Website marketing can be challenging to independent service professionals who want to grow their businesses without investing huge sums. Service business owners often believe they need to start with a web designer. They worry about obtaining graphics and designing a logo. They feel overwhelmed because they need to find a way to maintain relationships with prospects and communicate information, while working through the hundreds of resources available to help.

During your first few months, you need to focus on creating a message and message strategy. Your goal is to create a compelling online presence that lets prospects know what you do, why you are unique, and whether you work with clients who resemble them. This step allows you to answer "yes" when prospects ask, "Do you have a website?" You also gain an advantage when prospects want more information than you would have time to deliver face-to-face or even over the phone.

At some point you might even want to create a giveaway bonus product that prospects can download to learn more about you. You will gain maximum mileage when you require prospects to sign up to get your bonus, because you create an opt-in list. This list gives you permission to send announcements and newsletters. Ultimately you not only promote yourself, but also you communicate information that saves time and hassle. For instance, you can warn clients about your cancellation policies and ask them to prepare documents before an appointment.

From the beginning, focus your website on your target clients. Many professionals fall into the trap of developing pages about their process and their services. You do need to tell prospects how you work so you will not attract clients who refuse to follow your guidance. For example, a business coach might work only with clients who agree to attend live networking events or make cold calls to sell products. Why waste time with prospects who want to use different techniques to grow their businesses?

Your website also can be extremely valuable in screening your prospects. Get very clear on your requirements and use copywriting techniques to communicate exactly who you want to include in your business or practice. You need to go beyond saying, "I want to work with people who are motivated self-starters."

Once you have created your message strategy, you can think about developing a platform to communicate your message. These days you do not need to spend thousands of dollars to develop a website. Even if you need to establish a high-end professional presence, you can use a Wordpress platform for your site as well as your blog. Many professionals get stuck waiting for a webmaster, but you or the person you hire should be able to get your site up and running in a week or two. When you create your message before you hire the designer, you will create your presence even more quickly and you save money at the same time.

Author's Bio: 

emember that these days your prospects will check out your online presence, even when they hear about you from a referral or a live networking meeting. Download a free Report on creating a compelling online presence. Visit Create Your Fabulous Online Presence to learn how to take your first steps to making the Internet your most powerful marketing partner. From Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., your online client attraction copywriter.