The Design Business Show 125: Using Conversion Design Ethically with Matt Hall

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | December 28, 2020
Check out episode 125 of The Design Business Show with Matt Hall to learn about the ethics involved with conversion design!

Matt Hall’s a conversion design consultant who helps businesses solve human problems.

Here’s what we covered on the episode:

  • The story of how Matt and I met at Copywriter Club TCC IRL Event and have since connected and chatted about partnering up because Matt is also in the conversion design realm
  • As a child, Matt loved art and shares that his interest in creating something and telling a story visually never went away
  • Matt shares that he learned to build websites at 13 or 14 and started adding visual elements by learning how to do flash animation
  • When Matt was in college he studied English to become a writing instructor, but after a couple years of teaching he realized that wasn’t the world that was going to be around for much longer, so he looked online and got into content strategy
  • How Matt started blog writing which eventually led to clients hiring him to write emails or their new website copy, which gave him the opportunity to design for them in order to have the copy portrayed in the most optimal way
  • Matt shares that only in the last few years has he really transitioned from being a copywriter full-time to someone who uses visual design, as well as experience design in everyday work
  • Being a teacher helped Matt see the similarities between client interactions and teaching and expresses that you need to be a good listener, see how well what you’re saying is working and how you must be able to adjust on the spot
  • Matt’s secret to being a really good copywriter is talking to the client about what they want, writing down every word they say, structuring it, and then giving it back to them
  • How a sales page teaches someone about a problem they might be aware of or one they are not aware of and how the visuals and text need to support each other in order to get someone to arrive at the conclusions you’re trying to get them to arrive at
  • I share how teaching college classes has helped me in my business and how I want to help my students discover what jobs are available to them so they have a better understanding when entering their career field
  • We discuss that some surface level posts online might have high engagements but how that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re building their brand or business
  • Matt shares that he is a jack of all trades who enjoys problem solving for clients; he also shares that he runs a small conversion design focused website studio with his wife where their focus is working with clients and on projects that are going to make the world a bit better
  • Matt works with coaches and influencers and shares that he doesn’t want to work with people who are offering a product that doesn’t match what their marketing is promising because he wants to make sure he’s delivering the value his clients are promising
  • Recent projects Matt has worked on include, designing a blog archive page for a client who’s launching a podcast, and a website redesign project for an app and a web app that helps salespeople
  • One way to spot red flags when working with clients and companies is listening to how they talk about their customers and looking at how they treat you and interact with you
  • The more information you can get about the client and project in the beginning the better says Matt, because you’ll be able to tell how ethical the company is by understanding how your deliverable is going to be used in the big picture for their business
  • Understanding the rules and laws of marketing can help you as a designer Matt explains because if you design something like a sales page, and claims are made on that sales page that aren’t accurate, you can get caught up in legal action
  • Why having a strong, personal brand set of values is important because there are ideas, values and principles attached to every piece of work created and how the work you decide to do now will be the work you’re hired to do later so you have to make sure it aligns with your values
  • While working in an agency, Matt realized the designers creating websites and advertisements for clients weren’t thinking about if it led people down the page and through the experience they wanted them to have, towards a measurable conversion event, which is how he describes conversion design
  • Matt explains that design is not art; design can be artistic but ultimately design is communication and how to communicate so effectively that it leads the user towards a specific action
  • How after Matt came up with the term conversion design to describe his method and started googling it and found that I was also using the term, so he joined my email list and we met at the Copywriter Club TCC IRL Event
  • Why it’s important to maintain our emotional and physical energy–Matt explains when you’re doing work you don’t believe in, it’s emotionally draining and the best thing you can do when you see a change like this happening, is to move and change directions and gives a personal example of when he had to do this
  • Matt shares that throughout college no one taught him how to get a job, so he created a course called, Get An Awesome Job, for creative professionals, young in their careers to help them understand what they can do to get a job and how to approach creative work so they have more options
  • The biggest secret Matt shares is to always be doing something in the field you want to work in and says that so many people wait for the right job to come along instead of creating it themselves
  • Matt compares job postings to a sales page and says to approach it the same way by using design principles to understand the client problem and understand how to speak to that problem–if you can do that, you’re going to convert
  • The free 5 step process on Matt’s website to reverse engineer the needs of a role based on the job description and figuring out how to communicate that you have the skills and experience necessary by using the right language
  • If you have the confidence to stand up and say this isn’t ethical, that gives you a lot of power– Matt shares an example of when he stood up to a boss when he was asked to do something unethical
  • Connect with Matt at , or if you’re a creative who wants to prove their value to their clients and achieve measurably better results check out


Links mentioned:

Matt’s Course- Get An Awesome Job


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