How to launch your startup: establishing a web presence for those who know nothing about web design

October 17th, 2011 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Action(execution): The summation of advice I have heard to this date on starting a business.

At the Technology Boot Camp Zvi Band, a UMD grad turned DC start-up Tech Titan, gave a superbly succinct how-to on “existing,” which sometimes is simply the hardest thing to do.

Web presence.  It’s the first step to getting on the radar, whether its Google, blogs, or other social media. Being seen gets you in contact with potential customers. Potential customers get you feedback on idea validation and product vision. These first customers are your Earlyvangalists. These are “The most important customers you will ever know



For those whose business is far from tech, or have a tech product idea but not the expertise, this is a mountain that one would think would require money and or expertise to scale.

Thankfully, this is false.  Zvi gave us the formula to follow:

Step 1:

Test your concept: Landing Page.

Remember back when you had a 56k modem and used AOL to dial up to visit your friend’s new webpage, or that of the local business that seemed to have the perpetual “under construction” gif animation.

The modern landing page is much better than this, and you don’t know need to know jack about html to get up and running. I promise

Solution: unbounce

Or

LawnchRock

Step 2:

Ask users what they need

Build just enough to test with users.

Want or need a more elaborate web site, and custom tailored?

Solution: Sortfolio

Hire a web designer for your price (connecting designers and developers with you)  all you need is a wireframe on a napkin, send it to these people, and trust their design

Remember. Appearances are REALLY important, Zvi pointed out “If you are not a designer, don’t try.  Design is so important, you will lose potential customers if you try to do this yourself.”

Question: What if you have some knowledge, of either html or WordPress, but just need a template?

Solution: Themeforest:

Site templates and WordPress themes from $1 to $30 – definitely not a bad bargain.

I tried this myself with awesome results.  I used a WordPress theme, and just inputted my photos and content as if it were a blog.  Piece of cake.

Here was the result:

Wccdesigns.com:

Great. Now what?

Step 3:

Measure and adjust

Get immediate feedback on your web presence:

Metrics:

Many options out there to track how users found you, what they do while they are on your site, how much time they spend on each page, and much, much more.  All automatically collected for each visitor.

Who to try:

Google Analytics

Kissmetrics

Chart Beat

Clicky

It’s as easy as that.

Here is the worfklow again:

Take Idea:

Test Concepts – Landing page

Ask users what they need

Build just enough to test with users

Measure and adjust

Get up and running asap. With Sortfolio, you can literally get someone to build your site while you sleep, so you can start to get customers to test your product begin to get feedback.  Get your idea out early, so you can create many iterations based on your Earlyvangalists.

Best of luck!

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