Do you wonder how to make your website effective and attractive to your ideal clients? Are you frustrated with not knowing how to tweak it so that it looks wonderful to you and to those who visit it? Are you unsure of how much of your personal story to share?
The fact is the more personally and boldly you are able to share your story, the more you will be able to resonate with those who most need what you are offering. The truth of the matter is that people rarely spend time on a website unless they find an immediate reason to stay. As a writer and online marketer, I have overseen dozens of websites for artists and businesses, mostly a combination of both, and there are two specific elements that result in sites that people actually spend time on:
1. Your Story
Your story, whether you are an artist offering her paintings on a two-page site or a business with multiple offerings on a 10 page site, sharing your story from the moment anyone lays eyes on your site is what will keep people there for more than just a moment. This means your story is shared in detail, with your mission, message and who you are speaking to (your ideal client) on your About page, and that every other piece of your site reflects the heart of your story. Those sites that have a title and tagline that sum up the heart of their story in the header of their homepage are the ones that stop people dead in their tracks to learn more.
2. Your Direction
Once you have someone’s attention on your site, you have likely either caught them off guard (because they are now spending more time there than they anticipated) or they have come to your site to learn more about you and what you are offering. In either case, they will only stay as long as they feel comfortable. This means if they have to search around to figure out where your offerings are or to learn more about you, they are more likely to leave, and the chances are low that they will come back later to figure it out. Yet if your site automatically guides them to where you want them to go- to your offerings- then they will feel more comfortable navigating through to get to know you and what you have that they may be looking for on their first visit.
Your website is your home for your work, where you welcome only those who you are delighted to share in communication with, host and entertain. You want to treat everyone who comes to your site with the same nurturing and care as you would if they came to your home: welcome them, show them where to sit, give them a quick tour of your space, and offer them something to make them feel at home.
People want to feel that you are open to sharing with them. This is why you want to stay on the bright side of audacious with expressing your story and your message- show a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks in sharing what is meaningful to you in creating your work. When you stand alone, keep your message clear, bold and from your heart, you will be able to reach those you want to reach in the most authentic and effective ways. Your story, whatever it is, is what makes people appreciate you and respond to you. Trying to appeal to everyone can cause you to weaken your message. But staying true to who your ideal client is and sharing openly with them is what allows you to stay truthful and vulnerable. Keeping it strong while knowing whom you are talking to enables you to make the best choices for your work and your website offers.
Just like your actual home, your website takes some construction, some careful staging and sometimes a bit of remodeling to get it to where you can feel happy with it for yourself and for your clients. But taking that time to make it a delightful experience for everyone who visits will help create trust and reciprocity with your most ideal clients and those who will become your biggest proponents and fans.