In this second episode of Dave and Charissa Talk we focus on the topic of building business websites. Both Charissa and I have experience building websites for our businesses, but that doesn’t make either of us experts… it just makes us two individuals with experience of what has and hasn’t work for our business websites.
Essential in a Business Website
When building a business website it is not necessary to include everything under the sun on your site, but there are essential elements that must exist. This is how Charissa was able to build a business website in four hours while sitting in her bathtub. Some of the essential elements is an about page and contact forms. She goes over several other elements in our conversation as well.
Your Big Idea Online
Every organization has a big idea and this big idea needs to be present on your site. It needs to be at the root of all the content on your website so visitors have a clear picture of what you bring to the table in terms of skill, ability and authority. Not clearly defining your big idea will lead to overthinking your online presence which can very easily lead to unclear messaging that confuses potential clients.
I am guilty of this and trying to work it out.
Personal Website or Business Website or Both?
We took questions through Twitter and my friend Kristy asked a HUGE question about how you should position your online presnce:
— Kristy (@kristyannhenry) October 14, 2014
Like many things in business, the answer to whether your business website should be a personal website depends on a lot of things. My opinion is if you are freelancing and and finding all your work via referrals, a single website will most likely suffice. If you are looking to build something larger than you (a firm) or your business is not a good fit to be mixed with what you share on your blog, you will want a business website. However, there are always exceptions. This is more of a best practices thought.
Where to Host a Website
There are literally hundreds of services that offer simple website setup and many of them are very legit. Charissa uses and advocates for Square Space. Both of her websites, House of Bliss and her blog, are built using Square Space. You can learn more about the service here.
I use self-hosted WordPress on Hostgator for my website though I recommend Bluehost to all my clients. The reason I have not switched to Bluehost is because all my content is on Hostgator and it would be a pain to switch it all over.
The most important thing to look for in a website framework or content management system (CMS) is that you enjoy the experience. If you hate the interface and the way a service works, it doesn’t matter how functional or promising the service is, if you hate it you won’t use it. Pick something that you love.
I also mention about.me as an alternative if you just need something quick to point people to. Something is better than nothing.
What Is the Motivation for Launching a Business Website
My buddy Kyle was watching live and tweeted this message to us:
— Kyle Benoit (@kylebenoit) October 15, 2014
My primary motivation for setting up Shrein Media, LLC was money. I had reached a point where people were hearing about me from people I didn’t know and I needed a place to send them to serve up exactly what they were looking for: My past work.
My personal website, the one you’re on right now, is a collection of everything I do related to leadership, communication and marketing. Most of my clients are coming to me looking for online assistance with their websites or social media presence. Very few are looking for leadership advice (though I would readily serve it up to them).
I knew that having a business website would give clients exactly what they wanted and allow me the opportunity to provide for them what they needed. It’s tough to maintain two websites, but it’s become a necessity for my work.
Comparing Yourself with Others
No matter what your market is, there is no point in comparing yourself with others because you will always, one hundred percent of the time have something your competitors do not: You. In our talk, Charissa highlights a schedule planner she purchased from Whitney Vass at Heart and Arrow and makes a point to share that the reason she purchased this particular planner is because it was specifically made by Whitney.
When you are authentically you it is giving clients and potential networking partners a glimpse at who you really are and what you uniquely offer. If I pretend to be Charissa I will fail because I’m not her. If Charissa tries to be me, she will fail because there is only one me. And that is what you have as an advantage over the competition, there is only one you.
Getting Clear with Your Elevator Pitch
No matter if you are starting your business over or you are rebranding your business, getting clarity on your elevator pitch is hugely important. Charissa provides the BEST formula for landing on an elevator pitch and here it is:
I help (your target market) do _________ through ___________.
Charissa’s elevator pitch is:
I help entrepreneurs triple their income by changing their words.
Charissa says to find out what your target market needs and then answer that in your elevator pitch. Charissa’s target market is often concerned with their website analytics and why their websites aren’t performing so she provides the necessary changes with words to elevate their website game.