At the beginning of each of my Essentials Brand and website projects I lead my clients through a website strategy session. Strategy sessions for my website-only clients are very similar, but not as in-depth. This strategy work not only helps me in creating websites, but is also a resource for my clients moving forward in their business.
I’ll be speaking to the strategy sessions I conduct with my clients, but this will be helpful for anyone who either has a website/blog and/or someone who’s already gone through a strategy session and put the document they received as a result aside never to be opened again.
What is A Strategy Session?
Strategy sessions as I run them typically are a deep-dive into your business. You share about the history of your business, what you’re hoping to accomplish with a new brand, what you’d like to be known for. You uncover where you want to grow your business to, who you want to serve and how. Where you see your brand struggling to connect with your ideal audience and where you feel you’re knocking it out of the ballpark.
How do you do this uncovering?
Simple, we go through a whole series of questions and dive deep into the answers. It’s not enough just to answer them and move to the next. I try to gently unpack your answer and many times ask Why? and then Why? again. I try not to be a nag, but for some questions that’s the only way to get to the true answer to the question…and that’s where the magic happens. Knowing the deep dive answer to a whole bunch of questions helps you truly understand the overall picture of who your clients are, what they really need, and how you truly help them. And it helps you know how to talk with them so that they are interested in working with you to get to the answer.
Quite often you’ll uncover discrepancies as to where things aren’t quite feeling cohesive in the way you present yourself or your business to your audience (the way you show up in general). This might be that your target audience isn’t quite who you thought it was. Perhaps you’ll realize your competitors are all doing X and Z, but you see the opportunity to include Y to truly stand out from all the other people doing what you do.
Some brand strategists include keywords in their strategy work, words that ideal clients might type in to the search bar to find your services. I like to include brand keywords…words that describe your brand. I look at these words as descriptors of your business from an outsider’s perspective. Words that you want to live up to as a business.
You can reflect back on these words whenever you show up, whether that be in the form of a blog post, worksheet, personal interaction…the words you use in life and on your website. I like to use these words as sort of a guide to make sure I’m showing up the way I should to form that connection with my audience and make that lasting impression.
The Overall Picture
Looking at the overall picture of where you are, where you want to be, the way your audience perceives you…all of this combined with keywords that describe your business, bring together a foundation for your brand. They start to establish the look and feel, the tone of voice that we’ll try to bring out and present to your audience through your website.
My process goes much further in depth than just what I’ve shared here, but this is to help you understand why doing that foundational work is so important to your brand. Without doing the hard work up front, you won’t be able to see everything as a whole when it comes to your brand and how others perceive you and your business.
- Would you like a strategy session to help give direction for your business? This isn’t something I normally do outside of a package, but I’m willing to talk! Send me a message if you’d like to talk about this possibility.
- Pull out the strategy document or strategy work you’ve done in the past and re-read it. Do a little reassessing if it’s been a spell since you completed it if you’ve pivoted at all in your business (or if its been a bit since you read it last.) Consider if you need to go through the strategy work again, and if your business has been living based on the strategy foundation.