SFM Ep23: Does Design Matter?

In episode #23 we discuss everything you need to know about how design relates to growing your business. Design is a topic many people are still unclear about and I have a lot of experience both testing design and working with clients who are putting design as a higher priority than everything else – which causes nothing but delays.

In this episode I’ll discuss…

  • What REALLY matters when it comes to design (hint: It has nothing to do with how pretty your site looks)
  • How to avoid design delays when building your sales funnel (or any other project)
  • The “forgotten” skill any copywriter should have to make your life easier when working with them
  • And so much more!

I think you’ll find this one interesting. Designing a website, whether from scratch or redoing an existing site, is a necessary evil. This episode shows you how to make the most of it while avoiding delays and producing the most revenue.

Listen To The Podcast


Resources Mentioned




Hey, this is Jeremy Reeves and I want to welcome you back to episode number 23 of the Sales Funnel Mastery Podcast. So it is Monday morning I just had a very, very cool weekend I actually… So, one of the things that we’re doing in strategic coach that I signed up for this, I don’t know, couple of months ago, whatever. They basically should’ve had built kind of like a lifestyle business, but actually scaling the business, so a lot of people (inaudible 00:46-00:47) that are, you know, like, a hundred thousand or whatever.

So, they’re actually showing you how to do that but actually when a big business, you know, like a self-managing company that’s kind of their whole thing so that’s, you know, I’ve been changing a lot of things about my business with that and one of the things that I’ve always loved to do is cooking, you know?

So, I grew up and I always used to help my mom cook dinners and the, you know, and all that, and we had a lot of homemade meals and all that kind of stuff and that really made an impact on me, and I’ve always just loved cooking, and I’ve loved the whole process, you know, I love the whole creation process because I’m an entrepreneur, and you know, you get out a bottle of wine or whatever, and you know, it’s a really good time for me (inaudible 01:26-01:27) to connect, and you know, cook together, and then eat together, and have a nice night, you know, put on some romantic music, all that kind of fun stuff.

So, what I just did was sign up for a, like an online cooking certification class, you know, and you can actually get, like, you know, professionally certified, and all that kind of stuff which I, it’s funny, I actually might do not, not because I’m going to become a professional cook but just because I just, you know, whenever I put my mind on something, I have to be the best at it, you know, I can’t, I can’t do something without being the best at, you know, it’s not me.

So anyway, so that’s what I worked on a lot this last weekend and it was really cool to just get away from business and start a completely new hobby, you know, I made a, I made a huge thing of Minestrone soup last night which was absolutely fantastic, I can’t wait to eat it for lunch today, actually, probably like every day this week because we made a, we made like six quartz of it. But, but yeah, so anyway, today, we’re going to talk about design, right?

So there’s a lot that goes into design. There’s two things that we are going to talk about. Number one is does design matter when it comes to conversion and, you know, increasing sales? Number two is how to work with designers so that you don’t delay your projects because, you know, I’ve, I, I, I, you know, as you know, I work on the other side of that so when you’re putting a project together, and this is for online stuff, when your putting a project together, you know, there’s the marketing side, the copy, laying of the words on the page, and then there’s the design of the page, you know, the look and feel of the page.

So, over the course of my career, I’ve worked with, you know, like, kind of like, collaborated with designers and worked with clients who, you know, they got my copy and then they had to create the design. Now, with a lot of my clients, we actually do both, you know, so, we actually, like, my, like, I have, like a whole team that does everything for you. But some clients have their designers or whatever so they use outside designers.

And in almost one hundred percent of the cases, one of two things happens, number one, either the whole project itself, getting started, gets delayed which is something that’s happening right now. Or once, you know, once the project starts, it gets delayed because, you know, they want, well, I’ll get into it, alright?

So, those are some of the things that I’m going to cover today. So, let’s just start with: does design matter in, when you’re making sales, right, online? The answer is yes but not as much as you would think, right? So, design matters a lot more since Apple, before Apple, design, especially online, didn’t really matter what celebrity, you know, there, people have (inaudible 04:20) and this is for, I mean, you know, this is for decades, you know, people, oh, you know, has to look pretty, it has to look, you know, it has to display my, you know, my brand, all that kind of stuff and it’s true to a point.

It kind of depends on your brand, you know, Apple, if they put out something that was ugly, obviously, nobody, you know, everybody would hate it because their brand is design, okay? So, if your brand is design, then it’s going to matter, okay? Beyond that? All you need is kind of like a minimum, minimum threshold of, you know, it just has to look nice, it doesn’t have to be beautiful, you do not have to spend, you know, fifty thousand dollars on design to get it absolutely, you know, stunningly perfect, it’s not going to make that much of a difference.

I’ve worked with a lot people who kind of specialized design and stuff and really, when it comes to making sales and how design relates to that and all that kind of stuff. What it boils down to is readability, okay? So, again, it doesn’t have to look beautiful, it has to be easy to read, alright? And that’s where you’re going to want to focus on when you’re working with designers, you want to, when you’re looking at their, at their portfolios and all that kind of stuff, you want to make sure that it kind of like sucks you in, like, it just makes it easy to read.

You don’t want too much clutter, you don’t want too many things going on. What you need for ninety-nine percent of the cases, and again, this is, except, like, if you’re whole brand is based around your design, then that’s kind of like the exception, but beyond that, if you’re at that, if your, you know, selling point isn’t design then all you have to know is that all you have to do is make your website readable, okay?

When people, there shouldn’t be things in the way that are kind of blocking people as they’re reading. It should be very easy to read. You should focus on being clean and having a lot white space so that people can, so that things aren’t clutter, you know, you want space and things in between your images and your text and, you know, you want subheads and stuff to break up the copy.

So if you look at any of the pages on my site or Kinowear, so JeremyReeves.com or Kinowear.com, you’ll see that everything is very, very easy to read. I’ve actually designed those pages myself. I’ve kind of like developed a little of the design taste over the years and it’s really not even design, it’s just making it very clean and easy to read because that’s what makes sales. It doesn’t have to be crazy, you know, and have to have all these graphics and all that kind of stuff. It just has to be clean and easy to read.

Now, another exception to this is, I have another client now who, she sells stuff to kids, you know, so hers, you know, hers has to be clean and easy to read with a little bit of, you know, she actually focuses a lot on, a lot on design because of her products, you know, who their market is, it’s to little children. So, you know, you can’t have, like, boring stuff, you have to be able to, you have to be able to, kind of like follow in line with the kids expectations, to make it fun for them. So that’s a little bit different.

But her website, you know, again, it’s, and I’m, we’re going to be rebuilding the whole thing. And you know what I’m going to be focusing on, is just, again, clean and then we’ll add some in like, they have like, hand-drawn cartoons and stuff like that. So we’ll add that into the mix, right? Now, so that is, that kind of takes care of whether it helps increase sales. So basically, it does but the copy is more important, the copy is like eighty percent of it, the design’s like twenty percent of it. So, it’s worth getting design redone, right? But you don’t have to spend a ton of money on it and it should not be top priority.

So, with that said, let’s move on to avoiding delays with design. So again, there’s two parts, number one, needing feedback from designers before you do all this other stuff, okay? In ninety-five percent of the cases, that is not necessary. And I know, you know, I’ve told to clients over the years, it’s kind of funny at this point, I’ve told this to clients, I mean dozens, and dozens, and dozens of different clients and every single one ‘oh, no, no it does matter, it does matter, I just, I need to know, you know, what they’re going to do first before we do the copy’, and it’s like ‘no, no that’s not what you should do, you know, you need the copy, the design rather, needs to flow around the copy, okay?’

You don’t get the layout of the site and then make the copy fit that design. That is how you kill your sales. If you want to make the most sales out of your website and that’s what it should be designed for, you need to get the copy done first and then make the design fit that copy, okay? So that’s a very, very big (inaudible 9:27-9:28) there and it just kills me because, you know, I’ve told this to so many clients over the years and just, you know, nobody listens, I don’t understand why they don’t listen to the advice, you know?

I’ve been doing this a long time, it’s my expertise, it’s what I do. And, you know, it’s kind of funny, but, so, you know, if you have a project that you’re waiting for the advice of the designers before you start the project? Stop it. That’s all I can say is just stop it, you know? You need to, especially, someone like me, I’ve done this for so long, that I know how the site needs to be laid out.

Actually, for most of my clients, depending on the situation, I actually create a wireframe for, you know, for the various pages, whether it’s a sales page or, you know, whatever it is. This is usually for like website pages, like twelve pages and all that kind of stuff.

But I actually create wire frames with the copy in it, so then the designer can look at that, and the wireframe basically, if you don’t know what it is, it’s basically, imagine if you got out a blank sheet of paper and you kind of like lay it out of the page, like, say it’s a homepage and so you put boxes here and then you can put like, you know, the headline in there and then you put maybe an image to the right or whatever so, like, you kind of lay it out in like a box, kind of situation.

And you can add little graphics and stuff but it’s almost like a hand-drawn type of thing with the copy in it. So then a designer can look at that and say ‘okay, you know, here’s all the copy, here’s how it’s going to be laid out, now I just have to make it look pretty’, you know, because I don’t know how to do that at all.

So, so again if you have a project and you’re waiting on designers to get started before you, and you want to get their layout or whatever before you hand that off to a Copywriter, don’t do that. Do the exact opposite, you need the copy first and then you build the pages around the copy with he design, okay?

And on the other hand, like, if you already have that together, your Copywriter, whoever you’re working with, should have the experience of design because, again, readability is a big, big, big part of conversion so if you’re working with a Copywriter and they don’t understand that part of things, that’s a big, like, they’re lacking, like, a big skill because that’s a huge part of, you know, of making sales is getting people to actually read the page so there’s a big difference between design and readability, like I was talking about before, so your, whoever you’re working with should understand how to make things more readable and should have, you know, read eye tracking studies and stuff like that to get like a general layout of how people read and how their eyes, you know, move down the page and go from this things to that thing and all that.

So anyway, so I hope that helps, quick episode today, I hope that helps, I know, you know, a lot of my clients struggled with this because, really, you know, it’s confusing, you know, you, you’re working with two different people and you’re trying to coordinate everything and all that, you know, and again first of all, the Copywriter should be able to coordinate with the designers to give you the finished product, you know?

You shouldn’t have to be, as a business owner, you shouldn’t have to be the one that’s, you know, coordinating everybody. First of all, some type of manager for that, you know, you shouldn’t be in the business, doing that. (inaudible 13:01-13:03) just have whoever you’re working with, whether it’s me or whether, you know, somebody, some other Copywriter, have them be the ones that coordinate with the designers and they, again, they should have that ability to be able to work with the designers because they both go hand-in-hand.

The copy is much, much, much, much, much more important than the design but, you know, again, the design does matter, like, you don’t want, again, you need that kind of minimum threshold so that your design doesn’t hurt sales, you know, so, so it doesn’t have to be perfect in most situations, again, the exception being, if you’re, like, something with like my client is selling the kids or you have to have certain design elements in there to appeal to the children and to the parents to make them look fun and all that kind of stuff because that’s part of their brand.

Or if your design is actually focused on design, like, you know, if you’re a design agency then obviously your site’s need to look really nice, you know, you know, you can’t just have the blank white sheet of paper with a, with copy on it and spend so much. So, anyway, so that is my little spiel for today I hope this helps you in your, you know, future projects or if you have anything going on right now where you’re trying to coordinate, you know, the copy side of things and design side of things, you know, it might be worth taking a look at the pages that you have.

Make sure that they’re hitting that, you know, that kind of minimum threshold. Make sure they’re easy to read, do some user tests, you know, you can go to, I think it’s usertesting.com. Get people to actually go through the page and say ‘hey, you know, it’s easy to read’ or ‘hey, you know, this part it kind of lost me’. You could also use something like, like Crazy Egg, the heat-tracking tools. I use that kind of stuff all the time and it shows you, you know, where people are falling off on the page so you’ll see, you know, it’ll say like at the very top of the page a hundred percent of people read this and by the time you get to the bottom, it might be twenty-five percent.

But throughout the sales page you’ll see that some parts catch the attention of your readers like for example my Kinowear site, when I did the, this heat-tracking stuff for Kinowear on the sales page, I noticed that the testimonials was like bright red, you know, it was like, it was red at the top and then it kind of cooled down a little bit and once people got to the testimonials, then they spend a longer time there, right?

So that’s, then I knew to bring my testimonials and then, at that point, my testimonials were more towards the bottom so I brought them up to the top of the page to get people, you know, get engaged in the page and go down and read it and engage with it and all that kind of stuff.

So, I hope this helps you. As always, if you found this useful, I would really appreciate it if you share it with your audience, your friends. your, you know, coworkers, colleagues, whatever, business partners. If you have any questions, again, you can email me at [email protected].

Check out the show notes for all the links and, you know, if you want to email me, my email address is in there. If you would like to work together, I’m starting to get really crazy now in (inaudible 16:15) but one of the big things that I’m doing this year is scaling, you know, and focusing, working on the things, you know, world-class at rather than focusing or working in a lot of stuff that I’m only okay at.

So that’s one of the things, my productivity it’s already skyrocketed this year. So I am able to take on more clients as of right now and then I’ll also bring on new options throughout the year and stuff like that, it’s been a really cool year for, you know, working with me. And I’m also actually doing a lot of really cool stuff for my clients once you become a client too that I’m starting to implement now.

So anyway, I hope you enjoyed this episode. Pass it along, shoot me an email, let me know what you thought and I will talk to you next time.


About the Author Jeremy Reeves

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