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5 Clear Steps to Having a Great Website

5 Clear Steps to Having a Great Website

You want to have a great website. Here’s how:

Over the last 20 years I’ve helped more than 2,000 people plan and build their website.

What I found is that most people really have no idea how to properly plan their site. And why should they? Unless you’ve built hundreds of websites, you have no reason to know what makes a great website.

Whether they find your online, meet you in person or get referred by a friend, every one of your prospective clients will look at your website.

This is really important. If your site sucks, is unorganized, looks dated or isn’t readable on their smart phone, you’ll like lose them before they ever get in touch with you.

But we can fix that. We can make your website present your work in the best light. And the right approach to planning a great website is to work backwards, by answering the following 5 questions: [Read more…]

Four Foundational Website Questions That Gets You Clients


So, you want to use your website to find clients – great!

Depending on who you listen to, there’s so much you need to do in order to successfully use your website. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re a life coach, business consultant or holistic healer, getting clients through your website takes time, energy and even a little bit of money.

More than anything, you need a plan.

You need to know what your website is about. You need it to clearly communicate how you and your service helps people. Moreover, you to set clear goals of what your website needs to achieve for you.

That’s the first step. Some would say you next need a business plan, a marketing plan and a clear revenue model (you do need to know how you’re going to make money, after all).

But I think it’s much simpler than all that.

Sure, a business plan is good. I coach my own clients on creating business and marketing plans so they can both keep themselves on track and see their progress. So using traditional business plans is something I highly recommend.

Yet, I’ve found it helpful to begin any service business with 4 simple questions. These questions provide the foundation for all else. Answer them fully and you’ll have the beginnings of your business plan, an outline for your marketing plan and you’ll know how you’ll make money. You’ll also have an idea of who your client is and what their needs are.

What’s more, these four questions give you a chance to simplify the whole business development process. You may still want to formal business plan or work through how you’ll market your business. Yet it can be less necessary as long as you can stay focused. I’ve had a handful of clients take just the answers to these four questions and go on to both build successful life coaching and holistic healing practices.

So what are the four questions?

  • Who you are?
  • What you do?
  • Who you do it for?
  • Why do you do it?

Simple questions, right?

Now there can be other questions to add. Depending on the client I might add ‘how do you do what you do’ or ‘what do they need.’ But honestly, even these questions are pretty much covered in a thorough answers to the four questions. Plus, I find simplicity wins out most of the time.

Is it really this simple?

Yes…and no!

The questions, themselves, are simple, of course. What’s important, though, are your answers. And sometimes that can take some work.

Your answers should have layers.

That’s right. If you really work with these four questions you’ll find a different set of answers for different parts of your business.

For instance, there’s the at the surface answers – the easy ones. These answers you’ll come up with immediately. Usually you don’t have to think too hard about them. These are good, but not complete answers.

The next layers of answers are the deeper ones. These get to the core of why you do what you do. Often, these speak to your deep inner reasons for offering this sort of service at all. You may share these with clients or on your website, but sometimes they’re too personal.

Another layer – a very important layer – is your story. These four questions beg you to craft your story of why your in business. And this is very important because a business – a website – without a story to tell doesn’t connect to potential clients.

It’s about connecting to people

And this brings us to the last layer I’ll cover. You can use these questions to tell your prospective client’s stories as well. When you understand their story – where they are, what they’re dealing with, how it feels and how they’d like to transform – then you have a something to share with them that has meaning.

That’s really what a website, social media, email marketing, etc is about – connecting with people. And the best way to connect with people – online or off – is to tell your story in a way that includes their story. You connect to them by connecting your stories.

And that’s the secret of successful marketing online. When you’re clear enough to connect your story to their story then you have something compelling that reaches people, connects with them and clearly communicates that you understand their situation and can help.

Make sense? Where are you stuck or overwhelmed?

I will get you out of overwhelmed and unstuck. Contact me today!

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:

[Read more…]

Can Your Website Do This?

I think most of you who are reading my blog have heard of WordPress. Many know it as blogware (blog software) and some – especially my clients – know it as a full content management solution (meaning you can easily edit your content using it).

But I know there are some people who read my blog regularly who don’t have any experience with WordPress. Perhaps they’ve heard of it and have no idea what it is. Maybe they’ve even used it but haven’t really understood how powerful it can. And yet I know there are others who haven’t heard of WordPress at all.

So I’m going to share a few short screencasts I’ve made over the past year to introduce some of the most powerful user features in WordPress and show you why you want to consider using it for your next website.

[Read more…]

It's Really This Easy To Add A Link To Your Comment

How often have you seen this in the comment box?


I see it in my comment box and on other blogs enough that it’s in my consciousness. Here, I often just quickly edit the comment to add a live link because it’s quick and easy.

But it’s also quick and easy to show you how to create your own live link that you can use in the comment box on almost any blog. It’s easy to learn and only takes an extra moment to write. And what you get is a real, live link to wherever you’re referencing in your comment.

But one note before we go on. Just because you’re about to find out how to leave links in comments, please only due so when your comment truly warrants it. Don’t add your affiliate links in the comment box. And don’t pepper every comment with 3 self-promoting links back to your blog. Both of these are prime ways to turn off the blogger you’re leaving comments with. Likely, you’ll not end up in the comment box, but in the spam filter. You may even mean well, just remember that spam is in the eye of the blog owner.

That said, let’s get on to it.

All you need to know to create a live link in the comment box is a very small bit of HTML. So, are you ready? Here’s how you create a live text link with HTML:

<a href=””>link to Dawud’s blog</a>

And here’s what it will look like in the comment box:

link to Dawud’s blog

That’s all there is to it. Really. It’s that easy.

Just be sure of a few things and you’ll be fine:

  1. Be sure to open your your HTML tag correctly. Put <a href=”your-url“> just before the first letter of the word or phrase you want to make into a link. All the syntax as displayed is important – the placement of the < >, the = and the quotes around your-url.
  2. Be sure you’ve typed a (space) href correctly as show above. I’ve been writing HTML for more than 10 years and I often mistype href or don’t add the space between a & href.
  3. Your linked text. What will display, as you see above, is the text just after your > and before the </a>. What you place in that position is the text that will carry the link.
  4. Be sure to close your HTML tag correctly. Close your tag means after the last letter of the word or phrase you’re linking, be sure to add </a> exactly as it’s typed – the slash is important. If you don’t close the tag, all text after will be a link. Probably not something you want to do.

So just to review, the syntax for creating a link looks like this:

<a href=”your-full-url“>displayed text link</a>

That’s it. Now you should be able to add links to your comments whenever you like, easily, quickly and without trouble. Just be sure the syntax is correct before you submit your comment. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Also, one further note. Some blogware will not let you add HTML to your comments. So try it and if you get a message that HTML is not accepted, you’ll know. Trying it won’t hurt anything.

Have fun…

All I Want To Do Is Leave A Comment

mouth.jpgHow many times have your read a great blog post and have wanted to add a comment, only to get to the bottom of the page and find that you have to login?

I don’t login. Which means, I don’t leave a comment. Which means, no conversation and little chance at building a relationship with that blogger.

I think this is a bad idea. So do others. Forcing people to login to your blog just so they can leave a comment is ridiculous.

Think about it for a moment… If you write a blog post, you want people to read it, right? Otherwise, why write it? And if you offer comments at all, you’re probably interested in getting some sort of feedback, right? Otherwise you’d be like Seth Godin and not do comments at all.

So why would you make it difficult for me to leave a comment on your blog? Why would you force me to register and login? All that does is setup a number of barriers between you and I; your post and my commentary. Your making me take extra time just so I can share my thoughts on something you wrote on your site. Where’s the benefit for me?

If you have a business blog, think about the message you’re sending. If you’re making it difficult for me to interact with you on your blog, how else might you make our interaction difficult? How important will I really be to you as a client if I’m not that important as a blog commenter?

As you can tell, I think it’s poor judgment to make commenters register and login. There’s really no benefit for the commenter. It’s bad enough they have to fill-in a form each time they leave a comment on my blog. But at least they have the freedom to include what they like.

I’ve ranted on about this, what do you think? Do you comment on sites that force you to register? Do you force your commenters to register? I’d love to know why. Maybe there’s a reason beyond what I’m looking at. Or maybe it’s just a bad idea. Let’s talk about it…