Last week, I addressed the importance of building up your private practice before taking your business online.
If you missed it, you can read it here.
But let me be clear: If you want to attract people that are not in your inner circle, you need a website. Hands down, no questions asked.
Why? Because a website is proof that you are a professional. It gives you credibility. Kinda like the days of needing a business card.
But not all websites are created equal, my friend. Without these four things, you might as well not have a site at all:
1. Juicy lead capture aka: Freemium Offering aka: That annoying pop-up asking for your email address.
This is a form on your website that offers website visitors something juicy in exchange for their email address. As annoying or invasive as you fear it may be, it’s your lifeline to building a list and effectively growing your business. Your Juicy Lead Capture could be an e-book, a video series, an infographic, a webinar, or a free class that speaks to a pain point of your ideal client base.
On average, people decide if they’re going to stay on a website within three seconds of visiting a homepage. That means your lead capture needs to be value packed and the first thing site visitors see.
Why? Because an email list is perhaps the single most important tool when it comes to expanding your business.
More on that later…
2. A clear, easy accessible contact page.
I know that sounds obvious, but I can’t tell you how often I see a website where the contact info is hard to find.
So please, don’t try to be clever with this. Don’t call it, “Let’s Chat!” Or, “Wanna Work with Me?” Call it, “Contact.”
Be sure to list your preferred mode of contact on this page… not every way to contact you. If you don’t want direct calls, don’t list your phone number. If you have social media accounts, but you’re not that great at checking them, don’t list your social media on your contact page. Give your audience one or two best ways to get in touch easily.
3. A description of your programs.
That doesn’t mean a description of what they look like, but a description of what they do for people. Speak clearly about the transformation you provide for your ideal client.
Next, offer a call to action for those who want to take the next step. That might be, “Click here to set up a call!” Or, “Learn more.” Whatever it is, make it clear and to the point.
4. A blog.
Yup. Your blog is your friend.
Why? Because you need to consistently add value to your community. It’s how you stay relevant, how you maintain top of mind awareness and how you connect.
Remember when I said lead capture was pivotal to business growth? Well… it doesn’t count if you capture someone’s email address and they never hear from you again.
Why would a potential client want to buy from you if they aren’t familiar with the value you offer? Or if you only show up in their inbox when you want to sell something?
Consistent, value-packed communication with your blog is the easiest way to build the kind of rapport and trust you need to effectively sell online. You do this when you share resources, tips, stories about coaching successes, and/or processes that you’ve developed.
And no, you don’t have to be a writer to have a blog…
In fact, one of my former clients is allergic to writing. She almost didn’t launch her online business because she didn’t want to write.
Something she was good at was speaking from the heart. So, I suggested she use Audio Acrobat to start an audio blog.
She called in once a week to record a creativity boost that she published online and sent out to her list. It was done and dusted in 10 minutes or less and was easy and fun for her to commit to.
So, don’t let your fear of the written word be the excuse that stops you from blogging.
If you love to take pictures, your blog can be a photo diary. If you love to be in front of the camera, offer a video-blog. The secret is to be consistent, to speak to your target audience, and to offer a clear representation of the transformation you can provide.
Now, before I wrap this up, I’d like to interrupt this blog with an important public service announcement: You do not need to invest thousands of dollars in a web designer OR thousands of hours building it yourself to have an effective website.
In fact, please don’t.
Instead, use a resource like SquareSpace or WordPress to build a super simple website, or hire a designer on MoPro for $200 a month who will develop and maintain everything you need to feel fancy on the web.
Whichever route you go, the key is to make sure these four items are accounted for. They will ensure you are set you up to grow your email list, build relationships, give you credibility, and expand your business.
Your turn! Does your website have a blog? Leave it in the comments below. I’d love to check it out.