Here we are in 2017 and I could not be more excited about jumping into this new year. I was ready to leave 2016 in the dust way back in July, let’s be honest. I know there is an abundance of “new year, new goals” posts and I am sure you are kinda over those by now. So, even though I do have some exciting things in the works (growing the team and finally showing off more of our strategy skills), I thought I would start it off with something different. Each month I am going to cover a “theme” pertaining to branding, design and strategy. The bite-sized posts are written to give you insight into the process and the power to use it in your own business. Ready? Let’s do it. This month’s theme is DEFINE.
First up for 2017 is Defining Your Brand: Being You in Your Business and Connecting With Your Perfect Customers. Ok, I know you’ve heard a million people tell you why it’s important to define your brand. But do you know how to go about it? Here’s my first, simple step to get you on the path to definition. Stop working for just a minute. Stop emailing, stop clicking, stop talking. Stop Pinteresting and stop Instagramming (it’s not helping, I promise). Find a quiet place and bring a pencil and paper. Start by completely brain dumping all the why’s & how’s of your business. Don’t over think it. Here’s a few to get you started:
What do you do?
Why do you do this work?
Who do you want to work with?
Who do you not want to work with?
Why do you get up in the morning to do it?
What are your skills – learned or intuitive?
Why does it make you happy?
Why does it suck sometimes?
How did you get started?
When does your heart flutter when you’re working?
What are you doing at that moment?
What are you doing that’s different from others in your industry?
Do you see how your business’ personality coming into focus? Your answers to these questions are what start to define your brand’s unique personality. Don’t be afraid to be you. One of the biggest mistakes I see small business owners making is following the pack. I totally get it. It’s hard not to feel like there are “rules” to follow in order to be successful. But the number one thing that is going to set you apart is YOU.
You have the answers! You just need to listen to yourself. And if you need a little guidance or perspective, feel free to give me a shout over here. We’re pretty good at this stuff.
Next up: Customer Personas: How To Connect With Your Audience in An Authentic Way
You hear me talk all the time about our WordPress sites here at Grit & Wit, but I don’t think I have ever discussed the in’s and out’s of getting yourself set up and ready to rock your new site. One requirement I ask of my clients is to have set up their hosting prior to us working on their brand new site. After lots of questions and confusion, I realised I needed to write a tutorial for my clients and thought I would just go ahead and share it here, too. I think people hear the words hosting, server, c-Panel, domain name, etc. and want to run away (raises hand!). I totally get that. So today, I wanted to demystify the process of setting up your site with an easy step by step how-to. Ready? Let’s do it.
Self-Hosted or WordPress Hosted?
This is the number one question we get regarding hosting. If you look at most URLs you’ll see a .com at the end of the address. This is a self-hosted site. You want this. When you see “mywebsite.wordpress.com” – this is a WordPress Hosted site. Sure, it’s free but you are giving up some control of your content, as well. Signing up with a hosting service like Hostgator gives you control of everything on your site from design to content. You can also easily set up your new domain name with them, so there is no need to have yet another service added to the already complicated mix. It’s a one stop shop.
Let’s Talk Hosting.
Speaking of Hostgator, let’s chat about choosing a hosting plan. We always recommend Hostgator to our clients because of its easy setup, great customer service and stability. The first step is to check out their hosting plans. We prefer the Baby Cloudplan. TheCloud Hostingis faster, more efficient and offers more scalability as your business grows. Also, it’s affordable!
Choosing Your Web Address
Next, choose a URL name. This is a biggie. You want to choose something simple and to the point. Think about the fact that the URL is one of the first things people see when interacting with your business. Don’t make it too long or complicated. After you choose your hosting plan, you’ll be taken to an order page where you can enter your new address and see if it’s available or set up an address you already own. I would always recommend sticking with the .com address rather than .net or .biz. Check the “domain privacy registration”. For a small fee (less than a $1/month) you can keep your registration information (your name, address, oh my) private from any looky-loos on the web.
Choose your billing plan and create your account. Woohoo! Almost legit.
You’ll see a bunch of options for add-ons. You don’t really need any of these unless you really want them or have a specific issue you’re worried about. When in doubt, contact Hostgator for help!
Complete your payment and head on over to your email.
You’ll quickly receive an email confirmation. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT EMAIL. Copy it, send it to another address, write it down. It contains the unique info you need to log in to your new hosting account. It contains an important link to your cPAnel. Go ahead and click on that. You might get a pop up asking if you need help getting started. You don’t need help because this next part is so easy!
Log in to your account and behold the beauty of the backend of your website. Isn’t it beautiful?
You’ll see a ton of icons with weird names. Ignore all of them but the QuickInstall application.
Click it and open the QuickInstall feature. This is where you will set up a fresh new WordPress install!
Choose WordPress on the left and Install WordPress on the right. Enter your info into the form (leave the “/____” blank) and click Install WordPress.
Then, you can log in to the backend of your brand new WordPress site and start blogging.
That’s it! Not too scary, right? Now you’re ready to start blogging, sharing your work and selling your products online. WordPress comes with the standard Twenty Sixteen theme but you have so many options as far as themes go. The sky is the limit! Of course, if you want something really unique and custom, just let me know. How’s that for shameless self-promotion?In less than an hour you’ve taken the first step in running your business. Congrats!