We’re looking at a question from Arielle of Veer Living who is starting a coaching business to help women remove toxins from their daily lives.
I'm stuck on my website, what do I do next?
Like most of us who decide to start a business, Arielle has high ambitions for her website, but with both content and technical questions, she soon realized she was getting stuck. What do you include on your website? How do I incorporate social media? How often should I blog? How do you actually build it?
It’s overwhelming. We came up with a strategy so she can get unstuck, get some momentum and easy wins, then gradually build the website of her dreams.
Where are we and how did we get here?
In situations when someone is feeling a bit stuck, I like to retrace their steps and see how they got to this point. She started off this project with an Instagram feed. I took a look at it — gorgeous images, clearly on topic with a beauty and health theme, and a touch of herself in there too. She’s getting good engagement, people are liking and commenting, her followers seem to be growing — basically all the things you want to see on a successful Instagram page.
She’s right, this would be a great time for her to build her own site and start driving her Instagram traffic there. She started to set up a landing page in Squarespace, which I think is a good start. I’m a big fan of MVPs (minimal viable products) — where you just put the absolute minimum in, get it live to see how customers react, then tweak it and build it from there. In my mind, this is a huge improvement on spending months or years working on the perfect website that stalls the rest of your business and may or may not not happen. I’d definitely encourage her to go live with just a simple landing page like this and then work to grow it.
Step 1: Get the Landing Page Launched
That said, there are a couple of things that I would suggest doing before launching. First, add a unique value proposition — something that explains what she’s offering along with her passion and drive so we understand why she's an expert and engaged in this particular topic. Especially with coaching or other high-touch service offerings, clients want to understand the coach's point of view and get a taste of their personality. I feel like that's a bit lacking right now. It doesn't need to be a long essay. Even a couple of sentences or a short paragraph would really help.
Another thing I would suggest changing is the call to action in the button, "Download PDF." I'm not sure what the PDF is and without any further explanation, don't feel particularly motivated to download it. However, more importantly, the call to action should nudge the visitor towards the goal of the site, in this case hiring her. Therefore I'd recommend keeping it very simple and use this button as a Contact button to reach out to her. Alternatively, she could also link to a third-party site like Calendly.com to allow people to schedule an initial free consult. This would make the button something that brings visitors closer to hiring her.
Since Im quite nosy, I also searched for Arielle and found a wonderful interview with her on One Love Organics. While reading through it, I found a paragraph in which she perfectly addresses her passion and why she wanted to start Veer Living. All of the things I thought were missing from the landing page seemed to be here. If she can incorporate some of this language and drive on her landing page, she’ll be all set!
Step 2: Organically Build a Complete Website
For next steps towards building out the website beyond the landing page, of course there are any number of ways to proceed. I list below what I'd recommend as the next milestones she can work toward:
I think the first small, bite-sized thing to do would be to start her blog. It sounded like she was eager to get that going and had a lot of great content ideas. The blog doesn't need to be something she has to set up on her own website. She could use Medium.com, for example, which has become a very popular blogging platform and is easy to set up.
Mailing List / Opt-in
In tandem with the blog, I would suggest she start building a mailing list and develop an opt-in, perhaps even the PDF that she currently has, on her call-to-action button. (An opt-in is a small incentive, often a PDF or a discount, you give visitors to join your mailing list). Those three things would work together and she can work on it gradually.
Since I'm a designer, branding is near and dear to my heart and also very important for creating a quickly recognizable brand which would differentiate her from competitors and build trust with potential clients.
Other simple steps she could take would be to create some service packages that break down exactly what shes offering and show the price point. Those packages would help start dialogues with potential customers and give them a basic understand of what they would be getting and how much it would cost.
She could start collecting testimonials as these are very important social proof and would improve her conversion rates. Even without any paying customers you can always offer your service to a friend or family member and have them give you feedback.
And photos. With coaching it's important for the client to feel connected to the coach. So giving visitors a visual clue of who you are and what a session with you would look like can help increase trust.
Overall, Veer Living is off to a great start and I'm really happy that she reached out. We're following her on Instagram and excited to see where her business takes her!