3 Common Mistakes When Building a Website
Developing Digital Marketing Strategy Now Saves You Money Later
It's tragic, but there are tons of new sites that flop. A few months after launching, it's clear that the website isn't doing anything for the business. The shiny, new website simply does not reach or connect with the intended audience — the people who benefit from the free advice & paid services being offered.
It’s not that creating a website that fails to reach your business goals is a waste of time and money, since you can definitely learn a lot from those experiences.
However, you can get the right perspective and strategy tips, and thereby avoid making those mistakes in the first place (or start correcting yourself now).
That’s why I wrote this piece on good marketing strategy and the three most common mistakes people make when building websites. It’s easy to get misleading information online, so I want to add some no-nonsense advice to the conversation on marketing strategy. I don’t consider these three things to be a formula, they are just the three things I find myself explaining over and over again: they are the most common mistakes you can make when marketing yourself online.
— Lily Rothrock
Your website needs to be about your client
(and not so much about yourself)
Often, you see websites focused entirely on the person, not the solution they offer. And, usually, it’s because the person building the website simply doesn’t know how ineffective a “me, me, me” website can be.
It's very common to want to build a website that's all about you. After all, that’s where your coming from, so it’s natural to think like that. And, you have to establish your expert credibility, right? And isn’t your website the place where you get to sing your praises?
Absolutely, however you can position yourself as an expert and establish trust with your audience without making a website all about yourself.
For example, a website about yourself sounds something like this:
"Here's a long list of what I've done!"
"Here's all the people I've ever worked with!"
"Here's a very boring biography about uninteresting things that I want to tell you about!"
It seems like a good idea, but it’s actually detrimental.
Putting yourself at the center seems like a great way to build credibility (“I'm so great, don't you want to hire me?”), however, clients actually want to know about who you serve and how you benefit them. When they are on your site, they want to know if they can trust you. They won’t want to engage with you if they don’t have a reason to trust you.
The best way to build relationships with your potential clients based on trust is to authentically speak to your audience about what they care about, not about what you've achieved in your career (although, it doesn't hurt to mention the great things you've done, of course. You just have to make sure it's not the focus of your content).
Focused on You:
After the training I completed with so-and-so, I’m an expert soul-coach all about more peace, clarity, and love in life. (Not Effective)
Focused on Your Client:
With innovative coaching techniques designed to achieve inner peace and self-love, I help my clients find the clarity they need for a more fulfilled life. (Effective)
Focused on You:
My name is Cindy Lee and I created Reiki Love Sanctuary to hold space for everyone to find their authentic self. (Not Effective)
Focused on Your Client :
Clear your energy and pamper yourself. Schedule a reiki session and see results today. (Effective)
When you shift from yourself to your clients, you make the step that they've been waiting for you to take. You move closer in towards where they actually are. It can be daunting to shift your mindset from making your work about yourself to making it about who you serve. However, it's the step that enables you to reach more people who need your services and are ready to hire you.
You have to be clear
Have you ever gone to a website and wondered what it was all about?
Money likes clarity, so I’ll take a bet that you left their site without fully understanding how they can help you.
Most people spend up to 3 seconds on your site. They need to know what you’re doing and how it can help them in that amount of time.
If they can’t figure it out in that amount of time, and they don’t have another reason for visiting the site, they will most likely leave. Sadly, that means that potential clients don’t get to understand how you can help them if you’re not immediately clear.
I’ve noticed that this often applies to those people or organizations that don’t fit in with “business as usual.” They are trying to change the world! Yet, they are often afraid of selling themselves, because they don’t want to seem “salsey”. But, they end up missing out on the power of the internet for sharing their story, which means they miss out on clients that would benefit from what they offer, as well as necessary income from those clients.
Good marketing isn’t subversive, salsey, or leave you feeling icky. It’s not pushy or aggressive. It’s not manipulative, or only available for a limited time. It’s clear, direct, and open. It’s authentic and real.
Remember: you're building a relationship with every person who comes to your website.
That's critical. Make sure your website has a good, clear message right on the front page, and is easy to navigate. That way, each person who comes in to contact with you understands what you're up to and how to get more information if they choose to.
Chances are, they need time to build an online relationship with you before they are ready to inquire about if you’re a good fit for them. You have to remember, your clients are real people, and treating them like real people by not playing confusing games with their attention online will do wonders for your business.
You can’t do it alone
This one has been the hardest part for me, personally. I cannot build my own website by myself, even though I'm a web designer and marketing strategist.
That’s because it’s really hard to tell your story by yourself. You need outside perspective and feedback in order to create the best version of your work online.
I created three websites I never launched before I finally launched the website you see now. I not only needed to find the courage to ask for help, I also needed to find the person that was actually able to see what I needed and meet me where I was at in my process.
Building a website, especially if it’s about a business that you care personally about, can bring out your inner critic. It’s very common for you to question your own authority and sense of worth when you are stepping up your marketing. That’s why one-size-fits-all web design and marketing strategy doesn’t work for everyone, and why so many people need personalized help to achieve their website and marketing goals for their business.
About Lily Rothrock:
If you’re ready to get started, I'm here to help you craft the framework and the website that will attract the attention of clients that are actually interested in what you’re offering. Check out my services to learn more and apply for a free mini-strategy session to get started.