In the past six months we have done website makeovers for some amazing women business owners. For various reasons it was time for each redo, and one of our super powers at New Tricks is to see each client’s strong suit. We design a website that really shows who they are, who they are trying to reach with their message or product, and how a new site design can help build strong relationships with their visitors.
Our not-so-secret weapon is Know, Like, and Trust. It is our tried and true recipe for attracting the right clients and making valuable lasting connections. All of these businesses were thriving but not because of their websites, and now these women are having fun seeing what they can do with the best tools in their toolboxes. Their stories offer a chance to see how your website stacks up to (and can achieve irresistibility with!) these three verbs.
Why these 3 verbs?
A great company’s website needs to reflect the brand and or personality of the business, to mirror the irresistible presence that the company’s people have in person. In life, we build business relationships by connecting with people who become clients or customers by engaging with them to sharing information we know will be helpful to them. That’s the knowing part.
At a great company, we invite our clients in to visit, and we’re friendly, personal and approachable in our authentic style unique to us. That’s the likeability part.
A great company listens to what clients say they need and shows them that we get them and have a solution to their issues. We know that our visitors may not be ready to work with us, so we continue to keep in touch, share more of ourselves and expertise and over time we build relationships that lead to making sales or signing up new clients. That’s the trust part.
The goal: to present an attractive website that shows our visitors that we understand their issues and give them some information about the issues in a way that the feel like they can trust us enough to do business with us.
Today I wanted to show you the before and after of one of these websites and break down a successful makeover.
Case study: Elaina Designs
Lainey Papageorge of Elaina Designs is a phenomenal jeweler, delighting clients for over 35 years with her creative mix of precious gems and minerals.
Listen to the video below. You don’t have to watch the whole thing. Just the first few sentences are enough to get who Lainey is. She is more a stone whisperer, with gems and minerals coming alive as she works.
Like many artists, Lainey prefers to do her art rather than tinker with technology. And like many talented people she is not great at promoting herself. And most of us (as I have said many, many times) are not great at seeing our greatness and putting it out there to create an irresistible presence. Even if we have an irresistible presence in real life, and even if we are technical, it is daunting to bring that something special to life online.
Lainey had been relying on her loyal following to buy her jewelry and sing her praises all over the country since her previous website certainly did not do justice to her work or help bring in the right type of clients. She said, the type of people who contacted her from the website wanted their watches fixed or rings resized. This was like asking Monet to repaint a garden wall.
The original site has been created some years ago, did not display well on mobile devices and wouldn’t update without a tussle with Lainey’s assistant, Aalia.
The bigger problem, however, is that this site did not inspire the Know Like or Trust, so there was a disconnect from the irresistible presence that Lainey has in person and as a jeweler. The site simply did not show who she really is or the quality of her work. Knowing this, I couldn’t have been happier when she asked New Tricks for help. I knew we could help her shine as bright as her gems and jewels.
The amazing thing is that a day with Aalia, Lainey’s assistant and a jeweler in her own right, was all this took. We redid the theme, the homepage and the site structure. In one day, I worked on strategy and design and one of our programmers, Michael Earley, worked on the execution and before the day was over we trained Alia to complete the site by editing and adding additional products herself. With just a few 411 phone calls to us, they did a great job carrying out the site to completion.
Take a look at this screen shot of Lainey’s tired old website along with the shiny new version and read about what we did and why that worked to create buckets of Know, Like and Trust.
On Elaina Designs’ old website, the logo was so hard to read that a visitor could not determine what the company was about. The hero image was a slider, and in general sliders slow down your site and cause too much motion on the site. Making it worse: The little images on top of the slider also moved. The hero image (in the screenshot) was taken way too close, making it hard to tell what we were seeing and not showing the exquisite quality of Lainey’s work.
The About section on the home page hero area, was too little, too light and did not pop or make an impression for anyone new to Lainey and her work.
The remainder of her page was her store, but the random collection of mostly earrings did not represent the breadth or quality of her work either.
Unfortunately, the call to action in the sidebar (“Attention shoppers”) echoed the K-Mart slogan and subliminally linked her brand with that chain.
Lainey lost out on her video which should have been a valuable asset. It was probably not getting much play since the video was not actually on the site, instead there was a text box with a call to action to go view the video. It was a fail since this amazing video could have easily been added to the site itself, which would have made it more compelling.
All in all the page just felt bland, since it did not showcase Lainey or tell the story of her work in a way that would have attracted her right clients. Instead it attracted the watch repairs and the ring resizers. I don’t think that will happen with the new site.
What Now Is
For starters, we swapped the logo for another one of Lainey’s with her name in it. Next up was a (s)hero shot that felt very personal and set the stage for people understanding that Lainey is an extraordinary jeweler. I saw this frame in her video, and took a screen shot to create the hero image.
There was this beautiful part where she showed how she draws out the designs, incorporating the various stones. Her hands wearing her rings, were the focus of the shot, which made this clip work on many levels to demonstrate the quality of her actual jewelry and her expertise in designing new pieces. We added text (a quote from her) on the image to tell people who were looking for beautiful hand-crafted jewelry that they had arrived at the right place. The quote revealed her artist’s mind, care for her work and desire to help her clients achieve their dreams.
The next section invites the visitor to explore her jewelry designs in an organized fashion. Six images were chosen as being representative of each of the categories of her women’s jewelry. We then included a call to action inviting her visitors, which will be mostly women, to also view her men’s collection.
Lainey specializes in creating a variety of new pieces from the broken parts and unused pieces from her clients’ jewelry boxes. We featured two inspired case studies that worked so well they made me want to bring my baggie of jewels to Lainey for a makeover.
If for some reason a visitor was not already hooked, the video was presented large and inviting right on the page, which is surprisingly simple to do, by the way. How beautiful and engaging to see and hear the artist talk about her process in such a lovely, poetic way. She is telling the story of her work, and in her telling you know that you do not come across this type of artistry just anywhere.
The revised website now tells Lainey’s story in a way that new visitors are left feeling that they know who Lainey is, want to view her jewelry, and find out where they can see her work in person. They Know Lainey, Like Lainey and Trust Lainey and now she has an irresistible web presence!
When you understand that your website should be more than an online business card, and that it can be a tool to help build relationships with your visitors, you are ready to do the work. And it is nearly impossible to do a great job on your own. Somehow we always short sell ourselves. Or sometimes oversell ourselves.
Done right, your website can and should begin to attract and develop relationships with your right people just as if you struck up a conversation with someone who came to your shop or met you and loved your conversation at an event. I think we helped Lainey find her sweet spot.
Hear what Lainey and Aalia have to say about their brand new website:
My old website was outdated and though it generated phone activity and a high Google listing, they were the wrong jewelry clients— wanting watch batteries replaced or rings sized in an hour. New Tricks staff recognized my strength as a custom jewelry designer by creating a fresh look to the website. To my pure delight, the new site now functions both professionally and artistically for me. Redoing the site was relatively painless which was a pleasant surprise and less expensive than I had anticipated.- Lainey
Lainey’s new website beautifully captures her distinct skills and elegant style. Our old site looked cluttered and was consequently difficult to navigate and use. Judi and her team did a great job of helping us streamline the design and now it is both a pleasure to view and by the way, for me to update!- Aalia