Crafting a killer website

It can be hard enough to communicate clearly when there’s nothing at stake. When it’s your living on the line, it can be nigh on impossible.

One of the toughest things to write (or speak about, for that matter) is that first page of your website: you know—the part where you explain in a simple, yet wildly compelling way what the hell it is you do, how your particular way of doing it is suffused with excellence and uniqueness, and why on earth anyone should consider engaging you to do it for them.

Yeah—that page.

The truth is, every page of your website is that page, or the underpinnings of it are. Because every page of your site, and every communication you have when you’re connecting with potential clients for the first time should be saying the same thing:

Are you this person with this problem? I can solve it; here’s how…

That’s the simple, three-step structural underpinning of a sound business website, pitch or piece of marketing:

  1. Identify exactly who your ideal client is
  2. Give your credentials or "reason why"
  3. Explain enough of your process that

It works both because it’s simple and because it keeps the conversation focused on them and what you can do for them, rather than letting you wander off into dig-me territory. It infuses your credentials with life and meaning rather than letting them become some dry list of factoids. And (hooray!) it helps start a conversation, rather than just presenting something static or close-looped.

Now obviously (or at least, I hope it’s obvious!), you’re not going to copy this exact sentence, fill in the blanks and presto! The way you explicitly lay out your target, who you are and why you’re fabulous and how it all works for them is going to vary depending on what it is you do and what your particular flavor is.

But if you get stuck, go back to the skeleton: Are you this person with this problem? I can solve it; here’s how…

Make sense? Have a similar (or better!) structural solution for your fellow freelancers?