You know that you can’t put off building a website for much longer, especially in today’s uncertain times as many wellness and fitness professionals are taking their services online. Even if you are maintaining a brick-and-mortar establishment, a website is a must-have in your toolkit for success. For the sake of this blog post, we’re going to take the position of somebody who is new to the game and navigating the challenges (and joys!) of bringing classes or services online.
For starters, let’s dispel one big myth. Despite what you may think, going online with your offerings is much more than finding the best hardware like a webcam or microphone. Believe it or not, moving to the online space is also more than deciding on a video conferencing platform. You may end up changing your video platform or finding a new microphone—but a good website should be able to grow with you and your business. A website will always be your home online and a hub where your existing and potential clients can count on staying informed about you and your offerings.
Now that you are convinced that you need a website, let’s talk about what might hold you back in the first place. We understand how daunting and overwhelming creating a new website can be. You’ll often receive advice to look at other websites for ideas and inspiration but even that exercise can create anxiety and imposter syndrome before you even get started! While we absolutely agree that researching other websites in your industry is a great way to figure out what you like and dislike in a website, it has to be done in moderation because it can be really easy to fall into the trap of believing your site needs all of the bells and whistles right away.
So, let’s break it down. In order to make this process feel feasible and even fun (yes, it can be fun to build your website!), here are four important elements to include in your first website:
Fresh, dynamic content
Some parts of your website will most likely remain static, such as your “About Me” page and contact information, but in order to keep your website fresh and relevant, especially in terms of search engine optimization (SEO), make sure you have at least one section that you are updating on a regular basis. This might look like blog content, a resources hub, or a media page with videos and images.
Search engine optimization (SEO) can be complex to understand so, for a beginner, it’s tempting to bypass it altogether. But, it’s important to keep SEO basics in mind. Not only does fresh, dynamic content give your SEO a boost, but it’ll also entice your students or clients to keep coming back and checking on what’s new. Curious and want to learn more? Check out this blog post from OfferingTree co-founder and developer, Alec.
Provide ways to contact you
Even if someone is not yet ready for your services or classes, it’s still really important to make sure that potential students or clients have a way to get in touch and learn more. This could be as easy as a contact form where messages get sent to your inbox or maybe you include your email address and social handles, inviting visitors to connect with you wherever you are on the web. The rule is, you will want to make it as easy as possible for existing or potential students to contact you with questions or feedback.
Your biography or background
This can be the most difficult section of any website to tackle but it’s really important. When we say biography, we don’t mean that you need to sit down to write your full memoir, but depending on what you are offering this is an appropriate space to share your professional training, experience and credentials. This section is also where you’re able to share your story and why you’re passionate about your work. This background gives your potential students and clients a chance to get to know you, not to mention gives your website some personal flair. Check out this blog post for some additional tips and prompts to get your gears turning.
Description of your offerings and services
Even if you aren’t ready to launch your services quite yet, you’ll be able to drum up anticipation and interest by giving potential clients a sneak peek at what they can expect if they come to train or practice with you! This could be as simple as a paragraph about what you’re going to be offering or get creative by posting a short video that acts as a “trailer” for your services. However you deliver this information, this will be helpful for website visitors to learn more about you and decide whether you are offering a service or class that they’ll benefit from.
As we said at the top, a good website is going to be one of the most important tools in your marketing toolkit. A website is your virtual storefront and when presented professionally, you are going to more likely gain visitors who are engaged with your site – and hopefully, with you and your offerings! A good website will also have the ability to grow with you and your business. When you’re starting out, don’t worry about having all of the features right away. Just meet yourself where you are, keep with it, and before long, you will have the foundation of your website in place. And, the best news? You can be confident knowing that you have achieved the most important part of establishing your online presence!
At OfferingTree, we’re proud of our flagship feature—a simple website builder that will have you up and online in 10 minutes! Give it a try for free and explore everything you can do with our system on our website. If you have any questions, we’re only a message away: [email protected]