8 Steps to a Magnetic Website: The Foolproof Website Formula
By now, you know that my philosophy for “standing out in a saturated market” and attracting clients to you on autopilot is to: own your zone of genius and rebel against the website conformity.
But what, exactly, does it mean to “rebel against website conformity”?
First, what it does NOT mean:
- When I encourage you to be “rebellious” and to shirk the status quo, that doesn’t mean you should be outrageous, over-the-top, or oddball.
- Because you DON’T want to cause frustration, hesitation, or uncertainty (read: friction) for your website visitors.
You want to create a user-friendly website experience that uniquely showcases your superpowers and service offerings. This means that you have to create within the constraints of web development best practices and user-friendly design patterns.
Because you want to:
Break free from the template
Rebel against the status quo
Challenge both the trendy + the traditional
And to do so in a way that’s effective + delivers an enjoyable experience. This is WHY you need to respect the creative constraints of established design patterns (aka the way people expect the internet –and your website– to work).
“So... how can I rebel against conformity and stand out online if I’m following a BORING cookie-cutter approach?”
Woah... slow your roll! This approach is about a total website SYSTEM that works within the creative constraints of user experience best practices. It is NOT cookie-cutter.
A cookie-cutter approach doesn’t go through a systematic process that approaches each person as unique.
A cookie-cutter approach would start at the END... with the website and not give a second thought to the foundational work that comes before it.
A cookie-cutter approach would look like choosing a theme or template and then stuffing your content into it (like Cinderella’s evil stepsisters trying to ram their oversized feet into her delicate glass heels).
There’s a difference between best practices and a one-size-fits-all approach.
In my signature system for creating a website, I take you through 8 base steps. But what comes out of each will be totally unique to you, your brand, and your business.
The 8 Steps of a Standout Website:
Core: Step one of crafting your standout website starts with you. YOU make your website (and brand) stand out. So it’s absolutely essential that you identify your unique characteristics to inject plenty of personality into all aspects of your online presence.
Customer: Before you can create a craveworthy website, you need to know your audience. That's where my undercover research comes in. It is the gathering of information and data as it pertains to your ideal client, her pains and aspirations.
Contrast: To stand out in a saturated market and create a website that leaves you wondering, “What competition?”, you first have to analyze the competitive landscape so that you can own your unique zone of genius (aka what makes you different).
Code: Think of your code as your motto, your vibe, the qualities that you want to emit and the feelings you want to evoke with your website (and your brand). This doesn’t need to be a formal statement, but just 3-5 adjectives that describe your vibe.
Configuration: This step is crucial to crafting a website system that sells for you. That means you need to consider: how the content is laid out on a page, how pages flow together, and the overall site architecture.
Copy: Without compelling content, we’re never going to attract our dreamy clients. And so, it’s important that we get to know our client’s problems and aspirations and then speak to them effectively in our copy.
Curation: Notice how I didn’t label this step “creation”? Because you don’t need to create something out of nothing. Take from what exists and make it your own. The key to curation is to make sure that all of your elements work together cohesively and that everything is intentional.
Container: You’re almost there! This is where we bring all your hard work from the previous 7 steps together into your cohesive website (which you can think of as your brand container). Even as you build, continue to iterate on the design. Make tweaks with every “touch”. Your website is ever-evolving.
This is the 8-step system that I teach my students and that I take my clients through.
Because a standout webSIGHT is so much more than a status quo website. It’s your digital landmark, your line in the brand-sand, the point where sales conversions start and close.
–Meghan's Brain :wink:
Now, you understand that “rebelling against website conformity” means:
Taking the time to get to know yourself, your personal superpowers, and how YOU want to portray yourself (not how you think you “should” show up online).
Realizing that you can’t follow the crowd if you want to be seen as a leader (and then letting go of that competitor comparison-itis).
Having the courage to reject the traditional web design process and question if something different might actually be more effective. (The answer: yes.)
I believe this is THE critical difference that allows you to command premium rates. And I’m not the only one. Ash Ambirge, the badass business owner and wordsmith behind The Middle Finger Project stated:
“If you’re a coach and you want to charge big bucks, then you’d better be willing to invest big bucks in getting the right look and feel to seem like a person who would charge big bucks.
That sounds superficial, but it’s the truth. Because the fact of the matter is that there are many, many talented folks out there. What separates them is less their talent, and more the way they’re perceived in the marketplace.
That’s why all of this branding and messaging and copywriting stuff is critical. If you’re okay with charging average rates, then you can get by, by seeming perfectly average.”
Now I know YOU are NOT average and you shouldn’t be charging average prices, which means you shouldn’t have an “average” website either.
So what are your options for getting the website look + feel that allows you to charge the “big bucks”?
You CAN go through this process on your own. It will take time (think 9-18 months) to do well and you’ll probably want to bring in some experts at some point.
Just remember, if you go this route, that EVERY piece needs to fit together cohesively so that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And, because, no other designer has this precise 8-step process, you will have to be the project manager and the creative director to oversee everything is properly executed.
Let me do the heavy lifting for you in one of my 1:1 service offerings, which I book out at least 3 months in advance.
- Join me for my application-only group program that walks through these steps together with an intimate group of women entrepreneurs. It’s called The Foolproof Website Formula.