by Charlotte Purvis
CharlottePurvis.com "opens" today. It’s not a replacement site. It's not an updated version. CharlottePurvis.com is my first website. As a consultant and speaker in the Internet age, how could that be?
Blame it on my clients. They are responsible for nearly 100% of all my new business. With their referrals and repeat business, my client list grew over the years and I was proud to say that I didn’t need a website. I convinced myself that I could be that one consultant who could say at retirement, “I never had a website.”
Well, that all changed when I learned that some speaking opportunities were out of the question because I had no website and no "content" on the Internet. A former client commented that without a website, it was going to be tough to continue making referrals. And some people didn't seem to be impressed when -- with no website -- all they had to refer to was my bio and testimonials as PDFs.
A turning point was when I started dreaming of having my own site. A first step was to start two notebooks – one with bright ideas for my website design, another with topics for blog posts.
Then one day in March 2017, I went online and started a trial account with Squarespace. (I’ll share more about the process in future blogs and in my presentations.) In celebration of the opening of CharlottePurvis.com, here are four fast facts:
1. With no previous website design experience whatsoever, I created my site myself. Yes, I jumped right into Squarespace. I created and deleted lots of pages, I listened carefully to the feedback from my consultant Meghan, I attended Squarespace webinars, and I stayed true to my desire for the site to reflect my brand. I know this is predictable but I’ll say it anyway: If I can do it, you can do it.
A tip for others with no design experience: Learning how to create graphics at Canva.com helped prepare me to create my website at Squarespace.
2. Creating the site was a positive experience. After working through my website resistance, I was surprised to learn that the design process can be fun, challenging, cathartic, and (often overused word) empowering.
3. While creating the site, I started to feel like a designer. Especially when I selected the colors, fonts, and images…when I personalized the site with a map showing Tuscaloosa, Alabama, my hometown…and Bascom Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, my alma mater. I’m still beaming after finding the photo of the church pews that take me back to my early years in my beloved Elizabeth Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa.
4. Creating my own site has created a desire to inspire others to do the same. I didn’t see this one coming. After having such resistance to websites, it is surprising (in a good way) that now I want to share the experience. I have notes, before-and-after examples, and lots of lessons to share. I look forward to inspiring people to create the websites of their dreams.
Are you thinking of creating a website? Or updating an existing site? How about sharing your fast facts with us?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Banner photo: Unsplash