If you haven’t already read my first blog in this series, check it out.
Seriously, is your website set up for failure? Do you have a mindset that will help you succeed when it comes to making your website work for you?
I’m going to talk about ways in which a website project may be a rocky road, or perhaps even “doomed” to fail. I’m not going to talk about financial obstacles, because that is a topic to discuss separately.
I’m going to dive deeper on the psychology behind why having your dream site feels impossibly out of reach.
But it isn’t out of reach. I’ll also give you some solutions which will help set you up for SUCCESS and a website you are excited about!
But before I begin, I want to stress that I have experienced all 7 of these obstacles. Many of them I still work on.
7 Reasons Why Your Website is Set Up For Failure (and how to set it up for success!)
The root cause is fear. The fear of failure OR of success (yes!) can cause many of us to procrastinate.
As a result we become more anxious that tasks aren’t getting done, and worry about what might be wrong with us.
Addressing our fears and releasing our baggage can be an important first step if you have been putting off getting your site done.
I find this to be especially true for ABOUT and RATE pages, which can be a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself, what you are worth, and how you want to present yourself to the world.
Dig a little deeper, and you may find other mindset blocks showing up. Release those, and things will start to flow.
This is another form of fear that is closely related to procrastination. Someone who may be sabotaging themselves with perfectionism may think that the site needs to be “perfect” before it is ever launched.
This doesn’t mean that it’s ok to put a site out there that doesn’t meet some sort of standard.
But nitpicking and obsessing endlessly about the placement of a quote, rewriting a blurb 15 times, or fussing over a single element to the point where the project is being delayed and hours are being spent “rearranging and tweaking,” isn’t productive. (it will also cost you more money in terms of extra fees and lost revenue from a delayed launch)
It’s better to get version 1.0 “out there.” Websites, as I mentioned previously, are “living entities.” You can always go into the back end and tweak things.
It’s also important to trust the person you are hiring. I get this too. It’s hard for me to let go of every aspect and detail of my business, but micromanaging isn’t ultimately productive. Brain space can be used for things that count when we let go of controlling anything and everything.. and just trust that collaboration can produce some pretty cool results too!
3. Comparing ourselves to our colleagues and competitors
This also includes “doing what everyone else is doing.”
I know this. I remember discovering the site of a very successful acupuncturist. I was envious of her website, her schedule, her office, and her success.
I got some great inspiration from her, but if I tried to copy what she did it would be ridiculous. Her specialty was fertility, and my market was for along the lines of sports medicine with a lot of trigger point and Anatomy Trains principles.
I had a lot of men seeing me, who appreciated solid data and a systematic approach. The “touchy feely” stuff was done in moderation, and filtered via my own personality type.
She had programs and systems that worked for the kind of woman she wanted to attract. She was also VERY MUCH into pink, and her branding was quite feminine, even girly, which worked brilliantly for her.
There was another sports medicine guy in the area who had a very successful practice. He also knew his stuff, and had a great blog. But his site was cold and clinical. That wasn’t me either.
It would have been easy to lose sight of my own vision and copy what my colleagues had done, but I was patient and did the work to find out what works for ME.
I now share this process with clients.
Fast forward.. I had a consultation a while back with a potential client. He was not aligned with my process, which involves discovering a target market, goals, how a site could attract an ideal audience, and the tools and strategies to use based on this data.
Granted I would do a better job now with leading or keeping the first meeting shorter to make sure there is a “good fit.” He chose to focus on another successful company’s site, and how to copy and implement his competitors navigation, content ideas, and marketing tools.
We did not end up working together.
This is VERY common with online coaches, who feel an intense pressure to be “as good as” all the successful people they are inundated with online on a daily basis as part of their work.
It’s also common in the hospitality industry, particularly in saturated markets. I feel like I’ve seen the same photo of a “swimming pool and villa” about 100 times now, which makes me wonder about how such vacation rentals can differentiate themselves. It is possible!
Constant comparison to established sites is one of the MAJOR reasons why your website is set up for failure before it even sees the light of day.
4. Distractions, or “Fear of Missing Out.”
This is one I struggle with, which can also be related to “keeping up with your competition.”
When it comes to creating your site, you may get distracted by another awesome website that you want to copy. If you are building your site on your own, perhaps you have never gotten past the “shopping for a theme” stage.
If you hired a developer, you may be stuck in this phase, or have trouble making up your mind about what content you want to include, photos to use, or marketing tools you want to feature.
If this is the case for you, again, tune out the noise and just start creating your site. Trust the flow and process, and that a site has to simply EXIST, not just in theory, but LIVE, in order to be useful.
A basic website has a few key elements. As long as those are in place, you have something to start with. Go with that, and you can always tweak later.
Don’t be tempted to make constant changes just for the sake of it. Relax, and “sit with” a decision. Let it sink in, especially if your tendency is to never feel satisfied because “Something else may come along that may be better.”
TRUST your Decision and go with it.
5. Working with the wrong developer or designer.
I cringe when I work with someone who had a bad experience with a developer. I’ve also had this happen.
Most people don’t speak “developer” or “tech” language, yet are expected to know these terms in order to work with the person who is building their site.
Many clients are expected to clearly communicate their needs without being guided on the specific steps that need to take place, in a certain order, to build a site.
This requires a thought process that most of us don’t have. I have created many websites but I still can’t “think of a site” out of thin air. I need a template and specific procedure, or guide. I need a starting point.
I can’t create until I can clearly “see” the “container” or “map,” in which all my creative ideas can fit into, and this is also true for most of my clients.
This doesn’t mean that there is no room for design creativity, but there needs to be some structure, especially for newbies.
And many, many developers don’t have a clue about design or the unique marketing needs of specific industries, let alone branding for individual business owners.
Many developers don’t guide clients on how they can add content to their own site or make changes.
For example, I changed my rates and cancelation policy so many times that there is no way I would want to have to call a dev. just to make those changes.
THIS ALONE can create a mental block. If you feel as if you have to make a permanent, “written in stone” decision about your policies, or your ABOUT page, it’s easy to get STUCK. This is when communication begins to break down between the client and the dev.
• Ask your developer how much they can guide you through the process, how much they know about your industry, about marketing, and branding.
• Make sure they can provide structure and guidance, and offer as much as possible in an easy to see “visual” format, such as videos or .pdfs.
• Make sure they give you guidance on how to control the content on your own site.
6. Unrealistic expectations and lack of communication
To be fair, it’s a 2 way street. Many devs are also justifiably frustrated with clients who fail to provide the basics.. content, photos, logos, colors, etc.. but still expect a site within the agreed upon deadline.
It’s shocking how often this happens.. multiple emails and requests are sent.. and still, nothing is provided.
Others may fall into the above traps, causing the project to be delayed via failure to provide content, or making excessive revisions or additional requests.
It is the responsibility of the developer to be clear about expectations and communicate with the client. It is also the responsibility of the client to stick with the agreed upon goals and processes, and work as part of a team so that the best possible website can be created for each individual business owner, and that deadlines are met.
Overwhelm is usually a combination of the expectations we place on ourselves as well as the real and perceived expectations of the world around us.
To-do lists, urgent tasks, emergencies, and shifting priorities can create another level of anxiety that can make us want to take a break, or even quit.
I’ve seen clients go through some pretty intense things, and there are times when a website truly does need to go on the backburner.
However, it also helps to know when you are truly “swamped” and what is slowly creeping into your schedule, causing your important long-term tasks to get pushed into the “someday” list of things to do. (Which creates even more heaviness and overwhelm)
Only you know the answer to this question, but when I work with people at the coaching level (part of my VIP package) part of my job is providing structured accountability.
It’s true for ALL my clients that in order for a project to come together, the client must have what some call “skin in the game.” When this isn’t set up from the start, and not enough is invested, nobody wins, gets a site, or gets a return on their time or money investment.
On the other hand, it helps to have a pre-conception that building your new site is going to be fun and exciting, not a painful drag. This is HUGE!
I hope this helps shed some light on something that I’m sure isn’t often talked about when it comes to creating websites.
There you have it.. the 7 main reasons why your website may be set up for failure, but you can just as easily set it up for success with these tips.
I think it’s important and relevant for making not just a great website, but making the process enjoyable.
Be sure to check out part 3 of this blog series: There IS another HUGE reason why your site may not be finished yet, and chances are, it’s NOT what you might think!
Whether you are a newbie, DIYer, or even seasoned marketer.. sometimes we all need a little help so that we can focus on what really matters and get the results we want with our websites.
I offer BOTH 1:1 coaching and group coaching to help people just like you.
Just click on the burgundy button below for a free 30 minute consultation.