Is your site a storefront or a museum?

Despite a mega makeover and some *ahem* pretty effective copy, I made a HUGE mistake with my website in 2014.

I’ll never know exactly how much it “cost” me – but I’m confident it’s in the thousands.

Or tens of ’em.

Today I’m going to tell you a) what it was, and b) how to avoid it.

Let’s do this.

In this video, you’ll learn:

  • How to know if your business is operating like a museum or a storefront
  • The PRICEY mistake I made for most of the year
  • Exactly how I fixed it (+ how YOU can avoid it in the first place!)

Click below to watch (or take a listen):

Click here to watch directly on YouTube.

IN A (COCO)NUT SHELL

As a business owner, your website IS your 24/7 storefront. Make sure you’ve got your best stuff in the window. (Tweet that!)

Sharing great free content is a highly effective way to build credibility and establish the ol’ know, like, and trust factor with your audience.

No doubt.

But make no mistake here: you’re running a BUSINESS.

And the ultimate point of establishing credibility is to exchange value with the right folks. To make sales.

You can’t sell a secret, friend! (Tweet that)

Make sure it’s OBVIOUS how people can work with you.

It’s sounds so simple, but it’s not always EASY.

It took me MONTHS to finally update my Work with Me page with a way to actually pay me. People had to really be proactive and seek me OUT if they wanted to sign up for a 1:1 session or ACAC for a while there. (Sounds so redonk in retrospect, I realize.)

When I look back, my main excuses for NOT updating the sales page were:

1) I thought I could ONLY introduce people to ACAC through the free video series. This is true and a great practice for most folks who are NEW to my corner of the internet, but there are several THOUSAND people who now know about it and may come to my site looking to buy it when the time is right. If it’s not there when they need it, they may not take the time to ASK before looking for another solution. I like knowing it’s THERE for those who look now.

2) I couldn’t make the visual changes myself, so it didn’t FEEL easy. Love my site. But certain parts ‘n’ pages are reeeeally custom, and I feel like I’m sewn into it. I let the “ack I need to find help” excuse hold me back for WAY too long. Once I had help, all I had to do was write the copy, mock up the design in PowerPoint (#classy), and BOOM: www.nikkielledgebrown.com/shop was born :)

Potential excuses YOU may have (for hosting a museum vs. a storefront) and how to get over them:

  • not sure if it’s READY: It doesn’t need to be perfect and you WILL tweak with time, so I say this with love: GET OVER YOURSELF :)
  • not sure if it’s the right offer: You won’t know if you LIKE offering something until you actually offer it. Try it!
  • not sure if you’ve got all the moving parts: TEST IT! Link everything up and do a practice run-through of the page, the clicks, the payment, the scheduling, and the welcome and/or delivery emails. Don’t know how to do something? #googleit
  • not sure if the copy’s good enough: That’s a legit concern, because your words are your salesforce. I’ve got a course for that. In the meantime, see bullet #1 and get something “good enough” up there.
  • not sure you really deserve to make money doing something [you love so much/ that comes so naturally/ that’s feels so “easy”]: Ahhhh, YES. That’s called a “money block,” buddy. May sound woo woo, but trust me: it’s a real thing. And just like writer’s block, you can totally move right past it with the right help. Check out this free audio from Denise DT to start.

YOUR HOMEWORK

In the comments below, share:

What keeps YOU from opening up for (real, paid) business, if anything?

In a sentence or two, tell us: What’s your signature offer (that’s available NOW on your site)?

NOTE: When you leave your comment, use your “storefront” URL in the “website” field. That way, when someone clicks your name, she can easily find the offer you’re talking about.

To the EASY exchange of great value,

nik

P.S. If you liked this post + want to help me spread the word by using the links below to share it with your buddies, I would greatly appreciate it! You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to see new videos before I’ve had time to turn them into blog posts ;)

30

LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.

  1. Marisa Clare

    Great great great video! It’s so true. Thank you Nikki:)

    I have some of my services listed where you can pay but not all…I think my biggest struggle is I know what has to be on my site thanks to you But I don’t know how to make it all look pretty as a DIY so it doesn’t always happen.

    I’m currently offering a Desire Map 6 Week Virtual Journey that includes 6 live calls, a one on one, an active FB community + MORE annnnd (unlike some things I offer) it’s actually available to purchase on my site! Yay!

    Sidenote: Because I’m slow the New Years Special I offered for $100 off until Jan 15th…yep still on there and available!;)

    Grace&Gratitude for all you do >>>><3 Keep shining your light love

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      YAY for the parts that are available, Marisa!

      Remember that it SIMPLE is pretty. People get into trouble when they try to add bells and whistles to make something FEEL fancy.

      Example: Check out my buddy http://www.susanf.com – I’m obsessed with her knack for making simple feel so stinking stylish :) (Granted, she used to design for Kate Spade…she knows style!)

  2. Tamsen

    Love it! Storefronts not beautiful museums! This is definitely one of my priorities for 2015 :) (and beyond!) I’m most definitely open for business :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      And I am SO very thankful that you are!! #dreamteam

  3. Mike Loomis

    I can relate! (And I must say I was puzzled about your re-branding – WHERE DID HER PRODUCTS GO?) But we all need to heed your advice here. (ME!)
    My signature product is a “strategy-branding intensive” – 2 days in the glorious Rocky Mountains. What keeps me from sharing this more? Busyness…
    but if I’m honest, it’s really procrastination based on self-doubt. (Even though client feedback is off the charts!) Go figure…

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! Well to be fair, Mike, I really didn’t have anything for sale in May!

      It was the months AFTER I had evergreen offers that did me in ;)

      ALSO: Please take this as your push off the fence to take at least ONE simple step toward sharing the intensive with potential Rocky Mountaineers by the end of Monday. Then another. And another.

      Seriously – who are you to deprive them of the opportunity? :)

      1. Mike Loomis

        push accepted! Thanks, Nikki ;-)

  4. Lisa Murray

    oh thank you for saying this… I was quietly congratulating myself and going ‘yeah! I’m done’… but I hadn’t put any of the links on my website publicly yet either! I guess that’s what Saturday is for ;)

    My gorgeous signature program is called the Nurture Sessions. It’s all about nurturing ideas into life… by nurturing change, embracing courage, creating flow, amplifying the magic of your voice, celebrating and enriching you. It’s a year of building a nurturing platform for creating your ideas and engaging with the world, from the inside out, starting 1 Feb 2015.

    Introverts love it because it’s a gentle, intuitive way to create (no force!). Extraverts and overachievers play because it gives them space to relax into creating in a totally new way! :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Go get ’em, Lisa! Live purchase links are GREAT for business :)

  5. Lisa Murray

    *extrovert (note to self: do not type while sleepy)

  6. Bonnie Lee Nicholls

    Oh my goodness, this was so lovely and a much needed reminder to stop being such a perfectionist! Honestly, there are so many things that are holding me back that it’s becoming overwhelming!! My website is nearly ready, my free video series is nearly ready, and the finishing touches on my workshop ‘renovations’ are nearly ready! But I keep indulging in a never-ending cycle of editing & making changes. I think what it comes down to is that putting yourself out there on the internet in this way is VULNERABLE! I’m just converting the workshops I do for parents into online versions. Live workshops enable me to see my clients in real life, for them to see me, we end up creating this little ‘mutual admiration society’ and become fast friends. In this ‘digi-space’ I fear that people won’t really get to know ME (I am more ‘me’ than written copy & video can convey). Ok, I feel as tho I may have entered TMI territory. I NEVER comment to things like this on-line. This is my version of a first step to opening up, allowing me to recognize & admit this vulnerable feeling, and to gain the courage to GET OVER MYSELF and get my stuff out there, the stuff that I love so much. So, thank you for always being open with us, your community who thinks you’re amazing & inspiring, and thanks for creating a safe place to share & grow.

    Since my website isn’t up yet, I’ve included a link to my FB pg for any parents interested in how their toddler or preschooler learns that’s unique to them & how to tailor home literacy practices to support their individual learning needs. I share tips & research, & one day will offer free videos and my online workshop :).

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      HUGE congrats on the baby step of commenting, Bonnie!

      Seriously, I know how scary it can feel.

      If you haven’t yet, PLEASE make sure you watch this video: http://nikkielledgebrown.com/good-enough/

      I see that “nearly ready” pattern and I relate because I know how EASILY that could’ve been my default in business.

      Instead, my “really good is good enough” + “it doesn’t need to be perfect; it just needs to be shared” mantras paired with deadlines + public accountability have helped me keep cranking and publishing even when things don’t feel 100% yet.

      You can’t make improvements until you get feedback, and you can’t get feedback until it’s OUT there. So get it out there, sister. Pick one, then the next and the next.

      You can do eeet :)

      1. Bonnie Lee Nicholls

        Oh my goodness, that post and video was made for me!!! Thanks so much for your thoughtful feedback! I truly appreciate you sharing your strategies, and mega loved the linked video!! Ok…..accepting your challenge….in the next 7 days I will launch my website…..eeeek :)!

  7. Jackie

    Nikki, Awesome as always. I’ve been struggling because my paid offer is on a totally separate site. I am just not sure the best way to shuttle people over.

    Here’s what I’ve got going on…my blog http://www.tealandlime.com has been running for over three years and gets all the traffic, like over 100k pageviews a month.

    In 2014 I launched http://www.schoolofdecorating.com – a membership site teaching real women how to decorate for themselves!

    On my blog, I have a free optin that promotes my membership site at the end. I also put a link to School of Decorating in the menu, but maybe it should say “Work with me” and have a little copy telling people where they are going and why it’s awesome?!

    Making the “storefront” more obvious is a definite goal this year. I have 120 members in School of Decorating now and I am hoping to grow that to 500 (GASP!) by the end of the year.

    Any tips for bridging the two sites?

  8. Mich Nicolas

    Thank you, Nikki! OK, I will say it: I.AM.OPEN.FOR.BUSINESS! I haven’t really been “out there” that much, because I allowed life to happen and just set this aside. (Or was it fear? Self-doubt? Lack of focus? Whatev.) I believe my calling in the online space is to help women thrive — 1) in mind and spirit, so that they can live happy and courageous lives, without having to be victims of their circumstances; and 2) in their communication, by helping them crystallize their ideas into messages that resonate with the people they were meant to serve.

    Whew! There, I announced it… (I am not so used to this yet).

    Thanks again, and God bless you for all that you do!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Wahooooo – Mich is open for businesssss! ;)

      Way to go, lady. Hope you find a great group of dreamies to serve VERY soon.

  9. Nereeda

    Thanks so much for your honesty about this topic Nikki!! :)

    I have had my site running for a few months and only had my services listed as I am busy doing 1:1 life & biz coaching, marketing consulting and developing my workshops and ecourse! I quickly realized I had NOTHING for people to pick up from me when they visted my site in the meantime…. and since I started my business because I wanted to help people, I needed to come up with something pronto!

    Soooo, I got busy and created my exclusive printables and set up an Etsy shop so people could instantly download items that challenge them, get them organised, keep them on track and basically make it happen in business and life! Phew!

    I am now so excited to announce I have my shop linked directly to my Etsy store via my website and Facebook page!! Yeehar! It feels so great knowing that I am able to help people from all around the world now!

    So without further adu, dum da dahhh… here is the link to my shop!
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/thenereedanetwork/

    Oh and it is on my website too: http://thenereedanetwork.com/

    Thanks for all that you do Nikki! And thank you for allowing us to share our stories with you and everyone here too! You rock! :) x

  10. Ashley Leavy

    LOVED this video Nikki! I just re-designed my home page recently because, although I have an online “shop” it wasn’t always the easiest thing to find on my site. So, right at the top of my home page, I created some icons for each of my offerings. People can look at the cute little pictures, click on one that interests them, and be taken to the sales page for that offering. I took your advice and put my best stuff right there in the window of my store. :) Thanks for the reality check and compassionate reminder about how to connect with our dreamies in the easiest way possible.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      I’m all about making it easy when we can, Ashley!

      CONGRATS on taking quick action on the home page. Keep us posted in Study Hall :)

  11. Nora Kramer

    Hi Nikki!
    I so appreciate your honesty and authenticity. It’s always helpful to be reminded that we are not the only ones who have done something silly – or not done something obvious – with our work and taken a crazy long time to fix it. Normally I would want to hope nobody noticed and never speak of it again, but you rock for sharing this experience!

    My business is a nonprofit summer camp for teenagers who want to change the world! We have week-long overnight sessions in CA, OR, and NY, though we have kids all over the country who attend. We do so much in our time at camp that I sometimes struggle to share it well on our site and social media, which drew me to your work. I have only just started the Course About Copy Prep School but am looking forward to implementing your suggestions in our next round of freshening up our text.

    Thanks for your great content!

    1. Nora Kramer

      Oops, I skipped something obvious! I thought the website would be shown in the comment so didn’t say the name of the camp, duh! It’s called Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp and folks can check it out at http://www.yeacamp.org.
      Xo

    2. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Fabulous, Nora! What an amazing program.

      Hope you get a great boost with Prep School.

      We would love to welcome you to ACAC (+ Study Hall) if and when the time is right…sounds like such a neat project!

  12. Mary Albright

    I.am.open.for.business.

    Love your “real-ness”

    I think some entrepreneurs get distracted, overwhelmed, frustrated…and sometimes just don’t realize this little bit that fell to the bottom of that stack of to-do’s on the desk. I love helping people with some of that strategic planning.

    Hopefully, you’re message helps more people move forward!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thanks, Mary! (Just catching up on these.) That strategic planning is SO valuable. Chicken or the egg since to make ROOM for it…you need to not be in emergency mode!

  13. Sage Hobbs

    I SO appreciate your honesty and authenticity, Nikki! I always feel like I’m just hanging out with you when I watch your videos. That is a true gift of yours!

    I help women figure out what they truly want and how to get it! With 1:1 power sessions or coaching packages, we work together to unleash their inner badass and brilliance so they can make the difference they were born to make. These two offerings are open for business at http://www.sagebhobbs.com

    AND… I love how you say “you won’t know if you like offering something until you actually offer it.” This is HUGE for me, to just remember that part of the entrepreneur journey is a grand experiment and a lovely roller coaster ride of fun adventures.

    Thank you!
    Sage

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Sage! Genuinely appreciated.

      And heck YES it’s allllll an experiment. Some tests are a bit messier than others ;)

  14. Andreea

    OMG, this couldn’t have come at a better time! I just launched my course last week with a free video series, but didn’t even think to put my link to sign up on my WORK WITH ME page! Just added it – thanks for the reminder…

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! Glad I caught you in time, Andreea ;) Hope the launch is going well!

  15. Emma

    Hi Nikki

    Thank you sooo much for this tip!

    I have a question…would you recommend having the product for sale continuously from the beginning or have a launch day and time as you did and many others do?

    Does the latter gain more momentum? Or do you think its just easier to have it available when its ready from the first day for everyone at any time?

    Id love your thoughts. Your blog post prompted me to ask this.
    Im not ready to launch yet but when i do would love to plan the best way.

    Comprehensive Beginners Course on Pilates & Posture – coming soon everyone!
    Email me if you are interested emma@epilatesonline.com.au

    Thanks
    Em

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Hi Em!

      Everrrybody needs deadlines, so I would definitely leverage that – especially for your first launch! If you haven’t seen David Siteman Garland’s free content just yet, I’d check out his checklist + free training series here: http://www.nikkielledgebrown.com/courses (that’s my aff link)

      Once you’ve tried that “with a deadline” approach, if you want to experiment with more ongoing shop options, go for it. Your customers will help you figure out the best approach ;)

Comments are closed.