Saturday, October 16, 2004

Ask Girl Geek: Fix old site or scrap it and start over?

Hi Annette,

My name is D. I've been taking classes at MC for awhile and have a coaching practice. I have a website that isn't any good...pretty maybe but not effective. I think I'd like to have some feedback about changing. I see that you have an offer for free new website consideration. Would this apply here? I might want to go ahead with changes since I'm not happy with this one....I also spent way too much money and would like not to do that again....looking for a streamlined site and maybe new hosting. I think it's wrong...maybe not coachie enough...maybe not clear. I'd really like to know what you think is wrong...or the way...I am not attached to it as "precious." I appreciate direct communication...I hope to hear from you.

I think I would like it if you could give me an estimate of the time it would take to fix it. I need to do this as inexpensively as possible, and if you could give me a ballpark idea it would help me make a decision.

Hi D,

To scrap the whole thing and start anew, I would refer you to my fee structure on To"fix" what you have is hard to estimate, as I threw out alot of ideas and would have to have you select what you wanted done so I could estimate the time needed.

My experience has been that redesigns of an existing site are almost as expensive or sometimes more expensive than a new site. Most people don't seem to want to spend the money to get the site working properly, much less factor in the cost of promoting it properly. They're just discouraged with the lack of resulting sales and throw money at redesign without developing a website promotion strategy, hoping that making the site look or sound better will help.

One thing I've gleaned from building lots of sites for coaches is that coaches seem to expect the website to do all the marketing work for them and that the site alone wilI bring prospective clients. All they have to do is sit by the phone and wait for it to ring. Few coaches know how to do website promotion or understand that marketing individualized services online has more to do with relationship building (which can be done via the website).

A coaching website does NOT sell coaching services, as people in search of coaching services are not impulse buyers. Prospective clients need to get to know you in some fashion, either from your writing (newsletters/articles) or your speaking (free teleclasses, presentations, audiopodiums, streaming audio, etc.) Coaches tend to put a basic, very general brochure-type site online, never do anything to promote it, never write a newsletter and then get discouraged when no one comes to the site or calls them. Often their site and their coaching practice reflects a lack of focus and little knowledge of their niche's needs. The trick to marketing any business is to find a burning problem and offer a great or new way to solve it. Alot of coaches seem to offer a service they know or are comfortable with providing and hope that someone wants it.

I don't think you told me what your performance was on the terms of how you're promoting it and how many visitors you're getting to it. That may be the problem rather than the overall design of the site (although I did note where design problems with the site may be losing people). I would rather look at the whole picture of what your needs are relative to the site than redesign your site and you still not get the results you want or expected.

Thanks for asking!

No comments: