woman working on website

The ‘This Is Us’ Approach to Evaluating Your Online Business

While catching up on one of my favorite American TV shows, This Is Us, Beth and Randall (a married couple) played a game called “Worst-Case Scenario.”

It’s like a mental check they do with each other when something goes wrong.

For example, when their foster daughter, Deja, is being difficult and moody all the time, they imagine what would happen in the worst-case scenario. Randall suggests Deja will kill them in their sleep and end up on the streets doing drugs (dark I know, but that’s the point). Then Beth, trying to top Randall, suggests Deja will kill them while they are awake and eventually turn their other two daughters into prostitutes.

As you can see Beth and Randall are pretty good at the game—taking it to the extremesbut once they’ve thought about the worst-case scenario, it’s easier for them to see the bright side of things and confront the difficult situation head-on.

The beauty of the game is that you can play it with anything, like your website and online business. And before jumping to conclusions and thinking this is some cruel exercise, don’t worry. It’s actually kind of fun (and completely harmless) to think how terribly wrong some things can go.

Plus, you end up seeing things in a more positive light once you’ve considered the worst.

So let’s play

Worst-case scenario: your website doesn’t have any content on it. There’s no blog with helpful posts or inspiring ideas for your visitors. There’s no newsletter sign-up form to connect with your audience. There are no landing pages to promote your products or services.

The result? No one can find you on Google, no one will visit your site and no one will buy your eco-friendly clothes or use your professional catering service.

Now let’s pretend we’re playing with Beth, who considers another, grimmer situation.

Worst-case scenario: your website is bland and doesn’t offer anything new or interesting to your visitor. Equally as bad, the homepage claims that your real estate experience is “simpy the best”. There are no calls to action and your blog posts from 2010 are full of real estate jargon no one can understand.

In other words, if someone lands on your site—cold, unprofessional and outdated—they will immediately leave. There goes another potential customer.

On the bright side

Your website isn’t like this in reality. And if it is…well hey, at least you have a website, right? Not quite…we should talk about how to spruce it up if that’s the case.

As a business owner or someone who is trying to gain exposure online, it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to get right.

Before creating content and providing solutions for your audience, think about the big picture:

  • Who is my ideal customer?
  • What makes my product or service different and better than the competition?
  • What are my customer’s pain points and how can I help them?

Knowing the answers to these questions first will make it easier to organize your website and produce meaningful and engaging content for your online community.

Make your website the best-case scenario

The next time you step back and reflect on what your website is doing well and what it can improve on, take Beth and Randall’s approach: what is the worst outcome of running your online business like “x”?

Nine times out of 10, your website is not headed in that direction. You know what makes your product stand out from the competition and your passion for helping others is contagious.

Start there—with the traits and knowledge that you already have—and a clearer picture of how to grow your online business will emerge: should you share your tips with followers in a different way, or do you need to reposition the content itself?

One thing is for sure: your website is easier to confront than an unruly child.

See now? The best-case scenario is totally attainable.

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