How to determine if you should build your website from scratch

Starting a new business is exciting but full of priorities that need immediate attention. Often, business owners get caught up in investing into a website. Having a great website in the beginning can reap its benefits, however, depending on the stage of your startup, your budget, cashflow, and plans, it might not be essential right away. 

 

There are a few things to consider when deciding if investing in a website is the right timing for your business:

 

  • Are you selling online goods?
  • Are you a service-based business?
  • What is your timeline?
  • What is your budget?
  • How many customers do you have?

 

If you are a service-based business, you can probably set up your Facebook page, GoogleMyBusiness listing, and start to generate new clients. Once you have a steady stream of revenue, that’s a good time to start working on your website. 

 

Do you want to build your website?

 

If you answered yes – good for you! There are many great platforms to create your website for free with no experience necessary! 

 

If you are unsure about how or where to start, don’t worry because we have a free mini-course to show you how to build your website on a dime that’s available on-demand.  Building your own website might seem intimidating at first, but, once you dive in and have a step-by-step process, you’ll see how fun the process can be and rewarding.

 

Maybe you are too busy to build your own website and hiring a professional is your option.

 

 

Should you hire a professional? 

 

It depends on your business goals, timeline, and your budget. 

 

Hiring a professional right off the bat will allow you to focus on other aspects of the business while they can make sure your site looks professional and functions the way you envision. Just be sure to make sure to ask your web designer how you can make edits later on and always be sure you own 100% of the content. We have met business owners who signed up for costly website services and didn’t realize if they ever left, their website would go away because the marketing firm owned the content! Yikes!  At Gnarketing, we work with our clients to find the right solutions for their budget and needs and you will always own 100% of your content and site. Our goal is to help you become self-sufficient and understand how to manage your new website. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your plans.

 

 

 

New Mini Courses on Mission and Vision Statements and How to Self-Publish

We are excited to offer a series of free mini online courses. The new courses are geared towards new business owners who are needing help creating their mission and vision statements and writers who are interested in learning about self-publishing. Whether you are starting a new business or writing a book, taking the first steps can be very intimidating. Each course is offered on an online course platform so that when someone registers, they can view it at any time.

The free mini-courses include:

Creating Mission and Vision Statements featuring Laramie Life Coach, Laura Pollard

Laura Pollard has had a long career in building teams as an NCAA and NAIA women’s basketball coach and has worked with universities, non-profits, and organizations on their mission and vision statements and implementation. In this free mini-course, Laura teaches how to create and implement mission and vision statements in your business or organization.

 

My Self Publishing Journey featuring Laramie author Diana Seabeck

Diana Seabeck published her first children’s book, “My Grammy Says I Can’t Grow Up!” during the pandemic. In this interview, Diana covers everything from ideas to self-publishing, challenges she overcame, and how her book became available online and made it on the shelves in local bookstores.

 

You can register for the free courses by following this link!

After you register, you’ll be prompted to create a username and password. From there, you can watch the courses at any time as they will be available on your dashboard.

How screen time breaks can reduce stress and increase productivity.

As an entrepreneur, website designer, and cycling coach, my days are spent staring at a screen. Many professionals are on screens all day from work, school, meetings, to social media. To unwind or take a ‘break’ from work, you may find yourself engaging in social media and flipping through the apps on your phone. In order to fully give that brain its needed recovery from a load of stimulus, we have to put a focused effort into taking breaks. Until I suffered from a brain injury this past year, I had no idea how much stress we put on our brains from screen time. I found that by taking frequent breaks from screen time, my brain was able to work more efficiently and by the end of the day, I was feeling much more level-headed.

 

When you are working on a project, it’s easy to get in the ‘zone’ and lose track of time. You may have a proposal due, or a project deadline, and taking a short break seems counterproductive. However, do you find yourself slowing down or feeling ‘cross-eyed’? Does your stress level rise? Let’s work more efficiently so you can still meet those deadlines with confidence and have an increase in your brainpower for that project.

 

When I first implemented this strategy of taking screen-time breaks, I set a timer for every 30 minutes. When the timer went off, I would stop and close my eyes for just a couple of minutes. The results for me were staggering! I went from being a cranky mom at the end of the day to a more laid-back mom. Think of how your muscles function – can you do 3 sets of 10 squats easier than 30 squats in a row? Of course, you can! Or have you ever overworked a muscle to the point of cramping? That is our brains on screen time!

 

Respect your brain just like you would a muscle by giving it frequent breaks. You should find yourself functioning better, feeling less stressed, more level-headed, and overall more efficient in your productivity.

 

How Your Brand Can Win by Being Different

Being the best in any given market can come down to your strategy and how you can stand out from the crowd. Oftentimes, it’s easy to get caught up in all of your competition – but the real question is: How are you different? Do you offer services or expertise that is unique? How can you differentiate yourself so you can stand out?

 

If you are a runner or a mountain biker, you may have experienced this first hand where you participated in an event with very little competition and finished at the top! I remember going to my first Xterra event at the Deuces Wild in Pinetop, Arizona. In many of the women’s categories, there wasn’t a big field, so the chances of making the podium were much higher. Given my strengths as a cyclist, mediocre runner, and ability to push through a lot of pain, I was able to use those strengths to help me finish on the podium!

 

James Clear, author of ‘Atomic Habits’ writes, “When you can’t win by being better, you can win by being different. By combining your skills, you reduce the level of competition, which makes it easier to stand out. A good player works hard to win the game everyone else is playing. A great player creates a new game that favors their strengths and avoids their weaknesses.”

 

Business is similar to sports in that everyone likes a winner. When have you ever heard someone ask, “Where can I find a mediocre restaurant or mediocre massage?”? What you hear is, “Where can I find the best burger or best massage?”. With this in mind, how can YOUR business stand out on its own?

 

“Anyone who is going to hire you, buy from you, recommend you, vote for you, or do what you want them to do is going to wonder if you’re the best choice. Best as in: best for them, right now, based on what they believe and know. And in the world as in: their world, the world they have access to.” -Seth Godin, “The Dip”, pg. 10.

 

Be strategic and minimize your direct competition by standing out. Then follow with first class services and you will be successful!

 

How to Get Online Reviews

One of the most powerful sales tools is having social proof that your products, services, and customer support works! If you already have lots of reviews – congrats! Make sure you put your reviews to use and plug them into your homepage, use in social media posts, and email marketing campaigns. If you don’t have a lot of reviews yet, that’s ok, with a few easy steps, you can get more online reviews and use this to increase sales in your products and services!

 

Have a system to follow up with your customer, such as a friendly phone call and or email.

Let your customer know you appreciate their business and that you’d love it if they could take a moment to provide a review.

 

Direct your customer to the sites that you’d like your business reviewed on such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, Trip Advisor.

Make sure you have your business listing updated on these sites.

 

If you sell products, ask your customer to review the products directly on your website.

Some e-commerce sites have settings to allow for reviews to be public.

 

What if you are starting your new business?

Find close friends or people you may have worked with in the past to write a testimonial that you can use for your website.

 

What if your business requires confidentiality?

No problem- ask for testimonials but keep them anonymous. Posting these still show your ideal customer why they should work with you.

 

 

Below you will find free email templates that you can copy and use for your follow up requests!

 

Template 1: Product Review

Your opinion matters!
Please take a moment to share your experience from your recent purchase. 

Item Name: 

>Link to Item to Review<

 

Template 2: Service Review

How was your experience? Thank you for choosing <business name> for <services>! Please take a moment to leave us a review. Your responses will help us serve you better in the future.

Review us on Google (link to your Google Business Profile)
Review us on Facebook (link to your Facebook account)

If your experience was not great, please contact us directly at <email>.

 

Adversity in endurance sports and marketing go hand in hand

If you are like us, you’ve probably been emerging yourself in business webinars lately. On a recent marketing webinar, hosted by several top international companies, there was a discussion on failure and why failure is important for growth in marketing. Failure – that’s a mouthful to swallow! However, failure IS important in many aspects of life as we learn from it. If you have a background in competition, endurance sports, or have found yourself stuck in an adverse outdoor adventure, you will understand how relating those trying times to marketing will help you succeed with your business marketing strategy.

 

My background (and passion) is in competitive cycling with 8 years racing at the professional level in road and mountain biking. In all aspects of cycling (road, mountain, cyclocross) there are several elements that yield to a successful finish: fitness, fuel, skills, strategy, risk, and luck. Being the fittest or the fastest won’t win a race – many newbies learn this the hard way. Having top fitness, great bike handling skills, staying hydrated and fueled, and understanding race tactics (like teamwork) and strategy will help you be in the right place at the right time to take that element of risk needed to potentially win the race. Sometimes that risk will work out, other times it does not. But, the more you try and fail, you learn what elements need to be adjusted for the next time. You also learn how to evaluate your goals and performance. At some point, you break through that barrier and start to have better results!

 

Marketing is somewhat similar to endurance sports as adjusting your message, timing, and who you are targeting can be a little bit of a puzzle. But once you find the right mixture, you will be successful! You will always need to adjust your elements as you go but you will start to understand your customer better and know what you need to do to be successful.

 

Whenever you feel puzzled or overwhelmed by marketing, just take a step back and remember that you have probably encountered this type of challenge one way or another in competitive sports or during an outdoor adventure. COVID has sure thrown everyone for a loop. It’s a great exercise of how having support (like a teammate that hands you an extra bottle or lets you sit on their wheel) can help you through these tough times.

 

Gnarketing is here to help you succeed on a small budget and get you through these marketing challenges.

 

My favorite quote that I would say to myself when the going gets tough is, “pain is temporary, glory is forever.”

 

We invite you to tackle your marketing challenges – however big or small they may be and contact us for support!