Over the past 50+ episodes of Brand It, Build It, we’ve explored a variety of ways your brand and your web design can work on behalf of your small business.
In Episodes 010, 030, and 048, we explored how your brand is more than a logo design — but a foundation for showcasing your value, connecting with your audience, and growing your small business. And in Episodes 042 through 046, we explored how each page of your web design can serve your visitors well — and work on behalf of your small business, even beyond your business hours.
But with the foundation of your brand and web design in place, what are some other ways you can enhance and elevate your web design? Today, we’re exploring 3 website add-ons to elevate your small business: to better serve your website’s visitors and to grow your business.
3 Website Add-Ons to Elevate Your Small Business
At With Grace and Gold, whether we’re adding a new offering to our business, or a new page to our website — we are firm believers in the power of mastering the basics before adding additional layers or additional features.
Over the years, we’ve found having a strong foundation — having a clearly-defined brand, having a purpose-driven web design, and paring down our services — has not only helped us to serve our clients wholeheartedly, but it has also helped us to run our business with clarity and purpose. (We share more about our approach to mastering the basics in Episode 011: Your Passive Income Action Plan — and in Episode 034: Exactly How We Scaled Our Small Business.)
With our approach in mind, we believe adding additional features, or add-ons, to your web design should be done only once you’re confident in the brand and web design you’re presenting. That way, the add-ons you choose will enhance — rather than complicate — your web design and the way your web design serves your audience.
- First up, a live chat feature, so you can connect with and serve your audience well. A live chat feature can appear on your website and be available for visitors who have quick questions about your products or your services. Having a live chat feature can help your visitors to more seamlessly connect with you — helping you to serve your visitors well by pointing your visitors in the right direction. There are a couple of keys to succeeding with a live chat feature, both on the “visitor side” and the “business owner side.” First, I recommend reflecting upon whether you truly have the resources to manage a live chat feature. Luckily, With Grace and Gold is run by both Andra and myself, so we are able to share and manage our business together, knowing the other is always available to help. If With Grace and Gold were run solely by one person, having a live chat feature would likely be too much to manage — or to manage well. If you do determine having a chat feature is right for you, I highly recommend scheduling business hours for your live chat feature. At With Grace and Gold, our live chat feature is available from 9 AM – 2 PM, Monday through Thursday. Outside of those business hours, chat users are asked to leave a message along with their email address, so we can return their message within our business hours. By establishing business hours for our live chat feature, I still have an opportunity — within our scheduled business hours — to focus wholeheartedly on the other areas of With Grace and Gold I manage. So, if your schedule allows, and you’d like to be more accessible for your website’s visitors — a live chat feature can elevate visitors’ experiences and help you to more seamlessly guide and serve your visitors.
- Next, a newsletter opt-in, so you can engage with and continue serving your audience in the long-term. Having a newsletter, whether you have a monthly newsletter, a weekly newsletter, a newsletter sequence your subscribers journey through — or all of the above — sending newsletters to your audience offers you an opportunity to engage with, educate, serve, and guide your audience even when they are away from your website. Just like any layer you add to your small business, it’s essential to have a goal in mind when creating a newsletter opt-in and when sending newsletters to your audience — to know who you’re hoping to reach through your newsletter, how often you’ll send newsletters to your audience, and what type of content you’ll provide to ensure your newsletters are effectively serving your audience. Just like having a live chat feature, offering your visitors an opportunity to subscribe to your newsletter is a commitment — so reflecting upon your availability is essential. If you do determine having a newsletter is right for you, I highly recommend including both an inline embed — a newsletter opt-in embedded directly within your web design — as well as a newsletter pop-up, both of which can be created really seamlessly using FloDesk. (We’ll include a link for FloDesk — save 50% on your subscription when you use our FloDesk link — within our episode description and show notes!) That way, no matter how or where a visitor comes upon or explores your website, they’ll be presented with at least a couple of opportunities to subscribe to your newsletter. In Episode 016, we share 3 Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Newsletter List — 3 ways to encourage visitors to become subscribers. In the end, having a newsletter helps you to serve your audience well via email.
- And lastly, a quiz, so you can lead your visitors toward the products and services best for them. When compared to having a live chat feature and having a newsletter, having a quiz within your web design is pretty hands-off: using a system like Interact (Again, we’ll include a link within our episode description and show notes!) you can create a quiz and embed the quiz — or link to the quiz — within your web design. If you offer a few unique services or a few unique products, a quiz can help your visitors to determine which services or which products are best aligned with their needs and vision. Essentially, the quiz can work on your behalf to lead your prospective clients or customers to the services or products best aligned with their needs, style, vision, or goals. Having a quiz is most beneficial when you connect your quiz to your newsletter system. That way, when a quiz-taker is presented with their results, not only can their results be automatically emailed via newsletter, but you can also continue serving quiz-takers through your newsletter.
Today, we discussed how having a live chat feature, a newsletter opt-in, and a quiz can elevate your web design and your small business. We hope today’s episode has equipped you with some new resources to explore!