If you are one of the over three million viewers who’ve seen Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk –  Start with why, you’d know that ‘the why’ is more important than ‘the how’ or ‘the what’. The what is your product, the how is the unique way you do what you do, and the why is what you believe, but it also aligns to the motivation that your clients have to engage you (or someone like you) at all. So we need to start with answering the question, “Why do I need you?”. But does your website do a good enough job of answering that question for your market?

Start with the why, and start with your website

In this blog, I’m going to focus on the website, and it’s role in convincing a buyer they need you. It was a recent review of a client website that led to this blog.

So if a client or prospect is already on your site, they probably care more about your products and services than you actually want them to. Sounds kind of weird, right? Here’s the thing, with so many websites you’re tempted to put all of your products and services very clearly, front and centre on the website and even on the homepage. You might feel like you’re serving their appetite. Making it easy for them to understand everything you do. You think that you’re respecting what they want. They’re on your website to find out what you do, and that’s what you should show them. Right? Maybe not.

What you don’t want is for somebody to very quickly understand what you do and then park it away and say, “If I ever need anybody who does that, I’ll be back to find these guys”, again, without actually understanding enough to come to the conclusion, actually, I do need somebody like you.

That’s the why. The job of the website isn’t just to say what you do, but it’s to sell them a little or a lot on why you do what you do, and why your buyer needs you. So here’s what your homepage should do:

Write with the end in mind

Starting with the why also means you need a clear idea of ‘the end’. Every page on your website needs to be written with the end in mind – whatever that end may be, such as getting your prospect to pick up the phone, send you an email, register for an event, purchase a product, or take some sort of action on your website.

Don’t just write the best that you can write and then add the best call to action that you can add. You need to write content, and develop a website design such that every page on your website has only one logical conclusion – that somebody who is on that page should most definitely take the action that you want them to take.

You need to write with that action in mind. Build inexorably, whether you’ve got 20 words, 100 words, or 2,000 words, build inexorably to the one conclusion that makes the best sense for that page. Write and design your page to achieve that. Don’t just add it as a call to action at the end.

Convert with a compelling next step

Don’t diminish the importance a really good offer. You do need to think about the action you want your website visitors to take. You want them to act, and so, you need to offer the buyer some incentive to take the next step.

It could be as simple as you’ve written some really persuasive copy about all the challenges, and you’ve alluded to the fact that you’ve got some insight into those challenges. You share those deeper insights in another piece, which is gated content, meaning it’s behind a password screen, so you need to provide your details to access it. That might be enough, so the bait (additional content) will be alluded to, spoken about, built inexorably towards in your copy. So that they get to the end of reading that page, and the only thing that they can possibly imagine ever doing is clicking on or filling in that form.

That’s why you need to write with that in mind, but also to have an offer at the end that’s relevant to the content that they’re on. Marketers call that lead bait. That’s basically something that’s juicy enough that the prospect would be willing to give you their contact details in order to get that juicy thing.

Build a new ‘why’ with email trigger campaigns

After they’ve filled in the form to get the lead bait they will go to a thank you page. You’re not going to give the lad bait to them that on this page, instead, what you’re going to give them is the real call to action that you want. Which is ‘Hey let’s talk”

Your thank you page will be, “Thank you so much for filling in the form, it’s on it’s way to you. By the way, do you want to chat?”

And since you’ve now got their details – you can email them. Not once or twice… but enough to build up the answer for “Why do I need you?”. Here’s an example of how that might work in a five email flow.

Email 1: Delivers the troubling lead bait (and offers a discussion).

It’s “Hey, here’s the thing that you asked for. [Link to download the lead bait asset from the website] By the way, do you want to chat?”

Email 2: Highlights a key section (and offers a discussion)

The second email comes a short while after. Maybe it’s a couple of days, maybe it’s a day, maybe it’s a little longer. You can choose the cadence and even test it.

“Hi, I really hope you’re enjoying the thing I sent you earlier. By the way, don’t forget to look at page three because, on page three, I’ve made this really important point that’s basically along these lines. By the way, I’m here if you need to chat.”

Email 3: Credentialises us (and offers a discussion)

It’s going to say, “By the way, let me tell you a little bit about who we are, and why we’re really good at what we do. Need help with any of that? Would you like to chat?”

Email 4: Offers a discussion

“Hey, haven’t heard back from you, but I really think it’s time for us to have a chat. How about we have a talk?”

Email 5: Transitions to the nurture

This is only if they haven’t acted after let’s say a week or two, then it’s, “Hey, I respect that you maybe don’t want to chat right now, so I’m going to stand down. Here’s what I’m going to share with you over the coming months.” Then you convince them that there’s real value in getting your ongoing nurture content (blogging) and leave them at that.

There needs to be a sequence of communication after they’ve shown interest that progressively builds to, we really should talk, which is the real action that you want.

So that’s my spin on “Start with the why”

Here’s my summary:

  • Start with the why – especially on your website homepage!
  • Make sure every page on your website works hard to convince your viewers to take an action
  • Make that action a really good and relevant offer, so it’s a no-brainer to fill in a form
  • Build an email trigger campaign that educates and delights your new prospects – but also builds the case for a new ‘why’

Funnel Plan

In today’s discussion, we talked about the problem and three other stages. But we talked of only one tactic – the website. And there are more stages – earlier and later than these three.

What happens after they’ve been on the website? And before? And what problem should you be focused on?

  • In your Funnel Plan, map out the buyer’s journey
  • Choose tactics for every stage from finding names to closing deals
  • Remember, sales and marketing alignment is key, so design both the strategy and the tactics together – Sales, Marketing, Finance and Ops
  • Don’t have a Funnel Plan? Get a free one at funnelplan.com.


Lots more lined up for next week. Until then, may your funnel be full, and always flowing.

Our thanks to:

  • You for reading this week’s blog
  • Simon Sinek’s Start with Why Ted Talk
  • Lisbeth Peña for blog production
  • John Ang for video production
  • Hugh Macfarlane for scripting and presenting this week’s show