LIZ RODRIGUEZ

inspiring change

When Should I Invest In a Website?

This article breaks down what to ask yourself and how to be fully prepared to invest in a website for your business.


The title of this article is a question that I asked myself for probably ten years. And my thought process on why I needed a website also continually changed. I began seriously thinking about going out on my own around five years after I had been in management, or right around when I was finishing my MBA. I felt it was the natural "next step" in what to do with my career. A website signified me finally making something that was just mine.


This all sounds great, except that I had to business plan and had no clue where I would start. I wound up taking a one-day course in building a word press site, and wound up creating a blog only site to write my thoughts. Essentially I was catching up with everyone who had been on Tumblr at that point for years. Sometimes I am behind on trends, such as clothing and shoes. That's for another article!


The second time I felt I was ready for a "real" website that wasn't just me writing my thoughts was 2016 when I launched my business. I also thought this was when I was going to also create a virtual training business since we were planning on moving to New York City. I thought, I could continue to build a private training business, while also continuing my consulting work and also train online! Brilliant! I spent $1,000 on a platform to build a website from scratch and learn how to build programs online. That ended after a few months when I realized I hated virtual programming and had no clue how to build a layered website.


I should also mention that when I first launched my business, I filled my books within about two months with clients and work from calling previous clients and colleagues and posting on social media. I just didn't "need" to create a whole website because my business was building as I wanted it to.


We moved to the Big Apple and it just made more sense to go back to commercial fitness while my husband explored working privately, so again, the website thing went on hold. Fast forward to Covid and lockdown, it was the first time I really sat back and decided to put some thought and direction into what I wanted from a website.


Below were the areas I felt were important to answer before I took the plunge.

 

What Was My Business Plan?


As you read from above, I had a lot of business plans. I had plans to become an Executive Coach, to virtual train, to start an older adults online platform with live classes, and even a lifestyle website with my husband on how we live essentially (feel free to steal any of these ideas!). BUT, I needed to create a sustainable business that played to my strengths and that I could see long-term grown. Enter fitness business coaching for fitness professionals. I had a solid plan of how to build a business with clients, what to charge and how to structure contracts and working together. And it also gave me the flexibility with adding services when I was ready. For instance, my next venture is adding small group coaching to the menu in order to offer a service that is both economical for my clients and also helps to build creativity and community.


What Was My Theme?


This was a tough one for me since I had failed twice at actually building a website that didn't look like it was from 1998. So I hired a web designer. And she was AMAZING! She helped me to connect both my personal vision and business plan to design a site that felt like ME. I wanted an outdoor feel, I wanted it to be gender neutral, and wanted it to be heavy on the words because I love writing and educating others. I needed to see a clear theme on my website to help it feel more real. And for many of us, having someone help you with this is priceless.



Who Is My Target Audience?


This was an important question to still break down, because I needed to write the site to be valuable and interesting to my target audience. I thought back to all of those conversations that I had with fellow fitpros during my career. What areas of the business did they struggle with? What was the conversation about when they said wow I would love to work with you one day when you start your business, or, I feel like I need to hire you to help me. This helped me realize I wanted not only articles but also case studies on my site to promote what I had done and how. I also wanted a simple user friendly site business, let's be honest. The majority of people in fitness are NOT good with technology. Refer back to how I said I tried to build two sites and failed.


What Type of Website Did I Want to Build?


I knew that I wanted my website to do a few things. I wanted it to be a place for readers to learn new things and also hear about my experiences. I wanted to showcase who I was as a fitness professional and my education. And I also wanted the website to be capable of booking appointments, and down the road, taking payments. This also helped me when I was researching where to host my site. So I ended with Wix because it had the features that I wanted, and allowed my designer and I the freedom and capability to build the site of my dreams!

 

Making the decision to build a website can be daunting. Ask yourself, what are you looking to gain from it, and how will you get there? I hope this article helped to build a clearer picture on where to start!

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