One of the things that frustrates me the MOST about a website is when I cannot find the business’s contact information. It’s an oversight that I’ve seen several times, and it’s a huge mistake. Not only does it make it hard for visitors to contact you, but many times it will tick them off. I know it’s ticked me off before.

So, here’s today’s tip. Go to your website right now and see how quickly you can find your contact info. In my opinion, it should only take a few seconds, and one click or less. If it takes you much longer, you should probably fix it.

Join the conversation
Have you ever been to website with hard to find contact info? Was it your site? Post your answer below

If you found this idea helpful, please go to my facebook page and comment on the link to this post. Thanks!!

– Tim the Design Guy

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 As a subscriber to Tim’s Tips you qualify for a free 45 minute session to discuss your current marketing materials and I will provide you a written analysis ($150 value). If you don’t get at least one good idea out of this analysis, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee! Sign up here.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when writing website content is not knowing what they want the visitor to do when they get there. Do you want your visitor to browse a couple random pages and leave? I assume not. Most people would like the visitor to subscribe to an email list, buy something, contact them, download something, or any number of other things. Here are 3 steps to help you when creating content for your website:

1. Decide on the main 1 or 2 actions you want the visitor to take. There could be more than 2, but simpler is better. Pick 1 or 2.
2. Make sure your copy clearly explains the benefits of taking the above action or actions. Again, simpler is better, so don’t clutter the content with lots of information that doesn’t support the main purpose.
3. Make it easy and obvious. Don’t give them lots of steps, have long forms to fill out, or 20 different options if you can help it. One strategy is to have a button that says “BUY NOW” or “SUBSCRIBE”, and the button should stand out. If you do have multiple options, categorize the options and give them a few. After they choose one, give them a few more. Walk them through the process.

One last note: Use this strategy for every page of your site. Each page of your site probably has a different purpose.

Join the conversation
Have you recently been to a website that was really easy to use and you didn’t have to search for the next step? What site was it? Post your answer below.

If you found this idea helpful, please go to my facebook page and comment on the link to this post. Thanks!!

– Tim the Design Guy

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Receive Tim’s Tips by email

 As a subscriber to Tim’s Tips you qualify for a free 45 minute session to discuss your current marketing materials and I will provide you a written analysis ($150 value). If you don’t get at least one good idea out of this analysis, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee! Sign up here.

Whether meeting someone new at a business networking event, a wedding, or standing in a line, we’ve all asked and have been asked the question “What do you do?” Most of us answer that question by naming our profession. Example:
New Person: “What do you do?”
Me: “I do graphic design and web design”
New Person: “I see…”That is how I used to answer this question. It has gotten me some business in the past, but I have learned a MUCH more effective way to answer. Now the conversation goes like this:
New Person: “What do you do?”
Me: “I boost other business professionals’ credibility by making them look awesome!” (With some enthusiasm)
New Person: “Cool. How do you do that?”

See the difference? Instead of naming my profession (boring and common), I tell them who I help and the main benefits they get from working with me. That’s what people really care about anyway; how something can benefit them or someone they know. And now they’re not just making conversation, they are actually curious about how I make it happen.

Grab a piece of paper right now and craft ONE sentence that answers these three questions for yourself:
Who do I help?
What problem do I solve for them?
What’s the main benefit they get from working with me?

Tape the paper to your wall and get used to saying this new phrase with enthusiasm instead of naming your profession.

Join the conversation

What do you do? Post your NEW answer below.

If you found this idea helpful, please go to my facebook page and comment on the link to this post. Thanks!!

– Tim the Design Guy

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Receive Tim’s Tips by email

 As a subscriber to Tim’s Tips you qualify for a free 45 minute session to discuss your current marketing materials and I will provide you a written analysis ($150 value). If you don’t get at least one good idea out of this analysis, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee!

Sign up here:  http://www.fountainstreetdesign.com/timstips.shtml

Many of us have a facebook page for our business. And of course we all have happy clients and others who love to refer us to their friends and clients. Here’s an idea that will give those referral partners an easy way to spread the word about you to their followers.

The next time you post some awesome information on your business facebook page for your fans to read, email a few of your referral sources and ask them to go to your facebook page (include a link) and to please comment on your latest post if they found it helpful or interesting. When they comment on your post, all of their facebook friends will see their comment, and some of them may check it out.

This only takes a few minutes for you, and for your referrals partners. What do you get for that extra few minutes? The number of referral partners who commented on your post multiplied by the number of followers each of them has. That could end up being hundreds or even a thousand extra views.

Join the conversation
Let’s see how far this idea could go. How many more potential views could you get by using this idea? Post your answer below.

And of course I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. If you found this idea helpful, please go to my facebook page and comment on the link to this post. Thanks!!

“Focus on the core problem your business solves & put out lots of content, & enthusiasm, & ideas about how to solve that problem.”

-Laura Fitton, Founder, Oneforty.com

If you can succesfully impliment this idea, you will accomplish several things:

1. You will show people that you know how to solve their problem.

2. You will show people that you are willing to help by giving free, valuable information.

3. You will get the attention of people with a problem you can solve, i.e., potential clients.

4. Because your information is valuable and helpful, people will WANT to read it.

One source that I have found for producing good content is my email archives. Often times a client will email me a question and I’ll spend 1/2 an hour explaining the answer in detail. I then realize later that by changing a few words and removing the names, this email would help lots of other people who have the same question.

What are some ideas you have used to create content focused on solving the problems of your current and potential clients? Post your answer below.

That old saying is very true when it comes to marketing. When you’re sending a message, marketing or otherwise, you need to talk to people who care or you’re wasting your time. If I buy an advertisement in a magazine read by people who are unlikely to buy from me, I am trying to send a message to people who don’t care.
Before you make a marketing effort, you first need to have figured out who cares. Who needs what you have to offer? Then you need to figure how to reach them.

Over on the Lawyer Marketing Blog, they have a great list of questions to help you target your marketing:

What is the demographic you cater to?
How are they looking for your services?
Where are they looking for your services?
Are they likely to do research first?
Is there urgency in the legal service you are offering?
Are you selling on price?
Do you cater to a higher end client?
Are they likely to sign up right away or will it take several meetings?

Answering questions like these will help you to answer the main questions  “Who cares?” and “How do I reach them?”

What are some questions you’ve heard or use that help you better target your marketing? Post your answer below!

Who is an artist?

June 1, 2010

“A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.”
– Louis Nizer

Always Ask

April 22, 2010

By Tim Guetschow

In learning about networking, and marketing my business, I heard from more than one source that you should always be asking people what their needs are, not just talking about what you do. I learned this once again recently.

Read the rest of this entry »

“When a new venture does succeed, more often than not it is in a market other than the one it was originally intended to serve, with products or services not quite those with which it had set out, bought in large part by customers it did not even think of when it started, and used for a host of purposes besides the ones for which the products were first designed.

If a new venture does not anticipate this, organizing itself to take advantage of the unexpected and unseen markets; if it is not totally marketfocused, if not market-driven, then it will succeed only in creating an opportunity for a competitor.”

-Peter Drucker on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

I came across this quote recently while reading the book “The Art of Self Promotion” by Ilise Benun. I think this really sums up the idea that, with the ever changing world we live in, our own clients and customers needs are also ever changing.  When sales are low, don’t just blame the economy, cut back, and wait it out. A slow economy might have something to do with it, but who knows? It could be that their lives are changing and thus, their needs. LISTEN to your customers, your clients, your market, and respond accordingly!

By Tim Guetschow

I just read a great article on freelanceswitch.com discussing some elements of a good website. One of the points of this article was that your contact information should be easily found. I TOTALY agree.

Of all the irritating and foolish features a website could have, hard-to-find contact info is the one that I personally see the most. It really makes me think that maybe they don’t want me to contact them.

It’s not very difficult to make something stand out on a website. If nothing else, put it at the top and make it larger or a different color than the content around it. Don’t do this if it will throw your design off balance or make it seem out of place with the rest of the design. At the very least, your contact info link should be in the main navigation menu.

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