The top three questions I ask each new client interested in web design all involve strategy. Specifically their web goal.
- What is your purpose in building a website?
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What do you want to accomplish with your website?
I can tell you one thing for sure. I believe the answer should never be, “To have a place online where people can find me.” Trust me on this one :) It needs to be SO much more than that.
I believe your web goal should connect directly with what your most desirable clients want and need from you.
It’s my opinion that your ideal client simply will not be able to ignore you when you show up for real. That means understanding what makes you YOU and leveraging that. You can do this by:
- creating a brand online that truly showcases you and your offerings
- differentiating you + your business from the rest
The clients you adore working with will not want to look anywhere else. The secret is in the articulation of your offerings and presentation of your website.
What’s important for you to know is that your website can and should provide a place of key strategy for the success of your business.
By clearly identifying your web goal, you’ll begin to understand your who, what, why, when, where, and how. You’ll begin to understand how you can leverage your brand online to help your business succeed.
The question then becomes, “How do I identify my web goal?”
Let’s think SMART. I think back to my training as a Professional Coach with CTI and their unique approach to SMART Goals.
Specific — What do you really want to accomplish? What’s the purpose? Who do you want to attract?
Measurable — How will you measure if it’s working?
Accountable — Who’s responsible for making sure the goal is succeeding? How will you measure the success? Who will you bring into your circle to help?
Resonant — The goal should move you towards what makes you really happy. What is it that you want your website to really do? [I'm going way out on a limb here and say that for most of my clients it's conversion. You are really looking for more ideal paying clients!]
Thrilling — I’m a firm believer that your goal should encourage you to stretch and reach for the stars. It should feel bigger than possible right now. It needs to be thrilling so you have something to work toward.
Let’s take a look at a fictional client we’ll call Melanie.
She’s a new interior decorator who’s interested in building a website to help market herself. Clearly, she wants to leverage local exposure but she has a long term goal of wanting to travel to help others and even provide talks at large design shows in big cities. She has a passion to help people within urban areas — condos and apartments. She believes good design is accessible to all; not just those who have a whole house to decorate.
Possible SMART Goal for her site:
To show off the extensive work I’ve done to the world through my online portfolio and so I can have a place to send clients who want to see my work.
Specific? It doesn’t address exactly what she wants to accomplish by when. We also don’t know who her ideal client is.
Measurable? There is no reference to by when or how many new clients she wants.
Accountable? It’s definitely possible that she’s shared this with her networks but it’s not clear what’s she’s looking to do with her website.
Resonant? I believe this is resonant for Melanie. She most likely takes great pride in having a home to showcase her extensive work portfolio.
Thrilling? I believe it could be. Just the thought of people stumbling across her content would be exciting. NOT as exciting as if she built a list of prospective clients who couldn’t wait to work with her though :)
Best SMART goal for her website:
To attract ten new paying clients per month in a 100 km radius and become a leader in my field of small space decorating.
Is this specific? It clearly describes she wants to sell her services, details how many sales she wants, and pushes her long term plan of going to bigger design conferences.
Is this measurable? By indicating ‘per month’, yes. If Melanie fails to meet this, she knows she needs to tweak something.
Is this accountable? Depending on who Melanie’s brought into her circle to hold her accountable to her success, it totally is. (Think accountant, coach, bff.)
Is this resonant? She’s going to be bringing in clients (making money) and doing what she loves with her larger goal of travelling and doing talks at big design shows. She quantifies this by the latter part of her goal — becoming a leader in her field.
Is it thrilling? That’s one for Melanie. If it scares her a little but, then I’d say yes. If not, then maybe she needs to up it by five clients :)
If Melanie were to come to me with this statement, we’d easily be able to start strategizing on how to build her a personal brand and website that will meet her goal.
I’m curious….what’s your web goal?
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I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!