Should You Build Your Own Website?
I’m sure you know that having a website is a key piece of marketing your business.
It’s your virtual shingle.
Your website offers clients and prospective clients the opportunity to learn about you and how you can help them.
Whether you’re just starting out and don’t yet have a website or if you have a website that you know needs to be updated, you might wonder if you should work on it yourself … or hire someone to assist you.
If you’re just ramping up your business, trying the DIY approach might sound like the perfect fit.
After all, you probably don’t have much money coming in yet. And if you don’t have a day job, you may have plenty of time to work on your website.
Just because you CAN create or update your website on your own, this doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
While you certainly want to be smart about how you invest in your business, consider this:
There’s a lot that goes into creating a website – design, copywriting, technical tasks – and many of the coaches I work with find that once they get into the process, they realize they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.
They end up spending weeks (or even months) trying to create something and then throw in the towel and are left with a half-baked website… and now they realize they need to hire someone to finish the project.
I don’t want you to end up in this situation, so in this post I’m going to help you decide if you should build your own website or if it’s in your best interest to hire someone to help you.
There are 3 key questions you want to ask yourself to determine which route you should take.
Are You Comfortable with Technology?
Nowadays there are so many “easy” website platform options (like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly or IIN’s provider – LiveEdit).
These platforms can be a great option for coaches who are just starting out and don’t have a lot of time or money to spend on their websites. They don’t require you to hire a web developer and are geared towards the less-technically inclined crowd.
The downside of these platforms is that many coaches find that they just can’t seem to make their websites do what they wanted them to, (which is why I recommend using WordPress).
If you choose to use one of these “easy” website platforms, you’ll want to be sure that you feel comfortable working with them.
But keep in mind that learning the basics of the website platform isn’t the only piece of technology that you’ll need to understand.
Think about other functionality you may want on your site, such as:
- Integration between your website and your email marketing system, so that you can collect opt-ins
- Exit pop-ups to promote freebies or programs
- Forms to collect information from potential clients
- Setting up plugins for things like SEO, site security, and Google Analytics
If you feel confident about your abilities with technology, you may be able to set these things up on your own.
If you struggle with technology, your “easy” website platform may have you banging your head against the wall!
Before you sign-up with any website platform, make a list of all the functionality you want your site to have and ensure that the platform offers it. Also check out what kind of customer support they offer in case you run into technical issues.
Do You Know How to Design Your Website Strategically?
As long as you have a website that shares information about you and your services, does it really matter how it’s organized or what it looks like?
Yes, it does matter. And here’s why…
On average, 60-70% of people who land on a website LEAVE before taking any action.
This means that 60-70% of people leave without clicking to another page, without joining your list, and without scheduling a consultation.
If people leave your website without joining your list or scheduling a consultation, they’ll likely never return. And now, you have no way to reach out to them via email.
But WHY does this happen?
Most websites aren’t strategically designed to QUICKLY engage visitors.
Once people land on your site, you have a precious few seconds (yes, seconds!) to get their attention.
If your website isn’t immediately grabbing people’s attention, you’re losing potential clients every day.
On the other hand, having a website that clearly conveys who you are and what you do can open up big opportunities for your business. (Think speaking opportunities and referral partners.)
And when your website is designed strategically, you’ll find that your audience becomes convinced they want to work with you before you ever make them an offer.
When considering DIYing your website, it’s important to consider whether you have the know-how to create a website that’s not just pretty but is also strategic.
The last thing you want is to invest your time and energy creating a site, only to hear….crickets.
If you decide to build your own website, you’ll want to take the time to study best practices when it comes to creating engaging and strategic websites.
Is Focusing On Your Website the Best Use of Your Time?
The coaches I work with often find that they’ve invested so much time working on and thinking about their website, that it’s holding them back from focusing on OTHER areas of their business that desperately need their attention.
All of that time is time you could be spending on other areas of your business that will quickly get you in front of potential clients.
Why spend weeks working on your website when you could delegate it and use that time networking, speaking, writing blog posts, connecting with potential referral partners, and meeting with potential clients?
Your website might be your biggest marketing tool, but if you’re spending 50% of your time on it, you’re probably not generating the clients and revenue that you’re aiming for.
If you feel that you have enough time in your schedule to allocate to your website AND work on client-generating tasks, that’s great!
But if you’re still working a “day job” or if you already find your schedule packed, building your own website can quickly become an unnecessary stressor.
My final thoughts…
When deciding whether you should build your own website or hire someone to do it for you, it’s important to consider what works best for your business AND your personality.
If you have comfort with technology, marketing knowledge, time and patience – it may be the right option for you.
On the other hand, if anything I shared above sounds outside of your wheelhouse, you may save yourself a lot of time and headaches by hiring someone. After all, you probably didn’t go to school for computer programming, design or marketing…
Now I’d love to hear from you!
After answering these questions, what do you think is the best choice for you? If you’ve built your own website, do you have any tips for other DIY-ers? If you’re on the fence about which way to go, post your questions so I can help you make a decision.