You need a website to get clients online. But getting a website takes a lot of work.
You have to figure out what you need on your website, and then write all the website copy. Then it’ll take a designer + developer another 6-8 weeks to create your site (even longer if you do it yourself).
That is months of working your ass off without being able to get clients online. Months of not making any money while having to shell out time and money on your website.
Don’t get me wrong, a website is a business necessity. 89% of consumers expect all businesses to have a website regardless of size [source]. Rather than diving headfirst into your website, there’s something you can do to start selling online before you have a website.
How to Sell Online Without a Website
The secret to selling online without a website?
An email list
Okay, an email list isn’t exactly a secret. People have been going on about email lists for years.
What they don’t tell you is that you can use an email list to sell online without a website.
Sounds good, right? So how you can get people on your email list if you don’t have a website. Where are you supposed to put your opt-in form?
On a coming soon landing page
A landing page is designed for a single focused objective. In this case, it’s a temporary page that allows you to generate leads and get some cash coming in while your full website is being built.
Your coming soon landing page’s objective is to get potential clients on your list—so you can convert them into paying clients. You can replace the temporary landing page with your actual website whenever you’re ready.
“A Coming Soon page can be pretty smart. It’s a good thing for users and search engines.”
– Matt Cutts, Google
A coming soon landing page allows you to:
- funnel potential clients into your sales cycle, which means you’ll have more opportunities to make sales
- build SEO-juice with Google, which means your website will be more likely to be found in Google searches when you replace the coming soon landing page
- get direct feedback from potential clients, which helps you refund your services, products and sales offers
How to get a coming soon landing page
If you’re planning on getting a WordPress website, there are literally hundreds of options. Here are the ones I like the best and use for my website clients:
- SeedProd: Get a domain name + web hosting and install WordPress. Use this plugin to create a landing page with a signup form to capture leads and start building your list. It links to popular email marketing services like MailChimp and has built-in social sharing to help get more eyes on your landing page.
- LeadPages: If you already have WordPress installed, you can use their WordPress plugin to set up a landing page on what will be your website. If you don’t have WordPress yet, you can set up a landing page on LeadPages that uses your domain name. The nice thing about using a service like LeadPages is that you can continue using it to create multiple landing pages after your website is up.
- Instapage: This is an alternative to LeadPages. It works pretty much the same way, but they offer a free trial so you can test it out before committing to a monthly payment plan.