58. Branding Series Part 3 of 4: Tips for Building an Effective Website
Get ready for Part 3 of the Branding Series. Hopefully, you’ve found the content from the past two weeks helpful, and this week we’re going to talk about web presence. The Internet is such a powerful tool in branding your business. It helps solicit customers, connects you with your customers, but most importantly, it serves as your introduction to your customer base.
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This week, I welcomed Jess Freeman who is a graphic and web designer, and also the creator and owner of JessCreatives. With her business, Jess helps business owners create and/or define their brands through aesthetically alluring graphical depictions or by establishing an easily functional website. Jess also helps her clients use various web and business tools to broaden their reach and diversify their web presence.
In the episode, Jess discusses how to create a website, if you opt to create one yourself, and things to look for if you choose to hire a designer. We also discuss the essentials for web content and the most optimal content management systems, and some that you should probably avoid.
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- Know that your website and brand will continue to evolve as you grow
- To start off, you need a minimal viable product: website with 4 to 5 pages
- Top three content management systems (CMS) to use:
- Squarespace: Perfect for a business that does not need any customizable elements on the website; it’s easy to set-up
- WordPress: Great for membership sites, tripwire pages (opt-ins), webinars, podcast analytics, and any other specialized areas; steep learning curve technically, you can pay someone to create it; have to find a host, and searching for themes can be daunting because they’re endless
- Shopify: If products are the main driver of your business or if you have a storefront, this is the best CMS; makes it easy to sell products on social media platforms
- CMS’s you should NOT use Wix and Weebly; they are not fully responsive and are not reputable systems used by major companies
- Responsive design: a website that reformats and works correctly when viewed on a mobile and desktop device
- Don’t get caught up in the bells and whistles of a platform; choose one that’s right for you and your budget
- Website pages to consider:
- Homepage: Your welcome mat, the front door of your business; should lead people on a path
- About: Where people can learn about you and your business
- Service: Highlight the things you do; may need separate pages depending on services
- Contact: Doesn’t have to be a page; you could have one that’s a popup or that leads to a form like Typeform
- Blog: Every business owner should be blogging
- Testimonials: Show off all of your client love
- Portfolio: If you are a designer, artist, maker, or just have any type of work to show off
- Tips for organizing your content:
- Use Google Drive and Dropbox to organize text and images
- Think about what you want people to do on each page
- What is the number-one or main goal of your website (to solicit clients, to encourage people to sign-up for your newsletter, or to request people to join a FaceBook group, etc.)?
- Do not get too caught up on choosing a theme for your website; choose a premium theme because they usually come with support and more flexibility
- If you’re looking to hire a designer:
- Make sure the person has the aesthetic you’re looking for (more than just using your favorite colors, you’re looking for style)
- If you’re looking for something specialized, like an e-commerce site, make sure they have experience with building what you’re looking for
- Make sure you have most of your content together
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): know that it’s more about content versus the platform you choose
- We discuss the importance of incorporating video into your brand now:
- Remember your video doesn’t have to be perfect
- Don’t get caught up in equipment
- Focus on content, story, and value
- Not sure what to talk about? Try turning your blog content into a video
- “How To” videos are the best to start with because YouTube is a search engine and that’s what people are normally starting their questions with
- SEO: videos can help you show up in searches more because people are staying on your site longer; Google likes websites with dynamic content
- Themeforest [Premium WordPress themes]
- Easy Peasy Studio [Jess’s video editing services]
- Unsane [shot on a iPhone 7]
- Adobe Premiere Pro
Facebook Group: The Digital Lounge: Design and Video Mastermind for Creatives
Podcast: The Digital Lounge: Design and Video Tips for Entrepreneurs
YouTube: Jess Creatives
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