<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=658263587654409&ev=PageView&noscript=1" />


Off       Press


Use the same tools I use

Browse free resources for creative entrepreneurs

Join 40,000+ other creatives for writing hacks, web & email copy tips, & more

Take the Quiz


What's your online voice vibe?

The Quick Storytelling Test Your Website Needs to Pass in 5 Seconds

Reading time: 3 min.

I’m saying this outta love, and trust me girl, I have to preach it to myself, too: you’re likely saying too much on your website about yourself, or if you’re not, you likely need to reorganize your info. Here’s my argument.

Our brains, their folds and twists and turns are wired to do two things (chiefly):

  1. Keep us surviving.
  2. Conserve calories and energy making #1 happen.

Imagine walking into a wedding reception. Immediately, your mind stores info where the entrance and exits are — before it does something like, say, calculate the number of people in the room. It’s wired to keep you alive and kicking.

If the purpose of your website is to support your business, organize it to think for someone else.

Let’s say that again. Synthesize and organize the info to think. for. someone. else.

We buy for experiences and we buy what we can understand the fastest. That’s why good packaging words. Solid branding and brand recognition works.

A bride with a ring fresh on her finger, a photographer in need of a website designer, a mama who needs to order cookies from your bake shop: they need to understand 3 things in 5 seconds:

  1. What you sell.
  2. Why it’s gonna make my life better.
  3. How to give you the money, honey.

And when I say 5 seconds, I mean before they scroll past the fold. In journalism land, we refer to above the fold as what’s above the crease on the front page of the newspaper: same thing applies on the web!

What You Sell

Can I be honest? Y’all, this is the toughest for me. I talk too much, I write too much … you get it. But I gotta kill my darlings and nail WHAT I do at the top of my page with quick, easy-to-read copy. Someone needs to come to ashlynwrites.com and say oh, she is a writer and storyteller for creatives. Don’t get too poetic on me. Make it fast.

Why it Will Make My Life Better

Everyone’s jonseing to be the hero in their own story, yes? Show your sweet client that you’re the Hamich to her Katniss. Let her be Johnny Cash and you play June: cheer, support, lead, give advice, and get her to where she dreams herself. Do not sell yourself on your expertise.

Example time. I am the worst photographer. Cameras terrify me. But I need some headshots. When I peruse photog sites, I couldn’t care less if you shoot 52 weddings a year, shot in Aruba and Saint Tropez last year, and studied photography at RISD. Or whatever (see!? I am a great example of how we don’t even know what makes someone crazy good). I want to see that you understand that I want to look like myself, be natural, hate to have my picture taken, and need professional, airy imagery for my website.

Make sense?

So lead your story and imagery at the tip-top of your website showing that you’re a guide, playing supporting actress to your client.

How I Buy From You

We call this a call-to-action in marketing. Make it bright, clear and easy. The top right corner of your site? Sweet darlin, that’s Park Place in Monopoly. The pink “Shop Products” button I put there isn’t on accident. Our eyes go there on a website. Use it. Use easy words, like:

  • Book Consultation
  • Schedule Call
  • Shop Now
  • Place an Order

I hope that helps! We have such a curse of knowledge in our industries — it can be super hard to dumb down what we know to talk to our clients.

Think of it this way: if your knowledge is a 10, don’t dumb it down to a 7 above the fold on your website. Take it down to a 1 or 3. You have the rest of your website to show off your skills!

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

And when I say 5 seconds, I mean before they scroll past the fold. In journalism land, we refer to above the fold as what’s above the crease on the front page of the newspaper: same thing applies on the web!


comments +

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get a front-row seat to sales copy tips & hacks I’m applying to write first-rate/top-shelf funnels for clients, what’s on my desk (and in my earbuds), and what lessons I’ve learned … sometimes the hard way. Hope you’re ok that I’m a little more personal here than I am in social media land. 😜

These emails are read—and swipe filed—by people you probably follow in the creative industry … and you can get ‘em, too.


I spill the tea business secrets going on over here
weekly to my private email list:

%d bloggers like this: