I’m huge into a marketing framework called StoryBrand that was developed by Donald Miller which includes elements to create a strategic website. I’m currently implementing its strategy into each of my website templates and will be pushing it into my custom design work as well. Why? Because it makes sense. The idea is that your brand is part of your customer’s experience or story. They are the hero, not your brand, you are simply the guide. Which is actually better than being the hero, because the hero in the story is always the one that needs help or has to overcome something. The guide is the person in the story that is leading or assisting the hero to finding their solution or resolution. That’s where your brand comes in. Does your website convey that idea? Chances are it’s more about YOU and your offering than about your customer and their needs and how you can help them in direct language. So let’s walk through the five main ideas that StoryBrand recommends for a website strategy and structure!
#1: You need an easy-to-understand tagline
This means that when a person happens upon your page, they know exactly what you can do for them in a clear, concise message or one-liner. Less is more when it comes to marketing and a creating a strategic website. People do not read websites anymore, they don’t have the time or patience. You want to capture their attention instantly so that they know whether they could use your service or not. Examples would be: A business coach provides the resources and knowledge for you to grow your business and quit your day job. A wedding photographer captures the details you’ll never want to forget about your wedding day. A interior designer wants to create such a beautiful space for you so that you’ll never want to leave. You want this message to be front and center when a person arrives on your website. And you want it to be in layman’s terms. Don’t use fancy, industry specific words that your ideal client might not know. And under this awesome, easy to understand tagline – provide a call to action so they can immediately get in touch with you.
#2: Provide an obvious call to action
Simple enough right? But let’s stop tip toeing and give this the shout that it needs. Don’t worry about overselling – be loud and proud about what you are offering your ideal client – FOR FREE! They should be thanking you, you don’t need to tuck your call to action away and hope it doesn’t bother them. On a strategic website there will be multiple access points for your calls to action – typically in the website structure itself and then again in the footer and header/navigation. The idea is to, at any point in your visitors browsing, they’ll be able to find your call to action easily and get in touch with you or buy your product or book your course. Calls to action include any of the phrases: book a call, buy now, schedule a consult, request a quote. Don’t make them passive, make them action oriented and confident.
#3: Show how your offer leads to success
You want it to be clear that you are offering a solution to your ideal client, and you want them to know that it is a successful solution and has been vetted by other people just like them. Provide affirmation through testimonials – keep them short and sweet and best of all, don’t focus on the praise about YOU personally and how awesome you are, focus on the testimonial sections that talk about the results people have achieved through your help. That’s what people want to know. That’s what matters to their story. They don’t need to visualize you as the hero in their story, they need to visualize you as the person that will help them be the hero.
#4: Keep your products and services simple
Keep your products and services simple. Offer packages if possible and make it clear what they contain so that your client doesn’t have to use too much brainpower to process the information. For example, check out my services, I don’t break down every single service under the sun related to branding or graphic design that I COULD do. I break down just enough so that people understand what they are getting and then if they need more, we can discuss it on their consult call. These days, it’s more important to have less words with more impact. People aren’t going to read even half of the paragraphs on your website, trust me. They just want to know two things: what does she offer, and how does it help me. If you can answer those questions in a easily understandable, powerful way, you’ll book more clients, trust me.
#5: Stick to your Message
If you haven’t heard of StoryBrand, I recommend you read/listen to it as soon as possible. It will make a huge difference in your brand’s messaging and it walks you through the process of creating a “brandscript”. This script will be your guide for all aspects of your branding. You’ll follow it in order to stay on target with your ideal client and create a strategic website that will drive them your way. Come back here after you have gone through the book and let me know what you thought of the framework and how you plan to implement it to develop your own strategic website that converts!