Note from Sarah: This article was originally sent via my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers receive essay style pieces like this before anyone else. Click here to subscribe!
Our team and I were discussing how clients struggle a lot with identifying their website or marketing goals. I ask the question,“What do you want people to do when they come to your website?”
The answer is usually “Work with me.” Which makes sense, for sure! Obviously since the bulk of our clients are consultant types working 1:1 with clients, that’s the end sales goal. But I’m not sure that’s the right primary website goal.
I realize I may have lost you with that statement—but stick with me because I had a moment of clarity recently that will make sense to you soon.
Understanding Relationship-first Marketing
Even the most high intention (I’ll explain more of what that means in the future—think people ready to buy what you’re selling) website visitors can benefit from getting to know you and your business or organization first.
Think of this like getting buy-in before they’re bought. Or, in Sarah-speak, leading with relationships.
Leading with relationships means allowing your prospects to get to know you before you sell them on whatever you’re offering. For me, this is primarily through my newsletter and secondarily through my blog.
This way, people can connect with your philosophy, approach and plain old personality before you end up with a poor, friction-filled relationship when you’re actually working together. (I would argue that bigger brands and organizations should embrace this thinking too, by the way!)
Will people self-select themselves out? Sure!
Is that a bad thing? Nope!
Examples of Website Goals
Which brings me back to that website question: What do you want people to do when they visit your website? Some relationship-first ideas would be:
- Read a blog post that speaks to your philosophy
- Watch a playlist on YouTube
- Listen to your podcast
- Download a freebie or lead magnet
- Join your amazing email newsletter list
Obviously, I’m biased in that the last two ideas are the ones that I see work for me and others over and over again. But all provide a certain level of asymmetric intimacy that enables the beginnings of a relationship. Then, when they’re ready to work with you, they are ready without doubts or uncertainty.
I challenge you to really think hard about what your primary website goal is and how to ensure you’re establishing a relationship first—the results may surprise you.