If you’re anything like me, you just want to jump in and start doing stuff. Planning be damned. But building a website for your business is a big deal. Whether you’re doing it yourself (DIY) or you’ve hired a professional designer to build it for you (Done For You), it takes a substantial amount of money, time, resources, patience and planning to get it right.
To have it done well, you can’t just throw any-old-thing up on the Internet, then cross your fingers and hope it will serve your business well. It probably won’t. Even website builders like SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly, etc. are not magical website machines. You can’t just insert a bit of money, crank the lever and it automagically churns out a website for you.
I know the kid in me wishes this could happen. But it’s just not possible. As the old saying goes, “garbage in; garbage out.” This is exponentially magnified when dealing with something as intricate as a business website.
The “planning stage” of a website is important. So many people want to jump 10 steps ahead and create their website, get a cute logo for their business and think “DONE!” But they are just wasting their time and money if they haven’t made a plan, first.
Building a website is kind of like building a house. The big overall steps are: Imagine & Plan → Organize → Design → Build
The questions below will more than likely be used in every stage of the process listed above; they are THAT important.
(1) WHO DO YOU WANT TO WORK WITH?
Who is your dream client? Be as specific as possible, as though she were real, personified into one actual human being. Create an avatar of her. Give her a name. Find a picture that suits her. Create a Pinterest board for her. What’s she like? What’s her life like? Her hobbies? Her likes and dislikes? Write it all down. Make her as real as possible.
Once you have figured out who your dream client is – from now on…everything you do, write, say, create, offer, sell should be filtered through the her. Will she will read it, like it, want to buy it, NEED IT? And most importantly, will it solve or help solve her problem (see question #2)?
(2) WHAT DOES SHE NEED MOST IN THIS WORLD?
What is the problem she’s trying to solve? What keeps her up at night? What does she search for on Google or Amazon (or wherever) as she’s trying to find the answer or solution to her one big problem. What is that thing she needs to solve? What issue does she need to overcome? What does she need help with? What does she need more of or less of? Where and why is she searching for assistance — searching for YOU and your products or services?
(3) WHAT PRODUCT, SERVICE, COURSE – WHATEVER – CAN YOU OFFER THAT WILL HELP SOLVE HER PROBLEM?
I’d like a little “ba-dum-tssss” on the drums please. Because this question provides the focus to why you’re here. Why are you in business? What’s the gift or knowledge or thing you do that you want so badly to share with the world, so you started a business. THIS IS IT. What is it?? If you don’t have something to sell or a service to provide or training to offer, then it’s not a business.
(4) WHY IS YOUR STUFF BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE’S?
If it’s not better, per se, why is it unique? Why will your ideal client buy your stuff or hire you and not someone else? Maybe it’s not the actual service, product or course you’re offering but the way you offer it? Maybe it’s you! Maybe it’s the way you approach it. Hint: this is kinda important. You’ll discover why in my next blog post.
I realize these aren’t easy questions to answer. But you don’t have to have 100% of the answers to all the questions. And if your business is new, you probably won’t, and your answers will probably change over time!
So you don’t have to have all the answers. You just have to start. As you grow your business, you’ll circle back to these questions a LOT. You’ll refine who your ideal client is once you’ve started working with clients. You’ll figure out you like offering some products/services much more than others. And you’ll definitely get a clearer idea as to how/why you are unique and ways to offer your services or products in unique ways.