Don’t Shoot the Graphic Designer

The disappointment was obvious.  I could hear it in the tone of voice. I could sense it in the body language (even though we were on a call with no way to see each other).

An ambitious, highly motivated and well-connected entrepreneur had sent me a landing page to look at because they didn’t think it was up to the mark. They wanted a second opinion, some professional feedback.

What I said on the call simply echoed what they’d already realised. The page wasn’t that great. It looked pretty (good) but it was not very compelling. The words were not right, or in the right order.

Hence the disappointment at the other end of the line.

I made some suggestions – making the headline bolder, moving the event date details lower down, moving an image to the right side and bullet points to the left, and shifting the “click here” box into the middle of the text so people could see it was linked to the body copy.

The client said they’d made “loads of notes” and would get the changes made.

But that’s not the real story here…

During our conversation, the entrepreneur said the page had been created by their graphic designer. They really liked the person’s work but the person had NO training in copywriting or much experience in creating landing pages (they were more used to creating general web page and print design).

The frustrated entrepreneur said they didn’t want to fire the designer but they had to get this and future landing pages to work or the marketing (and marketing spend) to get people to that page and future pages would largely be a waste.

I suggested NOT to shoot the graphic designer.

There were other options…

First, I pointed out that it was the responsibility of the entrepreneur to get the copy right in the first place (before you do anything pretty or “fancy” with it). And when you’re writing the copy you can also be the designer’s guide, add notes or suggestions as to how you want the words to look (and also where on the page you want things).

Secondly, look at your alternatives. Here are some of them:

  • You could keep your graphic designer and hire someone else to do the landing pages
  • You could keep your graphic designer and send them on a copywriting course
  • You could keep your graphic designer and invest in landing page creation software, like LeadPages or OptimizePress, to make the task easier
  • You could keep your graphic designer and have them work with a marketing mentor or copywriting coach to learn the essentials and pick up some advanced skills
  • You could keep your graphic designer and hire a copywriter to tweak the submitted page so it’s more likely to convert visitors into paying customers

And for the options above you could substitute “graphic designer” with “entrepreneur” or “business owner”.

If your landing pages are NOT working or you’re worried they’ll fail, it’s your responsibility to put that right.

You don’t have to do it all yourself but you should make sure you have someone that can.

Yes, it might mean spending a bit more money.  But balance that against what will happen if your page converts 10 per cent better, 25 per cent better, 50 per cent better or even 100 per cent better. What if it’s 200 per cent or 300 per cent better?

How much would ONE extra sale make to your business?  How much is ONE extra customer or client worth to your business in average lifetime value?

Think about those numbers right now.

And imagine instead of one extra sale it was 10 extra sales, or 20 or 50 or a hundred.

What do the numbers look like now?

Isn’t getting the page right worth the investment (whichever option you choose)?

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