5 good reasons to stop trying to create the “perfect” website and just launch already
So, you keep hearing that you absolutely need to have a website to succeed as a freelance translator. How else would new clients find you online? Fair point.
Is this the most important thing?
In Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson give an absolutely amazing piece of advice to people starting their own venture: “start at the epicenter.”
For example, if you’re opening a hot dog stand, you could worry about the condiments, the cart, the name, the decoration. But the first thing you should worry about is the hot dog …
The way to find the epicenter is to ask yourself this question: “If I took this away, would what I’m selling still exist?” … So figure out your epicenter … Then focus all your energy on making it the best it can be. Everything else you do depends on that foundation.
Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Are you aware of the opportunity cost?
If you are just starting out, you will most likely decide to do all of the work yourself.
Which means that you will not be using this time to improve your skills, optimize your business processes, actively look for clients, or network.
To quote this Freakonomics post (“What's the Best Advice You Ever Got?”):
…if you spend all your time catching the little fish, you won’t have time — or develop the technique, or the patience — to ever catch the big ones
How hard can it be?
The hardest thing is not launching a website.
The hardest thing is to avoid analysis paralysis and stop being distracted by all the exciting technology and options out there.
Should you be on WordPress? Wix? Squarespace? Do you need a blog? A newsletter? A form? A portfolio? A pop-up form? What’s that content marketing stuff? Do I need to blog? How do I blog, exactly? Do I even have time to blog? Who do I blog to? What do I blog about? etc. etc. etc.
None of this stuff is your core business, and it will cost you mental energy and work opportunities.
How about forgetting about that best website ever,
and going for a “best website for right now”?
A fancy website with minimal content, irrelevant information, inefficient SEO that will not convert the visitors.
Is this something you need to spend your time on?
If you’re a #translator, #interpreter or small agency owner, this little snippet of text from @RayEdwards is for you. Don’t let your website collect dust. We are word people! We should be doing this better than anyone else. 👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/xDElSvWzl8— Madalena S Zampaulo (@mszampaulo) February 5, 2018
Your best website for right now
Accept this: as your business changes, so will your website. And if you are just starting out, it might change really soon.
So, what is the minimum amount of work on the website you can get away with?
Enter the idea of a “minimum viable website,” based on Copyblogger’s articles on a minimum viable product.
As Pamela Wilson says in this post, going for a minimum viable product version will save you “years of frustration, months of waffling, and full days of stumbling around in a fog”.
Just start somewhere!
What kind of website do you need: one-page or multi-page?
The Rule of One by Michael Masterson, AWAI
How to Write a Persuasive Sales Page (Even If You Hate Selling) by Henneke Duistermaat
Why Blog? The Benefits of Blogging for Business and Marketing by Corey Wainwright
Want to know what should be your next step?
Ekaterina Howard is a bilingual copywriter, the current Administrator of the ATA’s Slavic Languages Division, and a Copy School Graduate. She believes that both freelance translators and interpreters and T&I companies can do better than “great quality at a reasonable price” and blogs about the ways in which they can make their copy more relevant and more persuasive.