The difference between your dream becoming a reality or ending up on the cutting room floor comes down to one thing: Marketing.
In order to successfully market, try and understand your voice as a brand and how it’s going to be understood by your audience. As you start to develop your brand there are some common pitfalls to avoid. There are also some design decisions to be made that will keep your site visitors engaged.
Don’t rely on stock images and clip art for your content. By having professional photos of your team, your work, and your process, you show a human element that cannot be discounted. Customers are more discerning than they were once and want to give their money where it will have the most impact. If it takes money to make money, allot it to having this essential, professional element in your marketing.
Similarly, having a logo created for your business can set you apart from your competitors. If you use a bit of Clip Art or a stock image, remember that other brands have access to that exact image which is a way to thoroughly confuse your audience and potentially send new clients to your competitor. A logo and other design elements add sophistication and professionalism to your voice.
Do be consistent! In the development of your brand, consistency is one of the most important factors. If you were to tell your customers to expect new content on the 1st and 15th of every month and you missed a few of those digital events, you start to lose credibility. More than that, you need consistency in general branding across all platforms, the post volume, the quality of content, and the voice. These things can ensure your reliability as a leader in your industry.
Use ONLY long-winded, lengthy videos and run-on paragraphs. The “sell” happens in under 10 seconds or even less. That’s how little time you have to capture an audience’s attention. Unbroken paragraphs with sparse visuals will tire and bore your reader. The use of only long videos will not align with the “sell”.
A caveat to this: it is absolutely a great idea to do a long shoot. Those can be edited and broken down to be more digestible for the audience, as well as have other design elements added to create more visual interest and to keep your reader engrossed in your brand. That will be discussed in the next section.
Do layer content! Layering content is when you have multiple elements represented at once, such as photos, blogs, well-placed paragraphs, graphics, reviews, sketches, logos, videos, etc. These things add visual interest and fully “fleshes out” your voice as a brand. A word of caution when doing this: you want to use these elements, but be wary of making it too busy, illegible, or lacking flow. As long as you can strike a beautiful balance of entertaining and informative you will have a relevant voice in your field of expertise.
More importantly, if you can engage your audience immediately, hold their attention, and they know you will be updating your content, you will have repeated viewers. That’s the whole goal!
Use these do’s and don’ts and take a look at some of your favorite websites. Take a look at how these elements are applied and how they make you feel when trying to conceptualize your personal brand. When in doubt, hire a professional for the design elements, the on-going marketing, and for a fresh, informed set of eyes on your content. This is the simplest way to build your business and make that dream come to fruition.