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Website Launch Checklist

Website Launch Checklist

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Everything you need to know to build your dream business.

Sonja Bannon

Here is a comprehensive checklist of what you need to launch your website:

  • Domain Name: Your domain name is the name – or address (URL) where your website will reside. You can secure you own domain name with a registrar such as godaddy.com or namecheap.com. Some online services do offer a free domain name when you sign up with their services.
  • Business Email Address: I am a firm believer of professional email addresses. When you are interacting with customers, it is far more credible to use a professional email address such as yourname@yourcompanyname.com instead of yourname@hotmail.com or yourname@gmail.com. Plus, some email services will spam your emails if they come from a free email provider such as gmail or hotmail.
  • Choose your platform. Depending on your needs and your business expansion, you need to consider the right platform:
    Wix: Best All-Around Website Builder. They have the most tools and features when it comes to drag and drop website builders. Whether you want an online booking tool, insert video backgrounds, or favor to create an online store, Wix has you covered.
    Squarespace: Best Design Oriented Website Builder. Their template designs are so good, they can make your website look like it has been professionally customized for your needs.
    Weebly: Easiest to Use Website Builder. They’ve made it so effortless for you to use, you can build a professional looking website even if you are afraid of technology!
    WordPress: Most Flexible Website Builder. You can customize your website to your whatever you want. However it is a little harder to learn for beginners.
  • Choose your website hosting. Unless you have selected a service such as weebly, wix or squarespace, you will need to secure your hosting service where your wordpress site will reside. There are several website hosting services available offering shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, etc.
  • Choose a template or hire a designer. You can go either way. You can choose a template to start with – especially if you chose to work with squarespace, their templates are amazing – you need to choose wisely your starter template. Keep in mind all the elements you need on your pages and how flexible the template is. Do you like the layout? Do you want things changed? Are you building a list and selling digital content? Will is be easy to add opt-in boxes in the content?
  • Have your branding elements ready. You will need to brand your website with your logo, your colors, textures and font choices. You will also want to use the chosen imagery for your brand. That’s where a branding sheet comes in handy. You will also want to use your icons and custom graphics. Please note – all templates are not super easy to change or altered to represent you and attract your ideal client. Do a smart choice regarding your template.
  • Source your images. There are some free options and paid options for imagery. You will also need to carefully select images that are high-quality and represent your brand and messaging. There are some free resources for imagery such as unsplash.com, 500px.com and rawpixel.com. Some paid services include istockphoto.com, bigstock.com and gettyimages.com.
  • Choose your image editor. It used to be that photoshop was the best thing around. Not anymore. There are now a few online tools you can use to alter, resize, enhance and transform your images such as picmonkey.com, canva.com and pixlr.com Yes there are some restrictions with those image editors but most graphic treatment can be achieved.
  • Choose your email service provider. We want to sell online, right? Then you will need a service that gives you the ability to build your list, manage it and communicate with it. If send your customers marketing emails and send legitimate email campaigns that you may want to automate, you will want to get an Email Service Provider. Email providers vary in the way they provide the tools to target and manage your subscribers’ lists. Mailchimp.com, constantcontact.com, aweber.com, infusionsoft.com, convertkit.com and activecampaign.com are all email service providers to name a few.
  • Have a freebie ready. If you want to build your list, you will want to offer a free gift of value in exchange for your customer’s email. That can be a downloadable, a video series or anything that can add value to your customer’s life or a solution to their problem. You will also need to have your optin form ready and tested.
  • Get Google Analytics. Some platforms offer good tracking tools such as clickfunnels.com or leadpages.co Some tools are also offered within squarespace.com or wix.com. However on a wordpress website, you will want to be able to track your traffic so you can better understand where your website traffic comes from and how your viewers behave.
  • SEO. Short for search engine optimization. In order for google or bing to find your website, you will need to define what the pages are about and how google should index your pages. You will need to define keywords and description for google. Imagery for social media sharing. This needs to be done for all searchable pages.
  • Test. Finally test your site completely before you launch it. Check all links, forms, opt-ins on all pages. Make sure your links open in a new tab or window when appropriate. This is a must before you unveil your site to the public and start promoting it.

Hey! I’m Sonja Bannon.

Founder of Daring Design Co, I create Done For You WordPress Themes, Templates and Systems for Health & Wellness Pros and Course Creators. Dare to launch your dream business!
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Your Absolute Must Have Website Pages

Your Absolute Must Have Website Pages

Blog

Everything you need to know to build your dream business.

Sonja Bannon

A website can be a one page website or a multi-page website. Usually a one page website will
not have any blog posts as blog posts require additional pages to function.

One-Page Website

A one page website can be a great way to start your online presence while you build your
multi-facet site.

To be effective, your one page website MUST contain the following:

  • A header with a short sentence describing what the website is about and who it is for.
  • An opt-in form to build your list (can be an opt-in freebie or an invitation to sign up for a
    newsletter).
  • A section about who the website is for and how you are proposing to solve your ideal
    client’s problem.
  • Your services or offerings.
  • Who you are. A bio is a must as people need to know who you are before doing business
    with you.
  • Testimonials and social proof.
  • A way to contact you.
  • Terms and conditions, privacy policy and disclaimers.
  • Copyright information.

There you have it. All the information you will need on one page! And have a top menu for the
user to be able to jump from one section to the other without having to scroll through the page.

Now let’s talk about a multi page website.

Starter Website Pages – Or Core Pages

These are the pages you absolutely must have on your site. These are called the core pages
and all Professional multi-page sites must have those pages in place.

  • Home Page. This page can be a static page or a blog page. Or a combo of both.
  • About Page. This page will talk directly to your ideal customer and introduce yourself as the most amazing person to solve your ideal customer’s problem. This will of course feature your bio and perhaps some fun facts about you.
  • Work with me page/Services. This page is where you will outline what you offer as a service or showcase different ways your ideal customers can work with you. For example you can offer different coaching tiers, online programs, calls or through services you offer.
  • Blog. This is where you will see a list of your blog posts as well as a way to select what category of posts your customer may want to read.
  • Single Blog Posts. This is where you will expand on what your business is about, write cornerstone content and attract your ideal customer to your site. These pages are where your blog posts or articles are written. You can have videos, text, graphics on that page. You can also use this page to upsell your services, invite your customers to opt-in for your newsletter and to give you their email address.
  • Archive Page. This page is a search result page based on a chosen category or tag.
  • Contact Page. This is a page where your customers will most likely fill-out a form to contact you. It’s a great place to pre-qualify customers by asking them to select different options. It is also a place where you can tell your customers how to find you, where to find you and hours of operation.
  • 404 Page. Most people tend to forget about the 404 – or not found page. This page is a
    landing page for pages that are not found on the site.
  • Privacy Policy, Disclaimer & Terms and Conditions Page(s). These pages are there to
    explain to the viewers how you do business and in what terms.

Uplevel Website pages

Once you have your core pages in place, you will probably want to drive traffic and build your
list. Building your list is the single most important activity you will want to do in order to sell
your products, programs and services online.

  • Opt-in page. This is where you will propose a free offer in exchange for your ideal customer’s email address. This page will have a form that is linked to your third party
    email marketing service such as ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp or any other service you prefer.
  • Opt-in thank you page. This page is where the customer will land once they have optedin to receive your free offer. It can be a simple message such as “Please check our email
    for the information you have requested.”
  • Short Form Offer Page. This is a small product or service you offer for sale. Usually less than $20 for a tripwire program up to $97 for a small program. This page will explain
    what you offer and how it can benefit your ideal customer. This page will have a purchase
    button linked to Paypal or Stripe. You can also use a third party service such as SamCart
    or ThriveCart for the transaction. Some website services such as squarspace.com or
    kajabi.com do offer an integrated way for your customers to be able to checkout.

Advanced Website pages

Once you do have your core pages and advanced pages in place, you may want to expand
your online business with these additional pages:

  • Webinar Opt-in Page. Unlike a freebie page, this is a page where your customer can
    sign-up for your webinars. You will then also add to your growing list of potential clients
    and be able to remind them when they need to hop on the computer and learn from you.
  • Webinar Opt-in Success Page. Your customer need to know that their registration has
    been received and that they are now able to attend your webinar.
  • Long Form Offer Page. This is a sales page for your upper-level offers. Your upper-level
    offers can be courses, products or retreats that are selling for a higher price. Usually at
    those investment levels, you will want to use a longer form sales page to cover everything
    so that the user can make a purchase decision right there.
  • Purchase Success Page. This can be also used with your Short Form Offer Page or your service purchases. This can be a generic page guiding your client as to what comes next
    and to thank you for their purchase.
  • Shop Page. This is a page where your customers can have an overview of all the
    products and programs you have to offer. Just like a brick and mortar shop, this page is a shop display where they can make their selection.
  • Miscellaneous Pages. Depending on your business, you may want to have a press &
    media page, a specialty page, a free training or resources page. You can also showcase success stories, your company’s philosophy and how your roll, case studies or a Start Here page.
  • Membership Hub. Again depending on your business structure you may want to have a
    member-only login area where your client can retrieve their purchases or access your membership. This can be one page or several pages depending on the complexity of your business.

You can add as many or as few pages you need. However always keep in mind that simplicity
is the best. Too many option will always leave the customer confused and leaving your site.

Hey! I’m Sonja Bannon.

Founder of Daring Design Co, I create Done For You WordPress Themes, Templates and Systems for Health & Wellness Pros and Course Creators. Dare to launch your dream business!
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5 Things You Need To Do Before You Build Your Website

5 Things You Need To Do Before You Build Your Website

Blog

Everything you need to know to build your dream business.

Sonja Bannon

#1 – Define your WHY

The online business journey is more like a marathon than a sprint. Is it usually a lonely path in uncharted territories for most business owners. It is a good idea to define your WHY in starting an online business.

Your why is what you will go back to when you are in periods of doubt. When your launch did not bring the numbers you expected. When you are not sure if you made the right decision.

Your why is what is at the core of your decision to become a business owner and enter the world of online business.

My WHY is my love for freedom. I want to be independent and not having to work for someone. I want the freedom to have a business without earning ceiling. I want flexibility in my time and in the way I am doing business. I also want to have the space to develop my ideas and present them to the world.

Now it’s your turn: What is YOUR why? Write your answers down in your journal and review often

#2 – Gain Clarity

Clarity = Power. You need to be extremely clear on how you want to build your online business. If you want to create any result you need to know exactly what you want. You need to be clear on your own vision. What do you want from your business? What lifestyle you want and what outcome you want? Writing it down in your journal is also important as you can refer back to it to keep you on track. Be super specific. The more specific you are, the more able to are to envision it and take the necessary actions to bring your idea or concept to reality.

#3 – Know Who You Are

As much as a professional website is a window to your business, it is also a window to who you are and what you stand for. With the choices of words, colors, imagery your website speaks to the world in a specific way. This becomes part of your branding.

If you were looking for a clean definition of personal branding, then here’s one from Dan Schawbel, author of “Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future” and owner of PersonalBrandingBlog.com:

“A personal brand is what you stand for and what makes you special. [It’s] composed of values, a mission, and a positioning statement that depict what you do and who your audience is. [It] is an indicator for how valuable you are to employers and customers at every stage of your career.”

Be also very clear on your skills and abilities and how you will promote them within your professional website. If you are not sure, ask your friends and family to help you. Know what makes you unique and how you want to leverage it.

#4 – Meet your Ideal Customer

Your ideal customer is the person you are solving a problem for. A person who will be your wildest fan and who you want to work with. You need to intimately know your ideal customer in order to be able to speak to him/her in terms that they will understand.

Take some time to define this person. You may have met that person in real life. Go spend time together. Find out what their issues are and how they see the world. Learn where they spend their time and how they invest their money. Know what lifestyle they have and what would make their life easier.

It is crucial to create a very specific description of your ideal customer and know how they think in order to appeal to them.

Once you know your ideal customer on an intimate level, you will want to infuse what you know about them into your brand, your message and your offerings.

Defining your ideal customer and their habits and focusing on their needs is what is called a niche.

#5 – Build the right online business

What kind of online business do you envision? What business model do you want to have?

It is true that when we first start in the online world this question is hard to answer. The more you are clear on this, the better it will be to make a decision regarding tools and services to build or uplevel your professional website. Now keep in mind that your business will evolve and probably change.

The beauty of having an online business is that it is quick and easy to alter it.

Here are questions to push you to think about your online business model:

Do you want to sell evergreen programs?

Do you want to launch several programs a year?

Do you want to build a membership site?

Do you want to provide information?

Do you want to sell services?

And of course you may want to build all the above!

Having a clear idea about what type of online business you want to create will give you the opportunity to plan and strategize your professional website from the beginning.

Hey! I’m Sonja Bannon.

Founder of Daring Design Co, I create Done For You WordPress Themes, Templates and Systems for Health & Wellness Pros and Course Creators. Dare to launch your dream business!
more about Sonja

Get Social

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Do you Really Need a Website?

Do you Really Need a Website?

Blog

Everything you need to know to build your dream business.

Sonja Bannon

If you are a small business owner or you’re just starting out and secretly wish you had an online business, working from home or dreaming about quitting your 9-5 job, you may think there is no benefit in having a professional website since you can do everything on social media. Or maybe you think you can’t afford to have a professional website, so you may get a free website and do it yourself or ask your friend’s son who builds websites on weekends.

Perhaps you’re in the generation that didn’t grow up with computers, you don’t use a computer so you think your customers don’t use computers either. Maybe you think if you are not tech savvy why bother with a website anyways. Perhaps you have been relying on word of mouth for so long that you are doing very well this way, why invest in a professional website?

Here are some stats: The new 2018 Global Digital suite of reports from We Are Social and Hootsuite reveals that there are now more than 4 billion people around the world using the internet. Well over half of the world’s population is now online, with the latest data showing that nearly a quarter of a billion new users came online for the first time in 2017.

More than two-thirds of the world’s population now has a mobile phone, with most people now using a smartphone. eMarketer estimates that non-voice time spent per day by smartphone users will have risen from 2 hours 18 minutes in 2014 to 2 hours 42 minutes by 2019.

Our online behavior has been changing with the rise of more affordable devices and data plans.

9 reasons you need a professional website for your business or side-hustle:

Reason #1: A professional website is the window of your business

People use the internet to gather information every day for any reason. That you are a local business or not, if you are not on the internet, someone else is and will get the business.

Finding out about your hours of operations, address, contact, or trying to find a solution to a problem, getting a menu, booking an appointment is all accessible via the internet nowadays.

You will want to have your business available virtually online where anyone can find you and contact you.

In addition to providing pertinent information, a website is also a window to your business where you can promote new products and services as well as explain, with all the tools available (text, audio, video, imagery, etc..), what your business is about and how it can benefit the viewer.

Reason #2: A professional website is always open for business

Your website is working for you 24/7. The online world is never closed and no matter where you are in the world, someone can access the information, services or products you have available at any time of the day.

Building your list, selling programs or products is no longer limited to working hours. Your professional website is doing this for you and without you.

Reason #3: A professional website enables you to target a wider audience

A website is available anywhere. The World Wide Web is available to anyone with internet access. That means your website can be viewed from anywhere in the world.

Brick and mortar stores product-based businesses can also sell to a wider audience with the help of an eCommerce store. Think of all the people who can’t get to your bricks and mortar store that you could sell your products to.

Service-based businesses can also serve anyone around the world. With the abundance of affordable communication channels, it is now possible to do business with anyone, anytime. A website makes it much easier to attract new clients in the global market.

Reason #4: Do business your way

With your website, you can do business however the way you want. You set the tone of who you are as a business owner and how you are interacting with your customers. You are free to imagine and create your online world and choose the business model that will attract your ideal customer.

Reason #5: No website means losing business

It is clear that not having a website means losing sales to another business. However a bad website is worse than having no website as it is promoting a bad image of your business.

Having a professional, polished looking website that functions easily and offers customers clear navigation, strong imagery, professional quality content and an overall experience that engages your customers enough to want to do business with you is key.

Reason #6: A professional website saves you time

Your website is also a place to educate your audience about your products and services that can be accessed anytime. You can also provide automated customer service via your website that would otherwise take time.

A vast amount of resources is available to your customer or ideal client anytime without your interaction. So you can invest your time doing what you do best.

Reason #7: You control your content and offers

You have the opportunity to make new offers, provide new and updated information, remove products, offer discounts at anytime. You can change the look of it with the push of a button and launch a new product in matter of days or hours.

Reason #8: A professional website saves you money in the long run

I have seen countless business owners believe that once you have a website, customers will come and buy. This cannot be further from the truth.

In order to be found on Google, you will need a robust SEO (SEO is a three letter acronym short for Search Engine Optimization. Search engine optimization about trying to rank higher in search engines.)

You also will need a way to capture your ideal customers’ emails to grow your list and have a way to convert those customers into repeat buyers.

If you don’t strategize your investment from the beginning, you will lose more money by having a designer redo the site and help you put the necessary elements in place so that you professional website generate leads and sales for you.

Reason #9: A professional website is not just a website

Yes, websites are becoming more user-friendly for a business owner to build their own website, and still look good. But in addition to looking good, your website needs to be the extension of your business and work for you 24/7.

Your professional website needs to be generating leads and sales.

You website needs to represent you as well as attract your ideal customer. You website needs to be more than just a website.

It needs to be a list-building & money machine.

Hey! I’m Sonja Bannon.

Founder of Daring Design Co, I create Done For You WordPress Themes, Templates and Systems for Health & Wellness Pros and Course Creators. Dare to launch your dream business!
more about Sonja

Get Social

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