Choosing style over substance could doom your business website
If you’re considering building a business website, you might have wondered what style you should use. Should you go with bright colors and animated graphics that give a feeling of fun and freshness? Or abstain from unnecessary distractions, using somber tones of blue and grey to denote a serious, professional appearance?
Do a Google search on the subject and you’ll quickly discover that everyone has an opinion on the matter. As a website designer who’s spoken with many clients and has built my fair share of websites over the years, here’s my advice: the “style” you choose ultimately matters far less than its speed and ease of use. Read on and I’ll explain why, as well as provide a couple examples and exceptions to the rule.
Ever heard of a little something called “Pinterest”? If you haven’t, just know that it has rapidly become a big deal in the business world, with even companies like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart using it to promote their interests. Essentially, it’s a visual search-engine, as well as something of a poster-child for online marketing. But it’s not just another trendy social media company; it’s a giant, and it’s getting bigger and stronger every day.
Maybe it’s because you’re not familiar with Pinterest, and creating and using an account seems intimidating. If that’s the case, relax; it’s actually pretty easy. Sit back, crack open a refreshing beverage, and let us show you, step by step, just how easy it is to get your business on Pinterest.
Fotosizer – Convert all your pictures for the Internet with one click.
Fotosizer is a free program, (at this time), that has saved me and thousands of other people hundreds of hours resizing pictures to load on the Internet. It is easy to set up, easy to use and best of all there is a standard and portable version.
Whether it is uploading pictures for Facebook, Picasa, sending pictures to a friend in email or uploading pictures to your website, almost everyone these days uses digital pictures in one way or another. For businesses, this tiny program can be worth a lot in time savings.
Here is something in which many people are not aware. Pictures from your camera are quite often three to four times higher resolution than you need for most Internet applications. A picture that has a resolution of 300 dpi will look much better than a 72 dpi picture when printed at a photo center or on your computer. However, when viewed on the Internet, there is almost no noticeable difference between the two. That is, except for the size of the file and the speed at which it loads on the viewers screen. It also makes a big difference when trying to send these files as attachments or uploading to your website. The larger files can take forever to send and in some cases limit how many pictures you can send at one time.
If you have been around anyone vaguely interested in marketing, you have probably heard the saying “Sell the Sizzle NOT the Steak”. Another form of this expression is “Sell the Benefits NOT the Features”. Or perhaps you have heard it put like this, “Sell People What They Want, NOT What They Need”.
Anyway you say it, it all comes down to the simple fact that people “Buy on Emotion and Justify Their Purchases Using Facts“. As a small business owner you have got to work very hard at knowing when to sell the sizzle and when to sell the steak. Trust me, you are at a great disadvantage here. This really is where an outsider, such as someone who specializes in marketing, can be of great help to you. Someone who is not infected with the “we know what went into to making this” virus.
Face it, people don’t care how long you have struggled, how much money you have invested or how many years of your life it took to bring your service or product to fruition. Don’t waste valuable attention time by trying to sell someone on these things. Ask yourself one thing and one thing only. From the customer’s point of view – “What is in it for ME?“.