This is the first of three articles called, Three Keys to a Client-Attracting Website. The second article is out as well and in that one I go into creating engaging content. The third one is in the works to come out in a few days.
This first key to creating a client-attracting website is to LAUNCH IT FAST
It may seem counterintuitive to build your website fast, because you’ll want to take lots of care in making sure it’s perfect, just the way you want it, with all the bells and whistles.
After all, it’s your baby, and it’s gotta be great so your business can put its best foot forward and thrive, right?
But in my 16+ years of building websites, I’ve found a high correlation between fast website creation and high business success – and sadly, a high correlation between slow building and low success.
I once interviewed over 40 coaches by the phone, and found this:
- 1/3 of websites never go live
- 1/3 take forever to build with months to years of heeeing and hawwwing
- 1/3 launch fast
And the websites that launched fast were among the more successful ones.
Why FAST is the only way to build
When you get your website online quickly (and I recommend going on the minimal side) and launch it fast, you benefit from …
- Momentum. Launching is exciting and fun. Ride that energy wave and get out and market.
- Feedback. There’s only one way to know how people will respond to your website, message, and materials – get them out there.
- Avoiding gremlins (below). If you give yourself too much time to do it, all kinds of time-wasting gremlins seem to infiltrate. It’s ugly.
I should also say that I cannot promise that going fast is a guarantee for success. But I do know that a slow-going effort doesn’t work well.
And if that’s not enough, here are two more reasons to get it up fast:
1. You have dreams.
I’m nearly 100% confident that you sat down and figured out some things you’d love to do with your career as a coach. Remember those? If not, give them a big refresher and move up the date for realization please 😉
Your dreams and happiness are incredibly important, and the sooner you launch, the closer you get to realizing them.
2. Other people struggle because you haven’t launched. Shame!
Every day that goes by, someone else out there continues down their journey of struggle because you’re not there to coach them. Launch fast and help the find you please.
Say hello to 10 gremlins itchin to invade your website project. Any of these familiar?
Here are the top gremlins that stop your project or cause massive delays and needless stress.
Gremlin #1 – Shiny-object Syndrome.
This is where you’re busy chasing the latest neat app, plugin, tool or software, thinking it’s the best thing since sliced bread. ;P
Gremlin #2: Perfectionism.
You’ll know this beast at work when you just can’t seem to get things right. You second guess and gues and guess and … months go by 😉
Gremlin #3: Tech Issues.
If you’re going grey or see fistfulls of hair in on the floor, you’re probably wasting days trying to fix tech stuff, calling support and getting nowhere.
Website Gremlin #4: Over-Researching (Over-Thinking).
If your brain is in pain and you can’t seem to ignore all the great articles, ideas, newsletters and templates out there, you’re probably taking in more info than you need – and getting nothing done.
Website Gremlin #5: Writer’s Block
You try to write and either can’t get started, don’t like what you wrote, are rewriting all the time or you’ve got too many ideas and can’t pull it together. You hit the wall.
Website Gremlin #6. The Fear of Being Judged
Putting your website, yourself out there, to the public, especially if you’re more of a private person or introvert is certainly uncomfy. People will check you out. It’s safe to just never go live.
Website Gremlin #7. Sheer Overwhelm
If you haven’t started, all the information out there can bury you before lifting a finger. If you’re midway, it can be even worse with more info and ideas piling up. You’re overwhelmed.
Website Gremlin #8: The Disappearing Designer
This is when your web person spontaneously disappears. It’s the oddest thing but it does happen. And you’re left with a half-finished mess.
Website Gremlin #9: Stuck on Your Niche
The whole idea of choosing a niche is a confusing zoo of it’s own. And the fears that surround niches make it all the more “fun”. I mean paralyzing.
Website Gremlin #10: Endless Design
There’s an unlimited number of things to add, edit, or tweak when it comes to websites. And each day, you’ll find even more. Better skip sleep for a few weeks. ;P
But have no fear, hope is here. My three secret weapons to launch swiftly.
I may be doing myself a disservice to give away my trade secrets. You may say, Kenn, you ding dong, don’t tell people how you work your magic, they should pay for it!
Yes, I may be shooting myself in the foot, but I’m going to trust that the universe will do its magic and return it many times over.
My three best ways to prevent failure to launch are …
Secret Weapon 1: Set a deadly deadline.
Whether you build your site yourself or hire a designer, you should set a launch date. Be sure to take a good look at your schedule, skills, and resources (people) and estimate a time.
Basically, if you’re a full-time employee with some family responsibilities, you plan to do your own site, and you’re going to use WordPress, start with a one-month timeline and add two weeks for each of these:
- You have 2 or more kids at home
- You don’t love writing
- You’re so-so with technology
- You struggle to complete projects (make it 4 weeks)
- You don’t have any goals set ~shame on you! 😉
Make your deadline “deadly”, add a painful risk if you do not finish.
One that works is to post to all your Facebook friends that your site is going live on such-and-such a date. That’ll set a fire beneath your bum and get you in action.
You can further beef that up to a guaranteed launch, by telling every friend, you’ll give them $5 if you don’t launch. 😉
Sure you can set a positive reward if you like, such as a massage, or indulge in your favorite dessert. Sure. But also set a punishment as well and watch how fast you jump into action.
Secret Weapon 2: Create a vision of your site.
Define the pages, functionality and content needed for your site. Also, ask yourself how this website will strategically support your goals for your biz and plans to reach them.
With that in mind, you’ll know what “DONE” looks like when it comes to your site and you’ll start to see the major milestones to get it done.
One type of website, which I call the expert website, I detail in the guide I wrote, The Coaching Site Guide. If you can’t figure out a vision for your site, this approach can help.
I wouldn’t even consider building a website without a vision unless you just want to tinker with technology and aren’t serious about growing your coaching business.
Secret Weapon 3: Take massive action.
This often happens as a result of the first two secret weapons, setting a deadly deadline and creating a vision for your site.
But, further prodding of the action habit is what you’ll need.
One way I like taking action is to regularly ask this: “When in the next half-day, can I find 20-30 minutes to just get started on my site?”
Another tip is to find a fun event in your calendar (like a dinner party or tennis) and work on your site 30-60 minutes before it. It’s nice to get some important work done and then head off to play.
Some actions you can take after setting your deadline:
- Create a vision for your site on paper with a pen. List the pages, content on those pages, and functionality needed.
- Decide if you’re going to hire a designer or do it yourself. Figure out your budget for this.
- Decide on the technology to use. I like and use WordPress for fast site creation and easy functionality. Avoid everything else like the plague. You do not need heavy technology like shopping carts at this point.
- Quickly draft your About Me page.
As for taking a course, getting a book or researching, again, I’d only spend a little time on that now and find only what you need RIGHT NOW.
If you are going to do it yourself, I’d get a WordPress developer to sit with you for a few training sessions and avoid taking courses, unless those courses are strictly for fast site creation and not learning how to become a high-tech coder.
Courses and manuals on WordPress are a bit over the top and you’re not seeking to make that your new profession.
Again, just learn what you need to know, now.
The second key is all about engaging your visitor.
I’d deem the second key to be the most important of the three and it’s vital to get people perked up to read more about what you do. Here’s the second article, The Second Key to a Client Attracting Website.