great faq page

So, I’m gonna keep it simple and easy, and hopefully give you some quick ideas for adding some really beneficial content to your website…

Think about it. Ultimately, the primary function of your website is to answer as many questions as possible before visitors move on to the next site…


Here are some undeniable upsides for a killer FAQ page:

Saves everyone time
You and your customer service team doesn’t have to respond to the same repeated questions individually. Nobody has to wait for answers…win – win.

A sales tool
Your sales teams can lean on your FAQ pages in the field or on the horn with prospects, especially if they’re searchable or categorized well.

Site navigation
If you’re trying to figure out how to get your website visitors to the info they care about quickly, an FAQ page is spectacular for this. A question about zebras takes you to the zebra page, a question about armadillos takes you to the armadillo page (I saw one of those the other day – it was huge)

Google loves FAQ’s too
The questions people ask all the time are the same things they’ll type into Google searches. When you have these questions on your site, you’re going to improve ranking like crazy.


So, FAQ pages are a cool idea…

It might seem a bit daunting to write one up from scratch, but the good news is they’re easy to maintain once you get one established…

Just a couple more tips for you…

1. Make sure your questions are actually frequently asked. Poll your sales teams on the front lines and figure out what your prospects and customers are asking about…for real.

2. Mind your language. You and your customers say things differently…go with their language, not yours.

3. Make it searchable. Nobody wants to wade through all the questions to eventually find things they care about

4. Throw some media at the crowd. Try getting creative with infographics, videos, or images where it might make sense. Text-only gets boring.

…And last but not least, make your FAQ page, and your entire website customer centric… 

Post stuff your customer care about, written in ways they want to hear it, Google’s gonna reward you like crazy…

And everyone lived happily ever after…

contact form Design

I can’t remember the last time I blindly completed a contact form…so we got rid of ours entirely. Spammers and salespeople were just wasting…

bull-shark-photo

Takeaway: As marketers, use the bait that your intended customers like…and bring it to the places where they hang out.

graphic-design-cheat

Alright…who likes golf? …and what the heck does graphic design have to do with golf?

Really not very much, but read on and I’m gonna help you design some cool stuff AND play better golf…or your money back (just kidding, it’s all free)…

So, if you don’t have an in-house graphic designer, you still probably need to throw together some graphics once in a while…

Rather than paying a bunch of money to produce a simple facebook ad or blog post image, I’m gonna suggest you check out Canva.com

Canva is kind of like graphic design for dummies. Add some background images, overlays, some cool fonts and export to jpg or pdf…super easy.

The free program is probably all you’ll ever need…and just so you know, I don’t get a kickback if you sign up. It looks like this…

We use it all the time to put stuff together quickly, like this…

Our services guide lays out the principles around our website design processes. We give it to new prospective customers to help assess fit. Every graphic in this guide was put together in Canva with their stock (and free) materials.

All our ebooks are built in Canva including our most comprehensive Inbound Marketing Guide. It’s 45 pages long with an easy to read layout with some simple graphics to keep it interesting.

beginners-guide-to-golf

Yep, I wrote a golf instruction book…Click the image to grab it for free…I’d love to know what you think.

I like to think I could play that game a little bit in a past life…and still enjoy moving meetings out of the office and onto a golf course whenever possible.

When you’re done playing golf, go check out Canva.

Cheers!

Simon-Sinek-how-great-leaders-inspire-action

How were the Wright Brothers the first to achieve man-powered flight and Samuel Pierpont Langley wasn’t? Langley had the pedigree, the financial backing, and the expert team…

brendon-elliott-little-linksters

Quick best practice share for you…

So, we’ve developed some really cool appointment booking stuff lately for some of our clients.

If you’ve tried to find some time to talk with me, you’ve probably noticed that we’re using the system too.

It’s awesome – no more of this:

“Hey, do you have any time this week?”

“Sure, send me some days and times you’re available and I’ll get back to you”

“None of those days work, any other days?”

You get it…back and forth…total waste of time.

Instead, just add your appointments to your site like my buddy Brendon Elliot and his team of golf instructors at Little Linksters. They’re golf pros giving lessons to kids…they book everything and accept payments in advance right on their site. Really cool.

By the way, Brendon just earned the PGA’s National Award this year for Junior Golf Development…good stuff.

…Or just send someone a an email with a little something like this:

Here’s a link to carve out some time with me to talk about online appointment booking on your site.

Or add a link to your email signature…

See what I did there? ;)

It connects with your personal calendar…no conflicts…and when someone books time, it’ll just appear on your schedule.

Huge time saver…and an effective lead conversion mechanism for some sites.

Cool stuff…

Cheers

The Secret Marketing Formula

So, hopefully you had a chance to check out Matt Cutts’ short SEO video, and you now know the top running speed of a cheetah.

SEO can be awesome…the idea that people just “find” your company online and your phone rings.

Actually, that’s how we get most of our business aside from referrals…

But SEO isn’t the only way to bring new business in the door…

This super complex diagram illustrates the world’s most powerful marketing formula of all time. Just kidding…it’s not that complex (or drawn to scale either)…

But it is powerful in its simplicity. Here’s the premise…by the way, I can’t take responsibility for this tremendous artwork or the concept itself. My buddy Russel Brunson is the mastermind.


Step 1: Who is your ideal customer?

What kind of fish is it…an 18-year old kid, a 55-year old corporate executive, a small business doing between $1 and $5 million dollars per year? Here’s a link to create buyer personas if you need help with this part.

Step 2: Where are they hanging out?

Are they fiddling around on Facebook? Are they driving in their car? Are they at their office computer Googling stuff?

Last week we talked about one of our clients selling medical devices to hospitals. Their buyers aren’t Googling or Facebooking…they’re running around all day inside hospitals. That means SEO or Facebook ads won’t work…they need sales reps to physically visit them.

Step 3: What kind of bait are you going to use to attract them?

Maybe it’s printed catalogue or brochure. You could offer a cool ebook on your website to compel them to sign up for your mailing list. Maybe you host an informative webinar, a podcast, or invite a decision-maker to play some golf. What are your targets interested in, and what would entice them to take some sort of action?

Step 4: Where are you going to take them?

What is the absolute best way you can possibly serve them? What’s the end destination for your ideal customer? …this could be months, years, decades down the road.

Let’s say you’re an auto manufacturer. Your ideal entry level customer may be a 35-year old male making $65-80k per year. Your bait is a good value SUV because your customer has a young family. Over the years, the kids grow up and he’s got more disposable income. Your end destination is to eventually get him into your top-of-the line $130,000 sports car when he turns 60.

…Or maybe you’re in business consulting. The best way you can serve your top clients is with a fully immersive 1-week on-site evaluation for $50,000. You may not be able to sell this until you earn trust and deliver results with smaller plans, but incremental steps can lead them there.


So, it’s really that simple as you look at your own marketing…

Go ahead and draw some stick figures if you need to.

• Figure out what kind of customers you’re hoping to catch.
• Where are they hanging out?
• What kind of bait will work best?
• Where do you want to take them (how can you serve them in the best possible way)?

Cheers

matt Cuts google search engine ranking

Matt Cutts is the man…

Why? Because he works at Google and that’s pretty cool for starters.

Beyond that, he’s their SEO guru…and he’s really good at explaining geeky stuff in terms that humans can understand.

I’m gonna send you to one of his videos in just a second…

So, everyone wants more web traffic right? It’s the sexy metric isn’t it?

We get a ton of questions about Search Engine Optimization. How can my website get ranked higher? We want to be #1 in Google…can you help us get there?

Maybe. You’re not the only one who wants to be number one…plus,

SEO definitely isn’t the best strategy for everyone.

There’s a lot of misconceptions out there. And a bunch of wasted effort and expense to be honest.

For example, we do some work for a company that sells disposable medical devices directly to hospitals (syringes, gloves, coats, etc.).

They’ve got a team of sales reps calling on their clients and their website serves kind of like a digital drive-thru window… “Can I take your order please”

Nobody searches for their stuff online

We’d be crazy to recommend SEO for them. When was the last time you googled “blood collection systems”?

Their ideal clients just aren’t poking around on Google or hanging out on facebook, so these strategies are a waste of time.

But honestly, these guys are in the minority. Think of how you find and buy stuff nowadays. It’s pretty rare that you choose to do business with someone without a simple web search.

Okay, here’s Matt’s video about how Google Searches work.

You gotta watch it to find out a cheetah’s top running speed (just kidding…you can just Google it).


Even if you’re not interested in SEO at all, it’s pretty cool to see how smart Google can be…

golf-leap

So, one of my New Year’s goals was to send out an email on New Year’s Day.

Whoops.

Anyway I’m giving you a heads up. I plan on sending more emails this year.

And not just  lame run-of-the-mill sales emails.

You know the type.

“Get 95% off if you buy in the next 3 minutes!”  then you get the email a week later and the sale still works ;)

Anyway, I really want to share some of the incredible things we’ve all learned in the last year and help you and others like you quicken your path to success.

I looked back at the beginning of last year and am blown away by what has happened this year.

Technology is moving so fast and we’ve done so many killer things that I think we’re doing our community a bit of a disservice by not sharing some best (and worst) practices once in a while.


Quick Case Study:

Here’s a really cool example of what I mean…a longtime friend of mine from my golf days now runs an incredible dog hiking company in Greenwich, Connecticut called Active Dog. They just opened a location in Denver too.

They basically pick up dogs while their owners are at work, take them out into the woods and let a big group of pups run around, get some exercise and blow some energy together. It’s awesome.

Their challenge was posting fresh content on their website to make clients and prospects “stickier”.

active-dog-social-integration

Here’s a page on his site ActiveDog.org

Well, we created a solution to connect their company facebook account with the website in a really interesting way. His team just posts photos and videos on facebook while they’re out in the field…everything goes right to the website instantly.

The owners get see their dogs having fun (almost in real time) while they’re on their lunch breaks.

It’s been boosting search engine results, but the coolest thing is everyone shows their friends how much fun their dog is having…word of mouth is going crazy for them…over 300 dogs now…so awesome.


So, small stuff like that is kind of what you can plan on seeing from time to time.

If you never want to hear from me again, slap that unsubscribe link at the bottom. I’ll try get over it.

But seriously – I will be loading up all kinds of ideas, free trainings, design examples, thought provoking questions…sharing everything we’ve figured out…and some big old mistakes we’ve made too. Whatever helps right?

The idea is to continue learning and continue improving.

I sincerely wish you a highly successful 2018 and hope I can be of help in some way.

company-niche-market-position

Look, I get it. We all fall into the daily routine and none of us have the time to go through those marketing exercises you learned back in undergrad.

We’re all way too busy for a little Marketing 101 – Especially since sales grew 10% last year, you got promoted, and the boss is on vacation this week. Whatever we’re doing, it’s working. Let’s not poke the sleeping bear, right?

Except everyone needs a little dose of the fundamentals once in a while. Here’s a quick stat for you:


75% of the $1M – $50M businesses we work with have never bothered to define their company’s niche market position.


They can’t answer these simple questions without falling back on easy answers or bland clichés:

• Who do you want your clients to be?

• Who DON’T you want your clients to be?

• Exactly what solutions do you offer?

• How do your provide those solutions?

• Why do you exist?

Sounds pretty simple right? Believe me, most companies don’t bother with this stuff. Most end up cutting corners by using canned responses like “we focus on customer service” or “we provide the best value in the industry”. Garbage. Nobody cares!


Properly defining a company’s niche market position doesn’t involve vague clichés and meaningless crap.


It’s about coming up with helpful, specific, and precise information that customers want to know. A good strategy review session, with a little bit of focus, will set you apart from the pack immediately. I’m sure of it.

This article goes into the 5 areas leading up to creating your company’s positioning statement. Along the way, you’re guaranteed to think about some stuff that you hadn’t considered in a long time…if ever.

 

Let’s Start with Some Basic Rules…

For each of the 5 steps, use the listed questions to help you wrangle up some great ideas in each category. These questions are just guidelines. Nothing is off limits, so let the ideas flow like Donald Trump’s comb-over.

Rule #1: Answer with as much real detail as possible. No copping out with generic language that nobody cares to read.

Rule #2: Dig deep. Be honest with yourself, your company, and areas where you have (or don’t have) opportunity to succeed. Collaborate with your teams.

Rule #3: Set yourself apart. Find areas that make your group unique and really hit them hard. Differentiate like crazy.

Got it? Okay, let’s get started.

1. What’s Your Current State of Differentiation?

Let’s take a look at just how differentiated you are sitting here today. The goal is to separate yourself from the herd. Avoid the idea of being all things to all people and drill down into some targeted cracks that haven’t been explored.

For example, making the first page of Google for the search term “Car Insurance” isn’t going to be easy. Alternatively, you could quickly rise to #1 for the term “Classic Italian Sports Car Insurance in Scottsdale”. Granted, there aren’t as many searches, but you’ll be the top dog and everyone that comes to your site will be interested in what you’re selling. Here’s a link to our SEO Guide ebook if you want more on keyword researchusing long-tail keywordsand achieving search engine rankings.

Consider where you stand today with some questions like:

Who are your biggest competitors?

Who is the market leader?

What makes your company unique?

What are your selling points against each main competitor?

Give me 1 -3 sentences about what you stand for and how you differentiate your company currently.

2. What is Your Purpose? (not as easy as it sounds)

This is the “Why” part of your business model. This area is usually the most important for your customers, but the most neglected by marketers. There’s a whole universe of possible reasons why someone should buy your goods or services…many that aren’t so obvious.

At the end of the day, this is all your prospects ever really care about. Why you?

For example, let’s say you’re a golf pro giving lessons. There are a ton of reasons why people should learn golf…most have nothing to do with golf itself. Most golf pros would assume people take lessons to learn how to hit the ball, cure a slice, or improve their putting. Nope. I’ve surveyed golf students. They take lessons for bigger reasons than that:

• To meet new people
• To impress colleagues or my boss
• For exercise
• To get outside more often
• To avoid embarrassment at the next charity tournament
• To set an example for my kids
• Because it’s FUN!

golf-leap

Here are some good “Why” questions you should take some time answering:

Besides profits, why does your organization exist?

What would people miss if you weren’t around tomorrow?

Why to you go to work every day and why do clients want to work with you?

What value are you delivering specifically?

What specific problems do you solve?

That last one is the big one. Things beyond the nuts and bolts you sell. What do your customers really care about…what are they searching for? That’s the secret to creating content that is music to their ears.

3. Who are Your Best (and Worst) Clients?

This is the “Who” part  of the program. Defining who you want as customers is the starting point for marketing altogether. Maybe your model has evolved over time and your target market has shifted a bit. Ours has, many times.

If you haven’t already, check out our template for developing your buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional representations of the people you are selling to – right down to their age, location and movies they like. Not really, but the more detail the better if you’re trying to create content they’ll fall in love with.

Equally as important is to create negative buyer personas. Figure out who you DON’T want as your customers so that you can cast them aside sooner in the process. Save your time for the best fit customers – whether that’s got to do with finances, attitude or just working with people you like.

Ask yourself these questions to solve for “Who”:

What audience are you hoping to attract?

What types of clients have been most successful in the past?

What traits do they have in common?

Which industries, categories or market segments do they occupy?

What types of clients are the most fun to work with?

What types of clients do you NOT want to work with?

4. Core Competency

Now it’s time for the “What”. Unfortunately, this is the part where most companies begin (and end) their analysis. Focusing on what YOU do and how great YOU are is not only boring as hell for your prospects, but also incredibly ineffective from a marketing standpoint.

Think about your personal relationships (real ones outside of the internet). Everyone knows a guy (let’s call him Steve) who just likes to talk about himself. You’ve heard all the stories about his glory days playing football or how all the girls loved him in high school. He brags all day long, never asks about you, and it wears you out. Don’t be the online version of Steve.

While it’s important to convey your expertise, do it in a way that doesn’t suck (like Steve). Where possible, have others demonstrate your expertise rather than bragging about it yourself. Case studies and testimonials are great for this.

I’m getting ahead of myself – before you start worrying about delivery, ask yourself some good questions:

What goods or services do you offer and what are you expert in?

What do you do better than your competitors?

Which of your goods and services provide the most value to your clients?

If you could only provide one thing, what would it be?

What would your top clients miss the most if your company went away?

5. Is There a Company Culture?

Culture is all about the set of beliefs you live by at your company. It’s the “How” you operate as a group fundamentally. Depending on your industry and the nature of your clients, this just might be the most important aspect of your company.

For example, there are lots of people who would never buy cosmetics from a company known for conducting animal testing.

What are the philosophies and methods you follow to service your clients?

Do you have a unique way of thinking or any special work processes?

What is the one thing you would never change about your company?

Will you say “NO” to a prospective client based on your values? For what reasons?

What does it take for someone to succeed as an employee at your company?

Finally…Create your Positioning Statement

Using all the brainstorming and notes from the previous 5 steps, now it’s time to summarize what you’re all about. Your positioning statement can serve as your elevator speech, and should serve as a guiding beacon for your marketing and sales decisions.

Fill in the blanks:

We provide (this good/service/value/outcome) for (this type of customer/company/industry/market) by (using this kind of approach) because (why).

Here’s the Web Design Phoenix positioning statement:

“We provide value driven website design for growth oriented companies run by good people – because successful online marketing requires sound strategy and effective communication…and we just don’t like dealing with grumpy people.”

Take our PDF Version with you…

defining-company-market-position