A Bike Shop’s Example of Good Marketing

I was chit-chatting with my friend the other day about his business, and as he kept talking about all the challenges he was facing, I couldn’t help but think to myself… “oh wow, it’s really costing him to live without my products or my services.” Or better yet, a bit more dramatically…” oh wow, he can’t live without me!”

I know we were told in counseling that when someone shares their problems, they are not necessarily asking for solutions. We are to nod, acknowledge, and repeat or summarize their frustration to let them know we are listening.

But, sometimes….we just HAVE to chime in. Especially knowing that it’s costing them money, opportunities, growth, and success if they don’t listen to us. LOL.

In business, we call this scenario “The Stakes”. What are you helping your customers overcome? Or, what are you helping your customers avoid?

We are currently in the “Power of the Landing Page” series. If you missed our last conversation, we talked about the most essential part of the landing page design, the Hero Section. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

After designing your perfect Hero Image and header, you now move on to the next section, “The Stakes.” In this section, you are communicating to your customer that there’s a problem that you are facing, and if you don’t fix it, it will COST you something.

Let’s do an example of a bike shop. The bike shop owner has a store in a cool, touristy beach town, and during the peak season, the traffic gets a bit overwhelming. She hears a lot of her local residents complaining about it. Also, the town is small enough for a lot of people to walk to coffee shops and grocery stores. So, she started an idea, a movement, a campaign to bring a lot of locals interested in purchasing a bike.

On “The Stake” section of her landing page, she wrote, “Life is too short to sit in traffic.” This resonates with the locals who complained about the traffic; they were frustrated because they felt like they were wasting their precious time away from enjoying their day in their beautiful beach town.

Then, in the next line, she wrote, “Traffic is no fun, don’t be held back.” This confirmed their thought on why the traffic made them frustrated. Not having fun, which is important to the locals in a beach town, and being held back, which is what they were feeling as it being a waste of their precious time. This is the COST. 

The final line she chose was, “You were designed for more.” Whoa!! I love the word “design” here because it gives a sense that there’s a better, more creative way that was strategically created specifically for the local residents dealing with the traffic issue. The entire line also gives a positive solution of hope.

So, let’s put it all together for a perfect “The Stakes” section for this bike shop.

Traffic is no fun, don’t be held back.
You were designed for more.

Here’s the actual designed image.
I hope this gives you a better design sense when you are creating your landing page. This being the second section of the landing page creates an urgency in your message to engage your audience right away, and what better way to do that than to let them know what is COSTING them to not buy your product or to not use your services?

By the way, if you are a good student and want to read ahead on our Landing page series, these resources I am giving you have been well-researched, developed, and tested by the New York Times bestselling author and marketing guru Donald Miller in his book, Marketing Made Simple. You can purchase your book here to dive deeper and learn more about how this format has been derived and the effects it will have on your brand.

So, are you ready to design your landing page? Well, not yet…we have more sections to go over that are essential to finalizing the perfect marketing landing page. In the meantime, what is the cost of someone not doing business with you? What are you helping your customers overcome? What are you helping your customers avoid? I would love to know and help you draft your “THE STAKES” section. Send it to me.


Rain and the Landing Page Design

While reading this, I don’t know where you are, but I hope you are cozy, warm, and safe. We’ve been experiencing some unusual amount of rain here in Southern California. It’s raining right now as I write this, and I just heard that it’s in record numbers. Funny rain story: when I was dating Maria (we are now married…lol), I remember driving through the neighborhood in my car during a mid-summer day, and it started pouring…I mean, like crazy pouring…which doesn’t happen often in the Reno Desert where we grew up. She wanted me to stop the car. When I pulled over, she got out and started running, dancing, and jumping up and down in the rain in the middle of the street. She came back into my car, soaked and laughing hysterically. I think she enjoyed herself.

Fast forward 30+ years, she constantly checks the weather forecast and takes her umbrella if there’s even a slight 5% chance of rain…apparently, she does not want to get wet anymore. What happened to the crazy person I married? Hahaha

So, what does rain have to do with our new “The Power of a Landing Page” series? Absolutely nothing. I just wanted to share.

Back to the landing page, let me first remind you again why a landing page is so crucial to your business. If done correctly, it can be one of the most powerful tools for your growth. Your landing page’s primary goal is to convert visitors into leads or customers. How? By focusing on the specific call-to-action (CTA), such as filling out a form, making a purchase, or subscribing to their email communication..etc. You guide your visitors toward taking the desired action. A standard homepage on your website holds an entirely different purpose than what a Landing page can do. You can read more about it here.

Let’s get into the design of your landing page. As you think through how to structure your wireframe, let’s focus on the first thing your visitor will see: the Hero Image and the Message. You only get one chance to make a first impression. The Hero is the top section of your landing page and the first impression a customer will have about your product or service. You need to be very clear on what you are offering so that it will pique their interest and read the rest of the content. To do that, you’ll need these three main components:

  • What you offer
  • How it will make the customer’s life better
  • What they need to do to buy it.

It would help if you tried not to be too “touchy-feely” here by adding a vague and unclear message even though it sounds great. For example, “Imagine the possibilities,” “Unlock Your Potential,” “Experience the Difference,” or “Shape your Destiny.” For your landing page, you need to be direct and precise. Let your visitors know immediately what problem you solve for them. Let them know immediately what you offer, how you improve their life, and what they need to do next.

For example: (CTA is in Bold)

  • Injury lawyers committed to helping you get your life back: Give us a call
  • Great managers aren’t born, they’re trained: See how we do it
  • Surprise and delight your guests with handcrafted desserts: Order now

To take it further, I created this e-book to help you create that perfect first impression. You can download it here. Don’t worry, it’s free.

Here’s a quick homework you can do to get started on your landing page design. Answer this question: What should your hero message say?

Reply with your one-liner message, and I’ll give you some feedback.

I am looking forward to hearing from you. Tell me a funny story about you and the rain if you can’t think of a one-liner message. 🙂



Knowledge is Power

I went to Costco yesterday in the mid-afternoon. It was a bit busy and everyone was beelining to the cart area to claim one for their shopping pleasure/comfort before they ran out. Instead of heading over to the typical area like everyone else, I looked over to the abandoned area. It’s a close vicinity of where the carts are positioned but often you’ll see two tangled carts stuck together on the side. I call this the “abandoned area”. No one goes there. As you can obviously observe, someone struggled with these two carts and they are no longer desirable. And I am sure some choice words were uttered under his breath. The visual makes me giggle.

I am an expert. I started working for a grocery store right when I got my driver’s license. My job was to first make eye contact and say hello to the customer, unload the goods from the carts onto the conveyor, then bag it. I’ll load the bags neatly back into the cart and ask if they need help out to their car. I also had to always be continuously aware of the cart inventory…if we were running low, I needed to run out to the parking lot and gather them back into the store.  So, as you can see, I dealt with carts a bunch. And yes, I also dealt with tangled carts that were abandoned. In fact, I became so good at constantly untangling the stuck carts all day long, I became a “tangled cart whisperer”, yes, that’s right, I became an expert un-tangler. Is that even a word? It is now.

What’s my point? Well, ever since my claim and honor of the title, “tangled cart whisperer” I no longer became afraid. For the last almost 40 years of my life, I walked proudly and confidently towards the tangled carts serving two purposes. One, to untangle and save someone the trouble, and two, to show off. The simple knowledge and experience made me the hero…in my own mind of course. Thus, my conclusion. Knowledge = Power.

I am going to start a new series on digital marketing to help you land more clients, create more leads, and bring more traffic to your website. Let’s call this series “The Power of a Landing Page.” I believe once you understand more in-depth what a landing page is (and is not), and how to structure it, design it, and bring traffic to it, you’ll become powerful. So, here it goes.

First, the biggest question I hear and one of the biggest confusion in the digital marketing world is the difference between a Homepage on your website and a Landing Page on your website.  Let me break it down for you because they serve two different purposes.

  • Homepage:
    • The homepage is the main or default page of a website.
    • It typically serves as an entry point to the entire website and provides an overview of the site’s content and navigation options.
    • It often includes a site’s logo, and main navigation menu, and may showcase featured or recent content.
    • The homepage is designed to cater to a broad audience and direct visitors to different sections of the website.
  • Landing Page:
    • A landing page is a standalone web page created for a specific marketing or advertising campaign.
    • It is designed with a focused goal, such as promoting a product, service, or event, or capturing leads.
    • Unlike the homepage, a landing page usually lacks extensive navigation options to keep visitors focused on the intended action.
    • Landing pages are often used in online advertising and are optimized for a particular audience or keyword.

In summary, the homepage is the central hub of a website, providing a general overview and navigation to various sections. On the other hand, a landing page is a specialized, standalone page created for a specific purpose, often related to marketing or advertising, with a focused call to action.

So, without this knowledge, what is the number one mistake that people make? They spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars creating an Ad to bring traffic to the WRONG page. In fact, the content on the Ad and the page that the Ad leads to creates more confusion than sales.  So, if you’ve run Ads for your business but don’t have a Landing Page, or you’ve never run an Ad to direct traffic to your content for leads, I am going to help you create and design the most effective landing page. I want to make you powerful and not be afraid of the unknown world of tangled digital marketing.

I’ll take the time to show you how the information should flow and how certain positioning of your narrative can spark someone’s attention and in a quick moment or so be engaged in your company…just by being landed on your landing page. I’ll go over what types of images work and why it’s important to use certain taglines to help connect and be relatable which can lead to an interest in someone in your company.

Are you ready to be powerful? Are you ready to tackle the tangled web of digital mess and confusion that you’ve set aside for abandonment? Let’s get to work. Stay tuned.


What Keeps You Up At Night?

Think about the last time that your heart was so heavily burdened and your mind was going 100 miles per hour, you just couldn’t sleep. What were you thinking about?

If you know me, I am a great sleeper. I take 30 minutes picking out the right movie to watch, get all cozy, and after a couple of minutes of the opening scene…I am out! Most nights, I fall asleep before my head hits the pillow. Except for when I have something heavy on my mind.

Last week, we found out our dog Sugar (sweet Maltese of 15 years) became terminally ill. She stopped eating and her kidney was failing. They say 15 years is a good long life for most dogs, but I just couldn’t sleep thinking about missing her and also trying to figure out what next steps to take.

As a business, we always have to ask ourselves, “What problem are you solving?” But when we ask our customers the same question, they often fumble around not knowing exactly what their needs are…until, we ask them this: “What keeps you up at night? What is it about your current situation that causes such a heavy burden that you are not able to peacefully sleep?”

During our painful research of “what next steps to take” with our beloved Sugar, we ran across a lot of websites that offered the same solution for our heaviness, but they did it in totally different ways. I would like to share with you why we chose who we chose and how they met our expectations and delivered exactly what we hoped for. A peaceful transition for Sugar into her next adventure.

Why we chose this company:

1. Welcome Section: Right away, they acknowledged what we are going through and offered comfort. But what I really loved about what they said was that the focus wasn’t on the pet owners (us), it was on the pet…what they were going through and what we all could do to help. In this story, they made the pet the hero, not the pet owners. This captured my attention right away.

2. Information Section: They started educating us. They showed us why the services they offered were right for us. It answered the most pressing questions we have and it included a link to more in-depth discussions, research, and videos helping us understand and create a clear picture of the process and expectations.

3. Testimonial Section: They offered insight to the people who have used their service. Their testimonials were not templated or generic; they were real, heart-felt testimonials in letter form explaining in detail how much they appreciated the service and why.

4. About Us Section: Even though they were all well-qualified doctors, they focused very little on their own accomplishments but more on their own story of childhood and how they became animal lovers, and why they currently love what they do and how it affects people’s lives.

Why we didn’t choose the other companies offering the same services:

1. Welcome Section: They didn’t take the time to acknowledge the visitors’ heaviness that brought us to their site in the first place. They mainly focused on all the different services they offer right away. Felt very salesy and untrustworthy.

2. Information Section: It was vague and didn’t offer additional resources or videos to educate or address the difficult questions or even controversial issues or philosophies about their services.

3. Testimonial Section: Mostly short, non-descriptive and templated testimonials. They didn’t offer any personal stories or even detailed examples of what was helpful.

4. About Us Section: Heavy emphasis was on the credentials of the doctors. Their education and previous experiences. Felt cold…like reading a resume.

This is why copywriting matters. It’s the latest word in our definitions series, and it really does have the power to shape people’s first impression of you. Although I’ve never met or spoken to anyone from the first company, just from reading the copy on their website, I knew in my heart, it was the right company. And it was.

We all know how hard it is to find solutions to meet our most important needs. Here’s to being that company that answers people’s questions with the empathy they are looking for so that on sleepless nights when people go searching, they find you.


Top 3 Website Design Tips

First impressions are crazy. I read about a Princeton research project where people watched a video of political candidates for a microsecond, and then they were asked to predict who would win the election. Turns out the subjects correctly guessed the winner 70% of the time.

We make millions of snap judgments throughout the day, and once that impression is formed, it’s very hard to change it.

I know what you’re thinking: “Hanju, why are you talking about first impressions? I don’t need your help with my online dating!” But here’s the thing: this same thinking actually applies to our professional lives as well.

The big question is, what do you think is the first impression of your business? Nowadays, (much like dating), people are probably making their first impression before they even meet you based on what they see online. So… what would be their first impression of your website?

I wrote a guide to help businesses consider the 3 aspects of your website design that are absolutely essential in creating that perfect first impression. Here’s a link to the guide – but if you don’t want to download it and read through 11 pages, here’s a quick summary.

It all starts with the HERO IMAGE.

  • The hero image is the first image or message (or both) that people will look at when they arrive at your website. If it doesn’t make an impact in the first nanosecond, you may have already lost the customer. How do you make sure it connects?

Glad you asked – here are my top 3 tips:

  1. Evoke Emotion: The image or the message should make you “feel” something. There’s a much greater chance that they will be intrigued and moved to continue reading.
  2. Be very clear: Your message, and how it introduces who you are/the services you offer should be obvious. Don’t make them try to figure it out or be too clever – it will just frustrate them. Tell people exactly what you do and how it benefits them.
  3. Tell them what to do now: This is called the “Call To Action” or CTA. Every website should have a CTA to help direct people toward eventually becoming your customer.

In the guide, I also include some great examples and visuals so you can see what others have done successfully if you want to learn more. Here’s that link again.

I hope this helps you think through how you can make a positive first impression on all the potential customers that come to your site. And if you’re single… I hope they also swipe right.


Why Design Matters for Your Website

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I am a runner. I logged close to 1000 miles last year, and I am tracking to do the same this year. It is important to me that I have the right running shoes that are a proper fit and that allow me to run at my best. So why is that that when I am shopping for running shoes, I neglect looking for the features of how my next shoes can help me run better, faster and free from injury, but I first walk over to the specific brand section and I am immediately drawn to the design – colors, styles and overall look of the shoes before I even try them on?

Psychology breaks it down:

What is a brand?  “It’s an emotional and intellectual association people make with a specific person or thing.” What does that mean? Well, it means that a pair of Nike running shoes is not just materials sewn together to protect and cushion your feet while running, it is a competitive, overachiever with lean and defined muscular physique exclaiming “just do it!” A brand is filled with the characteristics, traits and hopes of a living person. It means that somewhere in my subconscious mind, I want to be that guy, and if I wear these shoes, I am half way there. I just have to work on the lean and defined muscular physique…P90X anyone?

Why we choose Design over Function?  Because most of us perceive good design as someone who does good work. It manages our expectations and experience in many ways. How we feel at that moment is going to help us engage and even buy. And it’s directly influenced by the design.

What does this mean for you?  When it comes down to it, design IS your brand. It reflects who you are, what you do, and what you care about. For your company, it reflects your culture, your purpose and your vision. Your website is like a room – the only room in your house you can show to the world. It’s where every item is displayed for the sole purpose of impressing visitors to buy products, follow your ideas, or use your services. яндекс Does your current website reflect who you are? I’ve added a quick checklist for you to find out.

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