How To Create a Solid, Converting Landing Page

By | Business Help, Digital Marketing, Julie Weldon, Marketing | No Comments

Landing pages are an important element in the marketing of your business.

But how do you know where to start? What makes a rock solid, lead generating landing page vs. just more noise on the internet that doesn’t convert?

In a previous article, we defined what a landing page is and walked through a crash course in Landing Pages 101. In this blog post, we’re going to dive into the components you should have in any landing page you create.

The thing about landing pages is that there isn’t an exact science on how to create them. You ask ten people, you’re likely to get ten different answers. Include this, don’t include that. But there are a few guidelines that have become industry standard. This month, in our Hub online learning platform, we published a complete course on Landing Pages. It walks you through the basics, the how to’s, and the steps by steps of creating your own landing pages that convert.

So, let’s dive in… what are the different aspects we suggest you include when creating a landing page? Check out this infographic and see corresponding numbers explained on either side. 

Once you build your landing page, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your content short and compelling (good headline, short content, benefit bullet points)?
  • Are you using simple language your readers will understand?
  • Is it crystal clear what action you want the reader to take?
  • Would you be interested in what you are offering? Is the experience a good one?
  • Can they easily reach out to you and get a quick response back if they have questions?

Need help with your landing pages, marketing or website?  It’s what we’ve been doing in this industry for 6+ years and we’ve helped 1,000+ gyms. Schedule a free call with us at your convenience by clicking on this link. We look forward to talking with you!

7 Steps to Completing a Mid-Year Review… It’s Time to Take Your Business Pulse

By | Business Help, How To, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

We interrupt this month’s regularly scheduled blog topic about Landing Pages and Paid Ads to discuss an extremely important topic that is time sensitive.

Your mid-year review.

How is it that many of us do a check up on our cars, our lawnmowers, our bodies, and our A/C units… but not on our businesses? Our business is our livelihood, and possibly the livelihood of many others, but we rarely take the time to make sure we’re on the right track for growth.

SO… we’re at the middle of the year, the end of Q2, the close of H1 (half 1). The question that begs to be answered is…

How has your year been so far?

You probably started out 2017 with high hopes. This year is going to be different. This year, I’m going to get sh!t done. I’m going to get organized, put systems in place, hire a coach or 3, set up the Profit First system, find and work with a good mentor, raise rates, get a new website done, change member management systems, or any other number of things you had on your “list” of goals.

That is, if you even took time to write out your goals and create a plan.

We use GPS tools, and directions, and recipes because, in life, we need a plan. We need to know where we’re headed and what our final destination is.

Why is it then, that many small business owners go through their days without a plan? WIthout any reflection, except to beat themselves up for not doing better?

Most people probably know they should do some sort of reflection on what has been, but many just don’t know how – they don’t know what to review and evaluate.

Whether you own a gym that has 500 members or you just opened your doors 6 months ago, setting some time aside to reflect will serve your business – and you – well.

There are 3 basic groups of people reading this blog:

  1. You created a plan/goals and are right on track (or doing better) than where you thought you would be.
  2. You created a plan/goals and then well, basically forgot about it, and are frustrated because you’re not further along than you had hoped.
  3. You didn’t create a plan at all so you’ve taken each day as it has come.

If you’re in group #1, huge congratulations. We have a significant number of our clients like this in our private Facebook group. They are crushing it and seeing big, positive changes in their business. They have been differentiating themselves from the competition and their progress has been exciting to follow. But, even if this is you, you should take pause and reflect so that Half 2 is even better than Half 1.

If you’re in group #2 or #3, it’s not too late to create a plan and accomplish big things in 2017. You’ve likely heard the quote “if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting what you’ve always got.” So, put a stake in the ground that enough is enough. No more flying by the seat of your pants. Like you tell your athletes, the disciplined see the results. Mark this day as the beginning of your next 6 months.

So what’s involved in a mid-year review?

First, get away from your gym. Take a couple of hours to a half day (half day is ideal), bring a notebook/pen or computer, and go to a coffee shop, or park, or favorite cafe. Just be sure to pick a place that puts you in a good mood where you can be creative and think. Turn off your phone and email, and just be still. Be with you. Prepare yourself to sit with your progress, hopes, fears, successes, shortcomings, and desire for more and better.

Second, ask yourself a simple question… “Am I happy with what’s been accomplished so far this year?”  Write your answer down. 

Third, pull out your list of goals that you created in December or January, if you have them, and review. Here are some questions to ponder: 1) do you have a plan, or are you winging it? 2) are you on track with your goals? 3) how far do you have to go, and how will you get there?

Fourth, examine these key components of your business with a few questions to get you started:

  • Systems and Processes – What % of yours are documented and followed? Which ones are you going to complete in the next 6 months?
  • Cash Flow and Budget – How are you doing in terms of revenue and, even more importantly, profit?  Are you on track to meet your desired income by year end, or are you falling short? Do you need to raise your rates? Have you set up the Profit First system?
  • Marketing and Members – Do you have a event/marketing calendar in place? What’s your retention rate? Do you need more members, or do you need to charge more or reduce your expenses?   

Fifth, wrap it up by thinking about you over these last 6 months. Are you working too many hours? …or not enough? Are you giving your family, significant other, friends, etc. your best? Are you excited about your business, or facing burnout? Again, write this down.

Sixth, depending on your answers to the above, answer these questions: How can you improve things? Where can you see quick wins, and where are the longer term plays that will move your business forward?  Create your plan. 

Finally, treat yourself. Buy yourself lunch, or dinner, or a beer prior to heading back to work.

Need help?

If you want to take this a step further, and you’re serious about constant improvement in your business, check out our online learning platform, Hub. In it, we provide a detailed Business Check Up course with a scoring rubric. It will show you exactly where you are and where you can improve to further professionalize your business. Check it out (for free!) today!

Got questions? We’d love to hear from you!  Just reach out to julie@321GoProject.com or schedule an appointment to chat with us by clicking on this link.

Help! I Don’t Understand Landing Pages.

By | Branding & Website Advice, Business Help, Digital Marketing, How To, Julie Weldon, Marketing | No Comments

There’s a lot of talk about landing pages and the importance of them for the successful marketing of your business.

But… what if you have no idea what “landing page” really even means?

We’re here to help. For the month of July, our blog articles will follow the theme that we’re focused on in Hub – Landing Pages and Paid Ads.

So let’s break down the basics first of Landing Pages and create a foundation for the weeks to come.

In this article, we’ll talk about 3 things: 1) What is a landing page? 2) How is it different from a home page or another page on your website? and, 3) What is a landing page used for?

Then, in following articles, we’ll get deeper into the world of landing pages and paid ads, so that you feel like you have enough of an education to be dangerous to start creating your own landing pages.

What is a Landing Page?

First, let’s define it. A landing page is a single web page that allows you to get visitor’s information through a form they fill out. This form is called a lead-capture form or a conversion form. This form is on a stand alone page that is designed for a specific marketing campaign and purpose.

So, for example, you have an e-book on your website, similar to this:

The purpose of the e-Book is to capture someone’s name and email address, while providing something valuable that an ideal client would want. So, when they click on “Claim the Free Guide”, it takes them to this landing page where you will capture their info prior to sending them their e-Book. You now have their name and email address so you can follow up.

This image above represents a Landing Page, not a page on your website. A page designed to capture information and track who is downloading your content.

A good landing page targets a specific audience, inviting them to download a piece of content, or take advantage of a free trial, or provide them with something that is of value to them. Creating a landing page, instead of sending them directly to your website, allows you to target your ideal client, offer them something of value, and convert a higher number of visitors into leads, while getting their contact information so you can see what they clicked on, and then follow up.

How is a Landing Page Different from a Home Page or Another Page on Your Website?

A home page is designed for exploration so that the potential client can learn more about you. It has a general purpose… to lead someone to other pages on your site so they can get a picture and feel of your business prior to coming to check you out.

A landing page has one purpose, and one purpose alone. And that is to provide one call to action. “Join our challenge.” “Download this e-Book.” “Schedule a Call.”

What is a Landing Page Used For?

A landing page can accomplish any number of goals related to a specific marketing campaign and the growth of your business. Here are a few of those goals:

To generate leads. It is far easier to generate leads by providing one special offer that appeals to your target audience.

To understand your potential client’s demographic information. It’s important to know where your leads are coming from, what is of most interest to them, and what are their pain points.

To test and provide insight into which offers are most effective. Tracking online traffic data is critical for any savvy business owner. You need to know what works, who’s clicking, and what you need to change in order to convert more sales.

To create focus and clarity. Having landing pages removes distractions. Your homepage and other pages on your website offer many options – click here, go there – but a landing page culls it down to one offer.

To force visitors to make a decision. When a visitor gets to your landing page, they only have one decision. Fill out their info, or move on.

Business aren’t utilizing landing pages enough.

Many businesses think it makes sense to just drive traffic to your website, but in today’s world, that’s definitely not the best strategy.

A successful landing page turns an online visitor into a paying customer. And that’s our goal, right?

In Hub this month we’ve launched a course that takes you through the a to z of setting up Landing Pages. Check it out today!

One Way to Dramatically Improve Your Website

By | Branding & Website Advice, Julie Weldon, Marketing | No Comments

If there is one thing that really matters on your website, it’s the images you choose.

The reason this is true is because of the simple fact that, according to a study done by 3M, our human brains process images about 60,000 times faster than we process text. What this means is people will come onto your site and in an instant decide whether (or not) they want to stay.

The images you choose are what makes the potential customer feel connected to you or sends them clicking over to your competitor.

Given the fact that one of our specialities at 321GoProject is building dynamic websites, we’ve seen a lot of websites – the good, the amazing, and the downright terrible. We want to help you make sure your website doesn’t fall into that latter camp.

One big initial mistake people make is they choose images that depict their business rather than choosing images that appeal to their ideal customer. In the gym industry, this would look like featuring a picture of your gym on your homepage rather than one of happy people working out. As proud of your gym as you may be, it’s just not what a potential customer cares about most.

They want to know they’ll fit in there.

They want to know how your gym can impact the change they want to see in themselves.

If they choose you, will they be happier? Will they be fitter? Will they be sexier? Will they be stronger to do the things outside that they want?

This is what should be portrayed on your homepage. And this is done through featuring people who have found these results. 

What motivates people to buy what you are selling is a deep need to fix an internal problem.

They don’t feel good about themselves for one reason or another – they can’t fit in their clothes, they feel insecure, they feel themselves getting older and weaker, they aren’t what they “used to be”, they feel out of control, or any host of other reasons.

Your goal on your website is to offer hope that what they are looking for can be found if they sign up with you.

Remember – your website is not for you or for your members. It’s for those new people considering if they want to be a part of what you’re offering.

Almost every single affiliate or gym owner we’ve spoken with says what differentiates them is “community”. Ok, I get it… that’s truly great, but there are a couple immediate problems I see with that: 1) everyone claims that what makes them different is their community, and 2) if you’re not communicating on your website that fostering community really is a value of yours through the images you choose, then no one is going to believe your words.

Donald Miller lists 3 questions you should answer with every image you use:

  • Does it add value or provide information? In the overwhelm of content we are exposed to everyday, people don’t just want to see pretty images, they want something that provides value.
  • Does it make an emotional impact? The best images are those that elicit an emotional reactions.
  • Does is show the transformation my product offers? Every image, especially on your homepage, should communicate what will happen if they use your product or service.

And then another thing to consider is which images you should not choose. If you’ve got any of these 4 types of images on your site, it’s time to do some serious renovating (or demolition/rebuild):

  1. Stock photos – we all have the ability to recognize a bad stock photo a mile away. They are generally dull and well, stock-photo-ish. An exception would be the gym specific stock photos you get access to in Hub.
  2. Crowd shots – it’s far better to use a close-up image that has a single point of focus. Group shots can tend to be boring if there’s not one single main subject to focus on. 
  3. Poor quality images – it would be better if you didn’t have any images at all (and that’s not a good option) than if you include over-pixelated, low res pictures.
  4. Images that people can’t relate to – for those people who don’t yet understand the world of CrossFit, it will be virtually impossible to relate to grimacing workout photos. You want them to see the positive emotional results, not the pain in the process.

Here’s an example. Check out both images below and determine which one image appeals to you more.

     

The 1st picture is okay – it’s crisp and clean, she’s fit, focused, working out, but there’s not much emotion. The 2nd picture is a close up, she’s motivational, she’s loving what she’s doing, she’s inviting you into something bigger than yourself. That 2nd one would be a better choice every time.

The images you choose for your website matter.

We’ve said it before and we’ll continue to say it because it needs to be understood – in this day and age, your website is one of the best investments you can make into your business. Think about how you feel when you’re searching for a new product or service and you stumble onto an out-of- date website. You probably don’t stick around long. Be careful that you’re not losing potential members because you’re unwilling to make the investment into a solid website.

Need help?  We’d love to chat. Just use this link to schedule a call with us at your convenience.

 

Want To Read More About Websites?

Everything You Need To Know About Building a New Website

Does Your Website Include These 9 Essential Elements?

5 Reasons A Good Website So Important

7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Build Your Own Website

The Real Reasons People Click On Your Website

6 Quick & Easy Tips To Improve Your Website

Is Your Website Helping Or Hurting You? Find Out With Our Free Website Audit Tool

So What Exactly Does A Responsive Website Mean?

How To Know If You’re Standing Out From The Competition

By | Building Community, Business Help, Culture, How To, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

Anyone can deliver average. Few deliver exceptional.

Recently, we went out for a night on the town and, as has become our routine, we called an Uber. The Uber driver checked all the usual boxes: was nice, had a clean car, got us there safely, played decent music, etc. A significant improvement from a typical taxi, but nothing special.

As the night came to a close, we called another Uber driver to take us home. We got in the minivan expecting the usual experience but really, at that point, only needing the bare minimum… just get us home safely.

What we stepped into was an experience we will never forget.

Our driver, Wyel, greeted us as we got in and immediately as the doors closed, turned on Journey – Don’t Stop Believing. “Good choice!”, we said. Then, seeing we’d play along, he cranked up his sound system so that the music filled every corner of the car. “Oh yeah, this is awesome!”, we said to each other through an approving look. He then proceeded to turn on under-seat, multi-colored lighting that changed with the beat. “Whaaat?? This is ah-mazing!” We had just enough liquid courage in us to sing along with him at the top of our lungs. He proceeded to start singing and playing air drums like it was his job. He then turned around and invited us into this experience even further by handing us a karaoke mic. “C’mon… is this real?!?!” I took the mic as though I’d been invited on stage and sang like my life depended on it. In an instant, I.became.Steve Perry.

Never, until this moment, did I care about an Uber ride ending. But when Wyel pulled up to our house, we secretly wanted him to keep driving. Our voices were just getting warmed up.

As we got out of the car, he handed us a business card that described him as simply, “The Uber Man”. Of course you are, we thought.

We walked away changed. That experience raised the bar for every other Uber driver. And we have told this story certainly more than once to all our friends.

This got me thinking about how important it is to differentiate yourself. In Charleston, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Uber drivers. And we’ve used a bunch of them. They are all doing their job, no doubt, but they don’t stand out.

Wyel stood out.

There are three basic responses a client can have to your service:

  • Disappointed – they get less than what they expected
  • Satisfied  – they get what they expected
  • Wow’d – they get more than what they expected

Only at two of the levels will you be talked about to their friends – when they are disappointed in you and when you wow them. If you Uber me home safe, I’m probably not going to tell anyone about you, or really even remember you because you did just what was expected. But, if you play Journey at a club volume level, put on multi-colored lights and hand me a mic, now I’m talking…

Many of you reading this are in an area saturated with competition. Not only are you having to compete with other CrossFit gyms, but also with all the other fitness places out there, as well as online fitness programs. It’s a tough world to win in unless… you stand out.

Here are a few lessons I learned from Wyel on wow’ing customers and being memorable:

    • Think about what your customers really want – while I do want a safe ride home, what would be awesome (and something I probably don’t even know I want) is an experience, something to tell a story about.
    • Make them feel like a hero – in that moment, the moment of them receiving your service, they are the ones who have to feel like they matter. When he handed me that mic, the hero spotlight felt like it was shining bright on me.
    • It doesn’t take much – I checked on Amazon and, for less than $50, Wyel’s minivan became a mobile rockin’ party.
    • It’s often just the little things – know their name, smile at them, ask questions to show interest, follow up, answer your phone, have spotless bathrooms, etc.
    • It’s all about the relationship – once you have a good product (and that’s important first because if you don’t have a good product, they won’t trust you), go out of your way to invest in the relationship.

We’ve created a course in Hub that’s called “How to Create Wow Experiences”. It’s specific to the gym industry, gives you practical tips and ideas, and walks you through evaluating and improving each client touchpoint. In it, we help you unpack every step of a client’s journey (see image below). 

In the meantime, no need to get overwhelmed thinking you need to change everything all at once. Just pick one thing you offer and begin to layer in the wow.

And see if people don’t start talking.

Your goal?

Make them feel like Steve Perry, if only for a minute, and just give them something (good) to talk about.