Let me start by saying that my 2016 goal was to re-brand myself & my website and have it up and running by February and guess what? It's basically April.
This year is already flying by and as I write this, I cannot believe how far I've come since January, let alone by first website I made in 2011. (Note to self: take screen shots of all your websites to look back on and LOL @ yourself.)
If you've been following me since then, or if you're just stumbling across my website for the first time, I'm about to keep it real and tell you about the process of my website launch, the goods & the bads, and how I am SO excited/overwhelmed to dive in and pursue my passion of creating resources and services to empower small businesses and entrepreneurs through digital & social media strategy.
If you have worked in publishing, marketing or advertising, you know that the process from strategy, to design/content creation to launch is not an easy feat. Now let's put it all on one person, on top of a full-time job. AH.
In January, I was so excited to start my rebrand and I was flying through it. Writing out my mission statements, what I envisioned, reading and researching every day, I felt like a badass. And then it came down to actually DOING it – *brick wall in the face.*
I had no idea where to start, and after looking at all of my notes, everything was overwhelming and I just decided to put it off one-by-one and I became content with just working my full time job & some freelance here and there. Now it's February and I realized wow, I need to start designing. I am so thankful to have been surrounded by great designers and mentors that helped me through this process to actually get something on the web to work with. That's when Squarespace became my life-saver. I truly don't know what I would do without this platform, and the ability to have grown with it over the past 6 years.
Finally things were in motion again, but I was manipulating templates and changing my mind on something every day. Having the ability to create this without a developer was a blessing and a curse. I taught myself SO much, but what took me days, could have taken a developer probably 10 minutes. Nonetheless, it was all a growing process. After I finally come to terms with my colors, fonts, template, new logo and design pieces, it was time to create the content and resources. This was the biggest struggle and at this moment, I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that I can't change it again. The resource library on my website was the biggest and newest piece, and it took a back-burner to just re-vamping my old pages and services. (Another note to self: tackle the BULK of the content work first.)
At this point, at least once a day I decided that this is too much and I couldn't do it and I am overwhelmed beyond belief. So, I tapped into my friends and creative circle to gain feedback and confidence to just get. it. done. I can't stress enough how important it is to have a good foundation of friends and mentors to help you through a new venture. From taking my photos, to giving design feedback, advice and development help, UGH I love you all SO much.
So March hit, and the stars started aligning. I was very intentional about starting the rebranding shift on my social media, and setting goals to write content. Once that happened, I started attracting my ideal audience and clients and boom that's when it hit me: I had to be just as passionate and intentional about the content I was creating on a personal level, before I released my content to others. This simply meant, I needed to spend some time creating for myself, making/doing things I loved and really wanted to share.
This truly helped shift the way I was going to present my content on my website and by ASKING what people wanted to know or learn, I was able to create an exact persona to write to. The content started flowing and now, I finally felt like this website has come full-circle.
I'm writing this and being as transparent as possible to shed some light into how much work and time it really takes to rebrand yourself and launch a website. AND that it is possible to keep your full-time job to grow and learn while chasing your dreams. But, I also wanted to write this to shed some encouragement to those who have the drive and passion to start a website, or blog and give you the no fluff or sugarcoated story on how it's a TON of work - but so empowering when it is finished.
My new website site is designed to give you the tools, resources and encouragement I have received over the years and I truly believe everyone has something they can bring to the table. So, let's collaborate, grow and learn together.
I'm so glad you're here and if you decide to follow along, I cant wait to watch your story unfold!