Q: Help! I need a website, but I don’t know where to start!
A: First, find your website why.
Why do you need a website?
The best place to start is at the beginning – find your website why! There’s a book called Start With Why, by Simon Sinek that talks about figuring out your purpose as a starting point. The concept is true of many things, including websites! Try to answer the question, “Why do I need a website?” The automatic answer is usually – “more money!” or “a bigger audience” or “more traffic.” OK, most of us want those things, but they are a top level response.
Try to get deeper. What specific goals do you have for your business or for your website? If you want to grow your business, that’s a very different strategy from improving your current customer support system. Both strategies might bring you more money, but in different ways. A goal of selling your business might have a completely different strategy from the first two.
Being really specific about the goals and needs of your website can help you get the website you need as well as help you communicate better with your web professional. Think about achieving your goals – what does that picture look like? Figure out as much detail as you can that is specific to you, your business, and your website. If it is hard to think about specific goals, it might help to take another step back and think about “who” – in three parts.
Identify your mission
First, who are you? What is your business or purpose? What is the purpose of your website? Define your mission statement and your values. This can help you understand why you need a website and what it should show your customers or audience. For example, my mission is to get small businesses online with a website they like and help they can trust. So my website is a place to let prospective clients see my work, read about my values, and get a sense of whether they would like to work with me for a website project.
Learn your customer
Second, who is your client – your ideal client or customer? This is the client that you’d want a bunch just like them if you could clone that person or business. Their needs should guide your business or message so that you can best help that person with your website. Helping your clients or customers in amazing ways can do surprising things for your own business.
Third, who do you want to help you? Maybe nobody, if you want to DIY your website. You can build your own website with a lot of coffee, extensive hair-pulling, and your best bud, Google, but it takes a lot of time and there are some things to watch out for. Another option is to consult with a web professional to ask questions and get guidance, maybe even a walk-through for some setup, but still do your site on your own. If you just don’t have the time or the patience, maybe you want someone to just build it for you already. In this case, the next step is to think about your budget and start talking to web professionals.
I hope finding your website why has helped you get a better handle on what you need from your website and how to go about it. Give me a holler if I can help you with a project.