As a website designer specializing in working with creative entrepreneurs and small businesses, I have done my fair share of research to determine what works, and what doesn’t, to create a website catered to the creatives of the world. In this post I will share the ins and outs of website design for creative small businesses.
If you’ve followed my blog posts for a while, you know I talk about Showit often and in the highest regard. So, it should be no surprise that again, I will speaking primarily about Showit and how to utilize the features within Showit to design a website for your small business.
If you are interested in comparing other platforms, you can read more about my opinions here.
In short, I love Showit, especially for creative small businesses, because it allows for tons of creative freedom. Showit also integrates with tons of other platforms, and has amazing SEO capabilities.
When using Showit, you have two primary options: use a template or start from scratch. Both are great options depending on what your specific needs are for your business, but you can compare both choices here.
Once you have decided which of those two paths you will take, it’s time to get into the planning.
Start with a strong brand. Whether you hire a brand designer, book a brand strategy session, or DIY, you’ll need to start off with a crystal clear image of what your brand’s style is and how to attract your ideal client.
A few things to consider when addressing your style are branding, brand strategy, and copy.
I feel like I could just play this reel on repeat when it comes to discussing your brand, BUT let’s chat about it briefly.
Your brand is so much more than a logo.
A logo is a huge part of a brand, but it is not the only factor we use when recognizing and identifying a business. Typically, most website designers won’t move forward on a website unless you have full branding done prior. This means, logo, submark/secondary logo, color palette, and font suite (at a minimum). This is important because often times, designers may start a website project without a completed brand, and halfway through the client realizes something doesn’t feel quite aligned to their original vision. Starting with a strong brand eliminates that back and forth.
Brand strategy takes that visual brand we discussed above one step (or five…) further and really defines who you are and what you stand for. Take a look at the gallery below to see what we include in a brand strategy session.
Engaging in a brand strategy session prior to website design can save a lot of time, and money, because you go into it with a clear vision and feel confident in what you are representing.
The final piece to establishing your website style, is the words you will put on your pages. You can choose to work with a professional copywriter, or DIY, but you want to make sure that the tone and language you use matches your brand style and speaks directly to your ideal client.
All of our website packages include a website copy template to help give you structure and ideas of how to get started.
Once you’ve taken the time to really get into the nitty-gritty of your brand and personal style, it’s time to move on to the actual build of your website.
Showit is pretty intuitive, which is another reason I love it. But, I will say there are a lot of moving pieces and if you don’t have much experience with another design platform (like Canva or Adobe), there is a learning curve.
Fortunately, the Internet is a magical (and sometimes really weird…) place with tons of free resources. Check out Youtube or search Google for blog posts on how to design on Showit or how to use specific features, when you get stuck.
If you decide you want to really master the skill of Showit design, there are some awesome paid courses as well that give a full breakdown of every design feature you may need.
At Kelly Ryann Co., we offer a number of services that can help you get unstuck in your design, even if you don’t want to pay for a fully custom website design.
So, now that your style is locked in, you’ve got an understanding of the tech, now what?
If staring at a blank screen just makes you freeze up, I highly recommend you sign up for our free challenge! This is a four day website design challenge to help you audit your current website and plan for all of the key pieces you need for a successful and high-converting website. I promise it’s super easy to follow and you can rewatch the videos as often as you need to.