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Launching Your Business Online 1

Launching your Business Online

Marketing Your New Business

You have your business idea, maybe you have a logo and some business cards – you may even have started selling your product or service. At some point, you will want and need to promote your business. This may be via attending networking events, cold calling potential clients and getting your business online. 

Having a digital presence is like having a virtual shop front and a virtual sales team. If someone is looking for the service or goods that you offer, if they can find and buy easily they will. If you are not online or don’t have an easy way for them to find out about what you are offering you will miss that opportunity for a sale. 

A digital presence could simply start by being social media – starting a Facebook page, updating your LinkedIn platform. Once you have a little more traction, confidence or cash flow you may then start to think about creating a website for your business.

Get Your Business Online

Making the decision to create a website for your business can feel overwhelming and can seem expensive. But there are a number of ways to get a website. You can hire a designer and I have given some tips here on how to find the right website designer for you – each designer has different prices, experiences and offerings. 

For your first website, you may not be able to afford or indeed want to spend lots, and in some cases, you have no budget and may decide to build your own website. There is a number of website platforms where you can easily set up a website yourself which is a quick (and somewhat) easy solution to get you out there.

Create a Website

Once you have decided to create a website, you will need to start thinking about what items you need to have ready.  Making a plan or following a checklist can help:

Branding

The topic of branding has filled many textbooks, courses and you can even do a degree in branding. But quite simply your business, marketing materials, online presence and anything else to do with your business needs to have a consistent personality.

What that means is, have the same colours and fonts used across all your digital platforms and in print (brochures, website, business cards all should have the same style) and all the images you use, the energy of your business whether that is you in person or your online vibe should all have the same flavour. If you are a very serious accountant and have a very organised and conservative approach, then don’t create a fun and colourful playful website – people will be disappointed when they meet you and you will attract the wrong type of customers for your business.

Branding can be as simple as a logo, colour scheme, fonts and simple graphics. A graphic designer can put together a simple mini branding kit together for you to get started, this can be extended to tens of thousands of dollars for a full brand identity which we interview your staff, clients and other key stakeholders to find out more about the brand and includes a comprehensive document with instructions for the language used, colours, logos for different situations and more.

For your first website, having an idea of what your brand is will help get you off to a good start.

Colour Palette
A colour palette for my WordPress website

Customers

Knowing as much as you can about your customers or potential customers will help you design your website. Who are your customers? Why would they buy from you? What benefits are they getting from choosing you over others, how old are they, where do they live? The more you know about your customers the better you can craft your online presence to suit them.

Website Goal

This is probably the most important decision for any new website. What is the point of your website? What are you trying to achieve by having a website? Keep in mind you may have a few different goals, however, there will be a flow or customer journey and it is essential you have a goal.

Some website goals include:

  1. Selling a product
  2. Booking an event or service
  3. Booking a discovery call
  4. Subscribing to a mailing list
  5. Signing up to a course
  6. Improving trustworthiness and credibility – helping make the sale
  7. Attract more leads (via SEO)

To start with you may just have the goal of having a website for the purpose of putting it on your business card or linking to your social media so you appear more professional and trustworthy. Over time as your business grows, your business goals will change too and you can then change your website goals as well.

marketing strategy diagram

Content

Now you have your branding and website purpose, it’s time to start working out what information you want on your website. Always keeping the customer in mind, and noting there are few essential pages for each website, think home, about and contact. If you are a service-based business then you will need some information about your services, you may wish to include some frequently asked questions or possibly even a blog or list of articles or research that your clients may find useful. 

Text / Copy

Having the text (copy) for each page drafted will assist you and your website designer to shape out the rest of your website.  You may also wish to gather up some testimonials for your customers which can be added throughout your website to improve the trustworthiness of your site. 

Images

Along with the copy, you will also require images and possibly video to complement your text. Gather up any product photos, photos of you at work or events, headshots, your customers or any other business photos you have. These all become the foundation of your website and will assist your website designer (or yourself) with the website design process. 

Other Content

Other content you may require

  • Contact details for you and your team 
  • Links to all your social platforms
  • Links to review platforms. 
  • Icons for any associations you belong to, magazines or tv programs you have appeared in or business your have collaborated with 
  • Screenshots of reviews
  • Screenshots or examples of work you have completed (documents, 
  • Portfolio or case studies of your work.

Domain Name and Hosting

If you have purchased a domain name or hosting then this will need to be supplied to your designer as well. As a minimum, you should have purchased the domain name, and discuss your hosting options with your website designer. If you are creating a DIY website then the platform you choose will dictate your hosting options.

Patience, Courage & Decisiveness

The last item on the to-do list when creating a website for your business is to keep your cool. You will need to be decisive and persistent, have a little courage and a lot of patience and your website and online digital presence will be launched in no time. 

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