Help me critique my boyfriend's website please!
October 7, 2017 12:23 PM   Subscribe

I would be very grateful if I had some feedback from some of you guys in order to help make his site look and sound better!

So my boyfriend is an entrepreneur and he's been working on being a "life/financial" coach for people. He really is passionate about this and believes everyone should be able to have and build the life they want. And I try to help him in every way that I can; however, at times it can be hard for me because I am so close to his projects that I don't know how to give him better feedback.

This is where you guys come in! You are all totally objective and could give him some really good advice on how to make his website either LOOK better or SOUND better (written, visual, intuitive navigation of site, etc). Of course, I am not doing this to take credit for your wonderful ideas, I just thought I would use this as an extra resource to get better feedback.

Basically, we're looking for some objective and constructive feedback . Any feedback from you all would be much appreciated, but please try to give a little more detail than, "It looks like a scam." Because, sometimes when I or others read it, they do get a "scammy" feel and he obviously is working hard to change that. Let me know what you guys think, even if you have some insight of why it sounds scammy and/or what he could do to improve it.

Thank you in advanced!
posted by Trusted Sidekick to Computers & Internet (22 answers total)
 
My first impression is that the scrolling homepage does nothing to tell me about the person offering to be my life coach. It's very process focused and I don't even know his name until I scroll all the way down the the contact area in the footer. It therefore comes of very boilerplate-y. That doesn't help build confidence (i.e. "Is this a scam?"). The actual person would seem to be one of the most important aspect of my search for a life coach.

Technically, WIX is serving up the content progressively as the page reveals itself. The actual content is minimal and I see no reason not to load below-the-fold content from the get go.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:38 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Is he designing his own website, or does he have a design company working for him? Because this website looks like he designed it by himself with a built in website creator. Which is fine in many contexts, but I would expect a person teaching me how to become a millionaire to in fact be a millionaire himself, and the website should reflect that. That is probably why you're getting the "it looks like a scam" feedback.

If this was designed by a design company, he needs to hire a different design company.
posted by Dynex at 12:45 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


When I see something like this which is promising me I can get rich through 'passive income' it always sounds scammy. Also I presume that the person behind it is also trying to get rich through passive income. And why would I want to pay someone who is trying to get as much money as he can for doing as little work as possible? I went to the 'About' page and found that he's working hard on 'building his businesses'... but what are they?
I guess I am always wary of this kind of thing... starting with the domain name which suggests he can make me a millionaire ( a bit too 'get rich quick' for my liking). Also the layout of the front page is very similar to a lot of 'get-rich' type sites, normally flogging ebooks etc, where you keep scrolling through loads of rhetoric but little information. It's nicer looking than most of those types of sites, it's just it still has that whiff. If it was a different subject matter I'd find the design pretty inoffensive.
posted by KateViolet at 12:48 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Right from the URL, it sounds scammy. The pictures of money make it way worse. If he's offering a genuine service and not some kind of get rich quick investment scheme, he needs to entirely rethink his branding.

I realize that the business he has in mind is a bit different, but he should take a look at the websites of financial planners to see how they demonstrate the concept of wealth and investment without showing piles of gold coins or briefcases full of cash. Unless his audience is Scrooge McDuck or a drug cartel, they aren't going to be dealing in actual cash anyway.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:04 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


This site does not indicate that your boyfriend is a millionaire. If he's not, or if he didn't become a millionaire doing the things he proposes to teach his customers, then it doesn't just look like a scam; it is one.

The tone of the writing is that of a really unpleasant 22 year-old. He should delete every use of the words "ass" and "sucks." He should stop trying to sell the ideas that the reader's current life is awful, that they're being taken advantage of at work, that their time and labor is being wasted, and that happiness depends on wealth and luxury.
posted by jon1270 at 1:08 PM on October 7 [13 favorites]


From a different angle entirely, Wix, the tool he use to design this site, is horrible when it comes to making web sites accessible to folks with disabilities. I'd seriously consider another tool while re-thinking the content.
posted by Alensin at 1:13 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


It's unclear to me from the web site exactly what services Jordan is selling, and qualifications he has to justify his cost of $200/hr. I agree with the other posters here that has a bit of a "get rich quick" scammy feeling. To fix that, I'd try to narrow the focus a little bit. Who's his target customer base? Students, new grads, maybe older people in new financial circumstances? What are the qualifications that he has to serve that customer base? Is he actually offering financial planning? How about an example personal budget that he has prepared for someone in the past?

A couple of specific things that strike me as off-key:

- Calling out 3,000 Instagram followers. Entirely irrelevant, as far as I can tell.
- "...has personally worked with a private mentor who owns and operates a multi million dollar company." -- this is not relevant, and I think it even weakens Jordan's position. Isn't Jordan supposed to be the mentor? If I'm going to pay $200/hr to talk to someone, I want that person to be the owner of the multi-million dollar company, not just someone who works with that person.

I want to give Jordan the benefit of the doubt, and believe that he has the skills and experience to charge $200/hr for his advice, but the web site isn't really getting me there. Here are my suggestions:

- Figure out who his target market is, and optimize the web site for that market, with real, concrete information about his services and expected outcomes. Something like: "After a series of 3 30-minute phone calls, you will have a personal budget outline, a 6-month plan to take the first steps to finding a passive income stream, and XYZ..."
- Don't expect to get many paying leads through the web site. Start locally and find customers he can meet at a coffee shop.
- Ditch a lot of the pretentious and condescending content, like "Financial freedom is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, so few people know what it is, and even fewer people know how to achieve it." -- that's not really true, and it's not really helpful to the audience.
- Ditch all of the "millionaire" phrasing. Nobody's going to become a millionaire by talking to a 20-something kid over Skype for a few hours. Be honest about what services he can actually provide, and what the outcomes will be.

Good luck. I admire the hustle, but the whole setup strikes me as somewhat immature and seems to overpromise a lot. I'm reminded of Tom Haverford and his Entertainment 720 crew from Parks and Recreation. Impressive dedication and drive, but not much substance to back it up. I hope he keeps at it, and iterates into something that works!
posted by tybstar at 1:16 PM on October 7 [19 favorites]


Agree with the others. I’d add that it just looks so masculine. Probably off putting to women.
posted by MT at 1:29 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Unrelated to the content, the words on the left and right margins are cut off when I open it on my laptop. The photos show up fine, but the words are cut by the margins.

Regarding the content, yes, scammy. There is no indication that he's got a service or specialized knowledge to sell me. It appears to be a collection of inspirational mottos.

The idea of passive income is not original. But take a look at a site like GetBullish, which seems to be a similar business model. It's got a ton of content, including specific examples of the author's experience running her own businesses, facing specific challenges, etc. It's inspirational not just in a way that relates to my general desire to be rich, but to my priorities as a woman and feminist. It's not about being "rich", it's about being successful in all the ways that I want to be a successful person.

(On preview, what tybstar said better.)
posted by gideonfrog at 1:31 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


I agree with just about everything else that's already been said. I'll add that the logo is pretty corny/obvious and looks slightly pixellated on my laptop. (It also really clashes with the outdoorsy vibe you get from the photos on the site.)

The photo of the money growing is cringeworthy. The other photos are fine but look like generic stock photography.

I wish the "about" section had more detail -- how many businesses is he running? What type? For how long has he actually been supporting himself with these businesses and investments? Who is this mentor he has and what company does this person own? What are some specific things his clients have achieved under his tutelage?

I'd strongly suggest removing the brag about having 3000 Instagram followers. I get it, I have about that many too and it feels like a huge accomplishment, but 3K isn't really that impressive seeing as how so many other accounts have tens or hundreds of thousands.
posted by kitty teeth at 2:16 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


[Post edited to remove the website URL - Trusted Sidekick, please put the link on your profile page instead... that's how we do it on AskMe. Thanks!]
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:35 PM on October 7


Thanks LobsterMitten for the suggestion, I will add the link to my profile for any new people that might join the thread. I could have sworn there was a better way to add a link to my post but I was just having some trouble with it for some reason.

Reading what most of you have been saying, it seems like there are a few common themes that come up in regards to the overall branding, language, and imagery of his site and services. And they are all consistent and make total sense to me and my boyfriend. He says "thank you" by the way and he is going to address all the feedback and make the necessary changes to his site.

Also gideonfrog and alensin, thank you for your experience and input with the site. Those are important things to consider!
posted by Trusted Sidekick at 6:22 PM on October 7


I was just re-reading the feedback on here and you all had really great advice.

Thanks tybstar and jon1270, you both made really good points.
posted by Trusted Sidekick at 6:43 PM on October 7


If I was going to consider this type of service I'd want to be really excited about how the life coach did it himself, and how he was going to use that life experience to help me get there quicker on my own. This website offers absolutely nothing that would encourage me to to make contact. It looks like generic content that was cut and pasted from other similar sites. Based just on this website, I don't believe your boyfriend is a millionaire or even reasonably well off, and I have absolutely no reason to believe he has anything to offer me that is going to help me in life. Honestly, I think it more likely I'll feel like I wasted my money if I hire the subject of this website.

Seriously, if your boyfriend can't point to a book he wrote, podcast appearances where he talks about his great success in life, articles written about him or other 3rd party validation that this guy has it a home run in life and can teach others how to do it, nobody is going to pay him minimum wage for advice, let alone $200 a hour. You are selling a dream as a life coach, and the website doesn't inspire any dreams.
posted by COD at 8:01 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Other people have covered a lot of things. I want to add: copy editing. There are quite a few grammatical errors or at the very least questionable usage, plus things like several links where the space after the linked word is also underlined. It makes it all look sloppy and amateurish.
posted by brainmouse at 11:17 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


Most people take $50,000 and spend it on a new car. Wealthy people take $50,000 and turn it into six figures. What's the difference?
Actually, most people don't take $50,000 and spend it on a new car. Most people finance or lease a vehicle. Wealthy people buy their cars outright, and for a wealthy person a $50k car isn't unreasonable.

I agree with much of what is said above, but I'd also add I'd expect to see some credentials. Is he a certified financial advisor? What are his degrees in? Economics, business, etc.?

And I would want to see past rates of returns. Past performance is no guarantee of future growth, and all that, but it's still a good metric of success.

And as already mentioned a couple times, the idea that the mentor is unnamed rings alarm bells with me. If this guy was someone to emulated, why not name drop this person so I can research whether or not this would be a valuable investment? I'd be much more apt to pay $200 an hour for time with someone connected to Seth Godin for example than someone whose identity isn't even known.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:38 AM on October 9


Thank you so much to every one who gave me feedback on my website. You all gave incredibly insightful comments that allowed me to make a ton of necessary changes! I connected with the services I believe I can truly offer people and adjusted my website to reflect that.

If you would like, I would really appreciate if you guys could make a second pass and critique the new design :) I wouldn't have been able to make these improvements without your help, so once again, thank you so much!

- Trusted Sidekick's boyfriend
posted by Trusted Sidekick at 12:45 PM on October 10


A few thoughts from someone who didn't see the first iteration. So Jordan...

  • In your head canon about this enterprise, does the "prep" in "millionaire prep" refer to preparation, as in preppers, or preparatory, as in prep school? I believe you need to know and that "both!" isn't a helpful answer. This goes to what relationship you want with the clients as well as what services you provide. Are you giving them a list--which is how some of your text seems, for example, the notion that clients will emerge from the stock investment consultations with a list of companies for their portfolio--which feeds the prepper mentality, or are you teaching them skills, holding their hands during their early efforts and then watching them go forth as better, happier people, a la prep school? I think it's the latter... work that.

  • Either way, "MillionairePrep" sounds scammy and doesn't even make sense given that some of your services are about personal growth. IMHO you're more about... IDK, resiliency or self-sufficiency or individual fulfillment or independence or something else (haven't given this much thought yet) other than being a millionaire per se. The rest of your text doesn't push the "become a millionaire!" thing at all, which makes me think your heart's not in it.


  • Drop the "Occasionally Funny" schtick. I'm sure you're hilarious, but your services and the fears of people who seek you out are no laughing matter. Moreover, the rest of your site isn't humorous, so leading with that notion on your home page seems inconsistent. That said, the rest of the site shows a lot of empathy for people and you're clearly approachable and friendly, which are all valuable traits. If you have a philosophy about how to help people navigate difficult topics, great; if it relates to your personality, then share that.

  • In none of the photos are you looking at the camera/audience, so while the photos are winsome, you doesn't appear to be addressing the viewer with confidence. Let them see your eyes and engage with your image.

  • Speaking of images, the mix of personal beachy pics and obvious stock photos doesn't work for me.

  • Your personal statement takes too long to tell your story while not offering enough detail about how you created wealth and a be-anywhere happy lifestyle. You need to credential yourself better regarding your expertise in stock trading, real estate investment, etc.

  • Don't tell us about pudendal neuropathy because it takes people's minds in a discomfiting direction. Google it and see what comes up first; do you want that to be in people's heads? Be a little more vague about your health challenges.

  • You still need an editor, particularly for the biography page. The entire site is rife with grammatical and spelling errors. Be consistent: sometimes you're "Jordan" but sometimes you use the first person.

  • I don't think you've hit the sweet spot yet vis-a-vis your fees. $29.99 per 30 minute consultation is too low for me to think I'm getting valuable advice, particularly on the stock and real estate investment topics. It has an "Act now!" vibe to it. I'm not sure that 30 minutes makes sense as a session unit either, although it works as an introductory session.

  • Leave out the mention of the Robinhood app; you can say you'll teach people how to avoid fees.

  • In the Book Online tab (a problematic title anyway), Free Consultation is not a service and shouldn't have a drop down section since it applies to everything you offer. And there isn't enough difference, IMHO, between Lifestyle Design and Personal Development. I think you should combine them, which also will help allay another issue: you're a young guy purporting to know everything about a lot of complicated topics. Which title you drop goes to the services you offer; keep Lifestyle Design and the service offered seems to emphasize financial management. Keep Personal Development and you're more about self-actualization. Regardless, if you drop one of them, you can use the other one on the home page in lieu of "self development."

  • Tell people how you work, e.g., is it facetime or phone calls or what?

  • Testimonials?

  • Get rid of the Blog tab until you have content. Oh and make some content.

    Good luck!

  • posted by carmicha at 1:45 PM on October 10


    Thank you @carmicha for your feedback. It's all very helpful and I'm going to implement your suggestions. I think all of your points make pretty good sense. Once I'm satisfied with the design and feel of everything I'm absolutely going to have an editor look it over to make sure my copy is professional. I'm working on finding a good price per session in addition to better photos. According to the feedback you left it seems that I addressed the issues with the previous site pretty well. That's a big step forward.

    As for the "Millionaire Prep" stuff, I'm transitioning away from that because it does come of as "scammy." You're also correct about me being more focused on helping people achieve success and fulfillment. I'm considering changing my domain name and logo too.

    Thanks again!
    posted by Trusted Sidekick at 2:33 PM on October 10


    I would pick round numbers for prices, not the "$49.99." It's $50. Lawyers, high-end spas, fancy restaurants, etc., all charge in round numbers. The $49.99 is way too obviously trying to make me think "Less than $50! What a bargain!" You're not a hardware store, you're a professional selling a valuable service. You don't need to use discount marketing tricks; it looks cheap. Use a round number and look high-quality.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:05 PM on October 10


    This version looks much better then the original.

    I agree with everyone else that "millionairprep" sounds super scammy, and doesn't fit the rest of the feel of the site.

    I'm not sure what "Lifestyle Design" means, or why I would want it, or how you would be able to help. "We'll get an actionable plan for you to achieve your preferred lifestyle within three months." -- Does this mean you'll have a plan in three months, or I'll have the lifestyle I want in three months?

    Investing is a much harder sell then budgeting. You really need to show that you have some idea what you're talking about before I will be willing to let you touch my money. "I've invested for two years and it didn't go badly" doesn't mean you can help me. You might look at some kind of certification or accreditation in financial planning and management. Beyond that, you need to give some reason to trust you with this rather then a large firm that has more resources to help me and more potential accountability.

    From a design standpoint, a lot of the spacing looks awful on my screen. I have a wide monitor and often dock my browser to half the screen. When I do this, a lot of the text gets cut off or runs too close to the edges and looks kind of funny. Play with different screen sizes to make sure things scale well.
    posted by nalyd at 6:49 PM on October 10


    [OP no need to reply to each comment. OK to just take what you need and leave the rest.]
    posted by jessamyn at 6:58 PM on October 10


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