5 steps to creating better web designing: Attract more traffic

5 steps to creating better web designing: Attract more traffic

Web designing is one of the topics I love the most. I have been creating web experiences since I was just 16 years old. But back then, I was doing just okay websites. Some will say I was at a immature designer mindset.

As I grew older, I opened a business based on web designing and development. I was crafting beautiful websites, but had one big problem. I was only concentrating on my ‘Client’s needs’ and not on their clients needs. A few years after, I was going through youtube searching for a good web designing tutorial for a project I had.

Through my search of words like How to run a web designing agency’, I ran into ThisWeekInWebdesign. A UX pro named Jose Caballer who used to be host for the show, he spoke about something that changed my thoughts. He spoke about a brand driven design

I know you are wondering what that is. So let me explain it to you briefly. A brand driven web design, takes into consideration three things:

1. Website Users

2. The brand of your business

3. Your business goals

How does this differentiate from what I was doing? Easy, answer this simple question ‘Do you buy your own services or products?‘ . Well, not everyone buys their own product, hence building a website to meet our needs….. makes no sense. Instead, we need to create a website that meets our users needs. They are our key reason for having a business at the end of the day.

Today, I will walk you through a simple process to create the right website. Let’s concentrate on the design and your goals and not on the coding part of it.

What will you learn:

  • What is a brand driven design
  • Identify your Brand
  • How to do User Profiles and Stories
  • Create Goals
  • Tools
  • Design Your site

Let’s start with the brand driven design. For any blog or website, there are three main things you need to keep in mind. One is your users, you have to understand them, their lives and what they like. Second, is your brand, I am not talking about your logo or business cards. I am talking about the voice you use, your message and your style. Third, is your business goals, to get more clients and  anything you want to achieve.

If we put this into a diagram like the one below, you will be able to identify a user driven design. How? easy! you will find it where all these three points meet.

Why was learning this so ground breaking? I noticed that most web designers or developers are not doing this. They ask the client what they need and a few days they have a website. What is wrong with this is that the website will not perform as it should. Why? because it was not built for the users, instead it was for the clients to use.

I began to put in place this process to LIONDEVELOPMENT. The results we saw were incredible. First, the design of the websites we created improved. Second, the websites we are creating started to have a ROI! isn’t this what you want your website to do?

Identify your Brand:

You can define your own brand by doing a simple exercise. Some of us like to call this brand attributes. I have added a video below from the Skool network, where they share a workshop for defining a business brand.

How to do User Profiles and Stories

Now this is one of the parts that will need you to take your time. If you have not identified your markets, you can use a tool named ‘The business Canvas‘. It helps you align your main target markets. Once you have done that, you can work on individual clients.

How do I come up with my customers?

For those who are already established as a business, you know who they are as you deal with them all the time. You are most likely to have data or done a market research on them before. If not, that is okay! You can define them by describing your key client. This is the person who you want to talk to.

What do I need to define about my customer?

Let’s start with a name, just pick any name. By giving a name to this person, it creates a sense of reality of whom they are.  Second, let’s talk about demographics, age, gender, income. Try to describe as much as possible. Third, work towards creating a story of this person. Describe a current situation they are facing, and the problem that needs to be solve. Remember this problem’s solution is your value to them. Last, look at their needs towards your product. You can consider this the features of your website.

Create Business Goals

You can create these goals by dividing them into the most common three. I am sure one the first ones is going to be ‘Increase revenue’ or monthly income. The second goal you will need to have is to create awareness of your brand or blog. Last, you can set up goals to increase productivity, save time and manage cost.

How do you set the goals?

  • Start with the most important goal (revenue, brand awareness, Productivity)
  • Create a table with 4 columns
  • Add the following headings to the columns (concept, obtainability, desirability, total)

Each concept is going to be a goal you want to do. For example, for increasing awareness you can have something like ‘Increase facebook fans’. The obtainability of this task can be measured from 1 – 10 to keep the math simple. If you think it is easy for you to get it, then put a number from 5-10. If it is difficult then work with numbers from 1-5. The desirability of the goal is to know how much you desire that goal. Let’s work with the same numbers as we did for obtainability. Last, on the total column add the numbers from the obtainability and desirability columns.

As a result, you will  see some goals have higher totals than others. These are the main goals you can achieve. You have the ability to make it happen and you also want it for your business!

Tools that I use when designing a website

  1. Keynote: This application allows me to create documents like the ones shared above. I can also create workbooks that I can use with clients. To be honest, unlike Microsoft PowerPoint, I feel like it is not fighting against me.
  2. Google Drive: Google drive and documents give you great resources to edit on the go. I use it to create Sheets for tracking data, as well as for documents when I am doing a live session with a client. Remember, you can allow them to edit the document. For online clients, this is great as they can edit the document while we consult.
  3.  Website Framework: Most web designers love Photoshop. I do as well, but I get more freedom when I am working with Adobe Illustrator.
  4. Web Design: For this tasks, I choose Photoshop. There are also other tools like the Ol’ Grid, that you can use when designing a website.
  5. Testing / Design: There is a new tool by Adobe named Adobe Experienced CC. It does not allow you to do the stuff that Adobe Fireworks used to do, but so far it is pretty great. It also allows you to test the interaction of your website and app.

Improve your web designing

By now  you have your goals, your brand’s message, and the most important ones your users. I have added here a playlist from TheSkoolRocks with few videos of their design process.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/CJnfAXlBRTE?list=PLzKJi2GjpkEELRD-YatYYLyItQ9O_MPU8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

When designing, keep your users right next to you. This will help you to not loose track of whom you are designing for. Remember how I told you to give your users a name? Well they are your new best friends! Remember they are going to be interacting with your website.

 

Conclusion

With these 5 steps, I have worked in designing websites that are giving a ROI. Also, we have seen a huge growth when it comes to users staying on the website and the way the flow through the website.

These are just 5 steps, there are many more available. There are also good packages that come with all the workbooks you need for creating a better website.  Here is a link to buy them. They value they give you is worth the price.

For this blog so far I have used the following tools:

  • keynote: I used it to create users, brand attributes, goals.
  • Google Drive: Google Sheets: I used to create a few sheets. The first one was a sheet to stop feeling overwhelm with all the tasks. I will share this one with you in upcoming posts. The second one, was to create a list of affiliate partners I have added to this blog. The third one, has keywords and other data I need to collect.
  • Adobe Illustrator: I used to create a frame work of what I needed to have on the website. I am also using it for images that I will be using through out the blog.

If you have any other tips or process you use. Feel free to share with us by commenting on this blog!

5 ways to improve your coaching website

5 ways to improve your coaching website

5 Easy ways to improve your coaching website

Improving a website seems like everything everyone is talking about, right?

Well, your website is key to improving the experience of your coaching business’ customers. As a result, we have to ensure that your website is a peak performance.

On my last blog post, I spoke about the reasons why your coaching website may not be working as it should.

Today, we will discuss a few strategies you can use to fix the issues above and improve your website right away.

Who is this for:

1. For coaches who have a website and are looking to improve it

2. For a coach who is looking to build a website, but wants to see great solutions to the questions he or she may have

Let’s dive in..

For today’s blog, I will make it base in two types of coach practices –  Fitness coaches and Life Style coaches. But it can be used into any coaching website or even a blogger’s website.

1. Add White spaces or Improve white spaces on your website

This one is key for lifestyle coaches…

In many occasions, I have worked with clients who would like to see less white space on their website. Most of the time, we believe that all this extra space can be used to showcase products and services.

But in reality, white space shows good design and a relax experience for your customer. It helps your website focus on what really matters and on what will help you generate more leads, instead of having shiny objects that distract.

whitespaces for website

On research conducted by Crazy Eggs, and analytics company. It showed that having white space can help you increase conversation by 20%.

Imagine what this means to your coaching business?

2. Use attractive calls to actions

Your potential customers are on your website because they heard about you. Maybe they saw you on youtube, or even on a video with another coach.

When they login to your website, they will start to follow visuals cues which tell them where to click and how to move on to the next point of the customer’s journey. Calls to Action that are clearly placed on your website will help you move your customers through the sales funnel that you have set for your coaching business.

Keep in mind these two elements when creating CTAs:

1. Use actionable words

2. Make them pop

3. Use bullet points to describe the benefits of your practice

Bullets are very useful!

It allows your user to read through the information quickly and get an answer to their questions as quick as possible.

Let’s say you are a fitness coach and you have a new workout program and diet plan available. You want your potential buyers to read the benefits quickly, then move on to what it is all about and then sign up to find out more.

Great ways to have bullets on your website

 

If you were to do this with long paragraphs, your users will most likely get bored half way through the 2 paragraphs and move on to another website.

You only have 20 seconds to get someone’s attention online. So keep this always in mind.

The other great thing about bullets is that you can personalize them. As a result, you can add a flexing bicep as your bullet’s icon or a symbol that represents relaxation and a clear mindset.

4. Use amazing images

Images are great for all types of websites. But for a coaching business, they are key.

There is something interesting about human psychology and how we as humans would like to feel the emotions others are feeling.

We can call this envy, jealousy or whatever you would like to call it, but images are the only elements that can help you achieve this.

 

Great Images for your webiste

Imagine heading to a fitness coach website and see images of him/her at the gym training, great clients. Then, you scroll down and you see actual people and the before and after images.

If this does not make you feel like getting started, I do not know what will.

The key with images is to use them wisely. You really do not want to have images all over the website or images that do not represent your field of work. So use them wisely and see the effect they have your users.

5. Make sure your websites looks great on mobile

As a person who is constantly looking at coaches information in different fields, I can tell you I mainly do this on my mobile phone. And so does the rest of your potential customers.

 It is imperative that your website is mobile-friendly and easy-to-navigate no matter the screen type through which it is being accessed.

Recently, Google started penalizing sites that aren’t mobile optimized, making the need for responsiveness even more crucial. This is probably the single most valuable way in which you can improve your website’s usability.

Mobile website

I hope these tips help you to improve your website. They are simple tips that make a difference and can help you achieve your goals. If you have any questions or any other tips that you would like to add, comment below. Let’s create a conversation.

get a website for your coaching business

why is my coaching website not working as it should?

why is my coaching website not working as it should?

Why is your coaching website not working as it should?

Your coaching business’ website is your number one sales tools. Am I right?
 
I am sure you totally agree with me on this one. Hence, you have to make sure that your website is working as it should.
 
I have worked with business coaches and life style coaches, who have an online presence. But, their websites are not helping them achieve their goals.
 
Keep in mind, some of these websites have beautiful designs and fonts..
 
My goal with this blog post is to help you understand what in your website is not working and give you a few tips on improving it.
 
So who is this blog post for:
 
1. Business Coaches
2. Life style Coaches
3. Fitness coaches
 
If you meet the criteria above, continue reading. If not, I am sure you will still learn a lot in this post.
 
So let’s dive in….
 

In this article, I’m going to give you three solutions to help improve the performance of your coaching website.

 
Let’s start with one of the biggest core problems…
 
I will say is that most coaches websites are build by corporate marketing firms that do not really understand how to translate a coach passion into a design. As a result, the websites that are design are not really aimed at the target market.
 
Let’s say you visiting a life style coach, you would imagine a simple, relaxing ambiance on the website. Yet, you might find yourself in a corporate looking website. How does this make you feel about the life style coach?
corporate websites for coaches
 
Instead, imaging entering a website that is gives you a sense of relaxation, smooth colors and fonts that help align the content with the same feeling. Now this is more like it, isn’t it?

evercoach website
 

Your Coaching website needs to invite and engage with your ideal customer

 

This is one of the main reasons why creating user personas for your coaching business is key. Your coaching website needs to be inviting and appealing to your clients.

The first thing, potential customers for your coaching business do is like at over asthetics of your site, the content and images.

Why?..
Well, no matter what type of coaching you do, it is a personal engagenment between you and that specific customer. One of the biggest ‘no no’ is talking about yourself in the third person. This is not emotional, instead, this creates a distant between you and that one client.
Coaching is about building trust and a personal connect.. 


Your coaching website is not showing that you are an expert on your field.

 

I have yet to meet a coach that woke up one day and was able to coach. I am sure, it has taken you years and in those years you built tone expertese and knowledge that you are ready to share.
Here is where videos and testimonials come in hand. In any lifestyle coaching website, videos are a must. There is nothing like creating a feeling, where you can actually see two persons experiencing an emotions.
Show your customers you care about your clients, and the results they have been able to achieve with your work. If you are a fitness coach, make sure to have before and after pictures, with some text or videos. This alone will help you increase your coaching business performance.

Your brand message is lacking a voice

 

Let’s imagine you are a fitness coach. You have created a website for your coaching business and a identity. Your branding is okay, but it needs a bit alignment to meet your customer needs.

Then, a person who needs motivation comes into your website. And reads ‘Change your body today’. What would this mean to them? is that message clear to your customers?


Remember, that everyone sees and understands things from their point of view. If your message is strong and engaging, it will make them read more and click on those amazing call to actions you have on your website.
When you are coaching, you are serving your customers. The idea is to create an experience that show cases what your value proposition as a coach is to them.
Now..
Go to your website and see if there you notice some of the elements I have described above. If so that is okay, every part of a business can be enhanced and aligned towards achieving its goals.
If you are a coach or a coach’s client, let us know in the comments what else you like to see on coaching websites. Let’s create a conversation.

Do I need a website redesign?

Do I need a website redesign?

Do you need a website redesign? Find out!

Over the last few years, I have noticed that website design projects follow the same path.

First businesses realize they need a website or a redesign and they look at their options. Then, they find the right freelancer or business that will do a website as they say it should be. A few months later, they have a website.

And that is it until 1.5 to 2 years down the line…

This process was okay for most companies. Actually, most websites out there were built using this methodology.

And the same thing happened when a company needed a website redesign. They will wonder why their website is not giving the results and contact a freelancer or agency.

Then, they will come up with the latest website trends and development one base on it. Three to Six months later, there is a new website that is launch to the market and remains the same for the months to come.

But what is the biggest issue with this? It seems simple and straight forward doesn’t it?

The biggest problem is that the new website or the redesign will remain stale and will not adapt to your customers as your business grows.

This is where Growth Driven Design has taken over.

Instead of going through the traditional methods and looking at the latest trends, it allows you to create a website that is 100% compatible with your customers.

growth-driven-design-chart

My main goal with this post, is to help you understand if you need a website redesign. Also, I want to tell you about growth driven design, as I know website redesign can be expensive and full of headaches.

So why should you consider a website redesign at all..

Getting your website back to speed can be a huge help for your business. Actually, over 90% of potential customers are on the web.

They are finding the right business for all their problems with just one click or a search on google. Hence, your website needs to be able to help them accomplish this goal.

Also, your business needs to create a powerful brand presence. To be honest, having an online presence is the best way to go. It helps you create brand awareness locally and even internationally if that is your goal.

Furthermore, it gives you the ability to show case your products 24 / 7. As you may know your website is your number 1 sales and marketing representative. As a result, it is supposed to help you engage and generate leads while you take care of the business.

Now we know why your website needs to be up to date and constantly adapting to your customers.

Let’s talk on how you can find out if you need a website redesign..

I have also added a FREE checklist that will allow you to do this by yourself with ease.

1. Are you getting the results you want?

Think about how your website is currently performing. Is it helping you increase sales, get more traffic? If not, then you need to consider if a few tweaks can do the job. If not, then you might need a full website redesign.

2. Has the purpose of your website change?

Most business are constantly changing and so are your goals. It is key to re-evaluate your website even if you getting results. Then, ask yourself if the results you are getting are exactly what your business needs.

3. Understand what is not working on your site

Is your site confusing to navigate? Have you got sliders on the front page? Not enough content? all these are key aspects of a website.

4. Do you need to update the platform or framework?

If your current website is not mobile friendly, then you really need to consider a redesign. More than 80% of customers view websites on their mobile devices. Also, think about the opportunities for growth that your current frame work provides.

5. Do you have a strategy if you need to redesign?

Once you have answered the previous questions, it is time for you to think about a strategy. You have gathered what works and does not work, so it is time to move forward.

6. How has your business, marketing and other goals changed since you first did this website?

Your website is part of your business, hence it needs to continue to change as your business does. Think about the message it sends to your customers and what allows them to do.

7. What are your competitors doing?

Usually, I do not like to focus too much on competitors. But when it comes to websites, you need to see what they are doing with their website. Is your website making you stand out? is it letting your value proposition show over your competitors? Does it look similar to their own?

8. Do you need a content strategy?

Content is king! Every website needs a content strategy. By doing this it helps you educate your customer better and helps you rank on Google and Bing.

9. Do you need to update your website features?

Many websites are using pluggins and custom made features. Are these up to date? are they working? are your customers using them?

10. How is your SEO?

If your site is not up to date, then most likely your SEO is being hurt. Most of the latest SEO techniques need constant updates. Consider doing a SEO audit on your website.

 It is important for you to choose the right methods to accomplish a website redesign. If you have any other questions you think should be answered when considering a website redesign comment below. Also, if you have any questions about redesigning your website, comment below. Let’s create a conversation

 

 

 

How to create user personas for your business

How to create user personas for your business

How to build user personas for your website..

How well do you know your customers or your ideal customers?
 
Over the last five years, I have been working on developing great user personas for my business. What I have found, is that by doing this I am able to adapt my business and create better solutions for my audience.
 
Why?..
 
Because the goal is to target the most ideal customer possible.
 
Furthermore, another thing I have learned, is that most websites or products are not based on user needs. Instead, websites and campaigns are being built on the best trends of 2017, 2016….
I am sure you have seen websites and post with ‘Best website design trends of 2017’.
 
As a result, we are seeing websites, campaigns and products based on trends and not needs and websites that look the same as others.
 
The goal of doing user personas or buyer personas is to understand your customers goals. As a result, it is key to identify their background story, demographics, needs and goals. Furthermore, it will help you understand their interests and the tone of voice to use when engaging with them.
 
The results?
 
Well you get to understand them better and communicate better with them. Overall, this is what inbound marketing and growth driven design are all about. Engaging rather than disrupting.
 
Today, my goal is to show you how to do this even if you are just starting blogging or new in business. It works for both online and offline businesses. In addition, I will share with you the best method to do this, by using a template that is great and easy to use.
 
Before we dive into the process and the benefits, let’s talk about the personas we are about to work on.
 

What are user personas or personas?

In simple words, it is your ideal customer, reader or user. In addition, it is the fictional person or group of persons you build to identify your key customers.
 
If you are a new business, it is key to identify your ideal customers. Also, it is key to do this even if you are identifying your brand and not only when you are doing a website or product.
 
For those who have been in business for a long time, this process is a lot easier as you already know who your customers are. In addition, it is key that you do this for any new project that requires your team to know the customers you are targeting.
 
how to create user personas
 

So why User Personas are important then?

 
  • Allows you to create products base on your customers’ needs and goals
 
  • Helps designers and developers create website with a User Experience based on actual customers
 
  • Gives marketers the ability to create powerful marketing campaigns
 
  • Helps you understand your customers needs and goals better
 
  • Helps you identify your main customers
 
  • Gives you the ability to align your business goals with the people that love your product

 

How to create user personas for your business?

 
The first thing you have to do here is to give your ideal customer a real name and a category.
 
Why?..
 
You want to feel connected to them. If you name them client 1 or 2, there is no connection between the two of you.
 
But, if you name your client Mary and put her in the Marketing director category, there is a connection that is instantly created.
 
userpersona
 
From there, you look at the overview of this person. Start by discussing their background. Here are a few questions to help you with this section.
 
1. What she / he likes to do
2. What she / he does at work?
3. How do they feel about they do ?
4. What are her hobbits or what she does after work?
 
Then start working on her demographics..
 
Let’s talk about her age, culture and other aspects that make up a persons demographics.
 
Here is a few examples..
 
Age: 30
Married
2 Children
Lives in the City
Makes x amount of money per year
Husband is an architect
Is very active (for fitness companies)
 
user demograpics
 
From here you can move on into the pre-sales section. Here you will look at her goals, the problems that she might be having and your solution for this (value proposition).
 
It is key to identify at least 3 – 5 goals that your ideal customer is looking to achieve.
 
Then we move into identifying the problems they are having. They key here is to identify a solution for each problem.
 
The worst thing you can do is identify a problem for a client and not give them a solution. So identify 3 – 5 problems and give them each a solution with one of your services or products.
 
user goals
 
One of the elements that helps us connect better with people and clients is to understand their emotions. The way they feel before they buy from us and the way we make them feel after they are your clients.
 
So divide emotions into two. First, is what they are feeling before they buy..
 
This can be stressed, excited, worried...
 
Then look into describing how they felt after the bought from you…
From here you are now able to understand and engage your new customer. You are understanding their emotions and learning about their needs and the value you are creating for them. Now, it is time to create a quick elevator pitch for this client category…
I am sure you have seen the TV show ‘Shark Tank‘. In this great tv show,  entrepreneurs go to make a hopefully good pitch to investors. Well, the pitch you want to write here, is not as big, but it is even more powerful.
Why?
Because you do not have 5 – 10 minutes to tell your clients what you do, why you are the right choice and the results you can achieve. Instead, you have just a few seconds or minutes to do this.
If you are not too sure on what this is, in simple words it is a persuasive speech you use to tell your ideal customer what your value proposition is.
Customers actually take about 20 seconds to make a decision once they enter your website. Hence, having a message that speaks in your customers voice is key at the start of your page.
Take a look at this website, where you can learn to create a great pitch for your user personas.
Most of the time when learning how to create user personas, this is where the tutorial ends. The problem is that this is just the pre sale part of your customer or user journey. Whether you have a blog or business your goal is to keep and continue to drive your customer to your website or business.
Hence, when I am teaching how to create user personas or working on creating my own personas, I do two more steps.
Not every sale is closed right away. As a result, the user is not a client, but a lead. So for you to be able to increase the percentage of leads that become clients, you need to understand the following:
  • Customers goals (6 to 12 months goals)after they have learned about you. Can you help them achieve these goals?
  • Biggest on boarding Challenges and your solutions to these challenges (Come up with at least 3)
  • Biggest new customer challenges and your solutions

Once you have these questions answered you are able to easier transform leads into customers. One of the greatest platforms where you can keep track of where your customers are in the customer journey is Hubspot. And it is completely FREE.

 

 

From here, you need to imagine that you have successfully get this customer or user to read and share your blog. When we are looking at how to create user personas we need to think about their goals when they sign up to work with us.

Let’s do this again in a 6 to 12 month goals plan, but think about it as if they are now your customers. Also, you have to think about the on boarding challenges that your customer will have in order to remain a client for long period of time.

Come up with a few challenges and some great solutions. In this post on how to create user personas, my goal was to give you an easy way to do this. As a result, I strongly recommend you to download the template we have created for you. As a result, you can follow this post and work on your user personas.

I strongly suggest you to do at least 3 personas categories. Keep in mind, that you can create multiple variations of the same persona. If you think this was useful, make sure to share it with your social media communities.

If you have any questions or got other methods that can help others to learn how to build user personas, share them below! let’s create a discussion.

Download your FREE template on how to create user personas.

this is the same template we have used to create user personas for our businesses and clients. It works towards really identifying who they are and how you can help them.

how to create user personas ebook