Could 60 Million People be Wrong?
It's possible, but I don't think so. According to the Pew Institute 60 million Americans use the internet to make major life decisions. The Internet is becoming, or perhaps already is, a primary source of information and resources for Americans.
Question is: Will anyone find your mediation website and if they do will they choose you?
For whatever reason, mediators have been slow to embrace technology as a means to market better and improve the efficiency of their practices. Too bad because it makes a world of difference and it's really not that hard to have a web presence that educates and attracts consumers.
If You're Stuck
If you've been avoiding starting, finishing or updating your website because you:
a) don't know html
b) don't know what to write about
c) are just too confused
There's help out there for you. Let me point you in the right direction.
You don't need to learn html, although it's helpful to know a handful of basic formatting codes. You can hire someone to create a 5 page website for under $1000. Guru.com is a site full of web design professionals. That's what I did to launch the beta site for ADRPracticebuilder.com. You get a good products but it can be a bit confusing working with folks from around the world. (Maybe I'll host a call on using outsources this fall)
You can also find local gems like Lisa Wells of Coast2CoastBusiness.com. Lisa is a techy VA (virtual assistant) who offers a terrific Starter Web Package that creates a 5 page website that's ready to go. She does all the heavy lifting like getting the URL, providing hosting, setting up email and some graphics. All for $600. At that price point, there's really no excuse for not having an interactive website.
Lisa will be my guest on Thursday, July 26th at 1:30 when I grill her about the best and worst of websites. She'll share all her pet peeves, and I've even convinced her to talk about her strategy about putting pricing on your website. If you're just starting out this call is perfect for you because it hits the basics.
You already have plenty to write about, believe it or not. As a mediator who works on problem-solving on a regular basis you have valuable information to share--and I'm not talking about the benefits of mediation. Sit down that think about the 3 questions you are asked most often by prospective clients. Write them down. Answer them. Eh! viola, you now have a short (300-500 word) article entitled, Three Things People Need to Know about Mediating Blank.
You can also hire writers to take your ideas and thoughts and turn them into articles. Drop by CreativeMoonlighters.com and browse their panel of creative geniuses. You can buy articles in bulk (25-50) for about $5-7.
Personally, I think it's better to write your own with help. That's why I was so excited to find Linda Dessau, a professional writer from Ontario, Canada. Linda's doing a series of teleseminars for me on how to write articles this August. She's so easy to work with that she's helping me craft a Mediation Mensch book.
No worries if you're still feeling a bit tentative or confused. You'll get the hang of it and there's plenty of support available. Tammy Lenski offers some fine ideas over at Mediator Tech. And, we have a whole community over at ADRPracticebuilder.com and you're more than welcome to join us.
Two Great Examples
I'm inspired by examples so I wanted to leave you with a few websites that I consider effective and high quality.
Chi-Resolutions.com Carole Houk's healthcare dispute resolution firm
MediationtoStayMarried.com Laurie Israel's marital mediation firm
Oh, I almost forgot! Lisa and I invite you to enter our contest. Everyone who registers for Website Do's and Dont's on or before JULY 24th will be eligible to win 60 minutes of tech and content coaching for your website from Lisa and I and a mention in Mediation Mensch. Nancy Milton our last winner said traffic to her site soared after a mention.
Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!
Labels: Website Development