Create a Great Web Presence!

Create a Great Web Presence for Your Speaking Business!

If you want to be taken seriously, you need to strive to project a professional image with all your marketing materials…

In the 21st Century, you won’t be taken seriously if you do not have a website; but if your website is of poor quality (and God knows I could list you a few bad examples) then you are worse of than not having a site at all…  Well, maybe I’m wrong with this one; I believe no matter how bad your site is, if you have a great offering, you’ll get at least a few local engagements…

I see several mistakes that ineffective speakers do on their websites:

1. They pay an inexpensive designer to build the site and it looks “home made”… and the sad part is, the website owner cannot add content to the site at will – s/he has to pay the web designer to modify the site each time.
! – now…., if you are not on low budget, this is the way to go – except do not chose the inexpensive web designer, as you usually get what you pay for (unless this web designer is oversees and a complete professional – you can find one at www.eLance.com) . 

I built most of my sites with web-based site builders, or with Dreamweaver… and recently with Microsoft Expression Web.  My sites built with the online site builders were the easiest to builld, have a professional look, and one of them comes up on the top of the search engines for several key keywords (www.egSebastian.com , build with www.QuickBizSites.com — see another site that I built with www.HomeStead.com site builder at www.YouthPresentations.com )

2. They make the site more about themselves, describing qualifications, certifications, etc.; instead of focusing on the client’s benefits.  If you can help your audience members improve their time management, start out with a strong headline on “Get Proven and Effective Strategies for Time Management!” Then support that headline with some great bullet points… Each bullet point should address an area that you know the pottential client would really want.

3. Putting large blocks of text with multiple paragraphs on the home page (or any page).  Use instead bold, large headlines, subheadlines, and bullet points to describe your offerings.

4. Not having an opt-in box with an irresistable offer to collect visitors’ contact info.  Many people get to your site by total accident… or maybe you sent them there throgh hard work: twittering, FaceBook, or other online or offline strategies.  HOWEVER, if they go to your site once, even if they mean to visit again, they’ll most likely never come back.  That’s why it is CRUCIAL to collect their contact info, then you are able to send them valuable tips on  your niche topic, as well as shamelessly – or subtly – promote your speaking, coaching, or other services/products.
Use www.aWebber.com or www.ConstantContact.com to create low-cost professional looking eZines or newsletters.  Both of these services will provide you with the code to create the opt-in box on your site.  I use OneShoppingCart , which is a bit more pricey, but it provides a complete set of solutions for me, such as shopping cart, split testing for my promotions, autoresponder, upsell pages, and a ton more great features…

5. Not having your contact information easily accessible.  Make sure you have a tab on your navigation that’s clearly marked “Contact Us,” as well as you should have your contact info on the bottom of each page – I think that’s the law, but I could be wrong . Either way, it’s for your benefit; you do want to be reached by pottential clients.  Just be careful not to put your email address anywhere on your sites, but rather use this format: eg[at]egSebastian[dot]com (so the nasty email collection spamming robots can’t collect it from your site.  Or use  a “Contact Us” form that prospects fill out online and your web system will email it to your personal email inbox.  Just again, make sure you require your visitor to fill in a security code at the bottom of the form to verify that they are a human being, not a robot; or else you’ll get dozens of viagra and penis enlargment promotions day in and day out submitted by spamming robots…

6. Not having a video of your speaking on your site – one that’s easily accessible.  It should be either on the home page, right at the top where everyone can see it right away… or have a clear link close to the top of your main page, stating Click Here to View a Demo Video of Me (replace “me” with your name”).  If you do not have yet a video, make sure to have at least a good picture of you and if possible several pictures with you in action (speaking to different audiences)

7. Too large pictures or slow loading videos.  Any of these will result in people leaving your site.  There are tons of speakers out there – don’t do anything to make your visitor click away from your site.

Here’s another article on low- or now-cost website building that I wrote a few months ago: http://paidspeaker101.com/articles/how-to-develop-a-web-presence-free-or-at-low-cost/

Ok, I took a bit of a reverse approach on how to create a professional web presence, but I hope the above points will be helpful to you.  What do you think?  Leave some comments below… or if the comments box is missing,  click on the Comments link under the post title.

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