I took a walk down this swanky gentrified street in Jerusalem known for it's cafes and restaurants. Most of the joints on this street have given their storefronts a total facelift while others, well...haven't. Like the falafel joint. Now I love a good falafel and in these parts of the world we have some of the best. But what happens when a tourist comes to town and walks down this swanky street. Do you think he/she will be attracted to the hole in the wall falafel joint?
I've got a point here. Stick with me.
What would you do? Would you go into the dowdy looking falafel joint or would you be attracted to the joint with the beautiful awning and gorgeous windows with pretty people sitting inside the cafe sipping their cappuccinos?
My guess is you'll overlook the falafel joint. So what does this have to do with your website? Well, if you haven't put two and two together yet let me enlighten you.
Your business is working online, right? And this business of yours....it's sole purpose is to attract customers so you can sell them your stuff right?
So it goes without saying that without a beautiful storefront, you're not going to attract clients. Period.
One of the biggest problems I see in my online community of virtual assistants is that many new VAs and some more experienced VAs don't realize just how important good website design is and why bad website design is bad for business. I say this because as a virtual assistant coach it's my job to review my clients sites and I can tell you that 70% of the VAs I work with don't have the kind of websites that will help them build a profitable business.
Here are some examples of bad website design. Do not be one of them.
A smart website design can make a huge difference for your business, but design alone won't do the trick. You have to combine great design with great content.
Okay, hang on a minute. You're thinking "Reese, you're overwhelming me over here. I need a beautiful website, killer content...I don't know where to begin!".
Well, what can I say, I like to get people out of their comfort zones and push you to do things bigger and better.
I want to get you thinking about your online presence because guess what people? You're doing business online and with the competition out there if you're website isn't attracting attention than you're just another fish in a vast ocean.
Ask yourself this. Is your website just another same-sy. What's a same-sy? It's a word I just made up. Here's the definition from the Reese Ben-Yaacov International Dictionary:
1. Identical, not different. 2. Copies another's dress, ideas, or behavior 3. Imitation, like Spam
I've noticed that there are a lot of VA websites that look like they were thrown together in a day. Virtual assistants are saying the same thing and their sites, while "slightly" different are all sort of the same boring setup and same boring content.
It's shake up time.
Since most of us are bootstrapping our startup process it's important to know where to find affordable resources to help with websites, copywriting and graphic design.
Below I'll introduce you to some of the best online resources I've found that will help you build a killer storefront for your virtual assistant business. With the help of the below tools, you will attract prospects to your virtual doorstep. Once they are at your doorstep your content needs to hold their hand and invite them in. Good Design/Good Content = WIN.
Don't believe me? Maybe you'll believe Forbes? They're preaching the same thing.
Here's that list.
Super simple and fun website creation that will make it look like you hired a designer.
Another great website builder that's gaining a lot of popularity. I see more and more SquareSpace sites popping up and they are beautiful to say the least.
One of the most recognized website builders. Quality sites with good support.
Amazing company, amazing founders (I met one of the founders recently) and amazing offers. They are a website builder plus you can add on logo design, copywriting, SEO help, and if you need your own photographer, they'll even recommend one depending on where you are in the world. Rocket Spark is great for those in the UK and New Zealand as they are a New Zealand based company with offices in the UK.
Choose from thousands of beautiful themes at a very low price. Want to know my personal favs? Let me know in the comments.
Copy Writing Help
AWESOME free tutorial videos on how to write one of the most important pages on your site. The about page. The great news is that once you can write an about page correctly, you can write any page on your site. Pinky swear.
One stop shop for all things copywriting. Has a free copywriting course and tons of information on how to persuade with writing.
Crowdsourcing design. Create a contest for your project, set a price and a dozen or more artists will submit their work for your review. Pick the best designer for your project.
Great for getting logos or graphics for your site at a super low price as well as a ton of other offerings (my hubby bought me a happy birthday song sung by a guy in hot pink bikini bottoms - umm, weird)
I absolutely love Canva. I was one of their first users and a total brand ambassador. Design your own stuff, for free and make sure to sign up for their design school to help you learn basic design 101.
Another DIY design site like Canva.
And last but certainly not least........
This is an awesome course that is a DIY design and copywriting kit that makes your website look like you hired a pro. This kit was made for beginners in mind.
This option is unique from the options above.
Unique in that it's going to cost you more than $50, but it won't kill your budget. Kacie Erickson from I Killed the Jones designed my website and working with Kacie was sheer pleasure. She was UBER responsive and gave me more than what was in the contract. What's awesome about Kacie is that as a single mom and business owner she totally gets how hard it is to launch a business on a budget so she offers her pre-fab site for $1,500 and allows you to break it up into 3 payments. Not many designers are willing to do that. Trust me.
Did this blog post entice you to make some changes to your website? Tell me about it below in the comments. I want to hear from you.