One thing that has become crystal clear to me (and this may seem totally obvious) is that when I set my mind on something with clear intentions the validation and support shows up left and right! I know... a little 'woo woo' maybe, but that's O.K., a little 'woo woo' never hurt anyone.
As my business has grown so has my knowledge and skill level (how else do you grow a business, right?). What I've found MOST interesting during this process is how something that I've learned, heard or "should have" implemented earlier (but didn't), now makes sense. Let's look at a few examples of what I'm referring to (in no specific order):
Build Your List
It's All About Relationships
You Have to Create Valuable Content (and lots of it)
You Need To Share Your Work
Support Other People
Measure What's Working
What Do You Want To Accomplish With Your Site?
Some of these things I've talked about quite a bit on the site and in some of the more recent podcast episodes. What I want to focus on is the very last point:
"What Do You Want To Accomplish With Your Site?"
If you haven't answered this question yet, you need to. I can guarantee that if you don't know what you want to accomplish with your site, your visitors and readers certainly won't have a clue!
Unfortunately this says a LOT about you.
Of course I'm speaking from experience having learned ALL of the above points the hard way (well, maybe not the hard way, just the LONG way). The kicker with this though is that it isn't something that most people know right off the bat. It takes time and commitment to figure it out. You may have an idea of what you want to accomplish with your site - and that's great. Start from there.
You HAVE to be willing to course correct along the way!
I was working with a coaching client last month and she was mentioning a product she wanted to create (she does WordPress site work, training, etc.) and when she mentioned an idea for a product she was going to create I asked her ONE simple question that shifted things for her (and she decided NOT to create the product):
"How do you know people want that?"
You probably know that her answer was, "I don't". Just because we have an idea doesn't mean it solves a problem for other people (and by other people I mean our audience, but more on that in a minute). I came up with an analogy that to me, perfectly describes creating something when you have no idea if it's needed. It's like going to the grocery store and buying food for a dinner party for 20 people when you haven't invited them. You're just hoping they'll show up?
Kind of cookoo, don't you think?
The difference is that with the dinner party you know you're wasting time, money and food. With the product you're wasting time and money... IF you value your time. I can't tell you how many people I've talked to that do things without equating the value of their time to the project. I'm not saying everything you do needs to have a price point attached to it (that's just ridonkulous), what I am saying is that you're running a business and if you're not making money it isn't much of a business is it?
When people land on your site for the first time, what's the message you're sending out?
And before you answer this in defense of what you're doing and how you're doing it, I just want to remind you that it's quite alright for this to be something that evolves, grows and changes along the way, as long as you're conscious of the message.
O.K., you want another example. I get it.
I had a client who hired me to do a new site for him for a side business he was starting (he had a full time job). SUPER nice guy, seemed to have a clear understanding of what he was doing and why he was doing it. We go through the normal process - logos, select logo, mockups, select mockup, code the site, etc. I should have known as soon as the site was coded and some of the requests started coming in that this was going side...