The 10 Things Your Website Needs to Have

IMG_5579 The 10 Things Your Website Needs to Have

In my last blog Creative Services – Why It’s Not Just About the Design, I suggested that you think of your website as a 24/7 sales girl. What do you want, NEED, your website to wear, say and do?

You’re probably already aware of many of the website basics like having a custom domain name, providing location and contact information, and keeping your content fresh and professional – I’m not talking about that stuff. You may even have some understanding of the importance of things like using keywords to improve SEO and incorporating social media to improve brand awareness. I want to talk more about why those things are important and the 10 things that you definitely need to understand and include in your website.

  1. Responsive – Mobile Friendly

Reports indicate that as much as 60% or more of online traffic now comes from mobile devices including cell phones and tablets. Having a responsive website means that your content will appear the way it was intended, on all types of screens and devices, and be easy to read without having to scroll, pinch and zoom or open new pages.

  1. Keywords

I know, I know, keywords are all the rage right? The truth is that they are actually really important.   Keywords are how search engines find your website – this is called SEO (search engine optimization). If someone Google’s “blue running shoes” and you happen to be the country’s largest producer of blue running shoes, you’d better be sure that you have included those keywords in your content so that your name appears near the top of the search results.

  1. Social Media

Including social share buttons, and links to your own social media pages not only improves brand visibility and awareness but it also increases your reach. Imagine you have 500 Facebook followers that didn’t even know that you sell blue running shoes? Now imagine how many of their connections might be interested in blue running shoes. Connecting your social media pages and including share buttons means 500 more opportunities for people to learn about you and share your content.

  1. CTA – Call to Action

You’ve got a beautiful website full of relevant, searchable content. What’s next? Provide your users with an opportunity to take some sort of action such as “Take a Quiz”, “Download an Article” or “Sign Up For a Newsletter.” Not only does a CTA give your user the opportunity to take the next step, but it’s also an opportunity for you to gather a name, phone number, or email address.

  1. Testimonials

Rather than telling your customer what they need and want, let someone else do it. Testimonials are not only a real-life success story, but they also allow the user to self-identify. Nobody knows your users better than they know themselves. If you are in a highly regulated industry such as financial advisors and can’t use testimonials consider an alternative method for making the same impact.   You may try detailing the types of people you have been able to work with successfully in the past.

  1. Fresh Content

Ensure that your website has relevant and fresh content by adding a blog, podcast or newsletter page. Every single post that you add your site increases your reach and improves brand awareness and SEO.

  1. Simplicity

Sometimes less is more. Keep the music, flash, videos, and slowly loading distractions to a minimum. Most users don’t have the time or attention span to wait 20 seconds to load a video, much less sit and read a 50-page website.

  1. Contact Page

Include a page or section that can be accessed from anywhere on the site, that allows your users to cut to the chase and get the goods. You may even want to include a simple form where users can submit a question or ask to be contacted.

  1. Want vs. Need

You may know and have exactly what your user needs, but if they don’t WANT it, it doesn’t matter. Don’t tell or sell them what they need, sell them what they want.  How does your product or service make them better, faster, happier, or healthier? Tell them what they’ve won!

  1. Message

You’ve got one chance to land your message – who, what, where, when, why. A 2014 HubSpot article found that 55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on a website. If a user lands on your home page, you’d better be sure you’ve made your point clearly and quickly. Have you ever read a website cover and to cover and still left saying “so what do they do?” Don’t be that guy.

Some of these topics might seem easier said than done. Follow our blogs to learn more about things like SEO, brand identity, and sales enablement.

 

Look Ma, No Brains - 10 absolutely stupid things I’ll stop doing in 2016

2016 It’s that time again.  It’s the end of the line for 2015 and time to start thinking about the next twelve months.  I never have  much enthusiasm for my birthday but I do get quite excited about ripping that calendar down and starting with a fresh slate each January.

Here’s what I’m saying “no” to in 2016:

1.   Thinking I’ll get my workout in “after work” Look, I’m a grown man and I’ve been me for a long time.  You’d think I’d know by now that I’m simply not going to feel like working out after spending all day at the office no matter how good that sounds lying in bed in the morning.

2.    Watching the “news” and expecting it to make sense, inform me accurately or do more than manipulate me and my attention The most important thing I learned during the debates? That I wasted an incredible amount of time watching the “show” and I could have finished reading The Big Short instead.

3.    Underestimating the importance of leveraging my unique strengths within our company “What’s for sale” at your company?  It’s the same thing that’s for sale at mine:  Our wisdom, gifts and passion.  Failing to capitalize on those is punishable by complexity, frustration and burn out.

4.    Cutting my own hair Enough said.

5.    Wanting my sons to grow up so I can do “big kid” things with them I used to want to hurry up their growing up so I could do more fun stuff with them.  Now all I want is for the growing up to STOP (or at least slow down).

6.    Eating at my desk instead of in the amazing park across the street “Never let a good day or a nice park go to waste” is a fine piece of advice for anyone who lives 90% of his or her life above 12ft. of concrete.

7.    Missing the moment by focusing on the future all the time I know it’s lame but it’s still the single biggest mistake and source of life-dissatisfaction I make.  Where is Jon?  “Oh, he’s up in his head.”

8.   Restructuring companies while we are also making significant offering  changes to that company OK, OK I believe it now.  You were right.  No good idea is worth killing myself, compromising my time with my family that much or causing insane amounts of stress and overwhelm for everyone in my wake…  even if it is Lead Generation™.  2016 advice:  Just chill-out cowboy.

9.    Eating quinoa For feeding a gerbil, I can understand - but as a bi-pedal hominid cruising for flavor, I have yet to understand the cardboard curiosity they call quinoa.  No way in 2016 am I going anywhere near that crap again.

10. Staying up late watching The X-Files reruns on HuLu What in the hell is it with that show?  The truth might indeed “be out there” but I need to get my self to bed.

 

 

Pain-Free Referrals for 2016

referrals Here’s a conversation I’ve had roughly 1000 times with my clients, no matter the industry, age, income, or years in the business:

“Where do you get most of your clients?” I ask.

“From referrals” says my client very confidently.

“So, how do you ask for referrals?” I inquire.

“Oh I don’t ask.” Says my client.

Me, silent for a second or two while I process. And then finally, “What?”

“We don’t ask. I mean to but I never quite get around to it. We even used to have a process for it but, well…not anymore.”

“OK, let me make sure I understand this: So you get most of your clients from referrals. They are the most profitable relationships and have the highest close ratio… but you don’t ask for them?”

“Yup. Really crazy right?”

“But, you think you ought to be asking right?”

“Oh absolutely.”

“But you don’t?”

“Nope.”

Seriously. This form of crazy is costing companies like yours big percentages in growth and I just can’t keep quiet any longer. I’m on a crusade! I’m becoming the ShamWow! guy for people to ask for referrals. It’s simply time for you to address this no-cost game changer. If you have a referral program and follow it, you get a pass from today’s blog. The rest of you are mine.

Here is a legitimate process to increase the number of referrals you receive and you can work on it immediately. Consider it my gift to you for 2016:

First is your mindset: Consider that your clients likely don’t know you need referrals – if you don’t ask they’ll never know.

  1. You may have a great referral request question you’ve been taught. If not, the one I like to use puts emphasis into the service of others and not self-service and it’s simple: “Who do you know that needs our help?”
  2. Build a referral talk into your client meeting agenda – literally put it into your agenda so you won’t “forget” to ask.
  3. Create a target client profile and share it with clients. Include attitudes and desires, fears and goals of this target profile just as much as their demographic information.
  4. Meet with your top 20 clients one-on-one. Buy them a coffee and tell them you promised your team you’d ask for referrals…and that you need their help.
  5. Send a drip email campaign to your client base – every 4th email close with the request for an invitation to someone that needs the help.
  6. Go to LinkedIn and hunt for Right-Fit prospects in your clients’ connections. When you find someone, ask them for the introduction.
  7. Ask 20 of your top clients to sign a single letter endorsing you. Ask each of them to send it to 10 of their top relationships (yes, that’s 200 people). If they happen to know some of the same prospects all the better!
  8. Have someone else on your team ask for Maybe hire a part-time “client concierge” whose sole responsibility is to ask each one of your top 100 clients every year for an introduction.
  9. If someone wants to introduce you, make them introduce you via email by COPYING you on the email to the prospect. Then a. You’re in control and b. You get to see how your client pitches you.

What is left to say here? You get it. Referrals are the Captain Crunch of business growth. Now just do it, delegate it, or pay to have it done. Just attack it.

Oh, and before you go…Please share this blog or our website link with someone that you know who would benefit from knowing us! :)

 

Power Napping – it’s not just for leaders anymore.

star wars Napping emerged as a hot topic for leaders seeking Jedi-like performance in the business world for good cause – turns out power napping is a powerful way to restore the mind, boost the immune system and refresh perspective.

And nappers are in good company: Ben Franklin, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and countless other leaders and world changers valued the restorative power of the afternoon nap.

Now Google, Apple and other dot-coms are encouraging their employees to take naps as a way to boost productivity. Mike Volpe, past CMO of Hubspot, states "rather than trying to slog through the day, which can lead to errors in judgment and a decline in productivity, we have found allowing employees to have a rest can help make the day much more productive."

HOW TO TAKE A POWER NAP?

As luck would have it, I am a Jedi Master power-napper. The Obi-Wan of Shuteye, the Yoda of Snooze. Several years ago, I worked for a large corporation that required me to travel. Working long hours, I often needed a quick twenty to re-charge my batteries to be on-point for my clients and teammates.  I can nap anywhere and at the drop of a hat.

Here are my top tips for Powering Down like Yoda in the Land of Nod:

  1. Find a spot where you feel safe, private and it’s dark. Set an alarm.
  2. Take a slow start breathing in and out loudly at first, then quiet and even, then close your eyes, then give yourself permission to drift off.
  3. Keep it to 20 minutes. Any longer and you’ll go too far in and won’t wake up feeling refreshed.

Enjoy a little power down time this Season. And if someone catches you taking a snooze at the family holiday party, just tell them you were improving your company.

Have a great holiday break and we’ll see you in the New Year!

References

2011 March. Brett and Kate McKay, The Art of Manliness, The Napping Habits of 8 Famous Men              

2013 March. Scott Stump, Today.com, 'Nap rooms' encourage sleeping on the job to boost productivity.  http://www.today.com/money/nap-rooms-encourage-sleeping-job-boost-productivity-1C8881304 

2013 August. Lisa Evans, Entrepreneur.com, Why you should let your employees nap at work. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236755

Star Wars Databank, Yoda www.starwars.com

 

Arrival by Abduction

entrepreneur The path to prosperity evolves through sacrifice and often consists of long hours, sleep deprivation, and a justification for devaluing our personal priorities. We do “all of the right things”. We put our head down and fight. We innovate, and we work harder and faster.

When we arrive at the destination (the promotion, pay increase, revenue goal), we often find that we are exhausted, defeated and lacking the satisfaction we’d hoped for.

Unfortunately our assumption about success is defined in monetary value and job titles that society has determined.

We never looked up and asked, “What the hell am I working so hard for?” Your dedication continues to remain irrelevant.

Relevance Begins With Vision:

Vision creates power, builds anticipation, influences followers, and cultivates extraordinary results. Vision is the foundation of YOUR destination.

History’s Leaders created unbelievable outcomes by defining their destination. Their clarity of vision formed the energy needed to support the sacrifice and drive the result. We are familiar with the journey of those that were the greatest at defining their vision:

Martin Luther King – “I have a dream”

John F Kennedy – “We will put a man on the moon”

Walt Disney – “If you can dream it, you can do it”

Begin today; create your destination of arrival. Define what you are working towards before accepting and allowing the next opportunity to exert you towards the wrong outcome.

How do YOU know when you have arrived?

  • Define the specific quality of life you are seeking and know why you want it.
  • Imagine only the things you want to happen and expect it to happen.
  • Imagine how it feels to arrive in this moment.

Command your arrival! Create your moment.

  1. Write your speech for THAT day.
  2. Write YOUR perfect day.
  3. Keep a journal for gratification of YOUR path.
  4. Create YOUR vision board, acknowledge daily.

At The Wisdom Link, we work with the top 1% entrepreneurs in the US, UK and Canada. We recognize that many may have the same commodity; they have identical habits that contribute to their success. They are each different however. What differentiates them from the marketplace is what lies at the “heart” of the business. They too, like our leaders in history, began with THEIR vision.

“If you are working on something exciting, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” –Steve Jobs

Musical Chairs for Meetings by Michelle Russell of Convene

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 9.44.39 AM Back in October, Jon LoDuca shared his discoveries around how meeting room design can impact the energy and dynamics of  participants with Michelle Russell, Editor in Chief of Convene, the premier publication for the meetings industry PCMA.  They discussed how and why he plans a positive space for The Wisdom Network meetings.

The Wisdom Network is a group of like-minded highly-successful entrepreneurs that meet throughout the year at Workspring, an experience-design brand of Steelcase, and an all-inclusive meeting, events, and coworking space.

Read more at Musical Chairs for Meetings.