Tales from the Online Marketing Crypt #21 4 Questions That Will Save You Time, Energy and Money On Your Website While I was pregnant with my son, I knew I wasn’t going to go back to my job after he was born. So, just like a typical entrepreneur, I immediately began to work on starting my own business. |
I partnered with my neighbour, Bridgette, who had great artistic talent. We founded Brisanna Craftworks – a country craft business specializing in dried florals, fabric albums, and a variety of Christmas ornaments.
That first Christmas we decided to have an open house to show off our wares. Many hours were spent in the basement craft room in preparation, all with newborn David sleeping soundly in the room with me.
One day I was inspired to make a Christmas wreath. I had a vision of how it would look and started creating what I thought was for sure a masterpiece.
I couldn’t believe how amazing it turned out! I was beyond proud and felt very excited about my new creation.
I mean, this wreath belonged on the cover of a magazine – it was THAT good!
It was so good, in fact, I decided one was not enough.
No doubt, this work of art was going to sell in minutes. I better make more.
I went to work and gathered 11 more wreaths, getting enough ribbon and flowers to have an even dozen ready to go for our open house.
Bridgette wasn’t quite as excited about these sure-fire best-sellers as I was. She questioned making a dozen wreaths before knowing if any would sell. But no way was I going to let her skepticism wane my pride and excitement. I was positive we had a winner on our hands.
The big weekend arrived and many friends, neighbours and family showed up to see our wares on display.
I proudly positioned my wreath where everyone could see it. It looked so glorious hung up on a wall, specially placed so everyone could visualize it on theirs.
But we didn’t sell one wreath.
Not. One. Single. Wreath.
Nada. Zilch. Zip.
I was devastated.
And also confused.
What happened? These were works of art, worth twice the price we were charging!
Or so I thought.
But to everyone else? Not so much.
And all too often, I see the very same thing happen when entrepreneurs build their own websites or design their own logo or marketing materials.
They see their incredible creation through their own eyes. And they’re incredibly proud of what they see because they created it.
It’s like when every parent thinks their baby is the most beautiful baby on earth.
But just because you think something, that doesn’t mean it’s actually true (although for me and my babies, it really was!).
At the end of the day, your website needs to actually accomplish something.
Your website needs to generate leads and/or make sales. Period.
What many people don’t realize is just how much strategy goes into a website. There’s:
Branding – to ensure the right impression is given to the ideal target audience, right away. Messaging – to ensure the right headlines and text are written in a way that will assure the visitor they are in the right place, and also get them excited they found the perfect solution to their challenge (ie – you!). SEO – to ensure those looking for solutions to their challenges on Google and other search engines will find your website listing in their search results. Performance – to ensure while the visitor is on the website, they don’t get frustrated by a slow rendering site, or it fails miserably on their phone, or there are broken links that take them nowhere. Credibility on your website really matters. These subtle nuances are often completely missed by the non-professional web developer who wants to build their website themselves or hire someone with little experience, all with the intention to save some money.
The opposite actually happens.
The website ends up giving the wrong impression to those visiting it, so they and end up leaving right away. Or the website doesn’t convey the right message to reflect how much your business can help those visitors. Or the website is never found in the first place, because it landed on page 20 in the search results. Or the site was awkward, clunky and frustrating to use, so the users give up and move on to a competitor’s website. So if you built your website yourself, or had a non-professional build it for you, it would be wise to take a step back and look at it through the lens of your prospective client.
4 Clarifying Website Questions that will Save you Time, Energy and Money Is it really as amazing as you think? Is it truly conveying the right message to the right people? Is it actually SEO optimized so your target audience will find it? Is it frustrating new users who aren’t as familiar with it as you are? For me, my enthusiasm cost me not only the time and energy it took to create those wreath duds, but also money for the supplies as well as lost revenues where I could have been focusing on what would actually sell.
It took years to sell off those wreaths, at a much lower price, so I could at least get my cost to make them back.
I think I still have one laying around somewhere…
And looking back, if I were being honest, they weren’t all that great. It was the fact that I had created something that made them so appealing to me. But in reality, they weren’t anything a consumer would purchase.
That’s a hard pill to swallow. But it’s also a necessary one.
So before you get too excited about your brilliance in an area that is not something you specialize in, think about what you don’t know. Consider hiring a professional agency to do the work so you will be ideally positioned in your industry.
To your business success, Susan Friesen
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RECOMMENDED RESOURCES: READ: Cheap websites are more expensive and going the DIY/low-cost route could be under-performing & costing valuable business. Why Cheap Websites Are More Expensive Than You Think. READ: Websites need to be freshened up from time to time. Here are 8 critical reasons you may want to consider a website makeover and update your website: Is it Time for a Website Makeover?. READ: The importance of brand messaging, business branding and brand identity are all critical considerations for a business website. Learn more: The Importance of Brand Messaging for a Successful Website Redesign.
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