Today's tip from the tip jar might not seem like much to some, but it is needed. I run into people all the time as I'm teaching workshops and meeting people while networking that do not have websites! Yes...it's true. Now, in their defense, many of them have either held successful careers and never needed one because they relied so heavily on word of mouth, or there were those that just couldn't even fathom working on developing a website because it seemed too cumbersome for them.
There are several reasons why having a website is a good idea.
1. As we've stepped into, what I like to call, the Entrepreneurial age, competition has grown. There are new faces entering the market with beautiful, bold, and informative websites that sell what they do.
2. Almost everyone is searching for products and services on the web now. 3. Finally, having a website validates you, your business and organization.
TIP 3: You MUST develop a website. Create a free one to begin with and remember, just keep it simple and clean.
All your other marketing efforts lead to the website. This is where people ultimately get to before they take that action to call you, to work with you, or to give to your organization. There may be instances where a couple other steps come up along the way, but the website is a key decision making factor for most customers.
Now, you don't have to know HTML to get a website created. There are plenty of awesome tools out there for you to use to get you started. I have two favorites. Fist, I love Weebly.com! I used weebly to create my site and the pro version is cheap and so worth it. Weebly has a ton of templates you can choose from that are fairly customizable. Their drag and drop editor makes it super simple to create a site in a flash. Also, you can use one of their domains for instance, yourname.weebly.com, or they give you an option of registering your own domain with them. So check weebly.com out.
Another free website creator is Wordpress.com. I am going to switch to a wordpress.com site at some point because they are becoming the most popular platform for building a website. Also, Google loves wordpress sites. They give you a leg up in the organic search engine optimization game. Sorry for all the lingo here, but I'll go into search engine optimization in another blog article.
So, weebly.com and wordpress.com, are my recommendations to help you get started right away. And, as I mentioned earlier. Keep it clean and simple so that you don't get yourself stressed out. It doesn't have to be perfect...just make sure you don't have too many mistakes and typos. A few nice pictures and concise messaging for your copy is all you really need to get started.
Just a quick note for those of you who are like "duh." I already have a website. Well, I would suggest carefully assessing your current site. I'm sure there are things you can update, upgrade and change. Comb through every page, or at least those pages with actual in depth information about your programs and services and see what you can do to improve the copy, the images, and the general usability of the site. Make those updates. Also, as a general rule, you should update the content regularly.
Here's to you birthing a new site...or re-birthing an existing one!