launch lab | online business  |  websites  |  strategy   |   branding

Your D-I-Y Website is Holding You Back

Here’s the truth: Your do-it-yourself site is holding you back. 

I used to turn away potential clients who were new business owners and wanted to hire me for their first site. I’d tell them I didn’t recommend spending money on their website until their business was running for a year or so. I had the best of intentions. I didn’t want someone spending money for a business that I didn’t know would succeed.

But here’s the thing I know now. When you have an online business, not investing in your website is doing business with a handicap.

Your DIY Website is Holding You Back by

There are the two most likely scenarios for DIY sites. 

Situation One

You’ve spent weeks/months/100+ hours and created something that looks pretty good on Squarespace, WordPress or maybe even Wix. It has good content, easily readable pages and navigation, the typography and photos look good. Everything shows up well on your phone, too.

Situation Two

You’ve spent weeks/months/100+ hours and created something that (eeek!), doesn’t really look great. Photos are blurry. The type is hard to read. Bullet points are in weird places. Things that are supposed to be centered end up off to the right and you don’t know why. Every time you try to change something it makes you want to pull your hair out, so you avoid updates at all costs. 

In both cases, you’ve invested a lot of your hard-earned hours. And time. And energy. And brain power. Probably a little money, too.

Here’s what I’ve realized:

That time could have been so much better spent. It could have been better spent making money, networking, writing your newsletter, blog and social media. Setting up your sales strategy. Managing your to-do list. Growing your audience. Focusing on the skills that you actually charge money for. 

Here’s why:

Even if you’re in category #1 of the DIY sites, you’re still missing out on sales. Because web designers know things like where to place your opt-in for max signups, how to create a good user flow that’ll keep visitors on your site longer, where and how to incorporate your social media and make easily socially-shareable content. We use the best platform and tools to max your site out. We know how to maximize visitor to client conversions. We’re website experts!

Situation one leads to visitors thinking you’re good, they’re interested. They might click around and read a couple of pages. Then they’ll close the tab and try to remember you later, but they forgot as soon as they closed out. You end up with less clicks, less traction. Less contact forms filled out. Less money in the bank.

For situation two, the best case scenario is they stick with you and read your content. They like it, but they wonder why you couldn’t afford a web designer when you’re charging $4000 for your services. They wonder if you really have clients that pay that. They question how legit your business is and if you’ll still be doing it in 6 months. They don’t think about it too much before they close out your site. 

I’ve changed my tune for new online biz owners. Here’s my new rule of thumb: when your business is ready for a website, you’re ready to hire a professional. It’s an investment that’s the difference of giving your business a running start versus already falling behind.

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