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We all want that one thing in our business, a website that works for us! So often I come across amazing companies. Their work is stunning, they have such a great Internet personality, and they have so much passion for what they do. Their problem; they aren’t booking clients because their website is not showcasing them in their best light.
Admit it, we want all the things! I’m guilty of this too. We want to showcase every single service we can think of, show off every piece of work we’ve ever done, and “ooooh a fancy function we probably don’t need” let’s throw that in too! Take a step back and put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes, you’ve just overwhelmed them, haven’t you?
We live in a world where patience is wearing more and thinner. If you tell your clients they need to hunt through your site to find what they are looking for, chances are they won’t, they’ll just leave. Speak to your ideal client and no one else. I used to have so many services on my website, something stupid like 10. I found I was booking a lot, but rarely for the work, I actually wanted to do. I cut it down, so I now offer 2 services in 3 particular packages, and I don’t veer off them. Now I only book my ideal clients for ideal packages, and I can charge a much higher price point for them as I am an “expert” in them (instead of just ok at 10 different things).
You also want to understand that less is more when it comes to elements as well. So so often I have a client 99% happy with their website draft, and then comes the dreaded sentence. “Can we just add gold foil/watercolour/more accent script font to it?”. When creating a website, you will always have to have your clients at the forefront of your mind. For example, I work with high-end, elegant, very “neutral-toned” clients, so, therefore, my brand appeals to them. What they don’t know is that up until 2 months ago my kitchen was neon pink and my wardrobe had about 3 items that didn’t scream “colour!”. So when adding detail like this to your site, first of all, make sure they are the kind of details that appeal to your client. Secondly, they should only be details. DO NOT add so much watercolour or gold foil that it’s all you can think about when you enter the website. Details should be details, small and sparse. Don’t overdo it.
When putting together your website, make sure you have branding guidelines before you start. This is a reference to all colours and fonts you will be using, and please DO NOT steer away from them. Ok, that one script font might look great for a page title, but then please use it on all pages. Make sure your body font matches across your whole site. Make sure your headers are all consistent. And please make sure your colour palette matches throughout. There is nothing worse than a site where each page looks like it belongs to a different brand!
If you don’t have branding guidelines for your business, you can download our free photoshop template here to create them.
Never underestimate clean, white space. It makes your website seem more open and fresh, and tend to add that high-end feel to it and make it seem that bit more luxurious.
There are so many people I can call out for this… if you want to sell me something, make sure I can find it! Make sure all of your menu buttons are in an obvious place and easy to read. If you have long pages, then please make your menu sticky, so I don’t need to keep scrolling up. And if you are trying to direct your clients to a specific page, please use an open call to actions.
So often I go on websites, and I’ll stumble across a handy page, like a pricing page or something similar. Then in a few weeks, once I’ve done my research and I’m ready to hire them, I’m completely put off because I can no longer find that page. I have to dig for it because of its a small link on a subpage of a subpage. Make your website easy to navigate, people are much easier to confuse than you think.
Now I’m one for getting overly excited and hitting that “publish” button without proofreading everything. So I can forgive you (if you can forgive me please). Spell checking your pages and blog posts is so important. A spelling error or heaven forbid even a pricing error – don’t mix up those 1s and those 9s – can make you seem not only unprofessional but also clumsy. And who wants to hire someone who publishes mistakes…?
Have you ever been on the most gorgeous website? So professional and elegant. Only to inevitably be met with a trout-pout iPhone selfie with a bad Instagram filter over it. I have. It’s not good. How you portray yourself is also how you portray your brand. I would highly recommend getting some headshots or even a full branding session done with a local photographer. Yes, it’s an expense, but it will do wonders for your website and your social media. If you don’t have the budget for it, then why not get a friend or family member to take a clean and professional photo of you? Better yet, get your hands on a professional camera and get someone to take a photo of you in “RAW” format. They can just use the auto setting if they don’t know what they are doing. But you can then send this photo to an editor, and they can turn it into something that will really work for you!
I used to do a bit of modelling about 8 years ago. So when it came to putting my first headshot on my website, I had so many pictures to choose from. However, most of them were heavily styled, so I had limited options. My favourite was a black and white image against a studio background with me in a blazer. Honestly, it was me in not much more than a blazer… a blazer and underwear. So after some strategic cropping, and Photoshop cloning of my blazer to make it look like I had a top on, I had my headshot! Haha, that’s embarrassing to admit…
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This is wonderful Will be in touch in next couple of days to get you to “finish” my website. Getting all thoughts, words and images complete then I’ll need your help. Thank you for being there, Gillian Sarah.
Helene Anne Fortin
This is great! It summarises very well what I like to find as a reader and it’s such a good checklist to follow while building my website!
Great website. Lots of helpful info here. I’m sending it to a few of my friends. thanks for your hard work!
3 Comments on 6 Things to Consider When Building Your Website