Embarking on a new website project can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. After all, your website represents your business to the world – so no pressure, right? To start off on the right foot, you don’t need to wait until an official project kick off meeting. Instead, doing these 5 things will save you time and make the project unfold with ease.
[ ] Vision, Mood or Inspiration Board.
Look around at other websites in your niche. These other sites might not belong to a direct competitor, but can be located in a different area of the country. Did you see some sites that you like? Record them using Pinterest, Evernote, or even a Word or Google Doc to save your favorite sites. Consider what it is about that site that is so attractive to you. Maybe it’s the font, the colors, the photos, or maybe it’s a special feature – like a fancy popup that you find compelling. This can be a daunting task as there are a lot of websites out there, but give it some time and have fun. Consider creating a separate board to collect the websites that you do not like. Sharing this information with your web designer will be helpful for them to find a design that delights you and your ideal customer.
[ ] Testimonials.
Favorable reviews of your products or services are pure gold. If you have any reviews from current or former clients, gather and store them in one area. Many potential customers need to see social proof before they will engage with your business. Don’t be afraid to ask former customers and clients for a testimonial. It doesn’t need to be lengthy. Instead it can be just a few sentences that convey what their experience was like when they worked with you.
[ ] Gather photos.
Great places to look for photos are from your current website, social media accounts, and from stock photo sites. Perhaps now might be a good time to get an up to date professional headshot for you and your team. Collect the photo files all in one place so you can choose from them later. A few free stock photo sites to check out are Unsplash and Pexels. Paid stock photo sites also give you more variety. The same goes for any videos you might have on hand.
Example: team headshots.
[ ] Collect copy.
Business brochures or flyers that you have used might be a good source of inspiration for copy later on. Do you have any old blogs? Or will you need professional copywriting? Investing in a good copywriting service could help you position your brand and make you stand out from the competition. If you do decide to write your own copy, reading a book like “Storybrand” by Donald Miller will help you to clarify your message and win new customers.
[ ] Clarify and Simplify.
Take the time to clarify the value that your business delivers to your customers. Here are some questions to consider for this exercise:
- What is the problem that your business solves?
- How is your customer’s life better because they purchased your service or product?
- If you want a deeper dive about how to do this, be sure to check out “3 Ways to Align to Your Customers“.
- Write down the answers to these questions and keep them handy.
Finally, keep all of this material in a file somewhere. Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Dropbox are all excellent resources for sharing files with your web developer. Taking the time now to get ready will save you from hurriedly and haphazardly doing it at the last minute. It will also set your project up for success.