3 Actions To Build Your Audience—And Revenue (Part 1)

We all like to begin the New Year with a running start.

So let’s just drop-kick the resolutions and do what works.

That would be action. Yes, action. Did I mention action?

But before deciding what to do, it’s critical to know the outcomes you want most. Let’s agree that you:

1. Want to build not only revenue right now, but a pipeline of future clients.

2. Want to be more visible—in the right media—so you can spend less time selling and more time doing.

3. Aren’t looking for get-rich-quick schemes, but are committed to the reliable consistency that is the mark of a true professional.

Still with me?

Cool. The place to start is with your website. It is after all, your billboard, NOT an afterthought.

So, Action #1 is: Refresh your website.

At least once a year, take a look at your site with fresh eyes. Is it modern? Easy to use and navigate? Does it fit with your brand and your audience? How’s it working for you? Is it bringing you qualified potential clients or wasting your time with bad fits?

Here are the questions you want to be asking to determine what needs refreshing:

  • What’s the last post date of your blog? If it’s more than a year ago, you don’t have a blog, you have a slug. Either commit to updating it regularly or take it down. You can re-purpose old posts into articles and put them in a separate section of your site.
  • Do you mention dates that make it seem like you haven’t updated your site in a few years? Unless it’s an Oscar, Tony or Emmy, nobody cares that you won an award in 2008. Lose the dates, keep the (significant) awards.
  • Take a look at your photos. Be honest now—are they looking a little sad? Getting new photos taken may not be your idea of a scintillating time, but I guarantee they will freshen up your site (not to mention your social media pages) and ratchet up your game.
  • Is your copy all in third person? Maybe—just maybe—it’s time to step into the light. Yes, if it’s all about your company, third person may well be the way to go. But if you ARE the company, then try talking about yourself and your work in the first person. It feels odd at first—but to the reader (aka your future client)—it’s like a personal conversation that draws them in.
  • Does your site have a front-and-center opt-in to stay in contact with you? You do not want to make people dig three screens down just to add their names to your mailing list. And no, social media icons do NOT count.
  • Is your contact form actually working? Test it. If it goes somewhere other than your primary email address, how often are those messages checked? Nothing annoys a potential client more than hearing nothing back from an initial inquiry.
  • How long does your site take to load? I can’t even count the number of times I’ve clicked on a site link that took so long to load I gave up (sidebar: now is also a good time to go through all your social media profiles and test the links to make sure they are sending your visitors to the right place).
  • Does your site make you happy? Does it feel like you? Does it represent how you want your message projected into the world? If not, it’s time to invest in a remake—perhaps simple, perhaps sublime—to catapult you into the realm you are ready to join.

So please. Do yourself a favor and take a good hard look at your website. Whether it’s a tweak or an overhaul, you know it’s time.

And stay tuned for Action #2 next week: making media work for you.

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  • Tom

    Rather than simply taking a fresh look at your webpage, take pictures of it or print screen shots of it and look at it through the pictures (as if you were going to view it in a magazine). It’s the same advice real estate agents give to clients who are going to list their home for sale. You notice things in pictures that you miss when you’re living in the house. Pictures don’t lie – yes, your house (or website) really does look like that.

    When you update your website, stop by your neighborhood coffeeshop. Buy some folks a cup of coffee and ask them for five minutes to try your site. Are buttons, links, etc. where they expect them to be? Is the site easy to use? How intuitive is it? Ask them to describe in a word or two what the user experience was like.

    When we’re doing the work ourselves, we get used to things and know where the links and other items are located. What we need to know is what the experience is like for the first-time visitor and how easy we make it for him/her to become a repeat visitor.

  • Rochelle

    Thanks Tom–excellent advice. Love your pictures idea! I would tend shy away from the coffee-shop experience unless you’ve got a clear consumer brand. For consultants in particular, they might try something similar with current or prospective clients. You want to pick the right “civilians” when you ask for feedback–I still have nightmares from a project where the only viewpoint that mattered was that of the client’s spouse 🙂

  • Hmmm…this is exactly what I am going to do. Goal is to have it done before spring which should be easy.
    Also, plan to lose 20 lbs. but not sure when I will start. LOL

  • Rochelle

    So let me know which is easier Ed–the website or the 20 lbs! Happy 2014…

  • All very useful points that we all must consider. Even just made one change to (the homepage of) my website today that I’ve been considering for too long (thanks for the push that made me do it!). Another I did because of today’s read.
    Thanks Rochelle.

  • Rochelle

    You go Corey! Don’tcha love making updates? Always revs me up…

  • Super article Rochelle. I’ll be judging my new blog coming soon with some of your suggestions. Also I appreciate Tom’s suggestions. Especially the idea of a cuppa java, etc! Much needed advice I’ll assure you.

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