The fabulous Danielle Laporte did me the great honour of inviting me to contribute to her amazing entrepreneurial toolbox, The Firestarter Sessions. (It’s kind of like an e-book, but bigger & bolder — there are videos and worksheets and you just kind of have to experience it. In fact, Danielle calls it a Digital Experience for entrepreneurs.) She posed several questions about creating your online presence, and asked me to pick one and answer it. But, um, I misunderstood the instructions… I answered all of them. (Why yes, I am an overachiever.) Danielle gave me her blessing to post the answers she didn’t use — I thought they might be useful to some of you. Here’s the first one.
5 ways to be a great web design client
- Know what you like. How do you want your online presence to look, feel, function? (Knowing what you don’t like helps a lot, too, and can be a good place to start.)
- Have specific goals. Start with the basics: What do you want out of your online communications? Sales leads? Branding? A place to express yourself? All of the above? (If it’s the latter, please help us out by weighing the relative importance of the other stuff.)
Now drill down: How, exactly, will you measure success? Figure out a dollar figure, site traffic goals, conversion rates that constitute a successful website. Without goals, we can’t advise you well on how to meet them.
- Ask questions. There really are no dumb questions. Be curious. When you inquire, you give us insights into what matters to you but more importantly, you help us serve you better. An openness to learning about how the web works is the best thing you can bring to the process.
- Understand your deadlines. If we’re going to launch your site in time, there are things we’ll need from you along the way. Please respect our time and understand that if you’re late getting them to us, we can’t be held responsible for getting our part done on time.
- Care about content. The biggest thing that all the best and most popular websites (and web personalities) have in common is that they give great content. Be of use to your community, give freely, and don’t waste their time. They’re not your “audience,” they’re — we’re — people who want to connect with you. If you take the time to refine your message, make it inviting, interesting, and unique, you will succeed. You could have a black-and-white one-page site set in Times New Roman and people would still come to visit.
The Firestarter Sessions includes 19 sessions, 13 videos and 22 worksheets, and sells for $150 (with $5 going to charity). A live session with Danielle goes for about $500, so this is an amazing value. Buy your copy here.