#30: Your Website: What You Need & What You Don’t

Have you fallen down into the rabbit hole of building your website? If you’ve wasted hours of your life and still have a site you don’t love… today’s episode is for you! Michelle discusses:

– What elements to prioritize on your website (you may be surprised by these!)
– How to make the whole website process less painful
– Her favorite social media scheduling tool
– The book that got her started with healthy eating & living
…and much more!

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This episode is sponsored by:
Master Class: Turn Your Health Coaching Business Into a Full Time Salary

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Well hello there health coaches! How are you guys doing today? I want to welcome you to the health coach power community Q and A. My name is Michelle Pfennighaus. Thanks so much for joining me today. So here’s what I want to know. Have you ever kind of fallen down into that great big rabbit hole of building your website? You know it’s like hours of your life wasted. And you still don’t have a site that you love. If so today’s episode is going to be for you. We’re going to discuss what you need and what you don’t need when it comes to your website. Because I’m thinking that you probably have more important things to be doing than fussing with your site for hours and hours and hours on end. Yes. I think so. So go ahead and tell me in the comment area, what is one thing that drives you crazy about your website? Or, if you don’t have a website yet, why not? What’s holding you back?

Again have you here with me live as we stream to healthcoachpowercommunity.com. Go ahead and put those answers to those questions into the comment area now. And I just want to let you know that this episode is brought to you by my free training for health coaches called How to turn your health coaching business into a full time salary and you can sign up for free at HealthCoachPower.com/earn. I’m going to show you how to actually map out your calendar and plan your priorities so that you’re bringing in the income that you want to make. It’s free and that’s available at HealthCoachPower.com/earn.

Alrighty, by the way before we get going I want to let you know that I’m at my new standing desk today. So I’m standing and sitting in a chair and the desk is way up high like this and it’s so exciting and I feel so much less stiff at the end of the day than sitting in a chair. So that’s a total aside. But I’m just very excited about my new standing desk. So you’re one of the first to witness me using it. But not we’re here to talk about me, we are here to talk about your website.

And this topic was inspired by Katie who told us on our Facebook group she said what I hate about my website is it’s not there she said I don’t have the time that it takes to build one. So I’m going to wait until my client base builds up and then maybe I can hire someone to do it. So in the meantime Katie is using a Facebook page and so I thought gosh that is so classic because a lot of health coaches are working another job full-time, part-time, you know we have kids…

We are in the midst of so many different responsibilities we’re launching her business we’re learning how to work with our clients. Maybe we’re even still in school and now we have to create a website and it’s like Oh gee, way too much going on. So I want to let you all know that, first of all, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you may think. And we’re going to get into more about what you need on a website and what more importantly what you don’t need on a website. But also we have an event coming up later this week on Thursday August 30th right here inside of our Facebook group. You can find the link I’m going to drop it in the comments right now. We’re going to be having a webinar teaching you how to create a website in as little as an hour using Squarespace and although, truth be told my website runs on WordPress and I love WordPress for a lot of reasons. It’s not the most user friendly. And if you want to get up running quickly. I wouldn’t really recommend it. If you want to get up running inexpensively I wouldn’t really recommend it. WordPress is great. But of all the other options out there I have heard the most good reviews about Squarespace for health coaches.

So for other types of businesses maybe it wouldn’t be the best but I just hear so many health coaches say Squarespace has exactly what I need. Anyway I’m not getting any kickback from Squarespace here by the way, but I happen to know it’s not very expensive for you to be using. Way easier to use than some other platforms. And this Thursday we’re going to be showing you had actually create a website in about an hour.

How great is that. So even Katie if you don’t have any time to sit down and create your own website maybe you will see how to actually go through the whole process in such a short period of time anyway. So that’s coming up. But as for today I just want to talk about what you need and what you don’t need. You can sort of wrap your head around this project of what your website even has to include and maybe make it a bit less overwhelming. So, I’ve looked at so many health coaching websites through the years I looked at them in the beginning because I was trying to get a sense of what I should do with my own. Of course. Right. And then through the years I’ve looked at the website of any health coach that I’ve met. One of the first things we do is go to each other’s website.

If I see that your email address is like Betsey@feelgoodandhealthy.com (I just made that up), I’m going to go to feelgoodandhealthy.com because I want to see what you’re up to. So I’ve looked at so many of these sites through the years and I want to let you know that the most annoying thing when you’re trying to either connect with someone maybe you’re going to invite someone to collaborate whatever or whatever the reason is that you’re looking at their website, the number one most annoying thing that is not on so many health coaches’ websites: your full name. I kid you not go look at your website right now. Does it say your first and last name anywhere in a fairly obvious location? Because there have been times when I’m trying to match somebody up like with their website like oh is this who I’m looking for.

Is this the right person. And I can’t figure it out because the last name is not there so I don’t know if that’s a total oversight or if people are doing it to retain some sort of Anonymous… you know I don’t know. I don’t know what is going on there but it is really annoying. So if you’re a professional with a business online you need to have your full name on your website. That’s one thing that you need. Okay the next thing that you need in this kind of goes hand in hand with that is a photo of yourself. How many times have I seen a health coach’s website with no photo. You guys we’re selling basically ourselves. Right, so if you hire me to be your coach you’re hiring me because you like what I have to say you like what I’m all about.

You like my story like the way that I teach you like. You like me. You wouldn’t hire a coach that you didn’t like. You need to know the person that you’re hiring. In a personal way. Though it doesn’t have to be big huge on the home page. But if it’s not on the home page and I click on your about page I need to see a photo of you. OK. So we want to connect with people. And part of that is seeing each others face. makes sense right?Here’s the other thing that you need on your website you need an about… two things you need to an about page and you need a how to work with me page. Honestly that’s really it. An about page which does not have to be super extensive and how to work with me page because ultimately that’s what you want someone to do, right? Hire you.

So let them know how to go about doing that. Do they have to e-mail you for information do they have to fill out this form and book a consultation. Do they have to fill out an application to work with you whatever it is that should be on your how to work with me page. And then the last thing I would say content wise. Like if there were a third page of your website. How to contact you again seems really obvious but so many coaches do not put a email address on your website. Maybe there’s just a form maybe there’s neither. And that’s that’s not so good. I really suggest that you put your e-mail address your personal… you know, your business personal address as opposed to like info@findyourbalancehealth.com I always share Michelle@Findyourbalancehealth.com because again I want people to get to know me and talk to me and reach out to me.

A form, While it can be useful and I also have a form. It’s less personal. So make sure that you are doing one or the other or both. You do not have to put your phone number unless you want to be do need a way for people to contact you. Okay so that’s all the pages that you need on your website. The other thing that you will want somewhere on every page of your site. Is a way for your target market to opt into your mailing list. So this is where you are either saying join my newsletter list which is pretty generic and isn’t going to be particularly effective. Or maybe you’re giving away some sort of free gift in exchange for an email address or there will be a little form area and ideally there is a way to access that from every page of your website.

Keeping in mind that some people will not. Come to your site via the home page. Or maybe they will, but they’ll navigate somewhere else and you don’t want them to not have that opportunity to join your mailing list. It really should be one of your top priorities if not the top priority of your website to get somebody onto your mailing list so that, that Opt-in – every page of your website. And then finally this has nothing to do with the content but you want your website to be mobile friendly. If I were to pull up my Google Analytics right now on my site it would show how many of my visitors are viewing my website on a mobile device or on an actual computer. And it is way more people on a mobile device. So you know what it’s like when you go to somebody’s website and it totally breaks on the phone you’re trying to look at it and the links aren’t working and everything’s all cockeyed. You don’t want that. You need to be mobile friendly. And as far as I’m concerned that is all that you need. All right we’re going to get to what you don’t need in just a second but let me see what kind of questions and comments we have coming in here.

Let’s see. Aisha says I have a website it gets a bunch of hits and clicks but it doesn’t seem to be generating any business. By this I mean no one even scheduled a free consultation is it my website itself?

Well it could be lots of things really but I would look at is your website speaking to your target audience or is it just like you know if my website was like Hi Michele I’m a health coach. You know it just doesn’t speak to anyone. So then they’re probably not going to take that next step with me but I was like hi Michelle and I helped type two diabetics control their blood sugar or reverse reverse their condition or something like that then anybody who has Type 2 diabetes is going to sign up for my mailing list.

Maybe you’re not being specific enough also rarely are people just going to arrive at your site and like. Book a consultation or buy something for you just like that. It’s much. More likely that if you can get them to sign up for your mailing list then you can sell to your mailing list. That’s. Typically how it’s done because when upon first meeting it’s like meeting someone and asking them to marry you upon first landing on your website most people are not going to take that next step. It’s that personal communication inbox that seems to work the best. Really moving people into paying client. Nicole says where do you start. Do you use a host company. Yeah it really depends. Nicole depends what kind of site you’re building. Like I have a wordpress site that I do host myself. It’s a little bit more complicated than I want it to be.

I hire someone to figure all that stuff out for me. And, yeah I have to pay for the hosting and you have to pay for your domain name. Now what we’re going to be talking about on Thursday Nicole if you can join us for the event and I put the link in the comments already. We’re talking about Squarespace. Squarespace not only. It will hook you up with a URL through Squarespace so you don’t have to go to another company and buy it I believe. Don’t quote me on this. They do something where they make it easier for you to get that you URL in the first place and then they host your website and you pay them a monthly fee. It’s not that much to host the website for you, so you don’t have to worry about having your own hosting company that you’re paying.

Believe me I’ve had times that like my hosting company just like, fell apart one day. You know there’s servers crash and the like what happened on my website. So you know having your own HOSTING means you’re a little bit more responsible for making sure that your site is running. So anyway for using a more all in one solution like Squarespace that takes some of that burden off of you as a business owner. Margaret says help me my website is still not done. MARGARET I hope that it helps that we went through the things that you really need. And now let’s go through the things that you don’t need because I will cut down the amount of time that you’re spending you know writing copy finding images whatever if you know that you really only need a website that’s a. Couple of pages. So here’s what you don’t need on your website and I see this all the time.

You do not need any generic copy or anything that you have copied and pasted or anything that came pre written in your website. I think a lot of you know what I’m talking about because some of the schools out there for health coaches will provide you with copy to go into your website and it all says the same thing. When was the last time you spent an hour talking to someone about your health. It all says the same. Thing and it says nothing about you. It conveys nothing about your personality and it is just downright boring. So if you have that kind of copy on your website I encourage you to delete it immediately and I really don’t care what you replace it with you can replace it with a haiku. Anything will be more personal and more likely for me to connect with you than something that is clearly written for the masses.

It’s almost like. When you see a stock photo that you just know is a stock photo you know like nobody’s plate looks that nice and perfect and the like. It just looks fake where you see a picture of people laughing but they don’t look like real people. The lighting is just a little too good. It does look like a little too perfect to be real. That’s how that fake copy comes off. It doesn’t come across as real and I don’t think you’re a real practitioner. So lose that first and foremost. The other thing that I don’t think you need although you may have depending on your business is you do not need a list of services spelled out bulleted in detail with buy buttons you do not need to detail out your services on your website. You might want to but it can be a little overwhelming.

It is often advantageous to talk to somebody first. Before offering your services to them before showing them how your coaching is going to help solve their problems before showing them a price. So people there’s definitely different schools of thought around this. You can certainly. Put something about your services on your website but you do not have to Bulut out like and then you’ll get. 16 handouts and for journal pages and. It’s boring nobody cares. They just wanna know can you help me solve my problem so don’t worry about writing all that stuff up. What else do you not need. Oh yes you do not need a blog. You may want to blog and that may sound funny coming for me. I have been blogging for about oh my goodness maybe going on 11 years now. But you don’t need a blog if you don’t really like to write.

If you’re not committed to blogging on a regular basis for God’s sake don’t have a blog. And the worst thing you can do is have one of those fake blogs. This goes back to that fake copy we were just talking about. It’s those blogs that are like populated by some other generic blog feed that is not yours. You do not want stuff written on a blog on your website that you didn’t write serves no purpose whatsoever except to make you look. Kind of fake. And yes people can tell they can tell that you did not write something. Okay so just trust me on this and get rid of the fake blog and don’t feel like you have to have a blog at all if you’re not really into it. If you are into it. Hey. I loved blogging so we can talk about that another time.

You also do not need a recipe collection. I know you’re a health coach. We all like to cook. However there’s a lot of work to get recipes up on your site. And again you want them to be your recipes not some like collection of recipes that you’re using from elsewhere because they’re just reads as fake fake fake. In short you do not need to have a recipe collection on your website. You want to share recipes with their clients you can direct them to your Pinterest page you can use that clean life to send recipes. So many options but we’re going to talk about that actually in a second. But you don’t need a recipe collection. And. Last thing you do not need a video of yourself and I’m saying that because so many videos I see on people’s websites are less than high quality. No offense no offense but unless you have a seriously professional looking video with proper lighting and proper audio.

Anything less than that is going to come across as quite unprofessional on your homepage. Now if you have like a blog post and you have a video of yourself to like more like this like a little more casual. That’s totally fine but I mean that like big video on the home page that you see on some high and websites out there. Just skip it unless you can do it really nicely. All right let’s see what else people are saying about their website. Jennifer says do you recommend multiple options are the same opt in on each page. So typically Jennifer you’d have one main opt in that would appear throughout your entire website and every page that would be like your main freebie for your target market. But then you may have other options or other freebies available. Like for example within a particular blog post or on a particular page as it relates to that topic but usually you would have that one freebie that represents your entire brand going out to everyone.

And if it’s not a freebie it can still be a place that people are going to join your community. But you want to use the same. Words the same description of you know you wouldn’t say like join my newsletter over here and then on the other page say you can join my community because it sounds like two different things. So one opt in area that’s repeated on the same the same place on the page is also really nice if it’s on the same spot on every single page of your website. But definitely on every page.

Kelsey says how much should I agonize. None. Kelsey don’t agonize over anything. How much should I agonize over the wording on my website? Do I take a lot of time trying to tailor it to my target audience or can it be pretty general?

Oh OK. So please don’t agonize. But yes you watch the copy on your website to speak to your target market as much as humanly possible. So I know sometimes we create a website and I have totally done this. And. We use. Certain headline. Some cabi on the page and then a year later or six months later we decide that’s not really what business is all about but we don’t know how to go back in and change what the website says because our website is hard coded or it’s too complicated to make changes. That’s a position that I had absolutely been in and we end up with this more general site. When what you really want to do is be talking directly to your target market. So do the best that you can. And be very careful that you know how to make updates on your website as needed.

Which is. One more reason that I hope you’ll join us on Thursday to learn more about Squarespace because the idea is you shouldn’t have to call it a web designer and pay them a couple hundred bucks just to change like one sentence on your website. That stinks right. So just talk to your target market Kelsey No do not agonize. Already. So if we have any other questions about websites you can continue putting those in the comments. Great stuff so far you guys.

We’re going to move on to another question that came in over the past week. Also kind of related to this like back and tech stuff that we have to do as health coaches and Sherri asked. What app do people used to put up posts at certain times on social media.

So as you know there’s a lot of different programs out there for this. I’ve used Hootsuite in the past. Some people are using later, umm, what’s that other one? Oh there’s another one I was using for a while. I’ve tried so many of them but I want to tell you about one that you may not be familiar with. It’s called Meet Edgar.

That link into the comments. Right now it’s meetedgar.com and the really cool thing about this service for scheduling your post is it allows you to recycle your posts. Think about this. You spend like maybe five minutes typing out a post. You know maybe you’re sharing an article or a photo or a recipe and then you post it and then. It’s gone. You had to do that again and again and again and again. So the cool thing with Edgar is it keeps all of your posts in a library. And automatically cycles through them. That way. Once you write something it will get used again and again and again. And now if you only have like five posts in your library that stinks because it’s going to recycle them too quickly and your audience is going to see the same posts again and again. Let’s say that you have you know 50 posts in your library and you can put them in different categories and you can create a whole schedule around this.

It’s really well thought out program and I love it. It’s a little bit pricey. Some of the others are free. Some of them are very inexpensive. I think it’s about 50 bucks a month for this one, but I got to tell you once I started using this I don’t even look at my Facebook page anymore. Every time I have a new blog article or maybe I come across a great article and like the New York Times or whatever that I want to share I put it into Edgar one time. And then it automatically gets cycled through. It’s phenomenal and it just keeps you active like it keeps your page active without you having to pay much attention to it at all. You can also use it for Twitter. So I’ve been using it for both for about six months now and I have to say. Some of the best money that I spend in my business so I just wanted to share that with you since, Sherri because you are asking about what everyone’s using to schedule their posts.

Alrighty, next question comes from Kerry. And Kerry asked a fun question she said. Does anyone have a few good books to inspire motivation to eat. Well I don’t want to book teaching any particular diet but rather about the change process for a client.

So Kerry I know you got some nice answers to this inside the Facebook group but it really got me thinking like what books have really inspired me along the way. And I went digging through my bookshelves and could not find Sugar Blues by William Dufty. That was one of the books that made me like wake up and realize I had to deal with the sugar in my diet that was so instrumental in my own healing.

Also John Robbins book. What does that one called Food Revolution or something like that. That was very instrumental for me but here is a book that I did find I wanted to show it all to you. It was kind of a funny book. It’s called The Hip Chick’s guide to Macrobiotics. And it looks silly. You know when I first picked this up it was the first book ever put up when I was interested in healthy eating and you know what that really meant and I just went to the library and this book didn’t look intimidating. And that’s why I picked it up and to this day I mean I would read this book again today. It is funny. It is interesting. It touches on so many aspects of health. And it’s a it’s about macrobiotics but it’s about so much more than that. It was such a great intro to the fact that.

Health and healthy living and healthy food didn’t have to be so serious. Really it was it was made. I remember reading this on the subway I’d be like on the way home from work like this reading about tofu egg salad or whatever. She talks about so much great stuff in here and so I recommend this book for anyone whether you’re interested in macrobiotic or completely not understood acrobatics. It just has a great attitude around this idea of healthy eating and healthy living and that’s what I love best about it. So again it’s The Hip Chicks Guide to Macrobiotics by Jessica Porter.

Alrighty. I’ve got five more minutes so I’m happy to take any other question that you guys have if you are watching live.

And I do have another question here from Diane and Diane said Is anyone participating in the IIN Ambassador program? Could you share your experience?

Yes, Diane I would be happy to share my experience. So for anyone who doesn’t know what that is, IIN is the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and their ambassador program is basically an affiliate program. They also have an affiliate program which is a little bit different but the ambassador program means that you represent the school and if you refer someone to the school you’re listed as they refer and. You get a certain amount of money as a payout or a commission or whatever you want to call it. So the amount that you would earn depends on what tier you’re in and they keep changing it.

So I’m not going to say any specifics because I know they keep changing how it works and they’ve certainly changed it since I first joined the program a long long long long long time ago. But it has been. Really great for me and I’m I’m going to tell you how it has worked for me because when people try to promote I and I think it can cut off or whatever school you went to by the way they also may have some sort of referral program and it can come off as pretty cheesy if you’re like Hey let me talk to you about the school that I went to. Aren’t you interested in becoming a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. People are kind of like no, or maybe but you’re being kind of cheesy and don’t want to talk to you about it. So my experience that this really came out of it came out of nowhere.

I really was not trying. And Priscila right now is saying I am I just joined it. So we have at least one other IIN ambassador on the line right now. Terrific. I signed up because it seemed reasonable to sign up. I didn’t really think I was going to do anything with it. And I started my health coaching business. And I didn’t. Try to promote. IIN at all but I started to get so many questions about the school. Just because I mentioned that’s where I went and I was out there and doing the work and people were admiring what I was up to. And they would ask me where did you go to school or how did you get into nutrition or how can I do this work? And they would start to ask me questions. So what I would do is I would schedule a phone call with them.

Sure yeah yet tell you all about it. And we get on a call. In fact I’m positive some members of our power community were. People that I got on the phone with years and years ago. I know I can think of a couple off the top of my head and I just talked to you guys and I just told you about my experience. And I told you the good and I told you the bad. And it didn’t sugar coat anything. And that’s people really appreciate that balanced view. So then when somebody signed up of course I earned a commission through the years I have made. Hundreds of thousands of dollars. Referring people to I am and it’s never been something how to put that much effort towards it always has been a by-product of being out there and doing good work and people being attracted to that and asking questions.

So you will notice that on my website now I have a whole section that says become a health coach and, again I set this up once. It’s not like I work on it every day or even every week. I really set it up once a couple of years ago and haven’t looked at it since. But I have an automated system set up now so people want to know more about my training. I have some and for me I have some videos audio recordings that they can listen to. I don’t have time anymore to get on the phone one on one with everybody and answer the same questions over and over. So I just created this little program that people can get into they supply an email address and then if they sign up again I get the commission. So it’s fabulous. All affiliate programs can be fabulous ways of supplementing your income and this one in particular has been really easy for me because people just seem to come to me and ask about it in the first place.

And also because I can say with an open heart and all my being behind you know the sentiment that yes, I recommend IIN. I had a wonderful experience. I wouldn’t be anywhere that I am today without IIN and, yeah that’s the kind of stuff you want to promote the stuff that you really would be promoting anyway. So good luck to all of you who are who are pursuing passive streams of income such as participating in the IIN Ambassador program.

Alrighty guys it’s 3:30. So that’s all we have time for today. So glad you’re able to join and we’ll be back next week with a new topic. Just keep asking great questions and I will keep answering them. Have a good one. Bye bye.