Cats out of the bag, I used to hate my website. I’ll take you back to not so long ago when wedding photography was my main gig. It was January (aka offseason for photographers) and I did what most photographers do. I started analyzing the backend of my business. Busy season only allows for photographing, editing, and e-mails. Minimal time for creativity to flow, and especially hard to make updates.
Fast forward to a freezing January day in Upstate NY. I had the brilliant idea to overhaul my website. I couldn’t pinpoint what I didn’t like, but I knew it needed to be updated. The content was outdated and needed a facelift. I was ready for a change. Can I get an amen?
I did what most of us go-getter entrepreneurs do and I did it myself, because heck, I’ve done everything else myself. Yikes. For two weeks I worked tirelessly, and guess what? I hated it about 2% less than I did before. I updated the content, moved around the nav bar, added a new landing page, and updated the images. Somehow, I was still frustrated with it.
I couldn’t get the “feeling” I wanted. I struggled to figure out why I hated my website. It wasn’t telling my story.
Luckily for you, that doesn’t have to be the case. Here’s why you will never be satisfied with your website without a plan. When I went in and hacked and whacked away, I didn’t have any vision or a plan. I moved the nav bar just because…. there was no purpose behind it. Let’s all hope our doctor doesn’t go in for surgery, open us, looked around, and try to guess what is wrong. Yes, that’s an extreme example, but you get my point.
When designing your website there has to be a purpose and vision behind it.
Without a vision, you end up like me, changing everything possible and still unhappy with the result. That’s why we allow a portion of our time to work with clients to figure out exactly what your vision is for the project. Looking back if I would have sat down and evaluated my mission and the vision I had. The design part would have been the easiest portion of the project because I would have had a direction for each change.
I’ve come across so many unfinished websites because the process became too overwhelming. I get it! I’ve been there and we want to save as many of you as possible from the stress and overwhelm.
So, of course, I wouldn’t leave you hanging without 5 tips to get you out of the website slump.
1. Go back to your mission and value statement. Does your website reflect your vision? Can people tell what you do and who your audience is?
2. If you don’t have a mission or value statement, write one TODAY.
3. Spend 5-10 hours this week analyzing your website copy. Marie Forleo is a game-changer. Don’t hate your website, because the copy isn’t accurately portraying who you are.
4. Don’t compare your website to someone who spent $20k on their website. Rachel Cruze says it best, “Live your life, not theirs”. I used to be baffled that my photography website didn’t look like the industry leaders websites.
5. Hire a professional! I wish I would have done this in several areas of my business. I know the budget is tight and you can just “do it yourself”. You most likely have that I can do it all myself entrepreneur spirit. I GET IT – which means I know this can get us into trouble. If you don’t have the time and resources to make it great. Find a professional you can trust to do the work and make your dream website come to life. Trust me, a beautiful and functional website will add tremendous value.
Launching a new business is an investment of time, money, and resources. Doing it the right way is an investment in the long-term future that will pay off exponentially. It takes time to create something beautiful that converts viewers into customers.
I hope that you were able to get a takeaway from this post. If you have any questions about your website and how to get from hate to love, contact us for a free consultation.