Upleveling a SoloPRENEUR’S Business
Branding & Website Creation
For this brand and website package, I wore many hats. Advisor, Strategist, Project Manager, Designer, Researcher and more. Gabi came to me with the dream of being able to write a book. She needed a professional looking website to send to book publishers to get her story published. I helped her create a consistent brand for her online presence and built an iterative website over 6 months as her needs changed as a business owner.
Tools & Methods
Divi in WordPress
At the start of any project, I interview business owners to try and highlight any unknowns or possible obstacles.
In this case, Gabi has many ideas bouncing around in her head. This is common for new business owners in my experience, and the best way for me to help them is to prioritize.
Even if someone has an unlimited budget, I would still need to figure out which parts of the project were the most important to know where to start. Focus is key to a successful project, so I led Gabi to understand the underlining goal of the project – to get her book published.
From there I asked her comparison questions to understand the importance of each area of the site she wanted. Then I created a site map, highlighting the areas of the site we would build first, but still documenting other parts of the site that were important to her.
I sketched out each page for this phase of her website on a whiteboard and then delivered both the sketches and the site map to her for feedback. She approved and I created a timeline written up in a SOW for the work.
I decided I wanted to hire a junior designer for this project, so I put together a paper gantt chart in my planner to organize the timeline.
Then I put together a detailed task list for both my client and junior designer, taking dependencies into mind.
Once the statement of work was signed, I took Gabi through the process all of my branding clients go through. It starts with a branding form, mood board, and a few other tools I use to help clients get a good idea about what they want their brand to be.
It specifically takes a few weeks to go through this process, so that clients have time to sleep on it.
I’ve found that because moods can change from day to day, branding that’ll last needs to be spread out. I also try to approach it from a few different angles to see themes.
Based off of all of this information, I deliver a few rounds logos, typography, colors, etc. in different context. Clients are very involved in the process from the beginning until the end.
Once the weeks of brainstorming and feedback are complete, I put together a brand style guide so that business owners can be consistent with their new brand.
Once the brand is built, it’s time to take the sketches I originally created and turn them into reality. For this project, I built out the first part of the home page and then handing it off to my Junior Designer, Daniela. I gave her a walk through of how Divi works, showed her the extra tutorial pages, and allowed her extra time in the timeline to fiddle around with a tool that she had never used before.
I left enough time in the timeline, to step in and recreate the entire page just in case something went wrong. Thankfully, she picked it up as quickly as I thought she would. I handed her over the style guide, the sketches and assets I had created such as the logo.
She built out the rest of the home page as I gave her feedback visual design, such as proportions and white space. I also mentored her on how to use Divi and the detailed insights of creating a consistent look and feel.
Once we were done with the home page, Daniela moved on to the about page. I started working on more difficult parts of the project like researching blog migration or setting up the Gabi’s newsletter.
Because I had only ever built new sites for client’s or work with developers, I decided to hire a developer to migrate Gabi’s blog content from her old site to her new one.
We were right on time. Even a bit a head of schedule.
More versions of the site have come out since then.
Check out the most recent version.
I’ve continued to help Gabi expand her site. Each time, I make sure to document what it is that she needs, and put it into a structure that will be best for her end users.
The site has helped Gabi expand into new products, gain new clients, and brought in sales directly from her site.