Few things are more anticipated in inbound marketing than your new website's arrival. They're bright and shiny. They have sharp design. They're current.

They do take a good deal of time to design, though. In inbound, when a website is the backbone that holds your online presence upright, operating without a live site as it is rebuilt can feel debilitating.

What actions can you still complete during that downtime to keep things rolling?

First, the obvious question, why do you need to do anything while the website is under construction?

Know this: while your website is indeed critical to your inbound presence, a great deal can still be done without one—for a limited period, at least. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Things can still get done without a website.

That's why you need to keep moving while the site is being rebuilt. Because nothing is stopping you. Having HubSpot in your toolbox enables you to keep up that engagement with inbound while the site is being rebuilt.

If you're a HubSpot Agency Partner, this is particularly relevant. You will be able to keep up with your usual work at all times, even if the client's site is under construction.

How can you pull it off?

How can you take action while the website is being rebuilt?

Take only a few simple steps. First, some self-motivating reconnaissance. Go into the HubSpot campaigns tool. Take a look around and come back here.

What parts of a campaign demands a live website? Short answer: not many, maybe not any, depending on the campaign you need.

Four tips for remaining engaged in HubSpot while your website is being rebuilt:

First, get the new landing page template from whoever owns the in-progress website's design. Make this priority no. 1 for whoever is designing the new site. Have them finalize the landing page style and template above all else. Get the design from them. Add that design into HubSpot. With that, they can be left to their own devices, and you can continue with your work.

Above all else, this needs to be done, or you will be truly hamstrung.

Next, define your buyer personas. Collaborate with your team internally to develop them. Use HubSpot's Make My Persona tool to facilitate the production, and read in-depth instructions on designing exemplary persona here.

If you're a HubSpot Agency Partner, collaborate with your client on their persona-building. Stress to the client that it needs to be done in-person. Otherwise, the process can be dragged out for weeks, instead of completing it in hours. Bring everyone together for a workshop day to make the most of your time without the website. It will demonstrate to everyone involved that this is a vital process.

Tips for developing buyer personas:

  • Have everyone contributing write down ideas on post-it notes
  • Collect the notes and share every idea—this facilitates consensus and keeps the conversation from being dominated by louder personalities
  • Use a whiteboard on a webcam via Skype if the client or teammate can't be there in-person

You only need three to four personas total. Add them into the HubSpot Persona tool. Do it here on your HubSpot dashboard. You'll reference them frequently in your list, email, social, blogging, and keyword work to come.

(You'll be glad to notice you still haven't needed a live website for any of this work, by the way.)

Following buyer persona creation—perhaps even in the same session with the same group—review your keywords for the persona. Before jumping in, level the playing field on the technicalities of keywords. This will put everyone on the same page.

Watch in-depth instructions on keywords here:

The same as your persona creation, keyword research and definition needs to be done in-person. The added presence makes it tangible. It draws in more varied opinions and expertise.

Once you have your team assembled and understand why keyword research is vital, start the process. Do it here.

Lastly, you can always draft blog posts and content offers without a live website.

It's advisable to craft your first-touch / entry-level offers first. Materials such as guides and ebooks.

Steps for developing blog ideas and top-of-the-funnel offers:

  1. Have every team member in the content meeting write down four ideas for an offer
  2. Collect the ideas and put them up on the board
  3. Determine the four best offers from those proposed
  4. Draft ten chapter titles for each offer
  5. Add each chapter title into the HubSpot blog tool as a draft title—these will be your initial run of blog posts
  6. Modify them with your researched keywords to fit your planned SEO and targeted persona
  7. For extra credit, you can even schedule social media posts to engage on these topics

That's all there is to it.

What's it supposed to look like in the end?

Now you have your planning done for your blogs, keywords, and initial content offers. You have the means to develop landing pages for social media distribution. You have a roadmap for building your offers. You have blog posts you can draft and schedule on the back end for publication.

Your planning team knows what you're doing and why. If you're a HubSpot Agency Partner, your client will be comfortable knowing that in a month, you'll return with a campaign launched, landing pages live, and a brand new website. All of it will be stylistically consistent.

To drive the point home, you'll also be able to point to the fact that all of this effort, regardless of your main site being visible online, was in service of reaching a certain visits or leads goal in the coming months. That sort of vision and foresight will earn you trust and peace of mind for yourself.

Alex hosts the Partner Growthcast podcast. Listen to it live here. Rate, subscribe, and review it on iTunes—search "Growthcast" in your preferred podcasting app.

Originally published Sep 19, 2016 10:00:00 AM, updated September 19 2016