If you’re a business owner of any size, stripe, kind, type, age, experience, or profit level – you simple MUST have a website – and one that really works for you. Yes, this is true if you’re a solo operation, a solopreneur working from home or from Starbucks or a local co-working space. You need your own space online.
If you don’t have a website at all, or don’t have you’re happy with, or it’s too complex and you don’t know how to update or maintain it – please, contact me or shoot me an email and let’s get that fixed for you first. Yes, The InfoHound does websites. It started with building my own, then one for a friend, then for a nonprofit, then for another, and then more colleagues – and soon enough I had a little side gig using what I’d learned on the fly about WordPress, plus my marketing know-how, eye for design, and some tools that create modern, clean, professional, SIMPLE websites.
Maybe you have a site or are comfortable making your own updates. Great! Time to review your site and ask it a few questions – see if it’s doing its job for your solopreneur biz.
Are you wondering why your website needs to do all of that? You might think your site does NOT need any of that.
Maybe you’re thinking:
‘hey, my clients are all referrals – they don’t come via my website.’
Well … except those prospective clients, they do a quick search on you – they hit up LinkedIn, maybe Twitter, and definitely Google – after hearing about you in the referral. They definitely check out your website.
It’s just as true for services purchased by corporate marketers, manufacturers, publishers, C-suite executives, coaches, or lawyers as it is for those of us looking for a new vacuum or new car.
We search online. We want more information than a brochure.
We want to hear about what others think. Yes, we want reviews (or case studies, examples, and social proof) for lawyers, accountants, business coaches, management consultants, leadership mentors, or research analysts, much like we need reviews for refrigerators, dryers, plumbers, and that new Indian restaurant down the road.
We want to feel comfortable that YOU are the one who can really help us in this particular situation we're in. We need to TRUST as well as KNOW. Anyone buying anything wants to know ‘why should I buy from YOU?’
Customers have come to expect certain things to be available online, and to tell them about a company they may work with – no matter the size.
Executives want case studies and to see examples. You don't have to name names, or give out confidential info, or your own research trade secrets. You DO need to show AND tell how you work and get results. You need to figure the need for those examples of your work in action into the searches your prospects are already doing online, and answer those questions your prospects are already asking. Answer them about how your services and results can help them achieve their desired outcomes.
You might still figure:
‘ok, so I have a website and I show up in Google results for my name. My site says I do what I do.
I’m good. Besides … if I say too much more why would they call me to talk?’
Maybe that's been good enough. You and your basic web presence show up online when someone does their initial Google search.
Well, that assumes they already know your name, and what you do, and maybe just need to confirm you exist and you are legit. Then you show up fairly high in search results. But …
What if they're searching for the problem they have, and not on your name or business name? Consumers who aren't yet totally decided on buying a particular thing or service search by phrases and questions.
Your website can do more.
Wouldn't you like more clients? More happy clients? Happy prospects who know about you, what your company does, what it has done for past clients, will know what to expect and will decide IF they want to bother calling you. [that's the strength of good content marketing – delivering valuable answers to your customers and bringing prospects back to your website, over and over. But that's a different post!]
Your prospect could see info they need on your website, but prefer to just email you – do you make that easy?
Is your contact info on every page?
Is there a form that's easy to fill out -but doesn't get loaded with spam?
Can they easily find enough information about you to feel they could trust you?
If they don’t get enough info, they aren’t going to call and ask, they aren't filling out your forms, and they're not emailing you. No, they’re going to go look elsewhere for a solution. Don't let that happen!
You need a plan.
Your website needs a plan and a purpose.
Your site doesn’t have to be a cookie-cutter replica of some other corporate type. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn't need umpteen pages. It really shouldn't have anything flashing, spinning, making noise, or taking attention away in the wrong direction.
Your solopreneur website doesn't need a million blog posts. It SHOULD represent you, your unique style, your personality, the experience only you have, and your particular range of services. It NEEDS to be easy to maintain and to update. It's not enough to build a website for your business once and then not touch it again for 5 years. [If that's been the case, please contact me so I can help! I hate seeing friends with websites stuck in the 90s. Or even circa 2008.]
Make sure your website – the pages AND the posts and all the other features – fits your marketing goals and is part of your overall marketing plan. It's not ‘set and forget'.
Your site is property that you control – that's not true of your Facebook Page, your Twitter account, or your LinkedIn profile. You don’t own those spots and they can change or disappear in a snap. Don’t build a business on shifting sand. A good website is a solid foundation and stable location to always bring visitors to and have them learn about you. It’s where you control your own story and what’s said about your business and what you offer your customers.
So take time now to double-check if your current website is working hard enough for you.
If not – let's talk!
Now that you’re convinced of the importance of a solid website presence for growing your successful solopreneur enterprise (you are convinced, right?), I’ve got something for you to help make your site work harder for you – a Blogging Basics Checklist!
I want all of my solopreneur pals to feel confident and mighty in their marketing - sharing what makes their work special and so vital to their clients. No B.S. or fluff here. I do the digging and research for you, translate "marketing-ese" into simpler terms, and help you avoid marketing headaches.