These days, whether you are starting a side-hustle or launching your serviced-based business it is required that you have a professional website to showcase your services, generate leads and convey thought leadership.
Gone are the days when you would spend thousands of Euros on a website design agency or even a freelancer. Nowadays you have many options and as more web developers are born each day, the sky is the limit on what you can achieve.
To put you on the path to starting a world-class website that is an instant success, this step-by-step guide will explain how you can start without spending thousands of Euros in one go.
1. Why you need a website
A website is a great way to build a brand, connect with potential customers, and build your business. This is especially true for people who sell services, not to mention people who sell products, obviously. A website instantly conveys the following things to your prospects:
- You are professional: if you sell any kind of service and you are still asking customers to check your Facebook profile while your email is “firstname.lastname@example.org, you lost the customer. How can people trust you when your image is not showing professionalism?
- You know what yu are talking about: words are powerful. What you write on your website show that you have a firm grasp of your profession – whether you are offering plumming services, or your a a law expert or a yoga teacher. People need to read what you offer and say “Yes! This person is the best for me”.
- You convey thought leadership: When you have a website, you instantly have a platform to communicate not only your expertise, but also your opinion, quick and easy tricks for your prospects to follow so you can increase your liekability and also a platform to show who you are. Your customers will feel a bond with you and it will be easier to sell them, when they are ready.
2. Nail Your Messaging
When you sell your services via a website, it is imperative that what you say and to whom you are addressing will make or break your business. For example, before our relaunch, Centis was specifically addressing the nutraceuticals market. All our pages, our content, our blog posts, email marketing were written specifically for this market.
This time, we decided to change our narrative and instead of niching down on a specific market, we decided on niching down on the product we sell (yes, this is also niche).
So our clients are anyone who needs a website AND marketing (rather than going to two different agencies) for a low monthly fee.
Your messaging should address the different stages of the customer journey. What we mean by that is when you are addressing a new prospect, they do not know you. So this is the entry stage, or as we marketers call it, the awareness stage.
Then when the prospect is in contact with your content and messaging, he “enters” the consideration stage, and when he buys from you, he is on the purchase stage.
These steps are what makes a customer journey – and your messaging should address each stage and as a whole. What do we mean as a whole? We mean a market segment – for example, if you want to create a real estate website, then your message should be addressed to people who want to buy or rent a house, for example.
3. How to actually start a website with less than €150
Finally, we are entering to the “meat” (I do hope you are not a vegetarian!) of how to start a website with less than €150.
Let’s say you are a yoga instructor. Or a mindfulness teacher. Or a plumber. Anything. You consider starting your own business and obviously, you need a website.
However, you are scared of asking for prices from agencies as you are afraid that salespeople will push you to buy something you do not really want – or it may be too expensive.
What if you could instantly know how much a website would cost you to develop?
And what if I told you that for the same price you would have marketing as well?
We do not like to brag, but there is a such service, with a cost starting just at €149/mo (€129 if you prepay annually).
The name of the service is the Aspiring Entrepreneur and includes everything you would like a website to have, without any setup fees and any upfront costs.
So what kind of website you get for €149/mo?
The answer is simple – a world-class website 🙂
When you sign up for the Aspiring Entrepreneur plan:
Flawless Design: We work with you to customise a website that meets your needs, and doesn’t look similar to anyone else.
Fully Optimised Capture Forms: Your website will have fully optimised lead capture forms so that when a visitor requests more information or wants to book a meeting these will work flawlessly and are easy to fill.
CRM: Ok, so someone fills out their information in one of the lead capture forms. And what happens next? You see, most web design agencies do NOT know anything about marketing. They simply create a beautiful website with no idea on how to convert the customer. They simply deliver you the website empty, leaving you to figure out how you want to work with it.
In dire contrast, Centis provides you with all the tools you need to start your business right. So when a prospect fills out their information in one of the perfectly optimised lead capture forms, their details pass on to the CRM we have installed for you (included in your monthly fee).
What do you do with that info? Well, you can work with the contacts in your CRM to send them emails, offers, book appointments, and close deals of course. In other words, you can track your customer from the moment they register.
Blog-ready: naturally all websites have some sort of a blogging platform. However, with Centis, you can optimise your content while you write and push it to all your channels simultaneously! Don’t have the time to write? We can handle it as an add on.
Email Newsletter (monthly): I think this is one of the highlights of this plan. Most agencies, as explained before, will simply deliver you a nice website, but then you have a million other things to add. Crafting and emailing a monthly newsletter to your subscribers is a very tedious task.
Well, we handle this for you, and one of our writers discusses with you, writes and send the newsletter for approval. It doesn’t matter if you have one, two, of 1,000 subscribers, the newsletter will speak to their hearts and minds and inform them about your business, your offers and anything you wrote in the blog. Don’t have news-worthy content to share? We curate it for you based on your market.
Analytics: what good does your website do if you can’t see how many people visit your website? How long have they read your posts? That’s why we have included a beautiful analytics dashboard, right when you log in:-)
Support: with that monthly fee, you also get 1 hour of support via email or chat per month. And if you need something extra you can always add on extra support.
4. Choose a template
When you contact one of our product designers or Sal himself (the CEO and Marketing guy of Centis), after discussing your needs and if what they tell you fit your requirements, you can start the process.
At that time, you will be presented with various website templates that we have pre-built. All you have to do is take your time, review anything you like, and book an appointment to let us know your requirements.
5. Customise the design
Before starting a brand new website, you should have a plan for what you want the website to do and how you want it to do it. This will help you to decide what type of website you want to use.
With the Asiring Entrepreneur plan you do not need to worry for any additional fees – all the above are included in the €149 monthly fee.
You should also decide what your website’s niche will be, as well as what your website’s target audience will be.
Armed with this information, the product specialists at Centis will discuss what your website needs are. This is phase one.
Phase two is that we will create a site architecture based on what you told us. A site architecture is simply a “map” for your site that connects your home page with everything else – your about us page, your services page, your contact page and your blog.
Phase three, we start designing your website. At this phase you will need to send us your logo, which we will adjust it to your site, the text taht you wan to appear and any images. No worries if you do not have images, we have a huge library of stock photos we can provide you (for free!)
The last piece of the process is that we present you your website, all polished, look great and ready to start selling. At this phase, you simply approve everything and we launch it to the world!
5. Optimise for SEO
Before even launching a website, planning it is the most essential thing you have to do. Writing the text is one thing but writing for SEO is gold. When working with Centis, we take the guesswork out of the web design process for you.
When you send us the text to apply to your website, we pass it through our SEO Copywriter to make sure that your keywords are there and each page is fully optimised for your chosen keywords.
We will make sure that your website pages headlines include the keywords, your text also include the keywords and also all pages are formatted to be SEO-optimised. No other web design agency can do this – they are simply not marketers.
6. Promote the website
Do you know what is better than a website at just €149 per month? A promotion that is included in this price. Per month.
So having a website is not enough for people to find you. Unless you have already built an audience on social media, you need to start “pushing” content right away – and promote that content to a (even small) list of subscribers.
Fear not. You do not have to do anything. Together with our email newsletter expert, we will define your goals, and we will craft and email a newsletter every month.
Have nothing to say? We will curate content from various sources so that your subscribers remain engaged.
Do not have subscribers yet? Fear not (again). Choose from our add ons, for a quick Facebook lead ad campaign at a minimum of €10 per day (paid on Facebook)
Getting a website created is not (most of the times) an easy thing to do. But then again, so is your business. It takes effort, preparedness and planning to create a world-class website. However, when you have the right people by your side to support you – and without spending thousands of Euros upfront.