To revise a website is an opportunity to dig in, check in, and get perspective.
You get to dig into whom you’ve become. You check in on whom you’re engaging and elevating at your highest level. You get perspective on why what you do matters in our times.
Tracking Wonder’s Story constantly evolves as those elements – the founder, our community, our times – shift.
So, too, for you one or more shifts might signal you to look again at the Story you or your business is living and how you are owning that Story through the way you communicate and engage your community, clients, and customers.
When Your Story Changes
The poet in you, so to speak, sometimes shifts course. You want to take a different direction. Sometimes you outgrow your business the way it is. It’s not that you’re fickle. It’s that you’re dynamic.
A business can be a catalyst not a cage for your best work. [TWEET THIS]
The renowned Austrian poet Rainer Rilke knew his art like his life was not complete. Much of his early devotional poetry hovered in the ether. He wanted his poetic feet to land on the ground.
With the aid of the robust, physical sculptor Auguste Rodin, Rilke’s eyes started to open to the physical world’s granular grandeur. In a poem of that time – “Archaic Torso of Apollo” – the work of art arrests the poet. He describes it from every possible angle to try to enter it.
And then, almost without warning, comes this final line: “You must change your life.”
Maybe your shift is not that dramatic. But if you sense that how you project your business or brand or website is not aligned with who you are or whom you’ve become, you might be ready to update your Story.
Your Community’s Story
Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky couldn’t pay the rent on their San Francisco apartment in 2007. A big tech conference in town had sold out, and almost no hotel rooms in the city were open, leaving hundreds of people without a place to stay.
Joe and Brian threw down some air mattresses, wrote up a note of their favorite city haunts, made other personal touches, and charged for their first “air b and b.”
Seven years later in 2014 their company airbnb had exploded, valued at over $13 billion.
But they needed to be sure they were listening to and speaking with their community.
Joe and Brian remain idealists. They believe in a shared economy. They believe in kindness. And they’re also not afraid to make a lot of money while also helping literally thousands of people around the world do likewise by converting space into intimate spots.
So, in 2014 they launched a new story. Their new logo – the Belo – came out along with a new ideal – BELONG ANYWHERE. Their site told the story of our times and spoke to our hunger to do just that – belong anywhere.
Airbnb’s 2014 valuation of $13 billion has soared now to over $25 billion. And those two guys’ positive impact on the world continues to boom.
If your business is growing and throwing you off-center, it might be time to revisit and update your Story.
Our Changing Times
A shift in a small market disrupted a hard-working therapist’s business. When her main means for print advertising folded, she realized she needed to take a different tact in promoting her business.
Her first impulse: Improve her website.
But changing colors and logos and looks and navigation alone will not a new business build.
Such disruptions are rich opportunities to take stock of the founder’s heritage of experience, strengths, and skills. To take stock of the ample opportunities to leverage her knowledge and expertise into revenue-building assets like books, courses, or live engagements.
And it’s a chance to examine the relevance of a specific field or industry in our times.
For instance, if I were her and I were wanting to update my website, here are trends I sense:
- The healthcare world is is constant flux at the same time that our obsession with health is at an all-time high. The businesses that thrive get clear on their distinct Story and why they matter in our times. Now.
- More than ever we want to feel connected to each other – and that means that your business must be highly reliable and trustworthy while at the same time being personable and real. Millennials are not the only ones calling for gritty authenticity. #RealConnectionIsNotAutomated
- >People want visceral more than virtual – even as we’re app’ing our way to happiness. [TWEET THIS] The businesses that thrive include experiences that are live.