Welcome back to the featured student series!
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know my team and I have been running around like mad, trying to catch up with as many past students as possible to see what life and business look like since joining me inside Square Secrets™️ & Square Secrets Business™️!
My favorite thing? No two stories look the same!
I’m constantly being blown away by all the ingenious, creative, and totally unique ways students are choosing to build their businesses and better serve their clients!
So it’s with border-line-annoying levels of enthusiasm that I introduce today’s guest blogger and brilliant-idea-brainstormer…
Jenn Nash of Nash Franks Creative!
She’s sharing two super simple and quick add-ons she loves to gift her clients on launch day (and how you can start earning more referrals using her idea too!)
Oh, and she’s also the lady responsible for all of this lovely design inspiration below…
I’ve found that one of the best ways to get new web design clients is through referrals and the best way to get referrals is to leave your client raving about their new website and their experience working with you.
One of the ways I do this is by surprising (& delighting them) with 2 extra custom-designed web pages for their site: the 404 page and a social media links page.
Design consistency through branding is important and having a custom-designed 404 & social links page helps create a consistent customer experience on a webpage.
Brand consistency builds trust and ultimately leads to more revenue.
Your client might not even realize the benefits of brand consistency, but you will delight them with your expertise and design skills when you include these two surprise web pages on their website.
And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a well-designed surprise?!?
Let me show you how you can be a web design superstar for your clients, but first a little background on 404 pages, social links pages and what the heck design consistency is, and why it’s important.
The 404 page of a website is the page that is displayed when the website cannot find the requested page.
This can happen where there is a broken or misspelled URL.
These “error” or “page not found” pages are a perfect way to add in some of your client’s personality.
For example, one of my clients is a sassy Tennessee gal that makes moonshine so I asked myself what would be something she would say if she make a mistake or couldn’t find what she was looking for.
I used that phrase with a stock photo background for her 404 page.
Another client of mine is very into astrology, so I thought about a common astrology-related phrase that folks say when things just aren’t going right and I used that for her 404 page.
a search bar
a button to the homepage
links to popular articles
a contact form
A social media links page is a designated page on your client’s website that has multiple links to things they want to highlight to their social media audience.
This is an alternative to third-party sites like linktr.ee or linkin.bio page.
I love creating this page for clients because I can create brand consistency, make it easier for them to track their analytics and they own their website and aren’t relying on a third-party site.
To surprise my client with this page I have to become a bit of a detective.
I usually scope out their Instagram page and see what they are currently sharing.
If they have a link page set up I will simply copy the links they are already sharing.
The same profile photo as on their IG account – this is all about being consistent and confirming to the viewer that they did, in fact, go to the correct page.
Three buttons/links to their most valuable and useful content. The most valuable content could be in the form of an opt-in or freebie, shop, services page, a course…etc.
Their top 3-4 blog posts/articles. Not the most recent. I recommend that you pick the highest-ranking posts that are most related to their product/service and feature them with a simple graphic and link. Of course, your client might not have blog posts or articles yet or you may not know what is their most popular one, so in that case, you could just link to their blog/articles page.
I’ve mentioned brand consistency a lot so far, but…
Brand consistency is being consistent with how you appear online through both your visuals and your voice.
One way to be consistent is to ensure that you are using the brand visuals defined in your brand identity.
Using a consistent color palette and the same font(s) over and over again are being consistent.
If you worked with a brand designer to create your brand identity (or you created your own) you likely set up a brand system of colors, fonts, icons, illustrations, and a logo that represents your business.
Our brains are hard-wired to look for consistency and patterns.
It’s called context-dependent memory and it’s basically how we remember things more easily when we rely on the context of the memory.
“Context-dependent memory means that you rely on the context of where you learned the information to boost your memory.
For example, if you learn song lyrics, you rely on the context of the melody to remember them.
Or if you memorize a poem on the porch, you’re more likely to correctly recall that information when you’re on that porch. Or if you lose your car keys, you’re more likely to remember where they are if you return to the spot you left them.
This is no different for brands. Every brand relies on audience awareness (also known as memory equity) to take their product or service to market.” (meetmaestro.com, August 27, 2019)
So when you’re showing up with a consistent visual brand message, you’re building awareness and strengthening that context, and making yourself more memorable.
Presenting a consistent visual brand identity helps people remember you and know what to expect from you.
Putting out a clear and consistent visual message through your branding will help accelerate your audience’s ability to get to know you and trust you. They are clear on who you are and what you’re about.
When your branding is inconsistent your audience is confused.
They have expectations that you’re going to show up in a certain way and when you don’t it chips away at the trust that you’ve worked so hard to build up.
Let’s imagine that you’re searching for the perfect gift for your best friend’s birthday.
You find this awesome website where every image is gorgeous and the products are impeccably styled. There are witty and fun descriptions of each item.
You finally find the perfect item and based on the high-end experience you’ve had on the website you decide to make a purchase.
The checkout process is smooth and seamless, even the checkout page is designed to match the company’s visual branding.
A week or so goes by and you come home from work and sitting on the porch is a crumpled brown cardboard box with a b&w label on it, no return business name, just an address.
You’re wracking your brain trying to remember what the heck you ordered that would be sitting on the porch in this state. (Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who sometimes forgets things they order online ♀️)
What are your thoughts?
Are you thinking…. ‘What the heck…that doesn’t even seem like it came from the same company with the gorgeous website and witty & fun descriptions.’
And it might not even be that the item you purchased is really bad… It’s just that you’re confused and the experiences don’t match up, which plants a seed of distrust.
Consistent branding can increase revenue
A 2021 Lucidpress survey report found that 68% of survey respondents report brand consistency has contributed from 10% to more than a 20% of their growth.
The same survey also reported that brand consistency is an “integral” part of building relationships with current and future customers.
This is one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about surprising my clients with branded 404 and social links pages.
I LOVE showing my clients HOW using their visual brand identity elements in these simple ways helps them to increase the trust of their audience thus increasing their revenue potential.
Every time I’ve taken the time to create a surprise custom 404 & social links page, my clients have been so excited.
They hadn’t even thought about carrying the brand experience into those pages.
As a brand designer (in addition to Squarespace designer), I am always thinking about how I can ensure a seamless brand experience through my client’s website.
It does not add a lot of extra time to the project, especially with the added workflow techniques I learned from Paige’s Square Secrets™️ course, and it does the following:
It shows them how much I care about their project and they are not just another number in my design cue.
It helps position me as an expert in web design vs someone who just creates what the client asks for. I’m highlighting my knowledge of the importance of brand consistency and brand experiences.
Going above and beyond for a client increases the chance that they’ll be back for more projects and/or will refer me to others.
a happy client that is proud of their website will be showing it off to everyone, which means more eyes on my work!
Now the next time you take on a web design project, you can be a design rockstar by creating these 2 easy pages that will surprise and delight your client.