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Emerging Speaker Series #2: 6 tips to save you money when creating a website

Welcome back to another post on my emerging speakers series! 

During the last couple of years, I’ve seen a growing interest in the speaking industry and, since this is my specialty, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some tips a lot of my clients and myself would have liked to know before embarking on this wonderful journey of becoming speakers. In today’s post, I’ll tell you 6 tips that will save you money when creating a website for emerging speakers. 

As a new speaker, one doesn’t always know where to begin. Creating a website is, at least, in the top 5 “must do’s” of any article you find about how to start your speaking business. However, at this moment you might feel overwhelmed by the number of options and website templates there are. And it is likely you don’t know what to ask for from a website designer to get the results you expect. 

Now yes – I want you to keep reading because these 6 tips are very useful, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that yes – of course, we build websites for emerging speakers. In fact, I have created a really budget-friendly website package, especially for emerging speakers.

6 tips to save money when creating your speaking business website

1. Get a clear vision of your business

Understanding what you are selling and the main goal of your website is extremely important to make every dollar count when creating your website. And there’s a simple reason for it: don’t try and market something you don’t yet know or have. 

I hear it all the time from emerging speakers. “To be successful I need to get into marketing ASAP”. And that’s true, but to create effective marketing strategies you must have a product to sell, right? 

And not just that, with the product you’ll need to also create the brand, identify your target, etc. 

There’s a lot to think about before you get into marketing. So make sure your foundations are clear and you know exactly what the goal of your website will be. Whether you are working with a freelance web designer or an agency, telling them what your goals are for this website from the beginning can save you a lot in redesigning and corrections.

If you are struggling to find some clarity on this matter or would simply like to see if you are ready to go out there and create your website, then it is the perfect time to join my Clarity Masterclass, where you can get more tips and tricks just like this one to help you build the best website for emerging speakers. You can register here and get my workbook, with tons of exercises and useful tips to become a successful speaker. 

2. Have a well-defined brand

I mentioned this in the first subheading but I couldn’t get past the opportunity to emphasize the importance of building your brand before even thinking about creating a website. Just imagine how frustrating it would be to create a gorgeous website with a branding you are still not sure about, just to change it and have to pay again to redesign it. That’s a nightmare.

Emerging speakers often underestimate this and think a simple picture of themselves is enough. But a brand is much more than your picture. A brand is everything you are as a business and it should be imbued in every piece of communication you create. Yes, that includes your website. 

By getting some clarity on what your brand is all about, you can give more specific instructions to a web designer about what you want your website to look and feel like when a potential client is scrolling down on it. Remember, the clearer you are with your designer, the fewer changes you’ll be making along the way. 

3. Do your own research

Before jumping into the first person that offers to create a website for free or creating an account in that site you saw once or twice in YouTube ads, open up the Google tab and do your own research.

‘What websites do you find the most attractive?’, ‘Why do you like them?’, ‘What features do you find the most useful?’

At this point, putting yourself in the shoes of your clients can help you determine what your website should look like. 

Research also includes looking for agencies or freelance designers to help you create your speaker website. Websites for emerging speakers are in high demand right now. So it shouldn’t be difficult to find web designers or agencies that can offer their services at the right rate. I mean, you just found us! But remember, speaker websites are not like every other website. Choose someone with experience building marketing for speakers.

4. Keep it simple

I know, I know, after seeing those amazing websites, it is tempting to have all sorts of animations and graphics on yours. But websites for emerging speakers can get more expensive the more bells and whistles that you add. 

Make sure you are answering, at least, the following questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you offer and where can your clients find it?
  • Who is this for?

If possible, keep everything in 3 or 4 pages. Especially when you are starting, it is important to think about your client’s experience on your website. Make it easier for them to find all the information they need to get to know you and contact you. 

Think of your website as a gift. The wrapping paper should be attractive enough to catch people’s eyes, but what really matters is the inside. The content you are putting out there, and, as a busy customer, your clients will appreciate your website is easy to read through and find what they are looking for. 

This will save you a lot of money on design and also direct people’s attention to what matters the most in your website. 

5. List the website features you want AND need

I find it useful to list out all of the features you want and need to have an effective website. In the same spirit of simpleness, it is important to stress the word ‘need’ here. Not everything you see, like flashy animations or videos, is actually necessary to have a great website. And even though it looks pretty, it might cost you a lot more with little to no result in the long run. 

This is when all of your time researching other speakers’ websites and creating your digital marketing strategy pays off. You want to include the features that align with your marketing strategy and also the ones that help your client answer basic questions about you and your speaking business. 

For example, if your main goal with your website is lead generation, you can add lead magnets in the form of pop-ups or subscription forms on the home page. And even if you don’t know what features are available or work the best for you, telling all of this to a web designer helps them have a realistic view of the amount of work it would take from them to build the website. Thus, you’ll be able to manage your budget better. 

Remember setting priorities and focusing on the must-haves is crucial to getting a functional website for less. 

6. Do some of the work in-house

Especially if you are an emerging speaker with a limited budget, you should definitely think about doing some of the work in-house instead of leaving everything to an agency. But, what can you do? 

Building a website from scratch takes a lot. Depending on your time and skills, you can save up to half of the initial budget by doing some of those things yourself. 

Some tasks that you can perform, beyond programming, are:

  • Copywriting. If writing is one of your skills, you can save the money you’d pay a copywriter to create the copy on your website. But don’t underestimate this task, good copy is key to keeping potential clients interested in your website. That is why with our emerging speaker websites, we include a workbook that has been created to guide you step by step with the copy creation process.
  • Content creation. Whether you are writing blogs or filming videos, you can provide the designer with content they can repurpose into useful pieces of information.
  • Finding graphics and pictures. Graphics are the first thing people see on your website and designers tend to take a bit more time to find the right ones. You can speed up that process by finding those images yourself.
  • Design. If you have some background in design, you can provide a web developer with a rough sketch of what you want. This can save you a lot of work from a website designer. 

..

Those are just some tips you can apply to save some money when creating a website for your speaking business. Most websites for emerging speakers tend to follow a simple template at the beginning, mainly due to a limited budget. But don’t be afraid of that! 

Focus on your content and the business goals you’ve set right now. Later on, when you add more and more content and products to your brand, you can start personalizing and adding more features to make your website stand out from other websites for emerging speakers.

If you have more questions about how to become a successful emerging speaker, check out my resources for emerging speakers here and keep a look at the next posts on these emerging speakers series. 

About Lauren Pibworth

Lauren Pibworth is an internet marketing strategist specializing in growing the business of professional speakers. Lauren and her team of graphic designers, web developers and online product and course development and launch specialists work with speakers who want to diversify their revenue streams and move 'beyond the keynote' through smarter marketing solutions, delivered with care.

Lauren (an amateur sommelier) and her husband enjoy fine Ontario wines, great food and travel to exotic, warm destinations where they spend the majority of their time underwater - scuba diving.

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