How I Craft Websites that Authentically Convert

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Today I’m going to walk you through how I craft websites that authentically covert for my clients. Over the years, I’ve created a signature process that combines brand development, design, and strategy to craft websites that enable my clients to confidently show off their expertise, charge their worth, and connect with the clients they’ve been dreaming on working with. Your website investment should deliver lasting results, and I’m here to guide you through a process that gets to the heart of your brand so your website can grow with you.

Topics Discussed:

  • How I created my signature process over time
  • Why I require potential clients to complete an application
  • Why brand strategy is so important in the website design process
  • My five phase process for designing strategic websites
  • How calls throughout the process benefit both me and my clients
  • The four workbooks I use with my clients during our time together
  • Questions I often get from clients

Resources Discussed:

 

Action Steps:

  1. If you aren’t sure if your website needs customization or a full redesign, listen to episode 36 of Process to Profitability.
  2. If you want a customized report based on your own brand, dream clients, and goals that helps you make the right decisions for your website, sign up for my Website Design & Strategy Audit.
  3. If you’re interested in working with me, fill out my website design application.

Building an online business gives you the freedom to do what you love while still earning what you’re worth isn’t easy, but it is possible.

At Lemon and the Sea, I specialize in strategically crafting websites for the creative small business owner who is passionate about serving her clients and wants to be a part of the design process. I help her stand out as an expert, find more dream clients, increase visibility, and be in control of her website so that she can grow her business and spend more time doing what she loves.

I take on a very limited number of new clients each year to ensure that each project gets the time and attention it deserves. I focus on client service and completely custom design. You work directly with me as we craft a website gives you a spotlight on your expertise and is set up to convert and engage with your dream clients.

I love working with creative women who have a heart to serve grow their business through bringing all the pieces together into a cohesive website that fits your style and showcases your expertise.

My process, which is outlined in this episode, focuses on creating uniquely you design that is designed to be user-friendly and is strategically crafted to support your big goals.

The goal of this entire process to work in side-by-side to craft a website strategy and design that helps your business grow and gives you more time to spend doing what you love.

And since you don’t have time to look at every revision, I set it up so you know exactly when you need to be involved and when you can focus on your business and let me get to work.

The Application

I require anyone interested in working with me to complete a short application before I schedule a call to discuss their project. This application helps me to know if the project would be a good fit and that my clients are serious about putting in the work to take their business to the next level. Strategic website design is not only a financial investment, but also a commitment of time – and it’s not for everyone.

Having an application helps potential clients understand a little more about how I work and the commitment involved and it gives us a head start when we jump on a call to discuss how we can work together because I already know a little about their business.

The Brand Strategy

Because my process is focused on both strategy and design, it’s important that we start off on the right foot by delving deep into the heart of your business.

Knowing the heart behind your brand – why you do what you do – can inspire other people to rally around you and take action on what you’re offering. But I can’t design a website that reflects that if I don’t know what it is.

This process is an exciting opportunity to hone your brand’s mission, core values, and messaging as we move forward. Then, with the heart of your brand defined, we’ll focus on bringing your website to life with a strong, strategic design.

The Process

The goal of this entire process to work in side-by-side to craft a website strategy and design that helps your business grow and gives you more time to spend doing what you love.

1. Website Strategy

This phase is all about gathering information and making sure your new website will be absolutely unique, completely user-friendly, and strategically designed to showcase your expertise and attract your dream clients. This is the phase that will require the most time from you – the workbooks I’ll give you and creating content takes most people much longer than anticipated, so plan to focus on this during the strategy and design phases.

  • YOU WILL: Complete the next three workbooks as we prepare to design your website.
  • I WILL: Create a Website Vision Guide PDF that outlines your website goals, your dream clients, and the functionality and style of your website.
  • YOU WILL: Review the Website Vision Guide and request any changes.
  • I WILL: Create a Content To-Do List that includes every page of your website and what you’ll need to gather or create.
  • YOU WILL: Review the Content To-Do List to make sure everything makes sense.
  • I WILL: Create a Goal Review PDF that goes over the information gathered from Google Analytics and UX testing so you have a “Before Picture” of your website and we know what to focus on moving forward.

At this point, we’ll have a video call to go over the heart of your brand, your website needs, and prepare for the upcoming design.

2. Website Design

This phase is the part where you get to see what your website will look like. You’ll be spending most of your time creating content, but you’ll also get sneak peeks of the design as it comes together.

The overall design will be based on your inspiration & questionnaire answers and each page will be optimized to help you reach those big goals (that’s why the strategy part is so important).

  • I WILL: Design a Coming Soon page that creates excitement for your upcoming new website.
  • YOU WILL: Review the Coming Soon page and provide any extra information I need to make it live.
  • YOU WILL: Answer the Keyword Planner Questionnaire in your Client Portal so I can optimize your website for SEO and help you show up and get noticed.
  • I WILL: Be working behind the scenes to design mock-ups of the most important pages of your website (usually the home, about, gallery, shop, and blog pages) based on the Website Vision Guide and your inspiration.
  • YOU WILL: Review the mock-ups and request any edits.
  • YOU WILL: Submit your finalized content, including images and copy.

At this point, we’ll have a video call to go over the design, any edits you request, and finalize the launch date.

3. Website Development & Testing

During this phase, you can sit back and enjoy a weekly check-in email while focusing on your business. Towards the end of this phase, I will send you a link to the designed and developed website so you can check it out before requesting any final changes.

  • I WILL: Create your design in the platform we chose and develop every part of it supports your goals and attracts your dream clients, as well as insert all of your content including images, copy, forms, products, and downloadables.
  • I WILL: Conduct internal and User Experience testing to make sure everything is working and functions well for your dream clients.
  • YOU WILL: Review the developed website and play around with it to make sure everything functions the way you envisioned. You can also review the test results and request any edits to the website.
  • I WILL: Make any final changes and implement basic SEO on your website.
  • YOU WILL: Give final approval on the design. Once this is given, no more changes will be made to the design except to fix minor issues found in final internal testing (like making sure links work).

At this point, we’ll have a video call to go over any final edits and make sure everything is in place for your upcoming launch.

4. Launch

Now is when you get to pop the champagne (or La Croix) and celebrate! After weeks of hard work, introspection and heartfelt homework, you’re ready to share your new website with the world. As we near the end of our time together, we’ll get on our Launch Day strategy call to devise the best way to build anticipation and excitement so your big reveal is a smashing success.

  • I WILL: Send you a Website Launch Guide so you know exactly what to expect as your website goes live and launch graphics based on your new design so we can both shout it from the rooftops.
  • I WILL: Do a soft launch and triple-check that everything is working. Then I’ll let you know it’s time to celebrate.
  • YOU WILL: Promote your new website and celebrate! I suggest doing a Facebook live and Instagram story to build the excitement.

Once your launch day arrives, sit back and toast to all the fruits of your labor. From here on out, it’s all about building your business from the heart.

5. On-Going Strategy

The design isn’t done once your website launches. In order to have a website that helps you reach those big goals, I’ll be checking analytics and suggesting changes we can make to improve the website.

  • I WILL: Create an SEO Starter Guide to help you continue to improve your search engine results.
  • I WILL: Track and review the analytics on your new website and send you a report on what’s working and what could be improved to better meet your goals.
  • YOU WILL: Request edits and updates to your website and review them once I have implemented the changes.
  • I WILL: Send you tutorial videos that walk you through how to make updates to your website. You can then handle these yourself, give them to your team, or continue to work with me.
  • YOU WILL: Review the tutorials and choose an On-Going Support package that best fits your needs and budget.

At this point, we’ll have a video call to go over the results of your analytics and anything you may have questions on.

The Calls

As we dive into our work together, we’ll put our heads together to clearly define the best brand strategy for your business through our 60-minute design and strategy calls! I require these calls because I’ve found that they are the most efficient way to give feedback and work through strategy instead of emailing back and forth.

Each call is structured to review the current phase of the project and make sure that we’re on the same page as we move forward. It’s also a great time to get any team members involved in asking questions or giving insight.

These sessions are designed to encourage you to delve deep into the purpose and passion behind your business, as well as focusing on identifying your dream client, brand voice and more. Using your pre-branding workbooks as our starting point, we’ll dive feet first into how we can best back your website with the heart and strategy that will help you reach your business goals. At the end of each project, you’ll walk away feeling well equipped and confident in your ability to better grasp the heart behind your brand, as well as do business in way that enables you to focus on what truly matters in life.

The Workbooks

Before any project begins, I have my clients complete the first of four workbooks. I base our entire project on both direct communication from you and your workbook responses, so it’s important to have this completed so that we can move forward on schedule. Plus, we’ll be using these valuable resources as a spring board for our design and strategy calls!

The questions in these workbooks aren’t easy - they’ll make you think, push you outside of your comfort zone, and require some dedicated time - but in the end, your work here will help me to give you a website that will support your business and grow with you.

As you go through the workbooks, I encourage you to find some time when you can really delve into these prompts and give heartfelt, introspective answers. Sit down in an inspiring space with a glass of your favorite beverage and dream big as you put your brand’s core values, goal, and mission down on paper. And if you feel like you’ve already done this work, it never hurts to go over it again - you will always discover something new.

Additionally, you’ll be asked to create a Pinterest board of inspiration after you complete your workbook. This board can be made up of your brand materials, design elements, and websites that inspire you and capture the aesthetic of the overall brand you’re trying to create.

1. Your Foundation

Strong brands operate from a place of Why, and have a clear grasp of the values, goals and mission at the core of their work. Operating from a place of purpose in your business changes everything!

2. Your Dream Client

Having a clear understanding of your dream client will enable every touch point of your business to be succinct and effective - especially in the website we’re crafting.

3. Your Brand Voice & Message

One of the best ways to create consistency and brand recognition throughout your website and other material is through a clearly defined brand voice and message.

4. Your Website

Now that we’re clear on your Why, your vision, your mission, and your dream client, we’ll dive into the thing we’re here to create - a website that supports your business in all of these things.

The Options

I offer three different options for website design and strategy so that I can help people in all stages of business.

1. Informational Website Design

When you’re ready to update your website, you need a design that fits your brand.

  • Website Planning - to help me learn more about your needs and design aesthetic.
  • Concept Design - I’ll design the basic pages of your website for layout and user experience for your approval.
  • Content To-Do List - to help you pull together your site’s content.
  • Website Design - I’ll design all of your website pages using your brand, add all of your content, and help you make it live.
  • Design Review - before the website is finalized, I’ll review everything with you and make updates based on your feedback.
  • Website Testing - the final website will be reviewed and fully tested for functionality and design.
  • Tutorials & Training - I’ll teach you how to manage your website and provide tutorial videos so you can make updates yourself.

2. eCommerce Website Design

When you’re ready to update your online store, you need a website that’s easy to manage and fits your brand.

  • Website Planning - to help me learn more about your needs and design aesthetic.
  • Concept Design - I’ll design the basic pages of your website for layout and user experience for your approval.
  • Content To-Do List - to help you pull together your site’s content.
  • Website Design - I’ll design all of your website pages using your brand, add all of your content, and set up an easy to manage eCommerce shop.
  • Product Creation - I’ll create up to 15 products in Squarespace, including adding images, descriptions, and pricing options, and set them up for purchase.
  • Design Review - before the website is finalized, I’ll review everything with you and make updates based on your feedback.
  • Website Testing - the final website will be reviewed and fully tested for functionality and design.
  • Tutorials & Training - I’ll teach you how to manage your website and provide tutorial videos so you can make updates yourself.

3. Website Customization

To find success, you just need a few tweaks to really create a website that fits your style and brand.

  • Website Audit & Planning - to review your current website and made recommendations based on my professional expertise and to help me learn more about your needs and design aesthetic.
  • Choose What You Need - I can help with any (or all) of the following:
    • Custom CSS
    • Single Page Design
    • SEO Implementation
    • Website Audit
    • Analytics & Goal Tracking
    • User Experience Testing
    • On-Going Support as part of your Team
    • Newsletter Implementation
    • Creating an online shop
  • Design Review - before the design is finalized, I’ll review everything with you and make updates based on your feedback.
  • Website Testing - the final website will be reviewed and fully tested for functionality and design.
  • Tutorials & Training - I’ll teach you how to manage your website and provide tutorial videos so you can make updates yourself.

The FAQs

What information will you need from me to get started?

I will provide you with a link to your Client Portal, which will include a basic questionnaire and the first workbook that you’ll need to complete. This should be complete before our start date so we can stay on track for your launch date.

How much will my website cost?

All of my websites are built on Squarespace or Showit and hosting packages range from $26 - 40/month, depending on your website needs. We will discuss which option is best for you during our initial meeting.

What am I - the client - responsible for?

This engagement is a commitment in both time and money. I’m crafting your website and want you to be a part of that. As the client you will be responsible for meeting a number of deadlines to ensure that we can give you the most value during our time together. These deadlines are for things such as getting us information about your business to get us started, sending feedback and approving design, and answering questions along the way.

The hardest part for my clients is writing and delivering content for your website. Though I will assist you by planning out what content you need and creating a Content To-Do list to help you execute, you will need to have your content delivered, proofread and ready to publish in order to launch your website.

How often will I hear from Lemon and the Sea?

I pride myself on being very hands-on with my clients. I will manage your project in your Client Portal. During the duration of your project, you’ll hear from me weekly, whether I’m sending over designs, filling you in on the next deliverable dates, or answering any questions you may have.

I’m also available for strategy and review calls at set times throughout the process so that you never feel like you have to figure out how to communicate your thoughts through email. You’ll never have to worry about me going missing and I’ll expect to hear from you too.

How if I can’t get everything done in time?

If you are struggling to meet your deadlines for content or reviewing designs, please let me know ASAP. We can then decide whether to pause the project or set up an intensive day to get work done together.


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