The $10 a year website for new training firms and independent contractors

Originally published November 16, 2009 on my original blog, Sales Training 2.0.

I’ve been talking to a number of people recently who fall into a couple of camps

  • starting a training firm, or at least hanging out a shingle to be a training firm
  • starting life as an IC for a training firm
  • starting to represent multiple firms as an IC and wondering how to convey your new multi-faceted message

Some books and articles advise new ICs and business owners to avoid making the time and monetary investment of setting up their own website.   I agree in principle because many new entrepreneurs focus on the wrong things when they start their business – especially when it comes to ‘advertising, marketing and promotion.’   However I know that many salespeople lose credibility with their prospects who look to the web to ‘authenticate’ the people selling to them.

I would suggest two options that can work for a new IC – one of which that can also work for a new 1 to 3 person training company.

    1. LinkedIn.  If you fully utilize LinkedIn and create a deep profile – and definitely choose a good vanity URL – you can have a free ‘web page’ to give to clients and prospects in lieu of a full website.  See my profile at www.linkedin.com/in/strategy2revenue.   I have this URL on my business cards and embedded in my email signature line.
  1. WordPress.  Many of you know of WordPress as a blog.  WordPress (and other blogging sites) allow you to create additional tabs/pages that can easily be utilized to add info like “About Me” and “About XYZ, Inc..”  Ideally you will create a few blog entries though those might be as simple as writing a paragraph and linking to pages or documents created by the training firms you represent.

For US$10 a year WordPress will redirect your ‘blog’ to another URL so that it even looks more like a regular website.  For example, http://st20.wordpress.com is what I was able to get for free, but for $10 I can redirect people to www.salestraining20.com and no one has to know I am using WordPress.

For an even better example of building out a WordPress site check out Dave Stein’s blog.

If you are just starting out, or starting over, as an IC or a new training firm and want other ideas or advice please Shout It Out Loud¹ – ie call or write me.   And for the heck of it here is a sample of what you can do in about 15 minutes: http://trainingic.wordpress.com.

¹ I couldn’t resist having a KISS reference in my blog.  For those of you that know me you know I am pained that it took so long.  Next up will be an AC/DC reference, come Hell or High Water.  Wow, that was easier than I thought…