by Melissa McGlenn | Apr 3, 2023 | Marketing, News
As a woman entrepreneur, I know how important it is to create a powerful online presence. Just as your physical store, clinic, or office entrance sets the tone for your in-person customer experience, you want to create a welcoming and captivating environment that draws people in and keeps them engaged. But how can you create a website that not only looks great, but also sells your products or services? The answer lies in the power of storytelling. Yes, Web Design is storytelling.
Of course, there are basic steps you can take to ensure a smooth and visually appealing browsing experience, such as optimizing page load times and maintaining cohesive design elements. However, if you want to take your website to the next level and increase conversions, it’s time to approach web design as a form of storytelling.
Why is storytelling such an effective technique for web design? Think of it this way: when someone visits your site, you have one opportunity to sell them on your product or service. One of the best ways to do that is by telling them a story that speaks to their needs and interests.
Storytelling Turns Your Website Into A Beautiful Experience That Sells
When someone visits your website, you have a unique opportunity to tell them a story about your brand and what you have to offer. By crafting a narrative that speaks to your audience’s desires and needs, you can create a powerful emotional connection that encourages them to take action and make a purchase.
By creating a web design that tells a story, you’re not only making your site look pretty – you’re also crafting an immersive experience for your audience that leads them towards making a purchase or conversion.
How To Tell A Compelling Story Using Web Design
So how can you tell a compelling story through your web design? Here are some tips to follow when crafting your own site’s story.
Step 1: Identify Your Brand’s Story
The first step in creating a story-based website is to identify the core story of your brand. What makes your business unique? What sets you apart from your competitors? What are the benefits of your products or services? These are all important questions to consider when crafting your brand’s story.
For example, let’s say you run a wellness coaching business for women. Your brand’s story might be about empowering women to take control of their health and wellbeing, and helping them achieve their goals through personalized coaching and support.
To tell this story on your website, you might use imagery and design elements that convey a sense of empowerment and self-care. You might also include testimonials from satisfied clients who have experienced the benefits of your coaching services firsthand.
Step 2: Choose The Best Medium(s) For Telling That Story
Once you’ve identified your brand’s story, the next step is to choose the mediums that will best communicate that story to your audience. Different stories require different mediums, so it’s important to think carefully about the best way to showcase your brand’s narrative.
For example, if your brand’s story is focused on the transformative power of your coaching services, you might use video testimonials or before-and-after photos to showcase the results that your clients have achieved. If your story is more focused on the emotional benefits of your products or services, you might use imagery and design elements that convey a sense of calm and relaxation.
Step 3: Make it Easy for Customers to Take Action
The final step in creating a story-based website is to make it easy for your customers to take action. What is the ultimate goal of your website? Do you want customers to make a purchase, schedule a consultation, or sign up for a newsletter? Whatever the desired outcome, it’s important to make it as easy as possible for your audience to take that next step.
For example, you might include prominent calls-to-action throughout your website that encourage visitors to sign up for your online program or purchase your products. You might also offer special promotions or discounts to incentivize customers to take action.
Remember, the key to a successful website is not just in its design, but in the story it tells. By identifying your brand’s unique story, choosing the right mediums to showcase that story, and making it easy for customers to take action, you can create a website that not only looks great, but also drives sales and builds lasting customer relationships.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of creating a story-based website, don’t worry – I’m here to help! As a seasoned web designer and branding expert, I specialize in creating powerful, feminine websites that tell your brand’s story and drive sales. Schedule a Discovery Call with me today to learn how I can help you take your online presence to the next level.
by Melissa McGlenn | Mar 23, 2023 | Marketing, News
Would You Like to Make Your Website More Engaging?
Attracting your target audience to your fabulous website is just the beginning. But how can you make them stay long enough to decide on a purchase? How can you make your website more engaging to your customers?
This is a struggle that a lot of new (and experienced!) business owners and entrepreneurs go through. And as a business owner myself, I understand why. Most people have never built a website before, much less one for the purpose of selling something, be that a product or a service.
To get you started on the right path, here are three tricks I recommend to make your website more engaging.
#1: Appeal To Your Target Audience’s Pain Points And Desires
One surefire way to grab your target audience’s attention – and keep it – is to appeal to their pain points and desires.
Think about it: when someone clicks on your website, they do so for a reason. Typically, that reason is to solve a problem – AKA a pain point – or fulfill a specific want or need.
First, identify the paint points that your business solves, as well as the wants/needs that it fulfills. Then, using evocative copywriting and visual elements (i.e., stock images and video), position your business as the end of your customers’ search. Emphasize the positive feelings or state of being that using your product or service will manifest in their lives.
Use this trick throughout your website, but especially on the homepage. This way, you’ll hook visitors in at first blush.
#2: Make Your Target Audience Feel Seen
You would think that since it’s your website, it should be all about you and your business, right?
Wrong! Your target audience needs to see themselves in your website, too, so they can develop a connection to you and whatever you’re selling.
There are many ways to make visitors feel seen on your website. Here are some practical suggestions.
- Display customer reviews and/or client testimonials somewhere on the homepage.
- Describe how your product or service helps your customers and what results they can hope to achieve after using it.
- Incorporate realistic stock images of people whom you would describe as typical members of your target audience into your website. This tactic will not only break up blocks of text and make your site more visually engaging, but it will also help create a more intimate human connection between you and your audience.
#3: Show Visitors How To Get Started With Your Product Or Service
After a potential customer makes an emotional connection with your business and decides to engage with it, their next question usually is: “How do I get the results I’ve been promised?”
Here, you have a great opportunity to direct the customer to perform a specific action, by showing them a brief step-by-step guide.
To see an example of this trick in action, take a look a third of the way down my homepage. You’ll see that I laid out three steps to getting started with my business consultation services:
- Book Your Inquiry Call
- Review Your Options
- Get Back To What You Love
This is the path I want my clients to follow, so they can achieve the results I appealed to them with at the top of the homepage: “More engagement, more clients, more revenue.”
With this trick, you’re making it easy for your target audience to start a path toward the outcome you both desire. This saves them from having to look for the path themselves and losing their way through boredom or confusion. Ultimately, you both get what you want.
By implementing these three tricks, you can create a website that not only attracts your target audience but also keeps them engaged long enough to make a purchase decision. You can make your website more engaging by remembering to appeal to your audience’s pain points and desires, make them feel seen, and show them how to get started with your product or service. Of course, there are other things you can do to maximize customer engagement on your website, too. But by focusing on these core strategies, you’ll be well on your way to creating a website that converts visitors into loyal customers. So, what are you waiting for? Start implementing these tricks today and watch your engagement soar!
To start developing an engaging web design tailored to your unique business and target audience, book an inquiry call with me today!
by Melissa McGlenn | Mar 13, 2023 | Marketing, News
When it comes to building a website, there are some features that are easy to overlook. While it’s important to focus on the visual aspects of a website, such as the color palette and logo, it’s the less obvious features that can really make a difference in creating a high-converting user experience. In this article, we’ll discuss five features that are commonly overlooked when building a website and why they’re important.
Feature 1: SSL Certificate – Proving Your Site’s Legitimacy
One of the most important features of a website is the SSL certificate. It’s a code that’s installed on your site that provides several benefits, including proving your ownership of the website and verifying that the website is legitimate. This is especially important in today’s world where there are many fake websites designed to scam people.
Additionally, an SSL certificate provides a secure, encrypted connection called HTTPS between your site and a user’s web browser. This helps protect people who visit your site from being spied on and getting their personal data – such as credit cards and mailing addresses – stolen by a third party.
In addition to providing you with a level of security for you and anyone who visits your site, a SSL certificate will help your site rank higher in Google search results. So, it’s a win-win situation.
Feature 2: Sitemap – Mapping Out Your Website
A sitemap is a file that maps out how your website is organized by pages, blog posts, videos, images, and other types of content. Google uses sitemaps to crawl websites, collect their data, and index them. Once the site is indexed, it can appear in search results.
When you’re building your website, be sure to create a sitemap, as well. This way, it can be crawled and indexed, and users can find it when they search for relevant keywords in the Google search bar.
Feature 3: Calls To Action (CTAs) – Encouraging Visitors to Act
A call to action (CTA) is a phrase, sentence, or link that encourages visitors to your site to perform a certain action that guides them further down the sales funnel. CTAs can vary depending on what you want your customer or client to do, such as visiting your online store, taking advantage of an ongoing sale, scheduling a free consultation call, or making an appointment.
Regardless of what your CTA is, try to include it on every page of your website, but especially on your homepage since that’s the place that most of your visitors will see first. CTAs can be a powerful tool to help you convert visitors into customers.
Feature 4: Contact Page – Building a Connection with Your Visitors
Don’t overlook creating a Contact page for your website – especially if your business depends on your communications with customers or clients. A Contact page is where visitors to your site go to find the best way to reach you. Here, you will list your most convenient methods of communication, such as your business email address and phone number.
Bonus Tip: Don’t just put contact details on the Contact page. List your business hours, too, as well as how long someone who contacts you can expect to wait before they hear from you. This will help you set boundaries on the best days and times to reach out. A Contact page is an essential feature for building a connection with your visitors and can help you create lasting relationships with your customers.
In conclusion, building a website and ensuring it has all the necessary features can be overwhelming. As an expert in web design and maintenance, I can take care of the details for you, so you can focus on your business. Book a discovery call with me today to start building the best website for your business!
by Melissa McGlenn | Jun 20, 2022 | Marketing, News
So many budding female entrepreneurs ask me, “Melissa, why our small business is not getting customers or leads? Our products are excellent. What is the issue with us?”
My only question to them is, “Do your customers really know your business?”
Increasing brand awareness is truly important to secure a competitive spot in the market. With a robust brand strategy in place, you’ll be able to showcase your brand’s unique message in a better way and, over time, establish customer loyalty.
In this blog post, I’ll share the best brand-building strategies for small businesses like yours – many of which I’ve used with our clients.
Stake your claim
Make sure you are clear about your brand promise.
Here are my three favorite branding questions: Who are you being? What are you committed to? What can people count on you for?
Some examples that will get you started in answering these three powerful questions:
- Who I’m being is accessible.
- My customers can count on us to get their order delivered in less than 24 hours.
- I’m highly committed to giving my customers the time to do other things.
Given this example, you can create various customer service strategies, policies, and practices that bring your brand message to life.
Be a superhero for your customers
If you truly want to stand out in today’s hyper-competitive market, don’t just talk to the talk—you need to walk the walk, too.
The reputation you build—and what customers say behind your back—is the most crucial part of your branding.
That’s why if you want to succeed in the long term, you need to be a superhero for your customers—and make a living and breathing customer service your top priority.
Just think about it. What better to be popular than providing top-level customer service to your customers?
Giving a positive experience to your customers every time they interact with your brand will result in a higher customer retention rate—and they’re going to tell their friends, too.
Establish yourself as an SME with the right content
I firmly believe that every small business has experts, but few of them go on to become well-known and influential with their target client group.
You already have a billion-dollar idea and thinking out of the box to grow your business. So, why not be professionals, Visible Experts, and share your beautiful journey with the world?
By gradually developing one or more of these high-profile SMEs, your small business can dramatically increase the power of its brand.
In fact, in my research into these experts and purchasers of their services, 61.5% of respondents said that Subject Matter Expert strategy helps build their firms’ brands.
Still confused? Don’t worry.
Schedule a free consultation call with me, and let me help you build your brand!
I use powerful data to ensure my tactics are running how they’re supposed to. I believe in the power of repetition and know that the long-term strategy can include patience.
In fact, my 12-month marketing strategies are designed to be repeatable. The foundation of them stays consistent, but I constantly look for ways to improve them.
Don’t miss this opportunity. Let’s talk!
by Melissa McGlenn | Jun 6, 2022 | Marketing, News
In my line of work as a business consultant, I’ve found that one of the hardest things for my clients to do is develop their branding.
Branding includes every way that you will market your business to the public, from logos, graphics, and color palettes to voice, tone, and messaging. It’s a lot and can be quite overwhelming – which is why, of course, they come to me to help take care of the complex parts for them.
Once we nail down their branding, however, we’re still not quite finished. There’s one more step that all business owners and entrepreneurs need to complete on their branding journey, one that’s going to help them maintain their brand identity for the long haul.
The step they need to take is to develop their brand guidelines.
What Are Brand Guidelines?
Brand guidelines are a set of rules and standards that you establish for your brand, to dictate how your brand presents itself at all times and across all mediums.
Let’s see how brand guidelines work using an example that everyone can relate to: Google.
When Google grants permission to other companies or entities to share any element of their branding, as for a product they’re working on together or an advertisement, they require those partners to stick to very specific brand guidelines.
For example, if they use the Google logo in any way, they must use the logo that Google has approved, with the colors that they specify. They also mustn’t add any additional elements to the logo.
These are just a few of the brand guidelines that Google has set up. They also created rules for the language their partners use to describe the relationship between them, their products, and Google, and instructed them not to use the same combination of colors in their branding as Google uses.
What Are The Benefits Of Having Brand Guidelines?
Brand guidelines may sound complicated, but it’s important to have them because they provide three important benefits.
1. They Create Branding Consistency
Consistency is a key element in branding. It makes your business look more professional and helps you communicate your message.
Brand guidelines help you create consistency on two levels.
On one level, they tell other companies who partner with you on a promotion or a product how they should represent your brand. This way, your branding remains the same, whether it’s you or someone else promoting it.
On the other, they keep all the members of your team on the same page. From graphic designers to marketers, everyone knows how your brand is supposed to look, sound, and feel to the public. That’s because you already set up rules for them to follow.
2. They Establish Rules For Your Marketing Team
Without brand guidelines, your marketing team will be like a ship lost at sea without a compass. They won’t know what logos to use, what color palette they have to work with, what kind of language they can use in their messaging. The result will be that no marketing gets done at all.
By developing brand guidelines before hiring on a marketer or a marketing team, you’ll eliminate a lot of unnecessary confusion and enable your marketers to churn out content much faster.
3. They Increase The Value Of Your Brand Content
Content that follows brand guidelines is always higher in value than content that’s just thrown together with no thought of consistency. It appears professional, well thought out, and cleaner.
In short, it’s more representative of your business, which is what you should always strive for with branding.
Are you ready to start building your brand guidelines? If you are, then Inspired Melissa is eager to help! Reach out to me here and let me guide you (no pun intended) through this process.
by Melissa McGlenn | May 23, 2022 | Marketing, News
Several years ago, I managed the largest farmer’s market in my region. Each weekend we would have around 5000 attendees, over 300 booth applicants, and 165 booths. Now that I run a consulting business for women business owners and entrepreneurs, I take my clients to farmer’s markets, expos, and other types of trade shows to help them build up their businesses.
A trade show is the best place to network with fellow professionals, grow your customer base, and promote your brand, all in-person. It’s fun, too! That said, there is one other thing you’ll always find at trade shows: competition.
You and other business owners in your niche will be competing for customers’ precious time and attention. The bigger the trade show, the harder you will have to work to stand out amid all the other vendors. I’ve learned that the key to out-marketing your competitors is not to focus on what they are doing in their booths. Instead, you should make your booth as attractive and inviting to customers as possible.
This task will require all your creative skills. It will also take a lot of mental energy and physical stamina. But believe me, the it will be worth it. I’ve seen businesses go from making products to sell out of their garage to selling those products to national brands, just by having a booth and interacting with their customers in person at fairs, trade show and markets. With all my experience, I’ve been able to break out-marketing your competitors down into 7 basic strategies which will help you stand out at any trade show.
Top 7 Strategies To Stand Out From The Competition At Trade Shows
1. Find A Great Location For Your Booth
The location of your booth is crucial. This is especially true if you’re working at a large trade show. Chances are high that many customers won’t visit all the booths, as making an entire circuit could take hours out of their day.
If possible, try to snag a booth close to the front entrance. This way, your brand is one of the first ones that customers see, and they are more likely to stop by.
2. Charm Customers With Free Gifts
Everyone loves free gifts! In fact, that’s one of the main draws for attendees of a trade show, is all the goodies they can get for nothing.
When you plan your next trade show, set aside part of your budget for purchasing gifts which you can give out to customers. Order them online so you can customize them with your brand logo. You can also put them in little plastic bags with your business card so that if the customer decides to contact you after the trade show, they already have your information.
As far as what to give as gifts, the sky is the limit. I’ve seen brands give out everything from nail grooming kits to keychains to cookies!
3. Get Customers’ Contact Information With A Raffle
One of your goals for attending a trade show should be to get the personal contact information – name, phone number, and email address – of the people who visit your booth. With these crucial details (given to you with their permission, of course), you now have an avenue to follow up with them and convert more sales in the future.
A smart way of getting contact information is to raffle off a basket of goodies associated with your brand. You can even raffle off one of your products or services. Make sure it’s a wonderful prize! People won’t give out their contact information for just any old raffle. But make it enticing enough, and they will gladly fill out those small slips of paper for a chance to win it.
Pro Tip: Develop a follow-up strategy. When will you contact the people who filled out contact information slips at your booth? Which method will you use first: text, phone call, or email? What call to action message or offer will you send them? Do you want them to purchase a product, book a service, or just follow your business on social media?
Think about your answers to these questions and have a plan in place before you go to a trade show.
4. Hand Out Informational Brochures
In addition to gifts, you should give customers a brochure or another type of informational packet that educates them about your business. That’s how you stand out and engage customers: hit them with a one-two punch of gift and free information about your business.
As you’re designing your informational brochure or packet, make sure it matches your branding. Keep the information brief and easy to read, while also including any details that you anticipate your customers would want to know.
5. Decorate Your Booth
Nothing catches a customer’s eye like a beautiful and tastefully decorated booth! You’re sure to out-market your competitors if you make your booth look like you put thought and care into it.
Pro Tip: Decorate using colors and iconography that match your branding to create an atmosphere of cohesion. In addition, instead of buying disposable plastic tablecloths and Party City-style décor, use real fabric tablecloths, glass vases, and other higher quality, well-made items. You can usually find the latter in your own home or for low prices at local thrift stores.
6. Visit Other Vendors
Just because you’re competing with the other vendors doesn’t mean you should be rude or standoffish. Remember that trade shows are networking opportunities. Take some time out of your day to visit the other booths at the trade show, talk with the vendors, and exchange business cards. Later, you can contact or meet up with them, swap business strategies, and help one another grow in your own niches.
7. Take Care Of You
This last strategy is one of the most important that I have to share. The most essential ingredient you need to make your trade show booth a success, is you. Your positive energy and smiling face will attract visitors to your booth even more than beautiful decorations or an exciting giveaway. On the other side of the coin, nothing will repel attendees more than a crabby, complaining attitude.
It can be hard to stay cheerful all day long, especially if you’re tired and hungry. That’s why you need to follow this seventh strategy and take care of you. Below are a few ways to do that.
- Start your day with a great breakfast and your favorite music to get you pumped up.
- Pack snacks and a healthy lunch with you, as well as plenty of water.
- I also recommend bringing a painkiller like Tylenol or Advil just in case you’re like me and develop a headache from all the trade show noise and activity.
- Wear comfortable shoes because you’re going to stand up a lot!
- If possible, ask a friend or friendly member to come relieve you on booth duty a few times during the day. Use this precious time to get away from the noise and collect yourself. Go outside, get some fresh air, and soak up some much-needed vitamin D.
The thought of trying to out-market your competitors at trade shows may seem daunting, especially to new business owners. You may think you need to be cut-throat and ruthless. But my experience has taught me that that’s not the case at all. All you need to do is use the above 7 strategies and remember that if you can put your unique vision and voice front and center at the trade show, then you’ve already succeeded.
What are you waiting for? Find a trade show in your region that caters to your target audience, make a budget, and start showing your community who you are!