Getting Setup Online 101Feb 18, 2022
Let’s talk about setting up your “online ecosystem” and building your audience through social media and other platforms.
This is when you start introducing your business to the world. If you're just getting started, these are great tips to get you started off on the right foot. If you already have a website and you already have social media, this is great information for you to take and go back and look at your current pieces of the puzzle; your website, your social media, etc, and say, okay, am I doing this? Do I need to tweak it? So, keep that in mind as we go through these points.
The first piece of the puzzle in your online presence is your website. It is your anchor.
It is the first place people will generally go to check your company out. They may see you on social media, but they will probably go over to your website and see who you are, make sure you're legit, and see what you're about. It’s important to get it right. It doesn't matter what industry you are in, it doesn't matter what products or services you sell, you need a professional looking website.
That doesn't mean that it needs to be complicated, or that it needs to be expensive, because you can actually build it yourself in a weekend. Your website can even be one page, but it must look professional.
Whatever website you build needs to appeal to your ideal customer. Be sure you're using the right images, the right set up, the right layout that appeals to them, and that it to send the right message to that target customer.
The site also needs to be easy to navigate and find the information that they need on it. For all your customer touchpoints, it is essential to step back and experience things as if you were a customer, and your website is a critical place to do that.
You built it, or you had a hand in building it, so you know how it all works. You really need to step outside of that and imagine you're visiting it for the first time. If you were somebody that knows nothing about you or your company, can they find the things that they need? Does it make sense to them? Does it tell them what your company does? Does it tell them what your brand is all about? It's really important to take that step back and imagine yourself just visiting it for the first time and really experiencing it, like your customers do.
Even if you don’t sell products or services through your actual website, your prospective investors, customers, and partners, are all going to check out your site, and you really want to impress them with a professional looking product.
The first step to getting your online address set up is registering your chosen domain site.
You can do that, with domain registrars like GoDaddy.com, register.com, domains.google, and there are many others. This is going to be your address to call home on the web. Make sure it's simple and easy to understand. Also, the shorter the url, the better, because if somebody hears it, you want them to be able to remember it and type it in, So try not to get too long or complicated.
Just keep it simple, and make sure that it really reflects what your business is or ties in well to your business name. When it comes to building the actual site, you may want to work with a web designer, or you may choose to build your own site. It's getting easier and easier all the time, to build your own site. There are user-friendly options like WordPress, Shopify and more, and you can even do the free builder through your domain registrar like GoDaddy, when you register your site. If your needs are more complicated, it's just not your jam, or you just don't want to do it, you can certainly use a web designer.
So do a bit of research, see what people in your industry recommend for the type of site you need. Depending on whether you're doing a membership site, coaching business, or brick and mortar business, there will be different site builders and platforms that are more useful for you than others, and they change all the time.
Let’s talk tips for building a great company website.
The very first step is to plan it out. Start looking at competitor sites and see how they're set up and why they might be that way. You don't want to copy their site. You always want to be yourself and do your own thing, but there may be reasons that they do things a certain way.
It's worth checking out their sites and seeing what they look like. You also want to look at their sites so that you know how to set yourself apart from your competitors, create your own brand identity, and really give yourself your own space in the overall online space.
So, look at your competitor’s sites, see how they're set up, and think about why they might be set up that way. Take note of sites from other industries that you really like, and take note of what appeals to you about them. If you visit a site and you're thinking, “oh, this is great” or, “oh, I love this site”. Stop and analyze why. Is it a lot of white space? Do you like the images? Do you like the way the navigation is set up? What is it about that site that you really liked?
Take notes from sites, with companies, with a similar brand, feel to your, so they may not be in the same industry at all, but they have that same feel.
Let’s say you like really sites that are light, simple, and modern, like Apple. If that's kind of the brand feel you're going for, go look at the Apple site and see what they do, and how they create that feeling, and make some notes on that as well. If you're having somebody design your site for you, make a list of five or six sites that you can show your web developer, to really get across what you are looking for in your design. It really helps if they can visually see and navigate through it, rather than trying to describe it to them. Whether you're doing it yourself, or whether you're having a web designer, be sure to start by sketching out the template for your website. You will want to include the general layout and feel for the home page as well as any other pages you might need.
Also take some time to map out what your headers are going to be. You're potentially going to have an “About Me” page, and a “Contact Us” page, and then what are the sub pages of the dropdown menu from each.
What are you going to want to have on the footer of your site? If you're not sure what you need or what you want, then go back to some of those sites that you like, see how they're laid out, and that's going to give you some ideas for your own site as well. If you've got a website already, go back to your site, pretend you know nothing about it, and look at it and say to yourself, what should I really have in this spot? What if I was on the site for the first time? How do I get in touch with them? Where would I automatically click through?
- Make sure your key information and calls to action are easy to find. If you've got testimonials, make sure you're including those on your site, and things like social media links, maps to your location, links to your blog pages, any other features you need.
- Make sure the site is search engine optimized, so it shows up in the appropriate searches. You want to use lots of keywords, so do some keyword research, and find out what your target market is talking about, how they discuss the problem that you're solving, what words they use and make sure that you're using those in your site as well.
- Check your site on as many potential devices as possible. Make sure that your site is optimized for mobile devices, and not the one you use. Check it on iPhone, check in on Android, and test it on different web browsers. Just because it looks great on yours, doesn’t mean it works on others.
- Check the loading speed for your website. There are multiple tools online that you can use to test the site speed. Many are free to use, and you can just put in your web address, and it will go to your site and it will check it and it will see how fast it loads.
- Keep your site design clean and easy to understand. Visual clutter generally drives visitors away.
- The most important tip is to test, test and test some more. When you're putting your website together, especially if you're doing it yourself, test every link and every button, and browse through the site page by page.
Imagine yourself as a new customer, trying to find information, and click on every single link. Make sure it goes where you wanted it to go. Make sure that its opening in a new window. You need to make sure everything is operating properly.
Once you have that site built, you need to get people to visit it. Let's start driving some traffic to your website.
Entire books and year-long courses are written on this one topic alone. But there are really 4 key ways to drive traffic to your website:
- Build a solid website, with good search engine optimization, strong keywords, quick load times and really high-quality original content.
- Create a social media following and drive them to your site with lead magnet, offers, and calls to action.
- Paid traffic like Facebook ads and Google Ads
- Links to your site from other high-quality sites. Whether that's affiliate partners, other sites or social media sharing your link, or perhaps a link in your bio for an article you contributed to on another site.
Let’s look at setting up and using your social media accounts.
If you know who your target audience is, you should have a good idea of what social media they use and where they hang out online. Knowing your target market buyer persona is the foundation for anything you're going to do in marketing.
If you have not mapped out who your ideal buyers are and drawn out like those buyer personas, where you get very specific about who they are, what they do, how old they are, where they live, what their life is like, what their challenges are, and what social media platforms they use, then take a step back and do that.
We have a free workbook you can download at:
https://www.shecorporated.com/buyer-personas that will walk you through the process, help you find your ideal client, and really get to know them, so that you are talking to them in your marketing like somebody that you know, and you're really connecting with them.
That's step number one in any marketing that you're going to do for your business. So, if you haven't done that yet, go and do that.
Then once you have done your buyer persona’s you will know what social media platforms your people hang out on. Just pick one or two platforms to focus on at the start with or you are going to get overwhelmed. You just cannot do it all. Especially when you're first starting out.
Focus on the one or two platforms where your ideal clients are going to be hanging out. Then identify what name you want to use, (hopefully as close as you can get to your business name), and then you want to register that username on those social media platforms.
I suggest that if you know your target market is on several platforms, but you are just going to focus on one or two to start with, go ahead and register your username on those other platforms now, so that you have them for later. You can put up a couple of posts to hold that space, so that you've got that name reserved for later.
That way, you can have the same username across all the different platforms. It makes it so much easier when you're sharing your social media to have the same name on all of them. It also protects those usernames, so somebody doesn't imitate you on another platform. Go register for accounts anywhere you think your users are going to be, but really focus on just one or two social media platforms to start building your audience.
There are literally thousands of courses on how to grow your social media following, and the strategies and the algorithms change all the time. So, decide which platforms your people are on, which platforms you want to focus on, and then find a short course on a social media strategy for that specific platform.
Every single platform requires very different strategies. So, whatever your platform is, sign up for a short course for that platform and really learn how to use it, and how to maximize it.
My last tip for social media is to make it manageable. It is difficult to manually post to multiple platforms, multiple times a day, and keep up with it and stay consistent (and have a life) and not be tied to your phone all the time.
Get a social media content scheduler. Then can put all of your images and media into it, you can write all your posts, and you can schedule them out for weeks at a time.
It will make you much more consistent on social media, which helps you grow, and it's going to save your sanity.
Once you have your site set up, and your social media going, the key thing that you need to do with both of those, is to start collecting people's emails.
The email list is where your money is.
You could have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people following you on social media. But those people belong to Facebook or TikTok, they don't belong to you. They are not part of your community until you get them into your email list. If your account gets removed, or locked and you can’t access your account, or if one of these platforms went out of business, you have no way to contact those people.
Your social media is on rented property, and if the owner takes it away, they're gone. You've just lost your entire audience. So right from the start (or right now, if you're not doing it yet), you need to start converting those followers to email subscribers. Once they're on your email list, you have a way to contact them directly. You don't have to worry about algorithms. You don't have to worry about them not being able to access your content, or not showing up in their feeds, you can contact them directly. Your email list is an asset in your business.
If you're not doing collecting emails yet – here is the very short explanation of where to start:
- You need a lead magnet - That can be something that they download, a video they sign up to watch, a VIP club, or something else of value to them that gives them a reason to give you their email address. Once you have that email address, you then have that line of communication, and you can start building that relationship with them. You can start giving them value, making them part of your community, and building that relationship.
- Post that lead magnet on your social media or anywhere else you can advertise it.
- After you have those emails, you must start using them. You want to have a welcome sequence so that you're saying hello, you're introducing yourself and your business to them, and then you want to be reaching out on a regular basis. Maybe that's once a month or maybe it’s more often. If you're just starting out, and you're doing it all yourself, you don't need to send out weekly emails. Just make sure that you're reaching out and you're giving your community value, so that you're building that relationship, and they want to stay in touch with you and they want to stay on that list.
So that's your action item for this week. Map out your site, or go test your site, and map out any tweaks that you need to make, and then get collecting emails. Put a pop up on your site so that you're getting people's email addresses, start posting a lead magnet on your social media, and make sure you're starting to get people's email addresses so you can build those relationships and your business!
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