Having worked with hundreds of businesses over the last 25 years, we discovered something you probably already know. Most companies waste a ton of money on marketing.
When creating a new website for your business it's not just about the visual design, the website also needs effective copy for it to attract and convert. Most website designers don’t know the first thing about copywriting, and what words you need to use on your website to get people to fill out that form or call you. In other words not only do you need a website that looks great but also a website that reads great.
So how do you do this?
If You Confuse, You Lose
People buy things only after they read or hear the words that make them want to buy. So, when it comes to websites and marketing collateral, words matter. The problem we see with most websites isn’t the product but the way we talk about the product. Most businesses struggle to communicate their purpose clearly so visitors don’t really understand why they would want to do business with you. And some website designers will happily take your hard-earned money to build a beautiful website and leave you wondering why sales don’t go up. The key to creating an effective website is having a message that is crystal clear, but most businesses don’t know how to write copy that makes people buy things and neither do the web designers they hire. To communicate our purpose clearly so that people will engage, it’s important to understand how the human brain works.
Survive and Thrive
The human brain has two important tasks: to keep you alive and to conserve calories. What this means is that unless you are communicating how you help your customers survive and thrive, they won’t pay attention to you. They’re not interested in how your grandfather started your company 75 years ago, that you’re having your best quarter ever or that you won some industry award. Talking about this is wasting words and wasting time. They’re not interested and they’re not listening. Customers don’t care about your story. They only care about theirs. To do marketing well, you don’t want to tell your story, you want to invite customers into a story.
You also need to do this quickly because in order to survive, your customer’s brain is trying to conserve calories. Confusing websites cause us to burn too many calories trying to process information and so we just check out. Every piece of information you give your customer is like an 8-pound bowling ball. And if you use insider language or vague phrasing, your customer will burn too many calories trying to figure out what you’re trying to say. It’s like adding Vaseline to the bowling ball and asking them to hold it.
You can hand your customer a bowling ball or two and they can probably handle it. Maybe they can even handle three. But if you hand them a fourth one then they’re going to drop it. This illustrates what is happening in our websites, in our marketing collateral and in our communication. In other words, if you confuse, you lose.
Clarify Your Message to Win More Business
At Easthall Design, we follow a 7-step framework used by thousands of successful businesses to clarify their message and win more business. This is a proven process based on the elements of story that allows us to create a clear and compelling message which we incorporate into your website and marketing collateral. Story has worked for thousands of years because it is a sense making device and the language that the human brain speaks. The formula is simple: A character has a problem and meets a guide who gives them a plan. The guide calls the hero to action and which ends in success or failure. The key thing to understand is that your customer is the hero of the story, not your brand.
The framework we use is a filter through which you can filter your message and make it clear so that customers understand. We use it as the first step of our design process to answer these seven questions:
- Have we defined something our customer wants?
- Have we defined the problem our customers face?
- Have we positioned ourselves as the guide the hero has been looking for?
- Have we spelled out a simple plan our customers can follow?
- Have we clearly called our customers to action?
- Have we painted a vision of success?
- Have we defined what's at stake for our customer?
When you answer these questions, your customers will listen. Your communication will be clear, your website will get results and your business will grow.
Brad Pinzur is a StoryBrand Certified Guide and Director of Digital Strategy at Easthall Design. We help companies create clear brand narratives designed to attract and retain your ideal client so you can grow your business and stop wasting money on marketing that doesn’t work.