Guest post from You Inspire Me’s Tech Ninja, Daniel James Paterson.
Here’s to the internet! The solution to – and cause of – all of life’s problems.
No doubt Homer Simpson would approve of his illuminating quip being updated for the digital age – online tech is both the beautiful emancipation and evil nemesis of many a self-employed warrior.
I’m Daniel, resident Tech Ninja, and today I’m distilling how we navigated the rock-and-roll tech years from first website to solid profitability.
Six years ago, I embarked on a life-changing journey with Corrina to bring her love of authentic heart-centred marketing for the self-employed to a wider audience. A journey from her first website to a scale-up of contribution and profits.
The pesky plugins, the moments of beautiful perfection, the disheartening website downtime, the satisfaction of realising what needed oiling and when, the money wasted. We joyfully did it all.
Here are our key tech principles for navigating from your first website to profitability:
1. Keep Ear Plugs Handy
Oh my word, it’s noisy on that internet. The amount of options to do essentially the same thing is cavernous.
There are dozens of payment methods, plugins, webinar providers, WordPress themes. You can lose months trying to choose.
Ask your peers what they use, understand your top few needs, sleep on it for a night or two and just get going with the tool that resonates.
2. We Like Flow Yoga
Your website will be stretched, twisted and bent as you adapt it to new products, set up new list-builders and evolve the way you present testimonials.
Use the flexibility and adaptability of WordPress and its plugins. It’s a robust platform and doesn’t care if the soles of feet are flat to the ground during your downward dog.
3. You Have Marketing Values. And Therefore Tech Values
Understand your tech values and they will support your marketing values.
At You Inspire Me, we treasure robustness over bling-bling functionality. We want people to get what they paid for – so we value putting time into preventing live courses going down as much as creating a polished website feel. We invested time and money in both.
4. Spend Your Time On Your Tribe
Focus on marketing your gift, helping your people – and outsource the majority of the tech. Why struggle to do it half-well on your own whilst completely distracting yourself from crafting your best copy or designing the perfect list-builders for your ideal client?
Keep yourself in your zone of genius, joyfully imparting your guardian angel gifts to your community. And empower someone else to do the techy tech.
5. Learned Helpfulness
That said, you are most certainly able to put a code snippet into the WordPress HTML editor yourself. And you will enjoy overcoming the resistance to doing it.
I admire Corrina for now being as capable in adding an alt tag as she is in writing a blog post. (I salute you, dear friend.)
Sit down and do it, and then you will know how to do it. And your tech ninja partner will be free to solve your most complex problems.
6. Bells and whistles. Thank you, but no
Your website only needs what your business model needs, no more.
We’ve had thousands of paying clients – but we’ve never had a payment shopping cart. An online cart allows a customer to select several purchases and then pay for them all at once. We sell one-offs and using several PayPal Buy Now buttons simplifies our tech whilst strengthening our on-page call-to-action – two of our marketing-come-tech values.
7. The cloud isn’t whiter on the other side
The Smiths sang that “every appliance is like a new science in this tooooown”. And in doing so they recognised that you should often stick with the tech you know.
All technology has a learning curve and the time taken to change to something else will be high. Unless absolutely necessary, be at peace with a bit of imperfection in your current system instead of changing to the latest cool tool.
8. You are taller than tech pebbles. Step over them
Online tech is open-source – AKA built-in-a-bedroom – and sometimes it simply doesn’t work as it’s meant to. It’s not your fault, and it doesn’t all need to be fixed.
I have a degree in Engineering… and yet there’s some weirdo-weird happenings on our weird websites that I can’t fix.
That’s OK. We sort the important ones and tell our course participants to watch out for the others.
NEED SUPPORT WITH THE TECH DANCE?
Whilst still a loyal father to You Inspire Me’s tech needs – creating custom page templates, ironing out email glitches and swashbuckling plugins – I’m also available to hold other self-employed hands as you focus on your marketing and successfully dance from your first website to profitability.
OVER TO YOU
What tech dance moves have you learned since the joy of getting your first website set up? How did you overcome the sinking feeling when you realised an About page was just the beginning of your tech journey?
Or are you still swimming in the sea of tech overwhelm and confusion and not even sure where to start with it all?
Leave us a comment below; we’d so love to hear from you.
P.S. PASS IT ON
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© Corrina Gordon-Barnes
“Sit down and do it, and then you will know how to do it” – sage advice from @CorrinaGB’s right-hand tech ninja