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Stop Tweaking Your Website (Or Other Things)

I know. The font isn’t quite right and the opt-in box isn’t sitting as nicely as you wanted it. Your About page photo is just a placeholder until you can afford professional photos and your mum said she doesn’t quite understand the title you’ve given yourself in your new freelance endeavour.

“I just need to tweak it a bit more,” you say.

But I’m honour-bound to tell you this: YOU DO NOT NEED TO TWEAK YOUR WEBSITE JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE.

You need to do the opposite of that and leave it at ‘good enough’. Time to ship the work, friend. Time to get your stuff out in front of people.

Time to stop playing business and start running one.

You think anyone cares if your website is ‘perfect’? (whatever perfect means?) NO ONE CARES. I promise you this. No one will notice.

“But I care Heather! I want to put my best foot forward!”

That’s nice. But you’re missing the point, love. Your best foot forward isn’t a perfect site, it’s being amazing at the service you provide. A truly great website takes time and some investment.

You will get there.

Besides, you know who has a less-than-stellar website? Lots of people! Seriously…lots of successful freelancers have websites that are just plain weird. (and if you’ve come across some, please share in the comments below)

Furthermore, almost everyone who’s internet successful now had rather blah websites in 2012/2013 (myself included. Luckily we all evolved). But you know what? NOBODY CARES if what you’re talking about is important and relevant.

All that matters are the following three things:

ONE: Consistency in the production of your services and online presence
TWO: Value in what you offer
THREE: Excellence in customer service

If you’re consistent in what you deliver, add value to people’s businesses or lives, and treat everyone who pays you money like absolute gold, you will carve a successful path – ‘good enough’ website and all.

Simple right?

Yet numbers One and Three are where new freelancers most often drop the ball. With so many distractions, those two are the easiest to cock up. That’s where you should be focusing your efforts.

So, how to get from faffing about in the back end of WordPress or Squarespace to actually generating business and getting some dollars in the door?

First off, please please please STOP doing the following:

  1. Tweaking your website
  2. Signing up for and downloading freebies that tell you how to optimize this or increase that
  3. Creeping on other people’s websites and then second guessing everything that’s on yours
  4. Hemming and hawing over your prices…lowering them because you don’t feel legit yet and then raising them because you need to make a living but then feeling guilty about it, thinking “But no one will pay me that…”
  5. Lurking in Facebook business groups while developing a complex that you don’t have what it takes (see number 2)
  6. Signing up for more mailing lists or courses

Then please START running your young business like the professional that you are:

  1. Organize yourself. Get a schedule going. If you blog, create an editorial calendar to follow. Give yourself dedicated working hours every day and take it one step further by planning what you’re going to do with those hours each day. Be specific! Prioritize! Be consistent.
  2. Hire someone to help you cut through the overwhelm. There are lots of great coaches and strategists out there (wink wink) who love helping new entrepreneurs streamline their ideas and get focused on income-generating activities. People don’t give birth to human babies by themselves, do they? That’s ridiculous. So why are you trying to birth this baby on your own?
  3. Focus on income-generating activities. Just as I recommend starting where you’re at with your website, I recommend starting where you’re at with your network. Have conversations with real humans and find out if anyone knows someone who needs your services. Start up conversations in Facebook groups and be generous with your knowledge. It builds trust. Beta test a new service or program by offering it at a reduced price in exchange for feedback. Start gathering and getting to know the people you serve so you can serve them well.

Remember this: A website does not a business maketh. It’s simply a gateway to the actual business of trading money for services.

Ready to stop procrastinating and start earning?

I thought so.

PS If you haven’t already, I super-mega-highly recommend the following two books: The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield & Going Pro by Seth Godin

 

Heather Thorkelson Heather is a location-independent business strategist and serial entrepreneur. She works with people who are suffocating in the 9-5 and want to take bold steps to change their circumstances for good through smart freelancing, which she’s been doing herself since 2010. She’s lived in 7 countries outside of her own (Canada) and currently hangs her hat in Sweden where she runs the Republic Of Freedom. Every winter for a few months she runs off to be an expedition guide in Antarctica. (Just because.) Heather can be found sharing her travels and stories over on Instagram.

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