Five ‘Must-Haves’ to Build Your Marketing Website
One of the very first projects a brand new iMarketer should tackle is also one of the most important: Your own marketing website. We are in a digital age and you are offering digital services. You — even more than most small businesses — need to have a website that truly sings.
But how do you go from a little humming in the shower to a full-out, opera-level belt-out session? Start with these five things and watch your small business marketing website flourish:
1. A strong brand identity.
Your website will often be your very first chance to make a good impression. When a potential client or rockstar subcontractor does a little Google search and stumbles upon you, you want them to be all “Wow!” instead of “Meh…”
Even if your website isn’t their first introduction to you — maybe you met at a networking event last week or through a mutual colleague — you can be sure they’ll be heading there to learn more about your business and the quality of your work. That’s why your website needs to shine with the spirit of you and your brand identity.
Pick a portfolio plugin that is just the right fit to showcase your best work. Show off your passion and expertise in a blog. Put in the necessary time up front to demonstrate what you and your team of awesome subcontractors can do. (After all: If your website looks amazing, maybe they’ll realize that the website you make for them will look amazing, too.)
2. A branded domain name.
Take the time to really think through your website’s domain name. The domain name (as well as your social media handles) should be branded in a simple, clear or clever way that really speaks to your brand’s identity — and is easy to remember.
Our website, for example, is iMarketerlife.com. Why add the “life” to the end? Because we’re all about work-life integration! We believe (no, we know!) that rocking this iMarketer gig is less about a job and more about a way of life, and we wanted our domain name to reflect that. (Plus, our first choice, iMarketer.com, was already taken, so a little improvisation was in order.)
3. Your top graphic designer.
This is not the time to go DIYing graphics. The first thing a visitor to your website will see is your logo, your top headlines and your images. A graphic designer is key to creating just the right feel of your website, which will have a huge effect on that first-impression moment. You want your best graphic designer on this project.
4. Your go-to copywriter.
This is not the time to go DIYing your copy. Spend time talking with your favorite copywriter about your brand identity so that he or she can really grasp the essence of your business. A copy-guru who can write in your business’s brand voice is like gold. If you take the time to perfect this up front, it will be so valuable to have a go-to writer to turn to again and again for all your brand voice needs.
5. Your wizard web-developer.
This is not the time to go DIYing your web development! (We’ve made our point now, right?) If you are not a skilled web-developer, now is not the time to try to learn. A top-notch web-developer will help you create a layout and a flow that will not only attract visitors, but also retain them and keep them moving through your site. Your site needs to be both visually appealing and user-friendly, with all the most important info — like your services, the types of brands you help or how to contact you — easy to find.
Side note about hiring your subcontractors for your website:
This isn’t the time to go cheap and try to squeeze out a deal, even though the site will probably bring all of you more work down the line. A website costs what it costs, and you’re paying for your subs’ skills and talents. It IS ok, though, to emphasize how important this project is, because it serves as an example of the work your team will be able to provide to other clients.
(We’ve got even MORE about websites — plus how to handle your own social media, emails, e-newsletters and lots more — in our Blueprint Guide, which is now only $10!)