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This will likely be a quick episode but hopefully useful for those of you if you run a biz and think you need a website.
All websites are not created equal, and all websites do not serve the same purpose. Today, I hope to get you some clarity on what type of website or website platform might be the best fit for you.
Websites can act like employees. They have the ability to make money for you, while you’re doing other things, even sleeping. That was one of the first things that attracted me to having an online business. It was when someone said – make money while you sleep. Now, it took YEARS before that concept came to life for me. But fact is, having the right website or sales page can make this happen.
We won’t get too much into the weeds here because what really makes you money is what’s ON the website or sales page. Your sales copy, the images, the communication piece, the client experience. That is what truly allows a website to make you money while you sleep. And we are discussing none of that today. But we do cover this in depth in Fitspro Foundations under our sales page section.
It also communicates your brand feel, or vibe if you will.
Your website or sales page dictates the beginning of your client experience. Whether that’s a one time purchase or an application to work with you.
You might notice that I keep saying “website or sales page.” That’s because you may not need a full blown website.
Please don’t make the mistake of going to my website and thinking you need a blog, an Amazon page, a product page for single purchase items, brand deals, and multiple offers. That will simply overwhelm you, and you’ll likely end up focusing on the WRONG things if you’re just starting out.
I have another episode on building your offer pyramid – highly suggest checking that out. In short, many people start with free, but have yet to nail down their higher ticket offers. And yes, I absolutely suggest starting with 1:1 or higher end, higher touch programs before building out memberships, or lower ticket and free products or programs. Check out that episode to learn more about that whole situation and my take on it.
Point being – you might only need a single lead page or landing page for your program. Maybe you don’t need a blog. These are things to be considered when taking on the daunting task of building your website or sales pages. It’s so so so important to do what fits for YOU and YOUR BUSINESS. Not what I do, or any other coach is doing. We need to choose a web host that does what you need it to do.
So, you have options. In FitsPRO Foundations we have a PDF with online resources for websites, payment platforms, email hosts, all sorts of things so you can determine what you ACTUALLY need to start and run YOUR biz. Because again, it’s not about what Jennifer, or Tina, or Chanel is doing. It’s about what YOU NEED.
How many programs or products do I sell?
Am I going to be the one in charge of editing and managing the website?
Do I need a blog?
Will I need a place to host a podcast or other media?
Do I sell goods? E-commerce? Some sites aren’t set up for this.
Do I need a membership site?
Am I hosting a course?
Some of these questions will make choosing your platform easier. And it doesn’t have to be ONE. I have three different platforms that I use. I’ll explain that as we go. Knowing what YOU NEED and having it written down can be helpful when going to these web platforms and reviewing your possible options.
If you’re hosting a course or several courses, you may not need a full blown website like Squarespace.
Your three kings in the course world are:
These allow you to build the course, modules, upload content, manage users, build the landing pages. Essentially this is your website, payment, and course hosting all in one place. My personal issue here is the design. From a branding standpoint I don’t love these. I want to drive home that this is a personal opinion. For the first round or two of Fitspro Foundations and Instagram 101, I used Thinkific for the sales pages. Then I built out pages on my Showit website so that all of my course sales pages could be in one place. Then the Showit sales page forwards to Thinkific when someone wants to actually purchase Fitspro or IG 101 and enroll. I hope that makes sense.
Thinkific, Kajabi and Teachable all have free trials and different payment tiers. I pay just over $100 per month for the version of Thinkific that I have. The great thing about these all in one options for course-like products is that everything really can be all in one place. With higher payment tiers you can even link email drip campaigns from Mailchimp. So, it’s super easy to integrate if that’s something you’re looking for. And of course, willing to pay for.
If you don’t have a course-like structure, then these are of little use to you.
Say you answer those questions I asked and you’ve got multiple products or programs that you want to sell. Then I’d suggest a “full blown” website. A place where someone can come and view your product suite and programs you offer. Something that is live all of the time. You’ve got a home page, maybe an about me, your philosophy, multiple sales pages for your various offers, and ways for people to purchase your services or apply to work with you.
My vote is and has been 100% for Squarespace.
Squarespace is the most user friendly website platform on the market. I have hosted my website on three different platforms throughout the years and I’ve tried many more. As someone who is NOT tech savvy, Squarespace is amazing. The designs are professional and clean. They’re very intuitive, and the customer service is life changing. That might have been one of my favorite parts of Squarespace and something I miss to this day. Their live chat saved me so many times. So if you’re running the show, know you need a multi-page website, and like clean, easy to implement templates, Squarespace is the tits.
I will also note that you can host a blog on Squarespace with your site, and their analytics are built in. So for example I use Google Analytics across my websites and sales pages. But on Squarespace there is an analytics tab that you can view any time. It truly is a great platform for hosting your own site. I only use Showit because I wanted to control everything myself, to a T. And I enjoy that freedom. Plus it pairs with WordPress for blogging. Which I can also also customize.
I’ll touch on WordPress while we’re here, but only suggest WordPress for those who are ONLY blogging. They have the most extensive plug-ins and blog friendly data and analytics out of any platform I’ve heard of. BUT from my experience, WordPress is NOT user friendly and it was very frustrating back when I hosted my entire site on it. Again, that’s just my experience. It’s best for solely blogging. I’ll leave it at that.
Showit is what I use but it’s advanced. Showit is basically your website and web design, but the blog is WordPress. Yet I design the blog via my Showit site canvas, just like I would with any webpage. You can have unlimited pages to my knowledge, and can customize mobile vs desktop views. You can pull from any canvas or template when creating a new page, or even section of a page. So, as you can see, that can be a lot to handle if you don’t enjoy the design process of working on your own website. BUT, it also allows you to have everything EXACTLY how you want it. And thus, Showit is the platform I use.
I also want to point out that you can purchase sales page templates from people. Travel by Trade has them, as well as Tatum from Brandt Creative. These are plug and chug templates. So if you’re not into the design aspect, definitely look deeper into those.
Lastly, if you answer the questions and find that you DO NOT need or desire a full blown website, you can opt for individual lead pages. Leadpages.net
You can also choose from templates and packages here, depending on what you need. This would look like having one page for a single product or course or program.
So, I don’t know what you need. But my hope is that you gain some level of clarity today. Building a website can be daunting. I am mainly speaking to those of you who are tackling this alone. If you’re paying someone to build you a site, then they will handle most of this for you. Or, if you’re going at it alone, I feel you, and hope you take this info into consideration as you begin choosing platforms and constructing your site.
Review of the week comes from Jess_J and says,
“I love this podcast! As someone who’s always wanted to be a full-time coach in the space of strength and conditioning, the no-nonsense info on this is exactly what I need to hear 100% of the time. Thank you Annie, and keep ’em coming!”
Remember you need to check the show notes (here) to see if you were review-er of the week, and then keep an eye out to see if you were listener of the month as well. That will be in the show notes and Annie’s Weekly Wrap. You can subscribe to Annie’s Weekly Wrap here!
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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