How to Write an Awesome Landing Page
If you run a service-based business, your landing page is a critical piece of your marketing and sales system. Is it doing its job?
The key to a great landing page is not a long list of accomplishments, a splashy design, or slick copy. It’s not about SEO or having the most beautiful photography.
These things are awesome to have!
But the key is to show that you understand your audience and what they need. It's about meeting them where they are.
So whether you’re DIY-ing your website or hiring a designer, knowing these basic principles will help you create a landing page that leaves people wanting more.
The key to an awesome landing page is
meeting people where they are.
1. it’s not about you (or them).
Here’s the truth: Your landing page isn’t about you, your expertise, your portfolio, your process, your services, or your testimonials. It’s not even about your “audience.”
This page is about one person: your next client.
It is all about her.
Think about your landing page as your front door. When someone arrives at your house, you don't shout to them from your living room while rolling around on the sofa. You don't walk past the windows modeling your luxury clothing, or send them a selfie while they're waiting on your front porch, or open the door and start selling. You get up, go meet them at the door, and ask how they’re doing, and offer them a drink!
This is how you should handle your landing page. Don't just show off how fabulous you are (I mean, you are pretty damn fabulous), or start talking about yourself and your process. Meet them where they are, and show that you care.
Start by getting crystal clear about what is going on in your next customer’s life right now. What are they struggling with? What do they need help fixing? Speak directly to their situation. And show them the path forward.
Tell her story using the words she is already using in her head, and respond to the messages she’s telling herself. Use visuals that inspire and motivate her towards what she wants, and show that you truly get her and want to support her.
Your landing page is about one person: your next client.
(If you haven’t already done your market research, this is a good time to go do it! Download the workbook below.)
Show that you are here, in business, to serve this one person. Ideally, she should feel like you are already there with her, on her side, rooting for her, and invested in her success.
Because people are attracted to things that feel made for them. This is how you earn trust and become the solution. Not just by showcasing your accomplishments or demonstrating how awesome you are. But by showing genuine interest and concern for this one person.
Even if someone isn’t your very next client, you are planting a seed that may sprout one day. One day, when the time is right, they will remember you.
2. start with service.
How do you become indispensable to someone you’ve never met?
You provide tools they can use to move themselves forward, even just a little bit.
By offering free value, you cultivate your brand and position yourself as an expert in your field. And not only that – you’re helping your audience, your tribe, succeed.
When the time comes to hire more personalized help, she will have experience benefiting from your expertise and perspective, and you’ll be at the top of the list. (Plus, assuming what you provided was useful, she may even have more room in her budget to invest in working with you. A rising tide lifts all ships!)
So where to begin with creating valuable free content to serve your audience?
First, ask yourself what your next client needs right now.
What would help them move forward today, even just a little bit? What would help them get past the obstacle immediately in front of them, or improve one little piece of their business or life that has them stressed out?
And then, how could you deliver that little bit of help in a format that would be useful and easy for you to produce?
Even a simple piece of content, like a worksheet or a checklist in a PDF, has the power to help organize someone’s thoughts, get them thinking about their business in a new way, and formulating ideas for taking action.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, or beautiful. It just has to be useful! (See #1 above!)
Ask yourself what she needs to move forward just a little bit!
3. sell the destination, not the journey.
When you write your sales page – especially if you’re in a service industry – it’s tempting to brain dump everything you know about your profession and your practice. And seriously, you know a lot. You could probably write a book about it – and maybe you have!
But talking about your process and expertise isn’t the best place to start. Your next client is busy thinking about the outcome she wants – visualizing it, wishing for it, imagining how her life will be different once she has it.
If you dive into process too soon, you’re not meeting her where she is. That is fixating on your own situation, not hers.
The first thing this person needs to know is that you share her vision and understand what she wants. You’re on the same page about what her goal is, and it’s at the top of your priority list, too.
Show her by focusing on the destination. Join her in imagining and visualizing the final outcome, and how her life will be better, once the transformation is complete.
Use compelling (brief) copy and visuals to communicate that you’re in sync.
Show her that you want the same thing, and you're in sync about what that looks like.
Then, of course, back it up by linking to your detailed process for getting them there. Use a separate page, or a blog post. This is all useful information for your next client, once she knows you have the same goal in mind.
4. focus, focus, focus.
This last one isn’t easy!
As they say in the copywriting world, “Cut it in half, and then cut it in half again.” If you can’t read all the copy on your landing page in about two minutes of casual scrolling, it’s probably too long.
Words are more potent when they are few. They take more work. A great copywriter is worth her weight in gold – she takes complex ideas and makes them magically sound simple.
If you choose to DIY your copy, you’ll learn quickly that shorter doesn’t mean easier or faster. If anything, it’s harder and takes longer, because you have to put more thought into every word.
cut it in half, then cut it in half again.
Even though you are starting out with a strong focus on your next clients (see Steps 1-3!) you still want to be brief. No one wants to wade through three paragraphs of text to figure out what you do.
Being brief isn’t just about people having short attention spans – it shows respect for your reader’s time. Don’t make her do the work of culling through your text to find what she’s looking for – do the work for her by spending some extra time finessing your copy until it’s brief and easy to read.
let's sum up
1. it's not about you. it's about her.
Focus on what she needs and wants - not just how great you are.
2. start with service.
Your next client needs your help today! Offer value and light the way forward.
3. sell the destination.
Focus on the outcomes and results of working with you, not the nitty gritty process.
4. focus, focus, focus.
Cut it in half, then cut it in half again. Less is more!
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