A website is a tool. However, most people have no idea what they’re using the tool for. For most startup entrepreneurs, a website only serves the purpose of proving you’re legitimate. For example, if someone’s already heard about you in some other way, they go to your website to look around and learn more about you.
It’s like a business card or a credibility builder.
So let’s talk about the big mistake people commonly make with their website and what your website is actually for at different stages of your business.
Your Website at Startup Phase
At the startup phase, your website needs to say, “I’m legit.” But so many people design their website in a way that doesn’t even say that.
A few ways to build the credibility you need are to show photographs of yourself with people your audience might know or respect, links to social media, testimonials, and other third party verifiable kinds of things. For instance, the endorsements on LinkedIn are awesome because you can’t make them up.
The goal here is to show that other people are saying stuff about you.
And your website doesn’t have to be fancy and you don’t need to love it at this point. In the beginning, it just needs to fulfill this one job.
It goes right along with sequencing. You really want to have already invested in mentorship around your value equation, and around your marketing, sales, and fulfillment, before you ever seriously invest in your website.
Not having these things in place first would be like a restaurant thinking it can get more customers without having good food. The customers usually need to know the food is good before they come in.
When it’s Time to Invest in Your Website
When you reach a point where you’ve got a bunch of customers, that’s the point where you start investing in a website. Depending on your business, I would recommend that you wait until you reach a place where you’ve had two or three months of $10,000 in revenue. Then it’s like, “I have a real business here, I can increase this if I invest in my website.”
For most people, the website is the first thing they do. It’s like, “I’m gonna start a business, let me create the website.”
You need to change that to, “I’m gonna start a business, so I’m gonna actually talk to 10 people in order to get my value equation right, and then I’m gonna have a bunch of sales conversations.”
It’s really just a matter of the order, the sequence. It’s not that websites are bad. Of course you need them. You just need to know what your website is for, what purpose it’s serving at each stage, and make sure it’s delivering on that.
Unless you’re a huge, widely known brand, your website is not going to bring you profit on its own. People mistakenly think that if they create a website, all of a sudden customers will come find them. A website doesn’t do that. You have to drive people there. Once they’re there, the website can help you convert.