Revenue-Capturing Website Secrets for Entrepreneurial Physicians

Module 9: On your marks, set, go! Putting the pieces together

Getting your website built requires a whole lot of resources and it’s often challenging to determine which ones to use and how to go about selecting them.

This module is dedicated to providing you with resources in many different categories.

In Number 9, I offer recommendations and resources in a written format, with a brief description of how each is used, and how to make the most of it.

A note of caution here — I have personally used many of these tools and resources and been satisfied. In a small number of cases, I am an affiliate (A) for the tool or service because of my own satisfaction and my delight in spreading the word. I am recommending others based on reputation, conversations I have had with providers, and some that I plan to use but haven’t done so yet. I am not able to guarantee the results provided by any of the resources listed!

I suggest you look at testimonials, case studies, and examples for all the providers you’re considering, and then contact the provider to learn more about how they work, how full their client load is and how long they are likely to take to complete your project. Try to describe your needs as specifically as possible (hopefully this course will help you do that!), and request estimates and details of what you will be getting for the estimate.

I hope you will come back to this page time and again in the future as you expand your website’s capacity to be revenue-generating for your business or practice!

Domain names

See Module Number 3.

For any outsourced project needs…

… be they web design, copywriting, editing, ghostwriting, software or application creation, video editing etc, these sites allow you to describe your project in some detail and then submit them for bid to freelance providers anywhere in the world.

Remember one of my “biggest secrets” to having a successful website? It was OUTSOURCING. Since labor is so much cheaper in other parts of the world, and many of these workers are both highly educated and skilled, you can get great work done at a fraction of the price you’d pay in the USA.

Resources:

  1. Elance.com: Their how-to video is here.
  2. Guru.com: Their how-to video is here.
  3. Rentacoder.com — for your more technical or software-related projects. Here is a how-to-video.
  4. oDesk.com: Their how-to video is here.

Graphic Designer

Your graphic designer’s job is to do any and all of the following:

  • create your logo for your website, business card and stationery (your Identity Kit)
  • design the layout and appearance of your website
  • design your website banner
  • create the layout and cover graphic for your e-book or actual book
  • design your brochures, pamphlets, newsletters, handbooks, manuals, flyers, handouts , product catalogs, booklets
  • create the e-covers for your information products
  • design your CD or DVD labels and cases

Note – not all graphic designers will design websites. In many cases, that will be the job of your Webmaster (see below). And not all web designers are talented designers of logos etc.

Resources:

Ultimate Design VA – Delaine Ulmer in Texas. Very reasonably priced, high quality work, quick turn-around time, works virtually. She does not do website design.

99 Designs – this ingenious site connects designers from all over the world with clients who have creative project needs (Identity, Web, Print, Graphics and Merchandise).
In their words: “We help you run a ‘design contest’, where thousands of designers compete to create the best possible design to meet your needs. All you need is a clear idea of what you want designed and how much you’re prepared to pay for it.”
Instead of getting your “6 different designs to choose from, for x dollars”, you will receive any number of designs from all the designers who choose to submit  an entry and you propose your price.
You can choose packages OR set up your own “custom contest”. The steps are laid out in an easy simple-to-understand way.
Check out some current “contests” here.

Logoworks – now owned by HP, this site enables you to submit a logo development project according to the package you have selected, and their designers will present you with as many options as your package allows. Here is their “how it works” page.

Web Designer/Webmaster

This person is responsible for designing, developing, in some cases marketing, or maintaining your website. There are probably more specific descriptions of what these people do in large IT teams, but for our purposes this person’s job is to:

  • establish the look and feel of your web pages, including typography, graphics, color, layout etc.
  • design your navigation elements
  • set up your website on either an existing platform type (such as WordPress, SquareSpace, Joomla etc), or write the code to create it from scratch (not the most recommended these days unless you have specific or unusual functional needs)
  • help you figure out your hosting needs (many provide hosting as part of their service)
  • organize and present content in a readable, well-designed way
  • make sure your website is presented consistently across all the browsers (such as Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc)
  • integrate other functions into your website such as store fronts, EMRs, billing services, shopping carts, blogs, questionnaires etc.
  • assist in basic search engine optimization (some have this specialized knowledge — ask what their skills are in this area!)
  • update and maintain your site as needed

Resources:

Sharilyn Horne Business Concepts – Shari specializes in building websites on WordPress, SquareSpace and TypePad platforms. She is also an expert at setting you up with a blog and creating a newsletter template that is branded to match your website.

MFDezine – Matt Fields – Matt specializes in custom websites using WordPress.  He uses optimized themes which enhances your results in the search engines.  Matt has various (very affordable) web design packages that include Custom Web Design, Blogs, Web Forms, SEO, Web Graphics, Membership Access, and Online Training.

DawudMiracle.com – Dawud is not only able to build your website and/or blog but he also specializes in helping you strategize how to use the Internet to garner more business.

Talking Feather Communications – Lana Walker – Lana is a business and marketing communications professional who builds very affordable websites, specializing in using WordPress. She can do basic SEO and basic local search optimization. She is also able to develop your website content for you as well.

Zero-G Creative – they work exclusively with small, growing businesses, including start-ups, in a wide variety of niches and industries. They have experience working with medical practices, both individual and multi-site practices. Beyond building websites, they can also help with creating a marketing strategy, branding , getting set up with social media marketing etc.. They build their sites almost entirely in WordPress. They also have a QuickLaunch program that is very affordable, as well as a reasonable hourly rate should you need extra hand-holding as you learn your way around your new website!

Copywriters

If you don’t consider yourself a writer (remember, writing for the web is different from writing an essay, paper or book), you might want to hire a copywriter who can develop your website content for your business or practice.

Good copywriters are often expensive, so I suggest you also use the freelance services I listed above to find a copywriter service that matches your budget. I have also spoken to all of these providers and they offer services that come well-recommended and are reasonably priced.

Resources:

iWriter - mainly for getting articles and blog posts written. It’s a site where you state what you want written and writers “bid” for your business with price offers. I use them from time to time and just edit the article to give it my own “voice”.

MWL DevelopmentBetsy Talbot, who has a background working with physicians and hospitals, writes your copy while giving you tips along the way, so that you can do more of your own copywriting. She will quote you a price based on the size of your project (a discount will apply if her husband Warren Talbot builds your website on a WordPress platform!)

Ink Street - Pema Teeter works with you (in an affordable coaching package) to pull out your distinctive and unique story (your own story or that of your product), to enable you to create your own compelling copy. She is also a copywriter and a ghostwriter who listens for your distinct voice and story before creating your copy for you.

Lori Zue Editing Services

Image sources (photos and video)

Interesting, humorous or provocative images will liven up your website and convey its personality. Make sure your images don’t slow down your page-loading time too much otherwise visitors will lose interest and wander off!

Resources:

iStockphoto: probably the best known and the one I use for my blog images on The Entrepreneurial MD. Each photo (the smallest size, for the web) costs around $1.00.

Stock.xchng: free stock images for you to download – somewhat limited inventory, but hey, free is free!

Getty Images: images are a bit more expensive here, but they have a great variety

Flickr: where you can use certain photos with the appropriate attribution. You search for photos by using keywords that correspond to the photo tags.

Shutterstock Footage: for royalty-free video footage if you want to assemble your own video using short clips.

Unlimited Stock Media: You can pay for a 24-hour pass or a 30-day pass to get royalty-free video footage if you want to assemble your own video using short clips

Audio recording

It is remarkably easy to record welcome messages, classes, podcasts and interviews for example to be used on your website. And your voice is a powerful way to create an instant connection with your visitor!

You can use audio for:

  • Welcome messages
  • Teleclass recording archives
  • Testimonials
  • Podcasts
  • Audio postcards
  • Audio e-courses

Resources:

AudioAcrobat (A) – my favorite resource that I have used for teleclasses, podcasts, and even just recording coaching meetings for clients. Easy as pie to use – you can create all your audio by just calling a phone number and recording your message or “pulling in” an automatic recording service”. Lots of great tutorials and weekly free training teleclasses.

AudioGenerator (A) – another very good audio site with lots of bells and whistles. You can send audio postcards and email audio broadcasts. Same thing – you can create all your audio by just calling a phone number and recording the message.

Blogging platforms

SquareSpace — extremely easy to use, very flexible, great customer support, not as many plug-ins as WordPress. It’s a hosted platform, meaning that the company hosts your site for you.

The Entrepreneurial MD is an example of a website/blog built on this platform.

WordPress — the most popular blogging platform, where you can create your own blog for free. You will however need to have a hosting service (note: there is a hosted version of WordPress at WordPress.COM not WordPress.ORG but most recommend against this option).
There are now numerous template options to create a variety of appearances for your website, as well as plug-ins that offer different functionalities.
WordPressUniversity offers endless free tutorials.

This Physician Website Secrets program is being delivered on a WordPress platform, and you can check out my companion blog at http://physicianswebsitesecrets.com/blog

TypePad — a hosted blogging platform that is losing its popularity as WordPress becomes easier to use. It is however very easy to use.  There is a free “Micro” version which allows you to create a simple blog.

Seth Godin’s Blog is run on TypePad.

Blogger — free, very simple to set up, owned by Google so very search engine friendly, with no control over who your “neighbors” are (each page shows “Next Blog” at the top and the next blog could be  a porn site!)

The Twitter Blog is run on Blogger.

Tumblr – also free and easy to set up.

Women Leaving Medicine (another blog of mine) is run on Tumblr.

Video

Video is becoming the most persuasive and powerful way to create website “stickiness” (remember that word?).

You might find these facts from a 2008 study compelling:

ComScore have also released other notable statistics from the December 2008 study:

* 78.5 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
* The average online video viewer watched 309 minutes of video, or more than 5 hours.
* 98.9 million viewers watched 5.9 billion videos on YouTube.com (59.2 videos per viewer).
* 48.7 million viewers watched 367 million videos on MySpace.com (7.6 videos per viewer).
* The duration of the average online video was 3.2 minutes.

Video has the potential to give your visitor an instant experience of you, and they likewise will form their impression of you in a “blink of an eye!”

Video is also a terrific educational tool for those of you who want to share your expertise. It has been a big part of how I have chosen to teach in this program, inspired by the facts above and by my own very positive experiences learning from “how to” videos.

You can use video for:

  • Your “Client Attractor Tool” – that freebie to entice visitors to engage with you via your website (e.g. a free video e-course)
  • Viral videos (see an example here in this blog post — these tend to get passed around like a “virus”, and are usually inspirational or humorous, with a gentle promotion at the end, as well as a means of forwarding the video)
  • Welcome message
  • Sales page
  • Testimonials
  • Instructional “how-to” e-course

Resources:

JingProject — this free tool allows you to create simple short “screen capture” videos (screen capture is the tool I used to show examples in this course)

Camtasia Studio — this is the Big Brother of JingProject (it’s not free!) and the actual program I have used to create my videos, using screen capture and PowerPoint with narration.

Animoto — this nifty free tool enables you to create short videos using your uploaded photos or video clips, adding in text and music, with minimal “tech” knowledge.

Jive Systems (A) — this program allows you to create videos that are instantly embedded in emails to send to clients or patients using a webcam or a Flip Video camera. You can also place your videos on your website or in your blog posts. Fantastic support, free e-on-one coaching on how to create the videos AND how to use them in your marketing campaigns.

Web Video University (A) — all you need to know about making videos as a non-professional. Dave Kaminski has put a fantastic program together with hundreds of video tutorials on how to use Camtasia, edit with video editing tools, create DVDs, create custom music (!!), and so much more. If you are serious about using video to create information products or teaching tools, this is THE program to subscribe to as a member.

AudioMicrothe place (similar in concept to iStockPhoto) where you can purchase royalty-free music and sounds for your videos or audios.

Payment options

PayPal — with ease, you can set up a payment option using PayPal to accept credit cards, or get funds paid directly from the patient to client’s bank account.

Note – the credit card transaction fees may not be the most competitive compared to some shopping carts.

Here is a comparison chart for your online payment options.

Clickbank –if you have information or digital products to sell, Clickbank, as the largest marketplace in the world for such products, makes it easy.

Go to an explanation of how it works here.

Practice Pay Solutions (PPS) — this is a merchant account  and a shopping cart solution (Professional Cart Solutions). These tools enable you to accept credit cards virtually for your “offline” services (no machine needed to swipe the credit cards), and/or to use the shopping cart for all your online transactions when paired with the PPS merchant account and payment gateway. You can also use the autoresponder function in the cart to send automated email follow-ups or broadcasts.

1Shoppingcart.com — this is similar to PPS with a merchant account, payment gateway, shopping cart and email autoresponder all built in as well.

Autoresponders and email management services

Email management services help you build and manage your email lists. As the good companies are recognized by most ISPs and have strict no-spam policies, the chance that your email will reach its destination goes up dramatically!

Autoresponders are software programs that enable you to send out information, usually in the form of an e-mail, automatically in response to an action taken by someone on your website. They are tools that generate and send messages back in response to someone opting in for a free or paid product or service.

You want to select an autoresponder that has the capacity to send sequential e-mails and one that allows you to broadcast e-mails at specific times.

A follow-up email from an autoresponder goes out at a time defined by you after someone has given you their opt-in information – usually immediately.
Then, with a sequential autoresponder, you can set a sequence of emails to go out – for example, if you are delivering chunks of content for an e-course every third day, you’ll create the email sequence in the autoresponder and assign a day number for each email – Day 0, day 3, day 6, day 9 etc.

A broadcast email might be an announcement to your list about a new program, or it may be your monthly newsletter, that will go out at a set time on a set day (e.g. April 25th at 6:00 AM EDT)

Note: as mentioned above, many shopping carts have built-in autoresponders.

Resources:

Mail Chimp — great for sending out bulk email (“broadcasting”). Free at present for up to 500 subscribers. NO autoresponder function.

Constant Contact — also sends out bulk email, plus allows you to offer online surveys and set up events (handles registration and even payment via PayPal). NO autoresponder function.

AWeber — for all your bulk email needs with unlimited autoresponders (both follow-up sequence and broadcast) and unlimited email lists for your emails, announcements, marketing campaigns and and newsletters. Great support and tutorials.

Ezine Articles

Submit your articles to directories, for others to pick up and use in their newsletters with your byline that links back to your website (remember, the search engines love backlinks from popular sites)!

Directories to submit your articles to:
Ezine Articles
Article Cube
Articles Base

Software tools you can use to submit articles to multiple sites (these are all paid AND worth your time!):

Article Submitter Pro
Article Announcer

Article Post Robot

This is a submission service that will write and/or submit your articles:
The Phantom Writers

Online PR services:

Press releases about newsworthy company or practice events (new website!, new partner, something that is current and timely etc) can provide powerful links back to your website.

PR Web
PR Newswire
Free Press Release (has a free option for limited release)

Keyword Research:

The following online tools are very useful to help you create and refine your keywords for your website

  • Google AdWords Keyword Tool – Google’s search suggestion tool based on Google’s search data
  • Good Keywordsfree trial of software, plus some good free white papers on keywords
  • WordTracker subscription-based (you can get a free trial) and very powerful keyword tool (you can purchase just a month of access for a very affordable fee. Find a good month in which you will have some blocks of time, and then devote that time to keyword research.
  • Keyword Discovery - an entire suite of search and keyword tools getting lots of praise

Additional Useful Tools

  1. Google Analytics
  2. Survey Monkey and Zoomerang are two free tools for creating online surveys.

This is a huge list – I hope it is helpful to you as you begin to put the pieces together.

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Please check back from time to time as I shall be adding to the list as I encounter great new resources!

Homework for Module 9:

  1. Make your own list of the resources you need.
  2. Email those you are interested in, to learn more about how they work, what services they are offering and whether they can provide any references.
  3. Come back to this module from time to time to see what further tools and resources you will want to use as you create your dynamic website!

Modules 10 (and 11) will be devoted to the challenge of generating the traffic to come to your website, with plenty of tips and suggestions:

The lights are green: Driving traffic to your website – Part 1.

Have a great week!