The 2 Most Important Things to Know Before Starting a Website Project

In 10 years of business, I’ve learned a company’s success hinges on the owner’s ability to answer two key questions. The answers will determine your marketing message and help with your sales strategy. In this post, I’m going to share with you two things to know before starting a website project.

The number one reason small businesses fail is due to lack of profit. How do you make a profit? Well, you have to be making sales. And how do you make sales? By appealing to your customers. And to do that you have to know who your customers are and what they want to hear.

If you don’t know who your ideal customer is or how to clarify your message, you’re not connecting with your audience. And you’re probably not making as many sales as you could be.

We’ve seen companies with a good, niche product, but no clear audience or message. Internally, they’re struggling with confusion and disorder. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. They’re lucky to have a quality product, as that keeps them afloat. Imagine if they honed their marketing message and everyone in the company knew it and was on the same page. Sales could skyrocket!

Two Things to Know Before Starting a Website Project

1. Who EXACTLY is your customer?

2. What is the problem that they have and how are you solving it?

Who exactly is your customer?

Years ago I was a member of a networking group. Each week you’d stand up and give a 30-second spiel. You’d introduce yourself, what you do, and who your ideal customer is. That way, the other members of the group could hand you quality referrals.

One member of our group was a massage therapist. Every week she’d stand up and say, “Hi, I’m Marcy, I’m a massage therapist, and my ideal client is anyone with a body.” Why would she say ‘anyone with a body’?

  1. She was new at her craft and didn’t know what her niche was yet
  2. She didn’t want to exclude any potential clients because… well, money
  3. She had not thought through her ideal customer and what her messaging should be

I’m guessing it was a combination of all three of these. In any event, ‘anyone with a body’ is NOT identifying exactly who your customer is.

We talk a lot about the value of identifying your target market and creating a buyer persona. (A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer.) I encourage you to look over those posts and create a buyer persona of your own.

Sign up for our next Workshop and we’ll create your buyer persona together!

Let’s go back to Marcy the massage therapist. Let’s say Marcy’s ideal customer is Bob the Businessman. Bob sits at a desk all day long and has poor posture. He gets headaches and backaches often. He doesn’t have much time to exercise because he works 50 hours a week and needs to get home to his wife and kids. He does enjoy a good game of golf though.

I’m going to break up Question 2 into two parts.

Part 1: What’s the problem they have?

This question shifts the focus from YOU and your business to the customer and their problem. Why? Because your customer is searching for a company to solve a problem they’re having. They don’t care too much about you — other than to know, Are you able, and do I trust you, to solve my problem?

Bob the Businessman has a problem. He has knots in his shoulders, he wakes up with a stiff neck every morning, and he gets headaches. He has the money, but not the time for a weekly massage.

Knowing your customer’s problem shows empathy and understanding for their predicament. Now you can move on to helping them solve it.

Part 2: How are you solving it?

Identifying how you solve your customer’s problem will reveal the unique value of your company.

It also positions you as an authority. Now, be careful here — it’s very important that you don’t re-shift the focus back to yourself and go on about how great you are. You are not the hero here — your customer is. (Remember, this is about them, NOT you.) You’re the guide who helps them win the day.

Marcy solves Bob the Businessman’s problem in these ways:

  • She will do chair massage at Bob’s office OR she will bring her table to his home to minimize his time away from family.
  • She teaches proper posture and movements to do at work. She also helps her clients choose ergonomically correct office furniture.
  • She may even be able to help Bob improve his golf game!

Now that Marcy knows her customer’s problems and how she solves them, she is clear about the messaging for her website project.

I’ve seen it firsthand. Companies who know

  • their customer,
  • their customer’s problem, and
  • how they solve their customer’s problem

are more successful in the long run. Customers want to feel understood. They want to connect with you!

And now your website development team can build your new site aimed at your ideal customer!

Sign up for my Workshop today to dive deeper! We’ll create your buyer persona together, and help you hone your message!

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