
We understand that your business is constantly evolving. You’ll need to have the keys back to your website so you can drive it and get where you’re going!
During the process of working with us, we’ll also hook you up with the absolute best and easiest tools to streamline your systems and add even more firepower to your marketing. Let's talk soon. Can't wait to help.
Whenever we hire a professional to do work on our house (to trim trees, resurface the driveway, fix our windows, etc) I'm always amazed by one thing: their TOOLS.
Since we love house projects and we have done a lot of DIY projects, I am fascinated when these professionals show up with the most amazing tools. It truly makes all the difference, doesn't it?!?
With the right tools and the right expertise, every job is EASIER!
If you're running a business but you don't have the right tools, you are bound to feel stressed and frustrated. If you don't know which tools would make your life easier, reach out and message me. I'd love to schedule a free 20 minute strategy phone call. You'll tell me what is frustrating you and I PROMISE not to make you feel dumb.
Together, we can figure out a solution!
You don't need to pull out your hair every day. Running a business should be doing what you LOVE-- not getting stuck on the bookkeeping, payroll problems, or endless paperwork/excel sheets!
Let's talk soon. I'm here for you. ❤
I have been studying websites for the past 10 years. I remember building my first website and having NO clue who would even read it. This was before Google, before Facebook, and before MySpace. My customers barely had email addresses!
I hit publish and sent it into the atmosphere. I was nervous about putting myself out there, but then again, who would even find it?!?
It's been 10 years since I built that original site, and WOW have things changed. Now we all have smartphones in our pocket and it is essential for every business or church or organization to have a website.
But how do you make sure your website stands out from all the rest?
How do you engage your prospective customer when they've landed on your site?
How do you make sure your website is actually accomplishing anything at all?
Here's what will NOT work:
1. Have a beautiful design with stunning pictures, but have no clear call to action. So your visitors just leave quietly, unsure about what they should do next.
2. Have NO contact information on your first page. Your reader scans and looks and scans again, and in frustration, hits the "back" button so they can find your phone number or address in a different place.
3. Have a big beautiful site that isn't mobile friendly. Make your visitors zoom in and pinch and zoom out and scroll from side to side until they're dizzy. Your reader abandons the site, frustrated.
These three frustrations happen to me daily. And it makes me want to throw my phone across the room. (Which is extreme, because I really love my phone!)
Here's the deal: I would much rather build you a simple, basic website that WORKS than a complex, beautiful site that causes your reader (and prospective customer) frustration and dismay.
A famous marketer, Dan Kennedy, said: "If every ad around you is pretty, be ugly. If every ad around you is ugly, be pretty." I am paraphrasing, but the point is: STAND OUT.
When we build websites, here's what we focus on:
1. Easy to read.
2. Mobile friendly.
3. Clear steps on what to do next.
I have friends who tinker in web design and they've turned up their nose at some of the sites we have built. They think they are too simple. Too basic. Here's the deal: they are artists, not a team focused on building businesses. When they are building a gorgeous website on a HUGE monitor in their office, that website IS beautiful. It's a piece of art. But are they certified in SEO and experts in systems and streamlining? No.
Here's the reality: Your reader is clicking on your website from their phone, probably coming from an email, Facebook, or Google. So let's make your site simple, clean, easy to read, easy to navigate, and most of all, let's get your prospective customers to call you, stop by, sign up for your newsletter, or buy from you. Because THAT is the point of having a website!
Having an "ugly" website that gets me new clients and new business and grows my bottom line...now THAT is a winner!
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!