I love branding, and there’s no better place to show what you and your brand stand for then on a great website.
But there is an epidemic going around called website shame, and it is killing tons of businesses before they ever get started.
My intention for this article is that you stop worrying about getting your website perfect, and just welcome clients.
This applies whether you are just starting out in business and bringing in your very first clients, or you already have your basic website, and you are feeling like you need the perfect sales page in order to launch a program.
Sales pages are great. They definitely help people to learn about you while you are sleeping. And yes, there certainly is truth to that idea that your business looks more “real” when it is online with a website.
But most entrepreneurs put too much stock in what a website will do for them. And most entrepreneurs spend way too much time trying to create the perfect website.
And I know, I’ve done it. I spent weeks writing a sales page and working with a VA to put it online for a program that I had never sold before. My mentor at the time even advised me not to do this, but to me I felt it was right, and that the only way my program could be credible is if it had a website.
Well, I launched that program to my very small list at the time and much to my surprise, no one purchased. See, I didn’t have enough real-world experience in working with clients in that program for my words to really hit home for people.
Now, sometimes I will advise a client to spend a couple weeks focusing on their website. So, what’s up with that? How do you decide when it’s a good investment of time for you and when to skip it for now?
Here are 6 things to consider when deciding whether to prioritize a website:
- Do you need or want money?
If you are in a place that you can afford to spend some time crafting your message with no income, and you want to really indulge in understanding yourself and your message, great. Put some time into playing with your site.
If you need to make money, PLEASE don’t waste your time online. Go meet people. Share what you do. Ask them to buy. Tell them that they can ask you anything in person that they would find online. Let them know that you prioritize being great at what you do over putting stuff online right now. Let your ‘weakness’ be a strength.
A friend of mine has been in business as a coach for 7 years now and still has no website. She meets people and tells them she can help them. And they believe her. Because it is Truth.
- Will it give you energy?
If you love to write and writing is a part of how you get clear, then writing your website may be an energy builder for you. You would not drag it out or procrastinate it or make it into a big deal, you would simply write something because you love it.
If you love a good technology challenge, or you love graphics or design, and conquering your website would build your energy or make you excited to go out into the world, then create it. Let it fuel your love for what you do.
If neither of these things are true, do not prioritize your website right now. Just work with clients, because if what you actually do in your business is what you love, doing more of that will build your energy for tackling the website at a future date.
- Do you really know your ideal client?
If you have a clear sense of who your ideal client is, what they struggle with, and how you help them with it, then you’ll likely create a great website. This would be true either if your ideal client is some version of you from the recent past, so you know you inside and out, OR if you’ve worked with enough clients to really KNOW what they are dealing with.
When I wrote that sales page I thought I really knew them. But it turns out I knew some theories about them, but they weren’t me and I wasn’t quite honed in on what was true for them.
- Are your resources online?
If you live in the middle of nowhere, and your client base is online, then you probably need a website. You may not need a full-blown multi-page website. You may prefer a simple landing page with an opt-in box and a free gift, followed by your killer newsletter. (Yes, you can send a newsletter without having a website!!) Here’s an example of that: http://believeyourselfchallenge.com – it doesn’t have to be fancy!
If your resources are in your back yard, or if they gather at lives events you can travel to, you can connect with them without a website. A friend of mine recently started a business, which for her meant establishing a bank account. She did her first ‘real work’ and generated amazing buzz. People were ASKING HER if she was for hire. And rather than capitalize on the momentum of her resources, she decided she needed a website first, and let the buzz fade.
- Do you believe you?
People will NEVER buy your services because you have a great website. No degree of work on your website will ever make up for a lack of belief in yourself. It is rare that someone will click a button on your website and make a purchase if you are not in a place where you’ve been able to take money for your services in person.
If you believe yourself and what you are selling, that aligned energy will transfer to the person you are connecting with. If they ask to look at your website, it will be no issue for you to confidently let them know that they can conveniently contract your services without going to your website, because they have you, the real deal, right there in front of them! Even with a website, my sales have always come from my belief in what I offer. Always. In the time you’d spend agonizing over a website, you’d be better served investing in your own confidence level!
(Speaking of your Inner Alignment, we just opened registration for our next intensive! http://www.inneralignmentintensive.com)
- Are you willing to release control?
Control plays a factor here in several ways. One, if you want to be able to work your active strategies to bring in clients now, like speaking, sponsoring, networking, etc., while working on your online presence, you will need to hire help. This means releasing control because you’ll need to trust the people you hire (use a firm gut check – many web developers or copywriters will not have an aligned point of view about what works). You can’t micromanage this while also moving your business forward.
But putting up a website requires you to release control in other ways as well. You will be putting a stake in the ground about what you care about, hopefully vulnerably putting your heart out online. And people will think whatever they will about you, based on their own filters, and you have no control over that. And to write a website without pain (I wrote my new site in a total of about an hour, knowing it will evolve and grow, and knowing my energy communicates more than any website does) you need to simply choose the aspect of you that you will represent for right now, and go for it. The beauty about the web is that it is not permanent. You can easily change what you are saying as you grow and evolve.
And you must release any idea that you’ll get the perfect site and stick with it forever! That kind of pressure is paralyzing. You will grow and evolve. You need to plan for that. Hire someone who can make updates for you QUICKLY as needed, or learn to make them yourself right away. This will release the self-imposed pressure of getting it right.
So, I love creating websites, I love communicating with people around the world while I sleep. I love the creative expression that exists online. And love that people I would have never otherwise met can find me. AND, I would never trade my ability to connect with a live human being and offer to help them for any website in the world.
How about you? I love your comments!