New Website: Getting Started
TASK: Review the information below and consider possible domain names. Send your ideas to me and I’ll create a list of 5-10 possibilities that are available. If you already have a domain name you want to use, you can skip this step.
Your Domain name is extremely important.
A lot of people haphazardly create their domain name after everything (such as the logo, slogan, company name, etc.) has been decided. This is the wrong way to go about things if you want to do your marketing online. I believe that you need to consider your domain name before you do anything else!
The reason is simple: the only thing you’ll be saying more than your company name is your website address. Your website is the first place people will go to learn about you, so the name of it matters.
Domain name factors
Here are a few different things to consider when it comes to selecting a domain name:
COULD IT STAND ALONE?
If you had the opportunity to use the biggest banner space in your city, but the only thing you could put on it was your website address, how much business would you get from the advertising? If the answer is anything but, “ALL THE BUSINESS!” then you have a problem. People should know who you are and what you do from your address alone.
ARE IMPORTANT KEYWORDS USED IN IT?
Most people think that your keywords are the last thing you add to the articles and content you put online (or worse yet, they don’t think about the keywords at all!). This is incorrect. You need to think of how many times people are looking up your potential keyword before anything else. This is especially true of your domain name; your domain name will make a difference in regards to how every single page on your website is ranked. You want traffic coming? Get a good domain name.
DOES IT SAY WHO YOU ARE?
A good website address will say a lot about the business. The best website addresses will say who you are, what you do, and even where you are located. This may sound impossible, but mess around with them and you’d probably be surprised.
CAN PEOPLE REMEMBER IT?
You may only have one change to capture someone’s attention, and that could be in person or online. Your website address needs to be something that people will remember, even at a glance. If your address is too long or requires someone to add an unnecessary word (like “AGoodFitnessWebsite.com” instead of “GoodFitnessWebsite.com”), you may lose that new reader/customer.
CAN PEOPLE SPELL IT?
Cute, incorrect spellings of website names literally make me angry. Yes, it’s very neat that you used a “K” where a “C” belongs or how you combined two words into one (like “NeaTeam.com” instead of “NeatTeam.com”) but you’ll automatically lose traffic to the smarter person who used the correct spelling, I promise.
IS IT AVAILABLE?
While you can hit all of the other elements of a good website address, it might not matter if that address is already being used by someone else! Before you get too excited about a new domain name idea, look for it on a service like GoDaddy.com to see if you can even buy it.
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#2: BRAND NAME
TASK: Review the information below and think about your primary navigational structure. What are the main pages you want to have? What sub-sections might you want to include? Send me the primary 5-10 pages and I’ll create the navigational structure.
Your Brand name versus Your Company Name
Your brand name doesn’t necessarily have to match your company name, but it can. If you have an existing company and are looking to re-brand yourself, but don’t want to go through the headache of forming a new LLC, C-Corp, Sole Proprietorship, etc., then don’t! There is nothing wrong with having a different brand name as long as your cite your company name as the official company who owns the brand. In this way you could actually own and manage a variety of different brands, then report the income under a single entity. Even so, I don’t recommend using the strategy outlined in this book with more than one brand at first; this is a lot of work and will require you to focus.
Brand Name Factors
Your brand name should follow the same rules as your domain name, and ideally they are exactly the same. It’s hard enough to get people to remember a domain name without requiring that they know a different brand name as well. With that in mind, here are a few factors in choosing a brand name.
IS IT RELATED TO YOUR DOMAIN NAME?
If you can’t have your brand name be exactly the same as your domain name, it should be close. Let’s say that your domain name is www.BadassKettlebellExercises.com but you’re worried that that name will limit people’s perception of what your company offers (it won’t, but it’s really hard to convince business owners of that fact). In this instance, you could have a longer brand name that makes your offering sound more broad; something like Badass Kettlebell Training Systems broadens the name while still sounding close enough to the domain name.
IS YOUR BRAND NAME LEGAL?
You need to ensure that someone else isn’t already using your brand name. Even if the related domain name is available, the brand name may have a trademark or some other legal claim to it. Search online for any company that may already own the name.
DOES IT UTILIZE YOUR PRIMARY KEYWORD?
Just like your domain name, your brand name should utilize your Primary Keyword. This is extremely important as you’ll be inputting this name in multiple places across the internet, from your social media accounts to business listings; this is an excellent opportunity to automatically brand yourself with no more effort than you are already putting into setting up your business.
DOES IT SOUND IMPRESSIVE?
While this isn’t a requirement, having an impressive-sounding brand name will give a boost to your business and your confidence, especially as you introduce yourself to potential customers and industry partners. Imagine yourself at a big fitness expo looking for new products for your online store. You want the vendors to take you seriously. If you walked up and said, “Hello, I’m Bill from Bill’s Big Database of Kettlebell No-no’s,” would you garner that vendor’s attention? What if you came up and said, “Hello, I’m Bill from Kettlebell Professionals of America.” Which one sounds more legitimate?
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TASK: Review the information below and submit ideas for slogans. If you have an existing slogan, submit that. If you have no ideas, simply submit “I have no idea.”
Your slogan is a very important part of your brand. It affords you the opportunity to explain exactly who you are and what you can do for people in a way that your company name and logo can’t. It also gives you a good way to incorporate your Primary Keywords and optimize your website even more.
Think of your slogan this way: it is the message that you want your customers to remember if they remember nothing else. It is your “elevator pitch” in 99% less time (I would call it your “drive-by pitch”). If you had one sentence in which to describe your brand and make an impact on a potential customer, what would you say?
The following are slogans I generated for some of my clients. Again, think about your keyword phrase and try to make something interesting.
Athletic Strength Training for Long Term Results
- Unconventional Strength Training for Athletes
- Using Kettlebells & Beyond for Performance Strength Training
- Strong is Good, Strong and Bulletproof is Better
- An Athlete is Only as Strong as His Worst Injury
- Preventing Injuries Builds Stronger Athletes
- Strength. Performance. Longevity.
- High Intensity Group Based Fitness
- High Intensity Exercise, Community Gained Results
- High Intensity Functional Training for All Fitness Levels
- Savage Exercise Systems, Savage Fitness Results
- Get Fit, Get Outside
- Come Discover the Nature of Fitness with Me
- Journey Through the Nature of Fitness
- Simply Living is Not Enough
- Finding Fitness in the Depths of Nature
- We Train to Play
- Fitness is a Journey
- Fitness is both a mindset and a mission.
- Fitness Training to Move You Forward
- A Systematic Approach to Body Transformation
- We’ve All Been There, Now It’s Time for a Transformation
- We Help People Change Their Bodies & Minds
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TASK: Review the information below and think about logos that you like from other companies. Send your ideas to me and I’ll create a list of 5 possible logo designs to start the process. If you already have a logo name you want to use, you can just send me high resolution versions of your logo and I’ll use those moving forward. If you have logos you’d like to emulate or use for inspiration, paste the relevant links below or upload the image files. If you have an existing logo you’d like to use, upload the files below.
Your logo (and the different variations of the design) should be showcased and recognizable in everything you produce. That includes website headers, postcards, banners, signs, motion graphics, commercials, ebooks, brochures, etc.
Even further, the design of your logo (especially the colors and fonts) will extend into how you present all other graphical elements of your business in order to reinforce it.
There are a million different ways to make your logo, but when it comes to fitness, I put the different design types into three primary categories: Abstract, Obvious, and Acronym. The one you use will depend on the type of business you have and your long term objective.
Abstract Logos don’t need to spell anything or represent anything; they just need to look distinctive. This type of logo is best for companies looking to build large brands. The best example of a successful abstract logo is the Nike “swoosh” (my logo is technically an abstract logo, but you can easily see that it is a letter “M” combined with a word bubble).
Obvious logos are pretty easy to make and do a good job of explaining your business visually. All you have to do is find a picture that represents your primary offering and plop it down. If you’re a kettlebell trainer, put a kettlebell. If you do a lot of deadlifting, do a silhouette of yourself performing a deadlift. There is nothing wrong with this type of logo, but understand that it will be hard to get away from your primary offering if your logo is really specific to a certain aspect of your business.
Acronym logos are just what they sound like: they take the acronym of your company name and stylistically display it in a logo. If your company name is “West Coast Kettlebells,” your logo would feature a prominent WCK.
Here are the basic variations of a logo (as represented by my brand):
The Full Logo features the graphic design, business name, and slogan all in one shot. It should be able to stand alone so people can recognize who you are and what your company does at a glance.
The Partial Logo features everything except for your slogan. This is what you will use on most online/offline graphics.
If you do everything right, your icon can be the entire representation of your business (like the Nike swoosh logo). You are not there yet! But, you still need an icon to use on small graphics, products, and website elements (like your favicon).
A logo stinger is the motion graphic version of your logo that will go at the beginning of all your videos. Like your logo, this needs to stay consistent throughout your branding.
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#5: LOGO STING
TASK: Review the information below and think about which logo sting best fits your brand. Copy the associated links for the stings from Videohive.net and submit them below. If you can’t figure out which one might work with your brand, just say “I don’t know” and I’ll come up with suggestions.
A logo sting is the short clip you see at the beginning of online videos. It’s animated and usually just displays the company’s logo and website, although sometimes it will include a short message. After you select a template using the link below, I’ll customize the animation for your company.
VideoHive is a template marketplace that contains thousands of different options. Once you select a template or at least have an idea of what you want, I’ll customize it for your project. Make sure you only look for After Affects projects.
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TASK: Review the information below and then search DepositPhotos.com to find which photos best represent your brand. If you have done a professional photo shoot, please email a link to the photos. If not, follow the video instructions and share a folder containing the stock photo examples you like. Submit the folder link below.
Needless to say, your customers are very visual people (it’s probably what got them interested in fitness in the first place). With phones advancing the way they are, everyone is a photographer, and that includes you! To keep your marketing and branding effective, every picture you take needs to be on point. Enhancing your skills will do two important things: 1) Enhance the image of your brand daily, 2) Manage photoshoots more effectively when you want to hire a professional.
Taking good pictures is a valuable asset. You’ll need literally thousands of pictures each year to use on your website and social media posts, so get ready to improve your photography skills!
change up the angles
Improving your daily pictures could be as simple as switching up the angles. Get low, get high, go wide, and go close up… do anything but just stand there and shoot from eye level! There is a time and place to shoot full body shots from afar (they’re called Exercise Articles), but that will do nothing for your daily branding and marketing!
change The Lighting
Lighting can make all the difference! Try turning off some lights in your space while leaving the others on. If you can, get a single spot light and start messing around with that. Whenever possible, try not to use your flash; that never looks good.
THE HERO SHOT
Hero Shots are exactly what they sound like: pictures where you look like a hero. Check out your favorite movie posters and try to mimic them while holding a kettlebell or other implement. Copy the angles/distance they use in different settings and see what happens.
Stock photos can make your article look awesome or make it look super lame; picking the right one is crucial.
FREE VS PAID STOCK PICS
There are quite a few websites out there that can provide you with free pictures, but they are usually sparse when it comes to fitness pics. I recommend going to DepositPhoto.com, getting 100 credits, and filling up with some pics for your website, materials, and social media posts. They have a growing list of unconventional training pics and it will save you time while making your articles look much more professional.
START WITH THE HEADER PIC
When you’re looking for a picture to feature in an article, make sure you get the attention-grabbing header pic first.
Whenever possible, you should try to get the pictures to be within the same photo series. They should at least have the same style/feel. If the header is black and white, make the content pictures black and white. If the header pic is a white woman with a hoodie, make sure the rest of the pics have the same model.
MIXING ORIGINALS & STOCK
You’ll have to mix original and stock pics sometimes (the stock photo websites don’t have everything, especially when it comes to unconventional training). In this instance, the header pic can be completely different from the content pics or you may have to use an original “hero shot” for your header.
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