“Creating a stunning website is often the biggest hurdle for small-business owners,” knows Hope Katz Gibbs, author of PR Rules: The Playbook.
That’s why Step 1—as outlined in her book’s 8 Steps to PR Success—helps readers learn how to make the process easier, and fun.
In an episode of “Let’s Talk Live,” Gibbs explains to reporter Sonya Gavankar what a website is, what it isn’t, and why it’s so important to get it right. Then she suggests a simple homework assignment—answering three key questions about your business.
Click here to watch the video now! And scroll down for details.
Questions? Send an email to Hope@inkandescentpr.com. And be sure to include a link to your website. Gibbs will assess it for free.
The Importance of Creating a Stunning Website
- What it is: Your website is your best face forward to the world, and the best reflection of your business. Think of it as your little black dress. Your Brooks Brothers suit. Or your coolest T-shirt and jeans. Be you, and be stunning.
- What it isn’t: A hamper into which you toss everything your company has ever done, or the place to feature your favorite music, family photos, or jokes.
- Why it’s important: It keeps your current and potential customers up to date on what you are doing. And, it proves to reporters that you are a valuable source. The best websites educate, intrigue, and inspire.
- Try this: Use Harvard University’s Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and build the site so that it appeals to all visitors, no matter how they learn best—through words, pictures, logic, or connections with people.
Homework: Play with it!
- Ask 10 people to review your website—three whom you love and who love you, three who know your business, and three who know your industry. Then ask one person who has no idea about what you do. If they all give you positive feedback, you know your website is working. If not, take their feedback as fuel to begin rethinking it.
- Take this test yourself. Spend about a half-hour or so clicking around your websitet like you have never used it before. Do you find broken links or things that aren’t clear? Put that on your to-do list to fix.
- If you are in need of an upgrade or are building a website for the first time, surf the Internet and find websites that you love. Take notes on why they appeal to you, and create a list of things you’d like to add or incorporate into your site.
Resources and Advice:
- Hire a professional. Have a contract and a realistic timeline.
- Know that prices vary. Most websites cost about $1,000/page.
- For photos, try Shutterstock.com. But the best approach is to hire a professional photographer—especially to take great headshots. You will use your headshot, and those of your team, constantly for social media and reporter pitches. Everyone wants to see your eyes and face, since that’s how they know they can trust you. Make sure those are as picture-perfect as possible.
- WordPress is very popular, but not so easy to set up without the help of a professional web developer. I prefer Textpattern, which also needs a web guru to assist. So long as you find a good developer, this is the quickest and easiest route. And remember, you should be working on developing and growing your business—not your website.
- If you insist on doing it yourself, start off with a free site like Blogger.com. It will help you get comfortable and familiar with a content management system. Then you can grow from there.