26 Jul MY WEBSITE is in development – STAGE 1
I'm developing my own website
I’m developing my website (yes, I’m doing it myself) and it’s going to take me a minute to get it up to scratch. Actually, it’s likely to take me the next couple of years given the pressure I’m putting on myself and my indecisiveness.
As I develop this domain I find myself anticipating how those who want me to fail are perceiving it. I don’t know if this is a healthy approach, and I definitely do not recommend this, but I can’t help it given my want to over-achieve and prove those who have doubted me wrong.
I’m not one for show boating so few I’ve worked with are aware of what I’m capable of and the skills I have on offer. I reserve highlighting my offerings for my clients – those who deserve what I have to offer and can give.
Why am I building my website?
I’ve invested more than 20 years in learning about customers/clients. What makes them tick and what they want and expect from businesses. A decade ago I free falled into the world of marketing, an industry I was already developing expertise in without realising.
I returned to tertiary study to complete a degree in photography and business studies. I was disenfranchised and underwhelmed. I was enamoured by the digital communication elective subjects encompassing web design, content management and marketing – but I felt out of place with the artistic ‘lens up your arse’ atmosphere amidst the photography majors, so I transitioned to majoring in digital marketing (where my results were excelling).
I was fortunate to be supported by my amazing employer during my studies. However, I was fatigued from working in veterinary emergency care and writing content about the worst of the worst et cetera. So, I took a bold more (after 8 almost 9 years) to go out on my own and expand my horizons to work with legends, master my skills, and be the master of my domain.
I commenced that journey almost 2 years ago and I’m just starting to realise my potential. There have been hiccups along the way (learning points), moments of realisation about what I can actually do (challenging learning points), and I’m still working through the lesson of self worth (epic learning point).
What this all means, and thank-you COVID-19 for providing me this opportunity, is I’m ready and I’m down to play. I’m developing this website myself to unashamedly showcase my talents and offer these to businesses who want to take me on board as a conduit to increase social media presence, brand awareness, community communication, and sales.
I have the skills to help do this. I’m launching myself during a global pandemic to help me and help business owners grow and prosper.
My first steps to developing my website
I fluffed around a lot and could’ve saved time avoiding a whole lot of the fluffiness. But, my first step (which was the most beneficial) was setting up a business plan with budgets and measurable goals. From that I was able to set up my marketing plan with yet more measurable goals. It’s the fine print that gives me direction on days, weeks or months I cannot see the trees through the forest and it keeps me on track.
My marketing plan is dynamic and constantly changing in response to:
1. Me: Where I am. What can I do? And, what I can achieve.
2. Clients: Where they are. What they’re doing? And, what they want to achieve.
3. Audience: What they want. What they’re looking for? And, have I done what I can to tell them about my services?
My business plan however is set in stone.
Branding is key
I determined a logo, theme, and brand presence via a branding document. This encompasses how I want my existing and future clients to perceive me. I set it out in a clearly defined document and my creative instincts are not permissible if they don’t comply with this document. This ensures consistency and helps me time manage which is crucial.
Finding a suitable platform
It may surprise you to know time spent investigating WordPress themes. I know enough to code my site from scratch but I don’t have the time for this so I need something to give me what I want as efficiently and timely as I want it. Hence my choice for using WordPress.
I knew I needed more than the average WordPress theme, so I delved into paid themes that met my standard requirements:
- Secure, legitimate, and trusted.
- Responsive across many devices and up-to-date with current technology
- Reviews from previous users as well as recent updates showing response to feedback and improvements
- Ability to support an image gallery, e-commerce (for future), and approved apps
- Most importantly, Quick Page Download!
There are many more requirements but these are my primary. My website is being built on WordPress using a paid Theme I purchased for approximately AU$120 of which I can customize with 24hr support if I run into hurdles. I also wanted a theme that gave me the advantage of customisation to help me stand out from my competitors.
Ensuring adequate content
This is a whole other stratesphere that I will endeavour to cover in future. My points for this is:
- Identify what your goal is for every page and post on your website
- Ensure you’ve met the basic SEO checks for every entry – otherwise, don’t bother
- Is your page/post true to your brand
- Does your page/post accomplish something?
- Before you post, ask yourself, “Would I be happy with someone who dislikes me seeing this?” Keep your standards high so hater acquiesce. More about this to come.
Where I am today?
I feel like I’m on the right track with regard to developing this website.
I’m not satisfied with the appearance but I’m headed in the right direction. I have so much more I want to incorporate to make it look like I want it to which is going to take time coding, photoshopping, social media posting, reviewing, repeating, and so much more.
I also have a bank of ideas I want to include which need to be prioritised and I need to practice patience while I complete one goal before advancing to the next goal.
Along the way, I come up with new ideas and wants that I need to manage. This is where my marketing plan and branding document have helped me. Sure, this website will evolve to include these (but there’s only 24-hours in a day) and I need to keep moving forward not revisiting completed tasks I want to improve.
These are just some of the road blocks I’m facing with me as the client. Those that present with clients are beyond comprehension for most. It’s challenging but I’m always up for the challenge and I’m looking forward to what the future has in store.