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WordCamp Rhode Island Presentation

  1. From Ultra Boring to SuperAwes Foundational Paperwork for Creative Success
  2. Hello!I’m Robbie Moore • cd at 3 Media Web • design professor • sweet spot • unicorn’s grandad
  3. Hold on a sec, am I in the right room? • ramping up: 4-figure to 5- figure • generic themes to custom sites
  4. What’s your problem?• feel like a creative doormat • hourly rate is maxed out • don’t have a delightful process
  5. Goals • not be a creative doormat • charge more $$ • to enjoy designing awesome WP sites
  6. Design superhero • super powers • do gooder • someone in distress • trust your skills • awe • admiration
  7. Save me! • MIPNITR • your new best friend PHOTO NOT AVAILABLE
  8. You have the skills • you’re more user savvy than the client (<$50K) • talk sense – save them from themselves • it’s all about proof
  9. Sell the sizzle, baby • Creative Strategy – 10 questions & “the conversation” • Site Maps – why you need 6, minimum • Wire Frames – why creativity is bad • Downloads
  10. Creative Strategy • What is a Creative Strategy? • Mach 5 onboarding • humble curiosity & the drunken ninja
  11. Creative Strategy: Ten Questions • 10 questions (+1) • the conversation
  12. Q:1 Industry Landscape • different verticals • icebreaker for noob
  13. Q:2 Client’s Challenge(s) • can’t solve a problem until it’s defined • do they know the problem?
  14. Q:3 Visitor problem • user pain points • user unawareness – introduce MIPNITR
  15. Q:4 Site objective • connect client pain to user’s pain • mistaken identity • client lingo
  16. Q:5 #1 Benefit, promise or offer • users need proof • I’m clueless (I’m not alone) • self-reflection
  17. Q:6 Supporting facts/proof • unhook the lure • soft underbelly = honesty • trust-building
  18. Q:7 Who are we talkin’ to? (notice the conv. Tone) • authority/expertise • quickie personas • constituent groups • watch out for “everyone”
  19. Q:8 Competition • butt whoopin’ • pre-emptive namedropping • sites
  20. Q:9 Tone • golden adjectives • lazy words • lighten up • invite into process
  21. Q:10 Mandatories • coloring lines (logo, font, colors) • logo as litmus
  22. Q:11 Is this a good idea? • question yourself • honest dogooder • flagship • green light/ red light
  23. Creative Strategy: Show & Tell • switch to PDF
  24. Site Maps • What is a Site Map? • Napkin sketches (lo- fi) • Omnigraffle • living doc/site freeze
  25. Site Maps: Show & Tell • 2x client & 4x competition (proof) • competitive analysis • best practices • headcount/weedy
  26. Wire Frames • What is a Wire Frame? • blah on purpose • mostly everything’s the same (structure) • more creative = exploratory = expensive • bubbles to the rescue
  27. Wire Frames: Show & Tell • layer cake • top clicks • interior x3 • online store/blog/gallery • download examples (link)
  28. Paperwork Schmaperwork • synthesize it (Aha!) • share w/client (evidence) • sign off (ratchet) • naughty, review paperwork • see if they follow and trust you
  29. SuperAwes Case Study • layer cake • top clicks • aspirational
  31. Contact email: twitter: @rushminutes linkedin:
  32. Be SuperAwes! • rescue users • rid the world of ugly sites • be Super Awes, but be Web Safe – don’t wear pink, wear #ff5dab

Editor's Notes

  1. Welcome and thank you. Bit out of my element – LOVE it’s being recorded Hope you find this useful.
  2. • I walk clients through the creative process to a custom WP site 15 y.o. / wide team of 12 / 300 active clients • taught/developed courses as an adjunct for 14 years – depth of knowledge in h.e. • establish a creative process to boost $10K projects to $15-50K. We’re getting there consistently. • Been around for a while, not that uncommon at my age to have a rather broad skillset. My Goal: IF you end up using this info and you find this useful, I want to hear from you! Truly, that’ll make my day.
  3. Everyone’s welcome! • If you’re banging out 6-figure projects in your sleep, good on ya. Likely a more robust system – whole different talk • This is for smaller shops/solopreneurs who don’t know much about/have a process. • I use this weekly. It was missing. It works.
  4. MAYBE you connect with these “pain points” Our handsome, fit fellow here. Doormat delivery man. So, yeah, I’m not here to deliver creative doormats, I’m here to help.
  5. You may connect with one or more of these goals • What about combining all three? • To me, that’s a design superhero, but what IS a design superhero?
  6. • Design skills, coding expertise, great bedside manner w/clients • Rescue someone (more on that in a bit) • The first two I’m hoping you have, the second two I can help you with today, the last two, those are the outcomes.
  7. Hold it! Let’s talk about this. • Save whom? • Most Important Person Not In the Room (damsel in distress) – the actual user • your new best friend • your job is to advocate for them – as your budget increases, you’ll be relying more and more of you knowledge of the MIPNITR
  8. “I don’t have skills” Let’s reframe that • Not a multi-layered company – typically not super depth of knowledge in web or users. • They may be crazy or having difficulty letting go of the site control. • You do have skills, but you have to PROVE you have skills
  9. Ha! And on that note, let’s get started. We’re going to cover 3 things here. I’ll keep circling back to the user and skills DOWNLOADS
  10. A document that defines the problem. • My version adapted from old school “creative brief” • share w/a growing team – out of my head – accessed by a customer service person who knows NOTHING about a vertical. • I’m the first one to learn • I need to SHOW I care deeply as I represent everyone who comes after me. • Aw shucks, however that works for you. Something VERY disarming about humble curiosity. It makes it SAFE to trust.
  11. • Don’t email this! - beware of asks to share for the C-level who can’t be there – • it’s all about deeply absorbing a company’s brand into your bones, as silly as that sounds. ENGAGE MY SENSES • Huh? What’s the process? • I ask questions via phone • chicken scratch as quickly as I can • wait a day • then type it INTO the computer • do a first draft, then throw it into ID and edit it • Sit on it another day or so before I send it to the client for review. listen, write, read/decipher, type, cogitate, craft, buff WHAT’S SUPER? • You care • quick learner • analytical • listen well • you can express yourself • you’re open to criticism and learning • YOU HAVE CREATIVE SKILLS – you’re a creative expert.
  12. What I say: “I don’t spend all day in your industry like you do. Can you give me a one- or two-sentence distillation of the current industry/marketing situation or environment? And you can answer it anyway you like, I’m just trying to get up to speed, so however you want to answer it.” Why: 50K’ view - I work in different verticals, get up to speed quickly The Convo: an Icebreaker and a bit of an IQ test - amazed at the top of mind ability of people to express what’s going on in their industry to a total noob.
  13. What I say: “(kudos) Now, can you give me a one- or two-sentence distillation of (your client’s) foremost marketing challenge(s)?” Why: I need to define the problem before I can solve it. The Convo: Do they know what the problem is? Sometimes they don’t, so don’t lose your nerve. You’d love a shortcut, but you may have internal roadblocks to overcome.
  14. What I say: “I’m looking for a precise definition – from the site visitor/client perspective (not Minerva's perspective). What problems are they facing?” Why: I need to inventory pain points – in superhero terms: who/what needs rescuing and how difficult is the mission? The Convo: Indicates if they have a clue about their users. 99.9% of the time, at this price point, they haven’t thought much about the user. And this becomes the time for me to introduce the MIPNITR. I’m looking for “constituent groups” and will have 1st person pain point statements.
  15. What I say: “4. What is the objective of the website?” This flows from the definition of the site visitor/client problem.” Why: I need to hitch the client’s pain to the user’s pain. The Convo: This is commonly mistaken for “what’s our agenda”, but usually, even w/o knowing much about the user, they can sense what the site needs to do. What I’m looking for is how THEY express it so I can use THEIR words, but blend it with the logical USER needs.
  16. What I say: “What is the most important benefit, promise, and/or offer? This is a tricky one and it doesn’t have to be answered right here and now, but eventually I have to know what you offer that’s strong enough to overcome the user’s problem and meet the site objective.” Why: Users need logical and emotional proof, I have no idea what it is The Convo: Some people are squeamish or fuzzy. THIS is where you’re really getting to know a particular company’s SWOT. What makes their brand unique. You’re HELPING THEM THINK ABOUT THEMSELVES. They’re SUPPOSED to be fuzzy. That’s how you’re helping them.
  17. What I say: “6. What facts support this benefit, promise, and/or offer? Again, you may not have info top of mind, but what I’m looking for is a list of examples or additional data/info” Why: If there’s proof, use it. Sometimes the easiest thing is to help a client unhook a fishing lure from their fishing vest so they can actually cast it into the water. The obvious is VERY hard to see when you’re in the in-house forest. It’s ALL trees. The Convo: Some a proud of their “proof”. Some want to claim testimonials. We have two types: qualitative and quantitative. Both are good. What I’m doing is I’m poking at the pain, just like a doctor checking if you have appendicitis. Yowee! Go easy and know at THIS point, they’re exposing their soft underbelly. This is a great question to test if people are going to be honest and forthcoming. I’ve even had LAWYERS be honest with this answer. If you sense someone’s fluffing, I would advise against pushing hard on the pain right here. You’re too early in the relationship. THIS IS TRUST BUILDING!!! It’s not about you, they may have been burned.
  18. What I say: “Who are we talkin’ to? (TO WHOM) Have you guys heard of psychographics or demographics? What I’m looking for, if you know it is who ARE these visitors? Maybe you can describe a user you know.” Why: This one’s about MY AUTHORITY/EXPERTISE and a quickie persona The Convo: At this point, it’s not about them, but about people they know. Usually pretty easy to answer. It’s good to have them identify their main audiences and what makes them tick. And watch out for the “everyone” answer. Even EVERYONE has something in common. (people who are in accidents).
  19. What I say: “Who or what are we competing with?“ Why: I need to kick someone’s butt or get mine handed to me, street fight, best practices – be different The Convo: Tell me sites. I typically don’t look up sites w/them in screencast, but I DO let them know the ones I’ve discovered on my own (do homework – name dropping builds trust, confidence in oomph, independent initiative – maybe go somewhere else, glad on our team).
  20. What I say: “What should the tone of the site be? What I’m looking for are unique adjectives like squishy or virile. The two words you CAN’T use are clean or easy-to-navigate. I do those anyway b/c users don’t like messy and maddening. ;)” Why: They need to know this is about design, which I haven’t talked about AND I need a keyword – lighten up, make the process fun - you’re inviting the client into the creative process. The Convo: It’s really a wordsmith’s IQ test. You’re GOLDEN if you get an amazing, juicy keyword. “sleek, not slick”. “lego, we like solving puzzles for clients”
  21. What I say: “Are there any mandatories? Is there anything official or unofficial we have to include/exclude like a logo or colors?” Why: Know the lines to color w/in - is Robbie trustworthy? Can we play nice together? The Convo: Logos and colors, maybe fonts. Sometimes they’re unhappy and want you to tell them their stuff sucks. Sometimes it sucks, but they don’t want to change. If they can’t see their logo sucks and won’t change, you can guarantee they’re going to ruin your designs.
  22. Is this a good idea? What I say? I don’t say anything. This is filled in after the fact. Why: You need to be able to be honest with the client. I have one that indicated to me it was a bad idea to “iterate” a site. 99% of the time, it’s a greenlight b/c websites are flagships, but if something’s wrong, point it out and discuss it.
  23. Those are the questions, let’s look at an example A biopharma we started within the past month.
  24. • organizational chart of the pages on a web site • You could use a piece of paper and a pencil (lo fidelity vs. Photoshop high fidelity) • I use Omnigraffle • So what’s the point? 1) Head count. 2) spy on the competition – be the expert 3) weed the garden
  25. • See, I know you. I’m becoming an expert in your industry. You can’t say I don’t know/haven’t done my homework. • proving CLAIMS your authority. HOW AM I BUILDING TRUST? • you still care • you’re smart • you can set a direction • flexible • learning their terms and deliverables HOW AM I SUPER? • Xray vision • every superhero has a dark side and this is your bit of sneakiness • hopefully, you’re making something boring very, very exciting
  26. • a blueprint of a page • intentionally blah - making sure all the parts are on the page • there are only a few pages I do, mainly the nav and footer • creativity is bad • bubbles as users DOORMAT ALERT: exploratory clients. Much of web design isn’t creative AT THIS PRICE POINT. So if you’re running a business, watch out for someone who’s pushing for amazing creativity. They don’t have the budget and you don’t work for free.
  27. What’s SUPER? What’s SUPER? • you’re able to explain the structure • make complex look easy • you’re an authority • you don’t miss anything • you’re dependable, (you’re in weekly meetings, always show up ready to show proof) • you’re educating people/explaining things that have been a mystery (super powers) BTW, I haven’t found a SOUL at this level who’s said, “Oh EVERYONE knows that.”
  28. • you need breakthrough thinking, “this is not a test” Do NOT think of this analytically of just a form to fill out. This FORM gets you to the breakthru. • this IS what they’re paying you for, for you to prove you’re an expert they can trust • ratchet the process - DOORMAT ALERT: Each piece is signed off on, so that it’s a milestone. That means if they want to go back, we charge more • spank w/your paperwork - DOORMAT ALERT: If you’re sensing naught behavior (mail it to me, delay or non-commital or double-filtering), go ahead and slow the presentations down with a review of the paperwork. • The whole point is to see if they’re following and trusting you SET UP FOR SUPER AWES!
  29. ASPIRATIONAL • 90% loss, but - swing for the fences - feel good about my team – undervalued in the market - goal to climb the 5-figures - when a bite, that will leverage to 6-figure IF we want to go there - include more paperwork, more teammembers, etc.
  30. You can get the PDF templates: • CS • Site Maps • Wire Frames
  31. Need source docs, hit me up on linked in or shoot me an email
  32. Be super awes, but be web safe.