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Monday, April 15, 2024

Easy methods to Design Your First Branded Enterprise Web site


Should you’re of a sure age—let’s say 35 or older — you most likely keep in mind the awe and immersion you felt the primary time you spun up Netscape Navigator and visited your favourite model’s enterprise “web site.”

Now fast-forward to this age of AI, Uber, Roblox, Meta, Snapchat, and a lot extra… And guess what? A web site continues to be the easiest way to share your model with the world.

That’s true whether or not you’re a mega model or a humble creator, solopreneur, or small enterprise proprietor. Many years on, an internet site nonetheless supplies unparalleled artistic flexibility and management over your model. It’s a spot the place guests can be taught extra about you in your phrases. An awesome web site helps you inform your story, construct belief, and even create neighborhood and followers for all times.

At this time we’re sharing a primer on branding and web site design for on-line creators and entrepreneurs. We’ll stroll you thru methods to design an internet site on your model, whether or not you’re a creator, solopreneur, or small enterprise proprietor with a staff of staff.

This text received’t perform as a step-by-step information to launching an internet site or go into an excessive amount of depth on the subject of branding itself. (For that, The SPI Newbie’s Information to Branding can assist you outline your model’s mission, imaginative and prescient, and extra, and resolve if it needs to be a private model or an organization model.)

Slightly, it is a discipline information to designing an internet site that places your model entrance and heart and connects along with your audience.

Hand drawn website wireframes.
Picture by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Why You Want a Branded Web site

So why a branded enterprise web site? Alongside along with your e mail listing, an internet site is a must have if you’re beginning out constructing your model. Like an e mail listing, you have got extra artistic and administrative management over an internet site than you do your presence on different platforms like Fb, Instagram, or Etsy. And excluding uncommon service interruptions or safety breaches, your web site is far much less prone to disappear the way in which a social media account could be banned or suspended.

Your branded web site is like your property base, a focal place for shaping your model picture and narrative. At SPI, we not too long ago revamped our web site to concentrate on our core focus of neighborhood constructing and make it cleaner and simpler to navigate.

Right here’s what a well-crafted small enterprise web site can assist you do:

  • Management your model: A web site provides you full management over the way you present your model to the world, with out the artistic restrictions of third-party platforms. It additionally diversifies your on-line presence, decreasing dependence on any single platform.
  • Construct belief: A well-designed web site lends an air of professionalism and legitimacy to your model, instilling belief.
  • Personal your content material: You personal and management the content material in your web site, decreasing the danger that algorithm modifications or platform shutdowns will harm your content material’s attain and visibility.
  • Generate profits: You should use your web site to advertise and promote services and products or run advertisements.
  • Construct neighborhood: Web sites provide a devoted area for constructing a neighborhood and a following. You’ll be able to seize publication and email-list sign-ups, and even hyperlink to your individual membership neighborhood.
  • Showcase your work: Use your web site to share case research, testimonials, and portfolios of your work along with your viewers.
  • Perceive your viewers: Web site analytics present priceless knowledge on consumer habits, serving to you higher perceive your viewers and optimize your content material to succeed in them.

Your Web site Ought to Specific Your Model Persona

When lots of people hear the phrase model, they assume brand. And true, a brand is a key a part of your creator or on-line entrepreneur model — however your model can be much more than only a snazzy graphic. Since your web site is your property base, it’s one of the best place to convey the essence of your model by means of the next key parts:

Patagonia's purpose statement on its website: "to save our home planet."
Patagonia’s objective assertion is straightforward however highly effective: to save lots of our house planet.
  • Colour scheme: Make the most of a most of 4 brand-reflective colours. Align colours with professionalism; keep away from mismatch. Discover shade psychology—the examine of how colours have an effect on perceptions and behaviors—for steering.
Screenshot of Ali Abdaal's home page.
Ali Abdaal’s web site makes use of a relaxing combo of gray, black, blue, and white.
  • Tone of voice: Past aesthetics, your branded enterprise web site wants a definite voice — a tone that informs all of your written content material. Adapt your tone to your character, area of interest, and viewers, protecting it approachable and jargon-free.
Screenshot of the Smart Passive Income home page: "Become the entrepreneur you want to be."
At SPI, we purpose for a mixture of pleasant, even a bit of informal, however punchy.
  • Tagline or motto: A concise, memorable tagline helps convey your model id and worth in bite-size type. It’s a bit of element that may matter lots!
Dollar Shave Club's homepage: "Shave time. Shave money."
Greenback Shave Membership’s tagline is #dadjoke perfection, conveying the model’s irreverent nature.
  • Signature font: Select one or two readable fonts that mirror your character, for consistency throughout every little thing you write and to bridge your model’s visible id with its written one.
Example of SPI's signature font: Figtree.
SPI’s signature font, Figtree, matches our model voice by being approachable.
  • Unforgettable brand: Final however not least, an eye catching brand supplies immediate model recognition. Think about enlisting a graphic designer for this one.
Jay Clouse's Creator Science logo.
The emblem for Jay Clouse’s Creator Science model captures each parts (get it?) of the model identify completely.

Optimizing the Visible Expertise of Your On-line Enterprise Web site

For essentially the most half, guests will expertise your web site visually, so there are just a few extra necessary concerns on the subject of your web site’s visible belongings. Make certain the photographs, background designs, and different visuals you utilize in your web site are:

  • Related to your model and content material: This may occasionally appear apparent, however your web site visuals ought to make sense within the context of your model and the encompassing content material. Every visible asset ought to complement and improve the content material it accompanies and align along with your model’s id, reflecting its values, character, and messaging. 
  • Strategically positioned: Place visuals purposefully to information the consumer’s journey and emphasize key messages. Think about the move of the web site and the way visuals can improve storytelling.
Gif of Paul Furey's animated website text: "We want to be honest, and yet ... we all find good reasons not to be."
Marketing consultant Paul Furey’s web site makes use of textual content and pictures to inform a narrative in a fascinating means.
  • Constant in fashion: Sustaining a constant visible fashion throughout all photographs creates a cohesive and harmonious look and helps with model recognition. Use these model colours!
Example of SPI's branded color palette and icons.
Icons representing totally different parts of our on-line neighborhood share the identical feel and look, together with shade palette.
  • Top quality: Use high-resolution, skilled photographs; grainy or pixelated ones can detract out of your model’s credibility.
  • Accessible: Not all your guests will probably be experiencing your branded enterprise web site visually, so be certain that any visible belongings are accessible by including descriptive alt textual content to all your photographs.
  • Optimized and responsive: Visible belongings ought to adapt properly to varied display sizes, significantly on cellular units. They need to even be compressed to enhance loading instances (and search engine rankings).
Web design firm Nettl's ad campaign showing the humorous risk of not making your images mobile responsive. The full web page reads: "Badminton Scuba Breathing Apparatus" but the superimposed iPhone version reads "Bad breath."
Net design agency Nettl’s advert marketing campaign confirmed the humorous danger of not making your photographs cellular responsive.
  • Authorized: All photographs needs to be both unique, correctly licensed, or fall underneath honest use. Respect copyright legal guidelines, and get permission if you should!
  • Timeless: As a lot as attainable, select visuals that may evolve along with your model relatively than tendencies which may change into outdated.
  • Human: Human faces and expressions can create a stronger emotional reference to the viewers, so incorporate photographs that characteristic folks.
Screenshot from the SPI community: "Ready to find [crossed out] join your people and level up?" Smiling faces decorate the page.
The SPI neighborhood is made up of individuals, in any case!

By ensuring the visible and written expertise of your web site is constant, skilled, and aligned along with your model id and voice, you’ll foster a way of familiarity and belief along with your viewers.

A Nice Creator Web site Wants a Nice Person Expertise: Format and Navigation

Your web site isn’t only a static show; it’s an interactive expertise on your viewers. When you’ve established the important thing model parts your web site wants, out of your model’s objective to its voice, tone, and visible id, it’s time to begin designing the precise web site structure.

As you’re selecting a structure, take into consideration what is going to finest convey your model id and message whereas making issues as seamless and intuitive as attainable on your guests to navigate and discover what they’re searching for. Listed below are some widespread structure choices to think about:

  • Single-Column: Clear and easy, with a single column for straightforward navigation.
Screenshot from Seth Godin's blog, showing the advantage of a single-column layout.
Seth Godin’s well-known weblog takes benefit of the simplicity of a single-column structure.
  • Grid: Organizes content material right into a visually interesting grid construction, appropriate for showcasing a number of objects effectively, like portfolios or product shows.
  • Journal or Weblog Format: Mimics {a magazine} or weblog with a number of columns — well-suited for content-heavy web sites.
Screenshot from The Verge's home page, showing the example of a magazine-style website layout.
The Verge’s web site is a daring instance of journal structure.
  • Hero Picture or Video: Contains a hanging picture or video on the high, capturing instant consideration and infrequently used for product showcases or setting the model tone.
  • Cut up Display: Divides the webpage into two distinct sections, offering a contemporary and visually interesting design with room for artistic parts.
  • Parallax Scrolling: Creates a dynamic scrolling expertise with background parts transferring at totally different speeds, including depth and interactivity.
  • Card: Presents content material in modular and versatile playing cards, selling visible hierarchy and straightforward group, appropriate for varied sorts of data.
Screenshot of SPI's card-style testimonials on our Community page.
We use playing cards to share member testimonials on our Group web page, made utilizing Testimonial.to.
  • Full-Display Background: Incorporates a full-screen picture or video background for a visually immersive expertise.

A fast notice on navigation: No matter structure you select, your customers’ ease in navigating your web site will decide how lengthy they stick round and whether or not they’ll discover what they want—or in the event that they’ll get pissed off and quit. It’s also possible to assist folks navigate your branded web site by means of cautious placement and group of menus and footers.

The Strategic Content material Your Web site Wants

You’ve found out your model’s visible id and voice and chosen a structure for the location. Now you should fill it with helpful content material that tells your guests who you might be, what you do, and how one can assist them!

These are among the key pages to think about on your branded enterprise web site—some are must-haves, whereas others will rely upon your corporation and choices:

  • Dwelling Web page: The house web page ought to provide a snapshot of your model, attractive guests to discover additional, speaking your distinctive worth proposition, and guiding customers to key sections of your web site.
  • Weblog: Past selling your services or products, blogs are nonetheless a preferred strategy to share priceless content material that positions you as an authority in your area of interest.
  • Podcast Web page: When you have a podcast, you must undoubtedly have a devoted web page for it in your web site. Though your podcast can technically exist with out a web site, a podcast web page can promote your present and assist listeners be taught extra about your model and choices.
  • Credibility Part: Testimonials, case research, and press protection showcase the optimistic experiences of others, establishing your model’s credibility and reliability and constructing belief. This content material can dwell by itself web page or be positioned strategically at totally different locations in your web site.
  • Product/Service Pages: Every services or products web page ought to present detailed data, advantages, and a compelling name to motion (CTA). 
  • Model Story/About Web page: Your viewers connects with the folks and the story behind your on-line enterprise. Use this web page to speak your mission, values, and the journey that led to the creation of your model.
  • Store Web page: If you wish to use your web site to promote issues, you’ll want a store web page with straightforward navigation, clear product categorization, and a streamlined checkout course of.

Examples of On-line Creator and Entrepreneur Branded Web sites

For a bit of inspiration, right here’s a collection of nice branded enterprise web sites created by on-line creators and entrepreneurs similar to you! These of us all occur to be members of our SPI Professional neighborhood, which you’ll be taught extra about at SmartPassiveIncome.com/neighborhood.

Gnome Angel

Ange Wilson’s quilting-based creator enterprise web site has a robust, vibrant visible id based mostly round a palette of pinks and blues and a playful header font. The Gnome Angel worth proposition greets you as quickly as you open the house web page, and as you scroll you study Gnome Angel’s sources and merchandise through a “patchwork” design fashion that evokes a quilt. The “sticky” navigation menu persists as you descend the house web page, offering quick access to the remainder of the location.

Gnome Angel's quilting-based creator website home page: Gnome smiles with an image of a colorful quilt and playful fonts.
Gnome Angel’s quilting web site makes use of a colourful palette and playful fonts.

Piscari

The Piscari web site is an organization model web site with a easy, clear, practical house web page that serves as an About web page for the corporate and its founder, Mike Lander, with a hyperlink to hitch the Piscari e mail listing on the backside. A high nav menu that shows on each web page makes it straightforward to be taught extra concerning the firm, its companies, and different sources. The “Contact Us” button, framed in daring inexperienced, highlights the principle name to motion guests are inspired to take.

Mike Lander's Piscari homepage, with a clean design and simple graphics.
Mike Lander’s Pisacari web site makes use of a clear, but colourful homepage design.

Jette Stubbs

Profession and enterprise coach Jette Stubbs’ web site introduces her choices proper off the bat, adopted by a pleasant picture of Jette that humanizes the model. The straightforward single-column structure reduces distraction and guides you down the web page as you encounter a cheerful shopper’s testimonial and be taught extra about Jette’s companies. Graphic parts and pictures are interspersed all through, together with delicate font shade modifications to spark consideration. The parallax scroll impact with Jette’s face within the background provides extra human dimension and a little bit of novelty. A easy high navigation menu is duplicated on the backside, with hyperlinks to an About web page, Jette’s podcast, and testimonials.

Jette Stubbs' homepage, featuring a photo of Jette smiling and introducing her offerings.
Jette Stubbs’ web site is constructed round humanizing her model and introducing choices shortly.

Nonetheless on the Fence about Constructing a Web site for Your Small Enterprise? 

We’ll finish with just a few reminders — and by debunking just a few frequent misconceptions about making a branded enterprise web site:

  • Sure, you do want an internet site. Web sites aren’t only for large corporations, and social media isn’t sufficient.
  • Your web site doesn’t need to be advanced or aesthetically beautiful. Easy, user-friendly designs usually carry out higher, so concentrate on readability and performance above all.
  • A web site wants consideration. Your web site isn’t simply going to draw site visitors by itself. You might want to put it on the market and repeatedly populate it with contemporary, Search engine optimization-rich content material.
  • You don’t need to go it alone. There are many nice designers on the market who can assist you craft a brand and construct a professional-looking branded web site. (We labored with the great folks at Rockbase for our redesign.)

Should you’re feeling daunted, don’t! We’ve acquired all of the help you should begin constructing your model and designing a killer web site to indicate it off to the world. Try our web site’s Free Sources tab, the place you’ll discover content material for entrepreneurs at any stage. Should you’re able to take the subsequent large step in your on-line work trip, head to SmartPassiveIncome.com/neighborhood to study our communities for on-line entrepreneurs. You’ll be able to be taught from others such as you who’ve constructed their very own branded web sites, achieve entry to our full library of programs, take part in dwell occasions, and extra.

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