The cobbler's kids finally have some shoes!
As the old adage goes, sometimes those closest to us are the first to be neglected. Such was case with my own website. After what feels like an eternity, I am finally ready to release this body of work into the world (wide web, that is).
My job is to create content for other business' websites, and help them build their brands. So why did it take me so very very VERY long to harness my own creative energy to promote my own business? It is not quite as simple as "I was too busy". Although that is definitely true- my wonderful clients have kept me quite busy over the last few months since I launched my freelance business.
(But I am growing a little tired of hearing me tell myself and others how busy I am. Everyone is busy, Andrea. That's life. Get over it. There will always be too many tasks and not enough hours in which to fulfill them. The things I WANT to do will often take a backseat to the things I HAVE to do. Don't worry- I am finding small ways to let go and find some equilibrium...I didn't spend 200 hours this year completing my yoga teacher training to ignore the urge to seek my bliss.)
So what are the key reasons my website (and yours) has taken much too long to create?
- I am too close to it.
- It is hard to sing your own praises.
- There is a lot riding on my website.
1. I am too close to it.
I think the one of real reasons creating my own website has been such an arduous process for me is this: I am too close to my own business. All the hopes and dreams attached to making this business successful has prevented me from getting down to the business of promoting myself and the work that I do. Ironic, isn't it? My good friend and strategic partner Summer (Agent Noir Marketing Group) calls this "not being able to see the label from inside the bottle." When you are trapped inside a bottle of your own making, it is very difficult to see yourself, your business objectively. Sound familiar? Every small business owner I have met in recent months has alluded to this in some way.
2. It is hard to sing your own praises.
It is a tricky task to promote yourself without seeming either too pompous or too humble. You want to find that sweet spot which allows you to position yourself as an expert, but not so much that your client's input doesn't matter. I have discovered through creating content for my own site that letting my work speak for itself is more effective that telling you why it is worth paying me to write for your business.
Letting others speak for you is also effective. Sincere testimonials from satisfied clients mean that you don't have to think of cheesy ways to say "I'm awesome." And you get the added "Aw, shucks" factor that reminds you why you do what you do.
3. There is a lot riding on my website.
Your website is possibly the most important investment you can make with your marketing budget. For most of your clients, this is the 1st place they will come to learn more about your business, and decide whether they want to business with you. If your site is annoying to navigate, contains spelling or grammtical errors, lacks apparent calls to action, or doesn't give a reason to return to the site- your website is not only NOT doing it's job. It might be driving clients away.
In my case, as a professional writer and a producer of content for websites, I have been very particular about how my own craft is presented on my website. My objective is to sell my services through the (hopefully) exceptional writing you experience on my site. My best friend Jamieson commented, after having read through my content in the earlier stages, "It is so well-written." Phew. Mission accomplished. I hope you think so too.
So what have I learrned about the process of creating your own website, and especially all the content that must be included? IT IS HARD WORK THAT CAN TAKE MONTHS OF YOUR TIME. It has been much easier for me to throw all my energy towards my clients' sites and other projects, because I have an altruistic desire to help them find their voice and build their brand. I can do the same for you, especilly if you have been struggling with how to truly represent who you are, what you do, and why your clients need you.
I am curious to know what you think about what you see (and read!) on my site. Please leave your comments below. And if you have any questions, please CONTACT me.