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“What. in. the. actual. world. did you get us into, Zach?”
That was the question that came out of my mom's mouth as she shaded her eyes with her hand, glancing around at the Hawaiian rainforest surrounding us. 
If I had been older than 5, the words out of her mouth probably would have been “what the f*ck?!” But I was a virgin-earred kid and my little sister was still in diapers so she kept it kid appropriate.  
She wasn't the only one asking that question. 
All of us, except maybe my sister who was too young to know what the hell was going on, were standing around, staring at the absolute mess we had managed to get ourselves into. 
A few weeks prior, my dad's stepdad had called and told my dad that he had a HOUSE in Hawaii and asked my dad if he wanted to “finish it up.” 
FINISH IT UP, First name / friend
What kind of house does that make you imagine?! 
Probably one with… doors. 
And a roof. 
Maybe even running water and electricity??
But no, no, no. 
Not this “house.”
This house had NONE of that. No running water, electricity, doors, windows, walls, or roof. It wasn't even a sad outline that hinted at one day becoming a beautiful house…
… It was a giant slab of concrete, out in the middle of Hawaii, that had been poured so unevenly, the middle sloped in and created the perfect shape for collecting water.
Which meant there were thousands (and I mean thousands, First name / friend) of mosquitoes swarming the area we were supposed to be living in for the next few months. 
So we bought a tent. Set it up as far away from the treacherous swamp forming on the slab of concrete as we could, and crawled inside to escape the vicious and murderous onslaught of mosquitoes while my parents figured out what the hell we were going to do. 
Remember how I said my sister was in diapers, First name / friend
Well… at some point, you've got to change a baby's diaper and you sure as hell can't do it OUTSIDE, when there are THOUSANDS of mosquitoes attacking any flesh they come across. 
And the rest of us couldn't even wait outside while it happened because every second you stood out there was another second of being eaten alive. 
You couldn't even breathe out there, the air was so thick with mosquitoes. 
(Somewhere in a photo album in my mom's basement there are pictures of everyone's legs swollen with countless mosquito bites. Some day I'll dig them up and send them over to you, First name / friend. It really was SO bad. 😂)
So there the four of us are—somewhere semi-remote in Hawaii, sweating inside of our tent as my mom changes my sister's poopy diaper and my dad and I do the best we can to plug our noses, all while the sound of thousands of blood-hungry mosquitoes fills the air as we try to figure out what the frickety-frack we are gonna do.
Needless to say, we didn't end up making it the several months we were supposed to be there. After five days of sweating it out, we called it quits.
(Just long enough to have the memory of the terrible smell in that hot tent seared into my brain forever.)
Besides wondering what the hell my parents were thinking (a valid question, First name / friend, and one I've asked many, many times), there's one person to blame for the catastrophic trip…
My dad's stepdad. 
I mean… that man had no idea what he was getting us into. He told us there was an enclosed house to live in that was just “a little run down,” but that we'd have running water, electricity, and a working bathroom. All my dad needed to do was use his carpentry skills and finish up the woodworking. 
His budget was 10K and his timeline was a few months.
Maybe there had been a livable house back when dinosaurs roamed the earth at some point, but not anymore. And to fix the house would have taken YEARS and approximately 20 times his original budget. 
In other words, his planning was WILDLY off. 
(He was also definitely lying to us to make it sound better than it was, but I don't think he realized the extent to which he was lying.)
He should have gone down there and surveyed the property to get a realistic idea of the amount of work that needed to be put in before uprooting my family and sending us into the forest with no practical plan and no idea of the amount of work that needed to be done. 
And because he didn't… he didn't get what he wanted. 
We bailed. And I bet you a million dollars that that slab of concrete is still sitting there, collecting rain water, serving as the local watering hole for millions and millions of mosquitoes… 
Big projects like that involve BIG planning. 
Hell, for my Thursday-Tuesday New Orleans trip, I started planning in NOVEMBER. 
To coordinate four girls' wildly different schedules, book the Airbnb, get flights, figure out how to fit everything I needed into my backpack because I refuse to ever check a bag… that took planning. 
And guess what, First name / friend?
That trip went freaking FABULOUSLY.
(It was SO much fun. The firecracker shrimp? To die for. The dog parade? To cry for. The elaborate gold and green outfits everyone wears around? Awesome.)
Not planning ahead (and/or being wildly unrealistic about your expectations) often comes around to bite you in the ass. 
Like what happened when my family and I were sent into completely unlivable conditions to fix up that house. Or when I tried to spontaneously show up to an art exhibit that was booked out MONTHS ahead in London. 
Or when you try and launch your website in a month and scramble to finish everything as quickly as possible. 
Spoiler: you're going to be underprepared and because of that, you're not gonna get the results you want. 
So, here's how to plan ahead for a website launch so you don't end up in a metaphorical, tropical hell, eaten alive by mosquitoes. 
#1 - Figure out what your options are
(AKA survey the property before setting your timeline/budget.) 
If you want to hire a website copywriter and a website designer (or other service providers, like brand photographers!), you'll want to reach out months before you hope to launch. Find out their pricing and availability, inquire, and then go from there! That way, you'll be able to know if your budget is realistic and if your timeline is doable. 
Website copy on its own takes over a month and usually, the same goes for design! And that's without factoring in waiting times for availability. So make sure to give yourself plenty of time to reach out to those you're interested in working with!  
(If you aren't sure whether to reach out to a designer or a copywriter first, this should help!)
#2 - Get all the behind the scenes stuff ready 
Before your website launches, you'll want to make sure that everything is working on your backend and will reflect the revamp that is coming.
After Kleist finished my branding, I went through and redesigned all of my Dubsado forms (questionnaires, proposals, etc.), Google forms, and my newsletter template so they would be ready and on-brand as soon as I launched. 
You can also spice up your email templates, IG highlight covers, update your process outline, or refresh any other backend stuff like your systems to make sure everything is good to go before all the traffic (and inquiries!) start rolling in. 
This helps you avoid the after-your-website-launches scramble to update everything!
# 3 - Create a lead magnet and set up your welcome sequence 
Your website launch will be the MOST traffic your website ever gets in the course of a few days. Everyone is going to be checking it out. So take advantage of that traffic and give the people something they can sign up for!
(Tip: make sure your freebie is related to what you do and offer rather than something random!) 
And, if you're gonna have a freebie that hundreds of people download, you'll want to have a welcome sequence that goes along with it so those people don't just get the freebie and then forget about your fabulous self.
You can stay top of mind by sending out a welcome sequence that goes something like this: 1 - freebie delivery, 2 - who the heck you are 3 - other valuable resources you want to share 4 - all the ways they can work with you 5 - when they can expect to hear from you again in the future.
When you plan ahead for a website launch… the results are UNBELIEVABLE. 
I started planning my November website launch in July and within one month of launching my website, I had my highest income month ever, got a ton of inquiries from DREAM clients, started booking out 2-3 months in advance, and doubled my email list. 
So, if you want your website launch to be the smashing success you deserve, and not some mosquito-ridden hellscape that doesn't turn out the way you want it to, plan ahead!
(The same advice goes for any kind of launch, honestly.)
And if you're interested in having me as your tour guide on your website copywriting journey that keeps you far away from any swampy conditions, I've got a few spots left for April!
Not only can I help write your website copy and recommend a website designer or template… You can also count me in for cooking up an irresistible lead magnet and whipping up your entire welcome sequence. And, if you want to launch your website with a blog, I can write all of your blog posts, too. 👩🏻‍🍳 
Say the word, First name / friend, and I'm all yours!


And that's it!
With lots of love (and a little bit of spice ),
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