So, if you didn’t know I’m a branding and web designer. Wait! Don’t run away I promise I’m not selling you anything. Actually, I want to help you build your website all on your own. Here’s the thing, everyone is at a different spot some people are just starting out, trying to save money and need something functional if that’s you I got you.
Others, have had a website for a long time and are curious to see if they are on the right track or need to make any adjustments, I got you too. I’m definitely not the kind of person who preaches DIY everything. You might have to when you start, I did. But as you grow you should make investments in your business that will give you much more ROI than piecemealing something just to get it done.
This comes with time though, okay and money obviously. I want to help you where you’re at right now with your branding and your website. Because everyone deserves a website and brand they’re proud of whatever stage they’re in. These are my steps. I’m also sharing the exact checklist I use to help you out.
You want to jump right in? Okay well, you have to wait just a sec. Before you start doing anything you have to analyze your vision and brand purpose. Everything you build in terms of branding and your website is based on this. This includes:
You know, all those lovely questions you might dread. I get it I’m not into that sort of thing myself but it is important. You can’t start building a house without a foundation. If you need help understanding your brand (and no I don’t mean an over-glorified logo) check out this blogpost here and brand worksheet I created to help you out.
Okay, that wasn’t too bad now things start getting fun. Here’s the part where we get to create your visuals. A brand is so much more than a logo. Look at it this way, if I were to take away your logo would people still be able to recognize you. They should. You want to have a logo of course but you also want:
Okay, let’s pause for a second if you have the nicest colors and a great logo and then have crappy pictures it’s not going to be an overall good reflection on your brand.
You can use stock photography if you really feel you need to (thank God for Unsplash) or you can learn a little about flat lay pictures take some of your own or better yet hire a photographer. Just think about using pictures that match with your colors, match with your overall vibe and that your target audience would find appealing.
Okay, you got your colors, your fonts, your pictures. Let’s put them to good use with your website. A good website that not only works and is easy to navigate but is also visually appealing. This is SO freaking important.
It’s your first hello, your elevator pitch. It’s basically your employee out there selling you while you’re working away on your business. So if you had an employee who worked for you and was out promoting you would you be okay if they couldn’t answer people’s questions, were hard to work with and/or dressed terribly? I’m guessing no. So as you build a website put yourself in your ideal audience/client’s shoes. Seriously, go back to this
Every. Single. Time.
Your audience is EVERYTHING, you’re building this for them. What would you be looking for if you were them? What would make your experience better? Actually, because it’s kinda easy to have a bias with yourself, ask a friend or someone who you know will be dead honest with you. Have them critique your site once it’s built and listen to what they have to say. Do you have:
Speaking of SEO… So for me, we’re back to a bit boring. This is not creative and so I have the tendency to lose interest. If you’re the same, DON’T! Gosh, you spent so much time making an amazing branding and a super awesome website and then crickets…. What’s the point if no one can find you right? Enter SEO, search engine optimization. I think it’s everyone’s goal to reach the first page of Google if it’s not it should be. While you build your website you need to make sure you’re taking SEO into consideration:
Social Media is a really important place to keep your branding on point it all needs to be identifiable (again referring back to your identifiable brand sans logo). You want to make sure that
Well, this gives you the gist of things. It really is an intricate and detailed project and there is SO much more that goes into it. As promised, I am giving you guys my checklist and this goes even deeper into what you should do. This isn’t one of those 1-page checklists with fluff that basically tells you nothing new. These are 6 pages of content and tips to help you create a solid branding and website.