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My kids are constantly sending me cute puppy photos; on facebook, by text, by email. Yes, they think that by showing me a cute puppy photo or video, that they will have me convinced that getting a little tiny bundle of joy is a GREAT idea.

My response to them is always the same: No.

Not, “no that is so cute,” not “no, maybe in the spring,” not, “no, maybe when you have a house of your own.” Just NO. Because I know what a puppy means: attention, focus, inability to travel, housebound for housebreaking, house destruction during the chewing phase, dog hair on everything, and arguments about who is going to take the dog out when it is 10 degrees outside. Who do you think always draws the short straw in that scenario? (Give you a hint: tall, blonde and face paints for a living….)

Don’t get me wrong, I love pets, and have loved, owned, and trained dogs all of my adult life. Our family has raised 7 Seeing Eye Dogs, six of whom passed the test and are out with blind people…oh…except for Nyomi, who is a K-9 Explosive Detection Officer (picture a little tear going down my cheek). Irish, the latest one, is back at the Seeing Eye “mother ship, getting trained “in harness,” so that she can become a service dog like her Spadola canine cousins.

But they are a heck of a lot of work, and not inexpensive besides. They need constant attention, especially at the beginning. All along the way, they need love and nurturing as they progress in their training. Then they need more rigorous training (fine tuning) as they grow larger. You can’t have them jumping, running, growling, whining, or crying (once their voices are loud enough to be disturbing, which sometimes is DAY 1).

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that raising a puppy is a lot like designing a web site. So I am telling you now: don’t get a puppy! Get a web site instead.

Why you need a web site:

  • you don’t look like a professional without one. When was the last time you looked on the web for a service or product?… I rest my case.
  • it’s an investment in your future and it shows that you are here for the long term, and not a shady, fly-by-night hobbyist
  • it helps you to be found on-line
  • it allows you to attract visitors who might benefit from your services
  • it allows you to share what is important with YOUR Ideal Clients and others
  • helps to convert visitors into paying clients by answering their questions in a straightforward, easy to understand way

I’d like to say that is true, and I can assure you that if you get a puppy instead of a web site, they will definitely come…the neighbors, the mailman, the family you haven’t seen in months, or and perhaps some complete strangers, to see your bundle of joy. (“Remember, whoever wakes the puppy up has to take her out.”)

But I digress.

IF you build a web site instead of getting of puppy, you have to start with your business strategy: who are you, why do you do what you do, and how do you want people to remember you?

Then define your audience: who is your Ideal Client?

Then go onto the all-important content: What is your Ideal Client looking for for information. What questions do they have?

Only after all that, determine your design to convey those messages (answers to the visitors’ questions) in the most attractive way.

You don’t need lots of fancy bells and whistles, but your information needs to be laid out in a way that answers your client’s needs. Simply and to the point.

Lastly, you need to have a way for them to contact you, quickly to book…either by phone or by a form, or emailing you. The easier you are the “Contact Us” the better.

 


If you are interested in learning more about how I created my new web site, and how it is was developed from my business strategy and Ideal Client Profile, please listen to the recent interview with Michael Katz, of Blue Penguin Development.

Michael interviewed me for his Blue Penguin Content Club, a twice monthly small group webinar for solo professionals looking to grow their businesses through content.

You can download it here!

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