He’s an online marketing expert and here Jon Hollenberg, from Five by Five, shares some insights into online marketing and how to make the most of it.
You started off your career building websites in your boardshorts at home, do you still manage to do that?
I sure do! Most of our work is done remotely using awesome tools such as GoToMeeting, Skype and the good old-fashioned telephone. The Five by Five HQ is on the Gold Coast, a short 200m stroll to the beach. Most mornings I try to get into the ocean which is my Zen time before driving the desk all day 🙂 I still frock up for meetings and presentations but most of our work is done in the comfort of my boardshorts.
How did you come up with the name Five by Five?
Naming a business is really hard! I deliberated for weeks over this. When starting the business 10 years ago, even then there weren’t a lot of domain names available. I stumbled across the radio communications expression “five by five” which means “I read you loud and clear”. In the online world where there is so much confusion and mis-information I felt this was a great message to be sending.
There are so many companies facilitating DIY websites for very little cost, for a service like Five by Five, are your days numbered?
Not at all. We pivoted our business in the recent years to focus on building hand-crafted, bespoke and customised websites. A typical client for us is turning over $1-5 million in revenue and have specific requirements around the look, feel and functionality of their website. Services such as Wix or Squarespace are great for a smaller start-ups as their “fill the gaps” approach makes it super easy to get up and running quickly. Our solutions are typically more complex and customised to our clients requirements.
Why should people consider using a service like Five by Five?
A business usually works with us for the following reasons:
- They are lost and they don’t know where to start with their website.
- Their website designer doesn’t actually really listen to them, understand their business or just communicate in plain English.
- They don’t realise their current website is not performing as well as it should and is actually doing more harm than good.
Ultimately, they need a partner that will build a website that not only looks great but delivers results.
Nothing pains me more than when I know a business owner is so amazing, cool and talented but yet they are being left behind because they don’t have the tools and a high-converting website to succeed.
How often should companies update their website so it reflects the current trend?
Visually, web design trends are changing on average every three years. Current design trends include flat design, big bold full-width images, video backgrounds and a strong focus on mobile responsiveness (ensuring the site looks great on not only a big monitor but your smart phone).
How powerful/important is it to use video on websites? And is video the current point of difference between a good website and a brilliant one?
Video is such a powerful (and underutilised) tool that every business owner has access to. There is no greater way to build rapport and tell your story in a leveraged fashion than including video on your website.
Prospects can look down the lens of the camera and see whether your business is one they want to work with. This builds trust and a much more intimate connection with a quicker path to the sale.
What are the most common mistakes people/companies make in setting up a website?
The three major mistakes we consistently see time and time again are:
- Their site looks horrible
- There’s not enough quality content
- It’s not designed for conversion
For others, there’s more information in this article.
You’ve published a book “Love at First Site”. Congratulations! What kind of a journey was it from first words to holding the book in your hand?
In over 15 years of building websites, I had accumulated a lot of knowledge. I was only sharing this with my clients in a 1:1 fashion when they engaged us to work with them. The idea for writing the book came from the yearning to want to ‘unpack’ my brain with all this useful information and share as much as I could. The books gives the small business owner a no-jargon, simple step by step visual framework and checklist which guides you through the web design process.
How has writing a book impacted on your business?
With so many website designers and the barriers to entry relatively low, I needed a way of differentiating myself. Writing a book allowed me to do the following:
- Share as much knowledge upfront as I could
- Build a relationship with a prospective customer in a leveraged fashion
- Educate the client prior to us working with them which results in a much better experience for them & us
- Build authority
- Create a ton of content that is very helpful from an ‘search engine optimisation’ perspective
What has been the biggest “a-ha” or light bulb moment in your career and how did it change the way you operate?
It is called the 7/11 principle. Before any business chooses to make a big purchasing decision you need to accumulate seven hours of contact or 11 touch points.
Without either of the above two, the path to a sale is much more difficult. Examples of this can be:
- Reading a book
- A sales presentation
- Watching a video
- Reading a blog post
- A banner advertisement
- An email campaign
- A phone call
- Social Media interaction
Therefore, business needs to create many touch points or assets that allow for prospective customers to get to know you, like you and trust you!
Simple as that!
ABOUT JON HOLLENBERG