Websites for Creative Entrepreneurs: Creating a Positive Experience

Can the process of creating a website REALLY be a POSITIVE experience for those who describe themselves as creative, “non-technical,” or “right-brained?”

I’m going to say yes. 

I build websites for creative entrepreneurs and holistic practitioners. Along the way,  I saw a real, tangible, practical need for some kind of system to help my clients, particularly the ones who describe themselves as being “non-techy.”

First of all, I want to make it clear: Being “non-techy” is NOT a flaw or a weakness at all.

However, It’s good to be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of right-brained thinking when diving into a big project like building a website. Surprisingly, it’s not all “left-brained tech stuff” even though the industry seems to be dominated by “tech people” who can sometimes be “challenged” as effective communicators.

Make sure to check out my blog about the strengths and weaknesses “left brained types.”

I can identify with the creative, right-brain side of me, so I understand it. There’s no judgement here.. I’ve made all the most common mistakes and then some. I still work on awareness on an ongoing basis. We also have a LOT of strengths!

Let’s talk about the creative mind and some of the potential pitfalls a creative person can encounter.

I saw  many creative entrepreneurs struggling with the following when it came to getting their websites built:

• Emotional “sunburn” from bad tech experiences. Everything from “mansplaining” to being talked down to by people who may be great at what they do, but suck at talking to people.

• Fear of what might happen if their website.. actually goes LIVE.  Will people like my site? Will it get no visitors? What happens if someone books a call or signs up and I can’t deliver what I promised? (Deep seated fear of failure and/or success)

• Sabotage via “busy-ness”

• Procrastination

• Not understanding the value of having a website; making it low-priority

• Not understanding the value of creating regular content

• Thinking that SEO is a minor “technical adjustment” that one can “set and forget” or pay $300 for someone to “fix.”

• Getting overwhelmed by looking at the competition’s websites

• Not even knowing where to start, so they never even begin

• Trying to save time and money by taking shortcuts that end up costing more in the long run

• Approaching content creation as something they must do to meet expectations, rather than as something that flows freely from their core essence.

• Not knowing what their core essence, or let’s say unique offering to the world really IS.

• Not having a clue about a niche, trying to appeal to everyone

• Not having a clue about their target market

• Not having a clue about their competition

• Being a visual, right-brained thinker who doesn’t conceptualize a finished website by verbal communication and jargon (this isn’t the problem at all, but the lack of communication is.  a good web developer/designer should be able to communicate with a “visual” client)

•  Getting pulled into the “I’ll know it when I see it” game that wastes everyone’s time, and is everyone’s “fault” if no structure is established.

• Shiny Object syndrome: Getting distracted by every new app or idea that comes along instead of trusting an agreed upon process

• Not having any structure to work within

• Extreme writer’s block

• Taking months and months to deliver a blog or the content that goes on the “about” page

• Thinking that everything is “written in stone” and can never, ever be changed without having to pay the developer to make changes

• Good old fashioned mindset blocks

• Not understanding how powerful a website can be for delivering their message on a consistent basis: video, podcasting, blogging, photography.. those are JUST a START!

• Dreading the whole freaking process, thinking that there’s no way it could actually be FUN. (yes, it can be.. even for creative types. Marketing IS a creative process!)

As you can see, there’s a lot more that goes into this whole process than coding, branding, and marketing functions. It’s a highly personal process too.

Creative types tend to approach the process of building a website.. or any other digital marketing system.. differently than your average developer, and this is NOT a bad thing, at all!

In fact, some of the most successful projects I’ve worked on were the result of very CREATIVE ideas and processes.

But it’s a fine line.  Any of the above scenarios could hinder the progress and the effectiveness of a finished site. Or sabotage it altogether.

This is why people so often resort to “easy” solutions (those web hosting services starting with the letter “W”), or get sucked into working with someone who doesn’t understand the basic aspects of a good website.

These “quick fixes fail to help creative business owners understand the long-term vision of their business. It’s a short term tactic, but not a great strategy.

In other words, if you want your business to grow via your website, it’s a smart idea to choose the right platform to begin with and skip the shortcuts. I usually recommend WordPress, and in some cases, Kartra or Kajabi.

Note: I am not biased for financial reasons but ethical ones.. I cannot in good consciousness take part in working with certain platforms that don’t end up being effective, create problems with workarounds,  and end up costing more in the long run.

What my clients need to know

Technical:

A layperson doesn’t really need to learn HTML and CSS, but I believe they should have easy access to the backend of their site so they can blog regularly and make minor changes and updates to their website.

There is a persistent myth that working with WordPress means not having access to drag-and-drop builders. This isn’t true, and hasn’t been, for a number of years now. I offer training to all of my website and coaching clients on how to edit their sites using Divi, Thrive Architect, or Elementor.

Aesthetic/Branding:

A layperson is going to benefit greatly from going through the branding process. Enough said.

Marketing:

When it comes to marketing, a business owner or entrepreneur shouldn’t remain a layperson. Ignoring marketing and remaining ignorant about it isn’t a smart idea. Even for the marketing alone, a coaching program is completely worth it, as it’s such a HUGE part of your website.

And much more.

But the personal aspects I outlined above.. some of which includes mindset, is equally important. This is what I mean by  comprehensive coaching, and why I think it’s not just a nice bonus, but essential.

An example:

A client may need to learn how to create a launch for her new fertility course. She can hire someone to do it for her, certainly. But it’s a pretty involved process. On the surface it looks like sitting down for an afternoon to create a few blogs or videos and posting them on a web page, but there’s a LOT more to it.

This is why there is a thorough intake and prep process. There are about 50 pieces, some technical, some creative, that go into a launch, and about 100 moving parts and details to attend to. I’m not even going to begin to GUESS what the client wants before building something like this.

She also may not know that she can take it in stages.. and if she does, where does she start so she can leverage her time and make it work with her current budget?

On the other hand, there are ways to build a system, whether it’s a website or a launch, that can evolve and grow with your business or a specific strategy or even a tactic.

There still has to be a starting point and some sort of end goal in mind, but I don’t want my clients to get “analysis paralysis” from thinking that everything is written in stone.

Enter coaching for “right-brained” types. Which actually works well for “left-brained” types as well!

 

I’m so convinced that this type of coaching, consulting, training, whatever you want to call it, is absolutely essential. Some of it is actually built into my website packages as part of the intake process, but I decided to offer this as a separate service for the following reasons:

 

• I was spending a lot of extra time with clients working on the above bullet points, and rather than charge a premium to ALL of my website clients for a little extra “hand holding,” I wanted to offer it as a separate, “modular” option.

• I enjoy providing this type of service

• It is very much needed.. it actually saves the client time, money and energy

• I go a little deeper with this service.. a little extra handholding, accountability, and mindset work that I don’t offer with the website packages. For example, with a regular website package,  if content is due on a certain date, it’s the client’s responsibility to provide it on an agreed upon deadline, writer’s block or not.

With the coaching program, I can, and have, coached clients to help them accomplish the goal of creating content in a way that felt natural and painless for them, but still within a structured framework and accountability that helped them get the task done faster than just a plain old deadline would. This greatly reduced their anxiety about the project.

They also learned a lot more about marketing and developing their own personal voice and brand in the process. (There’s a LOT more to this than choosing a pretty website template!)

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I’m all about empowering my clients to get more comfortable with technology, websites, and digital marketing in a way that makes sense for them.

There’s PLENTY of opportunity to do just that. But if you don’t know where to even START, give me a call, and I’ll buy a virtual coffee.. maybe even a wine! Just click on that burgundy button below!

Interested in group coaching? I’ll be offering a VERY good deal this fall to help you get your website done.. AND save a ton of time, money and energy!