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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.

Let’s talk…

Why You Want Your Business To Forever Be Unfinished

workinprogress.jpgI want to share a business secret with you. It’s a secret that you may know already – a least mentally. Yet it’s a secret that often separates highly successful businesses from the less successful ones.

Are you ready? Okay…

No matter how well developed your business is; no matter how many years you’ve been doing it, how many customers you’ve served, how much money you’re making – your business will forever be a work in progress.

I heard this years ago from a colleague and fluffed it off with the usual, “yeah, of course!” But I was missing the juice of it. Only recently have I gotten a clear understanding of what it means. And only recently have I taken a close look at how having an unfinished business is the secret to success. [Read more...]

Small Business Advice: Are You Enlightened?

lao-tzu.jpg

I was reading from Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching last night when I ran across an interesting quote:

He who knows others is wise;
He who knows himself is enlightened.

The passage made me stop and contemplate my own life. How well do I know myself? I went down that path for a bit of time; looking at my aspects and considering what I might be blind about.

Naturally, I soon turned to business. I thought about how much of marketing is focused on the consumer or the client. I wondered what I might learn about my business if I applied Lao-tzu’s words to marketing. So I rewrote the passage to say:

[Read more...]

Are You Making a Difference in Your Clients' Lives?

I was reminded of something the other day –   that I am in business to make people’s lives better.

Lots of people are in business for the same reason. Heck, if you’re a coach, holistic practitioner or any type of service provider, it’s likely that at least part of the reason you’re in business is because you want to help people.

There was a study done at M.I.T. a few years ago* in which the increase in brain function was measured with a number of different stimuli. Basically, what they were trying to find out is what sorts of things get the brain excited. What they found was that the #3 most brain-exciting stimuli was money…#2 was sex.

But the stimuli that recorded the most brain activity – most excited the brain – was altruistic behavior. In other words genuinely doing stuff of purpose for other people. Like me, you may say, “sure, that makes sense.” But the reason I remember the study is that altruistic behavior got more than twice the response in brain activity as sex did. So doing things of meaning for people creates a massive biological response in our brain in comparison to sex. To me, that says something.

[Read more...]

Here's How You Can Get a Business-Ready Website For $350 – 1 MORE DAY ONLY!!

business-ready-websites-wordpress

THIS OFFER HAS ENDED!

You may have heard that we’re expecting our fourth child sometime in the next couple of weeks. My wife, the kids and I are extremely excited and are looking forward to meeting this new little Miracle (sorry, couldn’t resist).

At the same time, I’ve been looking for an interesting and fun thing to do with another birth in my life – one of a website nature. And I think I’ve done it:

Until noon, eastern, on Sunday, August 30th, I’m going to sell my business-ready, template-based websites for the absolutely insane low price of $350. No typo, I mean three hundred and fifty dollars. Sounds pretty good, huh?

[Read more...]

Is Your Business Out of Position?

out-of-position.jpgPositioning is one of the biggest, most foundation keys to success.

It’s certainly true in sports. In baseball, if your defense is positioned wrong, the other team can more easily score runs. In basketball, both offense and defense are decided by how players are positioned on the floor. Get it right, and you have a strong defense or an explosive offense. Get it it wrong and you loose.

The position of furniture in your home can make a huge difference between the room feeling comfortable and spacious as opposed to dark and cramped. And with your office, how you position things around your desk can often decide how efficient you are.

Position is so important. So why, then, do so many businesses get it wrong? Worse, why do so many businesses not focus on it at all?

[Read more...]

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