Having my own direct marketing business is fun and rewarding. I get to meet new people, make lifelong friends, and have extra moolah in my pocket. One of the first things to drive me bonkers were all those crazy links, some of them make sense while others look like the writing from the device on planet P4X-639. If you are in the same boat, don't sweat it, there is a way to organize all those links to one easy place for your customers with a nifty URL to get them there. Keep reading to learn how.
Organizing Your Links
If you haven’t already you can add all those links to either Project Broadcast, linkTr.ee, your own website, or something similar. All of these have a nice, customizable look and your customers only need to know one URL to get there.
If you already have a business website that you can edit and add pages to it’s a better idea to have your tree of links on your own site it’s great for continuity.
For this website the link page was specifically designed to put a QR code on the bands program & posters so people could use their phones to find a donation links.
I built this tree of links in WordPress for a nonprofit website I administer, I just added a "/links" to the URL for the link page I used the IKS menu plug-in to get this effect. I had to build a special template that didn’t have any side bars so it is for more advanced users.
If your budget is zero this is a wonderful choice you can go with the free version and have a really nice looking link. However, I highly recommend getting the paid version, it gives you a more personalized look for your business, helping you stand out in a crowd. If you pay a year at a time it’s $5 a month - less than the cost of a good beer.
Linktree is super easy to use and comes with a very straight forward URL. I suggest before you sign up you give great thought to your user name. I used "Julie Wilson" long before I thought up the TravelingTrivet brand. Both work because I use both for my business however TravelingTrivet would’ve been a better choice.
Do you text your customers? Did you know there is a set of laws governing them? Project Broadcast keeps you within the law without costing you valuable time.
What is Project Broadcast? It is a game changer! It is a subscription based service, staring at $15 per month, worth every penny and can replace other paid subscription such as LinkTree Pro. It is for communicating with your customers. It has a quick setup, configurable forms, custom messaging, voicemail drops, chat option, and LANDING PAGES! Today I'm going to talk about the landing pages.
One of the options that this service provides is Landing Pages. The landing page is simply a web page that you customize for your business. You don't need to know how to design a web page to use it. They have several short turtorials and some traing videos to help you design the perfect page for your business.
In this example I made a landing page to replace my LinkTree Pro page, giving my monthly subscription even more value. The only con I have is that the URL, https://pb-site.com/p/Wd6dNk9Fkcg, is not easy to remember when chatting with potential customers at the grocery store, BUT that is easy to fix....
I am so impressed with this platform that I became an affiliate! Click my link, sign up for the 10 day free trial, and see for yourself - Project Broadcast.
Your Own Domain
If you want to stand out in a crowd, this is the way to go! Think about this... if you look at your friends list you probably have several direct marketing friends, several probably represent the same company. So when you need one of these products how do you pick. Picking someone who stands out in the crowd is probably what’s going to happen. One of the ways you can stand out in a crowd with your own catchy domain name.
A domain name is a unique, easy-to-remember address used to access websites. You can 'point' yours to either your link tree or your Project Broadcast Landing.
Picking a Domain Name
You will need to decide where to buy first so you can check on availability as you decide. I have been using GoDaddy since 1999 and would recommend them.
When choosing your domain name take your time giving it some careful thought, write it down, say it out loud, and check it for availability. Your name should be an extension of you and your business and easy to remember. If you represent several direct marketing businesses you might want to find a name that covers all or one for each.
Other Dos & Don'ts
- If you are a direct marketer, before buying a domain name check out your manual for rules governing what what is allowed.
- Don't use any trademarked or copyrighted names or phrases.
- Don't just add a few letters after a domain name you like if someone else is using it.
- If someone owns the .com, find another name. Using the same name with .net or something else is too confusing for your customers.
- Google your domain words or phrase before you buy. Someone else might have something similar. You might accidentally be grabbing a domain name that when googled, has some nefarious websites that are similar… You definitely want to stay away from that.
Domain extensions, or TLDs are the letters after the "dot" at the end of the URL. There are currently 20 gTLDs (generic top-level domains) and over 250 ccTLDS (country code top-level domains) in the world. These are just a few that you may be offered when looking for a domain name.
- .biz - Businesses
- .co - Ccompany, Corporation, & Commerce
- .com Commerce
- .info Informational
- .me - Individuals.
- .name - Individuals
- .net - Networks
- .org - Organizations & nonprofits
But seriously, I'd just go with .com, even linktr.ee owns linktree.com which is helpful when your customers think they need to use .com instead of the extension you purchased. In my opinion, the others are just too new, people don't accept change well and some will likely use ".com" no matter what you tell them. For example, did you know you do not need a "www." in front of urls? From personal experience, I found that most people will add a www. to TravelingTrivet.com even when I ask them not to. Chrome auto adds it, UGH. I'll cover more of this in "Sub Domains" below.
Buy That Puppy & Point it to Your Tree!
You can buy your own domain name starting around $20 a year. Again, I recommend GoDaddy but whichever company you choose, make sure your plan includes forwarding and subdomains.
Once that domain is yours you need to point it to your tree of links. In GoDaddy you do this under "DNS Management" then scroll down to "forwarding", this is also where you add your subdomains for forwarding. You want to permanently forward your domain to your tree.
Subdomains are sort of like sub-folders, but for URLs. They are useful to send your customers to a different page. You will need to add "www" as a subdomain before adding anything else or when a customer types www.yourdomainname.com the page will not be found. Other than that, don't go crazy with names, only add a few that you can remember on the fly.
In my example, I added "partymenu" as a subdomain and pointed it to my party menu. Now when someone types partymenu.travelingtrivet.com they are sent to a page with a party menu. The real URL if my party menu is https://pb-site.com/p/7CFWDqfndtp, you can see how much easier it is to use the subdomain to direct your customers. Also notice, some I have linked to LinkTr.ee and some I have linked to Project Broadcast. This works, however I will be moving the main link to Project Broadcast in the near future.
Your Time Has Value
Before you dismiss any of this because you don't want to spend extra money, think about this... Time is money, and how much is YOUR time worth? If a service saves you one hour of time a month it is paying for it self. If it saves you several hours a month it is actually making you money by giving you more time to promote your business and tend to your customers.
I hope this was helpful, feel free to ask me questions in the comments.