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On today’s episode of the Rebel Boss Ladies Podcast, we’re talking all about and you can easily design a website that will get you more product sales, without breaking the bank!
I feel like there are a lot of ways that digital product sellers go wrong with their websites, and trust me – this is coming from a point of experience. In the past, I’ve definitely created websites for my business that didn’t maximize their full potential to promote product sales.
A lot of times, people have the idea to start a business and know they need a website, so they fumble through designing a site without really having a business plan or knowing how they’re going to make money.
Many people pick templates that look cool, or colors that look pretty, but end up throwing together a lot of different brand elements that may look good but don't have a lot of strategy.
If this sounds familiar to you, chances are your website is not doing the job you want it to be doing, or not doing as great of a job as it should be doing.
That’s why I’ve invited Jennifer Lyker, the founder of Inksplash Designs, to be a guest on our show today. Jennifer is a WordPress wizard and unapologetic Netflix binger who creates websites for busy and overwhelmed entrepreneurs. Through her 15+ years in business, she’s helped hundreds of clients find their ideal clients, make more money, and reach their goals faster — all through their website.
With her blend of web-geek expertise, eye for visual design, and done-with-you process, she helps entrepreneurs reclaim the time they spend fussing with and yelling at their websites.
Today, she’s going to teach us all about designing a website that’s actually going to help you sell your digital products – a SUPER important topic, and something we haven’t covered on the Podcast yet.
Note: in this episode we’re talking about websites that will help you sell digital products with a sales funnel, not designing an e-commerce site!
So if you’re an online entrepreneur selling digital products with a sales funnel, what is the #1 most important part of designing and creating a website that actually sells more digital products?
Jennifer says that having great copy is one of the most important parts of creating a website experience that is going to be successful in selling digital products.
A site can be well designed, with fancy design elements, great fonts and all the bells and whistles, but your message is what really sells your products. It’s important to show that you understand what your audience is struggling with, and how your product offers a solution and a transformation.
Jennifer says that one trap she sees a lot of entrepreneurs fall into is not really talking about how you’ll help your audience. Our tendency, when we think about what we include on the homepage of a website, is to write who we are and what we do. That’s fine, but it doesn't really necessarily explain how we’re going to help our audience.
One of the biggest changes you can make to your website copy is right away setting up the value proposition and demonstrating to your visitors that you know and understand what they're struggling with.
You can do this for any digital product – a course, PDF, video series or more. Right off the bat, you want to evoke the emotions of your visitor by naming and outlining their struggles, which will compel them to buy the solution you’re presenting.
After you identify the problem, the next step is to flip it and offer the solution to that problem. Explain how your service or product will help to fix what your audience is struggling with.
You can also include some kind of social proof on your website, like testimonials or case studies, to help with your messaging. Social proof helps to show that your product has value because it helped others with their problems.
Keep this in mind while you’re writing your copy – our tendency is always to talk about ourselves first, but to write compelling copy you need to flip it around and talk about the visitor first.
Even though Jennifer is a website designer, she still emphasizes that creating compelling copy is the most important part of your website.
The marketplace on all areas of the internet is so crowded now. So to really stand out, draw your audience in and compel them to buy, you need to have both great copy and optimize your design elements.
Jennifer says she used to design her website before she had content, but now she does it the other way by creating her content first and then building a design around it. It’s important to work in this order because you really want your messaging to come first, and then use your design to highlight what you’re trying to say.
It’s true that there are some sales pages and websites out there that are selling successfully, even though they’re not the prettiest pages or look outdated. This just goes to show why and how creating compelling copy is so important to sell your products.
Even so, while it’s true that you can have the greatest copy in the world and can sell without having any kind of design whatsoever, a nice website design can go a long way to help you to make sales.
If a viewer is looking at two websites with similar copy, messaging and products, and one of them is more professionally designed than the other, they’ll probably trust that professionally designed website.
Having a well-designed site shows that you put more time into your business and you value what you’re selling. Whether you do it well yourself, or you hire someone to design your website and branding, this consistency will help your online presence across the board.
Consistency in your brand and design elements can really set your design apart from someone else who is doing the same thing.
A general misconception about branding, though, is that you need to invest a lot of money into paying someone to develop your branding for you.
According to Jennifer, this isn’t true. There are a ton of great ways that you can DIY your brand and your website, even if you’re just getting started with your business and don’t have a lot of money for your website or logo.
Take a look at some of Jennifer’s easy DIY brand and design tips:
1. Use a simple template or theme – whether you’re starting your website on Squarespace, WordPress with Shopify, or another platform, they all have templates and themes that you can use. Some of them are better than others. Jennifer recommends finding one that’s as simple as possible because you can build on that – don’t try to jump into a complicated theme right off the bat because trying to fit your own image and look into those can sometimes be difficult.
2. Stick to just two fonts – Jennifer recommends that you pick two fonts and stick to those. Use one for the headlines and one for the body copy. This will keep things easy for you to manage and your branding consistent. Google Fonts is great for this because they offer around 600 fonts to choose from.
3. Limit your color palette – Like your fonts, you only want to be using two to three colors maximum in your branding, maybe with black and white mixed in. Use those same colors and shades for all of your design. This will also simplify your workflow – if you’re creating graphics, you know exactly which colors you’ll be using and don’t have to decide between multiple colors.
4. Keep all of your design elements consistent – once you decide on your fonts and colors, make sure to always use only those design elements on your website, social media graphics and in your newsletter to make sure everything looks cohesive and professional. This will also mean you don’t have to spend as much time or energy when designing – you’ll always know which colors and fonts to choose!
5. Incorporate the human element into your branding – don’t forget that people are choosing you and your product because of you. Don’t be afraid to add some personal perspective in your copy and in your branding. Your about page or social media content are great places to add in that human element.
One of the most important elements of a site that sells is a very clear call to action. You can use your design and your copy across your website to strengthen that call to action and get your audience to buy your product.
The easiest way to do this? Make sure that there is a clear and easy way for people to actually purchase your product. Jennifer says that you’d be surprised about how many sites don’t actually have that.
“It can be as simple as on your homepage: here's my product. Click here to buy it. I have seen websites where they have this great sales pitch and there's no button. I don't know what it is that makes people forget about that important step, but it's a simple, but very vital part of the process.”
Your “buy now” button should stand out – make sure that it’s a different color and very visible on the page so that your viewer has a clear path to purchase your product.
A key piece of this is also making sure that your “buy now” button is actually linked to your sales page or to your cart. If you’ve skipped that important step, you’re pretty much guaranteeing that you’re going to turn away potential buyers.
Text links are also fine, if they’re in a blog post and contextually relevant to what your viewer is reading. But make sure to use a different font color or size, underline the link or somehow make sure it stands out so that your viewer notices it.
Another important part is making sure that you have your Call to Action repeated throughout your site, because you don’t really know where people are entering. They may be finding you on Google or coming in from a social media post and may land in different places, so make sure that your call to action is repeated somewhere on every page.
You can repeat your call to action in a sidebar or in a footer, a link in a blog post, included in your navigation bar and more. If you repeat it once on every page, or maybe twice on long pages, you’ll make sure that your visitors are directed to the right spot.
Make the text on your call to action more compelling to get more clicks – don’t just say “click here to buy” or something similar. If you rephrase it like “I want to solve my problem” that gives the visitor a feeling that yes, they’re taking action and moving towards fixing their struggle.
Jennifer emphasizes that it’s totally possible for you to build your website by yourself if you don’t have the funds to hire someone right now. There are a lot of great DIY tools out there, so it’s absolutely possible to put together a website that sells your digital product.
But one thing that Jennifer notices a lot with her clients is that after they get their site up and running, they don’t have the time to do the regular maintenance or troubleshooting on their site because they’re doing the more important day-to-day work in their business.
It's inevitable that something on your website will break, but it would probably take a lot longer for someone that doesn’t have web design experience to fix those problems than a professional. And that’s when it’s important to hire out help to fix those issues.
Jennifer says that when you’re spending your time fixing tech problems instead of supporting your existing customers, promoting your current products, or doing all the other things that you need to do for your business, that’s a problem.
Having a layer of support with a website designer or expert that you can call on when something goes wrong, or you need to spend time updating your site, can go a long way to make your website more successful. If you have this support, then when things break they can get fixed faster, and the faster those things are done the sooner you can start making more money.
Time is money – you probably could better use your time getting more leads, promoting your content, all that other stuff that's actually going to drive the needle in your business in the right direction, rather than working in the weeds where somebody else is probably better and quicker at it than you are.
Your website will attract an audience, but part of that audience may be warm (they’re familiar with you or interested in your content or niche) or cold (they’ve never seen you before). It may be the first time they’ve seen you in some capacity – so how do you ensure that your website is captivating and helpful for anyone in your audience, whether they’re brand new or warmer?
Jennifer says it all goes back to your copy and how its presented. Your value proposition is going to be incredibly important, because someone who just stumbles across you will want to know immediately what you and your product are about.
That’s where your compelling copy and personal touch is important, because it will help shift your brand new viewer to a warm audience within the first few minutes of visiting your site.
Communicating all of this up front is important. The quicker that your audience feels like they know you, the faster they will trust you and will be more likely to buy your products.
Don’t forget to pick up Jennifer’s freebie, Operation: Website Launch. This is an 8-step system for bringing your website to life.
Creating an effective website for your business can feel like a daunting task. By using this proven, step-by-step system, you’ll be able to bring your site to life with more ease and less frustration!
//LINKS IN THE EPISODE//
Check out Jennifer’s website, Inksplash Designs
Pick up your free copy of Operation: Website Launch, an 8-step system for bringing your website to life