Why you need a website

Feb Biznass8

Last month I did a guest blog for Fit with Flair about the importance of having a website for your business. THEN, just last week a good friend and very talented massage therapist, emailed me to ask for help her promoting her business. The thing is- she has NO WEBSITE!!! I couldn’t believe it. All of that work promoting but no where for people to go to find her! A website is one of THE most important things you can do for your business. Check out my post to see why. Vanessa (I could link to your website here V but you don’t have one!)- this one is for you!

Lindsay Lopez | Form Pilates

Written on November 6, 2011

Websites and Social Media, oh my!

Somehow in the infancy of my business, without being informed of it’s true value, I knew the importance of a having a website.

When I started my company, FORM Pilates, almost 10 years ago now, It was one of the first things I did.

Initially, my Pilates business was out of my home, so I knew that without a website notifying who I was and what I did- no one would ever hear of me. I did my homework, looked at tons of other fitness and Pilates business’ sites for ideas. I saw what worked, but mostly what didn’t. The majority of the sites I checked out were confusing, hard to navigate, and missing pertinent information. Armed with this ammunition I created a site that was visually pleasing, without hard-to-load flash, and was the essence of who I was as a business. It was easy to navigate, with links on each page to anywhere on the entire site. No need to click back to go where you’ve already been.

Ah, those were the days. 10 years ago Pilates wasn’t the phenomenon it is today. The internet wasn’t as congested with studios and practitioners as it is today. I got most of my new clients from my website, and because I was the only studio in my area google ranked me as #1. You won’t find that that’s the case in this technology age. Your website is now a virtual business card and everyone has one. SEO has clogged up the web-o-sphere so much that getting your site to appear in a simple search is harder than getting accepted into college! This spawned the dawn of social-media and it’s importance to getting yourself noticed.

Since our existence can be virtually virtual, we don’t network in bars or at meetings, but online- on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Your website is the final destination, but your connection to the world begins where everyone is congregating. I mean, who isn’t on Facebook these days (except maybe your Mom, which can be a good thing)? Even our children and pets have their own twitter accounts! If you want to spread your entrepreneurial wings you have to be Social Media savvy.

Here’s my bit of advice for anyone who will listen:

Hire a designer to do a professional website and get in-the-know with the social media revolution. Don’t try to do a website on your own- it will look home-made. Ask around for recommendations, you can get a professional website without all the frills for less than $500 these days.
Take courses online for free on how to drop into the social media world. I belong to Ladies who Launch (who have free web-inars weekly) and I also subscribe to HubSpot  who has wonderful free webinars as well. Join Hootsuite to easily moderate your online media presence, and above all stick with tweeting and posting stuff that you find interesting and valuable.

Your followers can smell inauthenticity a mile away. Overall- be yourself, stick to your guns, and follow your gut. You’ll find your tribe, and they will be just who you wanted them to be.

I challenge you to pick one thing you can do to update your website and up your game and get to it now not later! Share your plan in the comments below….

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What my bulldog is thankful for

We have a 70lb English Bulldog named Stitch. We got Stitchy two years ago from the Long Island Bulldog Rescue, and our lives have never been the same. We are so thankful for him, so I thought I would ask him what he’s thankful for this Thanksgiving. This is what he said:

This is me on the way to my new home!

My name is Stitch and although I’ve had a rough life previous Thanksgivings- my life is pretty sweet now! Here’s 5 Things I’m most grateful for:

1. Laurette and the Long Island Bulldog Rescue

It was because of Laurette’s warm heart and love for bullies that I was scooped up out of a New Jersey kill shelter and into a foster mommy’s home.

2. My new Mommy and Daddy
After three months of calling and emailing Laurette in hopes to find a bulldog of their own- they found me!!! Mom and Dad are the coolest. We snuggle, play, take walks, and best of all they give me belly rubs!

Here's the three of us! Mommy, Daddy, and me!!

3. The Park

One of the best things about my new home

is that I get to go to the park every week.

Astoria park is my favorite. There are squirrels

to chase, dog butts to sniff,

and lots of places to take a good poop!

4. Balls
My favorite toys are balls.

>

Small Balls

or big balls

or big balls

or even the occasional stick will do!

5. Most of all LOVE
I am THE most loved bulldog around, but don’t take it from me- see it for yourself:
Watch Stitcy on YouTube

Have a very happy Thanksgiving! Would love to hear what you’re grateful for!
x~Stitch

My vegan dinner last night

The holiday’s are upon us, (take it from Starbucks- when I went in there the other day it looked like Xmas threw up) and with the cheer comes fear. Fear of stuffing (yourself and the turkey), fear of family reunions, fear of finding your dietary restrictions amongst the spread. So, I’m taking the holidays head on and eating skinny style in preparation for the big day. I found this amazing vegan recipe in my new favorite mag, Whole Living. Make it for a lite dinner or as a side for the marathon feast. Super east to make and super yummy to eat. You’re welcome.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pistachios and Quinoa


Serves 8

Ingredients
4 small acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
Pinch red-pepper flakes
Directions
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush squash with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on two baking sheets until tender and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then fluff with a fork. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, parsley, feta, pistachios, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and red-pepper flakes. Divide filling among squash.