I recently met someone thinking about starting her own heart-centered business to help women connect and form deeply nourishing relationships.
She asked, “Do I really need a website?”
She was still working full-time, and although she desperately wants to get started creating her dream business, she’s conscious of incurring cost before her business really is viable.
I told her you don’t need a website to start out. But if you’re a coach, healer, or other creative entrepreneur, you do need some sort of web presence for your business.
A page on Facebook to a business Instagram account are good alternatives if you don’t yet have a website set up.
There may be a few exceptions to this. If your business is in an industry where you’re already really networked and growing your business means you can stay in that same well-established network, then maybe, perhaps, no, you don’t. Or perhaps if your ideal clients don’t spend much time at all online, for example, if they’re people in their 70’s or older, then maybe you don’t either. But these are exceptions. Not the rule.
Initially, your customers are likely to come either from your current network or from personal referrals, people got your name from someone you know who told them about you.
The first thing most people do when getting any type of referral is to look them up online.
If you’re looking for a roofing contractor, maybe you’ll check out the Google Reviews, or if someone mentions a new restaurant you might go to Yelp. And if someone passes along your name or mentions you as a great resource to help, most people will look you up online too for more information before they reach out. If they can’t find anything about your business, that might present a credibility issue.
Your website or other web presence is one way many people understand you to be a valid business. Websites aren’t a substitute for creating trusting relationships, but in these scenarios, they function like a checkpoint. Something that tells people, you’re in business and you’re a professional.
Ok, so given that you need a web presence, what should that look like?
Here are a few do’s and one big don’t to keep in mind if you’re just getting started. And if you have a website already, fantastic. You can take a quick look below and see if what you’ve got covers the basics.
Keep it simple
This is so, so important. Over complicating what’s needed is can lead you into overwhelm or down a rabbit hole of spending three months working on your website instead of developing your business.
A one-page website is just fine to start out with.
All you need is a clear articulation of who you help, what you help them with, and information on how to contact you. That’s enough to get started. If you want to add an About page, with a bit of a bio to explain your background and how you’re suited to help clients in the way you do that’s fine too. Keep it simple as you start out.
If a website, even a one page one, feels like a lot, you can use a Facebook Business Page. They’re free to set up. With a few clicks you can have all the information you need for someone to find you online. And it’s easy to change and adapt the information on your page as you grow your business.
Be clear on what you do
Your web presence needs to clearly and concisely identify who it is you help and what it is you help them with. That way, when someone looks you up from a referral or other source, they can quickly and easily understand if you might be the one to help them.
Align your language
Keep your language simple, basic and in line with how your potential clients see themselves, their issues and what they want help with. If they don’t talk about ‘transforming’ their lives or ‘wanting a bad-ass life’ then you shouldn’t either.
Get a tester
Ask someone you know, but who doesn’t know your business all that well, to look you up online. Ask them what it is they understand that you do and if they had questions or wanted additional information after readying your page.
Take all of this in stride. Some of it may be for later down the road, but if this person isn’t able to easily understand what it is you do, you might need to refine your language.
Invest a ton at the start
It’s so, so tempting to hire help designing a killer website up front. You can land a website designer, hire copywriters, go through an entire branding exercise. None of which is inexpensive, and it takes a lot of time and focus.
While it is fantastic to have this type of professional help, when you’re just starting out, you need the ability to work in your business for a while.
You need to test things out. See what works. Tweak your niche. Adjust your language. If you go all in on your website, you might just end up re-doing everything all over again in 6 months. Which can be painful or costly. Or, worse, because you’re still getting up to speed financially you might have to limp along with a site that doesn’t match what the soul of your business is emerging to be.
If you’re just starting out your coaching, healing or other creative business, you do need some sort of web presence as you get your business set up. Whether you opt for a simple website or a Facebook Page or other type of platform, remember to keep it simple and clear, align your language to that of your ideal clients, and have a person or two test out your copy.
Whatever you do, remember you don’t need to invest a lot of money or time up front. Your website or web presence can be simple, imperfect and still do what it needs to do perfectly well.
Are You Newer in Business and Looking for More Clients?
It’s hard to know to know where to focus your efforts to find clients and grow your business especially when you’re newer in business.
I want to help you with that. Over the next six weeks I’ll be giving away 30 one-on-one assessment sessions to business owners who need more clients. The assessment is to help them understand what their business needs and where, how and why to focus their efforts next to get clients.
I’m doing this because I really want to help people turn their dreams of creating a business that aligns with their souls into a reality.
Does this sound like you?
Here’s a link with more information and how to sign up.