“The first thing I need is a website, right?” Wrong!
I have seen so many examples of people who have left employment, have decided to set up their own businesses, but have obviously panicked, and taken bad advice and some very wrong decisions about their brand and its marketing, before stopping to consider where their brand comes from.
What do I mean?
- I have seen an extremely caring and calming therapist choose bright reds and oranges for her brand colours – colours that shout anger, noise, conflict and pain!
- I have seen a gardener who said that his brand values were robust, hard work combined with modern methods, but whose business card was extremely flimsy and used a very old-fashioned font!
Let’s back up a little… You’ve started your own business. That’s very exciting. And maybe someone’s told you that the first thing you need is a website.
But what you really need to do, is to stop and think, before you head off in an expensive wrong direction. There are a few vital steps you need to take, before you go to the not-inconsiderable expense of, for example, having a website designed, built, populated, hosted, regularly updated and promoted.
You first of all need to define why it is you’re doing what you’re doing. What is your driving passion? Why do you think you’ll be successful at it? Have you sanity-checked its viability in the marketplace?
Come to that – who is your marketplace? Who are your prime prospects? What are their needs? How are you going to attract them? What benefits can you offer them? What makes you unique?
Only when you have thought all of this through – and you are really sure that your proposition is valid – only then can you move forward.
The next step is to think about your core values. What is this business all about? What does it exist for? What does it deliver? What adjectives best describe it?
Once you’ve established those brand values, you can start to think about the facets of your brand – and to talk to a web or graphic designer about how you want your company to be perceived.
Well, at least, not very soon! When you’ve got your website up, how are people going to find it? My analogy is a website is a shop in the middle of a forest – a very large forest called the internet.
People will only find you if they know your address – maybe you’ve met them or they’ve heard about you, and they go to your website to check you out – or if you do an awful lot of work to push them there.
That work may be achieved by social media posts, it may be email marketing, it could be all sorts of activity, but without it, no one will even know your business exists.
Of course, if you are convinced that you are going to get all of your trade through networking, through word-of-mouth, through personal contacts, then you don’t need your website to be highly-ranked, or to push people towards it.
In that case, it will just be there to confirm all the good things that your prospects have heard about you when they have either met you or been told about you by a mutual contact.
Before you get anywhere near the first page of Google, you need to consider very carefully how and where you make your first marketing investment.
I would be delighted to have a FREE half-hour discussion with you, to give you some advice on the best direction to take.LET’S CHAT
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