AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield and if you are a regular listener of this podcast then you already know I tend to share the good, bad, and ugly of building an online business.
I’ve got to be honest. Sharing the good stuff is easy. When I do a million dollar online marketing launch or have a really cool Facebook ad strategy that’s working or have an online list-building or webinar secret that I’ve been using in my business and I get share it with you, that’s always a good day.
But I also need to be real and honest and gritty with you about the mistakes I make along the way. I don’t mean the mistakes I made in my first or second year of building the business, I mean the mistakes I make all along the way.
I made a really big mistake over the last year that I want to share with you. It involved building my brand new website.
Let’s start with the good news. The good news is that I have a brand new website. I’ve rebranded myself. It’s absolutely beautiful. The navigation is fantastic. It’s streamlined. It converts well. I’ve gotten so much great feedback. The website is stellar and I couldn’t be more pleased with the end result.
However, the road to get there was really, really messy and that’s what I want to talk to you about today. I want to talk to you about the fact that getting this new website redesign up and running took about a year.
I’m going to guess it could have taken about four to six months max if we had done it right. It probably would have taken four months if I’m being really, really honest.
Why did it take a year? I’m going to walk you through five of the biggest mistakes I made over the last year in redesigning this website. I think some of you are going to be intimately connected to some of these mistakes. You are totally going to get it and understand why I made the mistake.
The most important part is that you can skip these mistakes when you redesign your website. You can totally pass them all up knowing they are there but you know how to navigate around them so that it’s not going to be part of your story as it is a part of mine. That’s my goal.
Before we actually get into all of that I do want to share with you the process we went through. We could have definitely tightened it up but we definitely did take the right steps to get the site redesigned and I want to share the process with you. Then I want to share the mistakes as to why that process took way too long.
I’ve got a lot of stuff to cover.
In a nutshell, today I thought I would share some of the adventures and misadventures of putting the new website together, why we made some of the decisions we made, where we got tripped up and why, and what you really need when you are putting your own website together.
I went back and interviewed the key players: Jessica Ray, my graphic designer, and my business partner, Devin Duncan, who was a part of the strategy that I’m going to share with you. This is going to be an awesome episode.
As always, I want to make it completely actionable for you so I’ve put a freebie together called The Ten Essential Elements for Your Website. It will help you decide what’s a must; what are the elements you HAVE to focus on when creating your website, and what you can skip and leave behind because it will just be a huge waste of time.
These ten essential elements are going to be incredibly valuable, but maybe not to you right this second. Maybe you’re not working on a web design right now. But, what I want you to do so that you don’t forget, download this PDF, save it on your computer, and you can always go back to it. But if you’re anything like me, if you don’t get it now you will never remember to get it.
Make sure to grab it right now at http://www.amyporterfield.com/160download or text the phrase 160download to 33444. Either way you can grab it right away. We spent a lot of time on these elements. They are battle tested because, believe me, I’ve been in the trenches with these elements. I think you will find them incredibly valuable.
Let me take you behind the scenes of my website redesign so that you get a picture of the process we went through and how you can zip through this process next time and not take a full year to do it because of all the missteps that I experienced. Let’s get to it.
If you listen to me on a regular basis you already know I like to start with the “why”. The first question: Why update my website?
Before I answer that question I want to say this. I’ve always said I don’t think you need a super fancy website with a lot of bells and whistles. I’ve had a pretty mediocre website for years now and I’ve been able to build a multi-million dollar business and have a top-rated podcast with that mediocre website.
That doesn’t mean you need to have a mediocre website. I’d love for you to have a beautifully designed, stellar website that converts for you. Still, I don’t think that includes a lot of bells and whistles, a lot of time, or a lot of money to create.
Remember I said this website redesign took us about a year? A lot of the time we were in a holding pattern. Nothing was happening. That was due to my poor leadership in this process which we will talk about in my mistakes. I can’t wait to get there.
However, what I will say is that the reason why I wanted to redesign my website it that it was just no longer a good representation of my brand. When I think of branding I think of who I am as a person in my business, what I represent, who I want to be, what I want to offer to my students, and also where I am going in my business. My current website represented none of that.
I have a good friend that recently remodeled her kitchen. Two months before she actually went into the remodel, maybe it was a month, I went over to her house. Her kitchen was a disaster. This chick was not a disaster. My girlfriend really had things together.
But she actually had a section of her kitchen where her kids (she has toddlers) took a crayon and got to draw all over the wall. She had chips in the tile of her counter tops that she no longer even cared about covering. Her kitchen table was a disaster.
I asked her what was going on in the kitchen and she said, “Oh, we’re totally tearing it all out in a month so I don’t care anymore.”
I thought about that and kind of laughed because I got it. I think that’s what I did to my website. A couple of months before we actually went in for the full remodel I realized things were falling apart and I wasn’t really even doing anything about them because I knew we were going into the remodel.
For months I didn’t even have a feature box or header across my website. The pictures were so old it was ridiculous and I didn’t have anything to represent some of my main courses that I now have. It was falling apart quickly near the end so I am so glad we finally got it up and running.
The weird thing is that I’ve actually put a lot of time in branding my signature courses. Courses That Convert , Webinars That Convert, and List-Building’s Lab are all beautifully branded. When you go into those courses and then look at my website you think, “Something’s amiss here.”
It really was. It was time for an overhaul. I probably should have done this a year ago but here’s what I want to say about that. Because as entrepreneurs we get to choose what we focus on in our business, I chose to focus on creating these three core programs to create my product suite. I chose to work on my podcast and delivering impeccable content every single week (at least I hope that’s how you feel about it).
I chose to focus on the areas of my business that would create a really solid foundation and making an impact and generating recurring revenue. That’s where I put my focus. At the time I just wasn’t interested in updating my website.
Then I finally realized I couldn’t wait any longer. It was time. That’s why I chose to update my website. It was not a reflection of my brand, who I serve, and where I’m going. That’s the “why”.
Let’s transition into the process we went through to design my website. The process is really solid and I want to give you a glimpse behind the scenes of what this process looked like. Just know this process could probably take four months versus the whole year it took with us because there were so many stops and starts.
Again, we will get into that in the mistakes I made. But I just want you to know I really do believe the process was solid. It was the leadership, me, who screwed it up.
The first thing we did is get on the phone with Jess, my designer. We did a discovery session. Here are some of the questions she asked us.
- What’s the goal of the website? What does it need to do?
- Where do you want to lead your customers? Once they come to the website, then what? Where do you want to lead them?
- How do we make it easy for people to lead them down a path and get the most value? The navigation and journey was really important and it was a part of the discovery session conversation.
- Most important, how do we convert our traffic on our website? What are we doing to get them on my email list and then eventually get them into my programs?
These were some of the initial questions Jessica asked us and we had to think about it.
I had a few people on my team think through these questions. But I wish I had included more people. I guess I keep teasing that I’m going to talk about all of these mistakes but I just want to mention on here that I think it’s really good to get the bulk of your team involved in these questions, at least to get their feedback, and bring it to the table.
Everybody on your team works with your audience differently. Kate, my assistant, works in customer support. She works with people in a very different capacity than Lindsay, my community manager inside my Facebook groups. Both of them would bring great value to the table in answering these questions. Both of them have a different perspective.
From there, once we did the discovery session and answered these really important questions, we looked at the data. We looked at Google analytics to see what’s performing on the website and what’s not working.
For example, Jess kind of dug into the Google analytics with us and found a great blog post from three years ago that was getting tons of traffic but there was no opt in associated with it. I got tons of people to come to one article and read all about it, but I had failed to put any kind of freebie or opt in inside the blog post or on the feature box, above the blog post, or whatever, to get leads into my funnel and then tag them so that I know they are interested in that particular topic.
There were definitely some misses that were going on, on a daily basis, that Google analytics made very clear to us what was working and what wasn’t working.
From there, after looking at the Google analytics, we started to talk about page strategy and post strategy. What were the main pages we were going to have on the site? Then what were we going to include in specific posts?
With that we decided we were going to keep it really, really clean. If you go to my website you will notice across the navigation you have the Home page, the Podcast page, About Amy, Learn with Amy, and Tools of the Trade. That’s the navigation across the top. We decided on that during some of these initial calls with Jess.
I thought I would take just a minute to talk about why I chose those pages and why I didn’t include more. First of all, of course, you’ve got the home page. What I did differently that I’ve never done before is actually first have three different opt ins across the top of the Home page.
There is an opt in for a cheat sheet about list building, another cheat sheet about online courses, and another cheat sheet about creating a webinar topic before you dive into your webinar strategy. Obviously, I have a product suite that addresses each of these topics.
I wanted people to tell me where they want to start inside of my funnels. I have three funnels that go along with each of the cheat sheets. Does that make sense?
That was different in the sense that I typically tell people to have just one freebie across the top. I didn’t do it that way because we are experimenting with the idea that my audience is in one of three places. They either want to focus on building a list, creating a course, or promoting their courses with webinars.
Usually, if someone’s in the list-building phase they are just starting out. I’ve got a lot of content for them. Of course, I have a lot of content for course creation and webinars. People get to self select where they are by choosing one of the freebies.
Yes, you can choose more than one freebie but most people just start out with one. Each of the freebies are tied to a specific funnel. Eventually, once you are in those funnels, you will be invited to one of my automated webinars and on the webinar, of course, I sell my programs.
It doesn’t happen instantly but as you are in my funnel getting my free content and getting to know me and what I teach, you will eventually get invited to one of the webinars.
That brings me to two questions I often get. Someone will tell me they want to sign up for my webinar right now and want to know where to go. The second question is when someone wants to buy one of my programs right now and wants to know where to go.
These are questions I get but I guess I should say that I don’t get them that often. I don’t put too much weight to them because we have done this long enough to know that if we warm our audience up with some free, valuable, very specific content first they are more likely to pay attention on the webinar and buy versus sending them directly to a webinar.
We do both but on my website I want to take a little time to get to know you and to ease into this relationship with you. That’s why we start with a freebie, cheat sheet, and then actually even send you a little bit more content along the way and then eventually invite you to one of the webinars.
We actually don’t, from the website, get you right into a webinar. We do run a lot of Facebook ads to a colder audience where we invite them directly to the webinar. People are signing up every day for my webinars but not necessarily directly from my website.
That might change down the road but we’re experimenting and we really like what we’re seeing so far.
Another thing, I never sell my courses directly from my website. It just doesn’t work for me. Just sending somebody cold to a really long sales page all about one of my courses doesn’t convert. It may convert one or two people but if I slow down and build out a more sophisticated funnel with more free, valuable, strategic content then I’m going to increase my conversions when people do finally get to my sales page.
I’m in it for the long haul and I want to make sure I’m not all about “buy my stuff, buy my stuff.” I want to first make sure you are ready to list build or create a course or to implement a webinar strategy. That’s why I decided to slow things down a little bit. You just need to experiment.
I know you are always thinking, at least I hope you’re always thinking, how you can apply what I’m teaching now to your own stuff. Maybe you feel that if you get people to the sales page you convert at a pretty high rate and don’t need to woo them a little bit. If that’s the case, by all means, experiment with that. You’ve got to do what works best for you.
I like to teach you what I’m doing in my business so you can at least try it on for size and see if it’s something you want to do.
Back to the home page of my website. I then have a small section about my “About” story. We rewrote it because it was so old on my website. We have some opt ins on my About story to the cheat sheet.
One thing I learned way back when from Derek Halpern, your About page is one of the most visited pages on your website and you always want a chance for people to opt into some kind of freebie on the About page. We did that. I think we’re going to make it even better down the road but there are some links to some freebies.
From there we talk about my podcast. The podcast became a really big central theme on my new website because that is my weekly content. Whether you have a blog, a podcast, or a video show I think your website should really reflect that. Drive a lot of traffic to whatever it is you’re doing on a weekly basis.
I don’t have the word “blog” in the navigation. I have “podcast” because I don’t blog. I just have podcast show notes that, of course, link to the audio. The podcast is a central theme on this new website and you can get to it form the Home page.
Scrolling down a little bit more, one more thing I added to the Home page, and you’ll find this throughout, are things called “collections”. I have seen collections on many people’s websites so it wasn’t my idea. However, I love the idea of pulling my content together into different categories.
Basically, we said, “Pick a collection below to get actionable, momentum-building advice perfectly paired with your current stage of business growth.” In my world, I look at your business growth as where you are between my three categories: Just getting started (building your platform, building your list), creating courses, or getting into scaling the business with webinars to sell what it is that you have created.
We created three collections, one about list building, one about course creation, and one about webinars. You will see a link to these collections throughout my website in a few different places.
If you click on one it will take you to a page that’s not part of the navigation with tons of podcast episodes around that topic. I love this because if you really want to focus on one thing that I can teach you then you can drill down into course creation with a bunch of different podcast episodes and a few different blog posts that I created. It’s the same with list building and webinars.
That’s what you will find on the Home page. At the very bottom you will find my collections.
From there, back to the navigation, you can click on “Podcast” and you can subscribe to my podcast, you can subscribe to an email service where every time I have a new podcast I will email you, and then I showcase my podcast episodes. Again, you will see the collections.
And, for the first time we actually added a search box. We didn’t do this in the beginning because we didn’t have tons of content, but now that we have a lot of content you can search my site for different topics. We spent a lot of time (Shout out to Lindsay and Chloe and Kate about this) putting new categories to each of my podcast episodes.
There is a search function now on my website.
Going across the navigation, you then have the “About Amy” that I already talked about. You then have “Learn with Amy.” Learn with Amy is a simple page with my three freebies.
Down the road I’m going to update these freebies and instead of being just cheat sheet’s I’m going to make them guides, a little bit more robust, just to experiment with the amount of content I want to give away in my freebies. Right now they are working really well so we’re going to keep as is.
The final thing I wanted to talk about across the navigation, because I promised you a behind-the-scenes look at this new website, we created something called “Tools of the Trade”. We broke up this whole conversation around what tools and software you need. We broke it up into three categories: Stage 1, I’m new to the online marketing game; Stage 2, I’m starting to see some momentum; and, Stage 3, I’m ready to scale fast.
Again, those three stages related to list building, course creation, and scaling your business with webinars. I feature some of my favorite tools like LeadPages, Drip, SamCart, and depending on what stage you’re in, you can look at the tools that I recommend.
The cool thing is you can also get a PDF download of all of these tools if you go to “Tools of the Trade” and scroll all the way down. There is a download of the list for all three stages so you can get a PDF as well.
That’s pretty much it. Of course I have a few more pages that aren’t in the navigation bar like the Contact page and the speaking and press stage and privacy and terms and all of that stuff. It is stuff you don’t even think about when you’re creating a website. But it comes up so we will talk about that in the mistakes I made, not knowing what I didn’t know type of issue.
That’s basically my website. Again, it’s really simple but really streamlined. I love the easy navigation and just wanted to walk you through that really quickly. I guess it wasn’t so quick but I promised to take you behind the scenes and there you have it.
Now I want to talk a little bit about mapping it all out. Now that I told you what was included, I want to talk about the process. There was a lot of add this, no take this out, add that, no that doesn’t make sense. The whole process of mapping it out, once we figured out what we wanted for the site we sat down and created a blueprint of all of the pages.
I will tell you things changed a lot. I think that’s okay. When you’re in the brainstorming phase and mapping it out and putting it all together things should change around a lot. You are making some big decisions.
This is where I want you to get the insight and feedback from your designer and from your programmer and from those on your team that know your audience well. When you start to map things out and really figure out how you want the navigation to look and what you want to include on each of these pages, really make sure you spend some time with this.
I say spend some concentrated time. We came back to this over and over again. We came back to it way too many times. We didn’t make any final decisions like we should have. It lingered and was in the stupid holding pattern forever.
I don’t think we got the right people involved at the right time and that’s why it stretched out. But I wish I had sat down for two or three days, mapped it out, and not just mapping out navigation, but really making an outline as to what’s going to be included on each of the pages.
You want everyone’s buy in. You are the leader so ultimately your decision matters most. But you want everybody to say, “yes, this makes sense. These are the pages I am going to have. This is what I’m going to include on each of these pages.”
Once you feel good about that I think things can fall into place really quickly. The mapping out is where I really got off course and it dragged on way too long.
Once you make those decisions and you feel good about them, that’s when I say bring in a copywriter if you’re going to work with one. Make sure you have a good programmer, someone that can code the site for you.
I love when the designer and programmer talk to each other and are on the same page. That’s important as well. You want to make sure you have the right players on the team.
For me, I had a copywriter, a designer, and a programmer. Those were the three main players. Then somebody on your team will drive the project forward. That’s important as well. That’s another mistake I made. I really didn’t treat it like a project so I feel I didn’t really assign it well to somebody to say, “Look, this is all yours. This is your baby. Make it happen.”
I was a little bit casual about that one and it came back to bite me. That was totally my fault. I’m giving you all my mistakes before I even get to that section. But I like to relate them back to the phase I’m in when I’m talking about it so I can’t help myself.
I’ve oversimplified the process of the planning and mapping it out. But my outcome is not to go through every single step of revamping your website as much as to give you a snapshot of our process. I want you to have a good understanding of what it looked like for us.
Before you dive into revamping your own website I just want you to have the big picture and that’s what I’ve just shared with you here.
Now I want to transition into talking about the five big mistakes I made as we planned, mapped out, and built my website redesign. I need to say this next thing because it’s totally true, although I’m embarrassed to say it, but I take full responsibility for these mistakes.
They were all tied to poor leadership. I’ve got to own that. I can’t blame anybody else for these mistakes so I just wanted to put it out there. I want to give a shout out to my graphic designer, Jessica Ray, who I’ve talked about in this show already. She was a trooper. She probably should have fired me as a client.
Because we’ve had so much history of doing great things together she held on but I’m sure I was a nightmare. I’ve already sent her flowers. I’ve already apologized. She was so great about the whole thing. But I know this wasn’t an easy process for her no matter how much she tried to get us back on track.
Jess, I just want to give you a shout out. I love you dearly. Thanks for sticking with me throughout this process. We did get to something pretty spectacular, which I knew you would get us there.
The first big mistake. I thought I did not need to be a core participant in my own website relaunch. Why? Why would I think I didn’t need to be a core participant? I don’t know. I guess I just thought this whole thing would magically get done if I gave a little input in the beginning and then my team could run with it.
I’ve talked about my team before. You guys know they are pretty spectacular. However, this is my own personal brand. It’s my messaging. It’s my core mission. Everything I’m all about is in this website. So I don’t know why I thought I could step away from it.
What happened was after we did the initial discovery call, which I was on, they ran with it the best they could. Then I got back involved and I was the type of person, this is a nightmare. I asked what about this? What about that? Did you think about this?
My team and Jessica and everybody else was probably wondering where I was months ago when they were trying to figure all that out. I was working on some other project at the time thinking I didn’t need to be a core focus.
Taking myself out of it was a really bad idea. Going back I wish that as the leader of the team, because this is my own personal brand, I wish I was having bi-weekly meetings and getting into the trenches and really being a huge part of how this was all going to shape up. I didn’t do that and that was my first big mistake.
Mistake #2: I did not create a project plan for my website redesign. I think this one is really valuable for all of you. Some of you listening to Mistake #1 might be thinking you wouldn’t take yourself out of it. You don’t even have a big team. You would be intimately involved. Good for you.
This second one might touch home with you a little bit more in the sense that I should have put this entire thing inside of Asana. Asana is the project management tool my team uses and for every single launch we’ve ever done since we’ve been using Asana, it’s always in there.
For years now we put everything in there and that’s where we assign due dates, we assign who the task if for, we give information so everybody’s on the same page. It’s all in Asana. I think the common mistake I made and you could easily make (that’s why I wanted to share this one with you), the website redesign was not directly tied to revenue.
It’s easy to think you’re doing a launch, you have a goal of $100,000 for the launch so you have to reach the goal. It’s serious and you need to create a project to hit every action item because you have to make some money.
When you do a website relaunch or redesign that’s not the same mindset you have. Of course, the website can lead to revenue but not nearly in the same way as an online marketing launch.
I guess that’s why I didn’t look at this like a legitimate project that needed a project plan inside of Asana. But here’s what I know for sure. I know in my bones that if we had created a well-planned project plan with specific phases of the website relaunch process we would have hit this out of the park.
I feel strongly about that. My team can get behind a project plan. They don’t do so well when the leader is literally absent for most of this. What team would?
Speaking of a project plan, if you’re thinking about putting this together as such, I think I would create categories with the planning phase, the mapping out phase, and the implementation phase. It would be something simple like that. You could do it in three phases.
From there you might have some subcategories like branding, photography, copywriting, list building, programming, and coding just to name a few things that you want to think about inside those main categories.
Holy cow, if I could go back I would have definitely sat down to take one day to plan out the whole thing. To Jessica and my programmer, Mike, I could have said, “Let’s look at this. Am I missing anything? This is the entire project plan. What am I missing here?”
Because I never did that they didn’t know there were just things I didn’t know about. I didn’t even know what to look for. I’m going to share those with you in a moment so you now know but you know the phrase, “You don’t know what you don’t know”? That was one of my huge challenges and we will get to that one in a moment.
Before we get to that, my third mistake is that I did not include the team in the planning phase. Remember I said we did the discovery session with Jess? I didn’t include my whole team. I didn’t ask Kate about customer service and Lindsay about community management and I didn’t get Chloe, my project manager, involved because she was working on a whole other project at the time. She wasn’t even part of the planning phase.
Here’s something really bad, I didn’t even get my business partner involved. The way I work with my business partner, Devin, he is high-level strategy and he is really behind the scenes knowing what’s going on in the trenches in terms of strategy funnel, campaigns, big picture like that. He does not work on any of the content.
For some reason I think I looked at this website redesign as a lot of content. We were talking about the content on the About page and the Podcast page and the Home page. It was content heavy. In my mind I just took him out of the planning phase.
He didn’t say anything about it. He knew we were working on the website so it wasn’t an issue. But once we got deep into the mapping and we thought we were done with the mapping phase I ran it by Devin.
He said, “Amy, what about this? What about that? That’s not how we want people to come into the funnels. Did you think of this?”
That’s why I love having Devin on my team. He’s always getting me to think about things in different ways. Why the heck did I leave him out for so long? I have no idea. Again, because I wasn’t really integrating myself into this project as a whole. I just wasn’t thinking right.
It all goes back to that first mistake I made in the sense that I thought I could just dabble in it in the beginning and let my team run with it. I think that was a bad idea. I needed to stay closer to this project because it was so intimately tied to my messaging, my brand, and who I am.
That’s what’s unique about putting a brand new website together. You are very close to it because it’s all about you and what you do and what you offer. That was the third mistake, not getting my team more involved.
Mistake #4, in the beginning I bit off way too much. The original plan was for me to create a bunch of content for the site. But then I realized I was totally overcomplicating things. The good news is I caught this one pretty early.
As we were in the planning phase and they began to map it out I realized I didn’t want to create tons of new content for the site. I really wanted to keep it simpler. But I think it’s normal for us to wonder what else we can do. What about this? What about that?
I usually stay away from a lot of the bells and whistles features of just about anything in online marketing. I usually keep it simple. But I have my moments when someone’s designing something for me. I say, “What about that? I love this idea. What about that?”
Then I realized that is a lot of content and nobody’s going to read it. I had to scale back pretty early on so that was a mistake I think I caught fairly early but still it could have gone really bad.
Mistake #5, and this one is so important for you to hear, I had no idea how much work needed to be done on the back end of my website before we actually launched the new one. This is one of those things I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
If I had put it together in a project plan and had my designer and programmer look over the project plan, because the project plan is specific to my business, Jess can’t create my project plan, my programmer can’t create it, I know my business well, I know what I want to do with this website. I know everything involved with my business so I needed to map it out and then they would have seen the holes.
Because I never did that they didn’t know I had holes. Here’s where I had two really big holes. If you’ve been in business for a little while you are going to have these same issues if you’re not careful. The #1 thing is that I had a lot of existing content that we needed to move over to this brand new site.
By existing content, I mean I had, at that time, about 150 podcast episodes plus a few different blog posts that were just stand-alone blog posts that had to get reworked. By reworked I mean that we had a new layout for the content. We had to get 150 new images to represent each of the podcast episodes because the old images we were using had nothing to do with the new branding.
I had to get rid of all of those old title images for the podcast episodes and come up with a new look. That’s 150 new images we had to source. From there, each episode had to be reworked in terms of the layout of the content. Then many of my episodes included freebies.
That meant we had to redesign the lead box. We had to redesign the pop-up box that appears about a minute after being on my site, and we had to redesign the download pages. If you go to my show notes and click one of the big yellow boxes, a pop-up box will appear. That is a lead box and you can get my freebie.
However, if you go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/160download it takes you to a LeadPage that’s a stand alone. I’ve got two different places where you can get the freebie, directly from my show notes as a lead box or if you just type it into the browser you can go right to the page, you don’t have to go to the show notes and you can get right to the download.
I have a few different things going on. All of that had to be redesigned. Of course we were smart and did just one simple redesign for all freebies. We had one template for the LeadPage and one template for the lead box.
Because of that we made it easy by just sticking to one template for each but each episode had to be updated manually. Some of you that are a little bit more sophisticated with programming and code might say, “No, no, no, that’s not the case. You didn’t need to do it that way. You could have set it up to do all of the episodes at once.”
That wasn’t the case for our website just because of some old coding we had to work with. I wish it was that easy. We looked into that but it wasn’t so we had to do episode by episode. It took a long time. But this is something we didn’t even plan for.
When we were ready to go live we realized, holy cow, we have weeks more of work to do. So I just didn’t plan for it. I just didn’t think of this stuff so I wanted to share it with you here.
To piggy back on that, we have a lot of existing content we were going to use but we also had a lot of old content I never want to see for the rest of my life. This was kind of funny. For those of you who have been in business for a while or when you get to this place, you will have the same experience.
I went back and looked at some of my first blog posts I did. Oh my goodness. I wanted to cringe. Believe me, the images I used, oh my gosh! I used the most ridiculous images that I’m embarrassed were on my site up until a few weeks ago.
There was one that was a slab of meat hanging from a hook. I don’t even remember what that related to but it was disgusting. I wondered what I was thinking. Many of them were homemade. My homemade is terrible because I’m not very creative.
The images I used in old blog posts plus the fact that I taught Facebook, so much of that stuff was outdated. You could never, ever use it. Four years ago Facebook content…give me a break. You can’t use any of that anymore.
I had to go back and spend some time figuring out what I was deleting. What needed to totally go away? That was another thing I didn’t think about until the last minute when we wanted to launch and I realized, “Wait a second. What’s all of this gobbledy gook in the back that I don’t want anything to do with anymore?”
I didn’t speak up. I wasn’t intimately involved. These things just weren’t on my radar. Again, I go through these five mistakes and they really just start with the first one. If I were more intimately involved from the get go I would have thought earlier on, “Wait a second, I’ve got all this content. How are we going to make it as easy as possible to update all of these things like images, lead boxes, Lead Pages, all that good stuff?”
In addition to that I would have started to think about the old content a whole lot sooner. All of that felt very last minute. That delayed things a lot.
Those are my five mistakes but I’ll say that overall if I were to add a sixth one I would say I wasn’t involved enough so people were waiting for stuff. Jess waited forever for stuff back from us. I’m sure our programmer felt the same way. Anybody else involved were likely waiting for me. That’s usually not my style.
That gets me to the final thing I’ll share with you. I do believe if I sat in therapy (they need to have some online marketing therapists out there) and thought about why I didn’t get involved and why I wasn’t more integrated in the entire thing, I think I was a little bit nervous to put myself out there in a new way.
I don’t love to take a bunch of photos of myself and plaster them all over a website. There was a point I said, “Jess, my face is on too many of these pages. We need to scale that back just a little bit.”
It’s nerve-wracking even after all of the success I’ve had. It was nerve-wracking to put myself out there in this new way. I think there was a little bit of hesitancy that worked its way into these big mistakes that I was nervous to rebrand myself.
I never even thought that was an issue until I sat down and prepared this episode for all of you. If I’m going to be really vulnerable I really do think there was something there. It creeps up for me sometimes. I feel really confident in my business. I feel confident in what I teach all of you. My revenue shows I am successful. The impact I make with other people and the feedback I get from you makes me feel things are going really well.
But then once in a while that little darkness comes into my mind, “but are you really that good? Do you really have what it takes?” Then putting my picture all over my website and putting out a new brand is kind of like saying, “Look at me, world!”
I think there was a little bit of an issue with that. I just wanted to share that with you. If you guys have ever experienced something like that then you, my friend, are not alone. I’m right there with you.
What does all of this mean for you? First off, I just want to make sure you’re not asking the question, “Do I really need a website, Amy?” Because, yes, yes you do. In this day and age you definitely need a website. I call this your central hub.
You never, ever want to rely on Facebook or Instagram or YouTube as your central hub. They can change dramatically today or over the next year and you are going to lose your momentum. Do not bank on anything that is not yours. I think you need a website 100%.
But as I said earlier, I don’t think you need a super fancy website. Mine’s not super fancy. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. But it definitely represents me well. It’s easy to navigate and it’s streamlined. I think that is important for all of us.
To give you a little bit more, I want to just add a little bit more to make this really actionable for you. If you’re wondering about the main elements and where you really need to focus, if I asked Jess this, I know she would say four things.
- You’ve got to make sure you have great copy on your website whether you write it yourself or you hire a copywriter. I was lucky enough to use my copywriter, Ry. Ry did a lot of the copy for us on our website. I’m so thankful to have him. But back in the day if I was just starting out I would have written it all myself because I couldn’t afford Ry. You can do it yourself but you do need to put a focus on copy.
- Photography. I mean this in two ways. You’ve got to get some professional photos done of yourself. I hate every minute of photo shoots but I do think it’s incredibly important. You also have to think about the other photos. We call them flat lays in our business. They are the photos where it might be some different pieces that represent you. In my new brand I have a vintage yellow typewriter that’s actually in my office. It’s something look at every single day. We use that typewriter and journals and pencils and different things that are a great representation of me and my personality. You definitely need photography around some of the important elements because they are part of your brand. You need great copy, great photography, and
- Designer. You need to have a designer. I don’t think you would want to do any of this yourself unless you are a skilled designer. Jess was our saving grace throughout this entire thing. It was really nice to work with somebody who has done many, many websites from scratch and many redesigns like she did for us. Having a designer was huge for us. Jess’s philosophy is “less is more.” You want it to be clean, not cluttered, and I think she did a really good job with our website in that respect.
- Make sure you focus on a way for people to take the next step with you. Sometimes people use their website like a library chucked full of content. They then forget they need ways for people to join their email list and, in some cases, buy from them or contact them. You need to make sure you are clear on the next step. That’s the reason I spent some time sharing with you what I wanted my website traffic/visitors’ next step to be. That is to opt in to one of three things: A cheat sheet about list building, course creation, or webinars. I was very clear about the next step. We focused a lot in the beginning on that strategy because it wasn’t easy to get to. We went back and forth around how we wanted to do that and then we finally solidified it. It probably took too long but, again, you’re not going to do that. The other question you might be asking yourself is whether it’s time for a refresh. We already talked about the fact that you need a website and I shared some of the elements that Jess says really need to be on the forefront of your mind: copy, photography, and design, and the next step for your website traffic.
I also want to talk to you about knowing if it’s time for a refresh. Obviously, if you don’t have a website, yes, it’s time to create one. But a lot of you might be thinking about refreshing things.
Here’s my question for you. Is your website working for you? Is it doing what you want it to do? If the answer is “no” then it’s likely time for a rework. Are you in a different stage of business or offering something different? That’s really where it hit home for me. The website that I used to have really reflected me two or three years ago.
Since then I’ve created an entire product suite. All of my products are brand new over the last two years. I also have positioned myself differently in the market. I used to be all about Facebook and now I’m not at all, really, except for Facebook ads and Facebook Live, which I talk about a lot, I know.
Basically, I really did a pivot in terms of where I was focusing in my business. My website did not reflect that. That’s when I knew it was time for me to rework my entire website. If your answer to the question, “Are you in a different stage of your business or offering different things?” If your answers are “yes” then it’s time to rework or redesign your website.
There you have it. As I said at the very beginning, I love to share with you the good, bad, and ugly. Let’s be honest, I like to share the good way more than the bad but you can never trust an educator or trainer if they don’t talk about the stuff that didn’t work and how to navigate through some of the obstacles and challenges you will inevitably face as you grow your online business.
My promise to you is always to share the good with the bad and make sure you really understand what it looks like inside of my business so that when you get there, or maybe you’re there right now, you understand where the obstacles are and how to jump right over them if at all possible.
Thank you so much for tuning in. I cannot wait to be with you again next week where we are actually talking to my husband, Hobie. This is going to be a crazy episode, something totally different than I’ve ever done.
Next week I interview Hobie and talk to him about what it’s been like to be married to somebody growing a business online. Hobie was with me before I even started this and he has a lot to share in terms of how somebody can support an entrepreneur and how and entrepreneur can actually be sensitive to the needs of their partner or spouse.
We’ve had some rocky roads, especially in the beginning, that Hobie will share with you. He’s even going to talk about what it’s like to have a wife that makes more money than him. It’s kind of a sensitive topic, right? We’re going to get into all of this stuff in the next episode because, in my world, the personal is business and the business is personal.
That’s just how I live my life so Hobie is very much a part of this business even if he’s not making the decisions with me. I want to share this with you in hopes that you can enrich some of the relationships that you have and you can protect the ones that are most sacred to you as you grow your online business.
I can’t wait to share that with you in Episode #161 next week. You can meet my hunky husband, Hobie, and we’ll talk about all of the trials and tribulations of growing an online business and protecting the relationships as you do it.
I will talk to you again next week. Thank you so very much for being here. Before I forget, grab that download at http://www.amyporterfield.com/160download. It’s the ten elements that you definitely want to focus on when you redesign or build your website.
I’ll talk to you again soon. Bye for now.