When I build a website for a client, I approach the process as a collaboration. I’m really good at all the backend stuff, and after years of designing, I know how to build beautiful websites that flow easily and function seamlessly. But, at the end of the day, a blank website with pretty colors won’t do much for your business without some eye-catching headshots and promising copy. That’s where your homework comes in.
I know, I know. You thought you were done with homework. But these assignments should be really fun because they’re all about YOU and the awesome business you’re growing. If you’re wondering how the process works on my end and what timeline to expect, check out My Website Build Process.
Here’s the homework checklist I give all my new clients:
Week 0 | Take Photography & Submit Log-in Details.
The two most important pieces that I need to get started are your photos and log-in details to your web host and domain registrar. Getting the perfect photos can take longer than you think, which can cause delays in our build process. So, it’s important to have all those photos in hand before we build out your schedule.
I encourage you to schedule a professional photographer to take your photos. Before you take those headshots, read my post for great photography tips here and read this post to figure out what to wear.
Week 1 | Curate Your Pinterest Board.
My brand-design partner, Deena Rutter, will share a Pinterest board with you that will serve as inspiration for your brand identity. She’ll ask you to pin images and other websites to the board, which will help her home in on a brand look.
Week 2 | Write Home Page Copy.
After I send you a prototype of your website, which is basically a black-and-white static version of the site, I’ll ask for your home page copy. Don’t worry, your home page usually isn’t a very copy-heavy section of the site. The prototype will help you understand what headlines we need and how much body copy to include. A gorgeous headshot and a bold headline will mostly carry this page. But get a start on the rest of your copy, because it’s due soon…
Week 3 | Finish up All Website Copy.
Yep, I need the whole enchilada: about page, work-with-me page, opt-in page, and thank-you page copy. Check out the free Coach Website Blueprint video training for tips on how to write each one of these pages.
Some coaches find it really easy and fun to write the copy for their website, while others tear their hair out in the process. For the latter group, I wish I could reach through the screen and give you the biggest bear hug. I get it. Do your best to write to your ideal client and speak to their pain points, emphasizing the benefits they’ll get from working with you.
If you still feel stuck or want to up-level your copy, you can always hire a professional copywriter to help you.
Week 4 | Draft Freebie Content & Autoresponder Emails.
I suggest you create a freebie that is highly relevant to your target market. Your freebie could be a PDF guide that we design for you, a short audio, or even a brief video clip of yourself. Mostly, you’ll want to make sure the offering gives your target market a quick win and a taste of what it’s like to work with you. This freebie is what will entice people to give you their email address on the opt-in page.
I’ll set up your email marketing service so that every time your freebie captures an email address, you’ll automatically send that person a series of emails. This is a great way to introduce yourself to a warm lead and offer them valuable content. You’ll need to write three emails to complete the series. Check out my post here for tips on how to write them.
Week 5 | Record a Value Video.
Even if your freebie is a PDF download, I highly recommend making a short video to send as a little thank you when someone downloads your freebie. I’ll embed the video on the thank you page you wrote on Week 3. You don’t need to overthink the production — just a little video you self-record on Zoom will work fine.
A video helps establish you as an authority and invites your warm lead to trust you even more. Read my blog post here to get an idea of what to include in your video.
Week 6 | Create Three Blog Posts.
This week, you’ll finish writing your last pieces of content — three initial blog posts to launch your site with. If you have an old website with a blog on it, we can bring your old posts over to your shiny new one.
If you’ve never published blog posts before, that’s okay, and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. I always suggest you use a few of your most popular social media posts as a starting point. You can expand on them a bit and add a featured stock photo to fill them out into a blog post. I blogged about how to write a blog post for your coach website here. (So meta!)
Week 7 | No Homework ????
We launch your site this week! Your only assignment is to revel in your fresh new look and be proud of turning a dream into reality. Way to go!
What if I fall behind?
Life happens. That’s why I like to outline a schedule for my clients so you can see what’s coming down the pipeline. As you arrange to get your photos taken, I urge you to start outlining your freebie offer and website copy. If you think you’ll want to hire a copywriter, I recommend talking to a few sooner rather than later.
Once I set our schedule, I’ll provide a personalized dashboard for you to bookmark. This will make it easy for you to see when all of your homework is due, so you don’t have to remember which week we’re on. You’ll be able to see your very own checklist with an expected due date for each item.
Let’s get started
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