Let’s talk about dressing for success. What do I mean by that?
I’m not talking about your clothes. I don’t really care what you wear as long as you are comfortable. What I’m talking about is your business presence.
When I say business presence, I’m talking about what your prospects and customers see such as your website, your communication, etc.
How your website looks is how your prospects see your business. What do they see when they look at your website/business?
The beauty of the internet is that you can look like a five-dollar company, or you can look like a multi-million-dollar company. Oddly enough, the cost factor isn’t that much different. Take the time to think about how you can look better at a reasonable cost. It doesn’t have to cost $50,000 to have a website that looks like a multi-million-dollar website.
Years and years ago I knew a person who did websites for high-end pharmaceutical companies. They were charging these companies hundreds of thousands of dollars for these websites. They had a few neat, advanced features but basically, they were very simple. The reality is they were grossly overcharging these companies.
To this day I see companies charging $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 and even $50,000 for a website. If the website looks good and does the job it was intended for, maybe it’s worth it, but that’s more than I would ever spend. You have to be careful. There is no need to pay those exorbitant fees. Those fees do NOT guarantee a good website. In fact, I’ve seen some pretty bad websites that people paid a lot of money for.
Let’s look at a few things.
Number one, one of your biggest investments for your website is your logo. Your logo is the look and feel of you are going to be identified. I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve almost always created my own graphics because that’s how I grew up on the internet.
When I first got started, I had no choice. I couldn’t outsource it. I didn’t know anyone. So, I had to learn how to make graphics. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me; it was also the biggest curse that I have because I can do it. I tend it to do it. And that’s probably not the best use of my time, but it works out in the end because many times I don’t know what I want until I see it.
What I’m looking for in this whole logo process is something that’s clean, something that’s identifiable, something that I relate to and also something that my audience can relate to. Basically, it must project the kind of image that I want for my brand and for my company.
Here’s one more thing to remember regarding your logo—it has to be versatile What I mean by that is it has to work when you look at it both vertically and horizontally. It also has to work as a simple icon.
If you look at the Marketing University logo, you’ll see that it’s nothing more than the icon with the words, “Marketing University” on it.
Another important part of your website, as you dress it for success, are the images that you use.
Here’s a simple trick—it’s not really a trick so maybe method or strategy would be better words here. Use actual photos instead of clip art.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against clip art. A lot of times I use clip art, animated images, and cartoon type images or vector drawings. They have their place. But don’t get hung up on using them exclusively. Appropriate use of actual photos really dresses up your website. Just take a look at any major company…do they rely on clip art? No; they use actual photos!
I get a lot of questions from people asking me where they can get free images/photos. There’s nothing wrong with utilizing free images.
One of my favorite places, for free images is, Pexels.com. I also use Pixabay.com and Unsplash.com. If you do a search for free images or free photos you should find more of them. Frank Deardurff does a yearly update in Traces about the best free sources for photos. (His most recent one is in the April 2021 edition. You can find the archives for Traces in the Marketing University member website.)
I can’t always find what I want on the “free photo” sites so I go to places where I can buy them. I like DepositPhotos.com and PhotoDune.net. They are really inexpensive. You can get individual photos for $3 to $5. They also offer subscriptions where you can get a preset number of images every month for a low monthly fee.
The reason why you want to use a photo is because it “humanizes” your website.
Let’s say, for example, I work with small businesses. If you, as my prospective client, go to my website and see photos of small businesses or people in small business situations. This gives you an immediate, “small business” image in your head. It subconsciously helps you identify with me. I don’t have to explain it; it puts the thought or/and the feeling, in your mind.
In other words, it allows us to portray a concept without having to find the words to explain it. A photo can portray
concepts that there are no words for. We don’t need to spell out everything—just let the photo do the talking for us.
Here is another example of how I am using this.
Look at the screenshot in this article of my MarketingUniversity. com website. The first thing you see is my headline:
A Limited Time Special Promotion…
Try Marketing University For Free!
Join the Thousands Of Businesses We Help Every Single Month
Then under that you see the orange button which says…
Watch This Free Presentation See How We Can Help You Grow Your Business Today
All of this is placed over photos of businesses and work situations. I spent a bunch of time choosing these pictures. It subtly reinforces that we help businesses. It’s very simplistic, but it works. I tinted the photos and kind of blurred them a little bit for a unique experience.
Remember, when people are coming to your website, they usually don’t know you. They don’t have a reference. In fact, when you first ran across me, you had no idea who I was. To you, I was just a voice over the internet or on the stage. You didn’t know what I had accomplished in the world of business.
You didn’t know all the different products and services I’ve created over the years. You would have no idea unless I tell you.
My website has to do that for me. The website has to be “Dressed for Success” in order to do that successfully. Photos help but the rest of the website has to pull its weight too. The website needs to tell my story.
Your website needs to tell your story or your company’s story.
I actually kind of suck at telling my story. I’m sure you know my story already but here’s a short version.
If you look at the total of my businesses, I’ve done over a couple hundred million dollars in sales. It’s kind of crazy when you think about it.
It didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took place over the last 20 years or so. But the fact is, my companies have done over $200 million in sales, and I’ve helped countless people. In fact, if you total up the number of businesses that I’ve helped over those years, you’ll find that those businesses have generated billions upon billions of dollars.
I’m pretty proud of my record. But sometimes when I say that out loud, it feels, to a certain degree, like I’m bragging, but if I don’t tell my story, a new prospect will never know.
What we’re doing with our website is giving a feeling to people when they get there. We want them to feel safe and secure. We want them to feel confident in doing business with us, and we need to project that image in just a split second. That’s why your website must be dressed for success.
How do I get ideas to improve my website?
As I roam around the internet, I take notes and bookmark the sites I like. I put them into a folder that I’ve titled “Sites I Like”. That’s the actual name of the folder in my bookmarks.
I don’t like everything about each of these sites. I may just like one thing about a particular site. Sometimes I bookmark a site that I like the concept of what they are doing but I may not like the site itself. Their concept excites me enough to bookmark the site. I then study it to see what I want to do on my sites.