Why Creating a far-reaching and successful web presence is key for your business.

We have covered over the first 1/2 of 7 Steps to Freedom. Need a refresher, see below for links to view steps 1-5.
Now it’s time to talk about a step that is imperative in today’s world because of one reason: search engines!
It is a fact that the first thing most people do when looking for a resource, gift, service or solution, is pick up their phone, tablet, computer or laptop and start researching their decision using the internet.

Step 6 – Create a Website that Connects with Your Ideal Clients

 

Notice I didn’t just say you need a website, I said you need a website that connects with your ideal clients.

There are a multitude of ways to build your website. But some of them can actually do more harm than good.

Here is a scenario that happens everyday to help explore what I mean:

 

There are 3 different yoga teachers.

 

They each have a website. And a perspective ideal client is searching for a new yoga teacher in her area. She finds three options and starts to explore their websites…

The first yoga teacher…

 

has a site she built with a free or very low-cost web design tool. But the url isn’t her name or business name, it is the name of the business she used to create the site. Something like http://teachername.freewebsitetoolbusinessname.com. This doesn’t look professional to the internet savvy ideal client. And just like we talked about in step 4 the incredible importance of “Defining Your Visual Brand”, unfortunately for this yoga teacher the entire look and feel are off. It looks like a template, corporate and cold. Not at all like the Yoga teacher, which actually repels her ideal client from learning more.

And because the site is free or a very low-cost, the web design tool co. has an ad on her website, front and center. And this makes no sense at all for the business owner. Imagine this site being a brick and mortar store. The ideal client drives up to the store front or office and instead of seeing a sign hanging out front with the business name, the ideal client instead sees a big sign for another business. Confusing right? Well when you use free or very low-cost DIY tools it is the same scenario online.

You have to start to think of your website as your online store front or office. And it makes a big first impression for people who visit, just like it did for this ideal client who has now clicked away, never to return, big missed opportunity for this business owner.

 

The second yoga teacher’s website

 

was built by a professional web designer. And it is obvious there was an investment into the look and feel. It immediately connects with the ideal client. She moves past the homepage and clicks the about page. It also connects with the reader, the experience of this teacher is extensive. Plus the problems she explains she can solve are exactly what the ideal client has been looking for. Excited to learn more she moves onto the calendar page.

This is where things go downhill for this yoga teacher. There are classes listed from 6 months ago, yet nothing about what’s happening now. She also notices that the blog hasn’t been updated in over 6 mo. The ideal client reader wonders if this teacher is even still in business.

She looks around for a way to join her mailing list and learn more…but there is nothing like that available. She has immediately lost trust and confidence in this yoga teacher. So why would a yoga teacher with so much experience and who obviously knew to invest in her web presence let this happen?

Well, she found a web designer who seemed to get her vision. And they created something beautiful together. But that is where the relationship ended. There was no process in place to understand the goals of this yoga teacher and her business. The web designer never asked and the yoga teacher didn’t know to ask, “how she would continually update her website”. This yoga teacher has no idea how to even change her calendar.

And unfortunately the web designer stopped answering her emails (I cannot tell you how often I hear this scenario, too often). So the yoga teacher became frustrated and just put updating her website on the back burner and focused on her classes. I mean she had just invested A LOT of money in this beautiful customized website, that was good enough, right?

When she did think of her site, and getting it updated she had no idea where to turn and so finding someone to help her update her site was overwhelming, so it just kept getting put off.

This is a shame because in today’s world if your site is built correctly, you should be taught by your web designer how to maintain your site and make basic updates, like your calendar, images, text and blogs. The web designer should give you the keys to your online world when the build is over. And you should know exactly how it was built and who to turn to if you want to make updates outside the basic day-to-day maintenance.

This is important because in today’s world websites are living, breathing entities. They should be constantly updated. And most websites should have something that resembles a blog where new valuable content is added regularly. It could be recipes or other content your ideal client wants but you have to create a reason to keep people coming back to your website.

So the ideal client moves on.

 

To the third yoga teacher…

 

She doesn’t have nearly as much experience as the second yoga teacher. In fact she just started a few years ago.

But what she does have is a well-developed, compelling and far-reaching web presence.

This yoga teacher went through a branding process with a coach and she knows how to connect in real and meaningful ways with her ideal client through her website copy and her visual brand. She realizes her website isn’t as much about her as it is her ideal client. So everything she writes is with the ideal client’s needs in mind. She clearly lists the problems she can solve and since she knows her ideal client she immediately makes a real and meaningful connection.

She has beautiful imagery that connects with and tells a story of the life she can provide to her clients. This yoga teacher understands the value of free content offering value to her ideal client. So there are multiple ways for the reader to experience the way she teaches, what she values and what it would be like to work with her on an ongoing basis.

She also has multiple ways for her ideal client to join her mailing list. So not only do they get to know her in an authentic way on her website, but now she has the ability to keep growing the relationship through email marketing.

And since the coach she worked with to help her design her site also taught her to update and maintain her blog and calendar, all of the content is fresh.

This is our winner. Our ideal client joins her mailing list and plans to attend her class next Saturday. But as the week goes on, things get busy and she totally forgets she had planned to attend this yoga class. But because this yoga teacher knows the value of consistent and ongoing valuable free content, the following week she sends an email to her list (including this ideal client). It offers some advice on starting an at home yoga practice to relieve stress. And gives the times and locations of her upcoming classes. Plus a special offer just for her community to buy a series of classes at a great price.

The ideal client is so grateful to this yoga teacher for reminding her of the value of de-stressing and moving her body on a regular basis. She is also grateful for the reminder to attend a yoga class. It was something she really wanted to do. Because of the relationship and trust built through her website and email marketing, the ideal client goes all in and buys the series. She knows if she does this, it will motivate her to actually go to class.

 

It is the power of a well-developed web presence and of an ongoing and consistent online marketing plan that will transform your business. It doesn’t matter if you are a yoga teacher, a coach, a nutritionist, or if you offer physical products you sell through an online store, it is your web presence that will be the game-changer for your business.

And if you HAVE a website,  ask yourself, is it actually doing anything to help grow your business, or is it possible that it is actually harming your business?

Next time we will explore Step 7: Create a System to Build Your Mailing List with an Irresistible Free Offer

Just a refresher, so far we have covered the following…


CLICK EACH STEP TO READ MORE

1. Research, Research, Research
2. Know Your Ideal Customer
3. Know Your Value
4. Define Your Visual Brand and Logo.
5.  Define Your Products, Services and Packages.

(And if you want to read a list of all 7 Steps CLICK HERE.)