We’ve been hearing the same sad story from thought leaders who come to us looking for help with their brands. They get partway through a website project, and it goes off the rails. Eventually, the designer or developer ghosts them and they are left with a half-built website that isn’t making them any money. It becomes a virtual paperweight.
A few Google searches later and they’re knocking on our door with a dazed look, wondering where they went wrong.
We know exactly what happened. In fact, we could totally turn these scenarios into a reality TV show. I bet we could get at least 6 seasons out of that. What do you say, Netflix?
Cyndi, came to us a few weeks ago, having been ghosted by a previous web developer who built “exactly what she asked for” and then stopped answering her emails when things started to not work quite right.
She hired a handful of other designers and developers who patched a few things here and there and then shrugged when she complained that she wasn’t getting very many sales from the site.
Cyndi is a high-performing thought leader with a pretty good following and she’s a lovely human being. After speaking with her for just a few minutes, we knew the common denominator in her horror story was not her.
We actually spotted the real issue within the first few minutes of the call.
Her brand foundation had some cracks. And not the kind you fill with a little spackle and a putty knife. Or by adding some fancy widget to the site.
The real issue is that the first few people Cyndi hired did not understand her vision. In fact, they never really asked her what it was. They jumped right into design and development mode by asking her what styles she liked. Then they hacked together a template with a few plug-and-play widgets on a limited platform, and told Cyndi to fill in the blanks for content. They told her it’s all “user-friendly” and “you can update it yourself”.
Cyndi quickly found out that although she could update the website herself, she was too busy to learn how. Ain’t no thought leader got time for that!
And when she finally found a moment to update a page, her edits often made the page layout wonky because her text was too long or too short. And cropping photos to fit the space on a page? She didn’t have a clue how to do that.
It was very frustrating.
Cyndi’s first mistake was hiring a “developer” without doing her due diligence. There are a lot of people out there calling themselves a “developer” or a “designer” because they built a site on a drag-and-drop platform, but they’ve never even touched a line of code, opened Photoshop, or know the first thing about brand strategy.
That’s great if you need a simple site that won’t change, but any successful thought leader knows you need to be able to adapt your site, add landing pages, and do a whole lot more on the fly. And do it quickly!
As Cyndi’s business grew, the site could not handle the functionality she needed to automate and expand her product offerings. She was losing money every single day because her site was stuck.
After a quick assessment of Cyndi’s current site, and social media and hearing the vision she had for her business, we recommended Cyndi start by repairing the foundation of her brand through our Get Clear Intensive.
We spent some time digging into Cyndi’s brand, talking through her goals, ideal clients, and more. We pinpointed her brand’s strengths and weaknesses and determined what tech challenges we’d need to overcome. We helped Cyndi set short-term and long-term goals and rank them by how achievable they were. By the time Cyndi completed the workshop, she had a clear roadmap of how to bring her vision to life.
And even better, she had a team who could handle all of her requests and build her a site that actually makes money instead of eating it.
Oh, and her new team (it’s us, by the way) knows how to write code and uses proven, professional tools to get the job done. We’ve been working with strong thought leader brands for over 15 years, including JJ Virgin, The New York Ad Council, Laila Ali, Katalyst MD, Sunlife Organics, Optimum EFX, Millennial Health, and Allison Maslan/Pinnacle Global Network. We know our $%^&*.
Cyndi now has exactly what she wants. She’s learned she can’t build a strong brand without a solid foundation. She’s built up her confidence knowing she has a team that can grow with her and support her business. And her business? It’s growing like a beanstalk on a double espresso drip.
If you’re not getting what you want out of your brand or website, give us a call.