So I was grabbing the mail a few months ago and I was super surprised to see a little package from Teachable, the software I use to host all my online courses.
And do you know what it was??
A cute little plaque congratulating me on passing the million dollar mark in course sales!
So what did it take to go from broker than a joke university student, running a little 1:1 web design side hustle to bringing over $1 Million in online sales in just a few short years?
It is not as elaborate as you think!
It didn’t take some super fancy website coding knowledge, crazy trending web design skills, or some hella-expensive software to make it happen.
I didn’t even study it in school (this girl got her masters in Recreation & Leisure… I swear it’s a real thing.)
When creating my $1 Million dollar website sales strategy, I just stuck to the 4 simple steps I’ll be sharing with you in this video/post.
Before we dive in, I should mention that your revenue potential relies on more than just a great website strategy.
If your income is directly tied to the number of hours you’re able to work in a day (say if you offer 1:1 services or you hand make all your products yourself) then you may need to look at other ways to scale your business beyond just working more hours in order to reach your revenue goals!
But no matter your current business model, this post will help you to make sure your website is set up to convert at its highest potential, making it the MVP of sales in your business!
By including call-to-actions to subscribe everywhere.
But not just ‘sign up for my newsletter’ (nobody is signing up for your newsletter)…
Make sure you have something of legit value you are willing to trade that person in exchange for their precious details by taking the time it takes to design a killer freebie opt-in gift.
Something that solves an exact problem your ideal client is facing right now in their journey.
This quick win you are offering will need to look different based on where your ideal client is at…
Based on your paid offering does it make sense for you to attract people who are just getting started in your area of expertise?
Or would you be better off making something that appeals to people who already know the basics and are looking to level up!
If they can’t see the benefit prior to signing up, they are probably aren’t going to take the chance on your freebie, let alone your paid offering.
Once your freebie is delivered, it needs to knock their socks off with how useful it is, so that they will know that everything you touch is gold.
And when they need more solutions to similar problems down the road, you will be the first person to come to mind!
Your freebie does not need to be a bajillion pages long!
The best freebies are short, effective, and visually on brand with everything else you do in your business.
If you need help designing your freebie, and the landing page you’ll use to get people to sign up for it, then I have two blog posts I think you’ll find super helpful!
Once you’ve created your freebie, shout out about that bad boy everywhere (not just once on social media 37 weeks ago.)
I include a CTA (call-to-action) to subscribe on every single page or post on my site, sometimes in multiple places!
And if I have a topic that I’m often creating content around that relates to my offering, but my current freebie doesn’t seem to seamlessly fit with that content (or maybe doesn’t seem like a logical next step for my ideal audience and where they are at in their journey) then I create a new freebie that does check off all those boxes!
I’ll let you in on a little secret…
Customers may have clicked the “buy” or “book now” button on my website, but my email list is really where those sales went down.
If someone visits my site, gets distracted and leaves, they may never come back again, even if they truly need and want what I’m offering.
So having a way to reach back out to them and continue to build some know, like, and trust with them will go a long way when I go to pitch my paid offering!
And just one thoughtful email sent to my list can often result in 10’s of thousands of dollars in sales.
Make your website your ideal client’s happy place!
Again, knowing your ideal client inside and out is everything.
You don’t just want a pretty website, or a functioning website.
Who does your website talk most about? You, and how great you are? Or your ideal client, and all the fears, emotions, and sticking points they are dealing with on the daily?
Do you speak about their problems in a way they can actually relate to, and using the same language that they would use when ranting about that problem to a trusted friend? Or does your copy feel like it came straight out of a super generic pamphlet?
Another way to make your visitor feel seen and heard is to actually call them out by name.
‘Hey girl, hey momma, hey procrastinator, hey introvert’ – basically anything that helps them to self-identify that they are in the right place and you are speaking directly to them!
Probably the most important place for your visitor to feel like they are being seen and heard is when you go to talk about the benefits of something you offer.
Listing off the features is great, but you want to speak to the transformation or support that person will experience when they say yes to working with you.
Do the colors, textures, fonts, and vibe first with what they are constantly pinning on Pinterest, drooling over on their fave Instagram accounts, or the aesthetic of their favorite shops and hangouts?
Think about all the things your ideal client loves to surround themselves with, even if it’s just virtually, and use that info to help inform your design decisions when you go to build your site.
Your visitors feel like they can truly kick because of the helpful content you provide.
And just like pinning on Pinterest, even if they never actually follow through on the hack they are pinning, they feel empowered and equipped by having that knowledge!
And because you were the one to make them feel that way, they now see you as the expert on that thing.
Consistently creating helpful content is the surest way to empower your people, increase your site traffic, and to attract more of the people likely to be interested in buying your paid thing.
It creates this super warm audience, primed and ready to be pitched to, instead of forking out huge amounts of moola on ads, marketing your paid offering straight to a cold audience (A.K.A) people who don’t really know or trust you yet.
The other great thing about content marketing is that it’s a much more organic place to plug your new list-building freebie.
People are more likely to sign up for what’s behind door #1 if they see by your publicly posted content that you seem to have their best interest in mind, and are not just another spammy Pammy out to get their email.
And what about SEO?
While it’s definitely important, I’ll admit I wasn’t super thorough about checking off all the SEO boxes, or doing any sort of intense SEO keyword research my first several years of content marketing and blogging.
And yet, when you searched Squarespace on Google, I was one of the first results to show up, after Squarespace themselves.
And because it was both long-form and hella-useful, it meant people were spending a lot more time on my site than if I was just pumping out fluff pieces that didn’t really provide answers.
Google loves longer visit durations, because it signals to them that your content is worth sticking around for and therefore worth sending new traffic to.
So by making your site your ideal visitor’s happy place, you are making it easier for Google to send lookalikes your way – or people who’s online behaviors are similar to your ideal audience and Google thinks could benefit the most from what you have to offer.
If you could use a little encouragement on the content creating front, check out my blog post:
The last thing you want to do is make visitors sift through 50 main navigation links to find what they are looking for.
Keep your site menu super simple by including only your top 3-5 page links.
(The rest of those pages can be linked to from somewhere down the page or throughout the content on your site!)
Another major money-blocker and time sucker I see often when it comes to setting up shop for your services or products online is that the process of purchasing and paying for your thing has not been set up to run on autopilot.
Say I remember at 10 o’clock at night that I really need a haircut tomorrow and forgot to call the salon that day when they were open.
I visit their website but unfortunately, there’s no way to book an appointment online. *womp womp*
I could just wait until they open the next day, and hope they have an opening, but I just want to get this booked while I’m thinking about it so I can go back to sleep.
So unless I’m married to my hairstylist, I’m probably just going to look for a salon that does have a way to book online.
The same thing goes for accepting payment.
If your customer or client can’t simply click a button from their phone and pay you right then and there, you’re going to have a lot of abandoned carts, or spend a lot of time chasing down clients for lost checks, delayed e-tranfers, and forgotten Venmo payments.
And I can tell you from experience, hounding clients for money is not fun for either parties, and doesn’t usually lead to many ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reviews.
These are just the top two mistakes I often see people making with their website when it comes to the booking/buying process.
For a more in-depth look at website conversion best practices you can check out this post!
(Even if you are using a platform other than Squarespace, the steps in the post still apply!)
Test every last click on your client journey through your website, and any other software you use to make sales in your business.
Have your least techy friend or family member try to book a consultation call on your site, or go through your checkout process, or sign up for your freebie.
Once you are sure everything is on point tech-wise, it’s time to start testing out different copy, designs, imagery or even something as simple as different email subject lines throughout your subscriber or buyer journey.
But before you can test anything you have to have a way to measure the success of one tweak against the next!
A) Recording your results consistently, measuring using the exact same time frame (say every Tuesday, you record results from the past 7 days)
B) Changing only one thing at a time and giving it time to play out before making more changes.
This way, if you have a major dip or spike in subscriptions or sales, you’ll have a better idea of what to attribute that change to, instead of just stabbing in the dark.
It’s also a great way to help you make future design and copy decisions when you come up with new ideas you want to implement in your business…and to help curb the shiny object syndrome when you see other businesses trying new things and feel the need to jump on board.
Every business is different, and what appeals to and works for your audience may be drastically different for what’s currently sealing the deal with mine, which is why this final step of testing everything is just as important as studying up on any website best practices!
If you need help figuring out which website stats to be looking at, check out this video/post!