You’re chomping at the bit to serve powerfully. You know you need a website because EVERYONE and their mother uses the Internet to research before taking action (and she’s on Facebook, too, so watch out!). However, you’re a bit overwhelmed on how to get started building a site that is going to drive clients or members to you. Here are some basics that every coaching, counseling, consulting or non-profit site should have if you are just starting to get your name out there.
Andy Stanley and Joyce Meyers could put pictures of crickets on their front page and people would show up by the hundreds for the concert, but all the rest of us need to actually communicate clearly.
1. I suggest WordPress to start out with and the reason is, you will have control and can update it at no cost. I went with GoDaddy to start with and was irritated at the core with their “Hoochie Momma” advertising, so I switched to a faith-based company and have received the same excellent customer service. Contrary to what you have heard, you do not need to spend thousands of dollars creating a website. A simple, visually- clean site with no more than two accent colors is what profitable and site’s create. No music, flash graphics or anything that would delay them from reading further. Your website needs to ATTRACT, not distract, your customer as you only have 5 seconds to clearly communicate how you serve. A consistent brand, logo, and oh, no more than two sizes of fonts for headlines and then content.
2. Oh my gosh, this is an area that people really sabotage themselves with. Your front page is about your potential client/member. Not your accreditation’s or networks. Secondly, EXPERTS grow, Jack-of-all-trades don’t. Think heart surgeon. If you’re dying, do you go to a doc-in-the-box? Nope! You will invest deeply in someone who gets you and can take you EXACTLY where you want to go.
Tips for Success? IF you put your picture on front page, it should be small, professionally taken (no Facebook pics) and in the header. Many people don’t even put their pic on the front page, but rather, use pictures to draw the reader into the copy. I tested both and got better results with replacing my picture with a woman who looked like she was going to go postal if she didn’t get better results. And I enjoyed looking at my front page because it makes me laugh.
3. Create compelling copy. Now, this is of utmost importance. What are your members/clients laying in bed at night wrestling over? What would they pay any amount of money to solve? Get specific. Write down four or five exact feelings and emotions they are experiencing. Then, be sure to relay at least three specific results they will get from partnering with you. Here is what Ray Edwards, a professional copywriter we interviewed for our membership group, Slingshot Success, told us:
Great copy will have three things:
As a speaker, coach, counselor, consultant or ministry leader, you are looked upon as the person to lead your clients to a better situation. Your website will need to do the same. Lead your visitors to the results they are looking for. If you don’t have a clear sense of what you want visitors to do, your vision as a leader is weakened, and the desire to hire or invest in your organization is greatly diminished.
4. Your website should give your audience information that is relevant, fresh and ideally, the resources they need to accomplish what it is they are looking for. If you have a blog, writing it consistently is the key, even if that is once a month on the same day. People associate consistency with stability. It is always a good idea to provide them with a gift for connecting with you that is reflective of your unique identity. If you are a large organization, providing a picture and an email of the person they need to connect with to receive that help is a great idea. Along with the room or place they are providing, in case they want to show up at the last minute. Lastly, include your phone number that they can use to reach you or direct email if they want more information.
5. Have powerful testimonials that give specifics about the results that are consistent with what you are branding. Testimonials are important and assure your audience that you can deliver quickly and consistently. A paragraph about how nice you are and how much integrity you operate in are useless if you are telling people that you can help them solve marriage problems. People want to know one thing: “What’s in it for me?” So tell them EXACTLY. When you finish serving people, have a template that asks them specific questions and confirms if you can edit their testimonials as long as you keep them in context. I always send my testimonials to the individual before publishing them in case a prospect contacts them as a reference wanting to know the testimonial is not exaggerated. As my husband tells our teenagers, ”The truth will do.”