Before we start… What is a”winning homepage”? Your homepage is your brand’s welcome mat on the web. People will stop there before crossing the threshold to your website content. They’ll form an impression about who you are, how welcome they are, and how you treat your guests. A winning homepage is one that does a great job with all of those things. Think about the welcome mats of your friends & relatives. There’s your festive aunt who has a personalized mat for each holiday, the dog lover with “Wipe Your Paws” out front, and the sibling who sorely needs to replace their threadbare mat (it’s so useless, you don’t bother wiping your shoes on it!) What does your welcome mat – your website homepage – say about your business? (Pro tip: Be like your aunt!) How do you invite people in? Do you send the right message, drive users deeper into the site, and help qualified visitors do business with you? That’s what a winning homepage does.  Let’s talk about how to make one.

1. Pop Quiz, Hotshot: In 30 Seconds or Less, What Are You?

From the instant a visitor lands on your home page, they work to figure out if they’re in the right place. You need clear statements about who you are, what you do, and why a visitor should care.  The goal is to help qualified visitors stay on the site and move towards an objective, and to help unqualified visitors hit the “back” button. What I’m saying here isn’t new and isn’t different from how newspapers have been drawing in readers for years.  For years, visitors have been wanting instant answers from homepages – Neilsen Norman Group supported this when suggesting a website’s homepage use a One-Sentence Tagline back in 2002! Here are a few websites where you can know what they’re about in 30 seconds or less: “Inbound marketing is complicated. Moz’s software makes it easy.” https://moz.com “Create Surveys, Get Answers.” https://www.surveymonkey.com/ “Design T-shirts Online” http://www.customink.com/

2. Make It Embarrassingly Easy to Get Around

Every website has two goals to achieve – your goals and your user’s goals (and hopefully those are aligned!)  You must know your users goals, then design these areas to help them get what they came for:

  • Make menus easy to locate, easy to read, clearly worded, and don’t use too many menu items.
  • Use sections below the header to highlight specific topics and give calls-to-action.
  • Have an easy-to-find search bar and easy-to-read, accurate search results.
  • Don’t forget to consider all of the devices they might be using to complete a task on your site!

3. Show Them A Company They Can Trust

You know you are an ethical company and your customers know they can trust you, but new visitors don’t unless you give them a reason.  Inc.com’s Jayson Demers sums it up in 11 Simple Tactics to Increase Trust Online: “People do business with those that they like, know, and trust.” New visitors use a variety of signals to tell if you’re trustworthy, including:

  • Well-known symbols like the BBB or Norton logos
  • A lock symbol in the address bar (or an https:// in your domain name indicating an SSL is used on your website)
  • Testimonials from other clients or a list of clients with logos
  • Social links to your other profiles and pages
  • Availability of a Privacy Policy / Terms & Conditions page

 


Now you’re on your way to a winning homepage that helps the right visitors get things done on your website.  What other ways are you going to achieve your website goals in 2015?  


 

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What is “Better Networking”?

A cool dozen people have told me over the last two weeks that they are committed to “better networking” in 2013.

When I asked, “What does that mean?” the common response was, “Attend more functions, pass out more cards, push for more business.”

What is "Better Networking"?In other words, sell more.

Increased revenue is a goal for every business I’ve ever seen, and selling more is obviously a means to that end. Meanwhile, there is a deeper aspect to networking that some people overlook or forget.

Networking isn’t about selling.

Merriam-Webster  defines “networking” as “The exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.”

Networking is specifically the cultivation of productive relationships.

That you shake my hand and give me your card does not mean we have a relationship at all, much less a productive one. That I exchange information or services with you one time does not mean we have a relationship, and neither does our being connected through an association or group. We don’t have a “relationship” until there is ongoing conversation, understanding, and respect between us.

So “Better Networking” won’t happen while you are busy passing out business cards and pushing for business—it begins when you put all that aside, reach out, and start building true relationships that are productive in whatever way is agreed upon by both parties.

Think of 3-5 people you’ve meet while networking—people with whom you felt a bit of affinity. Check out their Facebook or LinkedIn Profiles to learn more about them and things you may have in common. Invite them for coffee. Learn about THEM, not just their business. Then find something you can do for them—unrelated to business—and do it.

Become a trusted source, and soon you will have a productive relationship that will work both ways. That’s Better Networking.

Lucid Business Strategies

Lucid Business Strategies is building a GREAT company that helps other people build GREAT companies.

Learn more about our strategies and services on the Lucid website or call us at 586-254-0095.

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Contentment in 2013

Dear Friends:

As we turn our faces and thoughts and actions to the New Year, we are reminded that there are few things truly valuable in this world and this life. Contentment is one of them. The essay below was written by Napoleon Hill many years ago, but holds much for us to consider and move towards in our own lives. We hope it has meaning to you.

The Lucid Business Team – Jeff, Erin, Rita, Linda, and the rest of the staff.

Contentment (by Napoleon Hill)

Napoleon Hill

 

The richest man in all the world lives in Happy Valley. He is rich in values that endure, in things he cannot lose—things that provide him with contentment, sound health, peace of mind and harmony within his soul.

Here is an inventory of his riches and how he acquired them:

“I found happiness by helping others to find it.

“I found sound health by living temperately and eating only the food my body requires to maintain itself.

“I hate no man, envy no man, but love and respect all mankind.

“I am engaged in a labor of love with which I mix play generously; therefore, I seldom grow tired.

“I pray daily, not for more riches but for more wisdom with which to recognize, embrace, and enjoy the great abundance of riches I already possess.

“I speak no name save only to honor it, and I slander no man for any cause whatsoever.

“I ask no favors of anyone except the privilege of sharing my blessings with all who desire them.

“I am on good terms with my conscience; therefore, it guides me accurately in everything I do.

“I have more material wealth than I need because I am free from greed and covet only those things I can use constructively while I live. My wealth comes from those whom I have benefited by sharing my blessings.

“The estate of Happy Valley which I own is not taxable. It exists mainly in my own mind, in intangible riches that cannot be assessed for taxation or appropriated except by those who adopt my way of life. I created this estate over a lifetime of effort by observing nature’s laws and forming habits to conform with them.”

Source: Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude. Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1960. Pgs. 211 & 212.

 

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Fear versus Inspiration in Sales

A Bottle of PainFind their pain and exploit it… that’s the basis of most sales training programs. Find their pain, find their fear, and get them at the gut.

Yes, it’s true. Going for the gut increases your sales.

And the question remains: Do you really serve yourself and your customers/prospects when you come from a space of pain/fear?

If the Law of Attraction is invariable, then focusing on people in pain or in fear will bring you more of the same. That’s great, if that is the space you want to claim as your own. More people with no money, more people with bushels of objections, more people who live in fear of their competitors.

What if you came from a higher consciousness? What if the people you want to attract are those with a chronic positive outlook, the calculated risk-takers, the “I can do it” folks?

What if your elevator pitch was less about what info you can pack into an elevator ride and more about how much you can elevate the thinking and lives of the people you meet?

 

Just for Today

Look only for the Joy points:

  • Instead of “We help people who don’t know how to…” try “We help people who are excited to learn to…”
  • Instead of “We help people who fear that…” try “We help people who dream of…”
  • Instead of “We help people who lack…” try “We help people who have room for…”

We’d love to hear how your experience of the day changed as you looked for ways to elevate those around you!

We’re Lucid Business Strategies… helping small businesses grow bigger and better.

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How to Be a Small Business with a Big Presence in the “D”

Small Business Big Presence

Building a reputation as a “player” in the metro Detroit business community has been a small-business challenge for years, but it needn’t stay that way, says Kelly Oles, Corporate Partnership Development Manager for Palace Sports and Entertainment.

“Under our new management, there are affordable print, broadcast, and event options for small businesses that are surprisingly affordable,” Kelly says. “People shouldn’t be scared off by the perception that partnering with the Palace is beyond their budget.”

Small businesses with a modest budget might consider:

  • Banner ads on the Palace website or advertisements on the new Pistons mobile app.
  • 30-second pre-game spots on the Piston’s radio network, which covers 92% of the state.
  • Holding a Holiday Party or Business-to-Business networking event at the Chairman’s Club. Events can be packaged with a game, if you wish.
  • Contract for a suite for a single game, or a concert.

Those with a bit larger budget might consider:

  •  Buying ad space in the Courtside Quarterly magazine, which is sent out to season ticket holders, suite holders, and the CEOs of the Corporate Sponsors – approximately 15,000 people per issue.
  •  Partnering with the Palace for a VIP party in one of the clubs—such as the new 300Club. Cost includes a ticket to the game, food service and beverages, and your choice of a cash or open bar.
  •  Indoor and outside signage, logo rights, and other sports marketing promotional vehicles.

Remember that Palace Sports & Entertainment includes DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadowbrook Music Festival, where there are also options for seasonal or one-show advertising online and in print!

For more information on how your small business can gain a big presence in metro Detroit, contact Kelly Oles at 248-377-8478, or email her at koles@palacenet.com

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