A lot of new entrepreneurs think their website will be a magic money-making pill.
They believe that launching a beautiful website will flood their business with clients and fill their practice immediately. As a result, they invest way too much money creating a gorgeous website that feels exactly the way they want it to – often before they even have clarity on who their ideal client is. Or, they put off actually moving forward with building their business until their website is launched…or is “perfect.”
But while a beautiful website can help you grow your business, it isn’t a magic pill.
Business Comes through Relationships
The reality is most coaches get business through relationship channels or credibility channels. People hire coaches they know, like and trust, or who they feel they will support them to make the changes they are seeking. This might be as a result of seeing you do a great talk, being in a networking group with them, or because you have been recommended to them by a trusted friend or colleague, just to name a few. Very few people will ever hire you just from reading your website alone.
Instead of relying on your website to bring in business, think of your website as a way to establish legitimacy with a new potential client.
When you make an in-person introduction, give a signature talk, or meet someone through a contact, they will likely visit your website before hiring you. In this way, when your website is used in tandem with another type of connection, it works as a tool to support your legitimacy and credibility: a well-designed site that accurately conveys your “vibe” will draw in your divine ideal clients.
Refine Your Message through Interaction with Others
Many coaches feel that, until they have a website up and running, they can’t get out there and talk to people about their work. When actually, the opposite is true: we struggle with writing our website because we haven’t gotten out there yet and talked to people about our work!
When you talk to people, you get better at refining your message and you see where people are excited and where they “lean in.” You’ll also see where your message just isn’t landing and where they’re not leaning in.
In other words, it’s much easier to create a website that reflects your work accurately when you’ve had a chance to interact with others and you see where your work fits into the puzzle for your ideal client.
All this isn’t to say you don’t need a website! I very much believe in imperfect action. Sometimes just trying something out (even if it’s not “perfect”) can help you get great clarity on what you’re up to.
So, if you’re just starting in your business, absolutely, go put up a simple website that may be a few pages or even a one page landing page. However, don’t pour a lot of your money, time or energy into it at this point. Instead, think of it as “Website, Version 1.0;” do it quick and dirty, then get out there and start serving people.
Only after you’ve launched your business and have actual clients should you think about working on Website 2.0. Waiting until you have real clarity about who you want to work with and how you want to serve them will make building that version of your website SO much easier. It will also guarantee that you get a great return on that investment of time, money, and effort that goes into building a beautiful, amazing website.
Remember: a website in and of itself is not going to catapult you. It’s the strategy behind the website and the pipelines you create to and through the website that will catapult you.
How have you approached your web presence and web strategy? Share your comments below.
Tara Butler Floch