“My website is so old it’s not even funny. Can you redo it? Just write something about me on it.” I get tons of calls like that. Sure, I can. The thing is, you’ve got the words already, I just have to get them out of you, give them whatever your client thinks is a killer outfit and serve them on a silver platter. I’d love a look at your brochures etc., but they’re not your mind. And that’s who I need a date with, actually.
So yes, we’re playing games. First I play the detective. Once I figure you out, it becomes a puzzle. I put together pieces I already worked out in stage one. And yes, it’s fun. (Unless you set your mind on something and I have to sell you what you want and give you what you need. You know the saying, too. You say it under your breath about your clients all the time.)
When I say figure you out, I’m not the MI6, by the way, or your secret agency of choice, though I’ll take the James Bond glamour. It’s just that your work, your idea is made, like anything in this word, of some DNA, which replicates over and over. I have to figure that out, pretty much as you spin wool into thread, word by word, line by line, and then knit them into a conversation: your website.
Which brings me to the chase: when you go shopping on the high street, what do you do? Well, maybe you see a window intriguing enough and you go in. Which is when someone says hello and offers to help you find the shoes, the bag etc. You engage them or rather do your thing. In either scenario, you look around, maybe try something, ask a question, possibly buy something and then leave.
Your website is the online shop, or at least the online showroom. It will have to accompany whoever walks into your store through the whole thing.
The landing page needs to be catchy enough to get them to stay. Your bits and pieces of copy and photos put together will have to be the space someone will want to spend seconds or minutes more with, enough to get to and click on some almighty button, i.e. the shop assistant: would you like to try that (work with me for a free hour)? Want to see something cool (learn more)? Would you like to get that today (buy now)? Would you like to get our special offers in the mail (subscribe to our list)?
Whatever words will land on your website, they have to sound like an easy, frothy, juicy, touchdown-y sales conversation you would have with your coldest-to-hottest prospects.
As soon as we frame it like that, we just write dialogue sets (yes, only your lines show):
- do they just need enough to get into the door and want to spend their time with you for a second (name the movie it’s from, I’ll give you a free hour, no kidding)? That the Home page.
- do they want to know about the shop (because they need reassurance they’re in the right hands)? That’s the About page.
- do they want to see how you’ll turn rocks into rockstars (because you’ve done it a million times before)? That’s the Sales page.
Like I said, DNA, replicated in puzzles over and over, plus some magic sauce. Easy peasy Japanesey. (I heard Stephen Daldry on Alec Baldwin’s Here’s the thing – a great podcast, by the way – say whoever likes and is good at puzzles, can make a good director. Ever tried to put together 1,000 pieces of Bruegel’s “Hunters in the Snow”? Pure nerdy delight.) Book me when you’re ready. I’ll be over there at the puzzle table, with a tea and a biscuit.