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Beautiful and Useless - Avoiding The Super Model Website

Posted: September 9th, 2015 | By: Nate Croft

Beautiful and Useless - Avoiding The Super Model Website
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Here's a situation we've seen more times than we can count:

You are the marketing director for your company. The boss comes in and says to you, "Judy, we need a website with all the things! New things that make us get liked on Facebook and Twitter and all that social stuff!" You nod your head and reassure him you are on it!

You then:

  1. Find a web shop whose style you like
  2. Work with them to build a really pretty website
  3. Launch that pretty website
  4. Wait for the likes and new business to pour in

Here's the thing:

You're going to be very disappointed. What you have on your hands here is a Super Model Website. It's pretty, comes with lots of accessories, makes you feel good when you show it off, and does almost nothing for your business!

Why? All this new stuff is almost always based on appearances. And when I say appearances, I mean anything that is meant to impress without any value to the visitor. Are they cool? Sure. But image sliders, parallax elements, and animated icons need to work towards something even more important:

Making a connection.

How does a brand or business do that?


Have A Personality

You've got seconds. Mere seconds to make an impression on a potential fan or customer. So why in the world would you want to look like every other option in your space?

I'll tell you why. It's safe.

You can tell the boss, "That's the way Top Competitor Corp does it!" and your butt has been covered.

When you have a definite personality, you are memorable.

But let's imagine we're not just covering our junk-filled trunks. Let's imagine that we want to make an impression. If business was a party, you want to be one telling the most interesting stories, making the people around you feel awesome, and doing it with style. Because when you have a definite personality, you are memorable. And memorable is one of the best things you can be.

Having a personality for your business also make things much easier when it comes to the next step.


Telling Your Story

You have a story. You can tell it any way you like. And since you have a personality (even as a company), find a way to tell that story in such a way that we want to hear it.

And let's be clear. Tell it in a way that we WANT to hear it, not "can tolerate" hearing it.

Instead, be afraid of being forgettable.

Don't be afraid of sounding unprofessional. I can count on one hand the number of times I've heard a real business sound "unprofessional."

Instead, be afraid of being forgettable.


Make A Connection

Now you've got personality and a great story. What do you do with them?

You put them to work.

Make that shiny new website a place where you show customers how their lives are better because of your thing. Feature their stories. Be entertaining.

One of my favorite, and most memorable, examples of this is Blendtec's "Will It Blend?" videos. If you aren't familiar with this campaign, it's a spoof infomercial where they blend all sorts of gadgets and well, anything, in their blenders. New iPad? Toss it in the blender. It has 17 MILLION VIEWS. I'm not kidding. See for yourself.

I don't care about blenders. But I, along with those 17 million other people, have given Blendtec our hard earned attention. And you better believe that if I ever needed a blender that can chew through anything, I'd think Blendtec.

And that is the point.

They didn't tell me how many horsepower it has, what it is made of, or any other boring features I don't care about. They made me laugh while showing me these things. More than that, here I am telling you about it 5 years later.

Now What?

You might already have that shiny new website. And if so, it's time to start filling it with stories that people care about. Work with what you have. Use social media as an outlet. Curate great stories and make them easy to find.

If you don't and it's time for a refresh, consider making these ideas central from the very beginning. Make room for them on the site, and in the budget. You've got to be intentional about this. It doesn't happen on it's own.

And if you aren't naturally a story-minded person, stay tuned. We're cooking up some great stuff to help you.

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