Here’s the deal. When you decide you want to build an online presence for either your company or your personal brand, it sounds like an exciting idea at first. You sell all of the possibilities, potential, and opportunities. You imagine fans coming to your site by the truck droves. You see yourself engaging with your raving fans and you see them transacting with you.
Then reality sets in and you realize that in order materialize your dream, you first need…
Then your next wave of reality hits. You figure out the hard way that…
… to build a good-looking website that people will want to spend time on.
It takes time to build content.
It takes effort to get in front of your audience, develop a relationship where they trust you and like you enough to buy from you.
It takes effort to come up with a product or service that they will buy and benefit from.
The bottom line is that it’s high risk to start a new business. There are a lot of unknowns. Lots to research, test, and build out and finally bring to market. It takes time, energy, effort, resources make something of value that people will want.
However, if you still want to go down this route, here are some tips that will save you time and hassle in the very beginning stages of building your online presence.
You need a website. That’s the bottom line. It’s an asset that you own and control. It’s your virtual storefront where people can come to your website and learn about you, give you their information so you can follow up with an email or phone call, and eventually buy from you.
The simplest way to get a website is to go to WordPress.com and create an account. Set up your website pages. Then point your domain to your website. Easy peasy. If you ever want to move your website to a different hosting platform, you can export your content and import it to your new host.
The upsides are clear. It’s fast and easy to set up. You can quickly get down to business and focus on building our your lead generation path. After that’s setup, you can then focus on getting an audience and sending them to your lead gen offer.
The downside is that you are limited in tools and customizations compared to hosting the website on your own server. Depending on your time, skill and budget constraints, you will know which solution is best for you right out of the gate.
If you decide to go the self-hosted option, I recommend this tech stack:
You don’t need a full blown website. You just need a few pages to start for when the first few visitors come to your site. Here are the absolute minimum pages you will need for your website:
Here’s the tech stack for the lead gen funnel, through which you will start to build your email list:
The setup can be as bare minimum as a Smart Bar that sticks to the top of your web pages, asking for people to join your list.
If you don’t have anything to offer in exchange for their email address, you can simply ask them to join your email newsletter so that you can contact them when you have news and new content you want to share with them.
If you have customers from your offline business, you can ask them if they want to join your email list.
If you are starting from scratch, then you’ll have to do some hustling to build your list. It gets easier once you get the ball rolling.
The lowest barrier to entry when it comes to building your email list from scratch is to do it organically and through social media.
Identify the places where your audience are hanging out online, then join those communities. Think of this as a long term strategy. You don’t want to appear rushed and “fly-by-night”. People want to know that you are the real deal. You do this with frequency and consistency.
It is at this junction where you will need a content plan. I recommend starting with content curation. Simply post a piece of curated content once a week. Then you can share this blog post to the people in the online communities you belong to.
By sharing your new posts to your communities, you become keenly aware of what content they will find useful. It’s a great way to get initial feedback on topics and perspectives. You’ll learn about your audience, what makes them tick, what makes them excited.
That’s all for now. I know that the instructions above are overwhelming if you are starting completely from the ground level.
If you’re at the stage where you’re feeling a little anxious, a little lost about getting started, then join my email list. We can take the conversation to a more personal level and set you off on the right path, the straightest path possible.
Now, it’s your turn to go an implement. If you are unsure of any of the steps, here are your options:
No matter which option you choose above, you can join my email list to get additional help. I can suggest certain directions for you based on your situation.
I’m working on this checklist as I am writing this. I’m making the final edits now and will make it available to folks who subscribe to my list. If you’re interested, be sure to join my newsletter.