Planning your website

Planning your website

So, you’re thinking about building your own website? Good for you! There are plenty

of tools that you can use to DIY as much of your website and marketing as you want.

Your biggest investment with this approach is time, and if you’re going to invest your time and energy

into building your website, I want to help you start off on the right foot.

 

What’s a website strategy?

Well, I’m glad you asked! It’s a few key things. Mainly, it’s working out:

  • WHO you are targeting
  • WHAT you are selling
  • HOW you’re going to make those sales

Those are the key areas are where you need to focus right now. And I’m going to help you work out how to do it! I’ve broken it down into 5 parts to make it easy to digest. A word of warning though – this isn’t a short blog post. But it is PACKED with useful information to help you get going. Right, let’s dig in.

 

Step 1: Your Ideal Customer

Before doing any sort of marketing, you need to know who you’re marketing to. You need to find your target audience. Sounds obvious, right? But have you actually spent the time to work out your ideal customer properly? This is the step that most of us skip in the beginning (I totally skipped this step when I was first starting out). And I’m not just talking about a vague idea of who you think they might be.

You need to create a fictional character – your one  ideal customer 

You should give this person a name, and possibly find a photograph to represent them. Sounds silly? It might make you feel a bit daft doing this exercise, but the results and impact on your business growth will be anything but silly. You see, when you know who it is you’re marketing towards, all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place much more easily.

How does it apply to your business?

  • When you start to create your brand, you think about what this ideal customer likes and what would resonate with them.
  • When you’re deciding which products or services you can sell, you think about what this ideal customer would buy from you.
  • When you’re ready to start marketing your products and services…that’s right…you think about where your ideal customer is hanging out online, and how you can connect and nurture the relationship.

OK, so here are the things you need to do:

  • Step 1: List all the demographic characteristics of people who you would love to work with
  • Step 2: Flesh out your ideal customer by digging into their personality – what they believe in, their values, their gcallenges and pain points
  • Step 3: Work out where they hang out – what content they consume, Facebook groups, who they follow on social media and all
  • Step 4: Document a typical and Ideal day in the life of your ideal customer.

The end result? Clarity on the one person that you can direct all your marketing efforts towards.

Step 2: Research  Your Competition

I bet you are feeling pretty excited  and you just want to get right into it and  start implementing your ideas, but you need to step back for a moment. YOu need to find out what others in your industry are doing and learn from what others are doing already. 

I’m not talking about stealing other people’s ideas, just about getting inspiration and researching what works in your industry . You’ll end up with a big inspiration file that you can dip into as you’re building your own website.

How to find websites in your industry

There are a few techniques you can use, One of my favourites is the Google Keyword Planner tool. It’s free, it’s easy to use and you can access tonnes of really useful information. Here’s what you do:

  • Create a Google Adwords account
  • Find out what are some top search terms in your industry
  • Google those terms
  • Make a list of websites that are on page 1 for those terms (they’re on Page 1 of Google because they’re doing something right)

Group your research into categories

When you’re searching for websites in your industry, Come up with categories that you’re looking for while discovering those websites that inspire you.  Some ideas for categories and what to look for are:

  • Design elements – colours, font and photography
  • User experience – how the website is laid out, and how easy is it to navigate
  • Calls to Action – where are they placed, what do they look like, what is the path through the site
  • Specific page designs – create a category for Home Pages, another for About pages, etc
  • Products/services
  • Prices
  • What online marketing are they using (for example, are they gathering email subscribers)
  • Save your research in a spreadsheet

Step 3: Create your  brand identity

. Your brand identity  covers the following :

  • Design elements: logo, colour palette, photography style, font choice
  • The content on your website: what information you share
  • Your ‘tone of voice’: how you share your content, and what that sounds like
  • Core Values 
  • What products and services you offer

Pulling it all together 

Write a mission statement

A mission statement is a couple of sentences that describe the values and aims of your business. Some questions you can ask yourself to help with the process are:

  • What do you do?
  • How do you do it?
  • Who do you do it for?
  • What value are you bringing?

Narrow down your products/services

Write out your brand adjectives

You then get more clarity around what your business looks like, and how you want it to be perceived. Do some brainstorming and come up with 5 adjectives that really describe the heart and soul of your business.

Step 4: Create a website style guide

A website style guide is a 1 page document where you summarise the  design elements of your website. So when you’re ready to start designing, you’ve got solid ideas to guide you. A style guide includes:

  • A colour palette
  • Photography examples
  • Button design and colours
  • Icon ideas
  • Font decisions
  • A place for your brand adjectives to sit as a reminder

Firstly, create a mood board on Pinterest

A mood board is just a collection of visual elements that inspire and represent your brand.  You can pin images from websites as you’re organically moving around the web. You can also go back to your industry research, and pin the design elements that match in with your brand direction.

Secondly, create the style guide

Using Canva (a free graphic design tool), it’s easy to pull this together.  And that’s it. It’s really quite simple, deceptively so. But once you start building out your website, you’ll be glad that you created this reference sheet to help guide that process. Phew! We’re almost there. It’s a bit of a process, isn’t it? But just imagine trying to build your site from scratch without any of this preliminary work. You would get stumped over and over again, wasting hours and days switching fonts out, changing your mind about colours, and not even really knowing what you’re trying to achieve with the final product.

Step 5: Create your site architecture

This is documenting the layout of your website – It’s how you layout your pages, how they link to each other, and what content you include.

Step 1: List out your goals

Your website goals are the marketing reasons that you’re creating this website in the first place. I can’t emphasis enough how important this it is that you get really clear on this. A business website should be built to help bring in leads, and support your business growth. Some ideas for your website goals are:

  • Sell a service directly online
  • Sell products directly online
  • Generate leads – eg. Get prospects to call you or send through an online enquiry
  • Get subscribers on an email list – an amazing way to generate trust and loyalty
  • Build a community – a great tactic if you want to build a membership site, for example

You can (and probably will) have more than 1 goal for your site. But methodically think through each goal, and design and layout the pages so that your goal is supported.

Step 2: Create an Excel spreadsheet 

Set up 3 columns – one for goals, one for pages, and one for content For example, if you want to get subscribers for your email list you will need:

  • A Landing Page (the page where you collect the email addresses)
  • A Thank You page to send subscribers to after they’ve given you their email address

Your content would then be:

  • Opt-in lead magnet
  • Page copy
  • Images
  • A Call to Action for the Thank You page

In addition, all websites will also need

  • A Home Page
  • About Page – describe how your business can help your clients, and a little bit of personal information about who you are
  • Contact Page – if you’re a local business, it’s really important to have your physical address on the website
  • Products/Services page – depending on your business this will vary, but at least 1 page, and probably more than one, describing and outlining what you do and what you’re selling

In conclusion

Right, that’s it. We made it! Well done for getting all the way to the end. I know there’s a whole lot of stuff to digest here, but take your time and work your way through it.

When you’re ready to build your website, you’ll have done a big part of the hard work already and it will make the whole process so much easier for you! Now go ahead and build an awesome website that’s going to help you create a profitable business!

How to Build your email list with focus

How to Build your email list with focus

“The quickest way to do many things is to do one thing at a time.” – Christopher Westra

You might be thinking that the best way to get things done is to multitask and work on many things at the same time. But by juggling too many tasks, you’re well on your way to feeling overwhelmed and eventually burning out. This doesn’t do your business any good at all.

When you focus on working on just one thing at a time, you’re able to think deeper and be more creative, which results in a better finished product.

If you want an email list full of subscribers, you need to focus on one thing: building your email list. When you invest your energy into your email list, you’re able to convert subscribers into paying customers and build relationships with customers you may not have met any other way. In this post I will share 3 things you can do to help you focus your efforts on building your email list.

1. Prioritize

Before you spend your time on trendy marketing tactics, make growing your email subscriber list your top priority. Whether you’re launching a new business or looking to grow your current one, a high-quality, relevant email list will help you achieve your goals.

This might feel impossible when you have a huge list of high priority tasks in your business, but with email marketing you’ll put automated systems in place to attract potential clients on a consistent basis.

2. Strategize

You can’t expect your business to grow if you aren’t taking advantage of email marketing. Think strategically about where you want your business to go and plan for that.

Start by identifying who your ideal customer is. Create an enticing free offer, and use that free offer to get people to join your email list. Seize the opportunity to market directly to your potential customers by creating and growing your email list. This is one surefire way to grow your business. 

3. Focus

When you focus solely on growing your email list, you are putting processes in place that will bring in huge results for your business over time.

Email marketing has been proven to work time and time again, so invest the time needed to build a solid list. It doesn’t take a lot of time to create your first series of emails. The beauty of email marketing is that it takes the same amount of time to create and send one email as it does to send 500 emails. By automating the process, you will save time, reach a larger audience, and build relationships with your subscribers.

Avoid getting caught up in trying to do too many things at once, and focus solely on building your email list for now. Email marketing is a great way for you to stand out to your audience when you’re starting a business or trying to grow an existing one. Your subscribers are eager to receive your emails, and over time they will begin to see you as an expert in your field. Put time and energy into growing your list, and it will reap endless benefits for your business.

Final Thoughts

We hope these tips help you get focused on starting on your email list building and moving out of research mode .

I think a big reason why I am sometimes distracted and focused on many things is because I’m too afraid of “making a mistake.” But making mistakes and taking chances is what helps you grow as a person.

Looking for more content like this? Join our email newsletter where we send weekly emails including tips, tricks and our motivation and support for you as a small business owner!

Creating Your Business Email

Creating Your Business Email

Day 3 Build Your website challenge

 

I will show you step by step how you can create your business email from the Siteground Control panel, I will show you how to create an email account for business. SiteGround provides cPanel, so you will be able to access it to create the Email Accounts.

First, you need to login to cPanel and click on the Email Accounts icon located in the mail section.

Next, you will need to type in the new Email account you want to create and fill the necessary information for it.

 

  • Email – enter the email address you want to create. Note, that if you have more than one domain registered you will need to choose the right one.
  • Password – select a strong not easy to guess the password for your new email account. The password strength helps you make it secure enough.
  • Mailbox Quota – choose the size of the mailbox. Note, that different accounts have different maximum mailbox size. You will see a note with your specific limitation above this field.

Once you’re ready, press the Create Account button at the bottom. That’s it.

HOW TO RETRIEVE YOUR EMAILS

To receive your business emails, you have two options, you can access it via your control panel, visit the same email section and click on webmail, type in the username and password you have just created and sign up

OR

You type into your address bar yoursitename.com/webmail and it should take you to the sign in page and you use your details to log in. You will then be presented with three different email clients you can choose anyone to access your emails.

EMAIL FORWARDERS

You can set up email forwarders for your emails,  you can choose to forward the email to a pop address if it saves you logging in every time. Visit the same email section and select the forwarders option

Click on the add forwarder button and type in the address you would like to forward and in the destination section, type in the address you would like to forward to the email forwarded to and click on the add forwarder button and you are notified that it has been done

That was also easy wasn’t it

Well Done!!

 

Hey there. I’m Tosin. I help female entrepreneurs build profitable online businesses that get you the freedom and time to spend with your lived ones.

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