How to Write Your Service Page

A website is sort of like a goldmine for the right person.

Well, at least it should be!

It should help your audience learn about you, your team, your work, how you do your work, your exceptional knowledge, how you eliminate their sleepless nights and possibly how much that would cost [we will get to this one later], perhaps where you stand on your values and beliefs, etc.

 

To make it all digestible, your content should be organized into clear and obvious sections on your site, so that your potential client can easily find what they are looking for. Kind of like, why kitchen utensils are almost always found in a top drawer in the kitchen.

 

Today I will be talking about the lovely service page, because honestly it’s the one page where we often spend most of our time when building sites – not because it’s necessarily the most important page, but because a lot of content needs to go into this section without it feeling cluttered and overwhelming.

Here are five things your service page should include:

01. First

It should be clear in the menu bar where your potential client can find what you offer. Service(s) is an excellent, straightforward name. I don’t recommend getting clever in this area unless the word choice is very clear. If you confuse, you lose.

02. Second

Second, at the top of the Service page, I typically start with a strong statement of how you can help your potential client and then follow that with a call to action (CTA). CTA suggestions include signup for a seminar or workshop; schedule a call; fill out a form; take a quiz; etc. Whichever CTA you use all depends on how accessible your company wants to be or how you want to sell your services.

03. Third

Third, explain what your offerings include, all of it, in a clear and succinct manner. This one is not easy, I know, but you want to let the potential client know how you can help, what they can expect from you, what you expect from them, how long it will take and possibly how much it will cost. The more direct you are on this, the more clarity you’ll give the potential client and at the same time build authority and trust. Win-Win.

04. Fourth

Fourth, having previous clients back you up on the great work you do with videos or written testimonials is glorious. Keep in mind, some industries have to follow compliance rules so testimonials may not be allowed.

05. Fifth

Fifth, pricing is an interesting topic. Should you have it on there or not? I would say, it depends!

  • If you offer a specific set of services that don’t vary, put your price on there. It will eliminate questions, filter out potential clients, who really are not potential clients, as well as further indicate what your brand experience or value should be.
  • If your offerings vary based on what the client needs, do not include pricing on your site, but instead talk to them first.
  • If you have time to talk to a potential client, don’t put pricing on your site. A conversation gives you the opportunity to build rapport and a connection. Even if they are not a great fit now, they certainly could be in the future.

Now, head over to your service page and make sure you have all of these pieces in place.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out – I’m happy to help.

Or if you are ready to drive your business to the next level, fill out the form HERE and let’s connect!

How to Pick a Designer to Work With

I talk to a lot of different types of business owners who are looking to take their business to the “next level.”

But, what does “next level” really mean? It’s subjective and the solutions are different from one client to the next.

 

So, with respect to brand design and development, where and what should you spend your money on? And, how do you find out who the best person or company is to help you get there?

 

I get these questions all the time and the options are seriously endless. Although my company is not the right decision for everyone (far from it), I have developed a sense for what people need, and at what time they need it.

 

Take for instance a recent discussion I had with a prospective client. This individual was ready to build out a brand spanking new business and jump into the excitement of entrepreneurship! However, the individual had little experience in the exact field of business.  This individual had an idea of who to serve yet was not sure about the specific offering. Yes, a lot of uncertainty!

 

Oh, but this is where the excitement begins — bringing clarity and focus to key business decisions which will guide brand design and development!

 

That said, I also understand what an investment this undertaking can be for a prospective client, so when I hear uncertainty (especially a lot of it), I always let them know all of their options.  

 

You see, this specific person had spoken to several marketers and all had been eager to jump into a branding project without suggesting options.

 

For example, there is nothing wrong with launching your business on your own, then circling back when you have spent some time “in your business” and gained new insights (e.g., a bit of experience to gain some initial clarity of your offering or audience).

 

The important point to make here is all about truly understanding the client’s circumstance and meeting them where they are. In this instance, I suggested they take some time out in the market to gain some real in-the-field experience first. Due to timing, resources or circumstances, employing my company may not be in their best interest now. And that’s ok. Sure, I might lose a client in that moment, but I believe a win-win situation is where we all win in the long run.

 

Having this recent experience in mind, I wanted to offer some considerations to help guide you.

BUT FIRST, WHERE ARE YOU?

A. You are curious about starting a new business venture, but not really sure about a lot of things regarding it? Your budget is small but you’re eager to dive in.

B. You have a startup business idea and you have a pretty good idea of your vision, who to serve and what to offer? When you take the leap, you are ready to do it up right. Watch out world, here I come!

C. You have you been running your business for a while, yet you still feel a bit uncomfortable about bigger expenses, so you take it a bit more slowly and chip away at your growth.

D. You have been in business for a while and have outgrown your setup. Perhaps your audience or direction has changed or become much clearer and it’s time to do something about it.

THIS IS WHAT I WOULD SUGGEST:

IF YOU ARE TYPE A

There are so many great online tools or classes that can help you set up a business, logo and website.  For example, you can get a logo at a fairly low cost from places like Fiver or 99Design.  This could be a great place to start, and honestly might be the perfect option for you at this time.  

Budget: > $1,500

IF YOU ARE TYPE B

You are ready to have it done for you and because you are a startup it could be helpful to have somebody give you extra guidance as there are typically a lot of unknowns, even those things you don’t know to ask about just yet.  With that in mind, it’s important you get the right guidance and understand what their capabilities are. Look for a company that puts emphasis on creating clarity and focus prior to executing design.

Budget: $5,000-$10,000

IF YOU ARE TYPE C

It’s okay to build your business slowly, as long as you are still taking action and making moves. In this situation I would consider getting a consultant to give you guidance on what you are building/creating.  Perhaps you might consider working with a freelancer or small design company that offers al a carte services. Or, you might benefit from a Brand Review that provides insight on a specific area of your business, such as messaging, design, SEO, content marketing, etc.

Budget: > $3,000

IF YOU ARE TYPE D

It is time to make sure you find an agency or designer that jives with you. Their design style and values should match yours. They have experience working with businesses in the same field as yours, or who share a similar avatar. They use design for problem solving. They can bounce around ideas with you and challenge your thoughts with their expertise.

It’s a critical time and even if the budget is there, it’s essential that it’s being utilized properly, as there are a plethora of ways you can spend your money, including strategy, design, development, SEO, lead generation, marketing, social media, PR, etc. It’s important you have somebody on your side who has your best interests in mind and who really can guide you on a lot of decisions.

Budget: > $15,000

 

BUT WHERE YOU ARE AND WHAT BUDGET YOU HAVE IS NOT EVERYTHING.

THE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR DESIGNER/AGENCY IS ESSENTIAL TOO.

here are some things to consider:

  1. How do you like to work? Is it important to collaborate and work closely with your designer or would you prefer handing the reigns over completely, so you can focus on what you do best?

 

  1. What is the size of your project? Is your project large with many requirements and complexities and you’d prefer a bigger team to tackle all components or is it a smaller, more straight-forward project requiring less resources?

 

  1. What values are important to you? Are there certain viewpoints or sensitivities around topics or causes that you’d like your design agency to support and/or have experience with? Perhaps you’d like an agency that gives back to their community, has experience with a variety of cultures, is LGTBQ friendly, etc?

 

  1. Are they forthcoming with information? Do they take the time to understand your unique situation or needs? Are your questions being thoroughly answered? Do they ask smart questions to gain greater insight? Is it clear how they think, how the project would be executed and what’s included in your project? Just because they can create a logo or build a website does not mean they are able to assist you at the level you need.  Make sure to get on a discovery call to find that out before you dive in.

 

  1. Would they be fun to work with? You will most likely spend quite a bit of time with your designer or agency, so make sure it’s a pleasant ride!

 

 

I hope this information helps you. Or forward it to somebody who could benefit from this kind of guidance right now. That would be lovely!

 

If you have any questions, I’m happy to help!

When and How to Say “NO” in Your Business

Saying 'no' is the hardest part.

If you are a people pleaser, saying ‘no’ can be especially difficult. Additionally, if you are in the beginning stages of your business, ‘no’ might not and probably should not be your answer. In that respect, saying ‘no’ is almost a luxury to look forward to, but it should be used sooner than later.

Down below I have included three different stages that you might be in, in your business, and the appropriate response at that time. i.e. how to say ‘no’. Find your statement (or read them all for reference) to see where on the ‘no’ scale you are.

As always, there are also some extra goodies in the accompanying video.  (The wind in particularly, is meant to be there 😉 )

Being self aware in your business will help you know when to say 'no'.

Knowing yourself and where you are at in your business is critical to be able to make educated decisions in your business. Check out these statements below. Whichever one is you, that is how and when you will say ‘no’.

Number 01. "Hey there, just starting out"

When you first start your business, you say ‘yes’ to everything left and right… and I think you should as long as it’s not obvious you shouldn’t. i.e. if saying ‘yes’ goes directly against your values or isn’t in the ballpark of the service that you provide.

By saying yes, you figure out who you want to work with, what you like to do and how you like to do it.  It’s the perfect time to hone-in on a process or system and build a foundation for the future.

 

The most important thing, during this time (and any time really), is to work with the intention of figuring out who you want to work with, how you want to work them and what you want to work on.

 

I know it can be hard when people like me say that you need to know why you are doing things, and proceed to ask you who you want to work with and how you are serving them… and frankly, in the beginning, you most likely don’t know and that’s OK.

It’s actually more than ok, it’s really where you should be.

Just like when you are learning anything, you just have to start, mess up a bit, adjust, and keep going.

Number 02. "oh yes, I have been around for a bit"

 

If you are passed the beginning stages of running your business, you might be asking yourself when it’s time to say ‘no’ or how you know when to say ‘no’ to new work or “opportunities” that might not be aligned with what you want, what you like to do, and/or where you are going.

When you have worked with clients who do not value time like you do, who are cheap, who micromanage you, who are late, who are on time, who don’t question your pricing, who laugh at your jokes … (AKA the good and the bad), then, you will start to be able to see who and how you serve your clients best, and at the same time, you will also know the opposite— who you don’t want to work with.

[Sometimes it’s easier to point out who or what you don’t want to work with/on]

 

So basically, the answer to the question “How do you know when to say ‘no’? is by doing the work.

 

When you do that, you will also start realizing what you enjoy more and start looking around to see what possibilities are out there that you can create and then, all of a sudden, your vision on how the future should look becomes clearer as well. When you know where you want to take your business and what kind of opportunities you are looking for, you also know which ones you should not take.

Number 03. "I am ready for the next of everything"

Then it’s time to say no more often! 

If a project doesn’t align with you, if it’s not going in the direction you see your company going, if you don’t have bandwidth, if something doesn’t feel right or if you really aren’t the service provider for that project— let it go. 

How do you say no? Simply be honest. You don’t have to over explain anything. Respect yourself, respect others and let them know. You most likely would want that courtesy yourself— so give it to others.

How I see it: It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

Yes, of course business is about providing service and making money, but it’s so much more than that too. For us, it’s a lifestyle, so I believe working in a place of joy and from heart, is just as important.

The sooner you start to say no to work that doesn’t align with your values or direction, the sooner you give space for the work that does.

Round up:

  • Mess up and realign
  • Pay attention
  • Reflect on your intentions
  • It’ not what you say, it’s how you say it.
 
Let’s get to work!

How to Connect with Your People

be yourself + be really clear on who you serve and how you serve them.

As always, to every deep question there is a short answer and a long answer.

That being said, the short and simple answer to how to connect with your people, has three core parts.

– Be yourself
– What problem are you solving?
– For whom are you solving that problem?

But, I know what you are thinking— ‘that’s easier said than done…’

Well, that is precisely why I include the long answer as well. 😉

In this week’s video I broke down how to find your people and answered these core questions by using one of my lovely clients as a sample. Hopefully, that will make it easier for you to answer the questions for yourself.

Oh, and I also added a little something extra at the end, to help you understand how to take action and actually find your people.

Watch the video to find out how; you + solution + who = your sweet spot

and I’ll see you on the other side.

Part of being me, is being personal and real with my clients.

Of course, I am still professional and there are boundaries, but for me building professional relationships in a way that makes people feel like they can come to me with any questions, is very important.

In your situation, you have to define and understand YOUR personality, and what makes you different. The more you understand this, the easier it will be to connect with your audience. Whether that is in person, over a call, on social media, or wherever else you interact with your current and ideal customers or clients.

Number 01. Define your own personality & what makes you different

The first thing I would ask yourself here is: How would I describe myself to a complete stranger? (like an elevator pitch, but for your personality).  I have added a few more of my clients as samples here, so you can see different answers:

  1. Are you that clever and funny person, who, no matter what you say, somehow makes everyone laugh?
  2. Are you the fashion forward professional, who gets a kick out of knowing and studying rules or laws?
  3. Are you the person who loves bringing people together, doing good in the community and loves a culinary experience?

No matter what it is, I can’t think of a single time that it isn’t better to be yourself… [if you can, definitely let me know].
So, the first step is to be yourself. That will help you connect with the people who you are supposed to connect with.

Number 02. What problem are you solving?

Adding on to the samples mentioned above, this next step shows the problems they solve, which helps to further clarify each of their brands and takes us one step closer to their sweet spot of connecting with their people:

  1. How to plan clients financial future and build their wealth so they can live a worry-free sustainable life.
  2. Helping people understand the rules of golf, so they can be more efficient on the course and enjoy the game more too.

  3. Creating an unforgettable culinary experience in an exceptional ambiance and educating folks on Mezcal, Mexico and its culture.

Number 03. get specific on who you solve that problem for.

Now, if you are farther along in your business, this might seem like child’s play to you. But you would be surprised how many business owners I’ve worked with that weren’t NEARLY as clear on the people they serve as they thought. 

Most everyone says that they can help everyone, but although, truthfully they can… when they try to connect with everyone, what they are really doing is connecting with no one. Connecting with your people means saying things that makes your audience get that ‘holy moly she is in my head’ feeling. But the problem is, when you try to talk to everyone, nobody gets that feeling… so what you are left with is a message to a bunch of people that doesn’t resonate with anyone. yikes.

Therefore, when you are trying to narrow down who you solve the problem for (questions 2), you have to narrow it down to a defined group. I know it may feel like you’re cutting off a limb, but I promise that if you talk to a very defined group of people, they will start to get that ‘holy moly she’s in my head’ feeling, and they will be knocking on your door begging to work with you.

So, to keep going with the three samples:

  1. Ladies in the tech industry, who know they thrive by having a community of light hearted support surrounding them.
  2. Ladies who are between 40 and 70 years old, who love the game of golf, the golf lifestyle,  fashion and traveling to magnificent places.
  3. People who love a beautiful culinary experience, don’t just want to eat to cure their hunger, but really want to enjoy it. People who have an interest in spirits, Mexico, Mexican cuisine and like giving back.

Alright, so now it’s time to add it all together, and when you do you will have a big part of your brand or niche clarified (and with that, know how to to connect with your people)!

YOU + SOLUTION + WHO = YOUR SWEET SPOT

These questions, tend to look easy to answer from the outside, but when you sit down to really answer them it can be a bit daunting, so I hope these samples help you out.


Also, if you pay extra attention to who you like to work with while you are providing your services, that is also a super helpful way to get clear on who your people are.

The best part is, when you start working with more of your people— it all becomes worth it.

 
Now, write down your answers to these questions, and be brutally honest and succinct about who you are, what you offer and who you want to serve, and I promise you that if you do this and it shows up in your messaging everywhere… you will attract the people you want to work with, and they will be so excited to work with you too.
 
Do you have any questions?

How to Write Copy for a Website

I have always had a hard time writing.

Have you ever heard anyone say to focus on the things you are good at, instead of always trying to get better at the things you aren’t good at?

 

Well, in the entrepreneurial world I’d be surprised if you hadn’t… but if you haven’t, now you’ve heard it from me.

Everyone has weaknesses, but something you probably didn’t expect here is for me to give you advice on your website copy right after I tell you that one of my biggest weaknesses is writing.

 

Stay with me!

 

Everything about writing is not grammar or spelling.

 

A big part of writing is the structure and over arching concepts, and how to use it to connect people with what they are looking for, which is what I have mastered and what I want to share with you today.

So, even if I keep telling myself that one day I’ll work on learning how to write,  the truth is, it’s probably a skill I will never really master. In other words, I will keep improving on the overall concept, and keep surrounding myself with skillful writers for the rest.

 

Sooo, if you are a client of mine, don’t worry, you will most certainly keep getting emails along the lines of:

..as good ass that sounds, I think….or I’ll be happy to hope on a call with you… or I can’t remeber the last time I saw….

The giggles are on the house, you are welcome (and if typos are your pet peeve… sorry, I might not be your gal).

I'm not here to teach you Spelling or grammar.

I’m here to teach you structure and give you overall tips for copywriting that I know work. 

I have 4 rules for copy that have nothing to do with grammar or spelling that are vital for the success of any website.

Ready?

Number 01.

You must simplify to amplify. I know that people use this phrase a lot for different reasons, but when it comes to your website less really is more, so what I always tell clients is to follow the 3 R’s: Refine, Rinse and Repeat. When you think you’ve simplified enough, think again and simplify some more. The goal is to get your point across as directly as possible without losing your tone of voice.

(Side note: This does not apply in the same sense when you dive deeper into the website. i.e. on your blog.)

Number 02.

Be honest about your company size everywhere on your site. For example, if you are a one man show, don’t use the word “we”. Your website is there to let the viewer know who you are and to build trust so you can, at one point, exchange money for your service/product… and what kind of trust are you building if you are pretending to be something you are not?

On the other hand, if you are the show, but you have a team, you can use the words “my team and I”. Additionally, if you are a team or partners, “we” is appropriate.

Number 03.

What is the purpose of your website? (every website or page should have 1 main one). 

For example: Do you want them to sign up for your email list? Do you want them to call you? Do you want them to buy a specific service?  (HINT: I typically try to guide the viewer to a soft connection first, like a lead magnet or a discovery call – It’s nicer and less pushy)

Number 04.

Finally, structure.  When it comes to writing great copy you need to have the right structure to help the viewer find what they are looking for. Remember, we are not trying to force sell anything here; we are helping the right people find the right stuff for them.

On that note, the analogy I  like to use that helps people better understand how you want to structure  website copy is that of somebody asking for directions to a restaurant or a bathroom. 

Yup, something along the lines of: go down the hall way there, take a left and another left and then on the right you’ll find it.

You want to guide your user to their desired destination in sort of the same way….

Read here, scroll there, click the big button here, add your name and then BOOM they get what they are looking for!

I will use the home page as a sample of my ‘copy order of operations’, since that is one of the most if not the most important page on your site.

  • First section: Start with the benefit and answer the question (in the most succinct way possible): “how can life be if you use my service?" or in other words, what is the transformation you are offering.  (I also like to reinforce Number 01 to simplify, especially in the top section, as people tend to confuse the reader with too many menu options and social media buttons. There should not be too many things to choose from, and most certainly we don't want to send them off to a social platform when we finally got them in the door!)
  • Second section: You need to clearly define the problem by answering this question: “how would life be if you don’t have my help?" or in other words, where is your customer right now that landed them on your website in the first place.
  • Thrid Seciton: Let them know you understand them and what you know. In other words: "how can I help you get there". 
  • Fourth section: What are your services? Make sure they are laid out clearly
  • Then anything else below.  They have found their destination, the other stuff is extra goodness that they will enjoy (like a really cool mirror in the bathroom or a cool way the flusher works).
 
Now go look at your website to see if you are following these 4 rules! If you do, I will promise you are set up for success, leads and sales!
 
Do you have any questions?

How to Up Your Game – Nerd Style

Success is subjective.

Meaning that it looks different for everyone.
I was recently in a bit of a rut…not the normal motivation and drive I typically have (even before coronavirus started putting all of us into a tizzy). So even though I sort of want to just hide, my logical mind knows that the only way to get out of it, is to make some moves.

Not always easy, but necessary.

Sooo, I made a chart and created a 30 day challenge for myself to track a few activities that are important to me, (using big Xs to make sure I do them).

Creating a visual has always helped me, it’s tangible and real aaand I get to check things off and that feeling just makes any rut at least a tiny bit better!

That being said, big goals are fabulous and got to have them, but I believe it’s the small ones that make the big difference, really.

That is why I listed the things I wanted to do on the Y axis and days on the X axis, and I get a big X on completion every day!

Satisfaction!

Now I can easily keep myself accountable and see when I do well (…and not so well).

My Y axis:

1. Movement— got to move every day even if it’s just a walk in the park (pun…sort of intended)

2. Sugarless days (with one cheat day)— I love to bake, Swedish candy and such and sometimes I might have a tendency to over do it… so it’s time to keep my self in check!

3. Social interactions— If you want interaction you need to interact. (Which is easier said than done, if you ask me.)

4. Daily Journal— Everyone always talks about journaling, everywhere… and I sort of journal… but now I’m testing out the hype!

 
4 big Xs in a day, and I’m happy(ier)!

How about you, how do you get yourself to make moves?

What Salsa has Taught Me

What salsa has taught me
About 3 years ago I started to learn how to salsa dance.But— like learning any new skill, it came with challenges that took some time to overcome.In fact, for me there have been 3 key takeaways that I have learned from overcoming some of those challenges, and of course they are relevant in business too:https://youtu.be/ltb6U1cxYgYLetting [...]Continue reading