If you’re as tech-savvy as I am, you might sometimes get a selfie stick confused with a blow-dryer.
I’m not so great with technology. Ask anyone in my family and they’ll tell you I’ve avoided Facebook like the plague for years and I’m not much for watching TV either.
But when I started down this whole entrepreneurship road, I realized I was going to have to put my big-girl pants on and do some serious research to educate myself about the tech side of things.
And boy, did I research.
My husband and toddler can attest to the fact that I’ve spend many late nights (and pre-5 a.m. wake-up calls!) to work on my business, but the outcome has been so worth it.
Some of you wellness entrepreneurs out there are die-hard DIYers like me, and choose to learn how to build your own website, logo, and social media foundation from scratch.
Others would prefer to hire a specialist to design your website and write the pages for you.
Both approaches are equally valid, and as they say “different strokes for different folks.” (pardon the pun there, massage therapists)
But whether you go the DIY route or have your website built for you, it’s critically important that you take these steps to avoid huge delays and other problems down the road with your new business.
Speaking from experience, when I chose to take shortcuts in a few areas it really came back to haunt me, and I’ll share what those are below so that you can avoid them and have a more successful launch than I did.
Go ahead, learn from my mistakes!
Read on for the five steps you should take when preparing to launch (or redesign) your wellness business website!
1 | Get Everything Written Down
It’s never a good idea to purchase a website template and start typing directly into it as you go along. You’re bound to end up with numerous typos, mistakes, and missing elements if you do it this way.
Instead, use Google Docs (this is great if others are collaborating on your words!) or Microsoft Word to type up the content for each of your pages before you copy and paste it into your website or email it to your web developer.
I remember wasting so much time on my initial website launch because I was staring at the screen after I had created these cute pages and not knowing what to type to fill them up.
This is the wrong approach, friends. Create your content first, then plug it in.
Make sure you’ve already done your market research so that you can clearly write out your pricing, unique value proposition, and what differentiates you from competitors all ahead of time to be pasted right into your website.
2 | Gather Images
On my site and my social media feeds, I choose to use a combination of professionally shot photos, photos I take myself with my Canon Rebel, photos I take myself with my iPhone, and stock photography.
There’s some incredible stock imagery available for free on the internet nowadays, but no matter which stock photo sources you use you’ll have to accept that eventually you’re going to see those images again on another person’s site.
If cost is a concern (and let's be honest, cost is always a concern for a new business!) I recommend getting at least a few nice headshots taken of yourself by a professional photographer (or a friend with really good Photoshop skills!), and then go ahead and use high quality stock photography for other elements of your site that need to be less personalized. I always recommend having great images of yourself on your Home and About pages.
You should also be thinking about a logo at this point. Any website designer you hire is going to ask you for a JPEG logo file, and it’s something you’ll use often in the future for everything from business cards to Instagram graphics. If you’re not interested in hiring a graphic designer, there are several free tools available to create your own online, or you can just write your name in a nice font and save that as a JPEG file to be used until you have time to create a nicer logo.
3 | Create Skeletons of your Essential Pages
In copywriting, we use wireframes and page mock-ups to show a client ahead of time what the site will look like with the words placed on their page. But long before I create a mock-up for a client, I create a skeleton for the project, which I fill in with my written content for each page I’m writing for them.
If you remember creating essay outlines in high school English class, then you can surely create an outline for a website.
You want to start with just the essentials if this is a new business: Home page, About page, Services page, Contact page, and Blog. If you’re an online-based business you may want to create a page for your lead magnet/opt-in freebie and Sales pages, as well.
Later on you can add things like a Testimonials page, but if it’s a new business you may not have that yet.
Then for each page, you’ll create a skeleton with Headlines, Sub-headlines, Sub-content, images, Call-To-Actions, and Button text.
Pssst! Need a pre-written outline so you know exactly what to write? Snag a copy of my Landing Page Checklist right here:
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Join my email list & get a FREE Landing Page Checklist that teaches you to write a killer Landing Page for your wellness business!
4 | Get Help From a Proofreader
I don’t care if your whole family says you’re a “great writer,” everybody needs a proofreader, and I mean everybody. If you have a friend or family member who has a couple hours to go over your copy with a fine-toothed comb and email you any errors they find, great!
If not, it might be time to look into hiring someone to help you out with that before you publish your words for all the world to see.
5 | If You’re Hiring a Designer, Choose Wisely
Keep in mind that nowadays, your website is essentially your business card.
If a person hears about you from their friend and wants to learn more, are they going to look you up in the phone book or walk up to your location first? Absolutely not.
They’re going to Google you, my friend.
And when they do find you on the internet you want to be proud to lay out the red carpet for them as they roll up to your gorgeous, clearly-written and well designed site.
Now that you’ve just spent hours making sure the words you’re placing on your site are perfect, make sure you choose someone to design it who will give the visuals equal concern. If you’re looking for a referral to some awesome web designers who specialize in wellness businesses, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m happy to refer you on.
If you’re crazy like me, and choose to do everything yourself, do yourself a favor and work just as hard on the design as you did on the wording.