“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” ~Deepak Chopra
When I started my business three years ago, my work looked very different than it does today. I’ve been through several website tweaks since I launched my first one. Interestingly enough, I’ve now got clients who are on second (and third) web presence redesigns. Through my own experiences of building my own website to the experiences of my clients, I’ve discovered eight things I know for sure about designing [or re-designing] your online home.
1. You will evolve, as will your content.
Take a minute and let that sink in. You WILL evolve, as will your content. What is it like to know that it does not have to be perfect or set in stone for this moment in time? Content management is key. Your web copy will change as you get clearer on your ideal client. Embrace this process and acknowledge it as a step in creating your personal brand for your business. When I work with my clients to activate their web essence, part of my process is teaching them how to update and manage the content management system (called WordPress in my case!). So I say, let the evolution happen! We’ve got it covered.
2. You are one of a kind so doing it like she did won’t work.
It’s not a competition, ladies. It’s time to let go of that outside measuring stick. When you’re ready to stand in the truth of your work and bring it alive online there will be one or two websites that you’ll see and fall in love with. You may initially want your design to be just like it. Here’s the thing though: you and your ideal clients need & deserve more of you in your web essence. Show what it is that you do that’s unique. I believe it isn’t a competition. It’s more about discovering your unique gifts and packaging them as inviting offerings for the people you work with. Take some time to look, lurk, and love up what’s already there but when it’s time to build your own website, your Right People need it be packaged and messaged from YOU.
3. It’s all personal.
It really is. Building a new online home for you and your business is highly personal and can sometimes feel chaotic. A perfect breeding ground for your inner critic to do a homecoming dance. When she shows up with her, “Who do you think you are”, and “What do you think you’re doing”, and “No one wants to hear or read this” nonsense, calmly turn to her and let her know that you’ve got this. Connect into your most wise self who started this process. Acknowledge the chaos and know that change is happening.
4. You are ready to show up for real. With your truths.
It is time for you and your ideal clients to see more of you than the occasional post on social media. A Facebook status that garners a lot of comments and likes can be amped up and crafted into a blog post. The work you are doing in this world deserves a stage and the world [wide web] is waiting for you to light it up.
5. Telling them who you are and what you do is vital.
Services (and products), ladies. Get the word out through clear copy about what you’re doing. Have compelling photographs taken of your work and display them. Connect to your clients and ensure your message is coming through in the way that is right for you both. I recently worked with a client who leveraged her sidebar in a way that highlighted her new programs. By displaying content in her sidebar, she found she got 50% more engagement with those highlighted programs which converted to additional program participants!
6. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
(see # 1) Think Oprah Winfrey. Early in her career, she was fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv.” Think Michael Jordan. He was cut from his high school basketball team. Can we even imagine the world without them? Creating visibility in the online world doesn’t require perfection, beautiful. Time to let go of that belief :)
7. You will learn by doing, taking it one step at a time.
It’ll happen. Google & You Tube will become your very good friends.
8. Fear is normal when you begin this process.
I believe in you. I believe in your work. You can do it.
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I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!