What makes a designer a professional?

When it comes to business assets and investments, such as websites and the like, there are things which many people don’t realize. That’s what makes professionals. The things that make a website, a social media campaign, or a webinar profitable is ingrained in the professional’s mind. We have years of experience, we know what you don’t because of it.

I’m not writing this post to brag. I want to show you, hell, even prove to you, how I think about websites. I want to give you a glimpse into what goes inside my head as I work with my clients that allows me to turn my clients’ sites into profitable, highly-converting business assets.

A glimpse into design thinking

Let me tell you a quick story.

Last week, I was helping a friend of mine with her business. She was explicitly concerned with how to better convert people on her landing page.

We talked about improvements she could make to her website, of course. But, we also talked about market and user research, understanding her audience, how to phrase her value propositions to entice and so on and so forth…

At one point, I took a look at her landing page. I did so from the perspective of her target audience. I found that the value propositions were solid, and the visual design is excellent. I gave her some small pointers there and moved on.

A big challenge

The biggest problem with her landing page was the flow of the information on the said page. It had many missed opportunities. One thing that stood out to me immediately is that her social proof was all the way at the bottom of her fairly long landing page.

This assumes that someone scrolled all the way down and just needs a little bit of a nudge before they convert. And, although it’s great to have the testimonials around the primary CTA, it’s not the only place they should be. Because, frankly, most people bounce before they see any social proof if it’s only at the bottom.

It’s a common mistake

Sadly, I see this kind of thing all the fricken time!!! Such as at Wellset, Melior, or Threads . The social proof is all the way at the bottom. Now, I don’t know what the situation is like for either of these three companies. But it’s the same pattern as with my friend.

The typical landing page will have an intro, then talk about the company or the person behind the company and maybe then talk a little bit more about the problem, then the solution and then the CTA, and then finally some kind of proof like testimonies.

In my friend’s case, she has a young business with small amounts of visibility. Social proof is paramount for her converting new clients. And, unfortunately, the layout of her page and the information flow on it didn’t consider her visitor’s mindset. Instead, it followed a typical landing page flow.

Advice for business with small amounts of visibility

If you too have a business with low visibility, the following advice I gave to my friend might be good for you also. I suggested for her to think of her landing page in a new way.

What if, instead, you have the intro with a basic overview, and then add in the social proof such as the number of people that have already signed up or marvelous reviews?

The reason you want to do this is that right then and there, someone who might be skeptical about the offer is now intrigued by your proof that this works and has helped other people. As the name of the term suggests, it proves to them that this is, in fact, worth their time and gives them a reason to read more.

Then as they go down the page, you can talk a little bit about the problem and then maybe you can have a link to a related case study. Why? Because you’re further proving that your offer works!

Case studies are tremendous selling points no matter your industry or services. It works for yoga teachers, personal trainers, business or life coaches. Hell, even a foreign language teacher!

Think about a skeptical visitor and how powerful it can be for converting them when you can show them what you’ve done for “Audrey” who had the exact same problem.

Sprinkle the social proof – testimonials, reviews, before and after photos or data, case studies, press appearances, past clients or companies, interview, etc…. – throughout the whole page. Not just at the bottom by the prominent CTA call out.

Emphasize that your offer is fucking gold, any chance you get. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, it just has to be relevant to the story your website is telling.

The takeaway

As designers, we’re trained to think a little bit differently, from the perspective of your target audience. It’s the case for any professional thanks to years of experience we’ve gathered. I wish I could tell you all the things that I know. I do. I’m a firm believer in paying it forward, helping others and sharing. Though I will be honest, it is hard to articulate certain concepts.

I’ve shared this story with you today because I wanted to illustrate a point that professionals do, in fact, think differently. We do know a thing or two about helping your business grow.

One way we do this is to think from the perspective of your own target audience. It’s a big key in getting higher conversions and turning your website into a valuable business asset.

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