This post is about trying to find the centre of your business; the purpose and values for your business and the website that represents it. You really can’t write for your business without having an understanding of these two important elements.
When I do website reviews, one of the things I find is that the writing on each page doesn’t seem to flow. Either within each page or across pages. One page will seem chipper and upbeat and the other will seem much more direct and factual. Or one page talks about the values or ethos of the business, but it’s not felt in the wording on the contact page or the products page. What I’m saying is, there’s no beautiful golden thread that’s woven through each line, paragraph and page. To find the spool of golden thread for your website, you need to find the purpose for it being there in the first place.
When I chat with a website owner about why they think their writing is different on each page, or that they seem to not have a commonality to their website’s pages, it’s not because they’ve decided to be disjointed intentionally. They say it’s because they wrote each page hapharzardly, on different days and just sort of “smashed it out” to get each page done.
I thoroughly appreciate that. I too have written things in a grump without much direction and just wanted to have it over with, no matter the result. Many people write their websites like this. And it’s okay as a draft but let’s think about that as something that can be built on with a bit of visioning. So many people think the visual communication elements will streamline a website, but without a consistency of words and meaning, it’s not really in tune.
So far we’ve discussed matters relating to the name of your business and website, some headlines and titles and also considered our special someone who effectively you’re speaking to in your website’s words. And just recently you’ve got a bit more clarity of the products you will offer and your elevator pitch – the key essential communication points you can share with those you meet, or use to shape your website and business.
So how do we find that spool of golden thread for your website’s words? Some of this comes out if I ask clients, what’s the purpose of your business? What are you trying to achieve with your business? Mostly, with that question, I get crickets. But if I then add:
- Is your website/business about selling something?
- Is it about sharing a particular message?
- Is it about encouraging some kind of act?
- Is it selling a product or service of some kind, that goes some way to make a change in people’s lives, families and communities?
The kinds of people I work with, all have something they can respond with there.
I work with a very wonderful woman, Naomi Futuna, who is a Nature Cure Practitioner or a Traditional Naturopath. She works with people one-on-one to reach vitality in their health by pointing them to use some of nature’s offerings such as sunlight and good fresh foods. She really loves that people don’t necessarily have to use mainstream medicinal approaches that can be costly, to build health in their lives. They can use nature’s abundant gifts that are mostly free.
She started out her business, Nature’s Eight, not just because she wants to make some money through consultations – though that is a good part about it. (She has many fur-babies to feed after all).
Naomi started out her business because she is passionate about seeing people take control of their own health and happiness, and is keen as a bean to show them that there are ways to do that with a low cost, natural approach. She wants to see people’s lives transform from feeling unwell to feeling great by giving them tools and resources to make choices for themselves. Her business fundamentals are about educating to empower. It’s really powerful and gives me goosebumps each time I think about it.
If Naomi wasn’t so aware of this really important reason for her business’s being, not only would she not find the energy to put herself out there and promote her offerings, but she would struggle to find the words that truly articulate her passion. I really believe that it is her unique fervour for this approach to health that sells her offerings to clients. Her purpose is palpable in all aspects of her business and this flows beautifully into her website’s words. This self-awareness has also helped to build the products she is now selling.
So being clear about her purpose – to see people learn how to increase their health through nature – and using her values knowing that every individual is capable of making smart decisions for themselves with a bit of knowledge, love and support, Naomi has crafted a beautifully rich business and an articulate and clear website.
In terms of Monk script, my purpose is a bit similar. I could easily want to just fix up people’s writing mistakes in business services. But that’s not actually how I like to do things. I’m a teacher at heart, really. I like to impart my knowledge and perspective around writing, communications and business to other business owners, to see them feel more skilled and confident to write their own copy. My values here are that everyone has a unique voice and they should feel free and confident to share that – not feel like they were crap at English at high school, therefore they’ll forever have their voice trapped.
If I was a traditional editor and proofreader where I just marked up other people’s writing and sent it back to them to update, I’d have website writing that would be really factual and technical. Because I’m more about working with people in business, so they hire me to work with them one-on-one, I have written my website’s words (and built my products) around being easy to understand, approachable, friendly, accepting and mindful.
Being clear about your purpose (what you’re aiming to achieve) and being clear about your values (the approach you’ll take to do it), will influence how you describe what you do, why you do it and how you do it. So all of this is important in building a mindset for writing your own website words.
Have a think about these two aspects of your business.
- What’s your purpose?
- What are your business’s values?
And then….Do the products you’ve just drafted, and the elevator pitch you’ve just written, align with this purpose you have?
If not, they might need a bit of a rejig before you launch into writing that web copy.