It’s clear that entrepreneurs and business owners need a website in this day and age, but facing the prospect of building one can be very daunting. Most of us understand that it is important to take the time to plan your website out before you even touch your mouse or your keyboard. You must have the right website strategy in place, or you risk wasting time, energy, and money on something that might not work. That is an unsettling truth that most of us can grasp, but how are you supposed to know what to put into place, strategically, when you don’t even know the basics of how to build your website.
The first and most basic question you should be asking yourself is what it is that you actually need. Henry Ford was a revolutionary businessman who made his fortune in the automobile industry. He once said,
It is quite likely that the purpose of the website you are building is to bring more customers in to purchase your products and services. This means that you need to spend some time thinking about what your business is about and why people would come to you, as opposed to anyone else, to get what you have to offer. You may have worked this out already as you began to put together your business, but if not, it is absolutely essential that you do. You need to have a clear understanding of what your business’ clear values are and be able to communicate that with a very short mission statement. Here’s an example. Google’s mission statement is as follows:
“Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Work this over in your mind and create a mission statement for you and your business. You may be wondering what this has to do with website strategy, and the answer is “Everything”. If you don’t know who you are, then how do you know what to show the rest of the world about your business? Now, look at your mission statement, and invest a little more time in determining the core values that branch off of that. A great example of core values to model after can be found here. These are Zappos’ core values, and the company provides them to help people, such as yourself, build a lasting business.
The mission and values that you decide on are going to be the initial building blocks you are going to use as you build your website. In fact, they are going to be not only the foundation your business is built upon, but also the central theme of your website strategy. Understand that, nowadays, your website is the building which represents your business and your brand. When people come to a website which conveys a proper message to them, they see you as a reliable source for what they want and need.
You have to have a clear vision, and you have to know what you want before you even begin to build your website. Once you understand the purpose of your website and your core values, the next step is to create a personal bio. This is basically just a little resume that you can put up online that will show people very clearly what it is that you do and how you can help them. This webpage that you put up about yourself should include a professional photo. Now, this doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should give people a good impression of who you are.
A great place to begin building a page such as this is About. Me. This service is very simple to use. It gives you the ability to showcase yourself in a very professional fashion, and you can even link out to your portfolio, your Facebook page, or even to your own website from it. Starting out, all you need is a professional photo to upload and a paragraph or two telling people who you are. This is a great way to begin establishing yourself as an authority in your niche or market, and yet it’s something easy enough to start you off on your journey towards online mastery. Take these simple steps before you even begin to plan your website, and you will find yourself far more prepared to present yourself to the world in a professional and productive manner.
Establishing yourself as an authority in your market should be an essential part of your website strategy. It’s important people know why they should pick you above the competition when choosing the type of product and/or service you offer. Without coming to terms with what you are about and what your brand represents, how can you create a message of why customers should come to you first and trust you more. That is why it is important that you build your website upon a proper foundation, and the fact that so many people are not doing this is the primary reason why most websites fail.