Image via DollarPhotoClub.com
If you don’t already know this, then let me break it down for you yo! Your website or blog is your online face (which should always contain your actual face, but that’s another topic). It’s your first defense, your first impression. The look, feel and professionalism of your website will literally make or break you. I have this debate with sales people all the time who argue that it doesn’t matter what your site looks like. The only thing that matters are CTAs (call to actions) and effective sales copy that result in conversions. Yes, these are all important elements. Without them, your business wouldn’t grow and your website would be worthless. However, if your site looks like your little nephew RayRay made it at the library I promise you’re not getting the response you need (no offense to nephews named RayRay).
This week I met with a local life coach trainer that puts on certification programs a couple times per year and then helps her graduates get clients. She told me she has some amazing coaches that she wants to refer, but she can’t because their website is so unprofessional. She feels that if she drives people to a bad site, it will be a poor reflection of the abilities of the coach and ultimately a poor reflection of her certification program. This puts her in a place where she is literally begging her graduates to hire a professional to build them a sound site so she can help drive their client base…help me help you!
If you website doesn’t live up to the level of service provided, the quality of expertise given or the price point of the products sold, your will lose credibility and business. Every time. When someone lands on your website, you literally have 3 seconds before they make a judgement about you…as a person, as a professional and as a business owner. Visitors will deem you worthy to work with or questionable. You have 5 seconds before they act on that judgement, either leaving your site or exploring further. Unfortunately, we are all human. We don’t jump to conclusions, we cannonball into them like a mofo!
Think about the last time to met someone at a networking event. I’m sure this scenario has happened to you before and it happened to me after attending an event in Denver this past week. You connect with someone and are blown away by their presence…how they presented themselves, how charming and smart they were, and how knowledgable they were about their industry. You get their business card and when you get home you visit their website. You’re shocked because the unprofessional, boring, mediocre site you’re visiting doesn’t live up to the dynamic person you just met. There is a disconnect and credibility is questioned. Something doesn’t add up. Was the person you met a fraud, putting on a front and pretending to be someone they’re not? This usually isn’t the case. The sad fact is that the website simply doesn’t compliment the quality of person. On the flip side of this, what if you hadn’t met the person but only had the opportunity to “meet” them through their website?
So………here’s what you need to do ASAP:
1. Evaluate your online face
Ask yourself these questions: Does my website or blog represent the amazing, beautiful, talented, brilliant person I am? Does my site live up to the service I provide, the level of expertise I have, the quality of products I offer and the price point I demand? If someone meets me first and experiences my awesomeness, will there be a disconnect when they visit my website or blog? Be honest with yourself when you answer and enlist 1 or 2 friends, peers or mentors to help (note: careful here…too many different opinions can sway you and pull you into too many directions so trust your gut).
2. Hire a professional!
Seriously tho. I know, I know…it’s tempting to have a relative throw it together or do one yourself. And I know it’s tempting to spend as little money as possible. But your business depends on it. Remember, this is your online face! You wouldn’t have your little nephew RayRay do your makeup. Am I right?!
3. Use high quality imagery (super IMPORTANT)
This is the ONE THING that separates you from the big dogs out there. Professional sites have amazing photography. Back in the day, we would purchase photos for client online use and would pay anywhere from $50 to $250 per photo depending on whether it was rights-free or not. Today we have so many affordable options at our fingertips. So stop it with the clipart and the warped, stretched pictures. And please stop grabbing just anything off Google images. It’s kind of illegal. And you can do better girl! Here is my secret: DollarPhotoClub.com OMG! I’m so in love with it! <3 <3 They have most everything you’ll ever need for only $1 per photo. If the professional you hire isn’t hip to this ridiculous resource, make sure you fill them in. It will save you some bread and make you look fabulous! So now you have no excuse! Let me repeat, you have no excuse!
4. Don’t just build a site, build a brand
Great photography is super important (and the whole reason I started to write this post…got a little sidetracked on my “hire a professional” soapbox), but building a brand is critical. There are lots of web developers out there that are great at building sites. They are technical and can make sure it will do all that you need it to. But some developers are not as in touch with branding. Your site needs to do what you want, but it also need to BE what you need…and that is a representation of you, your brand. In other words, don’t hire a home builder (website developer) to do the job of an interior designer (online branding specialist).
Oh and hey, make sure you sign up on my email list to get more tips on how to build a better brand online and send me an email if you want me to take a peek at your site! olivia at oliviaomega.com 🙂