Passion project...side hustle…
Call it what you want...there comes a time when you want (you need!) to do something more fulfilling with your days than working for someone else.
At Fresh Leaf Creative I work with career changers who are tired of working for someone else, and who want to channel their interests, experience and passions into a business that's centred around what they love.
When you're setting up in business, one of the first things you'll think about is getting a website sorted so that you can build your online visibility and give your business a sense of credibility.
But in my experience, many female founders put it off...
They might have their website build on their to-do list for months or even years before finally taking action to bring it to life...
Why do so many people put off their website build?
The most common reasons that people put off their website build are (in my experience):
"I'm unsure of where to get started with building a website"
"I get overwhelmed about the tech side of things"
"I don't have the time to invest"(if you're DIY'ing your website)
"I don't have the budget to invest"(if you're outsourcing your build).
Plus..deep down, you're avoiding putting yourself out there with your new business (ladies, this mindset one is a biggie)
And I get it, because if you've never built a website before how can you be expected to know what to do?
It's easy to see why it can feel so blooming hard and so it's very easy to procrastinate.
But wait, your competitors are delighted about your lack of a website...
The problem is, if you don't have a website you're leaving potential leads on the table.
Leads that would help you grow your business.
Leads that the competition will be very happy to scoop up - boo!
At a time when we’re digitally dominated and reliant on social media and the internet for so much of our decision making, not having a website can make the difference between your business taking off or not.
If you get a website of some form in place from the get go, then you'll be giving your business a fighting chance.
Why a website is important even if you're only just starting up in business
Your website will lend you credibility, trust and professionalism.
It provides a platform to gather email addresses.
It's your very own marketing real estate that no one can take away from you.
It allows you start to rank for local search results.
It means you can leverage the power of Google Maps for your business.
You will start to build your site authority.
You can start to share your brand values and unique point of view by adding a blog.
It reduces your reliance on social media.
It allows you to reach new audiences.
It works hard for your business 24-hours a day.
For all of the above reasons, if you're setting up in business then my advice is to not to put off your website build for too long. The sooner the better. It doesn't have to be complicated but you will be able to grow quicker, attract organic leads and reach a wider audience once you have a website in place.
In particular, your email list is one of the most important assets in your marketing arsenal, and the sooner you start list building the better.
How to get started with building your first website?
* Keep it as simple as you need it to be
You certainly don't NEED a website with all the bells and whistles from the off (although of course it is nice), but as a minimum a single-page scrolling website which explains clearly what you do and allows people to subscribe and contact you is essential.
If you can start to gather email addresses with some form of lead magnet then even better.
* Start before you're ready
Don't let the absence of branding / photography prevent you from getting started with creating your website / landing page. In an ideal world, we'd all have unlimited budget to spend on brand development and website design, but in reality many people need their businesses to start making money before it can be reinvested. It's a bit chicken and egg.
Starting before you are ready may involve relying on template fonts initially for your logo (just make sure what you choose is sympathetic to the message you are trying to communicate and will appeal to your target audience). It may also involve using some simple stock photography that portrays your aesthetic. Stay tuned for advice on where to find the best stock photography for your brand.
* Choose a website platform that you find easy to use
Your website shouldn't be static and it needs to evolve with your business. This is why finding a platform that doesn't bewilder you is absolutely critical so that you're not put off from making updates to your site.
After many years of 'experimenting' with Wordpress (they were very sad times), my website builder of choice is Wix which I love for design flexibility, ease of use and search engine optimisation.
Wix is what I recommend to small business owners and it's what I use when building websites for my clients. There are lots of options when it comes to website builders however, and the best choice for you will differ based on your business requirements and technical experience.
If you want to find out whether Wix is the right platform builder for you I have a free guide that will help to clear up your confusion, along with some helpful advice on what to think about when choosing and securing your domain.
>>Next up : Avoiding the common DIY website bloopers
Website builders such as Wix and Squarespace have made it even easier than ever to build a website for yourself. But whether you're creating a simple landing page for your business or a more involved 4-page site, I know that you'll want to get it done but also get it right.
And if you're not a website designer then the chances are that you don't know what you don't know...and it can be easy to make some simple website bloopers when creating your first site which are easy to avoid if you know.
If you're wondering when's the right time to create your first website or how to get started with social media or building a cohesive visual brand, then stick with me.
I believe that we should all be able to create fulfilling work doing what we love and I'll be sharing the very best ways of gaining traction for your brand so you can do just that.
If you're a career changer with a seed of an idea that you want to nurture, then I'd love to help illuminate your path - sign up for my newsletter to join the community.
I'm a brand designer, photographer and Wix website specialist based in Dorset. I help female business owners and career changers build their brand and online presence through photography and web, brand & human design, so that they can turn their passions into the business they dream of.
Sign up to my email list to join my inner circle and for help on creating impact in your brand.