As a solopreneur, you know that you must discover a way to communicate with your future clients or customers. You’ve read in Gerber’s books that you must select channels that will reach them and you have concluded that you must have an online presence in view of today’s electronic and mobile world; a business must be immediately present online. So now it is time to acquire a website. Some solopreneurs will decide to develop their own, while others will hire a web developer to do it for them. In both cases, this website planning guide is the place to begin.
The most important question you must answer is “What do you want your website to do?” Here are some possible answers to stimulate your thinking:
- Establish/confirm your credibility;
- Show clients how and where to access your services;
- Advertise your product;
- Provide resources that support your client group;
- Establish an ongoing relationship with individuals;
- Touch them emotionally so that they begin to trust you;
- Solve a specific problem;
- Educate the public about something new;
- Purchase something here and now;
- Generate the word of mouth process;
- Create some dialogue with a client group.
Your Target Market
Exactly who do you want to reach? Describe your target client in great detail. See the Resources page for a Target Client template
Factors to consider:
- gender and age
- educational level
- income level
- on-line activity
- degree of mobile activity
- trust/fear level
Now decide what action you want your visitors to take on your site:
- Sign up for a newsletter;
- Download an e-book;
- Sign up for an initial consultation;
- Go to an affiliate site and purchase;
- Visit your store;
- Write a review;
- Order some product;
- Sign up for your program;
- Participate in an exercise;
- Attend an event;
- Tell others about you.
Based on what you know about your target client, decide on your visual style. Think about your business branding – colours, business name, logo, etc. to ensure you are consistent. A picture of yourself that you will use in all your marketing efforts. Consider what pictures will be used to represent you and your product and activities. What videos you will include – welcome, explanations, step-by-steps, stories.
Planning Landing Pages
Think through the Website Conversion Funnel.
Website Conversion Funnel
Awareness – you are educating your visitors by telling them what you are about.
Interest – You grab their attention with great headlines and content that hold their interest
Desire – You make clear what problem you can solve and make them want your solution
Action – You show them how to take the action you want them to take, sign up, buy, go to
Echo – You take care of past customers and turn them into sneezers.
Understand that visitors to your website must know what to do. This means you must tell them what to do in a very simple and clear way. This is known as a Call To Action (CTA) Every landing page must have some sort of CTA.
Now that you have some answers, it’s time to decide
- Do I want to create my own website? If so, you may need some guidance and support as you work your way through the process. Wealthy Affiliate is a reputable online site with tons of videos and resources. You can get a free demo here
- Do I want someone to do this for me? Before contacting web developers you must be very specific about what you need:
- Know that you will provide all the website content
- URL research and purchase
- Locate and set up with a hosting service
- Design or purchase of a theme
- Graphic design of all visuals
- Platform updating – these happen several times per year
- Security and backups
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Instruction/training/coaching on how to amend and update content or developer handles all
- Static pages or regular blog postings, or a combination of both
- Posting of videos
Draw up a Request for Proposals in writing so that you are completely clear on your expectations so that pricing negotiations may begin. It is good to choose a reputable local company whose work and reputation are well known. Alternatively, you can find lots of developers online, often for a reduced fee and this makes it even more important to be able to say specifically what you want.
Mindset Monday Challenge
Do the thinking, and put your decisions on paper call it your Website Plan. Now start thinking about the pages your site will have and make it visual using a Mind Map.
You are now ready to take concrete action. Sometimes a sounding board will help move this process along more quickly and comfortably. Contact me here to sign up for a consultation.