How to start digital for independent experts

a handy start digital checklist when you are just starting out online

Welcome to your website checklist, created by our team and we use this in our design process. It helps us understand the experts' business and what the focus of the website will be. We are happy to share is with experts who are just starting out so you can bring clarity to their business and create better content. It's written in chronological order and you pass each item and at the end, you have a clear idea of who you are helping, what your business is about and what issues you solve for you clients.

Part 1: Audience

An ideal audience has simply put a group of people who have similar problems, challenges, desires in common. It's often called a niche market and this where you will find your potential customers. Your ideal audience is one of the most important elements in achieving your business goals. Understanding your ideal audience inside-out has a huge impact on the performance of your marketing strategy and your website.

When you are just starting out you might not have an ideal audience. That's okay. A simple and effective exercise is looking at your past projects. Who did you enjoy working with? What tasks did you like and what did you not like about it. Taking note of this after each project can give you a better picture of what you like and dislike.

Let's jump into the ideal audience.

  1. Who will consume your content, products and services? Male of females? What's their age? What type of work do they do? Where do they live? What's their relationship status?
  2. What do they have in common? Take note of the pain and desires they are experiencing. What are the behaviour and habits? What kind of content do they consume? And who are the people they follow?
  3. What's the client persona/profile that relates to your market? What describes them and characterises them?

💡TIP! If you know someone that's your ideal clients - try to create a profile based on a real person in your environment that you would love to work with.

Our ideal audience is:

Experts who are highly qualified and have a strong existing network. They have industry experience for over 5 years and want to work independently as an advisor. Website Design, content creation and digital marketing is not their strong suit but they are ready to invest so they can grow their business to a new level.  They really enjoy their role and are known for their expertise.

Part 2: Value Proposition

One of your best marketing tools is the Value Proposition. If you have a clear and strong value proposition and use this across your website and messaging, the audience will immediately know what your business is about. It speaks about how your business is helping your ideal audience achieving their goals or establishing the desired situation. The 5 questions below create your value proposition. Try to answer them and be short and to the point.

  • What are the essential values of your brand?
  • What's the main problem you are solving?
  • Who are you helping?
  • How are you helping them?
  • What is the solution?

💡TIP! Once you created your audience and value proposition share it with others to see if they understand what you do. If there are still question marks you might want to adjust it 😉

Our value proposition:

We are Start Digital, a website design agency and we help experts to professionalise their business and attract more clients through website design combining effective positioning strategy, engaging content and smart design strategies in a 3-step website design framework customised to your business needs.

Part 3: Start Conversations Online

Now you have clarity about your business, you can start thinking about creating marketing messages. You can focus on how your future clients will find you online. Based on the audience profile, you can create a strategy. Since you know already where they are online, what problems they have and how you can solve it - you just have to share it in the same place with the right words.

Social Media

Social media are a great way to connect with your potential clients and start conversations. Converting them into paying customers is more challenging. Your website, however, can help you with that. A webpage enables you to do things you cannot do on social media. For example, receive payments, fill out a form, add subscribers to your mailing list.

Websites for if you are just starting your business

Entrepreneurs just who're just starting out, we advise beginning with a single webpage or landing page. Convert your Value Proposition into a strong headline and add it on the top of your page. Follow with the pains and desires and how you seek to help them. You can add a call to action on the top and the button of the page to get in touch with you, place a booking or fill out a short form.

Lastly - often we see that people spend lots of time creating pages. Instead of a 5-page website, we strongly advise to just create what you need and start with a landing page and an extra page to clarify your services and process. That should be enough to start with. If you want to stick to social media for a little longer, make sure your value proposition is visible. place it in your bio or summary and show how you are helping your clients.

You can use this checklist to create the webpage and content. If you work with with our team we will guide you through an extended value positioning process first to create clarity. Followed by the tone of voice and creating your optimised website content and lastly, we turn everything into a slick design customised to your business.

We believe that Positioning Guides & Content Shapes Design. Read more about our process and if you have questions, get in touch with out team!

Nienke Nina
Founder Start Digital - Website for Experts

With over 5 years experience in digital marketing and design she is combining her skills and knowledge to help experts building a effective digital foundation.