If you are asking yourself if you need a website for your coaching, consulting or writing business, it’s a good conversation to have. Many entrepreneurs will say it adds ease, visibility and profitability to their business, but it’s not for everyone. Some people really don’t need it. It will depend on the business strategy you use for your business, how much you plan to use the website and what products and services you will be offering.
If you are new to the digital online world and are trying to decide, here are 7 reasons why you should create a website for your business:
1. You don’t need a lot of money to do it. Contrary to the advertisements online and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) packages offered by many marketing businesses, it may look like you need tons of money to create a website, but in reality, you can actually set-up and maintain a website with very little cost associated. There will be some cost up front in the domain and hosting parts of the set-up (and an annual renewal fee) but after that you can decide how much you want to invest financially in this part of your business.
I strongly recommend doing research before investing in marketing companies. You will receive lots of offers of services from marketing companies. Tread carefully. There can be complicated long-term contracts involved and when just starting out you will be budgeting. Marketing services can be expensive and at the beginning might be overkill for a fledgling business.
Some businesses run on a very minimal budget. Some people take classes, read materials, gather information and then create and manage the website all on their own. Others use services or outsource with contractors. There are a lot of ways to create and manage a website. You get to decide what you want to spend your money on. My advice is: do what works for you.
TIP: Be careful outsourcing services. Many online advertisers try to convince you that you have to have services like theirs in order to draw visitors to your site. That’s simply not true. The best tool to draw people to your site is actually you! (see my next post about this). If you’re going to use an online business to help market your product or services, research them first. Look for testimonials, talk to customers that have used their services, and look for reviews about their products and their service.
2. It’s a platform for your business in a digital world. If you are going to sell anything on the Internet, you need a platform to do it from. It’s like a digital business card, virtual office and warehouse all combined. People need a way to find you and your services beyond your business card, local flyers and phone number.
3. It’s a digital communication tool. Your website is a digital business card so others can find you. That kind of advertising is free and valuable!
4. It’s good branding. When you start telling people what you do, especially on social media (for example you post something on Facebook or on Twitter), people who see your comment might check your profile and continue on to your site. Your site can be the extension of that conversation, telling them more about who you are and what you are offering.
5. You can capture a much broader audience, nationally and internationally. Across the world, people are seeking businesses that offer what they need. You can find most anything with a simple click of a button. Expand the possibility of drawing more visitors and potential customers to your website (taking into account a local, national and international audiences).
6. It creates a space for you to create a Blog and write posts. It’s like an online filing cabinet and reference library all in one! Having a blog can definitely help build a business. It does not lead to overnight success but developing an online persona and being perceived as an “expert in your field” is a necessity. Writing a blog is great way to show your personality and expertise. It’s also a great way for people to learn who you are and what you are offering. Google loves blogs and consistently updated website content. You don’t have to be Mark Twain or Alice Walker, you just have to learn the basics of writing online and start posting! Post regularly and consistently.
7. A website gives you a platform to build a mailing list and create marketing email campaigns. Campaigns may include a newsletter or announcements about products and services you are offering. Companies like MailChimp.com offer one tier of services that are free to help you with this. As you expand your products and services, you will have this list of potential clients available at your fingertips to market to.
Start your own coaching business: your step-by-step guide to success (start up series) by Entrepreneur Press.
Articles & Blog Posts:
Here is an online basics article on Creating a Website from the Business Queensland website guide to Internet Start Ups.
The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Rand Fishkin and Moz Staff on Moz.com.
21 Business Blogging Tips From the Pros from the SocialMediaExaminer.com
A Quick Guide to Blogging for Beginners from JonAllo.com.