How I Gain Clarity in My Business and Why I Changed My Website

Author : , Date : April 7, 2015

How-I-Gain-Clarity-in-My-Business-and-Why-I-Changed-My-Website

 

Every business owner wants to be successful.

Me included!

The desire to be the best I can be and the desire to push through challenges and obstacles to reach my purpose and mission drives me each day to research, learn, discover and think about what I’m doing and more importantly why I’m doing it.

Over the last eight months I’ve become known as the guy who asks “what business are you “really” in?”

What led me to this question that I love to ask?

For nearly six years I owned a web development and design company. That business was a means to an end. I didn’t enjoy it very much but what I learned through it was HUGE!

I can remember early on sitting in sales meetings with a prospect and they would tell me what they want and I would make sure they got it. I was a little different in that I have very strong sales skills and because I’m strong in technology I was able to make suggestions that could help a company improve its efficiencies through technology.

However, on the marketing side I begin to learn quickly that when someone said they wanted a website what they were really saying was they want more traffic, prospects and sales.

Typically the prospect would go out and research their competitors and come back with a list of things they liked and they would say; “This is what I want.”

Many times there was no convincing them that some ideas were just bad ideas. Just because a competitor is doing something it doesn’t mean they should do it.

Inevitably, within a few months or at a minimum six months the client would be upset that very few people are visiting their website and no one is calling or filling out the forms.

The fact is that for them and for many business owners and entrepreneurs they feel the promises of the internet have been a major let down.

 

How I Solved the Dissatisfaction Problem

 

The very first thing I did when I started noticing this becoming a trend was I hired a business coach. I will never forget when Dennis asked me “why do you want to hire a coach?”

I just looked him straight in the eyes and told him; “I don’t know what I don’t know. As a result I can figure it out the hard way or I can hire you to help me figure things out before it becomes ‘the hard way.’”

Working with him I changed my entire sales process.

I had to solve the problem of dissatisfaction!

I knew the problem was not the technology, but it was the technology that was constantly being blamed for the problem…

 

  • It’s too complicated.
  • There is too much to keep up with.
  • I don’t have time.
  • It’s too expensive.

 

There was always an excuse. Some of it was legitimate. But the more I could educate them and show how my recommendations applied to their business the more they felt comfortable.

What became really apparent as I began thinking through each encounter was that the business owner or entrepreneur didn’t “really” know their business.

They know their business in terms of the products and services and they could nominally share what they do. But that’s where they were stuck.

They only know what they know and then it’s repeat.

Every marketing and advertising piece they had was nothing more than a three-fold brochure front and back. They took what they knew and applied it to their website.

That will not work online, not even in 2010. Things were already changing.

So, if you were to contact me in 2010 and ask for a consultation to talk about buying a website I had a simple requirement. I would email you a document with a list of five questions that you would be expected to answer and return to me no later than 24 hours before our meeting. If you didn’t do it, I cancelled the meeting.

Yes, I lost some clients over it; but I also learned how to make a lot more money because of it.

What were the questions?

 

  1. What business are you in?
  2. Who is your audience?
  3. What do you sell?
  4. Why do you sell it?

 

Over the next few years it would evolve and my sales improved because my questions got better. Not only did sales improve, but for the clients who did the work saw their results improved as well.

They also learned how much the initial work benefited all of their marketing both online and offline:

 

  • SEO companies charged less because there was not as much upfront time learning the business to make recommendations that would really help them.
  • Copywriters were more efficient and therefore less expensive because the upfront work load to their business was less.
  • Social media companies were able to better communicate the business and target the right people.
  • Marketing agencies could come up with better ideas and strategies because of the clarity of the business owner or entrepreneur.

 

Why I Launched Unveil the Web.com

 

Like I said earlier, I didn’t like web development and design as a business. I started in 2005 as a means to an end. I needed money and I had a skill. Through my community based website that skill was shown and local business owners started approaching me to build their websites.

I could use the money and one thing led to another.

While I don’t like web development as a business for me (it’s a great business model I just don’t enjoy it) I loved working with clients. I loved inspiring them and watching them get excited about their business.

Some for the first time in a very long time.

That’s how Unveil the Web.com came to be.

I want to see that glimmer of hope and excitement for a business owner. I live for those moments where can see I’m making a real difference!

Through my experience in web development and design I become intimate with technology and where it’s headed.

Some days I love reading and learning about patterns and the future of the technology:

 

  • Websites
  • Search Engines
  • Social Media
  • Apps
  • Artificial Intelligence

 

Most importantly I love learning how the technology is changing business!

All one has to do is look over ten years and see the massive changes in a very short time. If you think a lot has changed over the last decade; you haven’t seen anything yet!

That’s why making what you don’t know, known… is so important! It’s important, no it’s critical, that you be very clear about your business and your prospects and customers and have the right strategies and goals to grow your business as  a result.

 

Why are Businesses Struggling?

 

The simple answer is because they get the cart ahead of the horse. They are rushing to the technology. If I had a dollar for every prospect that compared their website to their competitors and said “I want this” I would be filthy rich.

Build a website that has a great message tailored to the audience takes work. It takes:

 

  • Knowing what tangible values your customers experience for having worked with you.
  • Knowing the “specific” problems you solve for each tangible value.
  • Knowing who you are “specifically” solving the problems for.
  • Knowing how your products or services are “a” solution.
  • Being able to concisely share “What business you are “really” in.”

 

I recently watched a video with Seth Godin and he said a very interesting thing; “We are in the golden age of target marketing?”

That got me thinking, if businesses are struggling online now what happens in 3 or 5 years from now when there are more websites online and more competition for your audience? When the technology has flipped again and it can tell exactly how to match up a business with a prospect based on what the business says and what the prospect says.

How will you separate yourself from them and earn the audience that is able, willing and ready to buy from you both now and in the future?

The key is not the technology by itself; it’s a combination of knowing what business you are “really” in and knowing how to apply the technology.

It’s Unveiling the Web of possibilities.

 

Why I Changed My Website Design

 

It’s always easier to help someone see their business when you’re detached from it. That’s why I love consulting and coaching so much. I see things my clients simply can’t see because they are in their box and I’m not.

Well, maybe I’m in my own box?

Over the last month I’ve been talking with an NFL player about working with him in his start-up business. While he isn’t ready just yet for me, I kept wondering through the process if I was missing something in my own clarity? Was I communicating something wrong or was my website miscommunicating?

There were moments where he was completely on-board and then he wasn’t. I’m sure his schedule and emotions of finishing up what he has to do leaves him feeling squeezed for time. Coupled with the fact that the NFL draft is a month away and that means more training with his team, mini-camps and then training camp.

However, as I started looking at my own website through this process I began to wonder if my clarity was lacking on the site?

Yes, my blog says it all and I’m crystal clear there… but what about my “Home” page and my “Services “ page?

Not so much, it was very evident to me.

So, I went back to the drawing board.

After some testing with business owners who I have just recently met and some who have worked with me; they agreed that the message I’m sending out is much more me and it talks directly to them.

I changed the name of the “Services” page to “Begin”.

Instead of just listing my products, I have created the means for someone to understand what I actually do and I broke it down into two stages.

Not only that, but I created two videos that cover it in much more detail for each stage.

The first video covers understanding the first part of the process of working with me to develop the business and marketing foundation that answers the question of “what business are you “really” in?” and the second covers how the internet holistically works together.

Both videos are below if you want to see them and they are also on the “Begin” page.

 

 

By changing the format from just links to service and product pages, I now have a more comprehensive approach to helping people understand why they ought to consider working with me and what it is I’m actually doing.

I would love to know your thoughts! I’m more than willing and open to your viewpoint and ideas.

 

Want to know a secret?

 

Even though you might not like what people have to say they have valuable feedback that can help you gain clarity around your business. In fact, I require that my clients get feedback from their clients and friends.

So, why shouldn’t I do the same?

Please visit the “Home” page and the “Begin” page. I would love to know your thoughts. These links will open in new tabs so that you don’t lose the article or have to go searching for it again.

I’m looking forward to Interacting with your feedback in the comments section below.

~ Don

 

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Don Purdum

Don Purdum

Don works with businesses to help them discover who their customers are and what business they are "really" in. He is an award-winning blogger and branding / marketing consultant.
Don Purdum
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24 thoughts on “How I Gain Clarity in My Business and Why I Changed My Website

  1. This is a fantastic write-up Don and the very reason I decided to Re-brand my site as well. Although it’s a small part of my business, I needed something a bit more permanent and something I enjoy. I really adore the new site and business and I’m excited to see where these changes lead you.

    1. Hi Roman,

      Almost three months later and the clarity my site is providing is causing my business to explode! It goes to show that technology and design can only do so much if your message is off.

      I love this new layout and the message is really resonating now.

      Thanks much!

      ~ Don

  2. Hey Don,

    Really liking the redesign of this site.

    And if I’m not mistaken, this is the same look/colors you had BEFORE you changed it, no?

    Anyhow, it look great and change is always good.

    And choosing “Begin Here” is a good idea as well because you want them to know THAT’S where their starting point begins. If they want to gain perspective and learn how to start a business, or make money, then that;s where they need to go.

    It’s fitting that it leads to your services page too.

    Very excited about these changes, Don.

    – Andrew

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Thank you for the kind words. No, the old website had a blue background. I think the gray is softer and helps the colors really pop better.

      So glad you picked up on the “Begin Here” because that’s exactly what I was going for!

      I appreciate you Andrew!

      ~ Don

  3. Hi Don

    Maybe it’s a little off the topic but I will refer this point before commenting formally.

    I could not have ignored a sentence in your post that is “I don’t know what I don’t know”. It reminds me a famous quote of a great philosopher of Athens of ancient times named as Socretes in which he said “I know that I know nothing”. It has now became the foundation of urge or thirst for knowledge and learning. IN a same way you actually first declared what you don’t know to let the coach understand what your problem is.

    Using a tool with a complete mastery on it but without knowing the basic purpose of why you are using it actually will never make us hit on the right target at right time. That is why a slight ambiguity in any kind of venturing be it a business based or non business can never help us achieve our primary objectives.

    I visited both the pages and found more than awesome and they do reflect how clear you are on your business goals and how fully aware of your customers needs and strategy to fulfill their needs.

    With the passage of time you will get ample proof of my claim that your direction will lead you nowhere but exactly to your ultimate goal of getting higher success to continue the process forever.

    1. Hi Mi,

      Your not off topic at all! I so appreciate your comment and the compliments.

      I will never forget when I was sitting with Dennis and he asked me that question. My answer was just instinctual and honest. I can’t make decisions based on what I don’t know, and it really is a basic principle that so many entrepreneurs and business owners don’t take the time to wrestle with.

      Instead, some are focusing on pretending they know or they let their ego’s get in the way and that’s a failing recipe. If you can’t get out of your own box then someone ultimately has to help you do that.

      Every day I’m getting more and more clear… and it’s my hope that the clarity is becoming more clear for my site visitors as well. It’s an exciting time.

      I hope you have a great weekend Mi and thank you again for the very king words!!!

      ~ Don

  4. Hi, Don,

    Great topic for discussion. Gaining clarity is an ongoing journey for each and every one of us, and I’m glad to see the wonderful changes you’ve made on your site. Excellent indeed. 🙂

    Simplifying is key, and I see you’ve done that. Awesome!

    Yeah, we’re pretty much all ‘in our own box’ as you describe and having a coach/mentor is a necessity in my opinion. Glad you are being coached too.

    Yeah, I think your approach is more relevant for your visitors.

    For my products, I filter folks through a ‘Problem-Solver’ so that they can get directly to the thing that they need most.

    When I implemented this last 2013, early 2014…My inquiries for services skyrocketed. Folks need clarity and strong calls to action.

    Wonderful job on improving your site, Don – very happy for you!!!

    Have a blessed day.

    ˜Carol

    1. Hi Carol,

      Thank you for your very kind words of encouragement!

      I teach that clarity is something that you can develop initially; and then it’s earned over time as you take the clarity you have and then focus and execute. The more you interact with others the clearer you will get.

      Of course, if you’re not clear the opposite can happen. You can get more confused and feel lost in the business. I’ve seen it way too often.

      I can see exactly how your process works for you and your prospects. It makes great sense!!! Already I’m seeing a massive jump in the people visiting the page and the time on it is almost 30 minutes. We’ll see what that turns into over the next few months in regards to sales… or will it require a different strategy and approach.

      I so appreciate you Carol! Your input means a lot to me.

      Have a great mid-week!!!

      ~ Don

  5. Hi Don,

    This is a good self-introspection article to analyse things happened in your professional life, most of the time business people mindset will be on ROI(Return on Investment).

    Bloggers or creative professionals primarily look for work satisfaction, monetization occupies secondary factor.

    All the changes in our life bring happiness and freshness to our thoughts, thanks for sharing this information.

    1. Hi Siddaiah,

      It’s definitely a journey isn’t it? I have learned over the year’s to appreciate the process and be patient. There was a time not too long ago I would not have done so.

      While ROI is important, it’s more important to figure out how to get to the ROI. That’s where Clarity and Focus is important.

      Clarity (being the foundation) and Focus (being strategies and goals) I spoke of in the article / video are critical. The tighter you are around your purpose, message and execution the greater the opportunities.

      I hope you have a great second half of your week. Thanks again Siddaiah!

      ~ Don

    1. Hi Dennis,

      Thank you! I appreciate your feedback. Thanks for the reminder on the home page meta description. I’ll button that up in just a bit.

      See, a community to help remind me of things that are still to be done. Just awesome!!!!

      Thanks Dennis!!!!

      ~ Don

  6. Hi Don,

    Congratulations indeed 🙂

    Your blog looks all new and I love the changes you’ve done up here!

    Right from the home page, which is better and impressive now and it would load much faster, to the podcast page, and all the rest – apt indeed.

    Change for the better as they say, and so we too are in the process of changing ours, perhaps the homepage first, and the rest over time, as the ABC keeps us pretty involved with more members joining in gradually.

    Thanks for sharing this with us, and wishing you every success with your new endeavors. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      Thank you! Your personal feedback means a great deal to me.

      With so much going on of late, I apologize I haven’t been as active at Aha-Now.com as I would like to be. I will be by to interact and engage today on the site. I really love what you’re doing there.

      The thing is it is a process. Most businesses don’t necessarily understand that or they don’t have the financial resources or desire to keep up with the process. That’s very unfortunate as they are robbing themselves of a great opportunity to learn and grow.

      I will see you soon on your site. I really appreciate your feedback and encouragement!

      ~ Don

  7. Hi Don,

    Loving the new look of your site and blog!

    I wouldn’t change a thing; it looks clear, crisp and neat, and just reflects back to you, your increased clarity around your business.

    Awesome man, awesome.

    The thing is, when you get clear you usually let go stuff you were unclear on. Old designs or partnerships or anything you’ve outgrown, will go, to make room for the new and exciting.

    Thanks for sharing Don and thanks for your continued support.

    It means worlds to me!

    Tweeting from Bali.

    Ryan

    1. Hi Ryan,

      Thank you for your encouragement and feedback! Coming from you it means A LOT!!!!!!

      You are so right about letting things go. It seems of late there are a lot of people who were wanting to use me for one thing or another and while they looked appealing for a few minutes I’ve had to let them go. They were just not a good fit for me for one legitimate reason or another.

      I appreciate you my friend. When you get home this summer we have to make some intentional time to get together. Maybe even do some collaborative videos, etc…

      Chat soon!

      ~ Don

  8. Hi Don,

    First, I must congratulate you for a job well done. It takes lots of work to have come this level, not easy.

    While I have not read your reply to Adrienne’s comment, having take a look at the home page…I knew exactly where your inspiration for that homepage comes from – Smart Passive Income.

    Nice job!

    But I think in my opinion the post content area is a bit too wide for reading, if you can close it up a bit, better. And the links in the article to the “home page” and “Begin” are not opening in new tab. I do this by right clicking. You might want to check that out.

    All in all, very impressive home page thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Shamsudeen,

      Thank you, I appreciate your kind words and feedback! Yep, I first say Smart Passive Income a few months ago and I love the basic layout. I have been trying for months to figure out a design that will say it quickly and concisely. Of all the designs and templates I’ve see I felt this one just nailed it for me. It allowed me to communicate so much more clearly and as those who read my blog regularly know; clarity is the key to success!!!!

      I fixed the two links to open in a new tab. I completely forgot to do that. Thank you for catching it and sharing!

      Again, I appreciate your feedback and encouragement!

      ~ Don

    1. Hi George,

      I can’t believe it has been three years ago now that I left web development and design. Like I said, while I love technology I’m a big picture person and details drive me crazy on a screen, lol… I much prefer learning the application of the technology and finding strategies and ways to leverage it for individual businesses.

      I’m looking forward to reading more of your articles on your site. I stopped by not too long ago and you have some very helpful articles.

      Have a great second half to your week!

      ~ Don

  9. Hey Don,

    Well this is quite the surprise. Wow, different bold colors.

    I appreciate you taking us through your process and how you came to this conclusion. As you know I’m going through this myself right now.

    One thing I’ve learned over the years about our sites is that we need to be very clear about what we do so that we don’t lose new readers. I think I’ve been able to spark enough curiosity but I still haven’t been crystal clear myself.

    I didn’t really pay that much attention to your services page if I’m honest. I know what you do so I didn’t have to read more about it but if you’re happy with this change then that’s what matters the most. I suppose you wanted your site to stand out more with the bolder colors.

    One thing that I don’t like about some sites and I notice it here on yours is that you don’t have the home page at the top in your tab. I know a lot of people say to not include it but if I’m on your site and I want to get back over to it then I have to change the URL and that’s really the only way. I think if they’re going to make me work for it then I’m more likely to just not visit it. Sometimes I’m curious enough but most of the time I’m not. I’m sure that’s another personal preference but I prefer them myself.

    I know you’re the web designer guy, even though you don’t care for it, but I’ve also learned that when you give them too many options to choose from in your tabs then they feel more overwhelmed and they just don’t choose. That you should group them so that you have say your services under each other instead of individually. Like I said, I’m not the web gal but I’ve taken some courses from some that are hugely successful and these were their recommendations. I did them on my site and it’s helped.

    Hope you’re happy with your changes Don and I have no doubt you’ll continue to do really well.

    Thanks for the update and enjoy your week.

    ~Adrienne

    1. Hi Adrienne,

      I decided I wanted my site to be a little more me and stand out. I really like Pat Flynn’s site and his was the inspiration for some of what I did.

      It has been an interesting journey. As I said, I think my blog is very clear.. .but the breakdown happens when I do guest posts or interviews with media or other podcasters and people come to my site and go to those pages. There was a disconnected that had to be bridged and I think this may solve that problem.

      Regarding the “Home” tab… the logo actually serves that purpose. If you click it you will be taken to the home page. That has become a very standard practice. In the future if you come across sites that don’t have a “home” tab that is how you can get to the home page is if you desire to.

      Since I have a blog, Podcast and Video pages, I need to keep them separate but I want them to be seen on the menu quickly and easily.

      I’m also starting to get more requests to speak from event organizers and media opportunities so those links need to stand out so they can be easily found by those audiences.

      There is definitely a method to my madness, lol….

      I really do like this color scheme and it ties in nicely with the brand I’m creating around the logo. The colors really mean something when it comes to conveying competency, trust and relationship and I wanted to mix it up.

      I think after nearly a year I finally have the site where I want it!!!!!

      I hope you have a great week Adrienne as well and thank you for your comment.

      ~ Don

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