Episode 430 Why I Built a Minimal Website With Bridget Willard

Show Summary

Bridget Willard talks to Rob Cairns about why she built a minimal website.

Show Highlights:

  1. Why a minimal website?
  2. Where Bridget is going with her business.
  3. Bridget’s Pricing strategy.

Hey Rob Cairns here. And today I’m here with my good friend Bridget. Williard. Hey, Bridget, how are you?.

Hey Rob, thanks for having me on. I’m OK doing OK.

This is what I was trying to think. This is the third or fourth. Time and that that you’ve been on the show, something like that.

It it feels like that cause I know I was on with Warren.

Yeah, you’ve been on on your own. Too, yeah. Ohh friend of the show and for those who don’t know, I was involved in a book project. You were Warren did, which was so much fun. That was like a year and. 1/2 ago, wasn’t it? Or something like that.

It feels like forever ago, but we started those books in 2020 as COVID projects and then like one of them is actually in a library in Germany. How crazy is that?

It’s funny, I was saying to you before we went there. Every so often I find a client and say, geez, they need to read this because there’s good tips in it and I I sent another client the book the other day so. You know, it’s life is good, right? I mean.

We appreciate that every once in a while, Warren will be like we made $4.00 this month.

I don’t think it’s. I don’t think you know the books are making $4.00 this month aside. You’re both really good. Like Lawrence, a teacher. You’re you like to teach. I think that’s what comes down to helping people, right. So.

Yeah. Not just that, but like the whole intent of that book, I know it’s not the the subject of this podcast necessarily, but we’ve collectively worked with so many clients. We know what the we know what the boondoggles are. Or. And we know people have got bamboozled and like it’s like a reference book. Like you can read the whole thing, of course. Or you could just read the chapter right before you go talk to the to the slick salesman who’s going to try to charge you $20,000. Her website that she cost for.

Yeah, the one. The ones that kill me are the ones that call me up and say, you know, when was last time you updated your website and you know which is where we’re gonna go in a minute, but that’s OK and you know, I think you should do some stuff with it. I said. And do you know how many leads I generate to business off that website every month? And I’m like, you know what? You can make my website as pretty as you want, but if it ain’t generating leads, who cares?


Who cares? Who cares? That my analytics show I had 1000 hits. If if those thousand hits aren’t generating leads which turn into be in business hours.

Yeah, I mean the vanity metrics are fun, right?


Uh, but and they all it helps, right? Impressions are eyeballs. We’re in marketing. We’re paying for eyeballs, whether it’s advertising, and you’re you have billboards or you’re doing door knockers because you’re a realtor. I was at a a pub last night and. Bunch of like a little group of, not a little group, but an unknown Finn services group. I think this first national or something hosted pub trivia. There’s like, they’re going to do it every Thursday. Well, that’s a great idea. Like get. And then one of their trivia questions was a financial literacy question of.


Course, which is.

Of course, super.

Clever. Yeah. And all the back there like a QR code to go to their website or whatever. And they’re all in suits. I’m like, well, we don’t dress like this here because it’s too hot. You know, Corpus Christi is subtropical, so we’re at 27° N tropical is like 2523. Something like that. So it’s humid. It’s short. It’s it’s like.


It maybe gets cold in February for a week. You know what I mean? So, but anyway, so it’s cute. They’re all wearing their suits and whatnot. You totally knew they.

Didn’t belong there.

But that’s the thing. It’s like doing that outreach like whether you’re doing it that way or you’re doing it on X Twitter, right, or you’re doing it on LinkedIn or you’re doing Google ads sponsored Facebook posts, whatever radio ads. I did, I did radio voiceovers for greywell farms that I wrote the copy, like whatever you’re doing, your whole goal is to get people to pay attention to you so that. You can get those leads so it really doesn’t matter what you’re doing as much as. That you have that in your mind as the goal you are doing this to get leads because you’re doing this to make money.

Yes. Yes.

And once you start thinking of your website as something that makes you money, then paying $30.00 a month for hosting on rocket.net ain’t no thing Chicken wing. Right. So it just depends on what you’re doing. You know, a lot of people are like. I redid my website. Because I was in a place where. I didn’t have all the resources I used to have. And I love Beaver builder, and I paid for it forever and I’m a referral. Feel it for them. But I was just like, you know what? Let’s just do this, you know.

And and you moved, if I recall right to one of the base WordPress themes and gluten.

Yeah, I just said forget it. I’m not gonna mess around with this. It’s just gonna be 2024. And whatever I could do. And then Warren fixed my footer because for some reason, footers are like an enigma to me. I go, I want it to look like the Gray Wolf Farms website that I designed. I like the columns in the footer. I think it looks more professional but mostly. I had gotten all of this feedback all the time. OK so here I am, a marketing agency in San Antonio, right? We relaunched the website there and all the branding and everything. It looks so great and and I had all these inside jokes in it brought in the guard. Uh from fat dog creatives designed. It was beautiful, but it was heavy. And even when I switched to rocket.net, it’s still kind of heavy. And a from a loading standpoint. And then people say so do you do marketing for bars? And I’m like. No. So do you, do you represent liquor company? This. No, but I went to this rebrand where it’s like let’s you know I’m. I’m love that going to the bar and meeting the people. Just like the first national people did that, that hospitality where people know your name. That’s what you’re doing on social media. You’re like ohh yeah. How you doing? How’s it going? You know, all this small talk that everybody thinks it’s such a waste of time and it’s just, you know, I don’t have time for social media, but you’re on. Discord or you’re playing Minecraft. You’re doing world of war and talking to your people. There. We are going to talk to people no matter where we are, online or not, and that is how we get business, period, end of story. The podcast is over, right?

Yeah, yeah, you’re funny, but it it’s true. And so I don’t know if you know, I once saw an experiment. Three years ago. Where my site was originally built with Beaver Building my agency site and I made a decision that I was going to go to Gutenberg Box, come hell or high water. And at that time I had a website with 200 blog posts. Give her cake because I podcast and a podcast a week or two podcasts a week, becomes two more blog posts a week, right? So I made a decision I was gonna do my site gradually. I was gonna start working on the blog post when the blog post got done, I was gonna dive into the pages. When the pages got done, I would throw the switch in, switch the theme and deal with the header and the footer and all. That stuff. And I make I made a move from Gutenberg to. Basically, to cadence now cadence for is a block system and the cadence theme. So I made that move very quickly.


And the reality of it all is the minute I made that move, my GT metric score went up by 14 points.


Without even talking about same host, same way out 14 points. So one of the reasons for going to box is to improve your speed.

Yeah. Well, I mean, so like that, that’s The thing is like once you have all this CSS, I think Warren had found out that I had like 25 CSS files minified CSS, JavaScript files. What the hell how many styles sheets do you need on your *** **** website? I mean I’m sorry but like, let’s be serious. Here the whole point of us cascading style sheet is that there’s one of them. This is the whole point of CSS. Like, I’m not like a designer or anything, but I took some HTML and CSS classes. You only need CSS. That’s the whole .1 style. She ruled them all right. And so I was like, what do you think? I have that many style sheets, beer builder. So I was just like and then I just I felt like with. So what I was originally gonna do was put it on a staging site and then work on it slowly. But you know what happens when I do that.

You never get to.

No, because family feuds on and I’d rather do that.


Who wants to work on your website? It’s boring. So did it live? The duh, big surprise cowboy coating for the win and I just like switched the theme like I used to in the old days when you would just switch a theme because it was fun like. On. WordPress.com just switch the theme. Who cares? Now I will say this. If you do that, there’s a lot of work because. The content is all there, like thank you Beaver Builder. Like I didn’t lose any content. It’s not like other page builders where you lose content if you do that, but it was all in this like non block template and then it would say do you want to? Keep this HTML. Sure. So this one giant block of HTML. Well, all I did was like I stopped a couple of pages to fix, but what I did was I just went in there and I copied it and I went to my favorite tool, wordhtml.com, and then I pasted it in there and I copied and I cleaned the code.


And then I started like cutting and pasting paragraphs at the bottom and then slowly by slowly I just built it back up block by block and I deleted the original HTML. Who cares? Like my website isn’t getting that many leads. OK, it’s not an e-commerce site. It’s uh. You would never do that for an e-commerce site. That would be way stupid, especially if you were actually getting sales all the time. But for me, it didn’t matter. I just. I also didn’t like how it looked on mobile. And I was thinking about how I am as a user I want that font. To be 16 points like, I don’t want to put on my reading glasses to read A blog article on my phone. If I see it on Twitter. You, you know, and and I have LASIK with monovision, so I shouldn’t have to ever put on glasses.

Thank you.

Hang. Bridget.

So The thing is I I didn’t want to like, you know, mess around with it. So I just, I just did it that way. Block by block. You know what I mean? Yeah. And then I really wanted people to be able to read my blog posts if they saw it on X Twitter or wherever without having to put on reading glasses. Or whatever, right you when you, when some. When you have the mobile experience and we forget about this. But just because you have a computer doesn’t mean that’s what you’re going to do. I don’t want to sit at my computer all the. Time. I don’t even wanna, like, sit at my dining room table with my computer for this podcast. You know, I don’t even want to be at a desk. Todd Jones was was tweeting. I don’t care. I’m just gonna say tweeting. I know it’s X, but posting he was posting. You know, he’s tweeting. He’s like I I have all these ideas and I said my desk. What’s going on? It’s just like some kind of funky block that you get by that physical space. And that’s been happening to me where I hate my office. So now it has sewing machines in it. My best friend has her sewing machines in there and you know, that’s fine with me. I don’t go in there. I don’t want to be in there because that’s not.


What I’m doing right so I I just work at my dining room table and I have a hat like with basketball on or something. And well, not by the time this comes out, because The Mavericks.

Will be over tonight at the time, but this.

Dude, it was over. It was over on Wednesday with the IT was over on Wednesday with those excessive calls on Luka Doncic.

Now, now.

Be that as it may.

Now what I will what I will say is so you’ve kind of minimized your website and one of the things you and I were talking about before we went to recording the podcast was maybe clients should think about minimalizing theirs. There becomes a point where.


All this flashy stuff, if it’s not generating leads, does it really matter? And I and I keep saying that I had a I had a guy and I say this sorry, a guy today called me. And he he said. Ohh your website needs work. When was last time the update I said last month and he said, but I think there’s those lines out I said do you understand that that website generates 48 a month.

Yeah, it doesn’t matter.

So it doesn’t matter, people say get that.


Like I learned this by I did some client work for roofermarketers.com. They’re one of the biggest 7 figure agencies. I don’t know if you’ve ever read that book, but it’s a really great book. Maybe you don’t need that, but anyway, it’s like niche marketing, right? Just do roof. Just do marketing for roofers. Just do marketing for plumbers. Just do marketing for plastic surgeons, you know and. And there were three templates that they could choose. The copy that I wrote was all templated. So if they did metal roofing, we just copied and paste from the Google doc, the little blur by Rd. about metal roofing. You know, I don’t know if they’ve changed it. They might have changed in that copy, but that’s what they that’s what they’re doing. And it didn’t matter because these websites playing boring. Whatever. They work, they work because they’re simple. They answer questions. They’re direct, they’re clean, and they use them for Google ads.

That’s correct.

So it doesn’t we we’re snoops, you know. And I mean, we’re like music snobs, you know, you go to karaoke and you’re like, I’m not drunk enough to hear all these people sing off key. I can’t. I just can’t. Deal with this.


Or or you’re like, you know, you listen to a band. You’re like, I can’t with this. You know, I’ve been going to see a lot of live music lately. And I’m like that. Bass is too loud. Who’s doing the sound? Somebody let me up there like, ohh, do this, run the sound. But I can’t listen to this anymore because we’re too educated. But we are not. The user. We’re not a general pop person. We’re not a regular person who just needs somebody to fix their toilet today.

Yeah. And you? The only time I think it really matters, Bridget, truthfully, is if. You’re an art. You’re selling art or you’re selling, you know, paintings or photography. Then you gotta jazz.

Yeah. Photography.

It up a. Little bit, but I don’t think you need to like you need to jazz it up and people are are caught in that all the time. And I think the one thing people miss is why do people go to website one to find out where you are. And two, to find out information very quickly.

Yeah, like when are you off? Been you, you would not believe how many times? I mean, we thought we learned this from COVID.


But. Like, just even around this coastal bend where I live, there’s so many businesses that don’t have correct business hours. It’s ridiculous and and you’re right about the easy questions. But so maybe if you’re a wedding venue, but you still have to have pictures and whatnot, but people are going to look at that on their phones.

Yeah, they are.

They’ll look on their phone, everybody’s on their phone. You know, and that that’s a different podcast, right? But that’s the whole thing. Like my friend and I were walking in the mall the other day when I said the other day. But it could have been like 3 weeks ago. We walk into Dillard’s kind of a Nordstrom like store. And there’s all these sales people right in the makeup and perfume counter jewelry counter. We just, yeah, we just walked in we.

As you want them to.

Phone, phone, phone, phone, all of the salespeople are are like this. Like they’re it’s that prayer pose. They’re not looking at people. They’re sitting on their chairs. They’re not mingling around like, they’re terrible. Let them be at work camps behind a booth, right, cuz they’re just sitting there.

No question.

I’m not going to go bother somebody if they’re, like, just sitting on their phone. Hey, can you show me this lipstick? You know what I mean? But, like, even sales people that get commissioned are on their phone, phone, phone, phone, phone, phones.

They don’t care.

Because we’ve forgotten how to connect with each other in person. So like it should be easy to find out what’s going on. It should be a good experience. You know of something that Warren always uses as customer delight? You know, he’s a chef. He’s a artist. That’s something that he thinks about. I think about the user experience. Is it easy to fill out this form? How many pages do I have to skip through before I can pay you how much stuff do you really need from me? What is this payment gateway going on like? I’m just trying to order a bathing suit. What’s happening here?

Yeah, I get it. It’s so true. And and people and people don’t. The other thing is these people don’t know how to network and engage, and they don’t realize that sales is a long process.

Oh yeah.

Yeah, but when I go even in retail and you’re working part time retail right now, I go into retail. I don’t buy right away unless it’s on sale. But generally as a rule, I’m probably looking for what I’m going to buy a month. From now I. Just bought a brand. New suit. The week after I came out of the hospital and you know, I had looked at the same suit. Three times and tried it on twice. And had my hope.

So that I mean that’s common with big ticket purchases. Now I’m at TJ Maxx. Yeah, it’s a discount store. You wait till tomorrow and it’s gone because they get seven of a item of clothing or 14. But that’s it and then it’s gone. So it’ll be a small an extra small.

Yeah, yeah. That’s right.

Two Smalls 2 mediums, a large and extra large top.

And it’s hard to go.

And that’s it. That’s it. So that but that’s like the Costco Sam’s Price club. You know the discount retailer like it’s there and then it’s gone. You don’t know it’s there and that, but that goes to their marketing.

So. Yeah.

Campaign that you have to go for the hunt that I mean, that’s always been their business model is they want people to be there for a long time looking like when we put clothes away we can’t just put all the clothes. Together like you can’t put two shirts that are exactly the same together.

Yeah, he had.

Because they want them mixed up, they call it hashed, which is a weird term, but you know, everybody’s got their jargon. So I mean, so that was part of it, right? You know, like that anticipation, that’s a different business model. But I was just talking to somebody else on Twitter yesterday about publishing pricing.

A phone. So.

Hmm. Like should you publish your prices on the on your website? I’m all for it because it gets rid of the tire kickers.

I just. I just. I do some and I don’t do something. So for like my. Security care plan prices. They’re on my website, there’s no question other ones will say starting at and and the way I roll. Interesting enough, most people book you into an e-mail sequence. I don’t do that. I booked them right into a.




Call. Forget the e-mail sequence. Screw that. If I if you’re interested. Let’s get on a call with hashed out now. Once they booked that call. They’re going into the e-mail sequence with you. I could not but.

Right, right.

That’s just the reality of. It. And they say it. But. And I’m like, no, you can unsubscribe. You’re going into this sequence here because.

Yeah. So, I mean, when I, so when I did all that, Rob, I also like looked back at my pricing.

But but.

You know, so I I’ve rolled back some of those prices much like IKEA is doing and who else is? There’s a bunch of people like big stores rolling back to, I think, Walmart’s rolling back prices target is rolling back prices. Yeah. And so I got black and roll back some of those prices I have a.

Following by somebody grocery stores.

20% discount for people in my county. But like of course I have a secret menu. You know you just need XY or Z. Well, let I can roll up some numbers for you. I just had a conversation with the another one of my friends who has an agency was like, can you write me up a price? Just if you’re doing this? And I’m like, yeah. And just for a white labeling. So he could offer it if one of his clients take it. I do the work. He gets a markup, everybody’s, you know, happy. So. But my main things that I want to sell a lot of. Those prices are there so that you know how much it is, you know, and the part of like. Part of it is like, yeah, you could get ChatGPT to write your articles and not pay me whatever my price is for that low end article. But.

Yeah, it’s.

Is it gonna? Is it going to? What bring leads to your website?


But I think I think AI is a tool and I’ve talked about this on this podcast I’ve talked about on social. I’ve talked about it everywhere. I don’t think AI is the answer to everything. I think it’s a good starter, but once you get the AI stuff in front, you still have a massage and and edit it like. Anyway, he’s just putting it out. Doesn’t understand. And.

Yeah, that’s the problem. So I know clients will come back. Yeah, because, you know, like I I I think I say, how’s that AI working out for you? You know what I mean? Like, these are boring articles, you know? And I like when I talk about my product loss of words. I always get the duplicate content question, which is annoying. It’s so annoying because like have you. Heard of The Associated Press? Anyway. But like. Can you imagine how many? Two, how much duplicate content there is for people who are? Using ChatGPT, I mean the professors at colleges are getting this as a.

Problem they’re starting to search ChatGPT for plagiarism, no question.


I mean, it is dangerous. But like you know what I mean? But at the same time, it’s like you, a writer will get personality into your brain, into your brand. A writer will answer questions that your customers are always asking you like, this is what I always believed when I, even when I was at Riggins. Construction. We should be answering common questions on our website with my, you know, key to fame was my epoxy injection video.

I agree.

We got that question so many times like this is pre sales content you should be building a sales library for social media for your salespeople, for your e-mail marketing. It should all come from your website which is a source of truth and that comes from a blog articles.


But I but at the same time like where my redesign going back to that I wanted a certain font size, I wanted people to be able to read it really easy. I wanted it to be super clean. Just read what you have to read, click on the link if you want to. And if you want to look at my pricing, look at my pricing. But what I’m doing. Is educating you. So that you can go with whoever you want like, because at the end of the day, yeah, I would really like to have more clients. I have openings for more clients. That’s not the point. I want people more than that. I want people to make educated decisions. And not waste their money on people who are. Not delivering what they promised.

I agree. Right one.

Which nobody can afford that. How? Like how much money has been wasted on agencies who underperform?


Now some of that too, though, let’s be fair is because the client goes in with the agency and is unrealistic. So they haven’t figured out that building a website or building a marketing fun. Is like eating in a restaurant. If you want a coke, you pay this cost. If you want an apple pie for dessert, we add five bucks. If you want the prime rib, that’s another $40. You do want the mashed potatoes on the side? I’ll add 10. You get. It’s like a mini.

Well, yeah. I mean website by committee is like renting out the restaurant, right? So I mean it, yes, it depends. But I have heard so many horror stories from. Clients. Where they’re like, I spent all this money and they did nothing. Now maybe there was. There. Unrealistic expectations, but there’s a lot of people for who overcharge and under, under deliver in any industry.

And so and sometimes you just can’t do it like two years ago. I did work with a A guy who published a book and his wife came to me and said we want you to do the social came recommended and I said OK, but you’re a month before Christmas. There is no way in a month even I can’t work that miracle. There’s a reason book publishers drop all their books. And. August and September for Christmas sales books are a long leading and she came back to me after a month and said you didn’t really do anything I said excuse me. I told you up front that your cycle had to be longer.


So the a lot of it too sometimes is expectations on the client.

Yes, yes, and and make a lot of times and that’s why the education is so important to me. Yeah, because we have to be on the same terminology. We have to be on the same. I hate the expression, but on the same page like. Do you understand this word that I’m saying? Yes. OK. Do you understand the implications of this? Right. So I I used to do Instagram. I will not do Instagram. Instagram needs to be done in house and a story. If you hire somebody to do Instagram. I’m sorry, maybe it’s like, but it’s different. If it’s like, maybe a VA, that’s just you. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s the most personal. Like. Intimate wise of any of the channels and and I have managed Instagram it takes the most time it takes the most effort you have to have pictures. It needs to be done in house and so I won’t do it anymore. For for other people you know I obviously I did it for Riggins. Construction for Gray well farms for give WP, you know. You know, when I had jobs, but I I won’t. I’ve done it for clients and they’re like, I’m like, this is all you’re paying for. I can’t do more than what I’m doing. For this price, right. And I know what you really need to do is like what I was, what I was offering was consistency like regular posting, but you need. You still need to get on the bullhorn and be recording videos, cuz that’s what Instagram’s all about. Like if you’re sitting on your couch and your pajamas, then so be it. But I can’t do that for you.

No, I agree. And then the other and then the other one, people gotta be careful with TikTok is because, frankly, I won’t do TikTok for clients. I I think before the years out, it’s gonna go up in smoke in North America. I have big issues with the way they run. You can do shorts on YouTube anyway. So I just kind of steer away. So that’s kind of.

Yeah, it’s not my thing. I mean, normally I’m not like super or privacy paranoid, but I’m like, man, this is just giving all the data to China. And two hours ago like this now, I could do that on reals. But you know, I I when I trust Facebook more, you know, more meta, I trust them more. I guess. I don’t know. I just. You know what? I just didn’t like it, OK? I didn’t like that whole vibe, and apparently there’s some documentary on. Netflix about the dance revolution on TikTok and sex trafficking and stuff like that. I don’t have time for this ridiculousness. You know, I just I I just want to.

No this.

So have fun. Look at chickens, watch crazy parrots connect with my friends.

And cat cat pictures.

Cat pictures, you know, like to me, Instagram became the place for my friends are, you know, and that that’s what I mean. It’s it’s become this intimate place. And so anyway, that’s like kind of a tangent but so when I redid my pricing. I still just, I still don’t have that. But I did add in some of my secret menu things. It’s just that like. I really want to make sure that my website is usable on the smallest device. I have a MacBook from 2017 and a 13 inch monitor. I’m not a nerd like I used to have to tell my designer friend you’re looking at a giant *** TV that’s bigger than a TV in my bedroom.


And design my website that way which is great. But that’s not what it looks like to me. Because I’m on a normal size laptop.

Yeah, and the problem with that is you know what the problem with designing on the big monitor is you don’t get your. Spacing. Right, right. So.

That’s what I’m saying.

Have you? Have you ever tried to play with spacing? You can no longer get spacing 100% right because of all the screen sizes. It’s impossible.

Yeah. And on top. For that the the view or for reading should be 650 to 700 pixels period. End of story. It should never be bigger than that because it has to do with the comfort of our eyes moving this way. This is how our eyes move. We have more movement this way than this way. That’s why our head moves.


Like this? So and This is why like that whole, like watching your phone like this is so weird because from an evolutionary standpoint we scan side to side anyway you’re you know I’m autistic. Did I tell you I got diagnosed as autistic this year too.

No, you did not put it. Yes.

Autistic talk about puzzle pieces being filled that makes ton of sense, like my frustration tolerance, people thinking that I’m a total jerk just because I’m trying to understand what they’re saying. My face looks like this, you know, being super like right about this.

Yeah it does.

Things, even though I’m right, like, OK, like, I saw a thing on Instagram the other day. It was like, I’m not gonna get involved in your drama. If you say 1 + 1 is five, that’s fine.

Fine. Go go with them.

Have fun with that.

You are looking for more. You are looking for more clients and let’s find you some. What’s your website and how’s the best way to?

Get ahold of ohh Bridget willard.com.


And you can get ahold of me on X at Bridget M Willard Instagram, Bridget M Willard. Twitter is still at.


Facebook you can if you if you type in Bridget Willard, you’re going to find me. I’m. I have teaching videos and YouTube channel that, but the website is the best way, because then you’ll fill out the form or something like that. Or you can DM me on Twitter and I’m going to call it Twitter forever. Ex is.


Stupid. DM me on X. What does that even mean? It’s too weird. I can’t do it.

Hey, Bridget, thanks for your time today. You have a wonderful. Evening.

Similar Posts