Many thanks to Showit.co for this guest post on
strengthening your website.
When I first got married, I found it really difficult to decorate my new home. I liked what I liked, but I also liked all of my friends’ homes and how they decorated their houses. So, I tried to do a little bit of everything. I did some faux-painting techniques using a brown paper bag. (That was a messy disaster.) I shopped at stores that I was pretty sure my grandmother would have shopped at had she still been alive. I filled my house with things that I thought I was supposed to have. Kitschy signs, roosters, red checker print, the whole nine yards.
And then one day I looked at my home and I had an identity crisis. Who lived here? It was a lot more hectic than eclectic, and I didn’t feel like I was represented in anything besides a few pictures on the wall.
Figuring out what it looks like to have a great online home might feel a lot like decorating your actual, physical home. Though it is no easy task, we’re here to tell you it can be done – and done well! We have three simple, but important tips to help you on your way.
1. Identify, Attract and Repel
A solid business practice is to first select an ideal client. What is the age of your ideal client? What is their favorite place to shop? Where do they live? Then choose a specific message that resonates with them.
Your business can have the ability to serve lots of different people. However, the reality is that you can’t specialize in everything, and specialism will help you build a stronger brand, and make you more memorable to the right people. Choose a specialty and then make sure visitors to your website fully experience what it is that makes you special.
For example, at Showit, we tailor to photographers and the creative community. But truly – anyone could use our services. But, if we don’t have a clear group we are talking to, we fall into the category of being nothing to everybody since no one can be all things to everybody.
>Here is a great example of honing in our your ideal client while decorating your online home to reflect your own personality and strengths. Our friends, Dan and Erin of DEPhotocinema.com are desert dwellers and wedding photographers. This is very evident on their website. They are attracting people in their area, and clients who like their bright and airy style.
2. Be You, Through and Through
Know, and own your strengths – and even weaknesses, as these things play a critical role in whether your business will survive, or thrive. Figure out what your unique qualities are and then make sure your website has expressions of this.
Craft an “About” section that reflects your personality and style. Most importantly ensure it includes photos or videos of you and your team. Be sure that visitors to your site really see you — through photos, video, your writing, and your style. To do business with you, your potential clients need to trust you and to trust you, they have to know you.
This labor of love is from our friend Jenna Kutcher, a successful wedding photographer, entrepreneur, podcaster, and mac and cheese lover. She gets her web visitors to become fast friends with her through her fun Cosmo-style About Me section! (They even send her boxes of mac and cheese.)
3. Stay Consistent
The big successful businesses of our time can be recognized by some of the simplest visual elements. This is due in part to their consistent use of a brand standard for colors, fonts, layout and logos, which are often documented in a detailed style guide.
While a full guide may be a bit much for most small businesses, it’s worth creating at least a one-page document with a list of 5-8 colors, 2-3 fonts, and logo layouts. Use this as your go-to reference for your brand visuals. Work hard to stay consistent as you tweak and fine-tune them over time. In a website builder like Showit, you can set your font styles and colors in the Design Panel. Then as you build or update your design, your brand elements will automatically update and stay consistent throughout your site.
Your website is extremely valuable in this digital world to express your virtual storefront and strengthen your brand. So just like you shouldn’t decorate your home in a way that doesn’t reflect you and your personality, we hope that your online home is a great reflection of who you are and the business that you represent!
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