Behind the Scenes look into my Website & Business Launch
For today's blog post, I wanted to dive deep and share the ins and outs of exactly what I did a month prior to launching my website and starting out in the world of freelancing. I'll say straight away right now that I spent a lot of time planning and getting processes in place before having my official launch which you'll be able to read about later in this post. I hope you'll find it helpful and insightful!
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Setting Goals & Aims
During the past, I had repeatedly made the mistake of rushing into the creation process without taking my end goals into consideration and this lead to me either stagnating and getting stuck OR creating branding and websites that weren't fulfilling the needs I wanted and that I ultimately ended up scrapping.
This time round, I invested a lot of time upfront writing and planning what my end goals were and what the best approach would be for completing them. Through doing this, I had the clearest direction I've ever had in any attempt I've had before trying to properly start off freelancing and managed to get plans set in place for:
- What type of clients I wanted to attract and what branding would be best to attract them
- What end goals I wanted my website to have (Which in my case are gaining clients and building up an audience for myself)
- What process I'll use for my client projects (Including the on-boarding, design and post project processes)
- A queue of content to share on my blog and social media to attract clients
Once all that was in place, my path was crystal clear and I didn't reach an impasse halfway through the project like I had previously. I then went onto putting all my plans into action step by step.
Step 1 - Rebranding
You can check out my case study on my full rebrand process here and I did this step before anything else because I knew it was incredibly important to have professional branding in place to attract clients. I did have pre-existing branding prior to what you see on my website but it wasn't aligning with the visions I had for my future goals so I set time aside to redo everything and I'm so happy I did. It was a great learning experience both in terms of improving my design skills and gaining an insight into my design process.
Step 2 - Create my Website
Once my rebranding was complete, I was then ready to begin using everything on a brand new website (The very one you're on right now!) Through planning, I worked out what my goals were for my website and concluded that I wanted to attract clients and build an audience. I spent a lot of time planning the layout and content of my website based on those two things and got the website to a point where it was ready to be released. You can read here on why I decided to build my website using Squarespace.
Step 3 - Create my client questionnaire & client on-boarding page
Before putting myself out there for clients to find me, I decided to create my client questionnaire ahead of time. The questionnaire is something I will send to any potential clients to fill in so I can learn more about them and their business and what type project they want from me. I also have created an on-boarding page which will also be sent to potential clients so they can get a more in-depth understanding of my services and process to see if we're a good match.
Step 4 - Create Client Proposal & Invoice Templates
After I completed my questionnaire and on-boarding page, the next step was creating a proposal document template for potential clients. I created this in Illustrator and have made several templates for each service I offer. Next, I made an invoice template for my business. Right now I will just be offering payments over PayPal for simplicity.
Step 5 - Remake all my social media accounts
Social media is going to be one of the biggest platforms I'll be using to attract clients to my website so I spent some time remaking or editing my current accounts so that they're all cohesive and only have curated content that will appeal to my target audience.
Step 6 - Bulk make content & Create an Editorial Calendar
So I can focus all my full attention on networking and attracting clients, I have created a lot of content for my social media accounts and blog upfront. I want to engage consistently on all the platforms I've chosen to use and want the content to be high quality. To make sure it is distributed well and in good time I have also created an editorial calendar on Trello* and also on my google Calendar so I can keep track of the progress of each post. I also have planned my blog posts in advance so that when the time comes I know what I'll be writing about.
Step 7 - Launch!
So finally after all that prep, I am now ready to launch! My reasoning behind doing such a huge amount of preparation before my launch is so I can start off on the right foot and avoid struggles that I've had in the past or that I've heard happening to other freelancers. I'm certain I'll come across bumps down the road but I'm very excited about finally being able to say I have a website and attract clients to do work with.
I hope you found this behind the scenes post interesting! I'd love to hear about your experience starting out your website or business. Did you do this much work prior to launching? Or did you just leap in and learn as you went?