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5 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs A Website

Design, My Business, StartupKrishna SolankiComment

Not so long ago I was merrily browsing in a Facebook group and the topic of websites caught my eye.  Now, being a Digital Designer, I just had to stop and read the comments.  

A small business owner was asking why she would need a website.  My initial reaction was “what a crazy question!” - especially in this day and age where technology is literally at our fingertips.  Then it slowly dawned on me that not every business owner sees or understands the relevance of a website.

So in today's post, I thought I would keep it short and simple and give you 5 excellent reasons why your small business definitely needs a website.

6 Reasons Why You Should Consider Guest Blogging

Startup, Side Hustle, My BusinessKrishna Solanki3 Comments

When I first started blogging I fell in love, I was writing articles whenever I got the chance. I had so much to share I wanted others to learn what I had learnt too.  I slowly noticed I gained a following. All of this was unintentional at the time.
I continued as I started and was offered a guest author position to write articles for a leading online magazine and resources site for designers and developers. At this point, I was over the moon as something I enjoyed doing was helping others.
Since then I have revamped my brand and website, and have even taken on a guest post on my own website as well.
Related:

There are a few things I learnt along the way and today I wanted to share 6 benefits of having guest bloggers.

 

1 | Frees up your time

As a small business owner, I wear a lot of different hats, in my case, that's the reality of being a one-woman band.  Although I love it, there are times I wish I could concentrate on doing the thing I love most - designing.  I'd rather not dedicate hours of time sorting out my tax, or admin, and as much as I love blogging, sometimes it can become a chore or an after thought as I have so many other things to do.  That's where having a guest blogger can help out.  A guest blogger can free up your time for you to concentrate on other areas of your business.

2 | Widen the knowledge for your readers

If you take a guest blogger on board you are automatically opening your audience to a different spectrum of knowledge. This is something they may not have read about, thought about, or even considered. However, one note, if you do invite someone to guest blog for your blog, the content should definitely interest your following and have some connection to your blog/business or service.

3 | Gain influence and boost credibility

By building a name for yourself you are building trust which ultimately enhances your credibility and sets you apart as an expert.  If you are able to establish yourself as an expert you will naturally gain the ability to influence your audience. All these can lead to more traffic and even more clients.  And all of this can be achieved via guest blogging - Although it does take time, it's not an overnight process, but rather a long-term relationship building technique.

4 | Builds your audience

Guest blogging is a great way to quickly build your audience.   This is true for newbie bloggers, who may not have an audience yet, and for experienced bloggers too.  The reason being because you are sharing your audience.

5 | Great for networking

By contributing to other websites, or allowing guest bloggers on your website you are making a connection and it could be the beginning of a budding blogger relationship.  By building up your relationships over time you are increasing the likelihood of people being active in your network. Networking is a really great way of getting "out there" and spreading the word about your business and blog.

6 | Great for SEO

Guest blogging is awesome for SEO.  If you are able to retrieve backlinks to your website/blog then you are opening the door to drive traffic to your website.  A lot of bloggers aim to guest blog on different websites, bringing in a wider variety of traffic.  The key thing is to ensure is that the website you are guest blogging on allows you to submit your blog/website URL when the post is published.

Ultimately, guest blogging is a great opportunity to learn, share and shout about.  Have you ever tried guest blogging? What are your thoughts?

7 Reasons Why A Single Page Website Is Perfect For Your Business

DesignKrishna SolankiComment

Single page websites are a big hit.  They have been for a while now.  Effective, straight to the point and they can be visually very appealing, especially if kept on brand (which they should be!).
Sometimes with startups, small businesses or side hustle businesses, there isn't an overload of information that needs to be shared so keeping it short and sweet and on one page could be the perfect solution.

7 Reasons Why A Single Page Website Is Perfect For Your Business

 

Here are 7 reasons why a single page website is perfect for your startup, small business or side hustle:

1 | Coming Soon

You are just starting out and have your brand freshly created.  Your services are ready to be unveiled to the world, but you are working on your main website - you have lots to share but it's taking ages.  Well, a "Coming Soon" page could do the trick whilst you work on the full fledged site.  You can add an opt-in, or a sign-up, or a simple 'watch this space' message whilst you work on the full website.

2 | Simple, and user-friendly

This is actually 2 reasons!! With a single page website, there is no confusion as everything is on one page - it's THAT simple.  Your clients, customers or audience won't need to worry about finding your information as having it clearly structured and present on a single page takes them on that journey.  This ultimately makes your site super user-friendly as well, meaning your users are likely to stay put!

3 | Seamless

Traditionally websites usually share a navigation which leads to other pages of the site.  The problem can be that sometimes you don't have that much information and you can end up with lots of pages you may not need behind the main homepage.  With a single page, there is no need to create extra pages, all the key information can be gathered and sectioned up nicely and seamlessly, making the site work for you.  Making your website intuitive and straight to the point, this leads me too...

4 | Intuitive

A single page website is intuitive. Having an introduction, then delving into the product/service you offer, then ending it with appropriately with contact details, buy now, or sign up forms, tell a story in itself.  Having it all on one page also means the user can be tastefully reminded of your offering(s) without losing their interest or trail of thought.  Letting design adding to this can really provide a rewarding experience for your user.

5 | Cost effective

One of the key features of a single page website is that they take away the mess of having to design and develop numerous pages.  This means it's cost-effective.  No wasted time on pages your clients may not see.  As long as the single page website is designed well you can reap the same benefits as a website with numerous pages. So why waste time, money and energy on something that can be compact and concise.

6 | Differentiate you

Your business is a startup, small business or your side hustle, either way, you want it to stand up and stand out in a crowd. You want it to be different and you want it to differentiate you. Ok so there are LOADS of single page websites, how will your one differentiate you? - Well driving it forward with design and letting even the small experiences work for you can really elevate your website. For example, bringing in hover effects, animation, or customising the design and working on top of the brand to really push your visual appeal can do wonders.

7 | Mobile friendly

Single page website are crazily mobile friendly if done right, this is because they both share a similar design thought process. On a desktop the action to browse a single page website is to scroll down the page, this is the same action on a mobile.  Therefore, you can be rest assured that the experience will be consistent making your website user-friendly.
 

Have you considered a single page website for your business?  Why or why not did you pick this particular style?

Here is a single page website I created for an awesome previous client of mine - Steakizmo Website.  If you need some help with your website, why not get in touch today and see if we would be a good fit.

10 Design Tweaks You Need To Make To Your Website Today

DesignKrishna Solanki2 Comments

In this day and age, most businesses have an online presence.  As you know it's one of the best ways for you to attract clients and customers, but is your website up to date?  You may think to yourself "I've only just updated my website a few months ago so I don't need too" but is that really true?
Today I wanted to share 10 tweaks you need to make to your website today.

10 Design Tweaks You Need To Make To Your Website Today


1 | Site navigation

This is your main navigation that helps clients (past and potentials) to not only browse your website and make actions, but also it can inform them of the type of business you have.  For example a photographer may have a section dedicated to "Galleries" or a life coach may have "Coaching".  It's important to ensure you are able to guide your visitors effectively and so reworking your site navigation as and when your business develops, but also remember to make sure it is easy to navigate.

2 | Your About page

It can be really difficult to talk about yourself, it's not everyone's "thing", but your about page should inform your reader of who you are, what you do, why you do it and why you are the best choice for them.  There is a fine line between adding personality and being too personal on your about page, so getting the balance right is important.  Also, make sure you are add any news skills or experiences to your about page and keep it up to date.

3 | Add Call-To-Actions

Nothing is more frustrating then being on a website and reading about a service, but not being able to enquire or make that next step to purchase, or sign up.  If anything you will loose your potentially interested client or customer.  Therefore don't forget to revisit your pages and add CTAs. The same goes for your opt-in or lead magnet, this brings me to the next point.

4 | Add a sign up / increase the visibility of your opt-in

I bet the last time you thought to create and add an opt-in to increase your email subscriptions was probably when you first set up your website. Right? Well if that's the case you need to switch it up a bit. Maybe increase the visibility of your opt-in by placing it higher up the page, or creating a new opt-in to entice them.

5| Lay out your content

The layout of your page can drastically change the appearance of your page.  Ensuring the most recent "photo shoot" or latest "design project" is at the top of your Gallery or Portfolio page is essential. You want your new potential client to see what you are capable of and how good you are at it.  You only have a few seconds at best to get them interested and keep them interested so laying out your page needs to be logical.

6 | Utilise icons

Icons are a great way of creating attention.  They can help highlight your content or sections so that the visitor is more inclined to see it.  It also helps to break up the page and make it easy on the eye if the page is really long or text heavy.  If they are on brand then that's an extra bonus too!

[Related : Creating custom icons - my process]

7 | Professional photography

Another great tweak to make to your website is photography. You don't have to spend lots of money to do this but by having really good professional photos you naturally impress potential clients and customers and that is a good start point in itself!
Don't just take a few snaps on your iPhone and make do with it, photos have a great way of connecting with people so utilise this and do yourself a favour. Get professional images for your professional business!

8 | Update your font choice

A super duper easy easy of updating your website would be to update the fonts. It's not majorly hard to do but it can be very effective.   Updating to a more modern font can dramatically change the look and style of your website.  One thing to watch out for is it can seriously screw up your layout so be careful if you decide to do this! Last thing you want is a broken layout because of your font.  Also, I'd recommend not to use more than 2 fonts on your website - one for your heading styles and one for your text.  More than 2 can just look confusing and messy.

9 | Utilise your sidebar if you have a blog

If you have a blog on your website then make sure you make the most the sidebar by directing your visitors to "related articles" or "archives", or even "popular content".  I have also added a little paragraph about me as well as my social links.  You can have a whole range of things on your sidebar, but just be careful you don't overpower the actual content which is the article!!


10 | Add a process

If you provide a service then it is really important that you have a process in place.   By being transparent and adding your process to your website your potential clients and customers are able to see just how easy it is to work with you, or buy from you.  You don't have to describe the whole process out, but by summarising each stage and providing a step by step workflow anyone who is reading will understand how simple it is for them to work with you.  Plus it reassures them that you know what you are doing.

The bottom line is make sure your website is tailored towards your audience.  At the end of the day your website is in place because you want to attract your ideal client or customer, therefore your website needs to reflect that and you need to show them that.


What would you tweak or have you tweaked recently on your website?
If you need any help tweaking your design or setting up your website then why not check out my packages and process and get in touch.

New Brand and Website for My Sweet Success

Branding, Design, Portfolio, Startup, Client Case StudyKrishna SolankiComment


The scary thing about starting a new business is that sometimes you may not realise what you want with regards to design or that you have everything in mind and you are trying to make it happen but you lack the design experience or design know-how.
When you want your business up and running, and you've tried to make the website yourself but it's just not quite right and you don't have the time to fix it...what do you do?

It's always a treat to work with a client that has done as much as they can themselves but they realise they need help; they have a better understanding of the project in hand and are happy to delegate the job.

Well, that is exactly what Lynne Taggart of My Sweet Success did.
When Lynne contacted me she already knew what she was after and needed a professional to take care of it.  She had a logo which had been previously designed but was looking for a brand and Squarespace website.  After a consultation she realised she would also like a new logo and so she signed up for the Startup package.

I'm really proud of the final product.  I have to say, its been an absolute joy to work on and I'm super happy to share the creative process today.

MSS - brand board

1 | Client homework

At the beginning of any project, I always ask my clients a set of questions about their business vision and goal for their brand and website.  As part of this client homework, I also ask them to pin some images they feel represent their vision on a Pinterest board.

Related:

I love this part of the project as I get to see what my clients are really drawn too and this ultimately sets the brand.
Lynne said her ideal client will be an entrepreneur in her 20s/30s and desires a laptop lifestyle with the freedom to travel.  She used the following adjectives to describe the feeling of her brand "luxurious, feminine, powerful".

I couldn't help but peek at Lynne's Pinterest board and I was so excited!! Her board were exuding with luxury and femininity. I could wait to get started!!

pinterest screengrab.jpg

2 | Moodboard

Going through Lynne's Pinterest board and finding the pins I felt best suited her adjectives was straight forward.  I compiled the images to created a moodboard

MSS - moodboard

The cerise pink added so much brightness to the board, and the gold gave it the luxury feel.  The blush colour of the pink roses gave it the feminity, softening the whole brand altogether. yet the strong burgundy and black bought in the power aspect.

A moodboard is great for a few reasons. Not only does it ensure Lynne and I are on the same page with the direction of the visual brand elements but it also helps me develop the next stages of the project.

3 | Logo
 

One of the main elements that really stood out on the moodboard was the idea of a rose.  Lynne also really liked this aspect and was keen to incorporate this into the logo.  I kept that in mind and after a few revisions these were the 3 final concepts that were developed.

MSS - logo concepts

Lynne loved this direction as the rose was just the perfect prominence against the monogram MSS.  In previous iterations, I had created the rose with much more boldness but Lynne preferred the silhouette approach more.  I have to agree with her, this was the perfect balance of feminine and powerful.
Lynne chose the second logo concept, which I think is the best out of the three!

MSS - Final logo

After the logo was signed off I designed a secondary logo to give Lynne flexibility, and also created a variety of round versions of the primary.  The round versions are great for profile pictures.  I also created a submarket which, we used as the favicon for the website.

By creating these brand elements, it makes it easier to keep consistency on other elements like collateral.  So by this point Lynne is set up with a new logo, with variations, a colour palette, a submark and 2 fonts.  Her new brand is complete.

4 | Collateral
 

With the brand complete it's time to get started on the social media graphics.  In this case, Lynne didn't want any Twiter graphics and so we decided to swap this element for a PDF opt-in template instead.

MSS - collateral items

Using the colour palette I used the cerise pink as the main heading colours to really help elevate the feminine aspect.
I love how these all turned out.

5 | Website

Whilst working on the brand and collateral elements, Lynne has second thoughts about the Squarespace template choice.  Although this does change the project in hand to some extent it is best that Lynne is happy with her template choice before any work is carried out on designing her website.  So she was required to revisit her website requirements before moving forward.
It didn't take long for Lynne to decide on what she was really after and luckily this didn't hinder the timescales either.

Lynne was really keen on big imagery and getting new clients to sign up but also explain to her clients about how to achieve their life of luxury goals.  There really was a lot Lynne wanted to get across so to break up the page I included images and created "blush boxes" to break up the page and text.

MSS_homepage.jpg

The gold bar (under the main headings) and gold buttons really broke up the text as well and reinforced the luxury aspect.  I love the blush boxes too! they really helped break the pages up.
Click here to see it for yourself.
 

Lynne was a really awesome client to work with. She knew what she wanted from the start and wanted to take that worry off her mind.  I delivered an awesome brand and website with collateral items to ensure Lynne has a professional look to her new business.

What do you think about this new brand and website for My Sweet Success?