Case Study – Branding & Web Design for DeLozier Strategy & Execution

My client…

Dane DeLozier came to me to have an online presence created for his growing consulting business. He had been growing his business by word of mouth referrals only but felt it was time to have an online presence for people who didn’t personally know him get to know him and his business. He wanted a place to send people and start to have a solid online face to his growing consulting practice.

During the process, I started working with Emily, an employee of the practice to finalize the design details and bring everything to life.

Why he reached out…

Before reaching out to me Dane had been operating strictly offline with people that he knew or people who were one person removed from him. However, over the last several months of growth, he was extending beyond those circles and starting to get clients who he didn’t have a personal connection to.

This is when he decided he needed an online presence as an informational hub for people to get to know his business and for him to start building brand recognition.

Dane reached out to me to help him strategically take his ideas about his brand and create a cohesive visual identity that we could translate to his online presence.

How I helped…

We started out talking about the goals for the business’ visual identity, both short-term goals and the ultimate long-term direction the business would take so that we could take into account how the brand needed to grow rather than constantly being adjusted and changed.

He had lots of great ideas and connections he wanted to bring in and explore during the process. One of the fun ideas we got to explore was the connection nature has to business growth.

The process…

You took my ideas into careful consideration, you were patient with my hand-drawn design renderings, and you responded quickly and accurately to all of our edits and suggestions. You also gave excellent advice on matters pertaining to website functionality, which we needed. – Emily, DeLozier Strategy & Execution

We worked together over the course of the project to explore how the goals for the project could be designed in such a way that to connect what DeLozier Strategy & Execution does for their clients.

We started with the branding because without that we wouldn’t have a solid look and feel direction for the website and our biggest concern was making everything fit and be cohesive.

Once we had a visual brand direction through the use of a mood board I was able to start drafting up different logo design ideas using the mood board as my starting guide.

Once the logo, vision, mission and color palette was nailed down it was time to tackle the website.

We sat down for our strategy session and hashed out all the different ideas we wished for the website and then prioritized the list based on what we felt like we could accomplish during the initial launch of the project.

I’ve found that while it would be great to have 100% of the content ready to go sometimes there are ideas that are just too big to wait on and when I know the direction the website is going to go I can plan for its growth. This way any additional features feel like an extension rather than a lean-to added on later.

Results…

Michaela is skilled at taking what you have in your head and making it come alive via branded design. We were clear on our own mission, but we didn’t know how to communicate it effectively, incorporating all of the visual elements that have become the norm for today’s communication. We had the words, but we didn’t have the design. That’s where Michaela was the perfect fit for us! Her thoughtful incorporation of our content (and attempts at design layout) with her vision for how to best represent our consulting services yielded a website and other marketing collateral that not only say what we need them to say, but reflects who we are. – Emily, DeLozier Strategy & Execution

Dane is ready to start using his website as the foundation for his online presence. With a few blog posts ready to publish as soon as we launched he is already building a strong SEO base for driving traffic his way.

 

 

Are you my next dream client? Let’s get started!

Make the Most of Your 404 Page

How can your 404 page help you grow your business' email list? Check out this blog post for 3 quick 404 page tips!

Today I want to share with you three quick tips for getting the most bang for your buck out of your 404 page.

First of all, let’s cover the role of your 404 page and what it means to user flow for your visitors.

Your 404 page is the page people get to if they mistype a url or a link is dead.

It’s not necessarily a bad page, you really want to have one and use it strategically so that it isn’t a dead end to the user flow of your visitors.

No matter how hard you try to keep from having dead links it is just something that happens.

Let’s cover 3 quick things you can add to your 404 page to optimize your website strategy.

Add CTAs

This is a great opportunity to redirect your visitor back to main site. Whenever you want to send them or whichever action you choose to do make sure you have strong CTAs to help create clarity around what you want your visitor to do.

Give people a chance to opt-in

You might consider adding a chance to opt-in for one of your freebies here.

This spot may not provide you with a huge conversion rate because people don’t come to your 404 page to opt-in.

But it is a good place to give people a chance to get on your list right before they leave your site so that you can stay in touch with them.

Feature some of your popular or foundational content

And finally, you can redirect them to some other content on your site that you would like to feature.

This could be some of your most popular blog posts.

Or it could be a blog post or two of your cornerstone content.

Just make sure to highlight it and clearly create a path for people back to valuable information on your site.

Now it’s your turn!

What questions do you have about your 404 page and the strategy behind it? Let me know in the comments!

How can your 404 page help you grow your business' email list? Check out this blog post for 3 quick 404 page tips!
How can your 404 page help you grow your business' email list? Check out this blog post for 3 quick 404 page tips!
How can your 404 page help you grow your business' email list? Check out this blog post for 3 quick 404 page tips!
How can your 404 page help you grow your business' email list? Check out this blog post for 3 quick 404 page tips!
Content Creation Hacks to Create More without Going Crazy

Need to create content but already feeling the pinch? Use these content creation hacks to get more done in less time!

Can we get real here for a second….

One you don’t want to spend all day every day making content even IF you had the time to do it.

Two if you are spending a huge amount of time trying to keep up with constantly creating content you aren’t necessarily growing your business even if you do get crazy visible. This is because you are filling your time trying to get more visible when you could be filling your time working with clients or making sales!

But what are you supposed to do?

You need to create content to get visible and connect with ideal clients…you need to create content that converts…you need to create content to stay valuable to your community….

That is a LOT of content.

So today I’m going to share with you some things that I do to create content consistently without going crazy.

These work no matter how many channels you are trying to fill so don’t think these tips couldn’t work for you if you are only trying to fill up your blog feed.

Just keep in mind that as your content strategy grows and evolves these content creation hacks can stick with you and help you reduce the content creation load!

Repurpose content

If you aren’t repurposing your content you are missing a huge opportunity to cut down on the amount of time it takes to fill your content calendar.

I’ve got a full post on repurposing here.

But for the purpose of this post, you’ll want to know a few quick things.

Just because you posted a piece of content doesn’t mean it has lost any value so keep sharing it with your audience. If you feel like you need to switch it up a bit before reposting consider just adding an update section of things that you’ve learned since writing this first post.

And for another thing, your audience is always changing. Don’t believe me? Just look at one of your social media profiles. You get some followers you lose some followers.

It’s important to remember that your audience may not even know what you’ve posted in the past so re-imagine it, repost it, and repurpose it for your audience to get more out of what you’ve already done.

Talk it out (dictate)

This one was an interesting hack for me find. I realized one day that it was really easier for me to talk about a topic as the first draft than it was for me to try and write it out.

I suspect it has to do with the way I would try to edit and format and worry about the next step of writing the content rather than just getting it all out there and editing it later.

So when I need to get a lot of content out I dictate it to my phone first. Then I edit, chop it up, put it together and fill my calendar with it.

Give it a try you might be surprised at how much content you can get out of your head when you talk it out rather than trying to write it as a social media update or blog post.

Batch it

One thing you can do to up your content creation productivity is to do a bunch of it at once. That way you aren’t switching between tasks losing out on precious moments of productivity if you do.

Your batch process may look different than mine but here is roughly what I do.

I plan out a month of posts at once, 4 in total.

Then I write outlines for all of them.

Then I come back and write up the drafts.

Edit, create photos and schedule.

I see the biggest boost in productivity when I get to the graphics creation phase.

By getting into my software once and creating all the graphics I’ll need that month I don’t have to keep switching back and forth between the different activities.

I spend about 8 hours a month creating ALL the blog content I’ll need for the following month. Including scheduling, optimizing, and pushing it out to my social media channels.

This is because I sit down to get it all done at one time.

Stop consuming

This one may surprise you. But it is so important when creating your own content.

You’ll want to stop consuming other people’s content. You are wasting time and not fully stepping into what content you should be sharing with your audience.

If you don’t know what to write about consuming other people’s content for ideas isn’t going to help you connect with your audience or stand out from the crowd. You need to get out there and talk to your ideal audience and write content around what you learn from them not what others in your niche are doing.

It can be so hard to switch from consuming to creating, I know because I struggled with it. I didn’t have the confidence in my own ideas and I didn’t think I knew enough to get started.

But I did.

And you do too. Get out there and write your own content rather than using your content creation time to consume!

You’ve got this!

Write now edit later

This goes back to talking it out but don’t try and edit while you write. It will slow you down and stifle great ideas from coming to the surface.

Just get in there and start writing. Or dictate it out.

Just do it and worry about all the details later.

Now it’s your turn!

What content creation hacks do you use to create more in less time? Let me know in the comments!

Need to create content but already feeling the pinch? Use these content creation hacks to get more done in less time!
Need to create content but already feeling the pinch? Use these content creation hacks to get more done in less time!
Need to create content but already feeling the pinch? Use these content creation hacks to get more done in less time!
Need to create content but already feeling the pinch? Use these content creation hacks to get more done in less time!
Do More With Your Branding – 6 Places to Use Your Brand Elements

Now that you have your brand for your business you are ready to go...but what do you do with it? How does it help you grow? Maybe that sounds familiar. If so you should check out this blog post and learn some more things you can do with your branding to attract more ideal clients to your business!

You’ve got your shiny new branding completed…

but how do you effectively use it?

How do you get your monies worth out of it?

And how do you use it to build recognition?

Those may or may not be some questions running through your head right now.

But they are some really good questions.

So what can you do with your brand?

Social Media Graphics

You can and definitely want to use your colors and logo on your social media graphics.

Hopefully, during your branding process, you outlined what stock photography fit your brand so you can leverage that for social media too. If not it’s never too late to start.

Make a list of the elements that you want all your photos to use. Like the kind of lighting, colors, subjects etc.

If you want even more help I’ve got a great resource in my Library called the Image Style Guide that will help you create consistent social media graphics for your feeds. >>>LINK<<<

Favicon

Another great place and way to differentiate yourself online are to use a logo mark of your branding as your favicon.

You especially want to do this if you are using the generic favicon that browser put in if you don’t have anything.

If you don’t know what a favicon is here is an example from Trello & Amazon.

This is sometimes an overlooked spot on your online presence and can quickly point you out as a DIYer or new business owner.

Your Website

Your website should most definitely be leveraging your branding to help build recognition create a content strategy and grow your loyalty.

You can use almost all elements of your branding on your website…in fact I can’t think of anything you wouldn’t use.

You’ll use your:

  • logo
  • colors
  • messaging
  • photography
  • feel
  • vision
  • mission

Contracts

You can use your branding on your contracts.

This is a great place to up the professional level of your business documents and increases credibility with your clients.

Put your logo on your contracts, agreements, estimates, quotes, and invoices to help tie all them together and strengthen the recognition of your branding with new and returning clients.

Intentionally connect

Now that you have your brand for your business you are ready to go...but what do you do with it? How does it help you grow? Maybe that sounds familiar. If so you should check out this blog post and learn some more things you can do with your branding to attract more ideal clients to your business!
Now that you have your brand for your business you are ready to go...but what do you do with it? How does it help you grow? Maybe that sounds familiar. If so you should check out this blog post and learn some more things you can do with your branding to attract more ideal clients to your business!
Now that you have your brand for your business you are ready to go...but what do you do with it? How does it help you grow? Maybe that sounds familiar. If so you should check out this blog post and learn some more things you can do with your branding to attract more ideal clients to your business!
Now that you have your brand for your business you are ready to go...but what do you do with it? How does it help you grow? Maybe that sounds familiar. If so you should check out this blog post and learn some more things you can do with your branding to attract more ideal clients to your business!
Part of your branding is the message, vision, and personality you develop with your brand strategist.
Use that to your advantage and intentionally connect with people in the online space. How do you want people to think about your brand?
If you remotely want to build genuine relationships you’ve got to use your brand to talk to people not just talk at them on blast on social media.
Reach out to people you see consistently on social media and start a conversation with them. It’s not hard to stand out this way and start building a relationship, even before you get to Direct Messages, because so many people in the online space are just lurkers.
By taking an active role you will get noticed I promise.
Pick 2 – 3 accounts that you’d like to reach out to this week and leave some engaging comments on their social media posts. If the opportunity presents itself move the conversation into a private channel and keep building that relationship!

Brand the Behind The Scenes Elements

I know we get all excited and pumped to brand our outward presence but don’t forget about the internal stuff too.

The stuff that not everyone gets to see right out of the gate.

Make sure you are not only following your brand guidelines and messaging when you respond to emails but consider adding in a branded pdf or sending them to a particular blog post on your website that is related to what you are talking about.

Brand your desktop, tablet, and phone wallpapers. This you’ll see more often than anyone else but it makes you look polished and professional and is a great icebreaker if someone sees it and wants to know more about your business.

Hello, friends who you don’t know how to tell about the services you offer!

The other added benefit of this is a psychological mindset trick that helps you get in the right headspace to show up as your business and your brand.

Sometimes businesses use their branding to keep things consistent but it is also there to help their employees remember the mission and values and this can work for you too.

Now it’s your turn!

Do you have an unexpected place you use your branding? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Optimize Your Landing Page for Growth

Are your list numbers stuck and not growing? Maybe you need to make some tweaks to your landing pages to get them optimized for growth. Read this blog for tips to optimize your landing page

What is the best thing you can do to optimize your website strategy for conversions?

…I’ll tell you in just a sec

Optimizing your landing pages is going to help you cut down on the number of people who click away from your site…which in turn leads to getting more people on your list so that you can stay top of mind.

It’s really one of my favorite things to share with people when I talk about finding leads online for my business.

Once you have your site set up and optimized you’re going to see consistent conversions. Yes, it is nice to get a huge influx all at once but most strategies in the online space are long-term strategies. In other words getting stuff in place so that you can see results over the long haul.

So if you are only going to optimize one thing on your landing page what would the most important thing be?

My answer would be…

Creating action-oriented copy which I’ll get into here in a second.

But first thing is first. You need to audit your landing page and take stock of what kind of shape it currently is in.

You want to be critical and objective when you do your audit and consider getting feedback from others.

Ask questions like…

What are your initial impressions?

What questions do you have about the offer?

Are there any obstacles to keep you from filling in the form?

How does this page make you feel?

And start building from there.

Now onto my 5 tips for Optimizing Your Landing Page

Action-oriented copy

Like I mentioned above this is my number one suggestion for you if you are only going to do one thing…but you aren’t going to stop there are you? 🙂

I thought not.

Having action-oriented copy helps your website visitor know the 3 Big Ws.

The who, what, and why of your landing page.

They help your audience know WHO your offer is for…

WHAT they need to do to get it…

and WHY they want it.

Your action based copy gives them the next step so to speak so that everything is clear and your website visitor doesn’t click away.

Concise & Clear Benefit-driven Headline

Your headline is another area you should spend some time testing and optimizing.

It’s really important for connecting with your visitor and drawing them in into the copy.

You have only a few seconds to make an impression so you should make the most of it through your headline.

And why not just any headline but a benefit-driven one?

Becuase it outlines what their life or business is going to be like after getting access to your opt-in.

Your visitors are always asking…

“Why should I care? ”

Your benefit will answer that for them.

Bold contrasting CTA buttons

Not only does your action-oriented copy help you tell people what the next step of the process is having a contracting and bold CTA button helps these actions you want your visitor to take stand out.

This isn’t a time to be cute you want to be bold!

Consider using one of your accent colors that stand out well for just your CTA buttons.

You don’t want people to click away because they didn’t see the action step.

Cut down on distractions

This one is huge.

When you get to a landing page you want there to be ONE decision your visitor has to make.

To sign up for your list or leave.

You don’t want to provide a bunch of distractions that keep them clicking around.

Consider removing your header and footer.

Definitely get rid of your sidebar

And just keep the base elements needed for your branding.

People function best when there are one or two options and when you get them to a landing page you want to streamline that process as much as possible.

And don’t feel bad if you’ve optimized your landing page and you still get people who are clicking away.

If you’d done your homework and have optimized your landing page well this will guarantee that those less than perfect fit clients are the ones clicking away while the high-quality leads are filling out your form and getting on your list.

ABT

or…Always be testing

I know that when you finally get your website done especially those pesky landing pages done you don’t want to have to think about them again.

But this is where you can make or break your success.

And is the secret between your underperforming site and those that are getting conversions of 50%+

They have tested and optimized and found out what really does work for their audience.

Things to test:

  • Headlines
  • Different benefits
  • Layout
  • Photos
  • Background colors
  • Where elements fall in the order of the page
  • microcopy
  • Copy sizing
  • The amount of copy

There are a ton of different things you can test on your landing page to see what works the best for you. I’d love to say here is this awesome amazing landing page template that converts like crazy.

But it doesn’t really work like that and there is so much more that goes into the page psychologically than just grabbing what worked for everyone else.

You’ve really got to do your homework and have a clear idea of who your audience is and how you can help them with your opt-in to be able to create the best user experience on your landing page and create better conversions.

It’s a good idea to set aside a few hours a month to review the analytics, get feedback and make educated adjustments to your landing pages so that you can convert more going forward.

Don’t wait and do it once a year because you’ll have lost out on so many great opportunities.

Now it’s your turn!

What is your number one landing page strategy question? Let me know in the comments!

Are your list numbers stuck and not growing? Maybe you need to make some tweaks to your landing pages to get them optimized for growth. Read this blog for tips to optimize your landing page
Are your list numbers stuck and not growing? Maybe you need to make some tweaks to your landing pages to get them optimized for growth. Read this blog for tips to optimize your landing page
Are your list numbers stuck and not growing? Maybe you need to make some tweaks to your landing pages to get them optimized for growth. Read this blog for tips to optimize your landing page
Are your list numbers stuck and not growing? Maybe you need to make some tweaks to your landing pages to get them optimized for growth. Read this blog for tips to optimize your landing page