Sometimes my husband comes into my office when I am working on a website, looks over my shoulder and says, “But what do they do?” I call this the Duane Test.
When a site fails the Duane test, I know my client has more work to do to make their brand and business more clear. We have 2-3 seconds for a visitor to know they are in the right place or they will leave the site.
In order to keep people on your site, you must have a strong, clear idea of who your clients are and what they are looking for. Your visitor will only become a client when they trust that you have what they need or can help them. This is sales.
I believe if you can’t sell what you are selling in real life, you’re unlikely to be successful selling your services or products online. Conversely, just because you can sell something in real life does not mean you can just build a website and they will come.
It takes work designing a website and crafting a message that will attract your right prospects and convert them into clients. And it takes being willing to experiment, tweak, and adjust your course to get the results you are looking for.
It is normal to go through several iterations of your website when growing a new business before finding your sweet spot and even then, you will need to make changes as you and your business grows.
When I started New Tricks, I was primarily focused on building WordPress websites; but I quickly saw that once I did their site, my clients then needed to know what to do to grow their businesses.
There were so many big changes in marketing and technology, that I needed to get clear about exactly what it was that my people wanted to know. I planned to do a small business marketing group to give me actual live experience with my target audience. It was a bit outside my comfort zone and I didn’t know how I was going to get people to attend.
I named it the Catapult group and once it was on the books, I could talk to people about it because it was real and I was excited and passionate about it. Excitement is attractive in that it “attracts others”. By the time the group started, ten small business owners, my ideal clients, had signed up.
In the group, everyone shared their ideas, hopes and aspirations and they talked about their doubts and fears. They told me what was working and not working in their businesses. I had a lesson plan of what to do each week, but I saw that knowing what to do to in business was only the beginning; doing what you know was essential, and hard for small business owners who were responsible for doing it all.
As much as I helped them, this group actually was what catapulted me into realizing my potential. It gave me the courage to trust my instincts about expanding my business. And I knew for a fact that the knowledge of what I was doing to grow my business, in this new paradigm, was desperately needed by others and was my inspiration.
I wrote blog posts specifically thinking about Beth and Maureen and Sharman and Bret and to everyone in the Catapult group. I wrote blog posts to Isvari and Todd, Kevin and all of my clients who are going for their dreams.
As a result of this experience, I changed my website theme. I lost the snazzy static front page where I told people what great work I did and instead featured my posts on the front page where my people could easily read them.
Taking the time to find out what my clients wanted and needed was essential to providing my services with clarity and confidence. Staying in touch with you on an on-going basis to see your struggles and your successes is what keeps me on point and motivates me to keep going.