A lot of graduate coaches get focused on having and launching a website because we are told that having an online presence is essential to business success.
But is this important? Does your business need a website?
Let’s talk honestly about this so you can take a breather and get clear on exactly what you need to do, and when.
There are two realities when it comes to business websites.
Firstly, you need to know a lot about your intended audience, and you need to have spent enough time on income-generating activities to know the value you bring to your audience.
Secondly, when you hit ‘publish’ on the website, it will end up on page 7 gazillion on a Google search. Nobody will know it’s there – so you will need to have a plan to promote and market your website.
What this means is that if you are fairly new to the business, and/or lack client experience, you have a lot of work to do before even considering building a website.
Otherwise, you risk spending a huge amount of time and money on something that won’t generate you any income, delays your getting experience and reviews, and isn’t visible to the outside world.
I have prepared a website readiness quiz to help you get clarity on where you are at. See how you go with answering these questions and check your score at the end.
Let me ask you a few questions before we answer this question.
1. How long have you been running your business – or are you brand new?
2. Do people know what you are capable of?
3. What sort of people do you attract?
4. What does your business stand for?
5. Do you have clarity on your niche?
6. Do you truly know and understand your niche client?
7. Can you describe your niche client’s problem and solution clearly, in their words?
8. Do you know their specific desired outcomes in their words?
9. What format is your program?
10. Which dates are you running your program this year?
11. What is your lead magnet for the program?
12. When are your marketing campaigns running – and on which channels?
13. How and where will you promote your website?
Here’s how to score yourself for these questions.
If you could answer all 13 questions clearly and easily, then your business is probably ready for a website. You have a clear offering, clarity on your market, what they want help with, and probably some level of traction and proof of success.
If you could answer 7 or more questions clearly and easily, your business is not quite ready for a website. You need to do some pilot or beta testing, market research and/or planning to truly understand how to position your business on a website, and/or where to promote it.
If you struggled to answer even 7 of these questions, your business is clearly not ready for a website. You need to do or get help with many of the business basics, to develop a blueprint for success, get some experience and start earning an income before you are ready to create a website.
It’s super easy to create an online presence and credibility without the time and expense of a website.
Three cheap, very effective options are:
1. Create a professional-looking LinkedIn profile for your business, with good quality photos and descriptions of how you help your clients. You can also ask clients to give reviews on this platform which lends credibility, trust and social proof.
This option is great if your business targets clients in professional roles or corporate settings, or where your leads come from professional networks such as allied health.
In these cases, professionalism is especially important, and a good LinkedIn profile can convey this.
2. Create a professional-looking Google My Business profile for your business, same as above. You can ask clients to give 5-star ratings on this platform which boost your Google visibility.
This option is great for businesses targeting a local area (e.g. your local shire) and/or if your marketing strategy will focus on publishing, guest blogging, blogging, SEO or other online strategies.
It can be an easy entry point for more introverted people who feel exhausted at the thought of daily interaction on a social media platform, or for those who are not on social media.
3. Start a social media following (e.g. Facebook or Instagram).
This option is great if you love being on social media and are a people person, love being in groups, and are extraverted or get a lot of energy from others.
It suits clients who are extraverted and love engaging online, being active in groups, and getting value from a lot of support and interaction from you and their peers.
Does your business need a website? As you can see, it depends on which stage of business you are in.
If you are brand new, without a track record, it makes sense that you choose a quicker, easier option to gain online visibility.
Then, when you have a track record, experience, a better understanding of your niche, and some social proof – you will have all the information and clarity you need to launch a website that will actually work for your business.
If you need help with understanding your audience, enquire about my February or June Passion to Profit Course intakes, where we go through the foundational work behind understanding your clients, your best marketing strategies and marketing channels.
Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.
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