Website Planning 101

How long has your business Website been on your goals list? Weeks?  Months?  Years?

Many Solopreneurs avoid the whole Website Launch and for good reason.

Sometimes it’s a matter of priorities. Sometimes it’s the cost. A lot of times it’s the ‘Not Knowing’ that cause someone to go into avoidance mode.

Today I want to help you re-start your endeavour and identify the gap you may have between ‘I want a website’ and ‘I’m ready to make a start’.

In this blog post, I am going to cover some very basic and important planning tips to help you take the journey with a little more ease, clarity and understanding.

If you’re an already established business and you have a business plan or strategy then your one step closer to achieving your Website Goal.

If you’re new, however, my best piece of advice right now would be to start drafting a plan, take a course or google what you need to know.

One thing I want to emphasise in this post is this. You DO NOT need to have a website to be successful.

Sounds like a bit of an oxymoron statement from a Website Designers perspective, but there are other ways of building a visible presence online, a Website is just another tool in your business arsenal to help you do so.

Here are my 5 Tips:

1 – Clarity:

Get clear on your target market, the women you want to work with and the challenges they are facing in their lives.

Work out what specific solutions you have to offer in the form of services and choose 3 to go with as a starting point.

How can you relate to these challenges and how can you let them know in a way that tells a story about what you went through and how what you have learnt has changed your life.

Make an impact with results. Let them know from the start what kind of results they will get from working with you.

This kind of clarity will give you a starting point for your content and the journey you are going to take your visitors on throughout your website.

2 – Purpose:

What purpose will your Website play in your overall business structure? As I stated previously, your website is just one part of your overall business strategy, so work out what that purpose is going to be.

One example could be to educate. You want your Website to be the go-to for answering burning questions and providing solutions to your clients’ ultimate need for results.

Another example could be to build a connection and expand on the know, like and trust factor that you’ve been through Social Platforms.

Yet another could be as simple as having an online business card where they can find ways to contact you.

Work out what that purpose is for you and your business and you’ll have a starting point for the type of website you need and get a better feel for the layout and design you want to use.

3 – Planning:

When it comes to planning, starting with a strong foundation is always the way to go.

Once you have the clarity and purpose set out, you can start building the content, looking at the types of integrations you want to have so that there’s a flow to steps you want your visitors to take.

You can then sit down and work out some of the following points:

Branding – What type of ‘feels’ you want your site to have. This includes logo design, colours and fonts but most importantly, what is it you want to become known for. What is your unique contribution to the world and most importantly what will make you stand out in the eyes of your visitors

Pages – How many, what those pages will be and how you want those pages set out

Content – What will be the content that you will display on each of those pages.

What formats will you use? Video? Images? Text?

Maybe you want to add a quiz or free opt-in’s to build a subscriber list

Design and Layout – Take a look at people in your industry and their websites. What do you like? What don’t you like? Why are these things important to you?

Integrations – If you have a marketing funnel or are putting one together, the types of integrations you have will be crucial for your Website user to take the next steps.

You want it to be a seamless experience. If you want them to book in a time with you, instant access to your booking system will always trump ’email me and lets set up a time’.

Just as an instant downloadable piece of content will beat a ‘contact me to find out more’ scenario.

Domain Name, Hosting and Website Themes – there are so many companies out there. Do your homework but no matter who you go with here are a couple of things to help you decide

a – Try to use the same company for your Domain as you do with your hosting. Cut back on the number of steps and logins you need to get started.

b – Only go for the 1yr option to start off with. If you’re on a budget this is a no-brainer, but also, your hosting may not work for you, the Website Platform you’re going to use and the Theme that you opt for. That way at least your not going to be locked in for years with the company.

c – Bells and Whistles. Companies will try to upsell you on everything they have. My advice is to go with what your budget allows for and what you need right now in your business.

SSL Certificatethis is a must-have, whether it comes free or you have to fork out a little extra, don’t skimp on it. Google is coming down on sites that they don’t deem as being safe.

Domain PrivacyUnless you want all your details out there on the big wide web, you will need to take up the Domain Privacy your hosting company provides. You’ll be bombarded with spam emails from companies selling you stuff if you don’t take this one up

Shared Hosting – Again, for right now shared hosting is the budget-friendly way to go for most small businesses. The only reason at this point in time that you should opt for Private hosting or a dedicated server is if you:
a) Will have a whole heap of large images on your site right from the start and will be adding more in the future
b) You will host video content straight from your website as opposed to using platforms like Youtube or Vimeo
c) Your a medium to large business expecting to grow quickly

4 – Assess your level of Tech prowess:

If you pick up tech quickly choose themes that you feel you can actually use. There are so many options out there on so many different platforms. My personal combination for all my clients’ Website Builds are WordPress + Divi theme from eleganthemens.com

It’s a drag and drop type of theme that offers really creative ways to use it, premade layouts and lots of support. If you’re looking for a theme that you can Self Manage even if someone builds it for you, then Divi is my recommendation

5 – Flow:

My last tip is to plan with flow. Don’t try to do it all in one hit. The amount of time it takes to take your business from Website idea to Website launch takes time if you want to do it right.

Whether your going for the DIY option or you want to use a Designer (like me) the more clarity, focus and content you have ready, the easier and quicker the build will take and the more likely you are going to get the results and a design that you LOVE!

Those are my most important tips for you today. My hope is that these tips will help you get clarity and confidence as you go into this phase of your business.

I’ve put together a quick checklist that you can download today that covers pretty much everything I’ve written in this post and you’ll also receive a couple of videos that will help you navigate the pointy tech bits of your planning.

My biggest Tip for you today is this – Make it easy. Make it fun. Make it happen!

Until next time, may your days’ be filled with joy!

Theme Your Work Week and Start Working Smarter

Theme Your Work Week and Start Working Smarter

Are you constantly busy but not feeling like your actually making a dent in your to-do list?

You might spend your days jumping from task to task, losing your train of thought or reacting to things that pop up at any given moment.

It happens right? Everything seems like it’s a priority and at the end of the day, your brain is still running over all the things you didn’t get done.

So much of our energy can be spent on all the things in all the wrong places at all the wrong times.

This describes me to a T about 6 months ago. I was completely overwhelmed with so much work to do and so many problems to solve, both for myself and my clients.

In the end, I fell into a month-long hole of stress, overwhelm and living in PJ’s every day of the week and ended up with Anemia and in the hospital getting blood transfusions so that I could go home and sit at my laptop for 12hrs a day 7 days a week.

NOT ideal!

I knew I had it in me to work hard, but what I needed to do was learn how to work smart!

I know that’s a big phrase thrown around out there in the online universe, but I’m a little stubborn and learning lessons the hard way is one of my less ideal traits.

This challenge prompted me into finding ways that I could address my productivity and efficiency in my business so that I could ensure I had some balance in my family life as well as my personal life.

I read articles, listened to podcasts and trolled Facebook posts to figure what would work best for me. It’s not enough to look for solutions, you also have to try them and if they don’t work, have the tenacity to move on to the next solution until you find your fit.

I found mine, and I wanted to share it in case it’s your fit and it’s able to help get you the independence your looking for in your life while allowing you the freedom to work less and spend more time with your family, friends and yourself.

Theme days are one totally easy and simple way to help you streamline all your to-dos by getting you to block out entire days and dedicate them to one specific type of task.

I use an App by the name of Trello. It’s been a lifesaver in terms of keeping all my information and ideas in one place where I can access them from my phone, tablet or desktop.

Trello is like an online Whiteboard with digital post-it notes. You can find out more about Trello in my ‘Hello Trello’ blog post.

I have a master list board where I keep track of everything in my life and have sectioned out my theme days using coloured labels. You can see the example in the image at the top of this blog post.

Here’s how I’ve themed out my days:
Mondays – Planning – Yellow
Tuesdays – Client Work – Blue
Wednesday – Content Creation – Orange
Thursday – Client Work – Blue
Friday – Catch up – Green
Saturday – Family/Home – Red
Sunday – Home/Planning – Red and Yellow

I’m able to spread all my to-dos out over a week and ensure that I’m working in only one are at a time and not flipping between too many tasks.

This has really helped with my overwhelm, know that even though I have a heap of client work on being able to delegate two days a week to my clients means I’m only taking and making calls on those days and I can spread the work over that two day period and have Friday up my sleeve for anything I need to finish off.

This helps with my clients as well. I’m able to give them a specific timeframe that work will be completed and a specific date that they need to get the information to me so I am able to get it locked into my schedule.

How has it changed my life?

I’m no longer stressed about all the work I have on my plate. At the end of my working day, I know that everything I need to get done that week has been compartmentalised.

Some days I actually don’t have a lot of stuff to do and this allows me to tap into my creativity and come up with new ideas without the clutter of everything else I need to get too.

That’s it for me today, I’m off to write more blog posts for you because it’s content creation day today 🙂

If you LOVED this possibility of getting yourself organised, here are a few resources that may help.

Trello (FREE) – Sign up using this link (disclaimer – this is an affiliate link if you use it join I’ll receive a free month of Gold membership).

Smart Passive Income Podcast Interview with Mark Vardy
https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/podcasts/productivity-and-frameworks-with-productivityist/

Mark Vardy – The Productivitiest
https://productivityist.com

If you want some help sorting through themes for your scheduling or setting up your own Master to-do list on Trello, feel free to email me at info@pacificvacollective.com or leave me a message.

How do you stay organised?
Leave a comment and share your wisdom. Like everything in life, one size does not fit all.

One Page Websites – Are They For You?

One Page Websites – Are They For You?

What is a One Page Website?  It’s probably easier to list how they are used

Here are a few examples of the types of ways you can utilise a One Page Website:
– Landing Page for Opt-ins, freebies or Newsletter Sign Ups
– Your current website is under construction or is being re-designed
– Resume’s, Portfolios and Freelance profiles
– Limited Products or Limited Services for a small business
– An online Business Card

In an age where Social Media is king or Queen, scrolling through newsfeeds are a normal part of our lives. For this reason alone, a One-Pager is an ideal way to connect with mobile users and gives them an experience they are used to.  The whole scrolling thing that we do in Social media feeds is the same action performed on a One-page site and for mobile users, this makes life easier for them to consume your limited content.

If a One Page site feels like the ideal solution for your business at this time, here are a few things to consider in preparation for the process.

Purpose
Every Website, no matter how many pages, needs a purpose. What’s yours?

I’m not just talking about whether it’s going to be a Portfolio or a Sales Page, I’m also talking about the User Experience that visitors will have, the journey you are going to take them on and the end result of that journey.

Figuring out the full purpose of your Site will help you to build the content you need.

Sections
Rather than pages, the One Page Website sections off what would normally be included on a full Website.

These sections need to flow from one into the other.

Flow
The number of sections you need vs the number of sections you want should flow from one action to another

Content & Images
Less is more. Every piece of content, every image has to have meaning within the Flow of the site.  This really helps you get very clear on your messaging and branding for your One Page Site.

Calls To Action
Again, the message for you is super focused & super relevant.

A one Page Website could be an affordable solution for a coach, intuitive or healer who doesn’t have the budget or content required for a normal multipage Site.

Want to discuss whether this type of site is the right solution for your business?

Contact me with your questions via email at info@pacificvacollective.com or book a free 20min consultation and let’s figure out the best solution for you and your business.

3 Steps To Growing Twitter in 10 min a Week

3 Steps To Growing Twitter in 10 min a Week

I don’t ‘get‘ twitter, but I want to have a decent following when I finally do ‘get‘ it so that I can utilize it when I’m ready and not have to worry about building it up first.

Let’s face it, there are so many platforms we can use that sometimes we get caught up in trying to not only use them all but also learn them all.

Almost every social media or blog post I’ve read starts off with saying ‘focus on one platform’ which is seriously the best way to do it, but, if you’re just not built that way, or can’t decide where to start first, then start with 2 and make one as simple as possible.

I mainly focus on Facebook groups and Instagram, but I do have twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and Linkedin.

To combat my need to not feel like I’m missing out, I also allow a little time on twitter to do a few simple things that have and keep growing my account following.

These are:
1 – Follow people who are small to medium influences in your market and follow the people who follow them

Most people when they get a notification that someone has followed them will just follow back. All your doing is getting those people onto your account.  Try just following 5 a week.

2 – When someone follows you, follow them back then re-tweet one of their tweets and write a separate thank you tweet to them.

I find that whenever I do this, I get thank yous back and I get more people following me.

3 – Don’t use an automated system to start off with

Because all your doing is following, following back, retweeting and thanking people, you want it to come across as being personal, if you not going to be posting regularly on Twitter, this easy 3 step method is a good way for people to connect to you.

I don’t get hundreds of followers a day, but I do get 10-20 a week and this allows me to personalise my thank you tweets to them and gives your account that ‘I’m not a bot‘ feel that so many have.

How long does this normally take me? Well, like I said, I get about 10-20 followers a week and I’m only on Twitter a couple of times a week.

I will normally only connect with 5 new followers at a time, so it really only takes me 5min to go through those steps.

Simple, quick and easy and you’re growing your growing your account without having to come up with content all the time.

That’s it for today. My hope that you are able to get some value from this post.

I would love for you to follow me on twitter and I will, of course, follow, thank and retweet one of your tweets in return 🙂

You can connect with me here