I have a confession to make.
For a long time, I’ve been somewhat skeptical when people tell me their big marketing focus in putting up a new web site.
I’m like that because as a coach, I see the challenges.
A web site project takes up tons of time and energy. A web site project can take up all the time and energy so there’s none left for other, more direct, forms of marketing.
The web site project is often the “when” in a “I’ll start doing x, when” statement. As in, “I’ll start marketing more actively WHEN I have my web site,” “I’ll start approaching people I’d like to have as clients, WHEN my web site is done.”
And yet, so often, business owners agonize over what to say, what to write on their web site, and the project drags on for months, years even. And all that time, the outreach, the other marketing gets put on hold.
A web site project can be a classic way to invest in getting ready, instead of stepping out in your business and starting to work with clients or test new offers.
The web site project sometimes is held as a badge of legitimacy. “I’ll be a real business owner WHEN I have my web site.” Or “Potential clients and allies won’t take me seriously UNLESS I have an up-to-date web site.”
The lack of a web site (or a current web site) can become the brick, the stumbling block, the log jam that prevents any other meaningful business activity from happening.
But here’s what’s true.
People had businesses before web sites were common.
People brought in new clients without web sites (or with old, crappy looking ones). They still do.
You don’t need a web site, or a perfect web site, or a brand-new, flashy, pretty web site to have a thriving business.
And yet, I recently discovered for myself: There can be something magical about putting up a new web site.
There is something transformative in the process of choosing your words, aligning your image, and presenting yourself and your beautiful offers to the world.
Putting up the right site at the right time is the herald, the trumpet blast, the announcement to the world that you are ready to be seen in a new way.
It’s the announcement that you’ve landed someplace new. That there is a new energy, a new spirit you are bringing to the world.
Putting up that new web site demands that you get even more clear. It forces you to take a stand for who you are, what you want to be known for.
It challenges you to decide how to organize your offers, what path to provide so folks can come on board and work with you.
It reflects the clarity you already have and it helps you get three steps clearer. And the more clear you are who you are, what you offer, and why it matters, the more easily the world responds to you.
What brought about this revelation?
I spent a good part of March and April putting together my new web site.
As much as I’ve loved being The Soundbite Shaman, I’ve outgrown it.
The photos on the site, while beautiful, are 8 years old.
The look and feel of old site no longer match the more stripped-down, raw energy person I’ve become over the years.
And the structure of the navigation doesn’t let me showcase what I am really here to do (work with people on Potent Expression.)
Simply put, after all these years, the old site no longer fits. It no longer matches who I am and what I put in to the world.
It was humbling to have to do what so many of my clients come to me for help doing: putting together the words to share what I do with the world. To figure out whether to organize my offers as services vs. programs, or as something else. To decide which services to feature and which to let languish in the background. To illuminate the story I want to tell. (The graphics and design I left in the able hands of Munro Sickafoose at Diamond Heart Studio https://diamondheartstudio.com/).
And yet the effort to do so left me stronger, more certain about what I want to put out (“come work with me on Potent Expression”) and what I want to receive in response (more private clients as well as continuing my wonderful groups). It challenged me to think through how new people might come on board, get started with me.
I haven’t talked much about the new site yet.
I am proud of it, and I’ve been hoarding it a bit, like a fancy new dress hanging in your closet that you look at but haven’t worn yet. Anticipating the pleasure. And, waiting for a moment I could do it justice.
So here it is.
I invite you to come visit my new virtual home at http://isabelparlett.com.
I’d love to hear what you think, if it makes sense, if it matches how you experience me.
The difference, then, between the celebratory, ta-da web site project and the albatross-around-your-neck web site project?
A new web site comes together faster and better when it’s a culmination of the evolution, the transformation, the new clarity you’ve achieved.
When it’s the chance to put into public form all the realizations you’ve had about who you are, what you do, who you help. It’s the place you get to share the signature language, the key phrases you’ve been developing over time to describe what you do.
When you’ve worked hard over time to get that new clarity, the web site becomes the icing on the cake, the final nudge to full expression, the public celebration of what you’ve discovered about your work in the world.
If you don’t yet have that clarity, things grind to a halt. If you don’t have that inner certainty about why you are here, what you offer that no one else can, your distinctive way of communicating that, if you are still figuring out the big pieces, then the web site becomes the never-ending sink hole of time and energy. The project you can never quite complete. The words you write never quite good enough.
That’s why I think so many of my Potent Expression graduates are having such an easy time getting their new web sites together (sometimes with my help reading and reviewing their pages as they write them).
They’ve already done the heavy lifting.
They are ready to be seen.