When I ran a web design business from 2001 to 2013, I was a solopreneur working with many other solopreneurs. If I was to start all over again, I would only work with people who had a current business plan and a yearly marketing plan based on real business goals.
Why? So often the project would be delayed and/or consume far too much of my time and my clientâ€™s time due to one factor: CONTENT.
Pulling out your old brochures and flyers, digging up some testimonials and photos are not the way to build out the content on your website.
Starting from a list of pages is also not the correct plan of attack. This tends to look like some kind of self-important org-chart. Home, Me, My Company, More About Me, What I Do, Contact Me.
In my classes at York and Georgian, I teach a goals-based marketing approach. You see, when you know what you want to achieve, it is easy to decide on what content to put on your website AND that content will be so much more compelling (read: deliver better results).
So what does this mean in actionable terms?
- Identify Specific Target Markets
- Set a Goal for Each Target Market
- Determine the Mechanism in your Business for Reaching that Goal
- Identify what the Target Market Would Need to Know to Take the Next Step
- Create an Action for the Target Market to Take Right Now to Take that Next Step
- Determine the Communications need Before, During and After Conversion
- Identify Ways to Make Their Participation Social
- (bonus step) Track your Results and Adjust by Testing New Offers
First: Identify your target markets in very clear and specific terms. It should be easy for someone to look at your target market and determine if they belong, but just as easy to decide they do NOT belong.
Women over 40 is not a target market. You need to be more specific: Pre-menopausal women whose children have left home. Or Deliberately single or divorced women over 40.
Fathers is not specific. Fathers of children in elementary school or fathers of pre-teen boys would both be more specific. Can a father easily tell if they belong to that group?
Self-employed individuals is not a target market. Home-based solopreneurs involved in business services such as coaching and consulting would be a market. If you do work with all self-employed individuals, this means you have many target markets to define. Self-employed retail store owners who work from their downtown core. Service professionals. Healthcare professionals. Small manufacturers that are just getting involved in exporting outside of their country.
Second: For each target market determine a goal for this yearâ€¦ No not just a goal â€“ a S.M.A.R.T. goal. If we cannot measure it, we wonâ€™t know if we succeeded. So letâ€™s see numbers and timelines.
Attract 20% more deliberately single or divorced women into my practice during 2015.
Attain 300 additional registrations of fathers with pre-teen sons to my weekend Role Model Conference
Third: Identify the mechanism or entry product that you will employ to reach that goal.
Setup Womenâ€™s Empowerment groups with a social dinner, group mastermind and speaker series to help women live their life plan â€“ discount for life coaching for all members.
Create a pass the torch program with activities throughout the weekend for dads with pre-teen sonsâ€“ building your sonâ€™s leadership ability through support at home and at church program that helps dadâ€™s share their wisdom but also listen to their son with new ears.
Package a set of accounting and strategy services for downtown retail business owners that work with their unique needs.
*** see how we havenâ€™t said anything about the website yet? There is no point working on a puposeless website.
Do your homework then come back for part 2 – Turning your Goals into Content.