My first website online was developed to support my career consulting business. It’s still functioning as midlifecareerstrategy.com
After I started offering copywriting, training and consulting for small businesses, I decided to keep the websites separate.
It’s not much extra work. But, more importantly, each audience responds differently to discovering that I have these two business interests.
The career audience doesn’t care at all. A typical client’s backstory is, “I’m at a difficult crossroads in my career. I may need to start a side hustle. So it’s nice to find someone who combines business and career knowledge.”
The business audience often cares. In one live presentation, I opened with the statement, “You can use this in your career or in your business.” One person said, “I almost tuned out as soon as I heard the word ‘career.’ I sensed this was not for me.”
Another business owner questioned whether I was still available for copywriting. “I saw you had a post about careers,” she said.
So my direction was clear. Keep the websites separate. Use the business URL unless address solely a career audience.
One Website Or Two?
This question comes up when clients say, “I’ve started a new sideline. I don’t want to go through the hassle of building a new website.”
There’s no one answer. I know someone who offers organizing, success coaching to small companies, and diversity consulting to large corporations. She offers all these options on one website and makes it work.
I used to ask different coaches for opinions but now I tell my clients to ignore all “expert” opinions and test.
Will you turn off one audience by attracting another?
Some of my marketing clients become alienated when they discover I have a career change site.
Once, at a networking event, a participant said, “I’m a real estate agent and I also sell jewelry.”
Real estate is a big deal. I wouldn’t want to work with an agent who didn’t give her business 100% of her attention.
Can you find synergies across audiences?
A yoga teacher becomes a master teacher for other yoga teachers. These roles work together well. She’ll gain credibility with her yoga students because she’s a master teacher. And because she still works with students, she’s got credibility as an experienced teacher.
Now she faces a question. Does she need a new website? Or can she combine these two lines of business into one?
Best of Both Worlds
When I first opened my marketing business, I could have taken a halfway measure. I could add a menu item, “Business.”
Then I’d have a page in my career website, “Business consulting.”
I’d buy a domain name and point to that page on my current website.
Then, if my new business attracted an audience, I would expand into a whole new website.
In summary, as with most marketing questions, the answer depends on your audience. Therefore ideally, business owners need to prioritize interactions with prospects and clients. Join the conversation in the client’s mind.
Wondering how to do this? Get started with a story. Click here to begin The Client Advatage: Discovering What Really Motivates Your Clients.
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