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 Certificate – this 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 Privacy – Unless 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!