One of my new clients asked me recently:
“I want to create something that is a real expression of me and those who are right to work with me with feel that and come: I want to create a website I love as well as my clients! Can you help me do that?”
This was my response to her and I thought you could benefit from the advice as well:
I see a lot of “experts” in this industry advocating this notion that your website should reflect your personality and style. This is actually nonsense if you are using your website for your business. If you are simply blogging and sharing your own views with the world, go for it. Put your personality out there in a big way.
But if you are using your website to grow your business, the first thing that people should think when they land on your site is, “This website represents a business.”
The second thing they should think is, “I’m in the right place to get answers/help for my question.”
AND you have a grand total of 15 seconds to convey this. If you don’t, they click away and NEVER EVER come back. (In fact, you have to adequately answer those first two points before they will even give a damn about who you are.)
1. Make ALL of your decisions for your business from the standpoint of “does this help my clients/audience?”
2. Create a platform for your business that represents the work you do (your business) FIRST, and who your audience is SECOND, and who you are THIRD.
3. Let go of using your website as a creative expression; find another outlet for that. You can bring creativity and personality into your business, but only when it supports point #1.
You don’t have to hide who you are to be successful in business, far from that. You actually need to own and express your unique gifts in a really big way in order to serve your audience in the way that they need. Just make sure you are doing it from the right place.
When I was married the first time, my husband had an anger problem that he took out on me. I asked him once, “If someone you worked with did exactly the same thing I did, would you react the same way?” His answer, “No, I wouldn’t. But you are my wife and I feel that I should be able to me my honest self with you and this is my honest self.”
Don’t let your focus on your self-expression blind you to the needs of your audience. Temper that expression so that it always serves the needs of your audience FIRST.
And if you are just getting started with your business, like my client, I would add: You need to get clear on who your audience IS before you can even begin to understand how to market who you are to best support them.