You get invited to connect with someone on Facebook or LinkedIn. You get intrigued by their idea. You want to learn more.
So you ask the natural question, “Where’s your website?”
And you hear, “It’s not ready yet.” One business owner actually told me, “It’s going to take a few months.”
Months?! That person needs a new website specialist. Is this the time to share what I do?
Or you may not be ready to develop a website yet.
If you’re just entering a new niche, you may not have identified the client’s backstory.
You’re a small business. You want a big online presence. You want to start generating leads and building relationships.
But your website isn’t ready yet. So what do you do? It’s tempting to hang out on an “Under Construction” page. The practice is so common you’ll even find templates to help you.
But you don’t get much benefit from this page. People rarely bookmark anything these days.
Besides, visitors feel they’ve arrived for a party while the caterer is still setting up. They don’t know what to do and often wander off to another event.
(1) Get your domain name registered. The longer a domain name is in use, the more credit you get for longevity with the search engines. I have sites that still get traffic simply because they’ve been around forever.
(2) Create a simple giveaway (a/k/a lead magnet). Use a compelling title like, “5 Steps To Build A Bulletproof Retirement Plan”). Or “7 Guidelines To Choosing A Lawyer To Write Your Will.” Of course, you’ll need to be able to deliver on your promise.
(3) Sign up with an email service. Most services offer free or low-cost options. You can move later. Just make sure they’ve got great customer service and will get back to you quickly if you have questions. Because you will.
(4) Create a simple but attractive landing page website. These days you can use a simple program like LeadPages. You can just set up a page via WordPress.
(5) Want to go for the bare-bones approach? Use your domain name to redirect to a Facebook page or LinkedIn page. Post the availability of your giveaway.
(6) Want a little more? Set up a blog as your website. Lots of established service business owners never bother with a regular website and home page and they do just fine.
Eventually, you can go ahead with a full website with the 4 essential pages. As a rule of thumb, you really need a website when you’ve got at least 10 clients (maybe 5 if they’re signed up for longer-term services, paying you 4 figures). And you’ll find many ways to get those clients before you invest heavily in a website.
Ultimately, it’s not the style of your site or the visual impact. It’s the message you send. Most service business owners aren’t ready to define their message until they’ve seen a few clients … and gotten very, very clear on their foundation.
I’m Cathy Goodwin. I create storytelling solutions that solve your marketing challenges. Download my free 7-step website planning guide, based on what I’ve learned about simplifying the website development process. Most people make it much too complicated! Click here.
If you’d like to explore your own options, the best way is to start with a Strategic Intensive. We’ll explore your business in-depth and you’ll get the exact 1-2-3 steps you need for growth. Often we take the first steps right on the call.