A common question I am asked is “If most of my business is referral-based, do I even need a website?” My answer is a resounding yes and here’s why:
Potential clients WILL Look Up Your Business Online or on Social Media Before Reaching Out
According to recent statistics, between 70-80% of people research a company online BEFORE visiting the small business or making a purchase with them (source). Consider that for a second. This means that even if someone refers a client to you, the chances are pretty high that they will check you out online first.
A high-quality website that reflects what you do and who you do it for is essential to making a positive first impression. Your website should make it very clear to potential coaching clients how they can work for you and what they should do next (call to action).
You wouldn’t want your clients to Google you online only to find an outdated website, a website that doesn’t function properly, or doesn’t reflect your current branding!
SEO is a Valuable Tool for Growing Your Business
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the “process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”
93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 47% of people click on one of the first three listings (SEJ, 2016)
Translated, this is what you do with your website to appear on the first page of Google search. It’s important to note that while SEO is a very valuable strategy, it doesn’t happen overnight. Consistently updating content on your website and using a selection of carefully curated keywords can help you get more eyes on your website.
Your Website Can Help You Automate Aspects of Your Business
There have been so many developments in productivity and systems software to automate your business, and many of these tools can be integrated into your website. For example, if you use scheduling software to book time with your clients, you can embed the scheduler directly into your website, so clients can book there instead of emailing back and forth!
If you use a CRM, you can often embed their scheduler, lead capture forms, and client portals (this is what I do with Dubsado). It makes lead capture, on boarding and client communications SO much easier!
It Legitimizes Your Business
We’ve all done it. Someone gives you the name of a business that can help you with Project X. What’s the first thing you do? You Google it! Even though you have been personally referred to the business, our inquisitive nature leads us to do some research online. Potential referrals want to know that you are established and see what others are saying about your business and what it’s like to work with you.
It Helps You Vet Potential Clients
Your time is limited and therefore very valuable. We have all had the experience (at some point) of taking a call with a potential client only to find that they are not prepared to pay for our services or are otherwise not a great fit. What if you could dramatically reduce these calls?
Your website should clearly communicate what you do and who do you it for, as well as answer frequently asked questions. Giving this information to potential clients on your website allows them to vet themselves and drastically increases the odds that they would be a good fit if they decide to move forward with you.
If you have a primarily referral-based coaching business and are ready to make sure that your website reflects what leads to all of those referrals, I invite you to schedule a call and see how we can ensure that it does!