dress appropriately | step 2 | conversation marketing

If you are selling industrial water-jet cutting machines, you should have a site like Flow Corp. If you are selling day planners for moms, your site should look like momAgenda.

The complicated story says people pay attention to color, textures and effects, typefaces, complexity, and layout and positioning, in that order.

The simple story says, make sure you look like you belong in the conversation. This is a focus on your audience- it does not matter what your opinion is of what you should look like. It matters how your audience expects you to look.

Would you trust a computer from here? What about from here?

It starts with audience, which you know about from step 1, know the room. What do they care about. How do they see you. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU. Most websites are extensions of their creator’s ego, and those are the sites that make me cringe.

Think about how you want your audience to feel. Excited? Reassured? Sold? Your design and your language decide this.

Copying what works is, as always in web marketing, very valid. Think of men’s fashion- always stay the same. Think of women’s fashion- a race to see who can copy who the fastest.

So before you design your site and your marketing, stop and think, are you doing this to satisfy your ego or to make more sales?

To hear more about Conversation Marketing, you can go buy Ian’s book. He has been doing this since 1995, the book is $25, and it will save you wads of cash in time and experience.

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2 Responses to “dress appropriately | step 2 | conversation marketing”


  1. 1 Charles December 24, 2006 at 11:16 am

    Many personal websites I have visited suffer from inappropriate dress code as well. We recently had an applicant for supervisory position arrive for an interview in casual clothing complete with what appeared to be coffee stains. Appearance DOES matter. Most people are ill at ease in a room decorated with bold, loud colors and cluttered with furniture. It is no different on the web. When a new genealogy site is visited, the overuse of colors, graphics, and “cutsie” items leads to a very hasty exit. Commercial sites that are not user-friendly and easily navigated are similarly abandoned.

    The web is a powerful marketing tool, but cannot be treated like a 19th century general store with products and information stuffed into every possible nook and cranny. A good site requires a lot of thought up front, and continuous maintenance by personnel sufficiently competent for the purpose of the site. Color, text style, and graphics must be carefully chosen to suit the site, but current quality content is imperative.

  2. 2 brianatportent December 24, 2006 at 12:51 pm

    Charles, I agree completely. What is your background in web design?


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I'm now blogging about internet marketing at RedBeardConsulting.com.

Red Beard Consulting

At Red Beard Consulting I work on internet marketing primarily for speakers. I also work with Infusionsoft.

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