Meet GREAT Client, Jennifer Rennie
Post written by Sarah Weeger
Jennifer Rennie is a personal trainer from Huntington Beach, serving a wide range of clients throughout Orange County. She’s also a wife, a mom to two teenage girls, instructor of the “Lift to Lose” exercise class at the Fountain Valley Rec. Center, and now a part of the GREAT Community. Extra-fun-bonus part: She’s also a great friend of mine, which I feel totally privileged to say.
Working Out …the Kinks
I first met Jennifer this past February when I signed up for her workout class with my sister. At the time, I was also getting ready to launch GREAT 8 CREATIVE with its emphasis on helping coaches, trainers, athletes and others in sport-related work. Jen didn’t have a website, I was looking to build the portfolio… Perfect timing, right!? Well, Jennifer so kindly declined. At first.
She politely explained… She liked my design style a lot and although she wanted to reach out to others and really help them improve their lifestyles through fitness, she didn’t want to put herself out there for the personal attention. She knew a website could help her business but didn’t want to come off like a self-centered trainer, at all. Or like this guy. :)
If you’ve ever met Jennifer, you know she’s not the conceited type. She’s the total opposite actually, with nothing but great things to offer her current and potential clients. So to be honest, I didn’t totally understand it at the time. But the more we talked between workout classes, the more I understood what she meant. More on that in The Task…
Just Do It.
Fast-forward a couple months later, with the help of her husband (thanks Chip!) and a friend (thanks Carolyn!), Jennifer put her fears aside and decided it was time, that it would be the right move for her business. I couldn’t wait to get started. She, on the other hand… Well, I’ll just say this: The last thing I ask in my New Client Questionnaire, after asking a bunch of stuff about the client personally and about their company is, “Any additional comments, thoughts or questions?” Jen’s answer:
I get the concept, but this was painful.
I loved it. :) I kinda felt bad for putting her through it, but I totally loved her honesty and humbleness at the same time. And I appreciated her determination more than anything to “just do it” and get started.
Why It Matters
The reason I talk about all the build-up for this project is because it completely impacted the way we went about it. Jennifer’s perspective on what she does and how she trains, in my opinion, is just totally unique in her industry. So I definitely wanted her site to reflect that as she obviously did, as well.
The main task for this project was clear from the start: Design and develop an informational site for Jennifer’s training business that will help get her name out there, help potential clients learn more about her personal and group training services, and ultimately, motivate them to set up an appointment and get started on living a happier, healthier life!
Defining the Focus
The second part of the task is what would make her website unique. As Jen and I talked, the focus of this project evolved from originally being everything we assumed a personal trainer would have in their website – somewhat of an “all about me” vibe, the amazing success stories and weight-loss stats throughout, the breakdown of costs to train with the person… The focus of her website quickly went from being on those things to having basically none of them, focusing completely on her clients instead.
In other words, although this would be a project for Jen, it would need to be about her clients and how she can help them, if it was going to be a true representation of herself and her business. She’s always putting herself out there to help and support others, so her site should be nothing but a way to help her do just that.
The GREAT Process
Once we got the focus and tasks down, the actual process was a total breeze! Jen was totally easy to work with and loved the initial round of designs (score!), so it was just a matter of getting all the components in their right places.
So here are some of the things we did to create that honest representation:
- When forming all the copy, everything was written in third person. I pulled things directly from she said in her Client Questionnaire and interpreted them as if someone was paraphrasing an interview with her.
- We sort of “sprinkled” testimonials throughout the site, placing them in the header of each page, for two reasons: a) It lets her clients speak for her work and b) it serves as a consistent reminder that her clients’ interests are put before her own. You read what they have to say about their experiences before anything else.
- The majority of images we used are of Jennifer with her clients, again, making it about supporting them and being there for them throughout their training.
To motivate visitors to make that first appointment, or to simply contact Jennifer for more information, a call-to-action, or CTA was used on every page (I could easily write an entire blog post on CTAs in web design alone but if you’re interested in learning more, this is a great article on Call-To-Action). “Contact Jen”, “Schedule a Session”, and “Learn More” buttons all link to her Contact page.
Mini shout-out time: Thanks LTL ladies for your testimonials! Thanks Rennie fam for helping with the pictures! And thanks Carolyn A. Smuts Writing and Editing Services for help with the copy! :)
A Different Client = Different Approach, Outcome
Jennifer’s site turned out to be something that is a lot different from what you’d expect to see in a personal trainer’s website because it matches up with the different approach she takes, compared to others in her industry. It still has all the right pieces needed to accomplish our tasks- client testimonials, Jennifer’s background and how she got into training, how she can help others – all of which are now easily accessible to her current and potential clients. But more than that, it’s a great representation of her, both as a person and a trainer. And that’s exactly what my job with GREAT 8 CREATIVE is all about– working directly with each client to create something they’re totally happy and comfortable with, and that’s also going to get them the results they’re aiming for.
I can’t say enough about working with Jen throughout this process. I know it wasn’t easy for her at times to make it happen but she was determined from start to finish, and was a total blast to work with. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to put it all together for her! THANK YOU to my GREAT client and amazing friend! :)
Check out www.JenniferRennie.com!
Meet GREAT Client, Slater Fletcher
Post written by Sarah Weeger
On the surface, Slater is an elite multi-sport athlete, tri-athlete, ultra marathoner, adventure racer, XTERRA regional champ, an IRONMAN…. I could go on, listing all the insane accomplishments this guy has accumulated over the past couple years alone but basically the guy is a freak. :) He’s a dream-crushing freak of all things sport, in the best, most inspiring way possible. He’s also one of the most hilarious, grounded, and driven people I know and I’m glad to be able to call him a good friend, too! Slater and his wife, Monique (Slamo, if you will) are awesome. Love them both!
Back in April at one of the many Weeger vs. Slamo BBQ Pizza Cook-Offs we’d have this year (my husband Ryan Weeger and Monique are both master BBQ pizza makers while Slater and I… well, we’re really good helpers), Slater and I got to talking about redesigning his old blog site. The goal quickly took shape: Completely redesign and revamp his current blog, hosted with Blogger, so that it would attract more sponsors, more readers, and just look a lot better/more appealing. :) He also wanted to have more than just a blog… He wanted a site with pages dedicated completely to his Sponsors most importantly, but also to links and resources that he’s found to be helpful himself that he could share with his readers. He thought his race schedule and results would also be a good addition to his site and I totally agreed.
A couple more BBQs, beers, and cook-offs later, the concept was finalized and we got to work!
The GREAT Process
We got started right away by setting up Slater’s new-and-improved personal blog site with WordPress and worked from a pre-designed theme that fit perfectly with what we had in mind. This theme both kept costs down and saved a lot of time in the process… score!
Each project is obviously different and no timeline is the same, but I was expecting the standard 1 to maybe 2 month-long timeline for a personal blog site. We quickly finalized the Website Outline and I got to work right away. So at the time, I honestly had no idea it would be the 5 – 6 month-long project it turned out to be!
During those few months though, I came to appreciate Slater and clients like him a TON and I couldn’t be more grateful for the time I got to spend working on his site. We were on the same page the entire time in terms of design style, which is always huge. I was reassured of this with every enthusiastic email Slater sent. My personal favorite from him, on seeing the designs for the first time: “OH SHEEIITTT!!!! That is awesome!!!!” haha love it…
Anyway, to explain the lengthier project timeline as well as my appreciation…. Slater usually trains between 20-30 hours a week so I totally appreciated his time spent on emails, feedback, attention to details, and his creative mindset – all of which were consistent throughout the entire process. Always GREATLY appreciated in a client!! So take all that, plus the typical amount of design revisions that come along with every custom website, and add one more, major piece to the mix: The whole focus of Slater’s website was changed midway through the process. Everything the design is typically based on, the primary message of the site, was changed and in my opinion, for the better.
This sort of change – shifting the focus of a website – is not one that happens often for me, but in this case I thought it was a really great move on Slater’s part, and one that said a lot about his character. I was even more grateful to be working on such a cool project for such a great client and friend, after I got his email explaining “the shift”:
“I do want to attract readers as much as I can offer something to help them. I believe in my sponsors so that fits if I can share what I know will be helpful to post. My goal for my blog would be to attract sponsors who I can work with (have some requirements for current and future sponsors now) to provide something useful for anyone who visits my blog. This should grow into areas such as racing, life pacing, food, etc.
I am not keen on trying to glorify ME and that is why I don’t like the SLATERFLETCHER “look at me” feel I get from it…but…maybe that is just me.
My point here is the opposite of my goals for my site would be to have a rant and chant about me. Besides, that is boring.”
I loved it. A breath of fresh air, for sure.
A lot of changes were made to the overall look and feel of things after this, but one of the most obvious changes we needed to make was redesigning his header- a major component of the design as it typically gives the first impression of the site and is branded on every page.
One of the “Pre-shift” concepts (see the rest in the gallery below)….
“Post-shift”, the winning design:
Side note: Why “LIVE Wide, Love Deep
From part of another great email from Slater:
“I just thought of this today too… Kind of like a life moto. I had the first part for a while now but I think it goes together well. Pretty “involved” with many areas of my life but simple.
I could go into some detail about it but basically to keep your eyes, ideas and goals wide and really REALLY love the things you love.
“Live Wide, Love Deep”
I was thinking about putting it somewhere near the top but I like how it has the “multisport athlete” under my name and the pictures on the right back that up! So cool! You Rock!!”
Slater was a champ throughout the entire process and I couldn’t have asked for a better client – focused on improvements, no matter how big or small or how long they would take, always took his time to communicate his ideas to me even when his work/training/racing/life schedule was insane, and always fired up about the progress being made, which I loved as his equally-passionate designer. And I definitely think his and our efforts have paid off here!
Best of luck Slater with the new site!! THANKS for the opportunity. And best of luck at the next pizza cook-off. The Weegers are coming to crush the competition. :)
Check out Slater Fletcher’s blog site here for upcoming races, race reports, and more.