I am going through the re-design process right now. So, I GET IT. Designing a new website comes with a roller coaster of emotions. First it's exciting, then overwhelming, then you're jealous of your comrade's website, then excited again because you could have something that looks that rad too... Or maybe that's just me...
I first put this site (if you're reading circa February 2018) together as a way to showcase my work and get a "real job" in Corporate America. My how thankful I am that freelancing took off instead. Since then, it's been hustle-hustle-hustle, sleep, wake up, repeat. And, if I am really being honest, I just never wanted to redesign because my dream for this site are lofty AF.
Fast forward to present. My site no longer serves my audience (aka you! *Amy Schumer voice* hiiii). I have so much quality content I've created that I want to share, and this lil' blog is useful, but it's not showing off my skills or acting as an example of the quality of work I consistently deliver. *hair flips*
A new site can work for you as a marketer, salesperson, advocate, fan collector...etc. etc. etc. A great website is basically your new right-hand woman, the assistant you've always dreamed of, your secret agent working the backend to make your business boom! You get it. I'll stop with the metaphors... For now. Automating your site to work for you will make your work day easier. And if your work day is easier you might have a better week. and if your week is better you might have a better month...and year... LIFE!! Whew. I get excited easily... Reelin' it in.
So before you really start, ask these 5 questions. It will help ease the process pain and get you a website that works.
1. What is the goal of your website? Why do you need a website?
If you don't know why you want a new website, you surely won't be happy with what you get. Think about it. A lot. Don't just say "I want people to call me." What should they be ready to do when they call? Should they know why they're calling or do you want to guide them on a phone call? How would you like them to feel when they have gotten to the point of calling? ALSO, are you sure you even want every single person who visits your site to call? Do you have processes set up to handle a ton of calls if launching goes better than expected?
Lots to think about... Here are a few common goals for digital entrepreneur websites.
- Sell a service
- Sell products
- Get a phone call
- Collect emails
2. What is the status of the people who will be visiting your site?
What are they looking for? What problem are you solving for them?
You absolutely have to think about your dream clients first. If your audience is EVERYONE and your company is not the size of Apple or IBM, you are going to face some issues with writing content and copy. As a digital business your available audience is HUGE! So you can get seriously specific without losing out on the cash flow. Ask these questions:
Who is your dream client? What are their values? Where do they work? How much schooling have they had? Where do they shop? What other problems do they have beyond the one you're solving for them?
You know what they say about the person who tries to do everything? Now is the time to get really, super, specific. Get to know your audience and the specifics about the people you are trying to reach. Your website needs to work for you. If you don't give your secret agent a target, you won't see results.
3. What is the state of your visual branding?
We live in The Digital Age. That means everywhere people look they can see something asking for attention. Loud designs are on the way out. People want to see less. That is why the simplicity movement in design is working for brands, both new and old.
Easy visual branding items to examine:
- Photography style
- Color Palette
4. How are you going to engage your audience?
There are many ways to do this. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- Do you want to entertain? How do other brands that have similar style do that?
- Do your clients need to be educated? Would a How To post or podcast work better for that?
- Do they need to sign up for a course? What incentive will you give them?
There needs to be something to grab your audience and keep them involved with you. We're flooded with sites and info and ads all day everyday. Get creative! It's up to you (and possibly your brand designer *waves*) to decide the best way to do this!
5. Are your processes set up for success?
Websites + marketing will lead to new business opportunities. Once you get a call or add an email to your list, the process is not over, it's just begun. What will you do once people contact you? What are you going to do when people sign up for your newsletter? This is the part where you get to be creative. This is where you show them why your brand is absolutely delightful.
My favorite question that I like to ask, is how do you plan to delight clients after work is finished.
Opportunities here are endless, and Fun Fact, coming up with ways to better serve your clients is something KM Design does on the regular.