Here are five common ways coaches get their website built – the pros and cons, and some tips.
1. Use an automated site-builder
An automated site-builder is an online service that takes you through a few steps where you choose some images, select some colors, and enter in some text and Voila – a website!
- Pro: they are dirt cheap or even free (with ads).
- Pro: it’s up in few hours.
- Pro: you can now say, “I have a website!” and put it on your business card.
- Con: it usually hurts your credibility if people actually go to your site.
- Con: they looks cheap like those perforated business cards with unaligned type that you print at home.
- Tip: to make this work, focus on good copy, good calls to action, and good marketing strategies.
Select this option if all you care about is being able to say that you have a website but don’t care if people go to it. On second thought, save your money.
2. DIY – Do it yourself
This means learning HTML and other web technologies so that you can build it yourself.
- Pro: it can cost you next to nothing to do.
- Pro: you can get a better website than an automated builder.
- Pro: you have full control over how your website looks and functions.
- Con: you become a web designer, not a coach – it takes a lot of time.
- Tip: don’t try to learn every last technology, just focus on the core of what you need to learn which I would suggest being: HTML, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and WordPress.
Do this if you are already great at web design or very eager and excited to learn, have lots of time, don’t have immediate income needs, and your goal of coaching a lot of people isn’t very immediate.
3. Ask a friend or family member
- Con: I’ve never seen this work, ever. It doesn’t get done because your project is a low priority on their already super-busy list.
- Pro: this person is psyched about your idea for about 5 minutes.
- Pro: could cost nothing.
- Tip: don’t go this route, even hiring a high school web design student for a hundred bucks will be infinitely better.
Go this route if you have full commitment from your friend, a time line, and you know what you want in your site: the pages, the wording, and the graphical look.
4. Hire a general practicing designer (or small firm)
A general practicing web designer is one who works with a wide variety of clients (see their portfolio).
- Con: it costs more than previous options from at least 500 to several thousand depending on your needs, their talent level, and their availability.
- Con: it can very tough to find a good one because there are so many.
- Con: you often struggle with them because they focus on creating a visual work of art and you focus on converting to sales (not that they have to be exclusive but finding the balance is the key).
- Pro: a good one will make the experience enjoyable, result in a good site to help you grow your business, and move you faster to you goals.
- Tip: get the designer up to speed on your business strategies and marketing techniques.
- warning: Guru.com, Elance.com or other outsourcing websites can save you money, but if your hired gun is overseas, be prepared to deal with poor communication and insanely slow response times.
Choose this option if you have good recommendation of a web designer or are willing to spend the time to find one. If you go the overseas outsourcing website route, then be patient and follow-up thoroughly. Make sure you know the pages you want, the content you will write, and the marketing strategies you will employ.
5. Hire a specialist
A specialist is someone who can build your website but usually works with a very specific type of client – often determined by working with a certain market: ex. dentists, restaurants, or consultants.
- Con: they are rare in breed.
- Con: they are usually the highest dollar investment.
- Pro: they usually have systems.
- Pro: they usually bring the most value.
- Pro: they are usually the easiest to work with.
- Pro: they accumulate lots of resources and can give you inside tips/guidance as they have experience in your kind of marketing and business.
Go this route if you have big goals, want to achieve them sooner, and can make the investment.