So you wanna build a website? Well, hold up because if you dont go about it in the right way, you might end up wasting your time.
In this post, Ill share the crucial first steps you need to take before you start building a website for your businessand a couple of amazing resources to help you get started building a brand and business you can be proud of.
Picking a Purpose (Your Website Is Not a Business Card)
First, a quick story. When Pat was in high school, for whatever reason all the cool kids started printing little business cards.
Now, none of them actually had a business, so their cards just had their name on it and maybe the sport they played.
The idea was to look cool. And Pat wanted to look cool, so he went to Kinkos and printed out a bunch of business cards for himself. (To his memory, he was a black belt in karate.)
The Thing You Need to Do Before You Build a Website
Unfortunately, a lot of people want to have a website for the same reason Pat and his friends wanted business cards.
To look cool.
They want to look like and feel like they have something they actually don’t: a business.
So what does this mean for you, aspiring website-haver?
It means building a website shouldn’t be your first step.
The first step is figuring out what the purpose of your website is going to be.
If you have yet to nail that purpose, to figure out who youre serving and how you want to help them, then thats what you need to do first.
Thats what will determine what actually goes on your website.
If you’re having trouble nailing that down, check out Pats book Will It Fly?. Itll help you define your niche and understand who youre serving. Before you start building a website for your business.
Figuring out the purpose of your business is a big step, and it can’t be rushed. At the end of this post Ill share another (free!) resource thatll help you through it.
Getting Started with Branding: Your Businesss Name
Okay, lets say you have an idea of who youre serving and what your business is about. Where do you go from there?
This is where we enter the realm of branding.
There’s a lot to think about here, starting with the name of your business. The name needs to be catchy, but not so catchy that it doesn’t make sense in light of what the business is about.
Is yours a personal brand? Then the business name should probably be your name, or a mixture of your name and something related to the space you’re in.
If youre feeling stuck coming up with a name, the Post-it Note strategy is a fantastic brainstorming technique.
Heres how it works:
The key to this approach is to get all the business name ideasgood, bad, it doesn’t matter out of your head so you can deal with them.
Once youve started narrowing the options, you need to find out if theyre fair game to use for your business. Pop those options into Google to see who else might be using them and whether or not theyre trademarked.
Were not lawyers here, so we highly recommend talking to one if you have any concerns about picking a name that wont get you into trouble.
How to Not Waste Your Time Building a Website
For more on picking a name for your business and figuring out what kinds of content you should be creating for your website, watch Pats 8-minute video below.
Weve just been scratching the surface here, but if youve been thinking about starting a business and building a website, I hope this post has helped get the wheels turning for you.
Before we sign off, remember this: youre not going to build a website overnight and make a million dollars tomorrow.
Youve got to get started somewhere.
And your website will always be a work in progress. It doesn’t need to be perfect at the start. (We’re always working on improving ours.)
So forget about perfection, and get started creating something that will help people and get you results.
If youre eager to do that, check out our Build Your Own Brand course. It walks you through creating your brand and website, and its completely free.
Learn to build a website and a brand you can be proud of
In our FREE 5-day challenge, you’ll learn what you need to start a successful brand. Pat walks you through what you need to know, the technical side of setting up a website and email, and advice on which pages your website needs.