“If you really want to build a career as a yoga teacher, a website is a big part of this. You have to see it as your online home. Don’t give all the powers to social media.” - Susanne Rieker
Why a Website is Important
One reason = people will Google you!
We now use “Google” as a verb and that’s what we do when we want to learn more about something. And this is what your students are going to do with you. They will love your class and then go home and be curious to learn more about you so they will go to Google. Maybe they will find your social media accounts and start to follow you but in the ideal situation, it would be great for them to find your website too.
When someone finds your website they can learn more about you and what you offer. They can get a sense of your personality and even experience more yoga with you if you have blog posts, videos or audio meditations on your site too. This will keep them engaged with you and your content in between classes or private sessions.
This helps build a connection between you and the student or potential student and it’s helping you out without any extra effort on your part. Yes, a website takes effort to get created but once it’s online it works for you even when you aren’t online “working”.
Want a checklist for your entire website? Use the form below to grab the free checklist!
6 Key Elements to Include on Your Homepage
“Very often the home page is the first page people will see and you want to make a great impression because nowadays if people don’t like what they see, they will leave within seconds.” - Susanne Rieker
1. Header Image
You want something to capture attention quickly and a large header image is the way to go. And even more specifically, you want a large picture of you. And while this can feel uncomfortable, it really will make a big difference.
“This is a big mindset issue. It’s a big question of fear or putting yourself out there or holding back. But if you want your website visitors to hire you or refer you, you need to give them a chance to get to know you.” - Susanne Rieker
Both Susanne and I shared how we both used stock images on our first websites but that after changing this and adding photos of ourselves, our audience felt more connected. If you are looking for one way to invest in your business, professional photography is a great place to invest but it’s not necessary. You can have a friend that has a good camera take some photos of you! What you need is higher resolution photos than you can often get from a camera phone.
But even if you don’t have a camera or a friend with one, you can still do this. Use a stock image at the top where you need a large photo and then have a smaller photo of you just below it. You can use photos from your camera if the image doesn’t need to stretch all the way across the screen!
2. Welcome Text
This is the text that has to keep the attention after you’ve grabbed their attention with the image. This is where you want something simple and clear that shows the visitor how you will help them. This needs to be focused on what you can do for them, not just about you. Remember that we as humans are self-focused so appeal to this on your website by making it clear.
“Keep it short and sweet. Introduce yourself, your mission and tell your visitors how you can help them.” - Susanne Rieker
A book that Susanne mentioned during this interview that helped her re-write a lot of her copy is Building a Story Bran by Donald Miller
Also, if you’re building a local business, you would want to have the location in this text as well.
3. Email Sign Up
You want to start to grow your email list as soon as possible and your website will help you do this. Check out my other podcast episodes on this topic
We don’t suggest using “sign up for my newsletter” because that’s not compelling enough to get someone to actually give you their email address. Remember you have to tell them what’s in it for them and this is where offering something for free is a great idea.
“I started building my email list on my very first website way too late and I know a lot of other people who made the same mistake. Start today.” - Susanne Rieker
Next up is showcasing a highlight of your offerings. Maybe you show the one thing you’re trying to grow right now or you might show a few things that you offer. But the key is to show only a short highlight on the homepage so that visitors can then click and go to another page to learn more.
“The goal is to make it as easy as possible for your website visitors to find what they are looking for.” - Susanne Rieker
There are studies that show that not everyone is using the top navigation menu. Plus we know everything about our website so we will often assume that everyone will look at every page but that’s not the case.
Think of your home page as your quick intro at a networking event. What would you say to someone really quickly? What offering would you talk about? That’s what you would want to highlight in this section.
“You don’t have to put everything you offer on your home page. For example, if you also rent out your studio space or you have aromatherapy sessions, this will be confusing for people. You can still have this on your website but not on the home page.” - Susanne Rieker
5. Upcoming Events
If you have special events coming up, you want to put them on your homepage as well as a special event page. The key for this section is that this section stays updated, you definitely don’t want past events on your website.
If you use a Wordpress site, you can use the Event Calendar plugin that will automatically keep things up to date.
If you are using Wix or Squarespace you can look for calendar options or simply set a reminder on your calendar to remove events once they have passed.
These events will also show up in Google if they are on your website as text as well so make sure you’re not only using images to share special event details.
“Word of mouth recommendations and reviews from other people go a long way in building trust. It’s so important” - Susanne Rieker
You don’t need a lot of testimonials on your homepage but having 1 to 3 is perfect because you just never know, those words from someone else just might be the last push the person needs to sign up for your next workshop.
If you struggle with capturing your students' testimonials, check out episode 39 of my podcast because I outlined a simple way of gathering them.
If you have more testimonials that you want to share, you can also share these on specific offering pages as well as a dedicated testimonial page on your website.
“This is a big decision but it’s not the biggest decision. The most focus should be on your content, not your platform.” - Susanne Rieker
YES! I loved when Susanne said this because it’s true. You can have a beautiful website but if the words aren’t resonating with your audience, the website isn’t helping you. And likewise, you can have an “ugly” website with words that really connect with your dream student and it works well for growing your business.
Wix and Squarespace are great options for getting started in a quick way. These options have lots of templates and are basically drag and drop templates where you put in images and text and they do the rest of the work for you.
Wordpress is much more customizable but it can be confusing or harder to work with if you’ve never built a website before. Plus it’s an open-source platform so there are things you have to know and take care of (like installing updates to plug-ins) on a regular basis or things can break. But if you’re looking to have a truly customized website, Wordpress is a great option. And if you want to hire someone or take a course on this, definitely check out Susanne’s website for more information!
It’s important to remember that we all have to start somewhere and you will most likely look back and cringe at your first website. But you can only have a better version of your website if you start with your first version now.
“I think that’s the biggest mistake yoga teachers make, perfectionism. Working on your website for months and months or even a year. That’s too long. Don’t work on it longer than a month.” - Susanne Rieker
Your next step
Decide that you’re going to create (or update) your website today and get to work. Remember “done is better than perfect” and this especially goes for your website. It will never be “perfect” so strive for done and then update as you learn more about your dream student.
Enter your information into the form below to grab the website checklist so you always have it on-hand as you’re working on your website.
Until next time, give yourself permission to create (or update) your website and grace along the way. Talk to you soon!
About Susanne Rieker
Susanne helps teach yoga teachers and wellness entrepreneurs how to build a thriving online business. She also specializes in designing (and teaching you how to design your own) Wordpress websites. Susanne also hosts a podcast: The Blissful Biz Podcast and offers digital courses.
Susanne's website: https://www.susannerieker.com/
Susanne's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susannerieker/
Susanne's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susannerieker/
Susanne's Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.de/susanne_rieker/
What type of website is best for you?
Just like I teach you to niche down as a yoga teacher, website services have done the same. So no matter what type of website you're looking for, there are resources to help you. Use the form below to grab the website checklist that also includes how to determine what type of website is best for you.
From easy to implement (in just 10 minutes) to a fully customized website, all your options are covered!