29:4 Stop redesigning your agency website
Many agencies go through multiple itterations of their website, never quite happy with what they have produced. We know this because we are guilty of this, and a huge percentage of our community are forever apologising for their own websites.
Are you happy with your agency website? Have you gone through multiple versions and are STILL not happy? Today I share reasons why you probably are not happy with what you’ve produced.
Lee Matthew Jackson
Agency owners are not seeing conversions on their website.
They think the solution is another redesign
What feeds this?
- Don’t know what to write about
- Are not sure what services to present and how
- Are never happy with the look and feel
- Think they have something to prove
What is the root cause?
- Lack of identity
- Imposter syndrome
What can you do next?
- Focus on your identity
- Create your client avatars
- Refine your messaging
How to transform your agency: Episode #200
Create your client avatars: Episode #227
Refine your message: Episode #227
Stop redesigning your agency website – It’s Frank Friday – click here
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Lee Matthew Jackson: Welcome to The Agency Trailblazer Podcast. This is your host Lee and on today’s show it is yet another solo show. I have something to say to you and that is stop, yes, stop redesigning your website please. Let’s have a conversation about this because I believe there is a problem out there with agency owners who are not happy with their website for whatever reason and then they feel like they need to keep redesigning it and they go through iteration upon iteration. If that’s not you, just listen to this anyway because you could probably improve your website and there is some really good information in this episode to help you do that. Equally, if you are that person who has rebuilt their website multiple times or that agency that just keeps going around in circles, redoing and redoing them, please take some time, stop what you’re doing, listen to this episode and let me help you understand what the root cause of your problem is and let me give you a framework to fix this so that you can finally be happy with your website and finally go to sleep at night. Just chill. Okay. All right. Oh, we agreed. That’s fantastic.
So the problem, let’s talk about the problem. Agency owners are probably not seeing conversions on their websites. Maybe they’re not happy with the way it looks, maybe they’re not happy with the content on there etc, and they think the solution therefore is another redesign. I’m telling you all of this because he’s exactly where I have been on multiple occasions. I’ve been in agency life now probably 20 plus years, especially back in the day when I was a freelancer in the late nineties and I went through so many different websites. In fact, we were going through just the other day for a little bit of fun on archive.org and looking at all of the random domain names I bought and new company names I bought for the exact same business and the new website packages that I was putting together and the new templates that I bought because I thought they would look better, etc. There are so many different versions of my old companies and of my old websites. It’s ridiculous. So I’m speaking from experience. Something though changed a few years ago and I want to break down first of all, what feeds this constant cycle of new websites for agency owners. Then I want to break these feeders down. So each one of those, I want to go into a bit more detail and unpack them a little further so that we can understand what’s behind these feeders and what we can do to essentially stop them. We’re then going to be talking about what the root cause of all of this is and that’s actually looking at ourselves so that could be a little bit harsh, it could be a bit tough. Then we’re going to look at what we can do next. So we’re actually gonna have a framework for what we can do next, what steps we can take to allow ourselves to get to a position where we can either refine or redesign whatever that needs to be, but that we can then get our agency website nailed.
All right, so let’s start from the top. What is feeding this constant cycle of website redesigns? First thing is going to be that you just don’t know what to write about, right? Most agency owners haven’t a clue. You start writing: We were founded in 2007 blah, blah, blah. You just don’t know what to write. So and then you never happy with the copy. Just going round in circles. I hate the website. It sounds boring. I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to blog about. All that sort of stuff. So number one is you just don’t know what to write. Number two, you’re not sure what services to present and how. How do I present my services? What services, what products should I be showcasing on my agency website. Number three is that we’re just never happy with the way it looks and it feels, and number four we often think that we have something to prove.
All right, let’s break each one of those down. You don’t know what to write about. Well, the common reason most of us don’t know what to write about as agency owners is when we lose focus on who it is that we’re serving, the problems that we’re solving for them and the solutions that we’ve got to offer to them. So we’re always going to struggle what we should be writing about. What should I write about when I don’t know who I am writing to? I don’t know what the problems are that they have and I don’t know what I can be offering them. Let me just illustrate that with how in my old agency, many years ago we had a target audience, but because of the crash etc we thought that we needed to start to appeal to other markets and other people and that diluted our messaging. We started offering lots of different services to lots of different types of people and it led to a position where we had absolutely no idea what to write on our website. Our website actually became three lines about those building really nice, attractive websites and a portfolio. It was just a bare bones website that appealed to no one necessarily didn’t have any clear focus, etc. So again, if that’s you, you’ll recognise that when we lose focus on the who, the problems and the solutions that we have, then we are always going to struggle to know what to write about because we’re trying to encompass everyone or we just don’t even know what we’re encompassing.
The other thing is, I said one of the feeders was that we’re not sure what services that we should be presenting and how. Now this is very common. We talk about this in one on the Frank Fridays. I’ll try and remember to link to it. This is very common when a company not only doesn’t understand the problems that it’s solving for the clients and who those clients are, but they’re trying to be more of a full service agency so that they can attract all those people. So like I explained in our old agency, we had a very specific clientele, but when the crash happened, we thought we need to appeal to more people. Therefore we felt we needed to become a full service agency across multiple industries. So now we have a case of we’ve got a website, we offer all of these services. Do we shove everything on the website or what services should we present first? Lets fast forward to Angled Crown. You’ll know I run a business called Angled Crown. It is focused directly at agency owners and I know that the only three services that I have on that website are WordPress theme builds, WordPress plugin builds and WordPress support. Those are three core things. I do do other stuff, but for me, I understand that my target market are looking for those three things. Those are the problems that they have. Those are the things that they need support with. So that’s the content that goes on that website. It’s very specific and there’s only three core pages that cover those three core areas. So in short, what I’m saying is if you don’t know who you are serving the problems you are solving for them and the solutions that you have to offer for those people, then you are definitely going to struggle to work out what services you should be showcasing on your website. Actually it goes deeper than that as well. What services you should be offering as an agency stat, what are your core services? What can you go deep on, focus on and be legends at?
Now before we go onto the next one, I want to give you another illustration just to help drive this home. So a good friend of mine, Mike gave me this vision of a real estate agent who had a website. Now they had a very good specialism. They were great at being able to take a house that needed to be sold quickly. Now, if they would have built a website for their estate agent and they had simply said, we place a for sale sign in your front yard and take calls on your behalf, then I don’t think they are going to get that many people responding to their estate agent or their realtor and saying, yes we would love you to sell our home. However, if they had a website that said simply we sell your home in 11 days or less, I think that is going to get a much better response. It’s a really good way of illustrating how so often we as agency owners will go ahead and try and place all of the services and what we do all over our website as opposed to actually saying what the client can have and get and what the advantages are. So you’re going to have lots of people who need to do a quick sale on their home attracted to that realtor because they are answering that particular need of a quick sale and it’s very clear and it’s targeted and that realtor knows who it is that they are talking to and they know what to put on their website. If it works therefore for them, that means that they don’t need to keep redesigning their website either because they have created a website that has a message that is on point and that is getting to respond to it. Remember, if you listened to last week’s episode, we talk about this, we talk about your messaging and how your messaging should promote that response and that is a message that would promote a response.
Now let’s go deeper and look at why you may never be happy with the look and the feel of your website and let me challenge you on being happy with the look and feel. This is something that I have struggled with so I’m not having a go at you and saying, hey I know everything. I actually, this is something that I’ve struggled with and I still struggle to this day with and I find it very, very difficult. But it is not about you. The website that we build as an agency that represents our business is not about you. Let me caveat that with it is also about you. Yes, people need to learn about you. They need to understand who you are, what you do, etc. That your personality, whether or not they want to work with you and all of that good stuff. But equally the website is not necessarily about you as well and we do have to remember that because we are there to serve. Your website is there to serve and it’s to reflect to your target audience what it is that they need to see the information that they need to see presented in a way that appeals to them. We talk again in a previous episode 227 about a customer avatar or a client avatar, etc, so ensuring that the website that we have is appealing to that target market is way more important than it necessarily being of the colour that you like. So you’ll remember I launched angled crown the website many years ago. I made it all pink. I put robots all over it and all sorts of wacky colours because I thought it looked great and I absolutely loved it, but actually an awful lot of my target market didn’t necessarily respond to it. It was too arty farty everything was all over the place. As nice as it looked and as pink as it was, which made me happy, it actually was not performing. Whereas the website that you can see right now at trailblazer.fm I don’t necessarily love it, but I do know that it is actually converting, that people are filling in the forms, that people are finding the information that they need and getting answers to the questions that they need quicker rather than me making something that made me feel happy and made me think we looked awesome. So we’ve managed to find that happy medium again because we know who it is that we’re serving and we at least have a website that reflects some of our personality whilst it’s still focused on our target market.
Then finally, again as agency owners, I think we think we have something to prove. We think that we need to launch a website that is going to be fancy, it’s going to have the best effects, it’s in fact going to be the most amazing website in the whole entire world. I can actually think of meetings we had years ago me, Tim and everyone all getting together and like getting excited and drawing diagrams and talking about the effects and how things would zoom in and when you’d hover this would happen and we’d get all so excited and I could see the development team having a panic attack thinking how the heck are we going to create all of this? But you know that’s what we will be like. We had this expectation on ourselves that we had to create the most fanciest, best effect, cutting edge design that’s going to help us stand out because we would be the absolute best. The thing is our prospective client wants to know what we can do for them and they want to know that you can understand them. So your website, listen to this carefully, your website need not be a work of art and of animation, but your website and you’ve got permission. Your website can be a functional piece of information design that is going to speak to their needs and offers them a way to respond. So your website does not have to be super blockbuster animation, artistic, mind blowing, cutting edge technology, etc. Your website can and should be a functional piece of information design that’s going to speak to their needs and it’s going to give them those relevant ways to respond.
What do you think is the root cause of all this? Well, I think there are two root causes to everything that we’ve just talked about so far. Let’s do a recap first. We’ve talked about the problem. We have agency owners, myself included, who have gone over and over and around the Bush redesigning their website. We then understood that the feeders are that we tend to not know what to write about. We’re not sure what services we need to present and how we’re never really happy with the look and feel and we always think that we have something to prove. We’ve then gone on to share with you some of our experiences and to break down these feeders, but what do you think might be the root cause of all of this? So I believe that there are two areas of our lives and of our agency lives that are the root cause for all of these issues that we faced. The first one is a lack of identity and the second one is impostor syndrome.
The lack of identity is putting us in a position where we don’t know who we serve, we don’t know the problems we solve, etc. We’re struggling to know what to write. We’re struggling to know what to present and we’re struggling to understand how to communicate with people so again, check out episode number #227 and then the imposter syndrome side of us is that we just don’t think we’re good enough and this is probably something much deeper inside of us. We look at our own work and we don’t like it. We worry that it’s not up to scratch. We worry that other people are not going to be impressed with the work that we’ve put out there. Now I run a free Facebook group. This is not a plug but do check it out trailblazer.fm/group and one of the questions is what is your website so that we can check the person who is joining actually does have an agency website and when I see these links, so many people put in brackets, oh well this is a work in progress. Oh the website is not finished yet or the new site is launching soon, etc. I’ll often go and have a look at the websites as well in archive.org to see how long that website’s been there or how many website iterations have happened. Just because I’m interested, and this is actually fed this episode, if I’m honest, the amount of times I see this in the answers.
I think it has to come to a point as a business owner that we have to accept that great is better than perfect. So a good website, a great website is good enough. We do not need to meet perfection. We also have to understand that in most cases our target audience, the people that we are serving are unable to do what it is that we can do. We spent many years learning what we can do. We’ve become professionals in our field, so whatever it is that we’re presenting to them, as long as it’s good, as long as it’s great, it doesn’t have to be perfect, the client is at least going to be impressed. It’s at least going to serve the client’s need. So if we can understand identity, I think that starts to erode at our imposter syndrome. If we can start to take ourselves out of it a little and start to focus on who it is that we’re serving, the end user, the customer, the client, the person that we can help the person we know we can help because we know we have the talent, the skills and the expertise and we know what it is that we can offer to that person that is going to start to erode that imposter syndrome and that’s going to allow us to say, yes I am going to create a website that is a functional piece of information that is going to speak to the needs of the people that I can help. This is not about me worrying about having the most fancy website and people not being impressed with me. This is now about me knowing something, knowing how to do something really well and knowing that I can go ahead and help these people. So I need to find a way to communicate to those people in a way that they are going to understand and in a way that they are going to respond to.
So start with that identity and I promise you that will start to erode the imposter syndrome. The other element as well, check out, I think it’s one of the Frank Friday’s or one of the motivation Mondays where I talk about comparison. Comparison is one of the killers for your joy in your agency and for your confidence etc. It’s also another impostor syndrome feeder. When we compare ourselves to other agencies and to other agencies, websites, then we’re comparing ourselves to other people’s journeys and other people’s skill sets and other people’s industries, which is completely pointless because they’re not the people that we are serving.
So what can you do next? I can hear the question. What do we do next? Well, there are three actions that you need to take. If you are stuck in this cycle of rebuilding your website all the time, or if you’re not happy with your website as it stands and it is not performing for you and for your agency, there are three steps that I want you to take. The first one is going to be the root cause of all of this, which is focusing on your identity, making sure you’ve got that identity nailed. Then you’re going to go on an exercise to create your client avatars and then finally you can refine your messaging. Those are the three things you need to do next before you even touch your website. Let me just unpack these a little for you and I’ll give you some resources as well that you can go and do a deep dive into these three areas.
So step one, focus on your identity. Everything starts with identity. If you’ve followed me for more than six months, then you will know I talk about your identity as the most important pillar of any agency and the transformation of any agency. As a business its essential that you understand who you are, the problems that you solve and who you are solving them for and this is going to drive your marketing, it’s going to drive your offering, it’s going to drive your messaging and for both businesses that I have, if you’re not aware, I have two different agencies in two very particular niches offering two very specific types of services and we went through our own exercise to unpack why we were running our agencies, what the strengths of our agencies were, what problems we were solving and who we were solving those problems for i.e who we’re serving. Now you can listen to all of that on episode 200 there’ll be a link in the show notes, but I recommend go and listen to episode 200 which talks about how to transform your agency and if you are looking at focusing on identity, take a listen to that section specifically to begin to unpack your identity as an agency.
Next you want to create your client Avatar. So you focused on your identity, worked out who it is that you serve, but you can now develop some client avatars. We actually talk about this in episode number #227 which is our previous episode. We talk about unpacking some imaginary clients, working out who they are, giving them job titles, age range, circumstances, industry, etc. Check out that episode and the show notes. There is a link out to an avatar template as well from Digital Marketer, which is going to help you to work out an imaginary ideal client or an imaginary group of ideal people that you would be communicating to. So you have your identity, you understand who it is you’re serving, and now you’re starting to understand the specific people that you are going to be talking to.
Then finally we want to be refining our message. Again, that’s covered in episode number #227. There’s always going to be links in the show notes so you can check them out as well. That’s gonna help you to start to develop your brand voice, your brand messaging etc based on again, those people, those clients have avatars. So your message is always going to be fed by your identity and by the identity of the people that you’re serving, the problems that you’re solving for those people, the problems that they have and what’s important to those people. So again, episode number #227 have a listen to that because that is going to help you to start to define your voice and your message and understand what it is that you should be talking about and writing about on your agency website.
All right, so that’s three things. Focus on your identity, create your client avatars and then refine your messaging. And only at that point will I recommend that you can then look at your website. We’re coming in to land now. We’ve worked out our identity, we’ve understood our client avatars, we know who it is we’re talking to, etc. We’ve refined our message, we know what we’re saying to them. Now we can look at the website that we’ve developed and we can decide does the agency website meet the needs of the avatars and if not, can it actually be refined before it is redesigned. I hope you have been challenged by this episode and that’s the purpose. The purpose of Agency Trailblazer is to challenge you and is to help agency owners around the world to create businesses that they love. This is what drives me. Again, I said it last week. I think go and listen to episode 200 if you want to know the beating heart of Agency Trailblazer. If you want to understand why I run this podcast, if you want to understand why I throw all this time into the YouTube channel, live event, everything that I do, the Facebook group, listen to episode 200 and you’ll begin to understand what it is that is driving me and hopefully as well you will capture that fire and that you will want to change your life. You will want to change your business. Not in a way that those gurus are advertising that makes them get rich, but in a way that works for you, that serves you, that serves your life, that serves your family. I’m really passionate about it. I want you to listen to episode 200 if you don’t do anything else from this episode, go ahead and listen to episode 200 that is one of those, I think that will be super, super helpful.
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