Our camping neighbors might’ve stayed dry and like camping if they would’ve been open to a little help! The same holds true to help you avoid frustration when you get your new brand and website. (Well, except the staying dry part. I can’t speak to that.)
Suddenly the truck and car pulled in to the next camping site all loaded up. There were an obviously new rowboat, kayaks and bikes all piled on the truck. Both of our sites were on a private path and almost on top of each other, so it was hard not to observe a few things throughout their stay.
The loud, frustrated discussion on the creek below our camp told us the man didn’t know how to use the rowboat! (Our camp was on a little hill overlooking the creek.) Kind paddlers even took time to nicely explain how he should sit and what he needed to to do go anywhere. He didn’t listen.
Their only other trip out led to more arguing. At one point they went in circles and got stuck (and he didn’t accept help from other kind souls to get unstuck.)
The bikes, canopies, kayaks and all the obviously new equipment sat there for the next four days. Price tags fluttered in the wind, and they were not enjoyed to the fullest. Their owners came and went quite often in their all too familiar vehicles. Frustration quite evident at times they were at their site.
Learning and Guidance
This made me think about the story a colleague shared recently. One I can relate to!
There was so much done. So much research into clients and competitors. Colors and fonts carefully and strategically selected. Words carefully chosen. Professional images taken and selected. Money invested in a new site and brand.
A strategic, beautiful website was created. It led visitors to the client’s end goal of signing up for their valuable freebie. Their list was already growing and the client loved it! At launch, my colleague had sent them the link to the one-on-one training to sign up and learn how to use their brand and website to the fullest.
They never signed up.
A few weeks later her clients were frustrated, and ooohhhhhh how they told her all about it. In fact, they started reaching out with the same questions and issues over and over again.
Every time they reached out my colleague took care of the issue and made a new video or written tutorial so they could make the simple fix themselves the next time. She sent the link to her calendar offering to get on a training call. She repeatedly referred them to the resources she already provided. She tried so hard to help them use their new website as a tool to grow their businesses.
It wasn’t that what she created was difficult to use, she designed it so it wouldn’t be … it was that the help she repeatedly extended wasn’t accepted.
As designers we want our clients to succeed almost as much as they do and will bend over backwards to help them! It’s hard to watch someone get frustrated with something we create, yet not take action to overcome their frustration when we’ve done all we can do to supply them with what they need and offer to provide training so they can move forward.
This is what reminded me of the new kayaks, rowboat, canopies and tents at our neighbor’s campsite. The fun tools just sat waiting for someone to learn how to use them for a great camping experience. At some point maybe they’ll want to learn and realize how much better life can be.
(By the way, the campers gave up trying to figure out how to set up the tent rainfly. Everything got drenched in the rainstorm we had. We would have gladly offered help, but we remained quiet since we didn’t know how long we’d have to share the camping space and didn’t want to face their wrath. I so wish they had read the tent assembly instructions rather than winging it! I’m certain they would’ve stayed drier and likely had a much better experience!)
How To Avoid New Website Frustration?
Like my colleague, I’m all about equipping and teaching my consultant clients when they get a new website. Starting in our first discussion I try to share how a new brand and site can achieve a goal but it takes a little elbow grease (as my Gram used to say.) Again, a few weeks before your project ends I give personalized ideas for how to get eyes on your new website, and to extend your brand across all platforms where you show up.
You’re also given custom written and/or video tutorials to learn how to use your website when it’s launched. Live training is offered and support is provided for 30 days post project completion. You’ll also receive a website owner’s manual once your project is done. This helps you keep everything website-related organized in one place.
Bundled together, all of these resources should set you up to use your website as a tool for your business, rather than just a pretty thing for people to look at (i.e. ‘something you spent money on.’)
Invest the Time
Investing in a brand and website just so they look pretty *can* be beneficial to your business.
Investing time in learning how to use them and how they can integrate into your business toolbox to help your business grow *is* beneficial to your business. (Even more-so if your website is built with strategy in mind.)
My goal is to create a website that not only meets your business goals, but also that you can easily update if you are blogging or as your business evolves. I do this several ways within each project:
- a training session included upon project completion
- written and video tutorials so you have resources at your fingertips when they are needed
- more often than not the offer of a website maintenance and care plan to take care of the basics like plugin, theme and WordPress core file updating, but often plans that include content (copy/blog posts) updating/uploading too
Expect a learning curve
There may be a learning curve when you first get your new website. You can almost count on it if you’re moving from another platform to WordPress. That’s another reason I stick around and offer support for 30 days in addition to all the tutorials and videos I provide to help you learn how to use your site.
Be open to learning something new and accepting guidance. Actually use and refer to the resources given to you during and at the end of your brand and website project.
I think I speak for my colleagues as well as myself when I say:
As designers we can create a tool for your business and provide resources to help with your new website, but you need to do your part in utilizing it effectively for your business!