Designing a website that is reflective of your personal brand is an essential step in promoting your brand. This month’s guest blogger is the talented Sarah Fay of Seebiz, a bespoke website and design company. Sarah works with many and various businesses and individuals to create websites that best represent their individual business, style and services. In this post, she reveals some of her top tips for creating a website that is a true representation of YOU.
When initially designing a website, brand consistency is an important factor to keep in mind – the look and feel of your site should sit well alongside your logo, other marketing materials and social media profiles to further extend and reinforce your personal brand.
Creating a basic personal brand design guide is a good first step in documenting your personal business style. This can be a simple skeleton to provide a layout of look, feel, content and imagery to be used for your site. If you provide your web designer with your business logo, content for the site and images, they will put this together for you, although it’s always good to jot down some ideas and send alongside some examples of websites that you like to further reinforce and communicate your personal brand and design style.
Here are some tips for creating your own personal brand design guide:
Your personal business or service should have a single voice, or personality that can be recognised across all materials to help create personal brand recognition and reinforcement. Determine your own set of business qualities that you want to communicate to your website visitors and how you want to express yourself as a business. Make a note of what you stand for, your mission, your preferred tone, words, phrases and even quotes that you want to convey. Discover and share your distinct voice and personality.
Your logo is the most instantly recognisable ‘face’ of your personal brand, so is an ideal first step to use as a basis for the design of your website colours and fonts. Make a note of what the dominant colours are and the fonts that are used. These can then be incorporated, harmonised or contrasted in the website to create an overall consistent look and feel, personal to your business.
Determine the colour palette or base colour that you want to use in your website. Keep this to just a few colours, such as two or three that can be used consistently across the website. Make a note of their code values – HEX # or RGB – which can be picked out from your logo image in the majority of image editors or online by searching for ‘colour code picker’. For example, the HEX for white is #FFFFFF and RGB is 255, 255, 255. Think about whom you will be communicating to and what you want to say, are you looking for a serious and slick look; a vibrant, enthused palette, or an earthy neutral look and feel?
It’s far more likely that your website users will digest information that they see and hear faster than information that they read. So getting your message across using photographs and videos will help to engage your users and communicate your personal brand quickly, as well as increase your social reach and ‘shareability’ online. Think about and collate the photographs, graphics and videos that you want included on your site. Use those that best express your personal business brand and message, and keep to original content wherever possible – this is an ideal opportunity to express yourself as a business, so think about investing in a good photographer or short video producer, it will be money well spent.
Call to Action
Your website is an investment and like all investments you will no doubt be looking for a good return. A Call to Action is a stand out point on your website that requires the user to take action, such as signing up to your newsletter, downloading a file, viewing your shop, buying a product or requesting a consultation. Make a note of what you want your calls to action to be, what you want to promote and what you want to gain in return.
Putting it all together
Once you have created your basic personal brand design guide, you are a good way towards developing a website design layout based on your unique business strengths, services, look, feel and voice – your brand. The only thing you need now is a good web designer to put it all together for you and understand the message that you want to convey.
When looking for a developer/designer, here are some additional important factors to request for your website, to keep your site and brand safe, trusted and found:
Responsive design – your site will fit to all devices, desktop, mobile & tablet.
Site Security – to protect your website and data from hackers.
Automated Backups – for protection against viruses and to get back online quickly after any errors.
Site Speed – Every second counts, so site caching and optimisation will increase conversions.
SEO – title, tag, content and image optimisation to improve your search engine results page placement.
To find out more about SARAH FAY, check out SEEBIZ WEB, DESIGN & SEO.