John Jantsch: Hello. Welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Chris Martinez. He is the current CEO and co-founder of DUDE Agency, dudeagency.io. An outsourced web development firm in Tijuana. Mexico, so, Chris, thanks for joining me.
Chris Martinez: Thank you so much for having me.
John Jantsch: So let’s talk about websites in the big picture. For businesses, particularly small business, I have a lot of small business owner listeners, what’s the role of the website today? What’s its job?
Chris Martinez: I think that there’re several jobs, but overall, if you’re looking big picture, it’s got to be a revenue generator for you. It’s got to be a way that you can capture and then with some other software integrations, nurture leads and eventually convert those people into paying customers.
John Jantsch: I read a statistic the other day that said something along the lines of 82% of people that visit your website are, first of all, doing it for the first time, and secondly, won’t take any action that first visit. I mean if that statistic’s true and I think that we can all agree to some extent it is what does that implicate for somebody building or somebody using a website in their business?
Chris Martinez: I think it’s very, very accurate. I think it’s very accurate for the majority of people who have websites. I also think it’s reflective of just the world in general because the first time that you meet somebody you don’t really … If you were to walk into a store for a first time, you never knew who they were a lot of the times you don’t buy anything. People are trying to gather information and then once they have some information and they feel they can make an educated decision, that’s when they get further down into the funnel and they’re ready to make a buying decision.
John Jantsch: So with that in mind, if somebody comes to you and says, “I want a website,” and they don’t have any real ideas in mind, in your kind of checklist of how to design a site, are there some must-have elements that at least for today you would tell pretty much, obviously, different industries have some different things, but for the most part, are there some elements that you think need to exist in some way on every website?
Chris Martinez: So that’s kind of a loaded question and I’m going to give you a plug right now because it absolutely has to start with a strategy, right? You do need basic fundamentals of your message, identifying your market and then having some sort of offer. And then once you have those fundamentals in place and you have their overall strategy, then you can start going into the website and you can basically transfer all the things that you created as a part of the strategy to the website. So in terms of things that you absolutely want to have, I mean you have just a couple of seconds to capture somebody’s attention when they come to your website for the first time. So you absolutely need to be able to communicate to them what it is that you do, how you help them and what that person is supposed to do next.
Chris Martinez: And I’m kind of swiping that from Donald Miller, sorry. I almost a Dennis Miller. Donald Miller in StoryBrand because that’s a lot of what he says is like, “Passing the grunt test,” and so those are three elements and that’s more along the lines of copy. But in terms of layout and design, you absolutely want to have those three things above the fold, meaning before somebody has to scroll down a website, that’s what that visitor is going to see. And then a call to action, a primary call to action and then a secondary call to action.
Chris Martinez: And then as you scroll through the other things that we recommend are like testimonials and social proof. A very, very simple explanation of how you help a client go from point A to point B, so ideally it shows your three or four-step system. And so that’s basically it. I also like a simple thing is images, right? You want images that show real people. So real images are always going to outperform stock images and you want to show images of people who look and seem like your ideal client.
John Jantsch: So over the years, design trends seem to come and go. So homepages are very small, they had a lot of navigation, options on them, and essentially it was like an index page. That’s what we actually called them, right? And so the goal was somebody, “Here’s every option,” like a table of contents, “go find what you’re looking for.” Today, it seems like we have the long scrolling kind of journey page. You see times when people use a lot of stock photos and now it seems like we’re into a lot of illustrations that are very light and airy and a lot of white space. How do you manage as a design firm? How do you manage the fact that or balance maybe the fact that that people want to kind of see … They want their site to look updated, but then we’re jumping on one trend to the next, I mean, is there some sort of balance or I guess another way to ask that is are there trends that are driving your design today?
Chris Martinez: Yeah, design definitely matters. It’s really hard to pinpoint if you do X, Y, and Z, you’re going to hit the ball out of the park every single time. Every business is a little different. Every industry is a little bit different. Design does matter. But what matters most is your ability to convey how you help people. So let’s look at the flip side of one of the most ugly websites in the world that crushes it, Craigslist. Now, everybody has used Craigslist for the most part, and if you’ve never heard of Craigslist, please go type in craigslist.com or.org and look at it. It’s the ugliest, most simple website ever. But it absolutely conveys what it is what they do and it helps people get what they’re looking for. So at the end of the day, you do have to show people how you help them, whether that be through a video or actual text or even like a podcast interview. And that is what really is going to help you to generate more leads and sales.
Chris Martinez: And then the other thing that you want to think about is how are people coming to your website? So maybe they heard you on a podcast interview and they’re like, “Oh, my God, the story that John just told is amazing. I’m really, really excited.” So when that person comes to your website, they’re already a little bit further down in the funnel so the design might be different or the impact that the design has might be different based on where that person is coming from. If they heard you from Yelp, it’s a different story. If it’s the first time that they’ve ever heard you because they Googled you and your name popped up for a marketing agency, then that person’s going to be at a different stage. And so design matters, but there’re all these other things that you need to take into consideration as well.
John Jantsch: So that leads me right to my next question. I think there was a time when people would say, “Let’s go get a website.,” as it was kind of a separate element of everything else they were doing. They had all their other channels and I think a lot of websites were designed that way. I remember, in the early days, people would have sites, they wouldn’t have their logos on them, they would be different colors. I mean, it was like nobody actually talked to anybody else at the business when they designed the site. But today, I mean it’s clear that you can’t have a useful website without a ton of content. You can’t have probably a useful website from a marketing standpoint without considering search engine optimization even in the design phase. I mean, so how do you balance design content and SEO? Because I think they almost have to be done together, don’t they?
Chris Martinez: Yeah. So the easy answer is to hire somebody who knows what they’re doing. Because if you’re a business owner, it’s very, very difficult for you to be able to implement all these things yourself in addition to running your own business. But everything does need to work together and it needs to be congruent in conveying your message. So for design, for example, I’m not a designer. We have a lot of designers here and I’ve hired many of them, amazing ones. And so there’s a thing called color theory and basically, color theory is that different colors convey different emotions. So depending on who your client is or company that you have in your value proposition, you want to have certain colors that reflect and convey emotions to that perspective visitor.
Chris Martinez: In terms of copy, I mean, copy is unbelievably important because people are going to read what’s on the page and that’s one of the ways that they’re going to determine whether or not you can help them or not. And then in terms of development, designers can design amazing things or you might have some concepts in your brain as to how you want things to function on the website, and a developer has to come in and be actually able to make those things come to reality on a website. And then from the marketing team, “How are we going to drive traffic? How are we going to optimize things and basically, get the most leads that we possibly can and making tweaks and changes as we go along the way?”
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John Jantsch: Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about the importance, the overarching importance of a website, and so I think that puts a lot of pressure on getting it done. So you actually you have a certain model for working with business owners and you work with a lot of agencies. You’re a partner of Duct Tape Marketing. Let’s just kind of briefly define what are kind of the options out there for somebody trying to get a website built? So they realize maybe they’re starting a new business and so they’re starting from scratch. What are the many options that they have available to get a website built?
Chris Martinez: I mean, I like to say that there’re really only three options. You can do it yourself, you can hire an in-house team to do it or you can outsource it and basically contract an agency or your local web development company to be able to build that for you. And most people when they’re starting out, they opt for option one, which is doing it themselves or hiring a company to be able to do it for them.
John Jantsch: Well, and really over time, it’s gotten easier. I mean, you’ve got WordPress as a core, CMS and there’re lots of themes and there’re lots of page builders, so in a lot of ways getting it done, I mean just physically getting it done has gotten a lot easier. But again, I think the question comes down to getting it done well is one consideration. And the other consideration for a lot of business owners is, is that a good use of your time? I mean, I know I used to actually put together WordPress websites and I mean, you can go down a black hole and two days have passed and you haven’t eaten, you haven’t drank any water. I mean, if the site’s done, but maybe that wasn’t a good use of your last two days. So I’d like to give you an opportunity to kind of explain your model at DUDE Agency because I think it’s a bit of a hybrid.
Chris Martinez: Yeah. So we work with digital agencies. So those companies that are building out the websites, they’re typically very, very good at the strategy and they’re very good at selling, so they work with the local businesses and they come up with this overall plan. And then where they struggle is they have a hard time in the operations and actually getting these projects completed on time and on budget. And that’s basically where we come in and we give the agencies, the people as well as the processes so that they can take on more projects and get these projects done profitably. And so our process is basically, we run a subscription-based model. We have a team of people, my company’s like you mentioned in the beginning of the show, our company is actually located in Tijuana, Mexico, which nobody ever thinks of when it comes to web design and development. And when most people think of Tijuana, they’re thinking of other things that we won’t talk about, but we all know what they are.
Chris Martinez: So yeah. So we give these agencies a team of people to help them set up and implement. So the strategy’s already created, the instructions are given to us and then we’re able to build everything out and any tweaks and changes that need to be done we have our team here in Tijuana to be able to help get all those things done. And one thing I do want to mention is that a website is never finished. It’s always a work in progress, not just like fixing tweaks and changes. Actually on my own website yesterday, for some reason a button was showing really, really strange on the website.
Chris Martinez: So I sent a little a support request over to my team and I said, “Hey guys, can you fix this?” And they were able to fix it really right away. Those little things happen all the time. But on a bigger scale, once you start driving more people to the website and you start collecting data because that’s another function of a website. This website that I should’ve mentioned is it’s a data collection center. So once you start to collect data, then you can make updates and changes to the site to help improve what we call conversion, getting more leads.
Chris Martinez: So maybe your offer that you had up there for the free consultation is just bombing and so you want to change it. And so maybe instead of free consultation you change the verbiage and it could be meet your new consultant, or maybe you change it all together and it’s like download an eBook and then it goes into something else after that, after you’ve built a little trust with that perspective visitor. So all those tweaks and changes are gathered by an agency and then interpreted into, “Hey, this is what we need to do to optimize,” and optimization is always, it’s always ongoing so it never really stops. And so all those support tasks, technical and design-related, those are the things that we help agencies with.
John Jantsch: And you mentioned a support ticket. And one of the things that I think I is, in my experience, I’ve worked with a lot of business owners and we’ve come into websites that in various different ways and some needed a total overhaul, some needed new content, some had been around forever and they were on this old platform. And I mean it didn’t ever seem like two of them are alike. How have you been able to streamline the process or actually create process that has allowed you to really move pretty rapidly through what sometimes can be a clumsy process?
Chris Martinez: Yeah, this is one of the things that I nerd out on and that I really, really get excited about that most people are like, “God, get this away from me,” But it’s like standard operating procedures, right? And being able to see, “Okay, these things might all look different, but how can we identify what’s similar within all of them so that we can create standards and processes for that?” So one of the things is standardizing your onboarding process. So the way that you’re collecting information from the customer, and this actually can apply to any business.
Chris Martinez: If you have a new client let’s standardize the way that we’re collecting all the information that we need so that we can start implementing the solution. I mean I’m talking about scripting it out, asking the same questions, inputting the information the exact same way with every single client and new client project. And then once that gets conveyed over to whoever’s going to start that implementation process, having that person do that process the same way every single time. And basically, just breaking down all those things into very, very small, manageable steps.
John Jantsch: So I think process is great, but how do you also fight the inevitable client or two clients that say, “Well, we just want to do it this way. I mean this is how we’ve always done it.” And then you don’t want to lose the business so you bend a little and next thing you know you’ve got 10 different variations of the process. Have you been able to wrangle that in?
Chris Martinez: Yes, and I believe that that starts in the prospecting and sales conversation. So when you work with somebody, you want to establish yourself as the expert. I’ve torn both of my Achilles, believe it or not, and so I’ve had two very, very different experiences. The first time I tore my Achilles on my left leg, I had absolutely no idea what that process was like. I didn’t know that there were different doctors with different skill sets. I didn’t know that there were different procedures. I didn’t know that there were different ways to rehab it. So I went into the first guy and it was a disaster. I mean, I play soccer, I’ve played soccer my whole life and my recovery with that was over two years. It was horrible.
Chris Martinez: The second time I did it, I went into the doctor knowing exactly what I wanted and I told the doctor, “Hey, I want this type of procedure,” and then he said, “Perfect. I understand exactly what you’re looking for. We’re going to do this, this, this and this and this and we’ll have you up and walking again within 10 weeks,” and I was like, “This is fantastic.” Now, I did not question the second doctor’s procedures at all because he completely understood what I was looking for and he had the social proof to back it up that he could give me the results. He could have told me to eat a can of lima beans every single day and I would have done it because I had that much respect for his expertise. And he had the proof. On his walls, he had all these pictures of professional soccer players that he had worked with.
Chris Martinez: And so that’s the type of relationship that you want to establish with your new client even before they become a client. So that then they know that you’re the expert and they’re essentially hiring you because of your expertise. And the big thing with clients is that in many ways they want to be told what to do, but they just want to feel like they’re a part of the process. Nobody wants to feel they’re there having information jammed down their throat. And so you could actually build that into your onboarding process by asking them, “Hey, so when we initially spoke, you said you’re looking for this, this, and this. Tell me a little bit more about that.”
Chris Martinez: And then once they give that to you, now they feel like they’re giving you information. You might actually disregard everything that they say, but still, they feel like they’re a part of this process. And now as you move into the next stage, you can basically deliver your solution that you know is going to work and then also say, “Hey, and this is how we integrated in your recommendations or your requests.” and now they feel like this is a teamwork type of project.
John Jantsch: Yeah. And I’ve always contended that you get ideal clients by teaching them how to be ideal. And if you have a process that you know is going to deliver value, that if they adhere to it, then I think you can get pretty confident about saying, “No, we know this is good for you.” And I think you’re right. I think, if we don’t guide clients they just assume that it’s up to them, to design the process, and so I wholeheartedly agree. So, Chris, where can people out more about you and your work at DUDE Agency?
Chris Martinez: Yeah, so you can go to the website at dudeagency.io and then we’re also on Facebook, facebook.com/dudeagency and then Instagram dudeagency.io and then also on YouTube too. So we have a lot of really cool videos, fun as well as educational and stuff. And then we also have our podcasts on our dudeagency.io website, and I do know a certain somebody who is going to be on that very, very soon, so it’s a great, great listen. Yeah.
John Jantsch: Awesome. Yeah. Thanks, Chris. And, of course, we’re going to see you at the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network Summit in October and Savannah. Yeah.
Chris Martinez: I cannot wait. Cannot wait.
John Jantsch: Yeah. Looking forward to it. So thanks for stopping by and we’ll see you soon.