Today, I’m sharing one of two moodboards I whipped up for a new branding project. The words we’re working with to really describe this brand is majestic and regal. With previous colors to work with, I set off on a venture to put together moodboards that really help describe this education non-profit. I’m excited for the way this project is going and I can’t wait to share the final project with you.
Hi Friends! Today, we’re being taught about website mistakes by the lovely Erin Flynn. Erin is a web designer and developer who is making great strides with her business. She blogs about her life as a web designer and developer as well as her business regularly. I was excited to have Erin on the blog because I’m such a huge fan of her business model and her blogging style. Thank you so much Erin!
Let’s be honest, there are a LOT of mistakes you could be making on your website: not having a domain name, using too many fonts, having a cluttered sidebar–all these things have been covered again and again in articles just like this one. I’m not going to repeat all that.
Today I really want to talk about big mistakes I see, even on professionally designed websites. At first glance, the website looks amazing, but after a little reading and clicking around, something’s not right. Visitors are leaving without making a purchase–why?
I see this ALL the time from awesome business owners who I KNOW have potential. But the problem is that they can’t nail down their brand. They change their minds about what colors to use, what “voice” to write in, and what kind of photos or images to use. The result? An inconsistent brand, even on a beautifully designed website.
Creating a brand takes time, but it’s so important to focusing your website and pulling in the readers and clients you want! Find (or create) your dream client, and always write, take photos, and create your brand with them in mind. Everything you blog, Tweet, post, photograph, or create should feel like it was made for the same person. If it helps, pretend your dream client is a friend, and you’re creating just for her. Need help? I have a dream client video and worksheet here!
Not having a goal
What is the primary goal of your website? To sell products? Educate people? Book coaching sessions? Whatever it is, write it down and make sure everything you do on your website leads back to your goal!
If your goal is to sell your services, don’t write a blog post just to write. Write a blog post that helps your dream clients solve their problems, which in turn establishes you as an authority on the topic and encourages them to hire you to solve bigger problems. See why having a dream client is so important? It helps you know exactly how to lead visitors toward your goal! And yes, I have a video and worksheet for choosing a goal too!
And by the way, if you have elements on your website that don’t take your visitors a step (or two) toward your goal, eliminate them!
Again, you should always be leading visitors toward your goal, and your navigation is no exception. Think of your navigation like chapters in a book–does the order make sense?
Visitors should ultimately end up at a page that calls them to action on your goal. For example: if you sell one-on-one coaching services, the final step of your navigation should be a page that calls visitors to action on booking a session with you.
Everything leading up to that last stop on your navigation menu should educate visitors on WHY they should act on your primary goal’s page. About, Services, and Portfolio pages serve this purpose–they let visitors learn about you, see what you can do, and see examples of how awesome you are!
It doesn’t make sense for them to visit your contact/booking page before even knowing why you’re so great, so build up to it—by the time they get there visitors should be excited and ready to work with you!
Not having a newsletter
I know, email newsletters seem so 1999, don’t they? But the truth is, most visitors won’t be ready to purchase from you on a first visit. Bummer.
But, if visitors see the helpful blog posts you’ve written, read your About page, and feel like they’d eventually like to work with you, a newsletter is a great way to stay in their minds! They may not remember to check back and read your blog every week, but if you show up in their inbox a few times a month, you’re a lot less likely to be forgotten. Make sure you provide top-notch newsletter content that continues to lead customers toward your primary goal!
Not sure anyone will sign up? Offer something free like an e-book that gives them a taste of what you have to offer!
Stop what you’re doing right now and go look at your website! Are the images, language, and feel consistent throughout? Do you know who your dream client is? Is there a clear goal on your website that you lead visitors towards? Does your navigation make sense? Do you have a newsletter? If the answer is “no” to any of these, take some time right now and plan out what you need to do to get your website on track! And then, of course, do it!
Hi Friends! I’m back from Creative South and I just ingested so much great information. I won’t go into too many details here because I’m doing a post here as well on Sevenality’s blog about what we learned, experienced, and how it’s affecting what we will work on from here onward. However, today I’m so happy to share some thoughts from the very talented Samantha of My Dear Fellow Co. I am a fan of beautiful paper goods and Samantha knocks it out of the park. She also runs her business with her husband which as you know, I’m all about Creative Couples.
When did you become interested in illustration?
I have been interested in illustration ever since I was a little girl. As a child, I loved to create things with my hands, and I really enjoyed displaying my creativity by coloring and painting. While other kids were attached to their dolls and toys, I was attached to my crayons and coloring books. When I went to college, I initially intended to become a nurse or a doctor, but when I took an illustration class as an elective, I realized that graphic design and illustration were my true passion. I switched my major, and that was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
What made you start My Dear Fellow Co. and how has it affected the way you create?
Starting my own paper goods shop has always been on my mind. I have always dreamed about incorporating my illustration skills and my love for design to create products that are unique and inspiring. Working as a full time designer for a large company made me come to the realization that I could start my own shop and use my skills and knowledge to express my creative freedom. I am very grateful that I can have the independence to infuse my style and ideas to create something that truly comes from my heart. My Dear Fellow Co. has opened the doors to new opportunities, and I am very happy to be able to bring fresh and exciting things to the world of paper goods.
Where do you seek inspiration?
I develop most of my inspiration from nature and people. I enjoy incorporating the organic designs and colors found in nature, and I am very inspired by classic illustrations in old ads and children’s books. I also love music and find that music influences my creativity and inspires my designs.
What has been your favorite project in your career thus far?
It is hard to choose a specific project, but I think my favorite would have to be the Lure Card Set. My husband was the main source of inspiration for this project. We both love the great outdoors, and we especially enjoy fishing. There is something special about the serene tranquility of the outdoors, and this Lure Card Set reflects the colors and textures that I experience when going fishing with my husband. I think this set brings back nostalgia and fond recollections for many people, and it connects them with those pleasant memories of the past.
How would you differentiate your cards from other stationery companies?
Every designer will develop a unique style based on his or her experiences and inspirational sources. My goal is for my cards and products to be a direct reflection of my personality, and I seek to distinguish myself from other companies by maintaining a cohesive and original illustration style throughout my work. At My Dear Fellow Co., it is a priority to make sure every card is an original design, from the artwork to the typography, and we take pride in creating high quality products that are made in the USA from the finest materials. The whole process from the individual designs to the packaging of each card is carefully completed by hand to ensure the highest quality. It is our goal to give every person that buys one of our cards a wonderful experience and to make sure they are 100% happy with their purchases.
What has been your biggest challenge as a creative?
My biggest challenge as a creative has been to look beyond the distractions in life. It has been hard to turn down other great opportunities to focus on what I am truly passionate about. Life can throw all kinds of challenges at you, but as long as you maintain a clear focus on the people you love and the passions that drive you in life, things will work out for the best. I am very passionate about what I do, and it is my goal to be able to inspire others to reach out to those around them by bringing back the lost art of gifting hand written cards and stationery.
What advice would you give other creatives who are thinking about opening their own shop?
My advice would be to go for it! First, find what you are truly passionate about, and your creativity and talent will naturally flow into your designs and creations. Live your life in such a way that you have no regrets and you have put forth all your efforts to express yourself and to inspire others around you by being true to your own style and appreciation of the world. Even if you are simply pursuing your passions as hobbies, one day you will be able to make the transition from a simple hobby to a lifelong career. As you embark on this journey, seek to make friends with other creatives and artists to learn from them and to grow as a person, but always remember to stay true to yourself and to demonstrate your unique talents through your individual passions and personality.
Be sure to connect with Samantha: