"How's your new website coming?" Have you been hearing this a lot lately? Has your site been "under construction" longer than you had planned?
Here's some possibly comforting news: You're not alone. Talk to anyone who builds websites for clients, and you'll find that all of us have one or two projects that have been almost ready since the Bush administration.
Here are some of the most common causes for situs interruptus:
- Fear of getting "out there"; i.e., "Once I launch a website, I am really going to have to deliver the goods."
- Some disagreement in an organization about the mission or strategy. Fear of addressing organizational issues is coming out in petty disagreements about the site
- Every thing is ready to go except the COPY (oh, that....)
The first step in moving forward is almost always to step out of your own way. Unless you are younger then 30, you probably have the wrong frame of reference when thinking about a site launch. We older ones think of a site launch as circulating a printed newsletter. BUT, that isn't right. It is actually more like hanging a white board with content written on it already. Sure, there are words there now, but those words can change any time you need them to! Pages will go out of date, links will get broken. Your site will need to change.
If you are reluctant to put yourself and your business out there for public scrutiny, welcome to the club! Entrepreneurs by our nature are constantly reinventing the wheel and working out our act in the public eye. But isn't this more fun than "punching in" every day and following someone else's rules? Remember, too, that you don't have to do this all by yourself. Consider joining a support and networking group like Her Corner, Rotary, or your local Chamber of Commerce.
If you work in an organization, take a look at where you are as a team. Are too many people "weighing in" regarding the wording of the website? Are there unspoken turf battles creating indecision about what goes where on the home page? It might be time to bring in outside help from an organization consultant or executive coach.
If you are like many organizations and individuals and have everything ready but the wording, by all means hire a copywriter! A good writer who will take the time to understand your business can help you make your message stronger and easier to understand, which will bring in more customers in the long run.
Bottom line, get out of your own way. Imperfect text is so much better than no text!
photo credit: 2005Mar-AustinTypeTour-171 - Caution Caution Caution via photopin (license)