Creating your website and building your online presence as an artist or a brand feels overwhelming.
Even though it’s a big process, it can be broken down into small manageable chunks. That way you’ll feel like you’re slowly making progress without feeling like you need to hyperventilate into a paper bag.
Simply put, any huge goal, if broken down into small to-do lists, makes it easier to visualize, manage and execute.
If you’re looking to build your new website or improve your established online presence, here are the basic tasks you need to implement.
Even if you don’t need a refresher on growing your online presence then take this article as an example of task management and reaching your bigger milestones.
Buying a domain name is easy, deciding on what it’s going to be isn’t.
If you don’t have a name for your creative business or brand, you should start there.
If someone has already taken the domain name you want, see if you can add a descriptor at the end, such as -Band, -Music, -Artist, etc. to distinguish yourself from the other domain.
Alternatively, sometimes the .com names are taken, but the .net or .co names are available. If the specific top level domain name doesn’t bother you then get one of the ones that are available instead of crying about the .com not being available.
I use Bluehost for most of my domains. You can use whatever hosting you want but I’d recommend getting a hosting company that also sells you domains. That way, you only have one place to shop instead of moving your domains over from your registrar to your hosting company. It’s a technical support hassle that you don’t need.
If you register with a good one-stop-shop hosting such as Bluehost, then you’ll have access to their simple Wordpress installation wizards.
All you’ll need to do once you’ve set up your hosting and your domain is to install Wordpress through their back-end on your domain. Easy.
From there you’ll log into the backend of your Wordpress site and start screwing around with the look and feel.
Theme browsing can be fun, but you have unlimited options to choose from so make sure you don’t spend ages finding the perfect look for you.
I use both Themezilla and Studiopress themes on my sites, and using those two companies means I limit myself to their themes. It’s good to limit your options a little bit to save time.
There are multiple plug-ins out there that do similar things but what I recommend getting is:
Depending on what your site will do, you’ll need more plug-ins than that, but those are essential.
There’s a lot of posts out there that can tell you which Wordpress plug-ins will be most helpful for your new site so just search trusty old Google for good recommendations on each one.
Having an email marketing system is a non-negotiable strategy for any online business owner as far as I’m concerned.
It doesn’t matter which email marketing software you use as long as you commit to creating an email campaign strategy to provide value to your audience and sell your services to your potential subscribers.
It’s simply the best way to convert passive subscribers into committed customers.
For anybody starting out, I recommend Mailchimp because you can use its free tier to up to 2,000 subscribers.
To get people to sign up to your list, you need to give them a reason to do so.
Create something valuable that you think your audience might like and offer it in exchange for an email address.
Once you’re all set up with a website that’s functional, it’ll still look pretty empty.
There’s no content on your website, so there’s no reason to visit it. Time to change that.
My biggest recommendation here is not to bite off more than you can chew.
Don’t mistake your initial burst of inspiration for committed consistency.
It’s better to create a weekly plan where you create content once a week that you can continue to create in the long run instead of publishing every day for seven days and never be heard from again.
Once you’ve decided on what kind of content you’re posting it’s time to decide which social media is your best fit for that content.
Are you a photographer? Then Instagram is the most relevant social media site to showcase your talents.
Do you feel comfortable on camera? Then a Youtube series might work well for you, especially because you can cross-post and embed it on your website.
What if you just like writing short rants? Then Twitter’s your spot!
Just don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do them all. It’s better to pick one social media site and cultivate an audience of followers there.
Being a rockstar on one social media channel is better than being a passed-over street musician on all of them.
And that brings me to my final and most important part of my online presence checklist.
You won’t see success on day one. Maybe not even on day 100. But everything that’s valuable and worth it takes time.
Being consistent, methodical and goal-driven will bring you closer to a successful online presence than trying out every short-term tactic you hear about online.
Don’t burn out before you build momentum.
That’s it. Hope that puts your online presence strategy into perspective.
Are you an entrepreneur or artist looking to improve your online presence to reach more clients, customers and fans?
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