Your Domain Is Your Number 1 Digital Asset and Here’s How to Protect It

Your Domain Is Your Number 1 Digital Asset and Here’s How to Protect It

There is a typical scenario that happens out in the world for new business owners. You launch a business and you’re trying to get online as quickly as possible. A friend knows a friend, you hand them a few hundred dollars, and voila – you’re online! Somehow they registered your domain, purchased hosting and then built the website.

If this describes your situation I am not here to shame you. There is nothing wrong with what you did. However, there are some things you need to know. Let’s first start with the basics.

What Is a Domain?

A domain/domain name is your address on the internet. The Digital Capital Company’s is mydigitalcapital.com.  In order to visit my company on the internet, you simply type this address in a website browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Edge.

Your domain is a major digital asset that you should own and maintain control of. One of the first things potential customers/clients do is search for your company online to learn more about it. Imagine what could happen if someone was able to take control of your online presence – loss of revenue, non-budgeted cost to rebuild, public relations disaster and more.

Key Considerations When Purchasing a Domain

A registrar is a company that offers domain registration services.  In other words, whether the address you want is available or not. GoDaddy is a commonly known registrar. There are hundreds of registrars available such as Namecheap, eNom, Hover, and even Google Domains. There is no right or wrong answer in choosing a registrar, but all companies have their pros and cons.

No matter which registrar you select, they will ask you for three types of contacts: Registrant, Admin and Technical. The key contact type here is Registrant. The name listed as the Registrant is owner of the domain.

What if you hired someone to handle this for you?

In the scenario I first mentioned at the beginning of this post there are a couple of possibilities:

  1. The person you paid bought the domain with your money and listed THEIR name as the Registrant.
  2. The person you paid bought the domain with your money and listed YOUR name as the Registrant.

What if you don’t know where your domain is registered or who is the registrant?

When a company such as GoDaddy becomes a registrar they are required to receive an accreditation from ICANN. ICANN’s WHOIS Lookup allows anyone to search the database to find out the registered owner.

To use the WHOIS Lookup CLICK HERE. In the box where it says ‘Enter a domain’ type mydigitalcapital.com and then click on the blue ‘Lookup’ button. You’ll also need to navigate through their captcha spam test. As you can see below, my name and LLC are listed for the Registrant, Admin and Tech contacts.

Screenshot of WHOIS results

Let’s pretend I’m not a web developer. In this scenario, I would keep my name as Registrant and Admin Contacts, but I would list my web developer’s name and information as the Tech Contact.

When you scroll down a bit further, you’ll see the registrar’s information. It clearly shows the registrar for my website address is GoDaddy.com, LLC. Domain Registrar example image

What if you find the registrar in a search but you can’t see the registrant name?

This scenario occurs when someone purchases something called domain privacy. It hides your personal information from the public with the intention to avoid things like domain-related spam. This isn’t a bad thing, but it does make it more complicated to find if your web friend or you are the owner. When a domain has privacy it may look something like this:

Privacy enabled image example

Using GoDaddy as a Registrar

While GoDaddy isn’t my first choice for services such as hosting or email I do like their domain features. They allow you to easily own and control your domain, as well as allow access to extra people when necessary.

GoDaddy has a ‘Delegate Access’ feature which allows you to essentially say, “you are approved and I’m giving you access to manage my domain for as long as I decide.” This feature is fantastic when you need to give access to someone such as a web developer to manage the technical details of your website.

You don’t have to give out your own username and password, the delegate who is receiving permission to use your account uses THEIR username/password. This is a good security decision. If you decide to change to a different provider, you simply ‘Revoke Access’ and re-delegate access to the new person.

Summary

If you aren’t sure about the status of your domain you are not alone. Two out of every three clients I start working with have no idea about most of the details about their website. If you would like to graduate from feeling uninformed to empowered and in control, contact us today.

Let’s Meet at the Intersection of Love and Profit

Let’s Meet at the Intersection of Love and Profit

It takes hard work to get better clients. But, there are things you can do that are task oriented and productive, which will help you get there little by little. This process works and it takes some time. However, you will need these answers for many areas of your business.

Let’s get started.

Who Do You Serve?

The key to building a successful business is to only work with clients who absolutely love you and love what you do. It’s how you get referrals and cut the usual stress that goes along with client work. It’s also how you add massive value, which is the only way to get paid higher rates.

Do you really know the work that you love doing most? Do you know how to find clients who love you?

You can’t always compete on price. You need to really think about how you are different from everyone else. Otherwise, you will simply attract clients who are price shopping. Everyone that comes to you will not be right for you. By defining the work you love and who would love you, you will know when to pass on work with someone who isn’t a perfect fit.

Skills vs. Passion

Did you know that around 80% of startups and small businesses fail within the first 2 years? I am thrilled that I passed the 2-year hump in May this year. You have to enjoy what you’re doing to make it through these 2 years. So let’s move the needle towards this.

If you write something down it no longer occupies brain space and becomes real. Take out a piece of paper and divide it into two columns: 1) Skills and 2) Passion.

Skills

Before you start, make a pact to be HONEST with yourself, otherwise, you are just wasting your own time. Now, in the Skills column, write down the skills where you’re really strong.

Think about the times other people have complimented you related to your work. Or, consider what people always come to you for. Is it people skills? Are you a good listener? Can you take complex problems and make them simple?

Your job is to work out where you are the most skillful and what you are most passionate about. It is OK to write skills you are good at, but don’t necessarily enjoy.

Passion

Now write down everything that you LOVE doing. You can even be terrible at it. For me, it’s drawing. I love drawing, but I really suck at it unless it’s drawing Garfield.

If you’re good at a skill, write it in the Skills column, whether you love it or not. If you’re passionate about it, write it in the Passion column, whether you’re good at it or not.

The Intersection of Love and Profit

Now, let’s take a look at the two columns. Circle the things that you’re good at AND that you also love doing. Don’t cheat! Be honest with yourself.

Next, it’s time to take out your journal or safe notekeeping place. Write down 3-5  things you want to do in your business in the next 2 years. These 3-5 things should combine your best skills and what you love doing the most.

By taking your best skills, which are also the ones you love doing, your passion will show through and the profit into your business will follow.

Translate Your Skills to Benefits

If you’re really good at writing and it’s also what you love doing, ask yourself what benefit that offers someone. Whoever you work with will probably end up with better content done faster than they could have completed on their own. Since you’re good at it and love doing it, you’re going to be more devoted to writing.

The benefit is not writing; that’s the feature. The benefit is that the person you work with is going to end up with higher quality content.

Remember, you don’t have to do this exercise if you don’t want to. But if you don’t, getting clarity will take longer. So take out your piece of paper and write “Benefits” at the top.

List all the benefits that your clients will receive when you use your skills and your passions.

Who Benefits the Most?

Who stands to benefit the most from what it is you have to offer? List everyone who could benefit from the skills, passion, and benefits that you offer. Once you begin targeting everything you do towards this person you’ll be standing at the intersection of love and profit.

Tools and Shiny Objects

Tools and Shiny Objects

Running an online business has it’s perks when it comes to the array of online tools that can be used to help you get through your work and grow your business. Here are the tools we love the most:

Project Management

Google Drive

I am soooo not a fan of emailing documents back and forth. It can be a nightmare to keep up with. Being able to collaborate in real-time on editing documents and spreadsheets with our clients is just amazing. It’s super easy to use and free.
Try Google Drive

Google Apps for Work

In addition to Google Drive, we use the entire Google Apps for Work suite. This gives us reliable email and Google Drive storage so we never have to worry about technology issues. This takes care of our documents, spreadsheets, emails and calendar. If Google goes down, there are probably bigger issues happening in the world.
Try Google Apps

Dropbox

Easy file sharing. Dropbox is great for sharing files and folders and keeping these in sync across multiple computers.
Try Dropbox

LastPass

“The last password you have to remember”. Many people are guilty of using the same password for everything. In this age where so much of our lives are online, you should always use complex and different passwords on your sites. Lastpass takes care of this for you by integrating with your web browser so you only ever have to remember one password to unlock all your other passwords.
Try LastPass

Process and Workflow

Process Street

This is my new favorite tool and it’s just awesome. If you are repeating tasks over and over – transfer them into Process Street and get ready to hand them off. Your business can’t grow if you’re doing everything!
Try Process Street

Product & Service Delivery

WordPress

We build websites for our clients and WordPress is one of our most useful tools for better websites. From publishing new content, to quickly creating new features, WordPress is our go to platform to help build successful businesses.
Try WordPress

Adobe Creative Suite

Using Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Reader, Writer, and DreamWeaver is a regular occurance for us, so it made sense to subscribe to the entire suite.  But, if you simply need the best photo and graphics editor around you can subscribe to a single app.
See plans here

Mailchimp

Easy to use email marketing software with tons of integrations. Free for up to 2,000 subscribers and adding automation is only $10/mo.
Try Mailchimp

TinyPng

Speed up your site by optimizing your images before you upload them.
Try TinyPNG

Productivity

Todoist

An online task manager and to do list. It also plugs in to Gmail which allows us to keep our inbox very minimal. Very simple task manager.
Try Todoist

Mixmax for Gmail

Send emails with scheduling, tracking, polls, surveys and more right in Gmail. We could not live without this as part of our Google Apps system.
Try Mixmax.

17hats

This is a powerhouse for small businesses. It covers contracts, invoicing, time tracking, workflows, and email templates. Recurring invoices can be set up and it integrates with Quickbooks Online, as well as Stripe payment gateway. They recently added integration with Square as well.
Try 17hats

Ambiance

Spotify

Our inhouse DJ. Everything from albums to music choice by mood. We especially love listening to a rainstorm or beach waves.
Try Spotify

Collaborator Communication

Skype

Our colleagues and accountability partners are all over the United States, the UK and Australia – this is the only way we can afford to chat “in person.” The free video calling is epic.
Try Skype

Amy Keys – Certified Digital Business Consultant

Amy Keys – Certified Digital Business Consultant

Amy Keys has completed certification as a Digital Business Consultant with WP Elevation.

WP Elevation is a global business mastermind group for WordPress consultants that helps its members better serve their clients through communication, development workflow and project management best practices.

WP Elevation gives its members access to ongoing education, and a community of peers for support and continued professional development.

The presence of the WP Elevation badge means you can rest assured that you are in good hands for your WordPress project, and we have the skills and certifications to deliver results for your business.

You can learn more about WP Elevation here.