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Growing your business is hard enough without trying to DIY your brand and website alone. 

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Create Ready-to-Buy Leads with an Elevated Brand and Website

Biz Strategy & Growth

I love networking with other entrepreneurs, and often, when we get into talking about what’s going wrong and what’s going right in our businesses, lead generation comes up. Either they’re struggling to attract folks at all or the people they are attracting aren’t a great fit. Typically, when I dig a little bit deeper, I find that they haven’t invested a lot of time or resources into their branding and website. 

While a robust and engaging social presence can go a long way toward helping you to qualify leads that are ready to convert, it takes a whole lot more consistent effort over a longer period of time to do that well. Whereas, an upfront investment in your brand and website can pay dividends for years to come, just running and humming along in the background (for the most part). 

The Phases of Customer Awareness

First, let’s level set on a definition of what a “ready-to-buy” lead is. To my mind, a ready-to-buy lead is one that has gone through all the phases of awareness and is ready to pull out their wallet to pay someone (or something) to solve their problem for them. So, real quickly, let’s run through the phases of awareness. 

  • Completely unaware. This is the “ignorance is bliss” stage. You don’t even know you have a problem yet. 
  • Problem aware. Uh oh. Now you are acutely aware that there is something going on and you need to find a solution. 
  • Solution aware. Okay. Now you’ve done a bit of legwork and you know that there is a solution out there that can help you. 
  • Product or service aware. At this stage, you’ve identified a handful of specific products or services that you think might work. 
  • Most aware. This is when your prospect knows you, likes you, is aware of your product or service, thinks it might help them. And they’re essentially ready to buy with the right timing, incentive, etc.

That “most aware” stage is the money maker. That’s where you want to help all your great-fit leads get. By building an elevated brand, crafting a high-converting website, generating new leads, and nurturing them to conversion. We’ll explore each of these steps below.

Building an Elevated Brand

There are brands and then there are elevated brands. Many business owners start out with a hodge-podge DIY brand that fills a gap but probably doesn’t hit the mark entirely. And that’s totally fine! We all have to start somewhere, and in many cases, that means getting out in traffic and seeing what works. 

However, when you’re ready to stop experimenting and start scaling (i.e., you’ve got a solid audience, you’ve developed an offer that works, and your delivery is top notch), there comes a point when a subpar brand and website just won’t support the lofty growth goals you’ve set for your business. An elevated brand sets you up for future success because it is premium, memorable, credible, consistent, and valuable.

The 5 Hallmarks of an Elevated Brand

  • Premium. An elevated brand is one that looks cohesive with the high-value product or service you’re delivering. Want to charge more? Your brand needs to present as premium. This is the difference between buying Starbucks and a cup of joe from the corner convenience store. At the end of the day, they’re both coffee, but you’re willing to pay 5x more for one of those options.
  • Memorable. No one’s going to buy from you if they can’t remember you exist. And when it comes time to make a purchasing decision, you want your brand to be top of mind for the high-level clientele you’re looking to attract. The truth is that if you’re speaking to everyone, you’re actually speaking to no one. A milquetoast message or visual positioning can dilute even the most powerful brand.
  • Credible. When we’re ready to invest in a premium product or service, we want to ensure we’re dropping our cash with someone who has the experience, background, and expertise to deliver. This requires an intentional mix of messaging and design, as both sides of the coin work together to make your brand look like one that’s worth spending money on.
  • Consistent. Let’s face it. As fun as it can be to play around with fonts, colors, styles, and tones, that’s not typically behavior you associate with elevated brands. We recognize certain high-end brands because they consistently show up and stand firmly in their own identity, without wavering. Think about some of your favorite brands. The ones you sign up to get emails from or the ones you follow on social. There are probably a handful you could pick out of a lineup just by the use of a particular phrase or a specific font. 
  • Differentiated. I see this again and again in various industries. I’ll go looking at websites and perusing social media, and just about every brand I come across in that niche looks nearly identical. While it can be tempting to follow the crowd, that’s not what’s going to attract customers and convert them into fans. To do that, you need to understand your unique positioning and how you stand out among the other amazing brands in your sphere. Lean in to what makes you different!

Crafting a High-Converting Website

There’s a popular adage in the online business community that says you don’t need a website to sell. And, while that’s probably true in the very beginning stages of your business, my belief is that it becomes less and less true the longer you’re in market and the higher your prices climb. 

Your website is one of the first places most people will go to learn more about you. And you have about 0.05 seconds to convey that you are credible before they toggle away to go check out someone else’s site. 

But if you can keep them sticking around for longer than that, your website can be one of your best (and least expensive) salespeople because, when you build it intentionally and strategically, it can help your customers move quickly through the stages of awareness. 

6 Key Elements of a High-Converting Website

  • Clear and concise messaging. This one’s a biggie. And if you’ve already done your legwork to build an elevated brand first, this step will be easier to accomplish. Make sure that you understand your audience well enough that you can craft copy for your site that speaks directly to them and what they are looking for. I once heard a business strategist say that people don’t really want a drill; what they are actually looking for is a hole in the wall. The content on your website should help your visitors understand that you understand why they need a hole in the wall and that you have the best solution to help them get one.
  • User-friendly navigation. This one’s a pet peeve of mine. I look at websites all day long, it seems. And perhaps one of the no-nos I see most often is people cramming their navigation bars with fifty gajillion links. In this case, quantity should not be the goal. Think about what the primary objective of your website is (maybe to have clients book a call, to provide education around what you do, to get people to apply for a specific offer). Whatever that goal may be, your navigation should help to funnel people to that end. Add too many other “shiny objects,” and there’s a high likelihood that a good portion of your visitors will get lost along the way. Strip down your navigation (I recommend no more than six, but the fewer the better) to make it easier for your audience to know what to do next.
  • Mobile responsiveness. The majority of people access the internet on their phones these days. That’s just a fact. So if you’re ignoring the mobile experience your visitors are getting, you’re missing the mark. Your mobile website should be just as engaging, easy to navigate, and polished (if not more so) than your desktop version. A good website designer will always take this into account and ensure that, regardless of the device your visitors use to access your site, you look credible and trustworthy. 
  • Fast load times. Have you ever jumped on someone’s website just to sit there twiddling your thumbs while the page loads? Not a great first impression. While videos and graphics are awesome elements of any website, you want to make sure that they are optimized so they don’t bog down your load time. That video you love so much isn’t going to do you any good if folks don’t stick around long enough for it to buffer. Again, this is something that any website designer and developer worth their salt will be all over, but if you’re DIYing or working with a less experienced provider, you’ll want to double check this.
  • Calls-to-action. Tell people what you want them to do! Experienced copywriters know that strategically placed and engagingly written CTAs can make or break an otherwise great webpage. People need to know what you want them to do – whether that’s book a call, check out another page, ask a question, send you an email, etc. Otherwise, they’ll just keep clicking around with no real destination in mind. When it comes to CTAs, I love to write them in first person (I’m So Ready vs. Learn More) because I think it adds urgency and personalization that makes them more compelling to click. 
  • Social proof and testimonials. High-converting websites don’t skimp on the social proof! I had a conversation recently with an amazing client and recommended that she add some client logos to her homepage to give people an idea of the stellar brands she’s worked with. While she’d collected permissions to do so over the years, she’d failed to add them to her site. What a missed opportunity! Social proof can take lots of forms, but the most common are testimonials, logos, awards , and publications/media features. Recently, a lot of folks have also started adding widgets to their site that show when someone else has purchased their service or product. If you’ve got a high-volume offer, this might be something else to consider.

Generating Ready-to-Buy Leads

Once you have an elevated brand and high-converting website, the next step is to generate those leads! In order for these assets to be as effective as possible, you’ve got to generate traffic to the places you’re showing up – whether that’s your website (blogging, podcasting, etc.), your social, or even in-person events.

4 Strategies for Generating Leads

There are a few routes you can go to get eyeballs on your elevated brand. This list offers a few examples.

  • Direct traffic via search engine optimization (SEO). When done right, search engine optimization (SEO) will do some of this for you organically,  in the background. But it typically takes six months or more for SEO to really kick in and start working for you. 
  • Email marketing. Got a great lead magnet or opt in? Share it everywhere! Get people on your list so that you can send them targeted content that helps to move them through the stages of awareness. An elevated brand will make sure that these touchpoints feel consistent and also build credibility while directing your audience to other assets.
  • Organic social media. My best suggestion, when it comes to organic social media, is to pick a platform or two and stick with them. Consistency is the name of the game here. If you hate TikTok, you won’t be consistent with it. Find the social platform(s) that you love (or at least gives you the least ick) and start sharing your content as frequently as it makes sense. Bonus points if you pick a platform where you know your ideal clients are hanging out, but that take a bit of research to determine.
  • Paid advertising. If you’ve got the budget and the bandwidth, paid ads can be a great way to attract new folks into your ecosystem. And now that you’ve upgraded your brand and website, it might make a lot of sense to spend some of your budget to get in front of more people. A mistake I see people making a lot is putting the cart before the horse (i.e., spending tons of money on ads to direct people to a sketchy-looking website with a piecemeal, DIY brand).

The Final Step: Nurturing Leads into Customers

Alright, you’ve got the elevated brand, the high-converting website, and the leads coming in. Now you’re ready to nurture those qualified leads into customers!

Really, this is all about consistency (which we’ve already covered above) and content. Make sure that your content feels personalized, relevant, and compelling for the audience you want to reach. If you’re not sure what your audience wants, ask them! Do a poll in your weekly newsletter or your Instagram stories. Do a little legwork to get under the hood and figure out what’s keeping them up at night. Then, generate content that adds value and makes them feel seen and heard. 

A solid sales and closing strategy also makes sense here. But I’m not a sales strategist, so that’s where I’ll stop.