lady startup

TRIED & TESTED: The 5 ways to level-up your business online, according to a lady startup.

GoDaddy
Thanks to our brand partner, GoDaddy

When I launched my lady startup in 2019, I was filled with excitement, passion, and a focused vision. Being that it was part side-hustle, part passion project, I had big plans for my heart-centred small business.         

I researched my market, identified a gap, and drafted a business plan. I felt a surge of excitement I have never felt before in the corporate world.  

Girls Thriving was born: practical support, tools and tips to empower young girls and support their parents. I was charged with enthusiasm. Only, it didn’t exactly... thrive, like I’d planned. 

Let me explain.

I largely based my planned revenue stream on running events and workshops for tween and teen girls. 

I planned a launch event – a gorgeous mums and daughters flower crown workshop. I ticked every item off my list: venue confirmed, florist and photographer booked, catering organised, even the goodie bags were filled.

The event sold out, and I was over the moon.

And then, a pandemic hit.

Given my business involved running face-to-face events, and the events industry was being obliterated, I had to pivot and rethink my entire business model. For me, this involved creating a physical product. 

I have learned so much in the past couple of years, and in many ways, lockdown has strengthened both my resolve and my business. 

So, if you’re considering turning your side-hustle into something more, let me share a few tips.

Strengthen your digital marketing.

When first launching my business, I quickly learned it was important to carve a space in the digital landscape. I just didn't really know where to start. 

However, after a lot of trial and error, I think I've finally built some practical skills that have really levelled up my digital marketing. 

I soon discovered that there is SO much you can do in the digital space to bring awareness to your brand. It is the perfect time to capitalise on all the eyeballs spending more time online to strengthen your own business presence via your website and social media platforms.

Plenty of other lady startups in my community have recommended GoDaddy – it’s the world’s largest domain registrar that aspiring entrepreneurs and side-hustlers use to grow their businesses online 

Simply put, it’s a place you can do a bunch of things: grab your website domain, create a compelling brand and a great-looking website, attract customers with digital and social marketing, optimise your website for mobile, set up an online store, and plenty more.

ADVERTISEMENT

What I like about GoDaddy is that you can create a website with built-in marketing products, no tech skills required (...relief!). 

Their Digital Marketing Suite has everything a lady startup needs to help stay connected and engaged with your existing customers and reach new ones. I especially like the SEO direction which helps your website rank up high on Google when your potential new leads are searching.

All in the one spot, you can manage your business listings, social media posts, email marketing and business reviews — all from the one GoDaddy dashboard.

Make your website slicker (and more mobile-friendly.)

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but let me tell you this: people can, and will, judge your website on first impressions. 

And I am not just talking only about looks. I’m also talking things like user experience, page loading time, how easy it is for customers to find important information on your website, as well as making sure your site appears well when viewed on mobile.

ADVERTISEMENT

People’s attention spans are really short. I mean, mine is goldfish short since the pandemic hit. 

So, you have only a few seconds to capture your customer’s attention. 

One thing I had to learn very quickly was that your website is your business card, and it carries currency. So, get savvy and make it look slick.

Ensure customers can find the most popular and important information very easily, in the least amount of clicks possible (for example, your shipping & returns information, or all of your services/products are easily searchable). 

Also, it’s worth saying twice, it’s so important: ensure your website is mobile optimised. 

This is imperative as the majority of your audience will view your website on their smartphone or tablet, rather than a desktop computer. 

It doesn’t have to take you an age either. 

Businesses aren't built in a day, but websites can be with a platform like GoDaddy and their Websites + Marketing product.

They have hundreds of website templates to pick from that are automatically optimised for mobile and desktop view, so your online store, blog and everything in between can look super professional and formatted to perfection on any device.

Listen to Mamamia's career and productivity podcast: 8 minutes to change your (work) life. Post continues below. 

Be the hostess with the ‘mostest’.

When starting up my business, I didn't expect to be a manager, website developer and web analyst but as a lady startup, I feel like I've finally mastered the ability to juggle it all. Well, almost. 

There's so many things to think about, like website hosting. It’s a detail many small businesses might overlook, but luckily can be optimised in lockdown so your business can keep thriving post-lockdown and beyond, too.

Just so we’re all on the same page: websites are stored – or “hosted” – on a publicly accessible computer (a server). 

So some websites require an entire server to themselves, whereas others can share a server with hundreds of other websites (the more you know, right?). 

The storage space, and the features that come with it, make up your hosting plan.

ADVERTISEMENT

You want to make sure you check whether your website hosting is the right plan for you, based on your traffic volumes (on variables like uptime and fast load times). 

Basically, if you see your website as a party you’re hosting, you want to always ensure you have room for plenty of guests. 

No lockdowns or caps on numbers (like in real life): you never want to be turning guests away because there’s not enough room for them to attend!

How do you even know which hosting plan will actually work for you? As a quick guide, web (or shared) hosting is the most budget-friendly type of hosting. 

Since you're sharing resources – like neighbours in an apartment building – you spend less but have fewer options and less control. 

But check out if Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and Business Hosting might even be a better option for your website. 

These options dedicate specific portions of a web server’s capacity and processing to each customer. Like a standalone house, your space (on the server) is yours.

You can have total control with full root access, and unlimited traffic to that online party of yours (so 99.9% guaranteed uptime). 

Brand it like a boss.

You may be familiar with the saying, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It is SO true. You want to stand out from the crowd, and be distinctive enough to be remembered for all the right reasons. 

But remember, branding is more than a logo and colour palette. It’s your tone of voice, your brand values, your mission, and your brand’s personality. 

All these things contribute to your visual brand identity, and let’s face it, ideally you’d like to avoid an identity crisis. So get clear and consistent with your branding. 

Something I’ve enjoyed discovering lately is GoDaddy Studio; it’s everything you need to be a brand-building, social media marketing guru. It's the perfect place for lady startups to create a memorable and punchy logo that their customers will absolutely love.

You can edit images and videos with ease and create stunning designs in a couple of minutes (not kidding). 

It’s honestly effortless to create content that is eye-catching to elevate your brand’s online presence, whether that be a batch of Instagram posts, business card, marketing material to accompany your products, or even product labels. 

ADVERTISEMENT

GoDaddy Studio has thousands of customisable templates to play around with, where you just swap colours, fonts and add text to images to suit your own business branding. 

With just a few clicks, you can have several pieces of brand collateral with the ultimate consistency. 

Is there anything more satisfying than having your website look and feel reflected through all your other materials too? I’m a bit obsessed.

And the best part? No design degree necessary (but people will think you do, so… shhh, let’s not tell them.)

Don't forget website security.

Okay, again, website security may not be the most sexy thing, but trust me: it is quite the deal breaker. 

You really need to ensure your customers are secure online when using your website. 

A comprehensive security product will show visitors you are trustworthy and authentic as a business, which we’re all looking to establish and strengthen as a new business owner.  

Essentially, an SSL certificate creates a secure digital tunnel that blocks hackers and thieves from seeing usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and other valuable data. 

So, you know, kind of (extremely) important… especially if you have an ecommerce store, where your customers must trust your website before even considering entering their card details to purchase your product.

One thing this past year has made clear, is that the side hustle can be so much more than just a hobby (or placed on hold during a pandemic, even). 

It can be a thriving business, with a few optimisations to make sure it’s the strongest it can be today and into the future.

My lady startup is still young and fresh. Unlike me, she hasn’t aged at all during lockdown. In fact, she’s got energy, youth, and bucket loads of passion. 

2022 is going to be her year, and the year that your side hustle continues to soar too. 

If you dream it, you can build it at GoDaddy. Check out all the help and tools you need to be online with their Website & Stores options, Marketing Tools as well as their new GoDaddy Studio for content creation. 

Feature Image: Supplied/Instagram @girls.thriving

Do you follow Lady Startup? Take this survey and you may be one of three to win a $100 gift voucher! 

GoDaddy
Whether you want to start a business or a side-hustle, or simply strengthen your current business online, GoDaddy has your back. With everything you need to get your business online, from domain names, matching professional email, hosting and comprehensive security. Plus, GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing is a website building tool (with loads of customisable templates) that helps you create a professional website that is free to set up! And, their GoDaddy Guides are there 24/7, on the phone, to help every step of the way.