By: Stella Orange
A website is the front door to your business. And just like houses need sprucing up from time to time, so do websites.
Over the past several years, our team of collaborators has been helping coaches, speakers, and other self-employed professionals renovate their websites.
Before we take a look at some examples, let’s talk about when it makes sense to go through the effort of updating your website in the first place.
Is now the time to change your website?
When someone tells me “I need to update my website,” I always like to know why NOW is the time.
Of all the projects you could put your attention on, why is NOW the time to refresh your website?
There are several good reasons:
~ Your website does not accurately reflect the depth and power of your work. This is a general problem for many service-based professionals (how do you describe the benefit of your work so your ideal clients get it and want it?)… AND it is especially a problem for body workers and those who do subtle emotional or energy work. If I had a nickel for every practitioner who told me “I don’t know how to put into words what I do,” I would be able to play the Vegas slots for the rest of my life.
~ A business opportunity is driving the change. Maybe you have a speaking opportunity on a bigger stage. Maybe you are networking with a different caliber of colleagues. Maybe your business is full of private clients, and you are shifting your focus to consulting or strategy.
~ You notice that the inquiries coming through your site are a mix of ideal clients and less-than-ideal clients. Over time, as you grow and refine your work, you tend to outgrow elements of your website. Key phrases, client pain points, how you describe your client journey and outcomes – these all change.
Bottom line: get clear on the business reason for WHY now is the time to change your website.
All of the websites below were conceptualized, written, and designed by the Las Peregrinas team.
Case #1 – No need for multiple pages anymore
There comes a time when you have been doing your work for years, and have developed fluency and mastery in it. You know your lane, and you intend to stay in it. You have several ways you work with clients, and they each start in the same place: with a conversation where you ask questions and hear what the person in front of you needs.
In this case, you don’t need a complex website with a bunch of separate pages.
See how on this one page website, there are three sections about the three different sorts of clients this company serves? I’m not suggesting we have to do it the exact same way for your business, but want you to see how you don’t necessarily “need” a separate Services or About page.
The thing I want you to notice is that this website has a different framework than a lot of other websites out there.
At Las Peregrinas, we help each of our clients map this out, based on who YOU are, the work YOU do, and what YOUR ideal clients need to read, see, and feel from you.
And at the end of the day, the idea behind a one page website like this is that less is more. You don’t need a lot of pages or words to describe your method or explain your process – because you already do that in your sales conversations.
Case #2 – Goodbye, old school sales pages
Just because your business is more complex doesn’t mean your website needs to be like a bramble of pages that your audience needs a map to navigate. When you have multiple audiences and multiple ways you can serve them, it’s worth considering innovative ways of organizing all the information, so you don’t overwhelm people.
Also? Maybe those old school sales pages that you learned about in a digital marketing class don’t actually make sense for your market. So how could you get your audience the information they need to make an informed buying decision, in a way that works for them?
This is a multipage website, but we’ve put a bunch of thought into how different types of clients are coming into this business, and how they would most appreciate receiving information on courses and programs. This resulted in taking old sales pages and tweaking them to be less “salesy” – in order to align with the voice of this brand, a subject matter expert in parenting for intense kids. Now, prospects can download and print PDFs right from the website, to review with spouses over kitchen tables.
Case #3 – A website that pairs well with Armani
When you are clear about who you serve, how you serve them, and what your vision is for the growth of that work, you need a website that amplifies that clarity. We’ve all seen people who, when we meet them, don’t sound or look like their websites at all. This disconnect between the experience of a professional and how she represents her work online is a real – and common – problem.
The inspiration for this brand came from what the client wears to client meetings: a blue Armani dress.
Here is another example of a one page website, customized with additional PDFs for speaking opportunities and a white paper.
Notice how there is no set template for a one page website – each one is tailored to the business, the work, and the sales process. The other thing to note here is that Mary is not requiring people to give her their email address in order to access her white paper. This is because her business is not about growing an online audience. She wins clients through referral, speaking, and following up with prospects personally.
In this changed and changing marketplace, many of us are looking at our websites with fresh eyes and seeing that it, too, must change. Here are some lessons we can take with us:
~ Not all digital marketing tactics make sense for your work – Depending on your lead generation and sales process, you may not need people to opt-in for a free gift or newsletter subscription. It may not even make sense for you to send a newsletter! Root your marketing strategy in what YOUR BUSINESS needs – not necessarily the latest digital marketing trend.
~ Notice how your website makes you feel. Many of our clients come to us because their websites don’t feel right anymore. They feel too complicated, too outdated, too wordy… or simply make them feel too overwhelmed – or frustrated! — to think about revamping.
~ Website projects often include a tangle of hidden business decisions. One of the reasons people stall on updating their website is because they need to make decisions in their business – about things like WHO they really serve, the work they REALLY do with people, what they DON’T WANT TO DO anymore (but may feel a way about retiring). PRO TIP: Expect this, and commit to being decisive. No more wishy-washy! It will gum up your website.
~ Discussion, argument, and collaboration can help us catch things we can’t see working alone – Refreshing our websites with people we trust, who have different talents, knowledge, and perspectives than us strengthen the quality, alignment, and effectiveness of our marketing.
At the end of the day, websites are not the reason people come to work with you. YOU — and the quality of your work – are the reason people come to work with you.
But if your website does not “match” how you serve… or the way you serve… or if your website squeezes people into a sales process that doesn’t make sense… you better believe your website is a turn off.
Thankfully, that is a pickle that is entirely avoidable.
Time to refresh your website? We can help! Reach out to set up an exploratory call about your project, what you need, and what it could look like to work together. This work is fully customized, proposal-based, and zero-sales-pressure. Email email@example.com to get the ball rolling.
Stella is cofounder and copywriter at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. As our resident word nerd, she writes copy and points out the stories everyone is living and telling through their work. She is also fun at parties.
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