How many times have your clients had unrealistic expectations about what you were doing for them? No matter how well you communicate, they don’t seem to understand that you build websites. You don’t create content. That’s the responsibility of the business.
Yet, the client is expecting us to help them with something that we are really not qualified to do, right? And that’s write their content. It’s a frustrating cycle that I’ve talked with fellow web designers about over and over again over the last ten years.
But there is a deeper problem. I’ve written extensively through this blog that businesses simply don’t know how to communicate properly with their clients, both online and offline.
I remember in 2006 I was meeting with a prospect that wasn’t happy that his website was being found on Google and he was getting a lot of hits, but no one was contacting him about his services.
Well, why would they?
His site said nothing, meant nothing and helped nobody!
His content was all about his business and had nothing to do with their site visitors.
Unfortunately, not much has changed I’m sad to share. Too many businesses are still treating their websites like brochures and advertisements. Even their blogs are filled with content about how great they are or who they just signed as clients, or some other meaningless content.
Yet, they don’t understand how they could spend all this money on a website that wasn’t helping them?
After all, the site looks great, the links all work and it is functioning just the way it is supposed to.
Except that the people that land on their sites don’t know what to do so they don’t do anything…
Who’s Fault is It That No One Knows What Do When They Land On Your Website?
Over the years, I’ve heard this story more times than I care to admit. It goes something like this:
Client: I spent all this money for a website I’m getting no ROI. Why?
Web Design Company: Well, you didn’t pay us to drive traffic to your website, you payed us to build a website. Remember we told you in the beginning we are not copywriters or SEO specialist.
Client: What’s your point? What good is it to have a site no one buys or contacts us from?
Web Design Company: I understand, but we did exactly what you asked us to do. I’m not sure what else I can do for you?
Now the client is really upset and the web design company is at a loss for words. When expectations don’t meet reality, there is always disappointment.
In some ways, both parties are to blame.
Let’s answer that question…
Why the Business is to Blame
The business is to blame because they have never thought long and hard about their business. A web designer can only put in content and arrange it according to the content that they receive.
If a business owner and their team have not taken the time to master their business and learn how to position themselves in the marketplace; then what can the web design company really do to solve that problem?
Not much. Web designers are creative people who love and understand layouts, colors, the power of images and site architecture.
However, they are generally not marketers and writers. That is an entirely different set of skills.
It’s up to the business to know:
- Who they are…
- What business they are “really” in from the public’s point of view
- What problems they “really” solve for their clients
- Who they solve the problems for
- How to find where they are hanging out at
- How to create the strategies, goals and objectives to find them
In a previous article, we introduced Tom, a chef and restaurant owner of a very upscale and pricey restaurant. No one had ever mentioned they saw his site and the visits on it were extremely low.
After talking with him for a few minutes, it was clear that Tom was a chef, not a business owner.
However, he never took the time to think deeply about his business and how to articulate it beyond the obvious.
And that is where business owners make their first mistake.
You should be able to say in one or two sentences who you serve and what makes you different than everyone else. Tom couldn’t do that.
So I jumped in to help him and here is what we came up with in just a few minutes time:
“… Restaurant is an upscale, warm, inviting place to experience the absolute best meal you’ve ever had.”
In fact, he went on to guarantee it or your money back. This one line alone will forever change his website and his messaging.
It’s simple and easy, right? But getting there wasn’t.
It’s always a business’s fault when they cannot help their web design team because they don’t know their business.
When you know your business you can help anyone you hire in the future to help you with:
- Web design
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Marketing
- Public Relations
- And more…
Why It’s Partly the Web Design Companies Fault
Web design companies have to learn to do a better job in some cases of helping their clients. You are not business coaches or marketing specialists, right? But many present themselves as though they are and then they end up getting in trouble with some clients. This is almost always unintentional.
We have to admit our limitations and that we do not know it all.
But, somehow in the sales processes we unintentionally present ourselves that we do and then create an unfair expectation to the client that many times comes back to haunt us.
Remember what I said above, when expectations don’t meet reality, there is always disappointment.
I’ve seen it time and time again.
What’s the Solution to the Content Creation Problem
There are a number of options. A web design could partner with a copywriter. That’s a great thing to do!!! However, your new client will still be in the same boat if they don’t really know and understand their business.
We have created a new one-of-a-kind program that we call “Content Creation Consulting for Web Design Clients.”
What we do is take them through four homework assignments that are designed to help them:
- Learn what business they are “really” in
- Learn what problems they “really” solve
- Learn who they solve them for
- How to find where their audience may hang out
- How to wrap their products and services around helping their prospects and customers
Our goal is to teach your clients how to message themselves by talking with them about their needs and problems instead of about themselves and what they offer.
If you change the message, you increase the engagement and opportunities. Right?
Each client has four homework assignments that help them do this. It’s challenging, in-depth, and it helps them create their content for you throughout the process.
This process is not designed to create sitemaps and the website, it is designed to help them get their head around their business so that they know how to present their business and help give you what you need to create a stellar website.
After doing this process for with several clients we have found real success.
Here is what a few of our clients had to say:
“Don is an experienced business owner and is gifted in understanding websites, marketing and sales processes online. More importantly, he has an in-depth understanding of the psychology of online salesmanship. He creates top of the line websites that inspire and motivate site visitors to take action because he has created an innovative process where both he and his client learn as much about your business together as possible so that the website can communicate your uniqueness online. This process not only helps build your website, it also helps business owners think through more clearly and concisely about their business. I highly recommend Unveil Digital Strategies.”
Deanna Wharwood, Owner, The Veterans’ Coach
“We have been in the horse racing industry for over 20 years and decided it was time to catch up with the times. At first I questioned the process, but it turned out to be very beneficial to our business and most of all, to the finished product. As a result we learned about ourselves and the industry we work in and were reminded about why we do what we do. Not only did they provide a nice product; they provided a great service with professionalism and patience. Since our site has been launched, we have received numerous contacts that have lead to additional business and business opportunities.”
Rachael Maddox, Maddox Racing and Bloodstock
If you’re a web design company that wants to solve the problem of how do you help your clients create content that is meaningful and helpful for their website visitors, please take a moment to visit our landing page and learn how I can help you and your clients!!!
For a very low cost, we can together help your client feel good about their website and put them on the path to success in their business.
Click here and learn more or to contact us today about how we can help you as you help your clients achieve their goals online.
If you have a question or comment please leave one below, I would love to hear what you have to say.
Latest posts by Don Purdum (see all)
- How to Ensure Your Content Marketing is Effective Before Increasing Your Budget - October 21, 2016
- Is Creating Content on Your Site and Sharing It the Best Strategy to Gain Traffic? - October 20, 2016
- It’s Not “What” You Sell, It’s the Story Behind “Why” You Sell - October 19, 2016