Your Mom's Opinion Of Your Business... Is It Valuable?
I know my mom is reading this: Hi Mom I love you!!! - but you know as a marketing expert this is true and needs to be said. :)
So, I’m going to start with a huge embarrassment for me. I think this is the correct feeling.
I feel vulnerable, small, and incompetent… so I’m super stoked to share, obviously. So let's get to it.
Have you been to my old website before today balanceddogsllc.com?
If you haven’t, I’m not surprised. Why would you?
It’s been many years since I had my website redone. In that time, my needs have changed greatly. Three years of low traffic, over-designed pages, and confusing, complicated copy served a point sort of - but my products, services and knowledge have changed greatly. I tried to ignore my site like a dull ache in my side, but we all know you can’t ignore that for long because, well it's kind of important these days. I’ve known it was time to redesign for a while, but other projects became a priority (but shouldn’t have.)
Redoing your brand and website can be an entrepreneur’s worst nightmare.
Where do you find someone?
What’s it going to cost?
What am I even buying?
Who updates the site when it needs it?
I‘m excited to share with you what I have learned over the past few years as I've educated myself. I have 1 secret, from - most likely - one of the best web design and user experience professionals out there.
See, my wife is a business genius - as many might know. For close to 15 years she has been teaching business owners who have been in the same conundrum I was in-
How do I rebrand my company online?
It didn't take long for her to suggest someone that could help me through the uncertainty of this stressful time.
So where did she send me first?
I Couldn't Resist :)
Melissa sent me to a friend of hers - a young, creative, tattooed Canadian fellow named Paul Jarvis. I did a podcast with him that will be coming out in Jan 2017. He shared copious amounts of wisdom nuggets.
Anyone who is anyone has had a website built by Paul, or their designer (if they are good) is using Paul’s business strategies for customer designs. Paul prides himself on being stolen. Paul says, “As long as people are stealing from me, I know I’m still relevant.”
I studied the sites Paul built and all the content he provided on branding and technology. I took a class Paul offers called Chimp Essentials along with his free webinars, his podcast which has over a half a million downloads, and signed up for his weekly newsletter - one of the best executed free online products out there.
I learned a lot about the purpose of a businesses site, and what marketing professionals call the customer on-boarding process. Here is a great article Paul wrote for reference.
Your site should be purposeful, functional, and have clear calls to action. This makes things seamless for your website visitors, and also reduces the time and energy you spend in your inbox answering things you could have easily addressed on your site.
So what did I learn from Paul?
Okay, here it is!
Stop asking your family, friends, cousins, mom, brother-in-law, or even your spouse if they like your website, business cards, and other marketing materials.
Because unless they need the product or service you are selling, then who cares what they think. If my mom doesn’t like the red button on my site, who cares? All that matters is that I can explain why the button is red. That’s smart business.
When I see folks post in Facebook groups or seek group consensus about their personal brand, I wanna yell: “NOOOO don’t ask your colleagues! They don’t buy your products.”
Asking colleagues about your website is like asking people who love vanilla if they like your new chocolate flavor. They aren't your buyers.
And that’s what motivated me to write this - to help those who are going through the same process. Check out my updated site. It’s more intentional and less distracting so people can focus on what I really want them to.
Here is my basic marketing strategy. I cover this in much greater detail in my upcoming online course.
Who is your customer?
Where are they hanging out? Where is their attention?
How can I add value?
How can I get their money for my product or service?
If you follow this philosophy, you will be able to write copy that motivates your potential clients, not your Dad. You will know where to spend your time and energy marketing if you understand where your customers spend their time.
You will understand how you can add value, so they see you as a professional that will ease their pain.
And finally, give-give-give value, and then you earn the right to receive (aka: be able to sell).
When you create a new piece of marketing, practice your sales pitch, or write a new blog post that sucks new customers in, remember your customers’ opinions are the most important. Ignore the people who aren't your ideal customers. You have plenty of other things to do than to waste your time on that.
ACTION STEP: Who are three customers, potential customers, or past customers you could run your next marketing idea by, since they are the ones who will be buying?
Things like this will be covered in great detail in my new course. Take a look and see if it’s right for you.