Entrepreneurs and organizations often times approach me with the request to help them put together a new web site. My reply is that they are thinking about it completely wrong and need to change their mindset. Here are the items to consider and assess:
- When asked to articulate what your strategy is? can you do it? Your site is only one marketing component (out of many) to support your overall strategy. Answer the following questions: What is your strategy? Paint a picture of the future and identify what you want your company to be, look like and be known for and why. What is the geography you are going to cover? Who are the audiences you are attracting and where do they hang out? What is your value proposition, which means how are your clients better off by virtue of working with you?
- Now that you have identified your strategy, start thinking about your tactics. What are your tactics and how do they support your strategy? Should you publish and/or create a community around your brad? Should you leverage the media and your speaking presentations? What about using social media, creating powerful alliances with others and developing your own video and audio channels?
- Next are your actionable action steps to support each one of your tactics. The easiest way to think of these is to answer the how question, which means how would this action support my tactic. For example: if one of your tactics is publishing, your action steps could be blogging daily, attracting guest contributors to your blog and site, submitting your content to be published elsewhere, get involved in podcast interviews and start writing your eBooks and books.
- Determine the platforms you should use to exploit and further push your content? Think about other platforms as launching pads to exponentially increase your content reach. Becoming a guest contributor for others’ blogs will quickly introduce you to their audience and increase your reach exponentially. Placing many videos on YouTube and other video related sites will enable people to find you easily while strengthening your thought leadership in the process. The same applies to linking your content (audios and videos) on iTunes which has become one of the largest repositories of amazing intellectual property or blog talk radio and such platforms.
- Who do you currently know, who knows you and who should you know? Nurturing powerful relationships is one of the keys to word-of-mouth referrals, viral marketing and therefore increased success.
- One of the toughest question my clients struggle answering is: “what is and how would you describe your brand?” Perhaps a topic for an upcoming podcast, article or video and until then, can you answer this?
- What is your marketing plan? Should you speak, create products, write a book, blog often, use affiliate relationship? Which items are you focusing on right now and which should you focus on next?
- Rather than thinking of creating a web site, I recommend you start thinking about creating the ultimate repository of your remarkable content or intellectual property (IP) that is well leveraged to engage your clients. When thinking of your IP, start identifying and creating the various products and services that you should offer to your target audiences in addition to the ones you are already offering. What I am referring to is the creation of workshops, teleconferences, webinars, booklets, eBooks, audio books, video books, books, communities, charts or process visuals, podcasts in both digital and non-digital formats.
- Can you clearly answer the question as to why you are going to do this? Does the answer make sense and outlines a strong return on investment? Are you partnering with a strategist who brings a great track record of success that is easily substantiated? If so, you are ready for the last evaluation point.
- Only when you have gained complete clarity of the items above should you start thinking about the creative direction, look and feel, navigation style, and aesthetic components of your site. Don’t fall into the trap of letting this become your first step or you too may end up with just another pretty web site!
So rather than thinking about hiring a web designer to create a new site, start first by clarifying your strategy, tactics, action steps and then the creation of the ultimate tools to effectively connect with your clients to provide them them with consistent and remarkable value. Do these and you will accelerate your success.
© Chad Barr 2012. All rights reserved