If you are reading this, you may be experiencing one or all of these 3 problems:
1→ You have been pushing back your website creation because you are stuck with how to introduce yourself and what to put on the website.
2→ You are wondering which platform would be the best to get started, and there are too many!
3→ You can’t find time to work on it and stopped in the middle of it. You are anxious just thinking about it. Let’s be honest, when it comes to marketing, you procrastinate!
My story with websites
I know this because when I started my spa business in 2008, website building was a completely unknown world to me. I didn’t know any other alternative than hiring a creative agency to design our spa’s website. I knew the were charging their corporate customers 5000$ to 10 000$, so I thought I was getting a good deal for 1500$ (plus barter in spa treatments) and hired the web designer enthusiastically. It was a WordPress website, with some customization. This was one of the pages of the website:
Pretty simple, static, not optimal for driving traffic and selling our services.
Four years later, I wanted to redo the site, and I negotiated a new website design with a freelance web designer for 1000$, but it took nearly three months to finish it because of all the back and forth communication we had to go through to get the result I wanted. It was frustrating and draining to do this while running my business.
The disaster that turned into an empowering lesson
Three years ago, as I was making small tweaks to my site, I mistakenly pressed a button in the editor, and the website turned into a BLANK PAGE. That moment was followed by denial (I thought my site was hiding somewhere I couldn’t see), panic and anxiety (where will my clients go without a website?), and then finally, resilience.
I looked up the internet for solutions, found bits and pieces of my site again, and in two weeks' time (with a lot of help), I had a brand-new website. I loved the new version even more than the two previous ones.
This experience was empowering, making me realize that with all the tools available online, it is possible to design a professional-looking website without spending 1000$ for it! Since then, I have recently redesigned the spa’s website to create a stunning new website on Shopify. The main goal was to turn the website into an e-commerce platform, so it brings revenue by selling products and gift certificates online. This is how my Spa business site currently looks like:
(Click on the image)
I think that for a non-techy person, I did a better job than the two previous professional web designers!
I became so obsessed with building websites that I binged over it for the past three years, I played around and built over and over my online course site (this one) using 8 different platforms.
The benefits of using a website building platform-aka CMS (Content Management System):
-The initial setup is simple, you don’t have to be “techy” to do it.
-The user interface is more or less intuitive, on some platforms, you just drag-and-drop.
-When you need to add or modify a post / a photo / an information, you can do it yourself, without having to ask someone else.
-When you have the control over the creation, you become aware of what is possible or not, and this will give you clarity and peace of mind as well.
I don’t intend to replace the value and importance of hiring a web designer. For some companies, it will make sense to engage a programmer to build a more robust website with extended functionalities.
But…If you are a solo entrepreneur or a small business owner, you are probably juggling many roles at a time. Thus, using a CMS to build your site may be the most economical and practical solution and the best use of your time.
Now let’s talk about the 3 common problems where most people get stuck:
1- Creating the Content
It is not true that setting up a website takes 15 -20 minutes, as many advertisements claim. Where does the content come from? Who prepares it? It is you!
What I realized when I built this site, is that the hardest part of creating a website is to start from scratch. And it’s actually not the technical part that is the most difficult but to create a content that resonates with you.
Although the internet will give you all sorts of free tutorials to set up your site, there is a journey you need to take, to learn how to find and speak with your true voice.
I believe that until you walk the path of soul-searching, you cannot launch your website with confidence, and you will unconsciously delay this crucial step of your business growth.
2- Choosing the CMS
The 2 criteria that mattered the most to me were:
-The flexibility of the templates or “themes” – can your website grow with your business?
- The quality of the support service, because I'm not a techy person, it'll definitely help!
3- Where to Start
Here's a question: Why do you want to have a website? What impact do you think this will have on your business?
If you want to have a website just to have one, why would you make time for it? People, in general, tend to get busy with natural routine things and avoid doing the challenging and uncomfortable things. Start with a small business plan of your website.
Call to Action:
What is the purpose of having your online presence?
What impact do you think this will have on your business?
What kind of information would you share on it? Who will be your target audience?
Start by writing down some answers. This will get your feet wet and ignite your creative juices!
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