This post may contain affiliate links that don’t add any cost to you, and may result in a few dollars for me to keep snacks loaded in our pantry for my always hungry kids.
Are you a mom eager to launch an online business but worried about the added complexity and cost of a website? Don’t worry I’ve got you mama. In the early stages of your VA business or side hustle, a website might not be necessary. You can leverage social media for online exposure, utilize email marketing platforms to build an email list, and consider tools like Tidy Cal and Stripe for managing online scheduling and payments. For a website-like experience, you can create visually appealing landing pages using Canva, all while keeping initial expenses and stress to a minimum. Remember, your VA business or side hustle journey can begin without a website, and you can gradually expand your online presence as your business grows.
Mama, I’ve got a hot topic for you, and it might just change your perspective on starting your own business.
I want to chat with you about why, when you’re launching your VA business (side hustle) or any other service-based business, you should start without a website. I know I know, this may seem counterintuitive because we’ve been conditioned to believe that a website is a must-have, but let me tell you, you don’t need one.
Full disclosure: I started my business with a website. It stressed me the heck out and cost me money I shouldn’t have been spending in the beginning. So buckle up because I’m going to give you a list of ways to achieve the same results without a website.
Your Website Won’t Get You Exposure
Let’s start with a reality check: Your website won’t magically bring exposure to your business when you’re just starting out. Sure, having an SEO-optimized site with blog and podcast pages is great for the long run, but it’s not your immediate solution. Your potential clients are hanging out on social media, and that’s where you’ll get the initial exposure you need. Engage in conversations, join business groups, and provide value within comments to boost your visibility.
Build an Email List
An email list can be a gold mine for connecting with clients. You don’t need a website to collect emails. Platforms like MailerLite and ConvertKit offer free versions with landing pages and opt-in forms. You can use these to collect emails and distribute your freebies, like checklists or ebooks. If you want more options, you can also use Google Drive to host your freebies. People won’t mind if they’re directed there instead of your website.
Online Scheduling and Payment
As a service provider, you may need an online calendar and a way to collect payments. Tools like Tidy Cal are affordable and user-friendly. They integrate with your Google or Apple calendar and allow you to set your availability. You can link your Tidy Cal or booking page directly in your Google Drive or Canva landing page. For collecting payments, Stripe is a great option, connecting seamlessly with many services, including Tidy Cal. I have my Stripe account connected to my online bank Novo, it all works very seamlessly.
Want to learn more about starting your VA Business? Grab my Quickstart Guide to Build Your VA Business now!
If you’re selling digital products, courses, or ebooks, you don’t need a website for a complex cart system. Thrivecart is an excellent option for handling payments and product sales. It integrates with Stripe and simplifies the process. Just like the other tools, you can link it to your Canva or Google Drive landing page.
Canva Landing Pages
If you really want to create a website-like experience for your clients, Canva can help. You can use Canva, even the free version, to design web pages with graphics and hyperlinks. This way, you can display your rates, services, and an about me section in a visually appealing format without the need for a website. Canva offers a shareable link to your created page.
You’ve Got Options
In conclusion, not having a website should not be a roadblock to starting your business. Focus on building your presence on social media, collecting emails, scheduling appointments, and accepting payments. With tools like MailerLite, ConvertKit, Google Drive, Tidy Cal, Stripe, Novo, and Thrivecart, you can accomplish all of these tasks with ease.
So mama, I challenge you to start your business without the stress and cost of a website. You can always work on it in the background and launch it when you’re ready. The key is to get your business out into the world, start attracting clients, and make your dream a reality.
If you decide to implement any of these strategies, let me know! Send me a voice memo on Instagram (@melyssamunday or @mamasmakingmore) and share what you plan to do. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader and hold you accountable for taking that next step.
Remember, no website, no problem. Your online business journey is just beginning, and the sky’s the limit. Stay inspired, and I’ll see you in the next episode!
[00:00:00] Melyssa: Hello. Hey there, mama. How the heck are you doing today? I’m doing so good. I have a fun episode for you. And you may be like, what are you talking about? But stick with me here because I promise you by the end of this, you’re going to be like, yes, you’re totally right, Melyssa.
[00:00:17] Melyssa: What I want to talk about today is when you are starting your business, when you’re starting your VA business. Or if you have some other service-based business especially. I am telling you, I want you to start your business without a website. And I know that seems counterintuitive because I feel like we’ve all been conditioned and trained to think that we have to have a website. But you don’t. Full disclosure, I did start my business and I did have a website. It did absolutely stress me out, getting it set up and making sure I had it in place when I officially launched my business. And I, a hundred percent did not need it. I still have my website. I’m actually just starting to ramp it up to use some funnels on there. They’re not on there [00:01:00] yet. And I really didn’t start actively using my website until I started this podcast and I started posting my blog and podcast pages on my website. So that’s kind of been the main thing that I’ve done on there. I am going to give you a whole list of things that you can use, that you can accomplish the same thing that you could if you had a website with a lot less stress and a lot less money. So. Buckle up, let’s talk about it girls.
[00:01:28] Melyssa: The first thing that I want to hit on is your website really isn’t going to get you a ton of exposure. It’s great eventually down the line if you want to have SEO, you have keywords, if you have a podcast or a blog that you have linked to it. That’s great. That is not for starting out. That’s not what we’re doing here. If what you want is exposure to your business, you’re not going to get that on your website. You know, where you are going to get that? You’re going to get that on social media. That’s where your clients are hanging out. That’s where other businesses are hanging out. That’s where your friends are hanging out. So if you really are looking for that [00:02:00] exposure, you’re going to be getting that on social media. So you’re going to want to be posting. Not just posting on social media, but you’re also going to be wanting to engage with people. You’re going to be wanting to talk with them in business groups. If say you’re an expert in setting up a certain program, say that you are an expert at setting up Dubsado, which is a CRM for other service providers. If that’s your expertise, you want to be going into groups and you want to be telling people when they ask what CRM do I want, you’re going to be listing off the benefits of the CRM that you’re an expert in. So you’re going to really want to be providing details and a lot of value within the comments of other people’s posts as well.
[00:02:44] Melyssa: Another gold mine way to get your clients to communicate with them and to get their eyeballs on your business is to have an email list. And when you have an email list, you need an email hosting platform. [00:03:00] I started out with mailerlite. They have a free version. It is absolutely fine to start out with that. I just, this last month have moved over to Convertkit to a paid version, for reasons that aren’t really relevant here. Convert kit also has a free version that I didn’t try I went straight to the paid. But there is, all kinds of platforms out there that you can use to collect emails. Now you might be like, but don’t, I need a website in order to collect those emails. No. And here’s why. Most of these email platforms, they also include landing pages and opt-in pages. When I started with MailerLite even though I had a website, my very first landing page was a mailerlite landing page. So what I did was go into mailerlite, I created a form that was an opt-in to a PDF that I had. So that was done in mailerlite. People would click to say yes, I want to be on your newsletter. And I want to get this freebie from you. [00:04:00] The magic would happen online, and that email address would be collected by mailerlite. And then the freebie that I had would be automatically distributed to their email. So those landing pages and those opt-in pages, I know we’ve all used them as consumers as well. A lot of them are just forms that are within mail hosting platforms.
[00:04:22] Melyssa: Now there are platforms that are just for landing pages that are not tied to a specific email host. One that comes to mind is lead pages. I don’t have any experience with that. I know that other people have used that, but I don’t really think that something like that is necessary. I think that using an email host, who also has the forms and the opt-in pages within it, I think that that’s the way to go. MailerLite is a really great option. Convert kit is also a great option and I do have an affiliate link that I will put in the blog post that is tied to this episode here.
[00:04:59] Melyssa: So if you’re like, [00:05:00] Melyssa, I still need a place where my things are going to live. I want to have a rate sheet. I want to have maybe an about me page so that people know who I am. I want to have somewhere to send them. And maybe you’re wondering the PDF that I just mentioned that was a freebie. Maybe you’re wondering where I had that. If it wasn’t on a website where I had that hosted. Let me tell you Google drive. Google drive is free. We all have access to Google drive and I think it is an amazing resource. Now you could absolutely have a link where you send people, like here’s my rate sheet. You send them to your Google drive that has your rate sheet listed out there. You can send them to a page that’s like, this is about me, these are what my services are. You could have any number of pages where you send them to that specific link in your Google drive. I think that that is absolutely fine. I don’t think that anyone’s not going to work with you because you send them there rather than an official website page. I [00:06:00] really don’t think that that is going to be a huge deterrent. I know that there are people that I worked with in memberships, I bought into their memberships, and at the time they didn’t have a website for their membership. They simply sent us to templates that are on their Google drive. And I thought that was brilliant. I had absolutely no issue doing it that way, as opposed to going directly to someone’s website. It did not change my experience as a user one bit.
[00:06:25] Melyssa: Now when I started my business and I had this PDF freebie that I had a landing page from MailerLIte for. Where my freebie lived was on a Google drive. I was able to link my landing page with this Google drive document and then that all happened. It actually sounds maybe complicated, but it is not. So you can also use Google drive to host these freebies if your freebie is like a PDF checklist or booklet or ebook or whatever, it may be.
[00:06:53] Melyssa: Now, maybe you’re still thinking, Melyssa, I really, really want a website and [00:07:00] that, you know what? No shade to you if you do want to have a website and you do get it set up right away. I just really want to give you the permission and the ability to see that there are other ways to accomplish the same exact things. Now, one of the things that I think is really slick and really awesome. Is within the program Canva and I am 90% sure that this also applies to the free version, not just the pro version. I think if you have that free version, you have access to be able to create a web page in Canva. Now it’s, you can do all the graphics in Canva. You can make it look pretty. You can have links in there, hyperlinks in there, that can be where your rate sheet is, where your list of services is, where you have an about me. You can have all of that information in a scrollable document that looks exactly like a webpage. They will give you a Canva link that’s a webpage that just exclusively for you. It’ll take your potential clients right to that place. So that is an option. It [00:08:00] really is like the next best thing to having your own website. You don’t have to pay for hosting. You don’t have to do all that monthly maintenance. You don’t have to do all of that jazz. You can just have that information right there. Like I said, you can have it hyperlinked. You can link to your opt-ins in that Canva webpage. So that’s a really, really slick way to kind of get around, having to set up, pay for and maintain a website.
[00:08:25] Melyssa: All right, now, when I was thinking about this episode, I was trying to think of other things that you may say you need a website for. So don’t worry, I gotcha. So the other things I was thinking of is as a virtual assistant or, as an online service provider, you probably need the ability to have a calendar, like a booking system. You need a way for someone to be able to book time, whether it’s a discovery call with you. Whether it’s a monthly check-in with you, whatever it may be. You might need that. And if it is not just a discovery call, if it’s some sort of paid, one-on-one service that you offer or any [00:09:00] kind of service like that you may need the ability to collect payment. So what I would suggest is Tidy Cal. I use Tidy Cal. It is a deal that I actually got through AppSumo and is a lifetime deal. I think it’s like it’s between $20 and $30. It’s really, really very reasonable. I will put a link to it. I do have an affiliate link for that as well. I will put that in the blog post for this episode. It’s a really slick program. It’s very similar to something like Acuity or Calendly. I used to use Calendly. I like Tidy Cal better. I think it’s a little bit easier to work with. You’re able to link it to your Google or your apple calendar, so you can block off time so you can have it so that people can only set up meetings at certain times. It won’t double book you for things, and it will also collect payment. So if you have, you know, say you have a one-on-one where you’re collecting payment for that one hour, [00:10:00] one-on-one zoom call with someone you’re able to do that directly through Tidy Cal. And to have that connected to Stripe or square or whatever it is that you collect your payments with. So that is a really slick option. Again, you, and then you will have a link to your Tidy Cal or your calendar. You can put that in your Google drive or Canva. Your landing page, wherever it is that you’re going to be promoting your services. You can have this link there. You can have it hyperlinked.
[00:10:28] Melyssa: I mentioned collecting payments. I personally use Stripe. I like them. I know a lot of people also use Square. I like Stripe, I think it connects and integrates with a lot of different programs. Like I said, I’m able to integrate it with Tidy Cal. I also super like that I can integrate Stripe with my bank, my business bank, which is Novo it’s Novo bank online. I will put a link to the bank and also Stripe. I have affiliate links for those. Imagine that. I would promote those even without those [00:11:00] affiliate links, because these are what I use and what I love. And, I would definitely promote them anyways.
[00:11:05] Melyssa: You may also have packages where you offer, you know, say you have three packages of different levels for your VA service. And you need a way to collect payment from that. You do not need a website for that either. You can collect that directly from Stripe. Stripe will allow you to send invoices. I personally send invoices from my bank, the Novo bank, because I just like the way that that works and that bank is integrated with Stripe. So really it all works together there. So you do not have to have some fancy invoicing system. You do not have to have an invoice system that goes through your website.
[00:11:42] Melyssa: I have jam packed a bunch of information in there. Before I wrap this up. One thing that I did want to touch on that’s kind of related is if you are a service provider, but you also have some sort of product say you have a course or a download, an ebook, something like that, that you also [00:12:00] want to sell, and you may want like a cart program. Thrive cart is a really good option for that. I will put a link for that as well. That is a lifetime payment and it’s a little bit more robust than you would need if all you’re doing is providing services. You wouldn’t necessarily need to collect them in that way, but it is a program that integrates again with Stripe. With the banks with all of those kinds of things. And so it makes it really seamless. It also integrates with your email. So that’s an option. If you do have something there, you need a little bit more. Uh, in order to collect payment for, you could have Thrivecart . So that’s something that’s a little bit more complex, but I did want to throw that out there.
[00:12:39] Melyssa: Hopefully you took in all of this information and you now feel a little bit better about not having a website. I really want to challenge you to just start your business and really not worry about this website. If you want to have one down the line, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from working on it in the background and getting it ready and having it up [00:13:00] whenever it’s ready. But I don’t want this to be a deterrent to starting your business. I don’t want this to be the excuse for your business, not starting or not growing. I want you to start your business. I want you to really take to heart some of these options that I gave you think about what’s best. And just get the dang thing out there in the world. Get your business out there and start getting clients in the door.
[00:13:24] Melyssa: That is all I have for you today. If you are going to do one of these things, if you are going to implement, you’re going to do a Canva, , little website, or if you’re going to stick your stuff on Google drive, would you send me a voice memo on Instagram? My user is @melyssamunday, or @mamasmakingmore.
[00:13:43] Melyssa: You can type it too. I just love hearing her voices and, um, let me know what it is that you’re going to do. I want to be able to cheer you on and I want to have you be accountable and have you tell me when that’s going to be set up by.
[00:13:55] Melyssa: That is all I have for today. I hope that inspired you and I will [00:14:00] see you in the next episode.