8 Things You Need Before Investing in Your WebsiteNov 19, 2021
Having a website for your business gives you a digital domain that you own. Unlike social media accounts and platforms, your website is completely in your control, and always will be. Not only that, but your website is also an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to inspiring your audience and converting potential clients into paying clients.
I get it, maybe you’ve tried to DIY your website and ended up frustrated because it’s not your area of expertise, or maybe you tried to hire a designer but ended up getting burned. I’ve seen it time and time again – you’re not alone.
Through my many years of helping clients build websites that they feel proud to share with the world, I've learned what needs to happen, and in what order, to get the best results. So, here are 8 key things you need to solidify before investing in your website.
Your Brand Personality is how you consistently show up as the face of your brand and is expressed through your presence, voice and visuals. It's what makes your clients and community feel emotionally connected with you and ultimately choose YOU as their guide.
Your branding and brand personality is the foundation of your website … from colors, to imagery, to logos, to background patterns, to accent elements, to words, to tone of voice, to the personality or “vibe” your website exudes … your brand makes up your website’s building blocks. Before you begin to design, or redesign, your website, it’s essential that you take the time to clarify and document your brand personality from the bottom up.
When a prospective client lands on your website, they need to feel a connection with you if they’re going to stick around, explore what you have to offer, and take the leap to invest in working with you.
An especially important part of your brand personality is your tone of voice. The tone you use to communicate with your audience determines how they will perceive you when they come across your brand – and how they’re going to feel when they visit your website. As we know, people buy from people they feel a connection to – so using a tone that resonates with your ideal client and your own brand is essential for creating an effective website.
Prospective clients will make a split second decision, based on how your website looks, about whether they resonate with you, think you’re credible, and want to do business with you – or whether they even want to continue exploring your website.
Your brand’s visual identity is extremely important for setting a good first impression with anyone who comes across your website – It will either catch and keep a prospective client’s attention, leading to sales down the road, or repel them forever, costing you that client and any referrals they may have sent your way.
The first thing that probably comes to your mind when you think of a brand identity is a logo. While there is no wrong way to make a logo (well… there are some, but that’s a different blog post for a different day), I recommend creating your logo after you have the basics of your brand figured out – like your name, colors, and the general emotion or feeling you want to evoke from your ideal clients. Your logo is going to be the most commonly-used and easily-identifiable element of your visual branding, so it’s important to take this into consideration when creating your brand, and your website.
The colors you use in your branding and on your website evoke certain emotions within your audience, whether you realize it or not. It’s important to understand what your brand colors say about you so you can be sure to deliver the message you desire and attract clients who will be the best fit for your business. If you haven’t already, be sure to use the strength of the Power Profile when creating your visual branding.
Other elements to solidify (strategically) before starting on your website include the fonts you’ll use throughout your brand, imagery style, and any backgrounds, patterns, or textures you’ll use. These things are the building blocks of your website design, and also contribute to the subconscious message you’re sending your website visitors. All of this and more can be clarified through the Power Profile.
WHO is your website speaking to? Who is your ideal client?
When your ideal client lands on your website, you want them to feel as though you’re speaking directly to them – like they’re in the right place, no question about it.
Knowing who you’re speaking to is an essential first step to writing any website copy or creating any other elements that will be part of your website. Without this solidified, or if you’re trying to speak to everyone, your website won’t be impactful, won’t help you make sales, and will ultimately repel potential clients.
WHAT are you selling?
To create an effective sales page, navigation that naturally leads to that sales page, and a positive and clear user experience, you need to know what you’re selling. Ultimately, selling your services and programs is really the point of your website – so this needs to be front and center.
It's best to keep your offers streamlined and simple - too many options can lead to confusion and decision paralysis, which means you'll lose clients and income because your website visitors won't know what to choose, so they'll leave without taking action.
If you offer many different services, think about how these services can be combined into a complete process that takes your clients from where they are now to where they want to be.
Once you have your process outlined, consider whether it would be best delivered as a one-on-one coaching package, group coaching program, an online course, a membership, a VIP Day, a mastermind group ... or something else?
Website designers and copywriters are not the same people. Whether you decide to write your own website copy or bring in a professional, this is something you absolutely need to have finished before hiring a designer to create your website for you. Without copy, there will be nothing to design the website around, it simply doesn't work to design first and write copy second.
The copy on your website is the most important part – it’s what you’re saying to your ideal client, how you’re selling your offers, and ultimately what motivates and inspires your audience to take action and hire you.
There are several experts I recommend bringing in to help with your website. While you may technically be able to DIY your website if you're a little tech savvy, taking on the project yourself can also take a lot longer to finish, not be as effective as if you’d hired a professional, and not convert your ideal clients as you hoped it would.
That being said, I recommend looking into the following roles.
A brand strategist helps you uncover your brand personality, and then align your visuals, messaging and offers with that personality, in a way that clearly communicates your value to potential clients.
A graphic designer creates your brand’s visual identity such as logos, colors, fonts, patterns, textures, icons, etc. These are the elements that make up the building blocks of your website.
A website designer pulls together the visual brand identity that the graphic designer created with the copy that the copywriter wrote, and designs a beautiful and strategically laid out website. Sometimes the graphic designer and website designer are the same person.
A website developer builds a fully functional and interactive website out of what the website designer designed. Sometimes the graphic designer, website designer and website developer are the same person.
A photographer can help you capture on-brand, professional, high-quality images that help you build authority, and that help your ideal client feel a deeper connection to you.
A copywriter helps you clearly and strategically communicate your value through the words on your website, so your website visitors feel inspired to invest in your offers.
Part of the value I give my clients is that I’ve assembled and personally vetted a team of professionals with expertise in each of these areas, who I then manage throughout your entire website project, making sure everything unfolds exactly as you wish. This saves you tons of time searching for the right professionals and managing the project yourself.
Regardless of whether you work with me and my team, please do your research and work with experienced professionals. You’re investing in something that will be part of your business for years to come and has the potential to either attract or repel potential clients - this is not the place to pinch pennies at the risk of quality.
If you have questions about building or revamping your website, reach out to us at [email protected]. I’d love to help you get your message out to the world in a beautiful and profitable website!
There are many options when it comes to choosing a platform for your website: Wordpress, Kajabi, Squarespace, Wix... just to name a few. Ultimately, you’ll have to choose whichever one best suits your needs.
When choosing a platform, it’s important to consider your business goals and what you want your website to be able to do for you.
Kajabi is my favorite all-in-one platform. It allows you to host your website, build a course, open a membership, host a one-on-one or group coaching program, create and manage email marketing campaigns, sell digital products and more!
This is the platform I switched to from Wordpress a few years ago and haven't looked back. For more reasons why I love Kajabi, check out this blog post.
You can use my Kajabi affiliate link to get a 30-day free trial and 40-min 1:1 Kajabi Kickstart Call with me.
Wordpress is a powerful platform because it gives you endless possibilities for design and functionality. But those endless possibilities come with a cost: over time your site can become chaotic and dysfunctional because you’re duct-taping too many things together.
Squarespace is incredibly user-friendly and offers done-for-you templates that are also completely customizable. With the power to sell products (physical or digital), create a members-only area, and seamlessly integrate with scheduling systems, automation systems, and more, this is a great choice if ease-of-use on the back-end of your website is important to you.
Wix is another powerful platform. With fully customizable drag-and-drop designing, it has the potential to be either incredibly on-brand, unique, and beautiful, or chaotic, unorganized, and poorly designed. If you aren’t familiar with design basics, I recommend hiring someone to help you with your Wix site.
This has been an especially popular option lately for creative entrepreneurs – it combines all of the best features of Wix and Wordpress, without any of the hassle.
I’m going to be honest with you – completely customized, professional, high-end websites are not cheap. The investment for a good website can be anywhere from high-four figures to mid-five figures. Before you let that intimidate you, there are also countless benefits to investing in a high-end site if this is something that’s possible for you financially. This upfront investment will save you time and money in the long run because potential clients will see your value as soon as they land on your website and be much quicker to purchase your programs, products and services.
However, if investing in a custom professional website isn’t possible right now, it’s still important to do your research on where it’s okay to save some money, and where you should completely avoid pinching pennies. For example, you may be able to invest in a design template that you can customize yourself. Although a template won't be as unique, it will still look nice and be able to hold you over until you're ready to invest in something more custom.
There’s so much that goes into creating a beautiful, purposeful, and effective website that works for you, and this blog post has only scratched the surface.
To learn more about building a profitable website (or revamping your website to be the best it can possibly be), grab a copy of the Profitable Website Checklist, completely free, to help you continue down the path to creating your website the right way.