There are certain things that must be done before building a website for your business or your brand.
You see, the regular advice that you’d get from the internet is that if you have a business idea you think will rake in all the money for you, then get a website, start showing up on social media, and start selling.
I’m happy (or not) to announce to you that this advice is WRONG.
If you already have a website for your business and it isn’t working, maybe you are one of the people who took this advice.
But it’s never too late to start again or to re-adjust.
Before this website, I had a website that failed.
I created it just right after I learned web design, and even though I felt it was the best thing ever, it lacked the sauce that it needed to succeed so really, its failure was inevitable.
It lacked all of the things I will be sharing in this blog post so failure was really inevitable.
If you don’t like to read blocks of text like me, you can watch this same topic on YouTube where I shared a video of it. Click the YouTube link below.
Below are a few things you must do before you start building a website for your business.
1. First Build a Personal Brand
One of the few things that you must do before building a website for your business is to build a personal brand.
A personal brand is what will create the difference between you and the plethora of competitors in the marketplace.
If you have a strong personal brand, you can command the prices that you want.
Building a personal brand ensures that you can show your authentic self to your audience.
Also, having a strong personal brand can offer numerous benefits in both professional and personal aspects of your life.
One great thing about building a personal brand is that It can lead to increased visibility, making it easier for people to recognize and remember you.
So you don’t want to put the cart before the horse.
The website is not your business, and just because your business has a website doesn’t mean that people will start asking for your services.
I mean, your competitors have their own websites too and if they were very deliberate about it, I bet theirs would be better than yours.
So you need to create something that will help you stand out in the overcrowded marketplace and make a prospect choose you over others.
Your personal brand will include your brand elements, like your business logo, your typography, your slogan, your marketing collateral, and so on.
You will also need to determine your brand voice, i.e. how you want to sound to your audience, and your brand message, i.e. the key underlying message you are trying to share.
Since your website is part of your overall branding system, you want to make sure that it naturally flows into your personal brand.
When your personal brand elements are established you can then use them on your website to create that cohesive look and feel and influence people’s perception of your brand.
See why I said you shouldn’t put the cart before the horse.
But remember, building a personal brand takes a lot of time, effort, and consistency. It’s about providing value to your audience and building genuine connections.
Your personal brand should reflect who you truly are and what you stand for.
If you’re an entrepreneur, a professional, a creative, or anyone else, this representation should easily be understood once someone lands on your website.
2. Take Professional Photos
This sounds like something you would normally not pay attention to or something you would consider vain.
I have literally had clients tell me they didn’t think it was necessary to book photo sessions, but when it was time to build their websites, they couldn’t provide professional photos of themselves.
If you are a freelancer, a writer, a public speaker, or your business revolves around your personality, you don’t need to be told to have professional pictures of yourself ready at all times.
Listen, I take website design as a total package. When I’m building a website for a client, we design an entire brand strategy.
What is a good website with great copies, but dull photos and a lack of personal brand?
Any website developer can just whip up a stunning website for your brand. But it takes a brand strategist or a brand developer to build a fully functioning website that will help you accomplish your goals.
So book a photo session with a pro photographer and get them to create the magic that will be on your website.
If you sell products, you also want to invest in good product photography sessions so that your products can pop on the website.
I don’t know about other countries, but a good personal photo session in my country will cost about 50-100k or a little bit more depending on the number of pictures you want and the direction.
3. Determine the Objectives
One of the things you must do before you build a website for your business is to determine your objectives or goals for the website.
When I just started to build websites professionally, I always skipped this part. I never asked clients for the reasons why they needed a website.
What mattered to me was to get the job done, just as they had asked, and receive my payment.
But I soon realized that it wasn’t helping my clients in any way. Many of them didn’t bother to renew their hosting packages after they expired because it felt like a waste of money.
It was during my research on how to do better that I realized that it was important to have goals and set KPIs for your website.
Your website should serve a purpose, and that purpose should tie into your business goals, whatever they are.
These days, during any discovery call with a website package for clients, one of the key conversations is to know what the purpose of the website is. Without that, it would be difficult to build a site map.
I know that the overall purpose of a website is to get people to find you on search engines, but beyond that what else?
I mean when they find you, what step are they taking next? And how do you ensure that they take that step?
I posted a video on how to design your website in such a way that site visitors know how to go step by step, you can watch it here.
When I created my website, all I did was talk about my skills and the brands that I had worked with. But I had to tweak it later when I realized it wasn’t giving me results.
I wanted people to be able to hire me when they visited my website, and that’s just what I have done.
So you need to have a goal for your website. Whether it’s to build your personal brand, grow your influence, have an online presence, or increase revenue.
4. Grow Your Social Media
One thing you must also do before building a website for your business is to have a stable social media presence first.
Your website is your home base where people will go to learn more about your business.
But before people start getting interested in your business, there’s a place they will find you first, and that will be your social media platforms.
Building a social media presence isn’t just something you do to keep up with the competition, instead, it is a marketing strategy that can help you build connections with your users.
Social media lets you tap into a niche audience and get them to know you. It’s also a place where you can show up consistently for your audience.
A website content is static, apart from your blog posts, you will not be updating your website regularly and as such, you won’t be reaching a lot of people.
But with social media, you can show up for your audience consistently thereby creating top-of-mind awareness.
So before you build a website for your business, you want to grow on social media first by developing a strategic marketing plan that will help you build visibility.
You want to make sure that you build a spirited presence first and engage with your audience.
It is a great opportunity to get your name out there and grow your customer base.
5. Have a Screen Blueprint
Before you choose any website template that you want to use, create a visual representation of it first.
If you are giving your website development project to a developer, work with them to create a screen blueprint or wireframe to help you predetermine how you want it to look.
Two years ago, I got a contract to build a website for a public figure in the consulting industry.
The first thing I did was go to Canva to look at the different website templates they had on the platform just to get inspired.
After going through a lot of templates, I began to drag and drop elements and I moved some things around.
When I finally got a good visual representation of it, I shared it with the client and he gave me the go-ahead to build it.
This saved both of us a lot of back and forths. The client had already seen the blueprint and he approved it before I built it.
When I built my website, I didn’t use Canva templates to put things together, what I did instead was to do a rough sketch on a sheet of paper and I built it.
But that was easy to do because I simply transferred what was in my head to the screen.
If you do not want to go through the hassles of going back and forth with your developer, you can go to Canva and use their plethora of templates to create what you want and then share it with them.
6. Choose the Right Platform
When it comes to building a website, you want to make sure that you are using the best platforms out there.
Personally, WordPress is my go-to platform for building websites. It is free and easy to use and it has a ton of free themes that you can choose from.
All you need to do is buy a domain name and a host.
My go-to domain name and hosting platform is Whogohost. Whogohost is a Nigerian company, which means that I can pay for their services with my naira card, no hassles.
I love the fact that their packages are really affordable and are easy to use.
These are the recommended steps you should take before building a website for your business.
You will be spending a small fortune on building it so you want to make sure that you are getting your returns on investment.
So if you’ve loved this blog post, share it with someone who may need it, and share your thoughts with me in the comments section below.