A can’t-mess-it-up checklist on how to prepare for a webdesign project
(OR, how to get started on the right foot!)
There are many ways that you can prepare for a webdesign project, and each website designer may have different expectations as to what a project is going to look like. This post is designed to give you a quick overview of what, in my humble opinion, are the top six ways you can prepare for your new website design project.
1. Know Your Goal
It may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. When designing a website, it is very important that you get clear on what your intentions are. WHY do you need a website? What is the intended outcome of your site? What are you trying to accomplish? What is the most important action that you want website visitors to take when they visit your site?
Knowing the answers to these questions will inform how your site is designed; being able to clearly communicate your website goals to your designer will help them build features and functions that will impact your bottom line!! Check out what these people have to say about setting your business and website goals:
- Marie Forleo: The Most Important Factor Of Your Business
- Dummies: Define Goals and Objectives for Your Website
2. Know Your Audience
Who are your people? Can you describe the users of your site, your community, your ideal client? (Try to be specific in terms of gender, age, interests, etc. e.g. A 37 year old professional woman looking to take her business to the next level with the support of a coach). What does she care about? Why does she need this website? How does she prefer to interact with you? What are her dreams/fears/ambitions? What kind of qualities can your service help her achieve?
The more specific you can be, the better equipped your designer can be in creating a site that will resonate with your audience. For more excellent resources see:
3. Compile Your Branding Materials
Be prepared to supply your designer with your branding collateral (brand guidelines, logos, colours, swatches, USP, fonts, mission, illustrations, goals, etc).
Don’t have branding collateral yet? Do you know your ideal client, your USP? Are you stoked with a colour palette but not sure if it aligns with your company’s goals? Super in love with a font? OK – now’s your time to consult with a branding specialist. Contact me for a free consultation.
4. Compile Your Copy
This is a super-duper important step (actually, all the previous steps are really important!!). I think that I want to emphasize this step because it is usually the most neglected step in preparing for a web design project. Writing “epic” content that connects with your target audience is a big job that takes a lot longer than most folks think!! Your copy is also very important as it literally speaks to your target market, boosts search engine optimization, and is shareable!
Consider hiring a professional copywriter or allot twice as much time as you think writing will take you! Here are some of my favourite resources on writing:
- Corbett Barr: Write Epic Shit
- Gregory Ciotti: How to Write Epic Shit
- Paul Jarvis: Focus on Your Content
5. Compile Your Imagery
Have professional photos taken of you and your products. Have professional photos taken of you and your products. (yes. I did repeat myself for emphasis 🙂 iPhone photos just won’t cut it, folks. Professional photography will make a huge difference in boosting your credibility and will increase your web designer’s ability to create the website of your dreams!
If you want custom graphics (icons, infographics, etc) created, or are not sure if you do, bring this up with your web designer. It is something that can be included in the deliverables of your design project; make sure that you are clear about what you want so that there are no misunderstandings.
Two articles on the importance of professional photography:
- Lori Highby: Why a professional photographer is important for your online presence
- Selena Soo: The most important investment for your brand
6. Start Building Relationships
(Or nurture the ones you currently have!) Being successful online has a large part to do with relationships. Engage with your audience, tease them with details about your impending website launch, and offer value on social media. Start thinking of ways in which you can build a trust relationship with your followers. How does your ideal client like to communicate with you? Do you build this relationship through a mail list? Social media? Guest posting? Free offers? Following are some great resources on how to build online relationships:
- Marie Forleo: Five simple steps to establish credibility and build your reputation fast
- Danny Iny: How Super-Community Builders Create A Loyal Audience
Follow these 6 steps and you’ll be well prepared to build the website of your dreams! Do you know someone who could benefit from this article or my professional packages? Send them my way! They’ll be glad you did 😉