“Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication.”
– Leanardo Da Vinci
We may not always take life and career advice from Leanardo Da Vinci, but that little tidbit was profound …
… especially when talking about your website. Your site’s the supporting leg holding your training practice up, for a lot of obvious reasons. But despite the best efforts of my buddies like Chris McCombs, it seems to me most trainers are still clueless when it comes to creating their sites. They’re throwing all of their time and money into them, and still getting horrible results. Just get this part handled, and your float of 10-15 high-paying clients established, and you can basically “retire” from training, so to speak.
Because of the demand, I’m going to try to bring back the Super-Trainer Services to help you out with this if you need it. But right right now, here’s as definitive a guide as possible to get a performing website up and running quick-fast …
The first thing to remember is to keep it simple. You CAN NOT take your cues from Madison Avenue (the big-money marketing companies) or from entertainment promotion sites. You don’t need to pretend to be a billion dollar, big-shot training business to get clients ..
There’s a more proven field of advertising to take your cues from, and that’s direct-mail marketing. The direct marketing people have ACTUALLY TESTED what type of formats and messages work best. They’ve done the work for you!!! Just follow directions and you’ll get results.
And the message is simplicity wins!
The info I’m going to share with you now comes from the world of direct marketing. That means it’s validity has been tested in split testing, response rates, and against multiple variables. If until now the only advertising you’ve studied has been in magazines, billboards, and television, you’ll probably fight me tooth and nail on a lot of what I’ve written here …
… but let your mind chew on it and look into it yourself. It’ll get you on your way to saving tons of time and money and boosting the effectiveness of everything you do by as much as 10 times, if not more!
Here are the most common mistakes:
1. Too much flash
Remember, a prospect looking at your site either because of a web search or a piece of off-line advertising you put out, is in seeking mode. They don’t want to wait for your page to load, or have their time wasted by flashy graphics and music. These flashy sites have been proven to perform worse than, clear, simple sites. Even if you are extremely good looking and have unbelievably ripped abs and have photo-shoot pictures of yourself everywhere, you’ll still lose to someone that obeys the rules of providing solid information that benefits the client.
As kind of a side note to point 1, you don’t want to be too flashy, but your site can’t be ugly either. Everything on there has to lead to a sale in some way. I had this same conversation with a coaching client yesterday. He had videos on his site, which is the right thing to do, but some were ugly. I told him to leave them out.
As a trainer, you only need a few clients to get fully established and highly profitable. Once you’re there, you can start planning world domination, but get there first! To get to that level, you do not need to spend a fortune. Your entire site should cost you only a few hundred bucks – that’s design and all tech work included! If people are talking into the thousands for design or set-up work, take it as an opportunity to get in some cardio and start running away!
4. Too much time
Your site also should not take you too much time to get started. The main time will come in writing and fine-tuning the text, especially if you don’t like to write. But first, just get the damn thing up!
Don’t wait until it’s perfect to put your site up; you can’t improve something that doesn’t even exist yet. Just get something up that you’re more or less happy with, and tweak it every day based on the new things you learn and other sites you see that you like.
6. Too much “me”
Another mistake we get from Madison Avenue is to talk only about us – we have too many pictures of us, videos of us talking, and info about our “company”. You need to focus on the benefits to your client. Think about what your target group is looking for, and let them know you have the answer.
7. Not enough info
Don’t be afraid to give away pages and pages of valuable information on your website. You may ask yourself, “who’s going to read all that?” Well someone that’s about to shell out close to 100 bucks an hour and spend an extended amount of time with a complete stranger (especially if you’re coming to their home!!!) will want as much information as possible. I’ve been shocked and amazed by how many new clients coming to me have been able to quote some obscure piece of information hidden on a deep page in my site – but it showed me the time I took to write it was worth it.
If people can’t quickly see how to contact you they’ll give up after only a few seconds. Have your phone number visible very prominently at the top of every page of your site. Also include your email address and location.
Speaking of location, try to mention your primary area as much as possible on your site. This alone, without any complicated SEO, has gotten my site as the top google listing in a town of 2.5 million people, keeps me there, and has my phone ringing nearly every day.
9. Make an offer (don’t quote prices)
This was a topic that was debated on the forum recently. I try to get my info from what’s been proven to work, not my hunches or even my common sense. And it’s been proven that stating the full-price up front will kill your response rates. You preferably want to wait til you can tell this person face-to-face, at at time and place when you are relaxed, comfortable, and in control, and after they have had a chance to train with you and bond with you. At this point, you can charge almost anything you want.
Instead of giving out your full prices, give them an exciting reason to contact you – an “irresistible offer”. Then take it from there.
10. A Crutch
Like we already talked about, your site is hugely important. However, some trainers think their site will do everything for them. It does a lot, but it’s only a part of the puzzle. You also have to make contacts, work on your face to face selling, and look for referrals.
I have to say, I was a VERY late adopter of the web and it hampered me most of my training career. But once I got this handled is when my career went on autopilot. I could charge higher rates than anyone and just wait for who wanted to pay them to come to me. Keep tweaking your overall approach each and every day until you get to the same place.
You may have noticed I didn’t mention TESTIMONIALS anywhere here. That’s because they’re so important, I’m planning on writing a full post about them soon. The right testimonials can be used to avoid every problem listed above.
But the principles still hold – just keep it simple and be yourself; I don’t think that’ll ever stop working!
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