Build a Website Part 1: Craft Your Message
Build a Website Part 1: Craft Your Message
When you’re thinking about launching a new website or refreshing one you have, it can be tempting to dive right into the design.
Don’t be fooled.
One of the most critical steps in building a website that works to grow your business is crafting your message.
Your website copy—the words you put on your site—will be the reason people want to engage with your business.
So, first things first. Let’s get clear on your message.
How to Craft Your Message
I’ve never been one to believe that there is only one right way to do ANYTHING. Just like you have many different tools in your medical kit, I have many different tools in my marketing kit.
But when it comes to crafting a marketing message, one tool rises to the top.
Before I learned about StoryBrand, I didn’t have a consistent strategy to help my clients get a clear brand message. With StoryBrand, I have a structure and a framework to follow—every. single. time.
The first step I take at the beginning of any new project is to get on the same page with my client about their brand message. We do it by following the StoryBrand framework and coming up with what the StoryBrand folks call a “BrandScript.”
I’m going to take you behind the scenes and give you the tools that I use—in case you want to do it yourself.
Because the fact of the matter is that ANYBODY can learn to become a marketing master and communicate in a way that gets their ideal customers to listen.
If you want to take a stab at clarifying your message on your own, here’s what I suggest:
- Grab a copy of Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller on Amazon.
- Read the book cover-to-cover in a day.
- Go on a nice long walk and let it sink in.
- Use the free online tool at mystorybrand.com to create your company’s BrandScript
Once you have your BrandScript in place, it’s time to translate that message into powerful website copy.
How to Write Website Copy
People don’t read websites. They scan them.
The words on your site need to be short, sweet, and to-the-point.
One of my biggest recommendations when it comes to writing website copy is to allow yourself plenty of time and plenty of revisions. Like this:
- Write a first draft of your homepage copy
- Walk away for one day to one week
- Come back and delete half the words
- Walk away and let it sit again
- Come back and delete even more
Writing the words for your site is an art. Just like there is no right or wrong way to craft your message, there is no right or wrong way to write website copy.
Your copy needs to be a reflection of you and be written in a style that is authentic to your brand. Give yourself time and plenty of revisions.
When it comes to the sections of your homepage and the words to include, be sure to include the five essential elements listed below.
5 Essential Elements for Your Homepage Copy
1. The Header
Clarity. Clarity. Clarity.
A good website header will tell me (as the site visitor) three main things:
- What you do
- How it helps me
- How I get it
If I look at the header of your website and don’t know what you do, you are losing business.
2. The Problem that You Solve
People buy products and services that solve their problems.
When you verbalize the problem that you solve for your customers, they know exactly why they need to buy from you.
If you have gone through the process of creating your BrandScript, you simply cut and paste the problem that you solve onto your website.
Here are some examples of how to frame the problem that you solve if you help people with insomnia:
- No more sleepless nights
- More energy without more coffee
- Are you tired of feeling tired?
3. Your Authority
People need to know that you’re legit. This section of your website can be brief, but it needs to show that you have the experience to help people overcome the problem that you claim to solve.
Here are a few ways to show that you have authority in your field:
- Credentials and degrees
- Client testimonials
- Case examples
- High-profile clients
- Your story
Your homepage should highlight why you or your product is legit, but keep it brief. If you want to include a longer section of text to tell your story or bio, put that on a separate “about” page. Your homepage should focus on the people you serve and the benefits they get from working with you.
4. The Benefits of Your Products or Services
People won’t know what difference you can make in their lives unless you tell them. Paint a picture of the success they can achieve by purchasing your products or services.
If you want to level up even more, you can also tell them all the horrible things they will AVOID by working with you.
When you show them what they can achieve AND what they can avoid, you motivate your potential clients to take action.
5. The Call to Action
Tell your site visitors what to do.
Do you want them to call your office? Schedule an appointment online? Order a supplement? Buy your book?
People need to be told exactly what action to take to engage with your business.
Decide what action you want site visitors to take. Then place a button with those words several places on your home page.
Avoid vague language like, “get started” or “learn more.” Use specific directions like, “schedule now” or “call our office.”
Pulling it Together: Crafting Your Homepage Message
Get clear on your brand message (your BrandScript) first. I cannot say that enough times. After that, your homepage copy will follow with ease.
Think about the action you want your website visitors to take. Make that a focus of your homepage.
“If you confuse, you’ll lose,” is the StoryBrand mantra. Nowhere is that truer than on your website homepage.
This article is part 1 of 7 in a series on Building a Website to Grow Your Medical Practice. Your message is step one. Then—if you aren’t clear about what your website needs to accomplish and what functions it will need, you might end up choosing the wrong website builder. Form follows function, so don’t skip Step 2: Plan Your Website Functions.
About Sarah at ND Pen
Hey, I'm Sarah Cook, ND. If you've wasted time and money on marketers who don't understand your medicine, we need to talk. I'm a medical copywriter and StoryBrand Certified Guide. I know medicine AND marketing. I help naturopathic, medical, and wellness businesses get clear brand messaging and marketing that works. I live in Westminster, CO, but am happy to serve clients across the US. Learn about ND Pen’s services or sign up for weekly marketing updates.