Definition of the Clueless Entreprenuer: DIY chick behind the startup, chasing her dreams, converting lemons to lemonade, figuring it all out from scratch, & learning a few (hard) lessons along the way.
Let me preface by saying that from the get go, I was determined to put together my own site. For many reasons: pride, a challenge, & budget for three... because let's face it, startups ain't cheap. Doing so didn't come without a lot of late nights, google how-to searches, & crossed sets of eyes after staring at digital screens for too many hours in a row.
I'm as beginner as it gets. INSERT "laughing so hard I'm crying emoji". No really, I'm actually crying because I'm so serious, it is hard to be amateur.
If dollars aren't an issue for you, and you're already proud enough, you may want to consider the possibility of hiring an expert. My friend Alex over at High Moon Studio is the best in the biz. Everything that comes out of her company is digital gold. You can check her out on instagram at @highmoonstudio or on her website highmoon-studio.com . She'll do all the hard work for you. Thank me later.
If crossed eyes, & a personal sense of accomplishment don't sound like too bad of a trade in for an extra grand in your bank account, well babe, I've already learned some of the hard lessons for you.
Here are 5 clues for the clueless entreprenuer to help make your web building adventure a little easier:
1. Take a Quick Course. (With cheetos & coffee in your living room. I'm the epitome of health, I know.)
Hands down the best investment I made in contribution to building my site, & still a fraction of the cost of hiring it out to someone else. If you're not already following Britt Seva, of the Thriver's Society, you should be. She offers an online website academy for hairstylists, and takes you through every single step of web building in the WIX platform, from template choosing to launch. Once you purchase this course, you'll have lifetime access to it's content, with regular updates about the changes being made in the WIX editor. I spent the first week of my web-building escapade watching Britt Seva break down the editor, and all of it's features in easy-to-understand modules, that were organized into specific categories. Best $190 I've ever spent. The Website Academy for Hairstylists is currently closed for enrollment, but will open back up again in Spring of 2020. You can get on the waitlist at thriverssociety.com.
2. Square Vs. Wix (In my non-expert opinion.)
I've built two websites in the last two years. The first endeavor happened on Squarespace. The second in the Wix editor. The short answer is that I had a way better experience on the Wix platform. The main difference between the two being that in Squarespace, the customization within a template is limited, and in WIX, the customization possibilities are endless. This also means that the WIX editor has an overwhelmingly high volume of buttons, tools, & "WTF Are These?", which brings me back to my previous point. (Please refer back to clue #1 for the Clueless Entrepreneur). After finishing the Website Academy, I felt super comfortable making my way around the parameters of the Wix editor, and for me, the payout was worth it in the end. The website I created in Wix for Kayla Anne Hair, was 110% more authentic to me, and who I want to be as a brand. I credit this to the almost limitless possibilities within Wix.
3. Purchase & Upload a Custom Template
Fun fact about me: I operate on vibes and feelings. I dress around them, eat around them, feel inspired by, & create around them, etc. If I scroll through all 70 + templates in a pre-loaded library of template goodness and feel nothing, no magic is going to happen. Did you know you can search the internet for hundreds of custom web templates out there on the market, until you finally find that special one that sparks something inside you? Now you do! Etsy is full of them! I searched high & low, and eventually found my perfect, fully loaded template by Jessica Goolsby @ jessicagoolsbycreates.com. The basic layout and graphics were all there. It just felt right. From there it was an easy(-ish) purchase, download, & then upload to the Wix dashboard. & I was free to customize my heart out.
4. Photos Matter
If I had to choose one way to communicate with our industry clientele, I'd choose photos. I'm talking, no text, no video, no direct links. Just photos. We are an imagery based industry, you guys, and the harsh reality is, if your photos suck, people lose interest & keep scrolling. People want to see you, and they want to see your work. It makes them feel like you're legit. I mean, I know you're legit, but you need to convince a complete stranger that you've got your shit together, and you're worth their dollars. Hire a photographer. Offer to collaborate with them, or exchange services. Do what you gotta do, one time, to get high-res photos on your home page, and in your gallery.
5. Keep the Copy Write YOU
Man, did I lose sleep over this one. I spent a whole month writing, and re-writing the copy write for my site. (& I LOVE to write). The reason? I was so focused on having "professional" content, that the words that were flowing out weren't even me. I sounded like a paper-signing appointment with your lawyer. I sounded like Tuesday's check deposit at Wells Fargo. I sounded like gray skies, you guys. I'm professional, but I'm casual, down to earth, & social. I love to make friends. I want my clients to feel that when they're on my site & in my chair. I want people to feel invited to the party, & welcomed into the fun. I eventually erased everything I had previously written on Kayla Anne Hair, and started over with a new-found commitment to be authentically me, exactly how you'll see me & hear me, when we're together. I had all my copy write written by that afternoon. I'm not saying it's perfect. But perfect is a little "vanilla" anyway.
Stay tuned for more Clues for the Clueless Entrepreneur, & Happy Web Building!