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The only story your website should tell

Let me give you a hint. That story isn't about you.

That's right. If you read nothing else in this post, read that again.

Your web design isn't about you.

Your brand story isn't about you.

Your content marketing isn't about you.

Every story your website tells needs to be about your customer. If you make it about you, you're losing business.

There's only one thing that drives people to engage with your brand. It's the one question you need to answer to keep their attention.

"What can you do for me?".

Maybe that sounds a bit jaded, but unless you're running a non-profit it's completely true.

As a small business owner you're providing a service or product that you want customers to purchase. But unless your customers are your friends or family, they aren't choosing to purchase that service or product out of a deep desire to give you money.

They purchase your products or services because of what you can do for them.

You need to tell them how you can help them become the person they want to be, and invite them into a bigger story.

What are you doing for the clients who choose to work with you? What are you providing them that will help them become the person they want to be?

Until you answer that question you won't see many cold inquiries coming from your website.

A potential client looking at your website doesn't care that you've been in business since 2010. They don't care which about the features of your products, or the fees you charge for your services. They may care about those things later on, but the first time they come to your website that's not what they're looking for.

The only thing they're interested in is who you can help them become.

You're not the hero of your brand story, your customer is. They are the hero, you are the guide.

When a potential client comes to your website, they're the hero of their own story. When you try to make your web design and copy about you, you're taking the spotlight off of them and putting it on yourself.

If you don't engage them in the story of who you can help them become, they'll bounce from your website and you'll lose the opportunity to work with them.

Too many websites I see are full of copy and images about the business. Or worse, the copy is about the business and the photos have nothing to do with either the business or the potential customer.

These sites are missing the mark.

Instead, position yourself as the brand who can help them be who they want to be.

One of the best examples I've seen of this is Yeti. Most people don't need a bear-proof cooler, since the only creature invading their cooler is their buddy at the next pool party. But Yeti sells them, and people buy them.

Not only do they buy them, they spend hundreds of dollars on them.


Because Yeti hasn't sold a cooler, they've sold an identity. They're not just selling to the outdoor enthusiast who needs a cooler to hold the deer they just bagged. They're selling to the person who wants to be that outdoor enthusiast.

They're selling an aspirational identity to the dad on the couch. The one who's definition of hunting is searching for the right size frozen turkey at the grocery store. The one who has always seen himself as the outdoors type, even though the back yard is the closest he usually gets to nature.

They're telling him that with the right cooler, luggage or travel mug, he can get closer to being the person he's always believed himself to be.

That aspirational identity is what creates a customer base that extends far beyond the outdoor enthusiast community.

Their web design is good, but it's the copy and pictures that are the clincher. Their website and social media are full of pictures of people using their coolers, tumblers and luggage in the great outdoors. They even have a #BuiltForTheWild hashtag that people can use to highlight Yeti products in their "natural environment", turning their customers into their most effective sales force.

"But I don't sell coolers, I sell financial planning services. How do I sell an aspirational identity for my clients?"


Show people how you can help them be the person they want to be.

Does your ideal client want to the peace of mind that comes with knowing their money is well taken care of?

Show them how you give them that. Talk about how they'll feel when they work with you, and the services you provide so they know where their money is and how it's working for them. Tell them how you work with their accountant and attorney to ensure their estate is well positioned to provide the inheritance they want to their heirs.

Does your ideal client want the disposable income to purchase a vacation home, or take exclusive vacations that they can share in social media posts with their thousands of followers?

Show them how your services help them manage their finances so they can have the disposable income to do those things. Tell them how your services can provide a return on their investments that can help them reach their goals.

Tell the story of how your services guide them to becoming the person they want to be, without making the story about you.

The Bottom Line

If you can show potential customers how you can help them become who they want to be, they're more likely to work with you.


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