Why service professionals need a website
Your website is your online home. It’s the place people can go to learn more about you and how you can help them. It serves 4 main functions:
- Set you apart from other people in your field
- Help your prospective client know how and why to hire you
- Help you continue to communicate with them by getting their email address and adding them to your newsletter list.
- Sell your products and services
How to decide what to put on your website
If you don’t know your niche or ideal customer yet: choose design elements that you like. Don’t worry too much about details. Just choose things that are good examples of who you are and what you believe in.
If you are clear on your niche and/or ideal customer: make your design decisions for your ideal customers. Here are some questions to help you get in touch with how your site will help to set you apart and let your customer know that you can solve their problem.
- What is their problem?
- What is the solution they want?
- What are they afraid of?
- What would help them feel like you can solve their problem?
- How do they want to feel as a result of working with you?
- What mood or message do you want to convey with your business?
How to build a site for under $100 in an afternoon, the quick and dirty edition
Your business will evolve, sometimes very rapidly. Don’t spend too much energy or money on a site that will change.
- Purchase Thesis theme for WordPress.org here. (affiliate link)
- Click here to order webhosting and domain name from Blue Host. (affiliate link)
- Call them at 1-800-401-HOST.
- Press whatever button will get you to technical help.
- Say this: “I have Thesis theme for WordPress. I just purchased your hosting plan. Please help me get my theme installed so that I can start making changes. What do I do first?”
- They’ll walk you through it. Do what they say. If you don’t like the customer service person, hang up and call back. Almost all of their people are good.
- Next, create your own DIY header. You don’t need Photoshop or even a good eye for design. Click here for a simple tutorial.
- Slap your new header onto your site. In your Thesis dashboard, choose Thesis on the left, then Header image. Then browse your computer for your header image, put that into the search box and click the button that says “upload.”
- Put your contact information, your photo and some basic information about who you are, who you help and how you can help your customers. This can all go on one page. This is plenty to get you started.
- You will eventually want to have 5-6 pages on your site: home, about, services or products, testimonials, blog (this is sometimes used as the home page), contact. Do not publish any of these pages with an “under construction” type message. Just publish them as you create them.
What to do if you get stuck
- Take a break
- Ask your cohorts on Facebook
- Search the Thesis help forum here.
Yep. Really is that simple.
If you have a site already, fantastic.
I have a comprehensive Website, Zero to Done guide in Coaching Practice in a Box. It covers these basics and more. Overwhelm free.