Back in the day, when I started out in 2003, getting a website was a huge investment. It involved paying someone with specialized technical skills to build a showcase site, and then paying again and again whenever you wanted to change something. You wanted to get it right the first time so you weren’t stuck going back for changes.
Today I notice with new coaches – my mentor coaching clients and others – that this thinking continues. You feel overwhelmed because you think you have to tackle the big website project at all at once and get it right on the first try. “Getting it right” makes you feel overwhelmed and the project becomes daunting. And since you feel like you have to “get it right” before you move forward, the whole project becomes a bonafide roadblock that stops you dead in your tracks.
If I’ve just described you, there’s good news! You will be glad to know that times have changed, new solutions have emerged and WordPress is available to you. WordPress is the program you create your website with, just like you use Powerpoint to create a presentation or Word to create an article. And WordPress itself is free.
WordPress makes it easy to get started because the initial costs are relatively low, and making changes is pretty much the order of the day. You can have a professional web presence in a matter of days and you can easily make changes whenever and as often as you desire. All this without having to take out a second mortgage.
So…no more thinking that you have to get everything done, perfectly, on the first pass. It may be helpful for you to break your website project down into stages. Following is just an example of how the stages might play out. For some, these stages may overlap. But take a look and see how you can break things down into doable steps as your WordPress website grows to meet your needs in the initial stages of developing your coaching business.
Customize the following stages to meet your specific goals. And then…just do it. Keep moving. One step at at time.
Make it “guest ready.” Get started with a home page that will at least identify who you are, what you do, and how people can contact you. If you’re not blessed with a rich flow of astounding content rushing through your fingertips and appearing on your screen, don’t let that stop you. At this point put out some basic, straightforward information and make it look professional. Choose a look and some colors for your site that reflect what you know about your branding and what you believe will attract your target market. Once you have this done you can get your business cards printed with your web address and you can feel confident that when people go there they will see that you are “Real.”
Warning: Do NOT let the “branding” reference slow you down! You do not have to have a logo to make it through Stage One. At this stage, branding is referring to presenting yourself in the most comfortably authentic professional way you can. For example choose site colors and fonts and a personal photo (headshot) that you feel comfortable with, that feels authentic to you and represents your professional style.
You’ve bought some time by completing Stage One. Time to work with a designer to create branding (a logo and identity package that attracts your target market). Time to develop your rich flow of pithy and engaging content as you add pages and enhance your message. Time to develop your “freebie” and create your opt-in.
Add a blog (this comes with your WordPress website) and start posting about topics of interest to your target market. Continue to refine your content and tweak your branding. If you’ve not yet done so, add testimonials.
Regularly add fresh content and new resources that appeal to your target market. Branch out into audio and video. Create products and add a shopping cart when you are ready.
Your website is a work in progress. It needs to change as your business evolves. WordPress makes it easy to have the flexibility you need as an entrepreneur.
You CAN do this! One. Step. At. A. Time.