If you’ve been hanging out with me for more than a month, you’ve likely already noticed my new digs. If you’re new to these parts, this fancy home was a little less fancy back in 2013.
I’m a web designer, so of course, all my sites are custom designed (by me, duh!). Although my profession makes getting a fancy new website quite easy (and cheap), that doesn’t mean I always have time for it. With big plans for growth in 2014, I knew I was in desperate need of a new design that better reflected my style, skills, and spoke to my ideal clients.
You may notice all over my site that I talk a lot about “going pro”. And although my website was already quite pro, there were definitely some areas I was still lacking, areas that I was neglecting because of the $$ investment it would take.
But investing in my business has been the one thing that has always, without fail, brought me more clients and increased my profits.
So today I want to talk about investing in your business, and show you some proof that it makes a difference.
Check this out:
This is my Aweber list growth report from the last 11 months. Pretty steady most of the time. I started my list in February, started offering a freebie in May (the first big increase), and relaunched with new design, photos, and copy at the end of December.
See that big red arrow? That’s a 60% increase in subscribers after relaunching my site.
So why the jump? No, I didn’t do some big promotion or webinar or even guest posts. I just relaunched my website.
Here’s What I DID Do
Invested in Professional Photos
Yes- I finally got rid of that one black and white iphone photo that I used everywhere and hired a pro. I HATE getting photos taken. I consider myself super awkward in front of the camera and it wasn’t something I was looking forward to. But I did understand the importance, and knew it was necessary for me to really “go pro”.
Not sure it can really make a difference? Well just think about how you feel when you visit a website and the person has professional photos. You trust them more right? You feel like they know their stuff and take their business seriously. I know I’m great at what I do and take my business seriously and if having professional photos can help other people see that too- then that is a great investment in my book.
So if you still have one of those cropped FB photos with someone’s arm around your shoulder that you couldn’t take out (but you looked really good and still wanted to use it), consider booking a photoshoot. You won’t regret it.
(If you happen to be in Houston, Texas- definitely check out my photographer Nikki Cotten. She just moved back to the US from France and is so much fun to work with)
Hired A Copywriter
I’m a pro at design and I’m a pro at code. What I’m not a pro at: writing. It’s just not my thing. It takes me hours and hours and stress and frustration….with a not-so-spectacular result at the end.
I knew with my old DIY copy, my real message was not reaching my ideal clients in the best way that it could. I expect people to hire a professional web designer when they are ready to go pro, so why wouldn’t I hire a professional copywriter when I want to be pro?
(Kaye Putnam is the lady behind this website’s words. She got to know my ideal clients, my personality, and all the little details about me to turn my voice into effective website copy. Definitely check her out when you’re ready to go pro with your copy.)
Focused On Clarity In My Design
Being clear is always better than being clever. Clean, simple, focused design is what gets people to stick around, find what they are looking for and not get distracted and leave before having the chance to fall in love with you.
I don’t have a sidebar on every page, and I use simple design elements to make the right info pop without too much distraction. Click-happy visitors leave the fastest. So I made sure to limit possible actions on each page to direct the visitor to exactly where they need to go next.
(Want clear, focused design that does the same? Check out my Seriously Custom Website Package)
The Feature Box
This doesn’t really count towards my increase in subscribers, as I had a feature box on my previous site.
But while marveling at my analytics in the last month, I dug a little deeper into my Aweber numbers. I have 6 different types of optin boxes (horizontal, footer, sidebar, blog posts, etc.) one of which is the Feature Box on the homepage.
This “Feature Box” idea was made famous by the genius Derek Halpern and it’s a big obvious area on your homepage made solely for your newsletter optin. It’s not just a horizontal bar, or a box in your sidebar. It’s a big ol’ area that your visitors can’t miss.
Technically, the “Derek Halpern Feature Box” is right at the top of the page. But I wanted to try out something a little less intrusive, keeping the same concept. And it still works.
My feature box? Well 49% of people who optin to my list, optin in the feature box on my homepage. 49%!!
Imagine what my numbers would be if I didn’t have it! Thank you Mr. Halpern.
So that’s how I explain my increase in traffic and subscribers.
I know investing in your business is difficult. I mean, a huge benefit of starting your own business is getting that hard-earned cash in your pocket. But if you really want to grow bigger and fast- investing in things like web design, copywriting, and professional photos is key. At least it has been for me.
So tell me…
What has your experience been with investing in your business? And if you haven’t yet, what do you plan on investing in first?
Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
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P.S.S. Want to increase your traffic and subscribers this year with a seriously pro & custom website? Get in touch– I’d love to chat!