Why Your Website Isn't Getting You The Gig!

Why Your Website Isn’t Getting You The Gig!

As a speaker, coach or consultant, your website should work like a sales representative. Out there hustling to get your next gig. If you haven’t had at least a handful of leads come in through your website, leads that you’ve converted into paying gigs, it may be time to ask the tough questions and see if your site is actually doing its job.

Consider the following reasons why your website might be letting you down:

1. You have the wrong testimonials.

Jane Atkinson tackles this in her excellent book The Wealthy Speaker. Here’s what she had to say:

What you want for testimonials is for them to answer the question: ‘What changed as a result of John Smith’s presentation?’ That’s what you need to ask your client to write about.

I couldn’t agree more. Most testimonials read like a stripped down greeting card. “So and so is a great speaker who delivered a thoroughly enjoyable presentation.” That’s nice, but it’s hardly persuasive.

Think in terms of the results that were achieved since you were booked. Did sales go up? Has morale visibly boosted? Get specific and plant the seed of ROI in your future client’s head.

You might want to seriously consider walking clients through writing the kind of testimonials that you need, maybe even providing them with a template when you request a testimonial.

You ARE requesting testimonials and not just waiting for the client to do it on their own, right?

2. You don’t have a GOOD video.

This is another point hammered home in The Wealthy Speaker. You need at least one GOOD video on your website. Notice the emphasis on good. What’s the big deal with video? Put yourself in the shoes of a meeting or event planner seeking out the best speaker for hire. They are going to look at a lot of speakers and they’re going to want to process the gist of these speakers quickly. Video is the best way for them to do so.

Amidst all of the reasons you should willingly open your wallet wide, make one of them your website (I promise I’m not just being self-serving here) and make the other one your video. Find someone who specializes in speaker videos. It’s a different animal than commercials or short films. Once you’ve got a killer video, put it in a place of prominence, front and center, on your website.

Seriously, it should smack people in the face and make them want to hire you!

3. You haven’t made it easy for people to hire you / work with you.

Larry Winget has really nailed this part of his website. The second link in his menu says ‘Hire Larry’. In case you miss that, there’s another prominent link just a bit further down on his home page. Once you click on that section, there are links to download his introduction, photos, and other press materials. There’s a hard-to-miss button in the sidebar that walks you through the next steps. Gee, I’m starting to think that this Larry guy is open to being hired for public speaking gigs!

People want to be guided through this kind of process. You’ve shown them where the answer lies, now hold their hand as you cross the bridge together. Might I suggest a big button that says “Hire [insert your name here],” or something similar? Make sure you include a resource section where your new client can download everything they need, including a speaker introduction/bio and a press kit.

Sharing these kinds of resources on your site shows that you are a professional who has thought of everything (or close to it). People find this so reassuring that, when all else is equal, these resources could actually be the tie-breaker.

4. Your photography is weak.

This one is pretty obvious, right? You know you need professionally shot, up-to-date photos that reflect your personality? You know that getting your buddy to snap some iPhone pics isn’t how the pros do it? It’s such a no brainer! Hell, I feel silly for even bringing it up.

5. It’s just flat out bad!

This one is tough. It’s subjective and when things are outside of your area of expertise, it’s hard to know what you don’t know. Design is, of course, aesthetic; it appeals to emotions and sets up a look that says credible and professional. Design also exists to facilitate functionality, allowing for booking speakers and consultants, connecting via social media, and reading and sharing blog posts.

I’m not going to share my philosophy about what design is and isn’t. My suggestion is that you never go too long without putting your site through the wringer. If it’s been more than eighteen months since your site got a serious tune-up, bring in a pro, get your site audited to see what’s missing. Bone up on WordPress and choose a nice looking theme.

Just do something! Make it a priority to have a continually improving site and keep your foot on the gas.

Your Turn!

I would love to know what you thought about this article. What did I leave out? What changes have you made to your site that have yielded positive results?

I hate the idea of speakers settling for fewer gigs for less money. If there’s anything I can do to help make your site better, even if it’s just providing my two cents on what you’ve got, then hit me up!

7 Ways To Nail That Speaker One Sheet

7 Ways To Nail That Speaker One Sheet

Crafted and distributed well, a speaker one sheet is a crucial item in the arsenal of any professional speaker. Think of your one sheet as the executive summary for your speaker packet or PR kit.

It’s a simple enough document. It shares what you do,  the benefits of booking you and, if you’re booked, exactly how the engagement will go down. I’m sharing my seven tips for nailing that one sheet and landing that great speaking gig. Follow these guidelines, and I’d be willing to bet you’ll tack on at least one or two extra speaking engagements in the coming year.

Setting Up A Stellar One Sheet

1. Resist the urge to pack it to the gills with information.

White space is kind of a big deal. You need it to call attention to items of emphasis, rather than overwhelming the viewer.

There’s only so much space available on an 8.5 x 11 page, so you’re not going to be able to tell your life story. Instead, you’ll need to make some hard decisions about what to include.

Make a hierarchy of your content in order of importance. Save the stuff at the bottom for your expanded speaker packet or your website.

2. Definitely include a professional photo.

Seriously, I don’t want to catch any of you trying to get away with a cell phone pic.

Hire a pro to take that photo and make sure you’re represented like a professional, then use your favorite shot conspicuously on your one sheet.

3. Position yourself as THE sought-after authority.

You’ve been featured on NBC, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post? That’s impressive! Include a small section resembling “as seen on,” then include some high-res logos to really showcase where you’ve already been featured.

Not quite at that level yet? That’s okay. Instead, opt for a glowing testimonial from someone (preferably in upper-management) from the most well-known organization that had you speak.

4. Let people know the benefits of working with you.

Did a company report increased profits or productivity right after working with you? Play it up!

People don’t act without first asking “what’s in it for me?”

Remember, this thing is going to wind up in the hands of people in a position to hire you. When that happens, they needed to be motivated to make the call.

5. Spell out how working with you is going to play out.

You have to strike the right balance between detail and brevity here. Let people know what topics you’re willing to cover. You need to make sure they get the picture, and you must do so succinctly.

6. Include a call to action.

I’m a big believer in putting calls-to-action on damn near everything.

You have an ideal outcome in mind, so ask for it to happen!

Be explicit and ask for the viewer to call you or email you to book you for their next corporate function. And, this is kind of a no-brainer, but make sure your one sheet has your contact info on it.

7. Get an extra set of eyes on it.

Ideally, you would have a professional designer take a crack at this but sometimes that’s not necessarily feasible. At the very least, put it in front of someone who might not know what you do all that well and get their honest opinion. If they can recite back to you accurately what you do and who you serve AND give you a favorable first impression, then you’re off to a pretty good start.

Speaker one sheets are one of my favorite documents to design. There’s so much opportunity to reflect the speaker’s personality and really enforce a personal brand.

If you’re stuck on where to go with your one sheet, let’s have a conversation. Reach out via phone or email. I’d love to hear from you.

WordPress For Speakers: A Perfect Fit!

WordPress For Speakers: A Perfect Fit!

I am a fierce and loyal WordPress advocate. It’s all I use for websites and I’ve logged time on over 300 sites. I love it so much that I not only use it for my business site, I have devoted a lot of time to the WordPress community. There’s a reason this CMS and web design juggernaut powers over 30% of the web: It’s awesome.

For speakers? It’s a perfect fit.

Most speakers have little to no support staff. As a solopreneur, I know what that’s like. We need a system for our websites that is simple, yet flexible. Those are the hallmark qualities of WordPress.Click To Tweet

Maybe you’re planning a website design project soon. Maybe you’ve thought about switching your current site to the platform. It’s the right call, but allow me to settle the debate for you.

Why WordPress?

WordPress Has The DIYer In Mind

When it comes to basic tasks like blogging and updating text, the entry level barrier is low. WordPress was designed explicitly for blogging. As such, the interface for adding and formatting text is very simple. For most people, a quick tutorial gets them up and running. There’s no need to rely on a webmaster for every little text update. You can get in there and do it yourself. The best part: the core software is absolutely FREE to do with however you wish.

WordPress Is Open Source

Imagine an army of millions as your support crew. WordPress is a software by the people for the people. Millions of users contribute to updating the code, creating plugins, and fielding technical questions. This means that innovation never stops.

It is a living organism that keeps growing and getting better and better. One of my favorite parts of the open source aspect is the WordPress codex. The codex is a massive forum where people from the community hang out answering technical questions. If you’ve got a problem, chances are someone else has already run into it and is ready to help.

WordPress Is Scalable & Customizable

One word – plugins. Plugins are the magical expansion packs that make it possible for designers, developers and even DIY users to do just about anything.

Need to collect email addresses and send out newsletters? There are plugins for that. Need to embed your podcasts? There are plugins for that. Need to integrate seamlessly with social media? You guessed it. There are literally millions of plugins available. Some plugins are free, some are paid (premium). If you can you dream it, chances are there’s a plugin to do the job.

WordPress Is Stable, It’s Not Going Anywhere

WordPress has been going strong for over ten years. A lot of web platforms have come and gone in that span. Few things are more discouraging than learning to use new software to develop a site, only to have the tools die on the vine. You’re left with a site that’s no longer supported and a software no longer receiving any updates.

Luckily, the software and the community show no signs of slowing down. If you were to plot growth on a chart, it would be an arrow pointing up. Over a quarter of the web is built with it. That is a HUGE number. If you want the best bet for a web platform that is going to be around tomorrow, bar none it’s WordPress.

WordPress Takes The Pain Out Of SEO

This is what Google engineer Matt Cutts had to say in 2013 (and, if anything, things have only gotten better):

WordPress takes care of 80-90% of the mechanics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

That’s high praise from the company that holds the keys to the web. Even if all you did was set up WordPress with your content, it would already do a great job with SEO.

Need to a more recent rave for WordPress and SEO? Check out this read from Torque.

I’ll save sharing all the nuts and bolts of why WordPress is such a smart choice when it comes to SEO. Instead, I’ll leave it at this: there isn’t a web platform out there that does SEO better. Plus, you have the fantastic (and free) SEO plugin, Yoast at your disposal to take it to the next level.

What do you think about WordPress?

Obviously, I’m a fanatic. I can’t help it, it’s a great platform developed and managed by an amazing community. And for speaker sites? It’s a great fit all around.

Maybe you’re on the fence about the best solution for your website needs. If so, I’d love to have a conversation with you. Call me or shoot me an email. Maybe I can make you a WordPress enthusiast.

Better Branding: Play Yourself In The Lead Role!

Better Branding: Play Yourself In The Lead Role!

Sometimes I binge watch old TV favorites while I’m doing my nighttime busy work (scheduling posts, connection management, etc.). Recently I started re-watching Scrubs, as I kind of have a thing for Zach Braff’s boyish charm, but I digress. The show’s soundtrack is still awesome and still inspiring, and when Josh Joplin’s “Camera One” came on, it prompted this idea that the best branding comes when you play yourself in the lead role!

What Role Are You Playing Online?

Many a speaker, especially those just starting out, feel they must play a role in order to be taken seriously as a professional.

By playing a role, these speakers fail to appreciate the smarts of their audience. The focused attendee can small insincerity and fake from miles away.

Authenticity is a term that’s been beaten, battered, used and abused in our industry, but it still plays an important role in the way you and your branding are perceived online and on the stage.

There’s little value in playing a role you can’t uphold for the long haul. There’s no one correct way to act as a professional, just as there’s no single right way to interact with your client base. It all depends on who you are AND on your ideal client.

Real Me, Real Business

Although I’ve never really been one to suppress my own personality, I too have faced the fear of “feeling” professional. But it wasn’t until I allowed myself to fully embrace all that makes me, well, ME, that I really saw my target niche start to fine down to allow me to work with the very audience I wanted to reach.

I joke that my husband gave me permission to unleash more of the real Mallie, but the reality isn’t silly at all. When you accept yourself and work with what truly makes you, well, Y-O-U, you’re sharing without subterfuge. That earns you plenty of gold authenticity stars!

You’re Playing You Now!

The song says it all, really. I’m just adding my own .02 to the smarts and savvy.

Actors play roles and the accolades they receive for portraying those roles are part of their craft, their excellence, their skill set.

Your skill set, as a speaker or coach, shouldn't include playing any role except the role of yourself.Click To Tweet

Our goal is not to achieve accolades, it’s to help others solve problems and build better brands. However, when accolades are deserved, wouldn’t it be better if they came from branding ourselves in a fashion that showcases who we really are and what we really stand for.

When those accolades come, and they will if you embrace the idea of marketing the real you with the proper intent and purpose, then you’ll very much deserve to take that bow and mug for the cameras!

The Very Best Branding? It's Personal!

The Very Best Branding? It’s Personal!

When it comes to running a successful business, I’m of the mind that the more personal your branding, the better?

It’s not personal, it’s business …

Watch any cutthroat big business flick and you’ll hear some iteration of the quoted phrase above. For some reason, the only one that comes to mind right now is not so cutthroat, as it’s a rom-com. You’ve Got Mail. LOL!

The More Personal The Branding …

Personal branding. It’s one of those very buzzworthy, ever-so-clickable phrases we see scattered quite often through our social media feeds.

We hope to clear a bit of confusion attached to the phrase, if that’s okay with you. It’s very important that brands remember the following:

All Brands Are Personal Brands!

Brands aren’t just big business anymore. Even when a brand is built around a company, it’s got to be personal. The better the brand, the more they understand this.

Why? Because consumers do business with PEOPLE they know, like and trust. When real people are seen as part of a brand, it’s easier to build and maintain that knowledge, affinity and trust. The best brands maintain a personal relationship with their audience and clientele, individually and as a whole.

Brands must be seen for their human beings, real people, not faceless apps and web tools!Click To Tweet

Making a personal connection amidst all the marketing noise is a must in order to stand out and stay on message.

Branding must personalize the experience for consumers and prospects.

Consider this, what do you want a potential prospect to remember upon hearing/seeing your name?

You want them to feel a connection to you, your company, your brand. You want any reaction upon hearing/seeing your name or company name to be positive. You hope that when a friend, co-worker or acquaintance mentions a product or service need, those that know your brand will readily share with whoever is doing the asking.

The best brands maintain a personal relationship with audience and clientele, individually and as a whole.Click To Tweet

In order to leave that positive impression, you’ve got to personalize the consumer experience, online and off. Consider the following:

  • Is your brand message cohesive across all digital real estate? This means your web site and all of your social accounts.
  • Do you effectively and actively engage in discussion and conversation with your consumer audience online? Do you respond to comments on your blog, queries on your Facebook page and quick questions on Twitter?
  • Do the images you share match your brand message in tone and appeal?
  • Do you continue the conversation after the initial question is answered or discussion is over?
  • Do you look at and possibly share or comment on what your followers are posting?
  • Do you check back in to see if all’s still well a day later? A week later? Beyond?

The Best Branding Connects On A Personal Level

When your brand makes a personal connection with a prospect – another person, by the way, you’re more inclined to make a sale, or, at the very least, warm up a cold lead.

First impressions are incredibly important, especially online. If your brand comes across as robotic or automated in its online interactions, you might not get a second chance to make a good first impression. There are plenty of other brands who’ll get it right the first time.

When it comes to better #branding, make the first impression a personal one!Click To Tweet

Not sure if your brand’s actively connecting with prospects and current customers on a personal level? Give us a shout. We can set up a consultation or complete an interaction audit.

If You Publish, Make It Easy To Pass It On

If You Publish, Make It Easy To Pass It On

Whether it’s your blog posts, podcast episodes, videos, tutorials or your site’s images, if you want your content marketing shared you have to make it EASY!

This morning I clicked a Twitter link to a great read on making the best connection with your audience while speaking. It was well-written, incredibly topical and a great fit for my social media followers and peers.

What it wasn’t? It was NOT easy to share. As in NO social sharing buttons on the site whatsoever. Though the article also touted the digital marketing skill set of the author. Seriously?!?! #SMH

Your blog post value rapidly diminishes in my eyes, and the eyes of anyone who calls him/herself a content marketer, when you make it appear you never want anyone else to set eyes on the flipping thing!

Content Marketing = Publish + Promote!

Guess what guys and gals? While it’s very important to create killer content, if that’s all you’re doing, you’re missing out on rather a lot of the content marketing machine.

It’s not Field of Dreams! If you publish … there’s no guarantee the hordes will come.

If someone besides your spouse, besides your mother, comes across your killer content, wouldn’t it be wise to make it easy for them to share it far and wide?!?!

Content Wants To Be Shared, So Make It Easy Ding-Dang It!Click To Tweet

Your Content Isn’t Easy To Share If:

  1. You have NO sharing buttons whatsoever!
  2. People have to log-in to a third party app in order to share.
  3. Your video has no synopsis to hint at what it’s actually about.
  4. Your Twitter handle isn’t automatically populated when people click your Twitter sharing button.
  5. Your gorgeous pin-worthy image has NO description.
  6. Your visuals are tiny and poorly designed.
  7. Your type is so small no one wants to pull out their reading glasses to see if the words or worthy of sharing.
  8. Your oh-so-clickable title has NOTHING to do with the actual meat of your publish.

I could go on and on, and I probably have in the past!

Why Publish Then Make It Impossible To Promote?Click To Tweet

I’m Keeping This Short, Sweet & Share Ready!

Content marketing involves a whole lot more than the creation of the content you intend to market. Clicking publish and sitting around hoping someone finds it is simply creating content, sans the marketing that rounds out the activity.

Don’t expect your readers to do the heavy lifting when it comes to the marketing of your carefully crafted content. If it’s that good, a few readers might go the extra mile to ensure the word is spread. But if your reader’s in a rush or having a hectic day, they might not be so ready to exert the extra effort.

So do it right and make sharing easy! It will make your content marketing efforts easier in the long run!

Branding & Business: Let's Get Pessimistic!

Branding & Business: Let’s Get Pessimistic!

It requires boundless optimism to be an entrepreneur, almost to the point of being self-delusional. No one is disputing how important optimism is when branding and running a business. And no one is suggesting that moping or falling into a self-destructive funk is smart business. Okay?

Now that we’ve got that out of the way …

Have you ever considered looking at your personal brand through pessimistic glasses? It could do you a lot of good.

Branding issues resolved with the glass “half-full” approach?

Since we’ve been old enough to understand the concept, we’ve been taught, “think positive and good things will happen!” While this is true on some level, there’s a benefit to being a pessimist that people rarely talk about.

Pessimists go through life better prepared, with thorough plans in place in case of disaster. While an optimist sees only sunny days ahead, the pessimist is prepared for hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, and the apocalypse.

Ultimately, preparation is what turns mortals into superheroes. So, how does this relate to personal and business branding? What if we:

  1. ASSUMED that no one in your target audience will get you and that no one will understand what it is that you do. You would have to make sure that your message is not just clear, but damn clear.
  2. ASSUMED that your target audience wants no part of what you sell. You would need to go overboard with a brand with built-in defenses against sales objections and come from a point of persuasiveness.
  3. ASSUMED that everyone in your target audience is going to take one look at what you do and hate your guts. You would make sure that your brand positions you as an irrefutable expert in your field, someone who transcends personality conflicts with the ability to straight up solve a problem.
  4. ASSUMED that your brand will fall well short of reaching the number of people you need to reach. Well, then, you would just have to make sure that your brand converts at a higher percentage for the people you do connect with.

Be positively pessimistic

Keep the sunny disposition as you deal with people and as you make plans for the future, but plan as if everything that could possibly go wrong will go wrong.

The extra planning will bring you serenity in times of anxiousness. Trust me, this is coming from a compulsive worrier!

How does your brand stand up against the worst-case scenario? We’d love to talk about it.

Don’t feel like leaving your brand woes for all to see in our comment section? We understand. You can easily schedule a 15 minute complimentary strategy session to discuss and discover how your brand stacks up.

Design Dilemma: Who's The Website Really For?

Design Dilemma: Who’s The Website Really For?

Several years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of not only helping to organize and promote Atlanta’s 2016 WordCamp event, I also got to present on one of my favorite topics. That topic? For whom, exactly, a website is really designed.

Design. Especially Website Design, Can Be A Contentious Topic …

My presentation was NOT a step by step guide or how-to tutorial. It was more of a philosophical discussion.

I don’t know how much you read online, but I’m pretty voracious. And more often than not, I read articles and opinions which state that your website MUST be all about your ideal client, your target market, your “avatar.”

I said that my take might be contentious.

I DISAGREE, in all caps, with the idea that a site isn’t about its owner. Your website is ABSOLUTELY about Y-O-U! As a matter of fact, the first three letters of “your website,” are Y-O-U.

The way I see it, prospects, projects and even long-time customers come and go. But your relationship with your own online presence, your brand, your business, must stand the test of time. If you want to build any lasting brand recognition, anyway!

Are You The Superhero Of Your Own Website?

Consider this … if you’re not all that jazzed about your website, your brand’s online home … how jazzed do you think you’re going to be with the leads and prospects that site generates?

You spend a lot of time on your site. Shouldn’t you enjoy that site? If the thought of working on your own site makes you yawn and need a nap, then it’s time to consider a change!

It’s a conundrum, certainly. Is the site for you and your business? Or is it ALL about those whom your business hopes to serve in the future?

In order to be one, it must also be the other!

Know, Like, Trust … The Trifecta!

Those seeking to do business online want to do business with someone they feel they know, like and trust.

Someone is the key word in that sentence.

Is there a someone within your site? Does your website have any personality at all?

Does your website say to those who see it, “here I am, the very person with whom you want to collaborate on your project?”

The Fake Faux Pas … It Will Haunt You For A Long Time

The people you want as clients are smart. It doesn’t take them long to sniff out a fake persona.

Once you’ve been sniffed out as a fake, as insincere, as NOT real, the chance that prospects can learn to know, like and trust you? It’s long gone!

Once that smell of insincerity sets in, you can't ever really get rid of the stink!Click To Tweet

Balance Is Sooooooo Beneficial!

A site that is both for and about YOU and for and about your client requires balance.

You must balance:

  • professional with personality
  • practical with pretty (form with function)
  • corporate with creative
  • industry with imagination
  • and a lot more something with somethings …

Too much of any single component will affect and alter that balance.

Without the proper balance, your site can’t nail that know, like, trust trifecta.

Too clinical, lacking any personality? Hard to LIKE.

Too personal? TMI? It’s hard to see you as a professional or peer, which makes it hard to build TRUST.

Too generic? Too like EVERY other peer or industry site? Hard to KNOW why they should choose you or your business.

You CAN Differentiate!

Without detracting or distracting from your message, your end goal.

You CAN Stand Out!

Without stepping over the line or burning any bridges.

My presentation’s last slides detailed some of the different spots where your website can showcase some personality. Including:

  • color scheme
  • typography
  • tone of voice
  • your about page
  • ETC.

Any Questions?

I was absolutely thrilled when I got so many great questions throughout my presentation (I’m not the kind of presenter who makes people wait until the end). I’d love to answer any questions you have about ensuring your website is both about Y-O-U and your audience. The comment section is open, ready and waiting. Fire away!

Twitter Talk: Your RT Is Not A Thank You!

Twitter Talk: Your RT Is Not A Thank You!

It’s time for a little real talk about the way some speakers are conducting themselves on Twitter.

I know, I know, I’m snarky as all get out, so where do I get off saying anyone’s not being nice?

My answer? Yes, my writing style, both short and long form, is certainly snarky. But, if you’ve ever interacted with me in a one-on-one social media conversation, you’ll see I’m one of the nicest and most appreciative spouters of snark around!

You’re Being A Twit On Twitter. Knock It Off!

All righty all of you speaking Tweeters. I know you create and share content for a variety of reasons. But we all know that when we publish or share a link we cross our fingers and blow the fluff off a dandelion (just me?) hoping our social media circle will share that content.

And then? It’s here where things can go a bit pear-shaped and wonky.

If you’re a proponent of appreciation marketing, you know that shared content deserves a sincere show of appreciation. Meaning some sort of thanks.

I can get behind a heart or a like, though I’d prefer a comment that actually includes the words “thank” and “you.”

What I can’t really get behind? The immediate RT of my share.

Appreciation is a heart or a thank you, NOT an RT of your own content!Click To Tweet

Ummmm, Thanks For The RT?

Am I missing something? Is this really a sincere form of appreciation?

I mean, I know, it gets my handle in front of your followers. And that’s certainly nothing to be sneezed at.

But it’s not particularly social. It doesn’t invite me to continue the conversation. It doesn’t give me the warm and fuzzies and it doesn’t make me think you’re feeling any warm and fuzzies.

Say Thanks Instead?

When you RT my share of your latest publish, I don’t feel appreciated. Instead I feel like you’re using my share as a means to share your own content again without your audience getting on you for sharing it too often.

Now, that’s just my opinion. Perhaps I’m wrong. I often am!

But if you’re trying to build a valuable presence on a social media platform, I can’t understand this type of anti-social sharing. Wouldn’t a short, sweet and personalized thank you be more meaningful? It certainly means more to me.

What do you think?

Am I on to something here? Or am I just being persnickety as well as snarky?

Do you feel appreciated and thanked when someone RTs your share of their content? Or would you prefer two simple words?

Thank you!

Cheap Design? Cheats You & Your Brand!

Cheap Design? Cheats You & Your Brand!

Cheap design. Easy design. Simple design. Design a website in just a few hours. Design your own logo and launch an immediately impressive brand.

Yadda, yadda, yadda, and so on. Are you falling for it?

Cheap Design Cheats You … And Your Potential Audience!

You see them all over! On Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.  What am I talking about? The rash of blog posts and social media ads touting the wonders and benefits of DIY and freebie apps and tools to “design” your brand, your website, and more.

This rash leaves me itchy and angry.

Not so much in that it demeans what we do at Get The Gigs, but because articles like this, written by people who don’t do as they say while telling you what to do (the most recent was on a site that MOST DECIDEDLY WAS NOT built with a freebie web tool), are a disservice to anyone looking to create a strong and professional brand and presence online.

Your brand identity is meant to build trust and showcase your expertise. Your brand is certainly more than your logo, more than your color scheme, more than any single typeface. Thus, I think we can agree that your brand is pretty ding-danged important.

When you see cheap, is trust the next word that pops into your mind?Click To Tweet

Your website is your home, your hub on the web. It is the resting place and repository of your expertise, your experience. But, before anyone dives into your content in order to unearth your gems of wisdom, they’re going to take a look at your home page, or whichever page on which they’ve landed, and they’re going to make a judgment based on their first impression.

Created by “insert freebie tool” rarely makes a good first impression.Click To Tweet

Cheap Design: What Will It Cost You?

You expect someone to pay you, and pay you fairly well, for your speaking expertise, don’t you? It’s the reason you’re running your business, right?

You don’t want your target market and audience going out and finding a freebie speaker to get by when your skillset and expertise can do so much more for their event!

Yet, you’re showing that taking the freebie route is a smart option with that freebie site design. And possibly losing a gig.

It doesn’t take an eye trained in graphic design to suss out a freebie site. No matter how much they tell you they don’t create cookie cutter sites, they – indeed, do. Plus, when you go free, you get freebie company branding as part of “your” design. You get their logo, link and tagline automatically loaded into your footer or sidebar, sometimes right at the top of your header! Yikes.

When you go free, you get freebie company branding as part of “your” design.Click To Tweet

Free Can Fail Functionally …

Know what else free fails to deliver? Functionality.

Many free web design tools continue to rely on old technologies and development language. Too much outdated scripting language can actually make it difficult, if not downright impossible for search engines to seek out, spider and rank your site. That’s no good!

What else? All that outdated and convoluted language can make your site EXTREMELY slow to load. Potentials won’t wait around to see if the good stuff ever shows up. They’ll just move on to the next speaker who has a site that actually loads and provides them with quality information.

Finally, because these are freebie tools, they don’t offer much in the way of truly responsive design, allowing your site to show up in the best possible way via mobile devices. Instead, many freebie tools that offer a mobile option simply create a secondary site for mobile viewing, which means the experience, branding and look might not match up seamlessly with what you’ve created for desktop viewing.

Are You Mistaking Cheap For Affordable?

When it comes to design, it’s not affordable if it minimizes your chances of making money!

Consider that time is money. When free fails you, you’ll have lost plenty of time and effort. Is it worth it?

Is cheap really the word you want attached to your brand and business?Click To Tweet

I honestly could go on and on, stretching this article out with a laundry list of laments about freebie tools. But, I won’t – as deep down I’m sure you know that cheap isn’t really the catchy phrase you want to be tied to your business venture.

Put simply, cheap design cheats your expertise and your brand impact.

Ready to embrace affordable rather than cheap design?

Let’s talk about the difference.