Covid-19 has wrought chaos in many of our lives. Regardless of your personal circumstances, all of us have been impacted by the pandemic in some way or another. Social distancing and social isolation have meant that many of us have been unable to leave our homes other than to buy essentials such as food or pick up prescriptions and medication. Another huge impact that the pandemic has had on us is that many businesses have been left unable to operate so it’s not all too surprising that many people are deciding to set up their own businesses. This comes with many perks, such as control over your own career, control over your working hours and more. However, many people struggle with one of the first steps you need to take when you decide to sell products or services yourself – setting up a website. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you to achieve this and get your business started off on the path to success!
Creating Your Website
First, let’s focus on actually creating a website in the first place. This is a multistep process and, chances are, you’ll need professional help along the way. Here are some steps that you should take.
Secure a Domain
First and foremost, you need to secure a domain name. There are plenty of sites that offer free platforms out there, but you should opt for your own domain name without other branding attached if possible. This looks much more professional and will increase consumer trust in your brand.
Collaborate with Web Designers & Developers
Next, you need to get in touch with a web designer or web developer. Creating an actual website can be complex work and, unless you happen to have website building skills and a knowledge of HTML and CSS, chances are you’re going to need some professional help along the way (although you can of course teach yourself like I did!). By finding a competent web developer and web designer, you will pair up with specialists who will do their utmost to create a site for you that doesn’t only look great, but is also responsive and works well for your customers too. An appealing website really will prove pivotal to your business’ success. When working with your web designer and web developer, make sure to hold a consultation where you can discuss exactly what you want plus ensure that you will be shown how to update it going forward. You should consider things like:
- Branded colours
- Your logo
- Branded fonts
You should also consider the different types of pages that you may want to have on your website. Generally, you should avoid straying too far from the norm, as you want your customers to be able to browse easily.
- Product pages
- About page
- Contact page
- Mailing list sign up forms
Create Great Quality Content
When your website is up and running, you can start adding content to it. This is the exciting part. It’s where you fill in your about pages, list your products and generally get the ball rolling when it comes to making profit.
Focus on Product Photography
When customers visit your site, one of the few things that have to go by when choosing to buy your product or not is the pictures you provide. High quality pictures can make or break a sale, so it really is important that you show your products off in the best light possible. Of course, right now, we’re all trying to save money and minimise our outgoings. With modern smartphones having extremely impressive cameras, you may be tempted to try to take your product photographs yourself. However, if you do have the money available, it’s highly recommended that you invest in the services of a professional product photographer. Product photographers are also skilled in their field and can position, frame and generally prep your products to look the best they can. The end results are generally significantly better and can make all the difference to your sales. It’s more than worth the investment if you have funds!
Use a Copywriter for Written Content
Written content on your website – also referred to as “copy” – is another extremely important element that can impact your sales and profits. You’re going to need a lot of copy, as this is your main means of talking to your customers online. You’re likely to need copy for your landing page, product descriptions, your about pages, your FAQs, your blog posts and so much more. Using the right words can help to craft your brand in your customers’ minds and can also make all the difference in regards as to whether someone buys your products or not. A professional copywriter can help to create this. Give them information regarding what it is you want, details that will allow them to write about it and what your business’ tone of voice is.
Opening Up Communication
Your customers need to be able to get in touch with you. This is important, as they may have questions before they want to commit to buying a product. Allowing them a simple means of contact where they can get a fast response can make all the difference to your sales figures. You also need to ensure that there are options for those who want to make refunds, exchanges or complaints.
One of the best ways to communicate with customers through your website is a chat box. A chat box can allow a customer to type in their query and then you can immediately respond to them through an instant messaging style platform. This can resolve issues quickly and ensure that customers complete their purchase without abandoning your website or their cart. You can click here for chat on your website.
Your website should also clearly detail your business contact number. This will allow customers to call you or your customer service team to discuss their issue or questions on a more personal level.
You should also have your professional email address on your website. This will allow those who don’t need an immediate response, and who may not want to talk on the phone, to get in touch in a simple way.
Contact forms are also useful. They provide your customers with a way to send a message without having to leave your website and craft an email. This keeps them on your page, encouraging them to return to browsing once they’ve sent their message.
Of course, there are many more areas of your website that you may want to focus on and you’ll find that managing your website becomes a full time job in itself when you start to experience sales and success. Hopefully, some of the advice above will help you to create a high quality site to be proud of! If you want any help do let me know – my sister company The Indie Practice is here to help!