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As a creative entrepreneur in the early stages of establishing your online presence, you have realized that having a website is fundamental to success. Whether your goal is to provide freelance work, catch the eye of a future employer, or even open your own shop, a website can get you there.

Your website is a great place to present your portfolio, inspirations, and products. Chances are, you have lots of ideas floating around of what you would like your brand to provide. Creating a map of your goals will help you to focus on the areas of your brand that you are most passionate about. In the following steps, I will demonstrate the mapping process.

All you need is:

1) a pencil

2) paper

3) a general idea of what you want your brand to accomplish

4) about 45 minutes of uninterrupted brainstorming time

Step 1: Name Your Brand

Your brand may simply be your name, or it can be something unique that you create.

A general rule of thumb with business names is that they should:

1) be easily pronounceable

2) do their best to represent the type of product you are providing

*My brand name in this demonstration is a variation of my own name.

Step 2: Major Goals

If a friend asks what type of website you are creating, how do categorize it for them? Those words are most likely your major goals.

Is it a...

  • Business
  • Portfolio
  • Blog

Your website may have many major goals. Listing every goal and mapping it out will help you to evaluate whether you are committed to creating content for that branch or not.

Step 3: Categories

Under each major goal, you will have specific things you want to accomplish. For example, I want to start an online business so I specified the types of products I want to offer in my store.

Step 4: Deliverables

Whereas your categories describe the type of content available on your site, your deliverables describe the specific type of content you are creating. My branch shows that:

1) My website will include a blog.

2) In the blog, I will write about marketing topics.

3) One or more topics will be about SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

*Your deliverables will become longer the more you brainstorm ideas for your site.

Step 5: Goal Map

Once your list of deliverables reaches a point where you feel you have enough content topics, you may order your categories by importance. Importance can be determined by many things, but I chose to number my categories based on interest and what would help me build up future categories.

You may notice that I did not number my portfolio. I have done this because I believe that some of the content I create for my website will end up in my portfolio naturally. I also recognize that I am relatively inexperienced and lack a great amount of ready work to display. My portfolio will grow over time (as will yours) so it's best not to stress about it too much.

For me, the hardest part of starting a project is feeling like all the steps required are just too overwhelming. Mapping is a great way to process work incrementally. It is my hope that these instructions encourage you to unload the clutter of your mind and begin to complete manageable steps in achieving your creative aspirations.

<p>Great tips!</p>

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