There are 5 words I hear over and over again in my business, “I need a new website.”
And 4 words that I rarely hear, “I love my website.”
With over 160 million website online, why is it so hard to find business owners who love their sites?
The reason is simple. Most businesses are looking at their website in the wrong way. At best, they see it as a tool, a technology, a business necessity. At worst, they see it as a burden or necessary evil.
But, what if your website has the potential to be much more than that?
What if your website was YOU?
Let me explain.
I don’t mean this in some creepy cyborg-way, I simply mean that the vast majority of prospects who visit your site have never met you and will never meet you.
Your website may be the first and only impression they get of you.
In other words, your website is standing in for you 24/7, meeting and greeting thousands of prospects and turning them into clients – or so you hope.
Simply put, that’s all the best business websites do.
And this boils down to just 3 essential functions. Un-coincidentally, these are the same 3 things you would do if you were meeting a prospect live for the first time:
1. Make a positive impression – If you were meeting a business prospect for the first time, say at a conference or event, most likely you’d be dressed for success. Dressed in a way that felt authentic, yet professional. You’d shake their hand, look them in the eye, introduce yourself and kick off the conversation by finding some common ground. You’d listen to them share about themselves, their opportunities and frustrations, then you’d like them know how you can support them.
First and foremost, the best business websites do exactly this: create a strong visual impression, make a personal connection, speak in their ideal client’s language, and share what they do in a way that matters to their client. Oftentimes the best way to do this is through video, but you can also use text and images.
2. Get their contact information – Now once you’ve made that connection, you’d ask for their card so you could follow-up with them.
Similarly, the best business websites have a prominent and irresistible opt-in box that invites new visitors to leave their name and email.
3. Follow-up with next steps – Now that you’ve got their card, you’d follow up with a personalized email that provides value and leads them to take the next step with you.
The best business websites are no different. Once they gather that email address, they spring into gear with a series of emails that provide value and offer that next step, whether that’s leaving a comment, signing up for a free strategy session or purchasing a low-end product.
By thinking of your website as an extension of you, you can take charge of your web development project in a new way. Instead of thinking, what bells and whistles do I need to put on my website? Simply ask yourself, “What would I do?” Or, “How would I communicate this to a real person”?
Because the truth of the matter is that “web traffic” is comprised of real people with real needs, problems and aspirations.
I’m constantly amazed how people become stiff, formal, aggressive or impersonal online in a way that they would never do in person.
Let your website be and express you and chances are you’ll start making smart business choices that will transform your site from an airless corporate brochure into the dynamic and engaging asset it was meant to be.