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You need to be online. It’s now or never.

Time to start your business or finally stop using social media as your online home base and get set up with your own site.

Problem is, you don’t know where to get started. Or you’ve looked around and you find info, but it’s too much and you get overwhelmed, slam your laptop closed and mumble, “eff this ish” while reaching for your third glass of wine. You’ve talked to a few designers and the price tag is way out of your range. At this point you feel like you’re never going to get online.

They don’t call me the Fairy Gawdmother of Hustle for nothing. Let me help you out a little bit.

Adjust your mindset and get out of your own way.

You may want a big, beautiful website, but truth is, if you don’t have the content and the budget, it probably won’t come out how you see it in your dreams; and probably (definitely) not in a weekend or so. But don’t let that stop you. Get comfortable with the fact that yes, people like to look at pretty things, but if your site works and you give them a good experience, you can get over with the shabbiest of sites. Tis better to be online, promoting, operational and collecting monies than sulking that you weren’t ready when you thought you would be.

Secure your domain. And your email.

Find you $20 or so and buy your domain and your business email. There’s a range of reasons why, but trust me. Do this now. Right now. If you don’t already have your social media handles, get those now, too. Even if all you have is $20 to invest, your domain and branded email helps you to present your “I’m about my business” face.

You know what else happens when you secure your domain name + social handles and actually use them? You mark your territory and help your brand to become identifiable. Now, this doesn’t replace filing trademarks or defending them once issued, but it does show that you are actively using the business or product name in a commercial capacity (you’re selling something under that name).

Get online, quick.

There’s few things worse in online branding than having a URL (web address) in your profile that goes nowhere, or to a parked page that someone else makes money from. These days, people are rarely going to remember to come back when you say you are up and running. Why? Well, chances are if they’re really looking for what they think you have, and they can’t get it when they want it, they’ve gone to find it elsewhere. Or they just plain forget. Orrrrr – and this happens a LOT – the date you’ve been promoting comes and tech has happened, and you’re not live when you said you’ll be.

In short, if you’re going to have a URL in your profile, make sure it goes somewhere that benefits you. How? Like this:

  • Use a landing page that collects email addresses from your potential customers, that you will actually use to send them emails and get you sales. You can do this on MailChimp for free AND build your mailing list at the same time.
  • If you’re going to be selling products, or have services that you can sell as products, Storenvy.com is a free e-commerce platform. You can also join their marketplace for extra exposure; they take their fee for that from each sale.
  • If it’s still too much to do in a 1-3 day period, just forward your domain to the social media profile you use most.

P.S. Cover Your Arse

When you’re going the shortcut route, it’s important to not leave yourself exposed. You’ll find as you build your online presence that there are a lot of things that need to be done, often at the same time.

You need a privacy policy. Ideally, you would have a lawyer do your Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and other legal disclaimers for your site. When in a rush and short on cash, you can find a generator that will let you type in your information and it will give you the policy to copy and paste into a page on your site. DO NOT copy policies, terms and disclaimers from someone else’s site. You can get a simple, starter Privacy Policy and Terms of Service from https://getterms.io/

All in all, if you focus on getting started, you can always upgrade later. Don’t let another year roll by before you get set up online and share your gift with the world. Get more tips and tutorials when you join The Sunday Snatch, a weekly email to help guide you along running your business from a seasoned pro.

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