The Importance Of Great Web Design - With Greg Merrilees

Episode 18

About The Show

Your Website is one of the most important tools you have in the marketing arsenal of your business. Yet so many business owners fail to review their website regularly or keep it up to date.

Whether you have an online business or a traditional bricks an mortar business your website when designed and built correctly has the ability to grow your business bottom line exponentially.

This week we meet up with Greg Merrilees from Studio 1 Design. Greg has designed sites for some of the biggest brands in the online space and he shares with us his tips and traps when it comes to having a great web design and a high performing website for your business.


What You'll Learn!

  • The business journey Greg went out from designing a T-Shirt to a fully fledged web and design agency
  • How to reach out to online influencers
  • The importance of offering value upfront
  • How a podcast and some high-end coaching helped Greg to grow his business
  • Why a written blog post is still an effective tool for Google
  • The first thing a new business should do before looking at their branding
  • The importance of an offer that converts
  • The importance of a consistent brand across all your platforms
  • The six stages of persuasion and how to apply that to your online presence
  • Why your copy needs to be about your customer, not you
  • The 5-second rule
  • Design or Copy – which comes first?
  • Why you shouldn’t put your best content on just social media
  • How to get on getting social proof when starting out and the power of your story
  • Why you should begin by starting a conversation with your customers when they are visiting your website
  • Mapping our your sale process
  • Why Greg recommends Shopify for e-commerce businesses and WordPress for established service businesses
  • The ownership issues with self-hosted website platforms such as Wix

Links Mentioned

High Performance Website Design 
to Boost Your Authority and Results

Influence: Science and Practice is an examination of the psychology of compliance (i.e. uncovering which factors cause a person to say “yes” to another's request).

Boost The Performance Of Your Website With Fast Website Hosting To Ehance Your Customers Web Site Experience

Join other business owners in our Free Facebook Community all sharing their trials, ideas and wins in business. It's a fantastic community of driven and supportive entrepreneurs.



Email Marketing is one of the fastest ways to grow your business.

You Need An Email Service Provider That Ticks All The Boxes.

  • Reliable Delivery Of Your Mail To Your Audience
  • Cost Effective - (Particularly When Starting Out)
  • Out Of The Box Easy To Set Up
  • Easy To Use And Operate
  • Scales With You As Your Business Grows
  • Has The Automation and Smarts Of The Bigger Systems

I have used and trialled many email and automation systems in my 20+ years of business, from free inexpensive systems to the more elaborate, expensive and high end. 

Convertkit, ticks all the boxes when it comes to getting results with your email marketing.

convertkit-long 1626x324

Full Episode Transcript

You’re on episode 18 of the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast, let’s do this Mia.
You’re on the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast, where we make business easy.
Here’s your host, Jason Skinner.
G’day, g’day and welcome to the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast, where we
make business easy. Jason here and thank you so much for joining me today,
wherever you are in the world. I am glad that you’re here. Thank you also too,
to those who have subscribed lately to the show. I thank you so much for
that, it really does help the show to grow. And if you are enjoying the show,
please don’t hesitate to leave an honest review over on iTunes because that
really helps me to get the show going.
Today, we’ve got a great episode with Greg Merrilees. Greg is the owner and
director of Studio 1 Design and Greg’s going to share his story in business.
And how he got started in business from designing t-shirts with Just Jeans
and Cotton On etcetera, right through to having his own design agency now
that’s designing websites and some fantastic graphics stuff for businesses all
over the world now.
And Greg’s going to share some fantastic tips with you on building a great
website and what features, things are needed on the website. What elements
you should have in a website and the importance of having the right type of
website for your business. Fantastic episode, let’s get into it. Here’s a great
chat with Greg.
G’day Greg, welcome to the show mate. How are you going?
Good thank you, Jason, how are you, buddy?
Yeah, fantastic. Just been on the back of another weekend and a trip down to
Sydney, so I’ve been having a good time and getting ready for the Christmas
cheer, as they say, it’s all happening..
.. pretty fast. So, what’s been happening with you in business, mate?
Well, look I would say, we rolled out a thing called ‘Designer on Tap’ so that,
to me is probably the most exciting thing at the moment. We’ve just got a lot
of clients that have taken that up, that have an ongoing need for design. And
it’s really good from a cash flow point of view because it’s recurring income.
That’s exciting for me, in business at the moment.
Yeah and how does that work, is that a monthly subscription service?
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so you just pay one month and then we just give you as
much design as you need each month.
Oh wow, fantastic.
So, you just basically, like you’ve got a designer on tap? Sort of thing.
Exactly. That’s it.
And that’s the website, www.designerontap.com
Oh very good, there you go. Greg, I’m interested in your story about business.
I mean, you’re in the graphic space and graphic design and web development.
How did you get into this? Have you always been doing it, or?
No actually, I’ve had my business since the year 2000 and what’s that, 17 odd
years. And we primarily just designed t-shirts for the first 10 or 12 years, or
thereabouts. And so we designed t-shirts for wholesalers that were selling to
the major retailers. Like Myer, Target, the ‘Just’ group, which is Just Jeans,
Jay Jays, the Cotton On group, Witchery group, all those big players. And
then they decided to go vertical, meaning they tried to cut out the middleman
and build their in-house teams. And unfortunately, our clients were the
middlemen so..
So they were beginning to drop, yeah it was terrible. They were dropping like
flies and our business was really getting hit hard as a result. I had to look for
online opportunities and, look I found a podcast and this podcast changed my
business basically. And it was an educational based podcast and the two
hosts that were hosting the podcast reached out and said that they didn’t like
their logo. I thought, “There’s an opportunity, I’m going to design them a new
I designed them a logo and when we design logos, we design logos that we
think would look really cool on a t-shirt right? We designed them a logo and
they loved it, that was kind of the in-roads to designing other things for them,
like their website and all that sort of stuff. And then eventually, they, after
building trust with them, they pushed us out to their communities and we
started designing for all their clients and things like that as well.
Then I hired one of those podcast hosts as my business coach, which is James
Schramko, who you know.
Yes, yeah.
And he said, “Look, this worked so well for me. Why don’t you repeat this and
do it for other influencers.” We started designing t-shirts for other
podcasters and influencers that had their own communities and yeah, that
was kind of the catalyst to us really designing a lot of online marketing
graphics and websites for many businesses around the world.
Oh, fantastic. You’re now, I do know your customer base now is worldwide,
isn’t it?
It is, yeah. We have 50% of our clients are in the US and the other 50 are
made up from every other country. Australia’s about 40%. Yeah, it’s amazing
how it’s spread and I guess the lesson there for the listener, is to think about,
a couple of things. If you can learn anything from what I’ve done, is reach out
to influencers in your niche and potentially send them a free something that’s
unique to your business’s skillset. Not just an e-book or whatever, but
something that’s unique and that really provides value to them or a benefit to
them, or their audience. And even that appeals to their ego, like a t-shirt,
what we do with a t-shirt was put their slogan on a t-shirt rather than just
slapping a logo on there. And it’s a slogan that not only, this podcaster would
want to wear but it’s also a slogan that their audience would want to wear.
Yeah, nice. And I think that’s a very valued point, is that I see so many
businesses starting out and they put their shingle up or, worse still, if it’s a
physical brick and mortar business, go and actually pay for a lease and set up
a whole thing. And then sit there and wait for people to come in the door and
I don’t think you can really do that in business, so much anymore because you
really need to, when there’s so much competition, and it’s. You’re really gotta
offer value upfront. Show people your product, how you can help them and
how your product will solve their problem. And create that conversation first,
before just becoming a customer. And that’s what you’ve done in your
Spot on, yeah. You have to lead with value first, there’s no doubt about that,
Especially, gone are the days of just having a website brochure and expecting
people to find you and call you.
It doesn’t happen anymore, there’s just way too much competition. You must
lead with value first.
Yeah and as more and more people come online and Google’s looking at all
these websites continually and ranking everyone according to value.
They want to be the most valuable search engine in the world, it’s critical that
your business is actually offering value upfront as well. Is that?
Yep, 100%. And realistically, Google just want to give the best answers to
their audience, that’s why blog posts rank so well. If they’re really well
written, they’re based on facts, not just an opinion but they’re super helpful
and usually the more in-depth and detailed a blog post is, the better it will
rank. And especially over time as well, the more you add these type of
high-quality blog posts to your website, the better your entire website will
Yeah, there’s no question. Do you still see, there’s a lot of?I’ve been reading a
lot lately about the development of YouTube and video content coming into
the sphere and dominating that blog space. Do you still see the blog writing
or the written blog content on a website, just as important?
Absolutely yeah. Because Google, sure they can read videos and they can spit
out a transcript from video but a blog post, there’s no mistaking the words on
the page. And the words on the page do rank based on what the content’s all
about. The best kind of posts, in my opinion, are a mixed media. You might
have video, you might have written as well. If you do a video or even a
podcast, like this. If you have it transcribed word for word, then you have no
mistake and it’s really meaty, chunky blog posts as far as the written goes,
then Google’s going to favour that more. You can also put in infographics as
well as really high-quality graphic images and all these things, as well by the
way, really should be congruent with your overall brand, look and feel so it
becomes more memorable.
Yeah, so carrying that theming through, right through, your colours and…
.. looks and feels. That’s the importance of a style guide, is that what you
would use typically?
In that instance?
Absolutely, we do a lot of complete brand refreshes and it’s usually because a
business has grown organically and they might have various sales pages and
websites that all have a slightly different look. They were created at different
times, so what we like to do from that point is start fresh with a brand new
look and we would always start with, the logo might not change for instance,
but we’d always start with a style guide to make sure that, from that point
forward all of their online presence will be congruent and they can give it to
any designer once you’ve got that style guide and it could be a designer for
your print marketing media. It could be for your social media, whatever the
case is, it will all be congruent if each designer follows that one style guide.
Yeah, nice. I know because you did my website Greg, how we, well we
actually met at a conference but I know when we sat down and did my
website, I was sort of all over the place with. I think too, there’s stuff out
there that’s free and there are lots of programs like your Canva and…
.. all these free graphics resources that you sort of go in and think, “Oh, I could
just do this myself” and I’ll go in and get that and do that. But you’re right,
what I ended up with before going to you, was this mismatch of imagery.
There was no central theming, yes I could put it up on WordPress but at the
end of the day, it was my brand that was just not gonna make it.
The way it was looking and I think that’s probably the importance of, yes
there are free tools but you really do need to start with that professional
approach to it and structured approach. Is that the way you’re seeing it?
Yeah. It is, to a degree. I would say though if you are starting out, you really
want to test your offer first. Make sure it’s going to convert into a sale, so
realistically, templates like, there’s Instapage and LeadPages and
ClickFunnels. That have predesigned landing pages that are proven to
convert quite well, so you start with one of those templates, you prepopulate
all the information yourself and it’s really simple drag and drop type of
interface. And that’s the type of thing that I would recommend for a new
business to start, just test your offer and see if it converts. Then once your
offer does convert is when you should invest in your brand and realistically,
with 1.3 billion websites online today. And that’s doubled since 2014, there’s
going to be a lot…
Yeah, there’s going to be a lot more websites coming online in the next few
years. If your brand isn’t professionally designed, then there’s a very good
chance you A. you won’t, people will land on your site and they won’t convert
but also you won’t be memorable and realistically, you won’t be proud to
show off your website to others.
Yeah, it’s so critical. And I know the difference in just my site and the
feedback I’ve been getting on my site since and everything now I have this
formula, graphic formula that I can build products around and keep that
central look.
Building a website for someone starting out, or even actually I know a lot of
businesses that still don’t have a website. They really don’t have anything,
what’s and it does seem like a daunting task, when you sit down and go,
“Where do I start?” Can you take us through the process of, if you’re going to
build a website today, how you’d approach it and the critical things that you’d
need to look at?
Yeah sure, well for a start, we design websites without using any templates.
So, it’s all fully custom right? That’s what I’m going to talk about now because
we don’t do standard template stuff, it’s really quite custom and realistically,
if you’re starting out and you might already have an established business or
whatever the case is and you’re ready to invest in your brand and your
website. Then you really want to find a website designer that understands
marketing, understands psychology and web design and has a good process
for understanding you, your business and your target audience and it can be a
pretty daunting process. But I would first off, look for a designer as opposed
to a developer.
A website designer is a different breed of person to a website developer and
a lot of people think, “Oh, I’ll just go on Fiver and I’ll get, or Upwork or
whatever and I’ll get a cheap developer based in India” or whatever and sure
you’ll get that but you’re going to get what you pay for. And realistically a
developer doesn’t understand design and doesn’t understand conversions. I
would look for a designer that’s not a developer and our business is just
design. We do have developers as well but realistically we’re known for being
a design business and we try to make that process easy for our clients.
You know, you’ve been through it and start with a questionnaire and then
we’ll jump on Skype and have a chat, so we really can dive deeper into
understanding more about you and what you’re all about. But if we’re talking
custom design, then look at their folio as well. Make sure the folio and the
testimonials and all those sort of things that you should also have on your
website, which we can get into in a minute as well. But you want to look for
those things in a web designer as well.
You touched on a point there Greg, which was about the psychology..
.. of websites. Because I do know, there are designers out there that are doing
great, they’re doing great on Photoshop or Illustrator or whatever and can
really do some nice stuff. But get carried away with the creative rather than
the functionality of the design and page. Is that?
Yeah, great point and I appreciate you bringing that up because a pretty
website doesn’t mean anything. You need a website, that sure, is pretty but
that’s just a very small part of it. It needs to be designed to influence people
to take action and we use, we follow Robert Cialdini’s 6 persuasions of
influence in every website that we design. And they’re things like reciprocity,
we touched on that before, you give away your best stuff for free. In other
words, it could be a blog post, podcast, video, could be some form of a lead
magnet, like a PDF download, a free course, a free trial and you really want to
lead with value first and then in return, people give back. That’s just the
nature of reciprocity.
And then, just to run through the other authorities, sorry the other principles.
Authority, so people trust knowledgeable, credible experts. You really want
to show your authority on your website, that could be anything through your
headlines to showing you if you’re an influencer speaking on stage or even
just on the tools or wearing a suit. If you’re a lawyer, or doctor’s outfit,
whatever the case is but you want to show your authority.
Then consistency as well, that’s another principle where you want to be
consistent with, for instance, the look and feel across your entire branding,
online and offline. But also a consistent voice or message of your brand, you
want to interact with your prospects. Whether it’s on social media or
everything that you release, needs to be in a consistent voice that represents
your brand. Don’t go one week to the next week, changing the way you look
at things. It needs to be consistent.
And then scarcity, obviously it’s human nature to desire what there is less of.
This can work really well for event sales pages, for instance, that have a
limited time offer or limited seats. Something, or even e-commerce,
something that has, sorry that doesn’t have a limited, sorry an endless supply.
Has a limited supply, even add in a countdown timer to support that message
to really let people know visually, how much time is remaining. Yeah, scarcity
is a big one and then liking, so you want to be likeable, so when you do
interact with people or on social media you want to make sure that you’re
likeable and be extremely helpful in your videos on your website, people will
look at your body language and things like that. Come across as friendly and I
know you’ve done a podcast episode on this.
Yeah, which is killer and I think it’s so important these days and people forget
that you don’t want to come across as scary and not likable.
That’s an important principle and then finally, sorry, six is consensus. Which
is what we call ‘social proof’ and to me, this is probably the most important.
It’s having as much social proof in the form of testimonials, they could be
written or video, have case studies showing people where they started, how
you helped them and then where they ended up. You can even just use logos
of businesses that you’ve helped or show places where you’ve been
interviewed or ‘as seen on’, ‘as heard on’ etcetera.
Yeah. That last point here is what I’m seeing evolving out of that as well, is the
art of storytelling in your business. Is that what you’re…
.. getting at? Telling that story of your brand so you show, showing a story of
how you’ve taken someone who had a problem and your brand actually takes
them through and helps them.
And now they don’t have that problem anymore and they’re happy and the
pain’s gone.
Those sorts of things, I guess that’s what you mean by that social proof as
Absolutely, yeah. There are case studies which are more powerful than just a
testimonial, if you can, in the case study take people through the entire story
of where that business started, or that person and show them exactly how
you helped them and then where they ended up. That becomes a story and
that’s the most powerful form of social proof.
That’s great actually, interesting and I’ll put a link to that content in the show
notes as well, so if people want to go and get that as well. Plus this will be
transcribed so, certainly be able to…
.. if you want those points, you’ll be able to, people will be able to go back and
check out that because it’s value. I think that really does highlight the
importance of not having someone who can draw, but, or design stuff but
actually design with a philosophy and the psychology behind it. Because..
.. you want people to not only go to your site but you want to then engage on
your site, isn’t it?
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s one part of it and then it needs to be designed
with the right kind of design elements based on the principles of influence, in
the right kind of hierarchy. And then there’s a lot of elements within that that
we have to think about and one of the most important ones is actually
copywriting. A lot of business owners do their own copywriting, which is the
words on your website and they normally make it all about them. If you, yeah,
it’s like, “Welcome to our website, we are the best accountants in the Gold
Nobody wants to do that.
“About us”.
It’s like…
… “No, it’s not about you.”
And you do see it, you see so many sites like that and I am in the accounting
space and I do see that a lot in accounting websites. They start with what,
their first words are like, “We” or “Us”.
You know.
Spot on.
“We are accountants on the Gold Coast” and you go, “I don’t care.”
So are four million others, it’s like, there’s no, there’s nothing there to grab
your attention when you land on the page.
That’s right because people only think about what’s in it for them. They don’t
care about you at all, they just care about what’s in it for them. Your
copywriting needs to be targeting them needs to let people know how you’re
unique, what you’re offering, who it’s for and how they’ll benefit from it. If
you get all those things right, you’ve gotta think about the five-second rule.
So when somebody lands on your website, they need to know exactly what
you offer and what’s in it for them. Get that wrong and they’re gone, that’s
why copywriting is so important but then the design, which is what we
specialise in, needs to support that copy and enhance that copy. And
especially on, say a landing page where you’re really, you’ve got a long
landing page that’s trying to sell a product or a service, the copy’s the most
important thing on the page but the design needs to support it and enhance
We need to consider things like the hierarchy, the structure of the page, the
clear space, the colour, the images used need to resonate with your target
market and everything needs to be congruent with your brand and have the
right flow. The flow’s probably the most important thing to take people
through that customer journey on the page essentially.
I heard the saying that, the idea of the headline is to get you reading the next
line and then..
.. the next line is to get you reading the next line, and thinking of it in that
context when you’re writing copy is that?
Yeah, absolutely. I’m not a professional copywriter but yeah, you’re spot on
because websites these days, or people have limited attention span and when
they’re reading a website, they will just skim from headline to headline to
headline. Then if they’re interested, they’ll go back and read the content of
each of those sections. It’s really important that your headlines are good and
it just draws people down to the next section.
Would you recommend, in building a website, would you have that
copywriting outsourced? Two questions, two parts to this question. Would
you do that copywriting first and have it outsourced before coming to see
somebody like yourself? Or would you get your design right first and then
worry about the copywriting once that’s done?
Yeah. If it’s a landing page selling a product or a service, you are better off
having the copy written first and professional copywriting that’s really
designed, written well can take weeks and can be quite expensive. But the
better the copywriter, usually the more expensive and the better results
they’re going to get. Think of it as an investment, not an expense but then yes,
if it’s a landing page, copywriting first but if it’s just a full website, we’ve got a
pretty good structure for the majority of pages. We don’t need the
copywriting first unless it’s for an individual landing page within the full
Normally we can get started without the copy and then the client would work
on the copy for the landing pages within the website, while we’re designing
the rest of the website.
Cool and to clarify, landing pages are really just a sales page if you’re selling a
product or service, or something like that on it as opposed to your website
which is more about your business. Is that right?
Yeah, yeah so absolutely. A website really is your biggest online asset and it is
a hub where you will house everything and don’t put things on with a lot of
effort into social media. The purpose of social media is to bring people back
to your website and that’s where you should have all your most valuable
content. Really, I see the home page as a gateway to get to the important
sections on your, important pages on your website.
The home page needs to be designed in a way that positions you as the
authority, has a lot of social proof, has a lot of helpful content, has your lead
magnets and you don’t ask for a sale on your home page. You just want to
offer value first, a little bit about you and then all these sections will link off
to the relevant pages.
Yep and they could be housed on something like LeadPages, they don’t need
to be on your website, do they?
That’s right, yeah.
They could be, yeah.
Yeah, yeah.
That doesn’t affect you, your traffic and stuff like that. You touched a point
there too, is the central asset, and I saw a diagram of this and I know James
Franco who you mentioned, talks of this, by owning the racecourse..
.. in his strategy but this idea that the website is the central part of the wheel
and then all the spokes go off to the various things. Your iTunes and
YouTubes and, so don’t build your real estate on those social platforms.
‘Cause they can change at any point in time and…
.. whereas you own your website.
That’s right.
I was going to say, yeah they change the rules a lot so just make sure your
best, helpful content is on your website. Simple as that.
Yeah, cool. That’s cool. Any other elements that we should have on our
website? Say, some necessities that we should actually have on there, at a
minimum?If we’re building or thinking about designing a website?
Yeah, you can’t have enough social proof. That’s number one but if you are
starting out, it can be quite difficult to have social proof on there. Then you
really want to concentrate on your authority and your authority is the whole
history of how you got to where you are now. You might not be able to,
because if you’re a brand new business, you’re just starting out. You won’t
have much of a story about your brand or your business but if you can just
have your story of how you got to that stage, that’s going to be pretty
powerful to let people know why you’re an authority and how you can help
them, based on the previous experience that you’ve had.
That’s super important. But look, overall I would say you really want to start
thinking about your brand look and feel. Because of the fact that, it’s more
memorable if, over time, you’ve released a lot of blog posts or content or
whatever, that have a consistent look and feel and you’re always bringing
people back to your website and every blog post that you put, whether you’re
building in Canva, or whatever, doesn’t matter. As long as it’s got a consistent
look and feel, you’ll start to become more memorable and then you’ll be that
authority to people will turn to when they’re ready to take action.
Yeah, cool.
But there are lots of elements and we could go into detail about colour and
images and clear space and hierarchy, but you just really want to think more
so about those psychological drivers. That’s the most important thing.
Yep and the minimum pages that you’d want to have, is a home page and an
about us, a contact page. Is there any others that we would need to have? I
know, particularly starting out in business and this is one thing I’ve found
difficult to start with, if you don’t have a lot of content at that, when you’re in
that startup stages. To think, “Oh, I gotta have this page, I gotta have that
page, I’ve got to write all this,” and…
What I would say is, don’t worry so much about all those pages initially. What
you really want to do is start a conversation with a prospect, you just need a
mini sales funnel, if you like, and depends on your business of course. But if
you’re a service business and you’re just starting out, you might want to offer
a free strategy session. But people might not be ready, there’s going to be
super cold leads on your website. There’s going to be warm leads and there’s
going to be hot leads, so you need to have lead magnets that cater to each of
the situations that they’re in.
And then let’s say if you have a PDF download right? A helpful guide that
helps a prospect get from A to B, that’s relevant to your business and that’s
for a cold lead. Then on the thank you page of that could lead, you want to
have the next step in your funnel. I would also recommend having video,
saying, “Hey, thanks for downloading the free thing and here’s the next step,”
and you’re telling them what you want them to do next. And if you add a little
bit of scarcity into it as well, it might be a free strategy session. If you take
action, it’s valued at $300 or whatever, but if you take action in the next 24
hours or whatever. Then you have a countdown timer, then it’s free.
Something like that but then you might also have something on your website
that is catering to warm lead magnets. They might have been following your
blog for a while, they’ve downloaded your free stuff, you sent them a lot of
emails. And with your emails, you want to bring them back to your website
once again, instead of putting all your helpful value content in the email, just
have a link sending them back to your website.
But then you want to have things like a webinar, which is super helpful or a
mini training course or all these things take time to build these assets but
they will become more popular over time and they essentially going to cater
to that warm lead magnet. And there’s nothing more powerful than a
webinar, for instance, that’s going to take them from warm to hot and that’s
when you can offer, you have a sellable product offer or, once again it could
be a free strategy session. Something like that. But just think about what’s,
they’re going to think about what’s in it for them, so you want to be helpful as
possible and cater to them, no matter where they are on the journey.
Nice. Thinking of it as a journey and mapping out that customer path from
taking, I love the analogy of, and I’ve heard this a few times now, I think the
guys over at Digital Marketer talk about it. This idea of, you wouldn’t just
walk up to a girl in a bar and ask her to marry you, you would say hi first and
then, and it’s the same with your customers, or potential customers, people
coming to your website.
Really welcome them in and have a conversation…
.. and through your site, it’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Yeah, spot on. That’s exactly right and we use that analogy as well ‘cause it’s
exactly like that. Imagine that in the real world.
“Let’s get married”.
Yeah that’s it.
“And by the way, we’re going to have a house and we’re going to have a car.
The girl would just run for the hills and..”
.. so yeah, it’s a great analogy and applying that in designing your website. A
great way to look at it as well.
‘Cause, and it’s the same as, whether you’re doing social media, whatever it is
you’re talking to real people. I think that’s something people forget about too,
and I hate the word subscribers for that reason.
Yeah, me too.
They are people, it’s a person that’s joined your community as opposed to a
subscriber on your email list.
Yeah. I couldn’t agree more and I think it’s so important that you treat them
as a person, instead of a subscriber. And people, they don’t want to be sold to
as well. They don’t want to be just another number on your list. Treat them
like a person, reach out and always be helpful and ask them how you can help.
Yeah, yep. And that way too, asking the questions is good because you get to
know what your audience and community want too. Which is, it’s good to do
that before going and building a whole lot of stuff that nobody really
understands or wants. Love that concept too.
Greg, there’s a lot of, I wouldn’t call them pop up but made to measure or
made easy type offerings out there. In terms of website and some of the
groups that I’m involved with, this discussion comes up quite a bit, which
platform to build your website on. Should I go to WordPress or should I go,
Wix, because Wix is already made up? I’ve heard mixed things about all of
those, have you got any thoughts on the best place to build your website? If
you want to build one?
Yeah. It depends on your business model but if you’re selling physical
products, the best platform no doubt is Shopify. Shopify is an incredible
solution, they’re always pouring a lot of money and effort into the
development of that platform. And it’s the easiest platform for anybody to
get started, even a lot of big businesses still use Shopify because it’s so
powerful. Has a lot of extra plugins that you can use to really concentrate on
the lifetime value of a customer and offer all sorts of things in the process of
the customer journey.
So that’s e-commerce but then if you have a service business, I would
strongly recommend WordPress if you are an established business right? I
mean Wix and Squarespace and all those types of things, in my opinion, are
for businesses that haven’t grown up yet.
Yeah, yeah.
They’re for people just starting out and it’s a good place to start out. But, they
are templates so you’re going to look like everybody else. There will be at
least, could a hundred, could be a hundred thousand people with the exact
same Wix or Squarespace website. If you want to be unique, then custom is
the only way to go. But WordPress is the number one platform that, I think
they have about, I think it might be about 40 or 50% of the total websites in
the world and it’s quite easy, it’s kind of like Microsoft Word. If you
understand that old program, it’s pretty easy to use like that. If you’re writing
a blog post, it’s just type in and you got bold and add an image and add a video
quite easily.
But then what we design, the majority of what we design end up being a
custom WordPress website. So we’ll start with the Genesis framework and
then customise it to suit whatever we design. I would say WordPress is the
way to go if you’ve got a serious business and you want to use content
marketing as a strategy to take your business to the next level.
Yeah. And with Shopify, that you mentioned, you can customise a lot of that
as well? So they could use…
So someone could use your designs and your designers could build a site
within the Shopify framework as well?
Well we don’t offer Shopify coding but yes, we would design, we design a lot
of Shopify sites and then we would send it to our coding partners or our
clients can find their own Shopify coders, to turn it into a live functional
And I heard with and I don’t know if it’s with Shopify but I know, I understand
with the Wix and the Squarespace etcetera you don’t actually own. It’s very
hard to get your site, you don’t really own it as such, do you?
That’s right. Exactly right, yeah. It’s a self-hosted service really, as soon as
you stop paying them, it’s all gone. You don’t, you can’t take it with you.
That’s the power of WordPress, it’s yours. You own it, you can do what you
want with it. You can change developers, you’re not stuck to anyone on a
WordPress website. It’s all yours.
Yeah. You control the host effectively with WordPress, which is important.
That’s right. Yeah.
It’s a major lesson in business actually if we have a physical business and
we’ve got assets, we protect those assets. We ensure them, we make sure
they’re garaged where we can look after them or install where we can look
after them. And your website nowadays is probably one of those most
important assets now, you want to make sure you can host it on something
you control and ultimately own. Good point.
Exactly. Just on that, if you want a tip on hosting. I believe the world’s best
WordPress hosting is www.wpengine.com so go check them out for…
Oh cool.
.. yeah $29 a month or something, currently, you know you can have the
world’s fastest, most secure, best support hosting out there. It’s just amazing.
WP Engine, alright I’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well. Thanks for
Yeah, cool.
.. that’s very good, very helpful. Mate, I’m conscious of time, we’re coming up
but, and I really appreciate you coming on the show and..
.. sharing that info, that’s great for, I know anyone who’s stuck with whether
they should build a website or how they, where you’d even start etcetera.
But what’s, and I like to ask people before they go, something that’s working
for you in business at the moment, that is ticking boxes for you, getting you
some wins or it could be software or marketing tip or an app you’re using. Is
there anything that’s kicking goals for you at the moment?
Yeah, I mentioned James Schramko earlier. A few years ago, I hired him as my
business coach and my tip is to get a business coach. If you really want to
grow your business faster, you will reach your goals quicker if you look for a
business coach and somebody that has a bigger business than you, that has
been in business for, I would say, at least a decade. There’s a lot of young
coaches out there these days, that in my opinion, haven’t had enough
experience to really ride the highs and lows of business. Look for business
coaches that have a lot of experience and has a lifestyle that you admire as
I mean James Schramko’s surfs, every day. He works about 20 hours a week,
that’s the kind of business I want.
That’s hugely profitable.
Pretty impressive.
Yeah and for me, since I hired James. Maybe four years ago now, I’ve gone
from literally a six-figure business per annum to six figures per month and
that’s because he’s taught me how to grow a team. I mean we have 20 people
in our business currently, we have systems and processes that don’t rely on
me. We have an advertising campaign and marketing funnels set up and
working well, we also get a lot of referrals as well and that stems from the
coaching community. There’s a lot that I’ve got out of that one thing, hiring a
business coach.
Yep, having that sounding board to keep you accountable and keep you
focused and heading in the right direction.
Spot on, you got it.
Yeah. No, I love James’s lifestyle, yeah it’s pretty cool.
It’s not surfing for you though, it’s skiing isn’t it?
It is, yeah. Thanks, yeah absolutely. I love snow skiing, we go to New Zealand
every year apart from when my wife did her ACL in her knee.
Oh, cool.
And then we just went local that year but yeah, love snow skiing and water
Nice. That’s cool, well I’ll put a link to James’s stuff over in the show notes
too. And he’s coming on the show in a few weeks, so that’ll be..
.. good as well. Yeah, well mate, thank you so much for your time. I really
appreciate you coming on today and sharing that stuff. I know, myself, I did
tinker, I went down the ‘do it myself’ path with the off the shelf themes..
.. and I must’ve lost countless hours, even just trying to learn the challenges of
WordPress but I know that once I did actually engage your team, it did all
come together nicely.
And it freed me up a lot and I’ve got a lot better product as a result anyway.
Awesome. That’s a tip as well, if you’re an established business, should you be
tinkering on your website?
Or should you hire someone else to do it for you? It’s not really the best use
of a business owner’s time.
I know and if you look at your equivalent hourly rate and you say..
.. “Yeah, that’s great. I now know how to put bold on in WordPress.” But
really, it took four days, 60 YouTube videos.
I love it.
Alright, that’s good mate. Well thank you so much and how would people find
more about you? What’s the best place to get hold of you, if you wanted to
talk to you further about web design and see what you’re doing?
Yeah, well we’ve got a quiz on our website. If you go to
www.studio1design.com/quizthere’s a 50 question checklist that will really
show you where your website will be leaking money, essentially. So do that,
but if you want to have a chat with me. Just email me
[email protected]
Fantastic mate, that’s good and I’ll put those links in the show notes and make
sure that everyone can get those nice and easy. That will be over at
www.businessmadeeasypodcast.com/episode18 so, very good.
Thank you, Greg, thanks for coming on mate. I really appreciate you doing
that for us and I’m sure everyone got some great gems out of that one. Yeah,
really good to have you.
My absolute pleasure, thanks for having me on Jason.
Talk soon, bye. See ya.
Well, there you have it guys, that’s Greg Merrilees from Studio 1 Design. I’m
going to put all the links that we spoke about today in the show notes. I love
Greg’s stuff, he really has some fantastic tips on designing websites and just a
great all-round designer. I use Greg myself and have just been so happy with
the work that he does. Check him out at Studio 1 Design and as I said, I’ll put
the link in the show notes.
That’s all we’ve got time for today but before I go, if you haven’t already, feel
free to join our ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast Facebook group. We’re sharing
lots of good conversations and stories over there, it’s free to join. You really
just need to be interested in business and growing business. You might want
to start a business, check that out, you can do that by searching in Facebook,
up in the top Facebook bar. And just type in ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast
group will come up and I’ll be, I’ll look forward to seeing you over there.
Until next week guys, I’m going to hand you over to Mia to take us out, and
here’s to your success. All the best, bye.
Thanks, Jason. You’ve been listening to the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast,
where we make business easy.

Read More



Cashflow is critical to success in business. You can have the best business idea ever, but if you can’t generate cash and pay the bills you won’t survive.

Grab my 12 simple ways to boost your cashflow cheatsheet!

Get Notified

When We Realese


About Your Host

Progress Bar
Almost There 90%



Business Success With Certainty

Will Be In Your Inbox


We respect your privacy. We do not SPAM & promise to only send you helpful content to help you grow your business.


Join The Free

Business Made Easy Newsletter

We respect your privacy. We promise to only send you helpful content to help you grow your business.

Got A Question You Need



Ask me your business question here by hitting the “Start Recording Button” 

We respect your privacy. We do not SPAM & promise to only send you helpful content to help you grow your business.

Progress Bar
Almost There 90%



12 Simple Tips

Will Be In Your Inbox


We respect your privacy. We do not SPAM & promise to only send you helpful content to help you grow your business.

Almost There

Your Most Profitable Customer Cheatsheet

Will Be In Your Inbox


We respect your privacy. We do not SPAM & promise to only send you helpful content to help you grow your business.