How to create an intentional online space for your creative business
As an online creative, I know you have a ton on your plate. And, if you’re going at this whole running-a-creative-business thing alone, there’s always the question of “Am I doing the right things + am I doing them in the right order?”
When it comes to designing an intentional online space for your creative business, strategy should be your first priority.
I firmly believe that your website needs to be intentional + strategic, so that every element on your website serves a purpose. And that purpose is to lead visitors toward the goal that you’ve set beforehand.
Basically, the purpose of your website is to convert casual followers into fangirl clients.
Whether you’re considering working with a designer on your website or going the DIY route, you’ll want to strategize + see if you’re prepared before you get started. To help you along, here are 5 questions you should answer before (re)designing your website for your creative business.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MY WEBSITE DESIGN?
This question is the starting point for establishing a website strategy. I know that strategy can sound a little boring, but it’s important to craft a strategy to make your website effective. And by effective, I mean actually selling your stuff so that you can make more income + help more people.
Without a strategy, a website is just pretty colors and fonts covering up the chaos of a confused business owner. And you definitely don’t want that, do you?
This is why I work on strategy first with my clients before designing anything. And the first question I ask my clients is: what is the purpose of your website?
If you’re considering a website (re)design then this is a great time to re-establish your purpose + create a website with this intention in mind.
WHAT’S THE MAIN GOAL FOR MY WEBSITE?
This is another strategic question that you should be asking yourself before you work on a website design. For most of my clients, the goal for their business and website are the same. Your website is a digital storefront for your creative business, so that makes perfect sense.
For instance, if your goal is to sell more of your services to the right people, you should bridge the gap between what your ideal client wants + how your service will help them get what they want.
Think about what your ideal client’s most basic problem is and how you can introduce them to your solution.
What result are you offering your clients with your services? And, how can you convey this to your audience in a way that they will resonate with?
WHO IS MY IDEAL CLIENT? AND WHAT ARE THEIR NEEDS?
You should be crystal clear on who your ideal client is before jumping into a website design project. Start by creating a profile of who you want to work with + what they are like. And if you’ve been in business for a little while, you can analyze your past clients for any commonalities.
Other important questions to ask yourself are: What are your client’s pain points? How does your service offering measure up with them?
The copy on your website is just as important as your design elements. If your copy is all fluff and isn’t targeted to the right people, it won’t sell your services or products.
When redesigning your website, ask yourself: what about my current website isn’t working? Is it that your visual elements don’t align with your ideal client? Or, is it a messaging issue that needs to be worked out before starting your redesign?
This blog post gives more detailed tips on how to do an audit of your current website.
WHAT ACTION DO I WANT MY IDEAL CLIENT TO TAKE ON MY WEBSITE?
Do you want to grow your email list, have them join a Facebook Group, listen to your podcast, or inquire about your services? If you could only choose one thing, what would it be?
Now that you know what you want your clients to do, you can create a call to action button to guide users to take that action.
When I’m designing for my clients I like to find unique ways to add a call to action button to pages so that the user feels like that’s the natural next step.
DO I HAVE A SOLID BRAND IDENTITY?
If you’re thinking “well... I have a logo?”, then I hate to burst your bubble but that may not be enough. A logo is just one visual element that makes up your entire brand.
Your brand needs to push beyond just the visuals. It includes your brand voice and visuals, target audience + how you want your ideal client to feel when interacting with you.
A designer brings these elements to life with visual design, but the strategy needs to be in place to make this happen. Otherwise, it becomes a guessing game because you’re missing the strategy that makes the design effective.
You don’t necessarily need to have all of these things 100% figured out. But you do need to have a good solid visual identity in place before designing your website. If you jump right into a website design without a plan you risk having a site that doesn’t align with your ideal client’s values.
your NEXT STEP
Is your website working the way it's supposed to: converting casual followers into ride-or-die clients or customers? Or could your website be better + do more for your creative business?
Take the free Website Audit Quiz + find out!
I’M CURIOUS… HOW INTENTIONAL + STRATEGIC IS YOUR CURRENT WEBSITE?
Hey, Wendy here!
As a Squarespace web designer for online creatives, I create intentional + strategic websites that convert casual followers into fangirl customers. Let’s work together + I’ll take your vision of an inspiring online space for your clients + community and make it functional, beautiful, and 100% true to you.