(Even Though You’re Not Really A Coder)
I am going to go out on a limb here and hazard a guess about some (but not all) of you reading this: You “develop” websites, but when it comes to the code, you don’t really know what you’re doing in there. I mean, you can hack up a WordPress theme with the best of them, but you’re not a coder, per se.
Hey, don’t feel bad, neither am I.
And guess what – no matter what anybody else says - it truly doesn’t matter.
Because while you don’t really know how to design and code up a website from scratch, you do know how to do a whole bunch of stuff that other people genuinely need you to do.
How Well Do The Next Few Paragraphs Describe You?
- You know how to work with a client to help them get clear about what marketing actually is and to come up with a non-overwhelming marketing plan that’s aligned with their business goals.
- You can then help them to understand what they can do to use a website and the Internet in general to execute on this marketing plan. And you can use your tech-savvy problem-solving chops to take WordPress, a bunch of plug-ins (that you – not they - know about) and an appropriate premium theme (that you – not they – know how to customise) to make them a website that will actually be useful to the client.
- You know enough about content strategy and SEO to help them get their content organised from the get-go and you know how important, and often overlooked email marketing is. And you know how to integrate their site with an email management software service.
Web-Marketing Jedi Master, Are You
You know in advance how delivering the content is probably going to be way, way more difficult for them than they ever considered when they put up their hand and said “I need a website.”
Because you knew this would happen, you can mix some processes that help to make it easier for them with the wizened patience that comes from being the web marketing Yoda that you are.
When the client gets all distracted by the latest shiny social media platform, you know how to gently get them back on track and focussed on the few evergreen actions that are going to bring them the greatest result.
When the client insists that they really must have [insert superfluous, non-standard feature here] that they dreamed up in the shower, you know how to be cruel to be kind. You know to calmly remind them of the initial scope and to quote them a price for this additional custom work that honestly reflects the amount of time (or outsourcer investment) that it is going to cost you, plus your cut on top. The reason this is kind is because whether they go ahead with that new feature or not, either way they will come out the other side sporting a still-intact relationship with you, the very person that they are going to need over and over again in the future.
And why will they need you?
Because People Are Freaking Out
Software is eating the world, competition is increasingly global and it ain’t getting any easier for small business to cope with all the complexity of the Digital Age. And it’s not just old people either, believe me.
Why It Doesn’t Even Matter If You Don’t Know How To “Code Properly”
You might not be a hardcore developer but that’s actually great because your clients don’t need a hardcore developer. What they do need is a technical website marketer. Someone who has a broad grasp of the whole journey from the initial marketing goals brainstorm right through to creating a new branded email address four years after you deployed a website for them.
Do You Understand Now How Awesome You Are?
YOU are very aware of the things you don’t know how to do – but I’ll bet for many of you, this post only describes part of your total skill set. The reason you can have a great business that provides real value for both you and your customer is because your customers love you for all of the things that they need done but just can’t do. They CAN’T log into cpanel and add that new email address – they’re either “technoverwhelmed” or just too busy.
So no matter what you read, hear or think about how you “just” install a custom WordPress theme for people who don’t know a CMS from an ATM – don’t belittle yourself. Instead, think carefully about all the value you DO provide. List it out and then communicate it to the market. Your list might not be the same as the above, but no doubt your skill-set rocks, is growing and is highly prized by others who desperately need your help.