Is your wellness or coaching website underperforming or not meeting your expectations?
Or even worse.. does it make you cringe and want hide it from potential clients or patients? You would not be alone.. the term for this is “website shame.” Yep, it’s a thing!
I’m not here to shame you, though. Just the opposite. Shame isn’t useful, and energetically, it’s at the bottom of the “low vibe” spectrum. As I mentioned in my previous blog, our websites are reflections of ourselves. They are works in progress.
You may already be familiar with many mindset blocks, especially if you are a coach specializing in this area. Let’s explore how they may be impacting your website.
7 Reasons why your website may be set up for failure (and how to set it up for success!)
The root cause is fear. The fear of failure OR of success (yes!) can cause many of us to procrastinate. I talked briefly about this in part one of this blog series.
Again, I’m not talking about the external stuff here. Even if you made a choice today about how to build your website (eliminating a good portion of analysis paralysis) you may or may not take action, because of internal fear that has nothing to do with “scary website stuff.”
I’m talking about classic mindset blocks around fear of failure OR success (which can be equally as scary) and deep-seated feelings about our own self-worth.
We think we are stepping on the gas, but don’t realize that we are also applying the brakes.
When this happens, we tend to become more anxious about tasks that aren’t getting done, and worry about what might be wrong with us. This turns into a big downward spiral, causing us to feel like we’ve “failed.” As in permanently. End of story.
This story isn’t really true.
Addressing our fears can be an important first step if you have been putting off getting your site done.
I find this to be especially true for ABOUT and RATE pages, which can be a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself, what you are worth, and how you want to present yourself to the world.
I can tell you.. that I’ve also looked back on previous iterations of this website and cringed. It’s normal!
You may find other mindset blocks showing up as you really get into the process of building your website.. which is a big reflection of who you are. Release those, and things will start to flow.
This is another form of fear that is closely related to procrastination. Someone who may be sabotaging themselves with perfectionism may think that the site needs to be “perfect” before it is ever launched.
This doesn’t mean that it’s ok to put a site out there that doesn’t meet some sort of standard, or that you can skip the planning stage of building a website. (Most DIYer’s dive in without any plan at all… which is a big mistake)
But nitpicking and obsessing endlessly about the placement of a quote, rewriting a blurb 15 times, or fussing over a single element to the point where the project is being delayed and hours are being spent “rearranging and tweaking,” isn’t productive. (it will also cost you more money in terms of extra fees and lost revenue from a delayed launch)
It’s better to get version 1.0 “out there.” Websites, as I mentioned previously, are “living entities.” You can always go into the back end and tweak things.
If you are outsourcing, it’s also important to trust the person you are hiring. I get this too. It’s hard for me to let go of every aspect and detail of my business, but micromanaging isn’t ultimately productive.
Brain space can be used for things that count when we let go of controlling anything and everything.. and just trust that collaboration can produce some pretty cool results too!
3. Comparing ourselves to our colleagues and competitors
This also includes “doing what everyone else is doing.”
I know this. I remember discovering the site of a very successful acupuncturist. I was envious of her website, her schedule, her office, and her success.
I got some great inspiration from her, but if I tried to copy what she did it would be ridiculous. Her specialty was fertility, and my market was for along the lines of sports medicine with a lot of trigger point and Anatomy Trains principles.
I had a lot of male patients who appreciated solid data and a systematic approach. The “touchy feely” stuff was done in moderation, and filtered via my own personality type.
This was more than about branding, though. My blog was more in-depth and slightly more “technical,” while still being easy to read. I used video for a different purpose. I had a different system for capturing leads (building my email list) than she did. The architecture of my site wasn’t the same as hers. The “story” of my ideal patient was unique. I had my own goals, benchmarks, and metrics for success.
It would have been easy to lose sight of my own vision and copy what my successful colleagues had done, but I was patient and did the work to find out what works for ME and MY patients and clients.
I now share this process with clients.
Here’s another example of a business owner who is so focused on how he can prove that he’s “better” than his competition.. (oddly, by copying another business) that he’s setting himself up for failure:
During the free initial consultation to see if we were a “good fit, he was not aligned with (not willing to listen to) my process, which involves discovering a target market, goals, how a site could attract an ideal audience, and the tools and strategies to use based on this data.
He chose to focus on another successful company’s site, which he insisted I use as a model, and how to copy and implement his competitors navigation, content ideas, and marketing tools.
We did not end up working together.
Even for those who trust the experts they hire, the underlying mindset that drives this habit of comparing ourselves to others and wanting to control external factors beyond our control is VERY common.
Many feel an intense pressure to be “as good as” all the successful people they are inundated with online on a daily basis as part of their work.
There is a time and place for competitive analysis and research. But constant comparison to established sites is one of the MAJOR reasons why your website is set up for failure before it even sees the light of day.
4. Distractions, or “Fear of Missing Out.”
This is one I struggle with, which can also be related to “keeping up with your competition.”
When it comes to creating your site, you may get distracted by another awesome website that you want to copy. If you are building your site on your own, perhaps you have never gotten past the “shopping for a theme” stage.
If you hired a developer or designer, you may be stuck in this phase, or have trouble making up your mind about what content you want to include, photos to use, or marketing tools you want to feature.
If this is the case for you, again, I recommend:
1. Taking some time to inform yourself about the purpose of your website and do some planning. I highly recommend working with an expert or investing in a DIY solution such as the Tell Your Story DIY website kit than just completely “winging it.” You’ll save time, money, and aggravation in the long run.
The process is much like making a movie: It involves casting, screenwriting, logistics, securing locations, filming, multiple takes, a rough cut, a final cut, and post-production. You can’t skip any steps. If you don’t know what you are doing, you’ll end up with a mess and even more distractions.
Also, many people worry about the wrong things, and don’t focus on what really counts when it comes to building a website.
2. Once you have a plan in place, production is MUCH easier. You can then tune out the noise and just start creating your site. Trust the flow and process, and that a site has to simply EXIST, not just in theory, but LIVE, in order to be useful.
A basic website has a few key elements. As long as those are in place, you have something to start with. Go with that, and you can always tweak later.
Don’t be tempted to make constant changes just for the sake of it. Relax, and “sit with” a decision. Let it sink in, especially if your tendency is to never feel satisfied because “Something else may come along that may be better” or if you have trouble making decisions.
TRUST your Decision and go with it.
5. Working with the wrong developer or designer (because you don’t know your options)
I cringe when I work with someone who had a bad experience with a developer. I’ve also had this happen.
Most people don’t speak “developer” or “tech” language, yet are expected to know these terms in order to work with the person who is building their site.
Many clients are expected to clearly communicate their needs without being guided on the specific steps that need to take place, in a certain order, to build a site.
This requires a thought process that most of us don’t have. I have created many websites but I still can’t “think of a site” out of thin air. I need a template and specific procedure, or guide. I need a starting point.
I can’t create until I can clearly “see” the “container” or “map,” in which all my creative ideas can fit into, and this is also true for most of my clients.
This doesn’t mean that there is no room for design creativity, but there needs to be some structure, especially for newbies.
And many, many developers don’t have a clue about design or the unique marketing needs of specific industries, let alone branding for individual business owners.
Many developers don’t guide clients on how they can add content to their own site or make changes.
For example, I changed my rates and cancelation policy so many times that there is no way I would want to have to call a dev. just to make those changes.
THIS ALONE can create a mental block. If you feel as if you have to make a permanent, “written in stone” decision about your policies, or your ABOUT page, it’s easy to get STUCK. This is when communication begins to break down between the client and the dev.
• Ask your developer or designer how much they can guide you through the process, how much they know about your industry, about marketing, and branding.
• Make sure they are asking YOU the right questions. I’m not talking about “what do you want me to put on your ABOUT page” but REAL questions about your goals, ideal client, unique product or service you offer, and more.
• Make sure they can provide structure and guidance, and offer as much as possible in an easy to see “visual” format, such as videos or .pdfs.
• Make sure they give you guidance on how to control the content on your own site.
• If you are a DIYer, it’s no different. You still need a plan, some structure, and some basic knowledge in order to create an effective website that attracts the kinds of clients and patients who are in alignment with your work. The Tell Your Story DIY Website Kit will take you through the entire process, step by step.
6. Unrealistic expectations and lack of communication
To be fair, it’s a 2 way street. Many developers and designers are also justifiably frustrated with clients who fail to provide the basics.. content, photos, logos, colors, etc.. but still expect a site within the agreed upon deadline.
It’s shocking how often this happens.. multiple emails and requests are sent.. and still, nothing is provided.
This is like trying to produce and direct a film when screenwriters delay the writing of a script, or when the cast and key players don’t show up.
Others may fall into the mindset traps I talked about earlier, causing the project to be delayed due to failure to provide content, or making excessive revisions or additional requests.
If you are hiring a director.. be one of the “pros” that people love working with, not “that actor” that holds up production.
It is the responsibility of the developer to be clear about expectations and communicate with the client. It is also the responsibility of the client to stick with the agreed upon goals and processes, and work as part of a team so that the best possible website can be created for each individual business owner, and that deadlines are met.
If you are a DIYer, it’s still important to honor the multiple roles you are taking on. Make sure to create some kind of accountability for yourself. Again, the Tell Your Story DIY Website Kit includes support and accountability, which could be THE thing to help keep you on track so that your website is completed, AND sets you up for success.
Overwhelm is usually a combination of the expectations we place on ourselves as well as the real and perceived expectations of the world around us.
To-do lists, urgent tasks, emergencies, and shifting priorities can create another level of anxiety that can make us want to take a break, or even quit.
I’ve seen clients go through some pretty intense things, and there are times when a website truly does need to go on the backburner.
However, it also helps to know when you are truly “swamped” and what is slowly creeping into your schedule, causing your important long-term tasks to get pushed into the “someday” list of things to do. (Which creates even more heaviness and overwhelm)
Only you know the answer to this question. When I work with people at the coaching level, which is part of my VIP package, part of my job is providing structured accountability. (Which is mutually agreed upon)
It’s true for ALL my clients that in order for a project to come together, the client must have what some call “skin in the game.” When this isn’t set up from the start, and not enough is invested, nobody wins, gets a site, or gets a return on their time or money investment.
Overwhelm is also about not knowing where to begin or what to do next. It happens when we keep throwing that same plate of pasta to the wall over and over again. This process expends a lot of unnecessary energy and can lead to frustration, lack of motivation, and even despair.
For sure, even if you manage to “push your way through” this overwhelm will show up on your website, and not in a positive way.
And as you may have guessed by now, the Tell Your Story DIY Website Kit is designed to eliminate overwhelm by providing an easily processable, step-by-step solution for creating a website that sets you up for success, even if you are starting from scratch. It also has 2 modules designed to take you to the next level in scaling your business.
Another Tip: It helps to have a pre-conception that building your new site is going to be fun and exciting, not a painful drag. This is HUGE!
I hope this helps shed some light on something that I’m sure isn’t often talked about when it comes to creating websites.
There you have it.. the 7 main reasons why your website may be set up for failure, but you can just as easily set it up for success with these tips.
I think it’s important and relevant for making not just a great website, but making the process enjoyable.
Be sure to check out part 3 of this blog series: There IS another HUGE reason why your site may not be finished yet, and chances are, it’s NOT what you might think!
Need help with your website?
Whether you are a newbie, DIYer, or even seasoned marketer.. sometimes we all need a little help so that we can focus on what really matters and get the results we want with our websites.
I offer both “Done for you” WordPress websites using the Divi theme and builder and a solution for DIYer’s called the Tell Your Story DIY Website Kit. Both options are based on the StoryBrand framework.
I love showing you how to make it a true marketing machine.
Option 1: For Done-for-you websites, get started by applying here. (It’s easy and will save you time)
Option 2: Learn more about the Tell Your Story DIY Website Kit here.