Hey <<First Name>>,
Happy Spring! Hope yours has been off to a great start. As you know, Spring is a time for new growth and, for me, it's been all about building. My husband and I are building a brand new house that will be ready in July. We got to visit our builder's design center and pick out all the fixtures, colors, floors, appliances, etc. So fun + exciting + overwhelming . . . hats off to interior designers who do that every day!
I've also been working on building a brand new website for myself (because my current one is sooooo 2010). I hope to have that complete in the next few weeks. And, of course, I've been busy designing + building websites for my wonderful clients. With all this new building + growth around me, I constantly need to remind myself that "good enough is just fine." Rome wasn't built in a day. Baby steps and all that :)
Your site doesn’t have to be perfect. Just good enough.
As I work with more and more designers, creatives, and independent business owners, I see many falling victim to the "it has to be perfect!" mindset. And, I get it. I'm a perfectionist too. We all want to deliver the best possible work to our clients, so it's no wonder that we want our own branding and online presence to be perfect too. But, here's the thing. It doesn't have to be perfect. Good enough is just fine
. The web is an ever evolving thing just like your business. It's okay to start small with a website that is good enough, then refine it over time. So, what exactly do I mean by that? Let's think of your new website design or website refresh in 2 phases:
Phase 1: The essentials you need in place to go live
Phase 2: Optional add-ons to enhance your site
The basic structure + design.
Use existing content. Or new content if none exists. Here's a quick and easy primer on the only 5 pages you really need »
If you are a creative, a functioning work/portfolio section. Make it easy to look at. People want to see what you do. Include a handful of projects but not all. 12 is nice as it divides well by 3 or 4 for columns.
Blog. Carry it over if you already have one that is active. If you don't have one that is active, then save that for phase 2.
An opt-in or bait piece to start collecting names by giving away something for free. You don't have to have your newsletter ready to go. Just have a place to start collecting names and building your list. MailChimp offers free accounts when you have under 2,000 subscribers.
Make it responsive (meaning the design adapts nicely for optimal viewing on all devices whether small like phones + tablets or large like laptops + desktop monitors).
Most current work in your work/portfolio section.
Content refinement for site refresh.
Blog (for those who don’t have one yet or you haven’t touched it in 6 months).
And, if you start out with the right content management system (CMS) like WordPress—that's what I use for all my custom website design
projects—it's super easy to break your website into these 2 phases. So have at it. And, remember that it doesn't need to be perfect. Chances are that your level of "not perfect" is way above your client's idea of what "perfect" is.
Out & About
Not to toot my own horn (okay, I'm totally tooting my own horn!), I had to share 2 places that I've been featured lately:
My marketing mentor, the fabulous Ilise Benun, released a new case study chronicling our work together over the past year. Read the case study and learn how I had a 17% increase in 1 year with 4 simple content marketing tools.
My opt-in piece is being featured in the the May issue of HOW Magazine in the freelance column. Look for that in magazines stands soon!
About Jill Anderson
I’m here to make you & your brand look (and feel) fabulous online
with stylish design for websites, social media + branding. Call me a geek, but my favorite thing to do is to take a brand that we design together and make it come alive on the web.
When I’m not designing and coding away on my Mac from my office just outside of Atlanta, I most love hanging out with my husband, 3-year-old son, and cat, Peanut, the chief paperweight.
Thanks for reading!