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7 Steps to Clarifying Your Website Needs

calrify-valuesIt’s difficult to develop a website to promote your practice without clarity. Clarity in vision. Clarity in message. Clarity in audience. Clarity in need.

So often I talk to people who are fuzzy about having a website. They know they need one. But their lack of clarity stops them from moving forward. Often weeks, and then months, go by with little or no action. Many give up. Some end up taking yet another marketing course thinking that will help – and it can.

Yet, nothing is more effective then simply getting started. The process of preparing a website (design, features, content) helps you find greater clarity. In many cases, much greater clarity. And it’s easier than you might think.

Here’s seven steps you can use to clarify your website, your offer and your business online:

  1. Your audience: Simply put, they are people looking to solve problems. Speak directly to the problems they’re facing. This will help you connect to your audience.
  2. Promote solutions: They’re not looking for your services, so don’t sell them. Instead promote the solutions to their problems.
  3. Use your words: Forget all the fancy marketing techniques. Instead let your content be a conversation with prospective clients sharing with them the same way you might sitting in a coffee shop.
  4. Forget perfection: Website content doesn’t have to be perfect – ever. So don’t get stuck thinking it needs to be. Write content that feels like a conversation. And know that you can edit your content easily whenever you want.
  5. Website design: Stop thinking ‘work of art.’ Instead, think simple, elegant layout that your visitors can easily find what they want. You want your website to be a professional-looking backdrop for you content.
  6. Call-to-action: What are the one or two things you want people to absolutely ‘do’ on your website (e.g. email signup, contact, etc)? Make them easy to find and do.
  7. Techie, schmechie: Don’t do the technical parts of your website yourself. Get help. Even DIY programs will leave you wasting gobs of time unnecessarily. The cost of having someone do the techie parts will pay off ten-fold.

Even with these simple seven steps I know it can still be daunting. I want to invite you to resist the overwhelm. A little guided focus, a bit of effort and a little trust in yourself and you’ll have what you need to launch your new website and start finding new clients.

The key is to get started. After 16 years I’ve seen over and over that thinking about and processing what you need isn’t enough. You need a context for clarity. Working on a website provides the perfect context.

Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. You can get the help you need to get unstuck, find clarity and overcome the overwhelm of having a website that works. I’m here to help you.

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  1. Samantha Clement says:

    Don;t forget the Value Proposal, Dawud. How can I ease your pain better than anyone else?

    There are some great points here,on getting started and maintaining a straight forward thought process.

    • I don’t use the ‘ease your pain’ model. I focus, rather, on problem/solution relationship. I find it cleaner and easier for my clients to understand. And I find when you focus on the emotions around the problem you end up at the pain point anyhow. Perhaps semantics, but nonetheless.

  2. Much needed tips for the website launchers.And simple and attractive design and unique content with easy words so that every one can understand it easily can make your website successful.

  3. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author.
    I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will come back very soon.

  4. Great Post, Dawud.

    We have discovered that a great measure for your own website are other successful companies’ sites, especially Supermarkets!

    It sounds odd, because your model may not be theirs, but look at how they promote what they do. it’s remarkably simple, but there is a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ work that goes on in these businesses, but they never mention it, simply what they do, and how they are doing. They have massive following, from evangelistic returning customers, too.

  5. I really like the forget perfection part. I think that’s great advice, even if it is hard to remember/follow.

  6. Ken Lapp says:

    Sometimes less is more. The more ground you are trying to cover, the more you may confuse prospects. Stick to the one of two focuses of your business model. Thanks for the post, Dawud.

  7. I have to agree on the “forget perfection” part. People seem to forget that websites are never finished. They’re living, evolving entities and there’s nothing you do now that you can’t change in the future, if you have to.

  8. Business owners really have to ‘know’ their business: What do you do, how do you do it, where do you do it. there are plenty of aspects for your business to promote on a website, but knowing all of it in advance is necessary before you launch a website.

  9. Aleksandra says:

    And of course, getting help when you need it. There’s nothing wrong with that.
    Thanks again, nice piece of writing.

  10. This is a clean and concise post about building a better website. Tip 4 is a great way to maximize web presence to the target audience by writing content in conversational tone.

  11. Janet Macdonald says:

    We like the ‘Ideal Customer’ idea, where we know who buys our nanny services, and we market to those people. It definitely shows areas where you should be clarifying what you do for people that may become Ideal Customers. Community outreach works very well from our business model.
    Thanks for the post, Dawud.

  12. And I liked tip number 3. You should think of your website as a reflection of you, rather than a business card. So approaching your clients on a more personal level is a good idea.

  13. To me website design is the most important aspect of a website. Even Google is now considering this to rank sites. You need to present your self to your audience as one that means business and a pro

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