Recently I was having lunch with one of our guest bloggers, Steve Phalen, and during our conversation he made the comment, “Why are business owners letting their IT/Marketing vendors make strategic decisions about the direction of their business?”. This statement really struck me because I experience too many times website customers coming to me thinking they need website answers, but what they really need is business direction.
The state of your website is a symptom of the lack of leadership or direction in your business. In a Web 2.0 world, your website should be the centerpiece of your marketing efforts. Too many times I see business owners too willing just to hand over control of their website to someone else, so they don’t have to think about it. My experience as a webmaster has shown me that when I am getting regular communication and direction from the business owner, they make better use of my services.
Signs You Need to take Control of Your Business and Your Website:
- You receive an unsolicited email from someone asking to make you Number 1 on Google and you think you need to act on this. If your strategy is clear, you either already know how you are going to get Number 1 on Google or you know that search marketing is not for you. Randomly receiving an email should not change your marketing direction. They are counting on your lack of attention and lack of direction.
- A representative from the phone company shows up and wants to take over your website for X amount per month and you are considering it. First of all, if someone you didn’t know showed up at your door and wanted to take over as manager of your office would you give it to them? So why would you give away control of your virtual business location? YOU should be in charge of your website. That doesn’t mean you have to actually do the work, but you should be very familiar with who is and what needs to happen on your website to grow your business. A pushy salesman should not have the power to change your marketing direction.
- You are relying on your vendors and manufactures to provide your website content and marketing materials and you wait for them to send your next campaign. Keep in mind, all of these great pdfs, banner ads and email blasts you are using are the same thing they give to EVERYBODY who sells these products. A.K.A. your competitors? You got into business because you do what you do better then anyone else. Start showing the world and differentiate your message instead of being just another reseller of Brand X.
Re-gain Control Today!
If you see yourself in my three examples, start turning things around by starting with your website. Go to your calendar right now and schedule a time to sit and work on your website strategy. Before you are done, I want you to answer these questions:
- Who is your ideal customer? Chances are you have many examples already, they are probably the person or company who you would identify as your success story and your best source of revenue.
- What is the number 1 activity you want visitors to your website to accomplish? If you answer, “pick up the phone and call”, I am challenging you to go back and think a little harder. Think about an activity that could be completed on the website to help further your sales process.
- What would it take to make your website a success? Be honest, confess your high expectations. It is much easier to figure out what needs to be done if we know where you want to go.
When you have completed these questions, share them with the people who help you promote your business and who work on your website. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the results when you start to demonstrate the leadership your helpers having been waiting for.