Smart Small Business Online Marketing – Taking Control Of Your Website
Coach Linda (we will call her Linda to protect her identity) didn’t feel smart at all and it was just not fair…
As soon as Linda made the decision to start her coaching business, she printed business cards and what do you think she did next?
Exactly. She paid a small fortune to a web designer for a beautiful site that didn’t work. (People could not find her website in searches and even those who typed the exact URL from her business card didn’t find the website interesting enough to stay. Some of the few visitors didn’t even understand what the website was about. She had no way of capturing email addresses so as soon as the visitor was gone, it was goodbye forever).
A client of mine referred Linda to me and I suggested that she should take control over her site so that she could make changes, add pages and posts, etc., transforming her website into a client attracting tool.
Why is this important to Linda?
Because her marketing and her message are going to evolve so being able to make the changes that are going to bring the money is key. (NOTE: I define marketing as the clear communication of the value you
provide and back then Linda’s marketing really needed some work).
Linda also has a blog so she needs to update it regularly to attract visitors to her site, provide value and engage her audience.
Imagine if she had to go back to her web designer every time she needed to publish a new blog post! Plus, today you don’t need to be a programmer to be in control of your site. It is actually much easier than ever before.
Back to the story because what happened next was very interesting…
The designer she hired bought the domain name (the address of the site – www.coachlindainthisstory.com) and put it in his name. He also hosted the site. In other words, the website technically didn’t belong to Linda and there was nothing Linda could do about it. As soon as she stopped paying the web designer, she lost her site.
Fortunately, Linda’s story had a happy ending. She bought a new domain name and we developed the perfect site for her. We trained her and a member of her team on how to make changes to the site so that she doesn’t have to do it herself if she doesn’t want to.
Today the website belongs to her and she knows exactly how to make any changes, delete or add pages, images, videos, opt-in forms, blog posts… Every time she refines her marketing message, she is able to immediately up-level her website message. If she has a new marketing strategy, she is able to instantly implement it.
That is what I want for you, too and in this article I’m going to show you exactly what to do to take control of your site so that it works 24/7 for you, building your list of subscribers, engaging your audience, establishing your credibility and authority, differentiating your business and selling to the visitors who are ready to buy now.
1)Buy Your Domain Name And Hosting
Make sure that your domain name is in your name to avoid any kind of problems and buy the hosting for your site (hosting is the server’s space where all your website files live). The investment is really insignificant but this puts you in total control.
IMPORTANT – When you buy hosting for your site, make sure that the company you choose has c-Panel because this will make your life infinitely easier.
ALSO IMPORTANT – When you choose your domain name, buy your name first (I have www.AnaRosenberg.com). You can buy other domains later if you wish and redirect them to your website.
2) Get WordPress
WordPress is a FREE system that allows you to have a blog and gives you the control over your website once it is installed. If your site has WordPress, you will be able to easily add new pages or blog posts and it works very much like a word processor.
3) Decide Who Is Going To Do Your Website Work
As a small business owner, and sometimes a solopreneur, you have to decide what is the best use of your time. (HINT – Small businesses invest their time best in marketing).
You have 3 options here:
a) You can learn how to do all this yourself. There is plenty of information about how to use WordPress (check YouTube).
b) You can hire someone to do the work for you. You are not necessarily looking for a “designer”. What you are really looking for is a web developer. Some virtual assistants do website work as well. You just need to make sure that they will be able to do the work as soon as you need it.
c) You can get a mix of a) and b). You can get a web developer or a virtual assistant to install WordPress for you and then learn how to update the site or have someone in your team trained to do it for you.
SUPER IMPORTANT – Don’t let fear of technology stop you. If you can use a word processor to type text, you can easily learn to update your site.
4) Decide On The Main Purpose Of Your Site
Very few visitors come to your website for the first time and buy services from you without you ever talking to them. I suggest that the primary purpose of your website should be to build your email list by offering your visitor something that can immediately help them in exchange for their email address. That way you can follow up with them and build a relationship.
The system you need to be able to collect email addresses and send follow up messages is called an Autoresponder. You really need one.
Keep all distractions that don’t contribute to the purpose of your site away. That includes social media and links to external pages. If you absolutely need to include a link, make sure it opens in a new window. Why? Because you want to keep your visitor in your site as long as possible.
5) Choose A Clear, Professional Look For Your Site
Thanks to WordPress, it is quite easy to give your website an awesome look and feel. This in WordPress is called a “theme”. It is also very simple to customize a theme or to change it for a different one if you want a makeover.
IMPORTANT – It’s not a good idea to use free themes because they might have some bugs and stuff that you don’t want installed in your site!
Choose one color and maybe a second one for some accents and that’s it. You want your site to look super professional and too many colors might not be the best idea.
The same applies to fonts. Stick to 2 fonts maximum.
Once your marketing message is clear and ready, you can ask a designer to design the header for your website. The header is only ONE image and it can be easily uploaded to your site.
Be very clear with your designer about what you are looking for. A designer is not a mind reader!
From the technical point of view, 99% is covered. Now let’s move onto the really important stuff: what you write on your site because only language sells.
6) Craft A Client Attracting Marketing Message
You need to know your Audience, their wants, needs and desires and let them know that they are in the right place. You should be able to CLEARLY articulate your message so that they get it and you ONLY have 3 seconds to do it.
Get your marketing ready BEFORE you develop your website. It will save you time, energy and money.
7) Decide What Pages You Want To Include And What The Navigation Should Look Like
Write the essential pages for your site (your web developer is not going to write for you). You must absolutely include an About Page and a Contact Page.
SUPER IMPORTANT - You also need to consult with your attorney about the legal pages and disclaimers you need.
Decide what you need to do first and get it done.
To your website success!
Ana “Take Control Of Your Website” Rosenberg