When you buy a “website” solution, you’re not getting what you need, but what you think you want. You need to know what the best business and personal results of being online are for you. Now and going forward.
What’s the most important thing to you?
You’ll end up with a website if your potential web developer doesn’t spend a lot of time with you to understand that, dig deep, and figure out your ultimate business and personal goals.
Not a good thing. Not what you wanted to happen. Not spending time with your grandchildren (or your parents) or doing the things that are most important to you.
First, let’s look at a script of the most common problems that business owners run into when they “buy” a website.
“I’ve been in business for years and spent a lot of money, but I’ve never really found a website solution I’m happy with.
My website makes me feel bad, but I’ve been burned before. When I think about how long it will take to find the right developer and how much it will cost, I don’t want to do anything about it.
The person who built my last website has disappeared and won’t answer my calls. I don’t know what my login information is or how to make changes to the site.
I’m not very tech-savvy, so it’s hard for me to tell what’s true and what’s not, especially when people use geek language.
I’m not sure if what they want me to pay is fair and reasonable. How do I get a fair price for something as complicated as a website and everything else online?
I talked to a web developer who said they would build the site, do SEO, SEM, and handle my social media. All of it is done in India. It seems like a good deal, but they haven’t told me much about the return on investment or if there are any ongoing costs. My web designer has his own platform. He says it’s great and much better than WordPress because it doesn’t need plugins.
It’s frustrating because I have a lot to say about my value to my market, but I have no idea how to say it on my current website.
I’m not sure if I should blog under my business name or under my own name.
I bought a lot of domains, but I’m not sure which one to use. Should I ask my website’s programmer?
I’ve written some blogs, but they don’t seem to go together. My web designer told me to just put some content on my site because it helps with SEO.
What’s really wrong
The real problem is a lot bigger than these more minor problems. It’s about building up your business’s value over many years of hard work, but not realizing the asset that should be represented by that value.
If you use the Internet correctly, it can be a very important set of tools for your success that go far beyond marketing. To be successful online, your offer needs to be clear. Just doing that will build your business.
Then it becomes the place where your value is stored, where your profile and influence grow, where your credibility is established, where you meet the people you need to work with most, and where your own and other people’s views of your value are formed. It helps you change the lives of other people.
It’s full of mines, right?
People might say that the Internet is like a minefield. It’s not because it’s too complicated or hard to use on its own.
It’s because it’s full of experts who have strong opinions about how to build a website with bells and whistles, but not about how to use the Internet to build your business and reach your own goals. Web developers rarely coach people in business or life. They don’t know much about marketing.
They make web pages. The best thing they could tell you is to get good business and marketing advice before you go online.
Exit strategy? Absolutely. You aren’t working hard now just so you can work the rest of your life. You work so you can spend more time with the people you care about and change their lives and the lives of others. Or anything else that makes you happy. Even so, that seems like a good enough reason to buy it right now online.
Here are three rules that will help you do well online and stay away from people who try to convince you that their great website solution will help your business and your life.
1. Your online positioning depends on how clear you are about your goals.
Having a clear plan for everything you do is a great way to move forward and up instead of backwards and around in circles. It’s important to your online success.
You need, dare I say, brutal clarity about what you’re positioning and for whom. It’s brutal because it’s hard work.
It means you can’t take advantage of more than one idea or offer. You have to get rid of everything but your best help for the people you want to help the most.
You need to know how to get the few people online you should work with because you can really make a difference in their lives, not the many people you shouldn’t work with because they don’t care.
If your web developer says “services and products” should be one of the main ways to get around your website, they just don’t get it. Walk away.
2. Getting it right online is an investment in making your business value clear, organized, and shared.
Once you know what your best offer is for your best client, how do you organize your value and the content that backs it up so you can share it online in a way that makes sense?
If your web developer doesn’t talk to you about this, you’ll be stuck with a brochure website solution.
It might be good enough to describe the features and benefits of your offer.
It won’t help you build your goal for the work you want to do that will change people’s lives one step at a time. Isn’t that why you have a business? If you don’t have one, just buy one.
3. Confusing positioning makes it hard to choose the right online asset
It wastes your time, money, and resources, and it makes it harder for you to leave.
Being online is a strategic and tactical way to make sure your business goals will be met in the future. It should also do your service in a way that shows respect for you and the people you serve.
That’s why it’s bad strategy and a waste of resources to not know exactly what you’re setting up for what outcome.
Did the person who built your website ask you what your exit plan was? Did they ask you how you want to help other people, make a difference, build an asset, use your value, or grow your business? Did they ask you to describe your ideal customer? Did they tell you that they wanted to help you succeed?
Or did they only talk about features, design, templates, costs, what was included and what wasn’t, SEO, SEM, and social media?
Invest in finding a partner who wants to help you build an online platform that you can use to help the people you serve. Who knows that there is a reasonable amount of time you can work before your life changes? Then treat them with respect and help them do the work that will change your life.