Yesterday during a session with a client, he told me he was ready to spend $1000 on getting the ‘right’ website published. He knew that a site would make everything feel real. He will finally be a business owner rather than a project manager.
“People will take notice. Everyone will love it.”
Or will they?
As he was talking, I picked up on a few subtleties. He was falling into the ‘I help everyone’ trap. His message wasn’t clear. He was talking about several target audiences for the site. He was trying to be too much to too many people.
How could he be clear about what he wanted to say and who he was saying it to?
Particularly with a limited budget, we can’t afford to get it wrong.
do you tell yourself ‘I help everyone’?
It’s common to have a lot of different ideas running around in your head, pulling you off in different directions. You may feel compelled to tackle them all at once and be all things to all people. You don’t want to leave anyone behind, not least because you hope one or more of these groups will take off and start bringing in some revenue.
But here’s why that’s a risky strategy.
1. your message becomes diluted
Imagine you try to cram too much information into your website in order to appeal to lots of different markets. With your limited budget, you may have restrictions on the amount of words you can use or the number of pages you can build. So you have a bit about this and a bit about that, but not enough information to satisfy anyone.
2. your ideal client doesn’t hear that you’re calling for him
When you touch in on so many different topics and try to appeal to lots of people, your ideal client may miss the signs that you’re there for him. There is a lot of research out there saying how quickly someone makes an impression of your website – it happens in 2.6 seconds.
Imagine your visitor quickly skimming over your words. If, for example, 2/3 of those words aren’t meant for him, you’re really hoping that he picks up on the 1/3 that are.
Will he hear that you’re calling for him?
Once he’s gone, he may never come back.
3. you need to stay focused to get your business off the ground
The Lean Startup methodology advocates developing a “minimum viable product”, a product which has just the core features required to target a specific group of people. It helps you to save time and money on not building something that people don’t want!
So start lean. Once you prove that this concept is accepted and desired, you can start to build out the features and expand your target market.
Trying to do too much too soon will likely prevent you from succeeding at any of your ideas.
write for one person
As you start to write the copy for your website, I want you to think of just one person.
As you think of this one person, really picture him. How old is he? Where does he live? What else does he have going on in his life?
What challenges is he facing at this moment? How is he feeling about those challenges? What impact is that having on other areas of his life?
Now think about your business.
How is your product or service going to help this one person? What benefits will he experience as a result of choosing to work with / buy from you? What message does he most need to hear to help him feel as though you’re the solution to his needs?
does your message fall on deaf ears?
Unsure of how to get your message across in a way that turns strangers into paying customers?
In Simplicity, you’ll learn how to own your story and attract fans, so you can start to make a living doing what you love.
Lisa McLoughlin says
Nice and clear with a great overview and pause for thought 😉