Unlock the Magic of Your Website with Jen Olmstead - D'ARCY BENINCOSA

Unlock the Magic of Your Website with Jen Olmstead

by D'Arcy Benincosa

When was the last time you updated your website? If the answer doesn’t fall within the last month, then hightail it to that play button. In this episode, Jen Olmstead of Tonic Site Shop joins me to over-serve on knowledge bombs about websites so that we can ensure you’re putting your best foot forward in the online space and not scaring away your bookings. If you have it in your mind that a truly great website costs $10-$50k then I have good news for you! Find out the true recipe for a kickass website that will stop your dream clients in their tracks and cost less than you think.

About Jen Olmstead:

Jen is a Virginia-based graphic designer, visual storyteller, and type nerd.
A lifelong fan of a good story—and shaping the words and letters that tell it— she specializes in creating uniquely-tailored brand experiences for creative entrepreneurs, and in building online spaces that people love to explore.

In 2013, Jen and fellow designer and friend Jeffrey Shipley founded Tonic Site Shop and launched their first collection of cocktail-inspired, “completely customizable websites for the modern, stylish creative.” Jen is a genius when it comes to websites, so I’ve asked her to join me to discuss the in’s and out’s so you can have a kickass website.

Website templates can get a bad rap sometimes because they’re often regarded as a temporary brand “band-aid.” The truth is, you don’t have to spend $10-$50k on a custom website build to convey your unique story and what you have to offer. Jen brought some great insight to the table as far as the underrated benefits of a website template. Read on (or better yet, hit play) to snatch up some of her major knowledge bombs.

BE A BRANDING BADASS

The foundation for a kickass website is a kickass brand. When I asked Jen what some of her best tips for a strategic brand were, she really over-delivered! The one thing that resonated most was that it’s really your story that sets you apart. “What is it about your story that has equipped you to help someone else?”

Ask yourself these two questions:

  • What does your ideal customer need?
  • How are you super uniquely equipped to meet that need?

The way you answer those two questions should guide your brand stories that will truly connect with your ideal clients and customers. And don’t forget – “You’re not the hero of the story, you’re the helper.” Don’t make your brand (or website) about you. Make it about them and how you can help them.

WORRIED ABOUT COPYCATS?

I’ll be the first to admit that when I first discovered website templates, I was concerned that it would be too easy for people to copy me. The truth is, if you’re really clear on your brand (read above), then it’s hard to be replicated. It’s extremely difficult to successfully imitate a well thought out and strategic brand. Not to mention – all Tonic templates are made to be easily customized on ShowIt, so you can put your special spin on it that will make your website look far from a template. Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief and push those fears aside to focus on being the best and most unique version of ourselves.

YOUR WEBSITE SHOULD BE EVER-EVOLVING.

When it comes to websites, the best strategy is to make it your ever-evolving home of your business. This means you need to be able to easily and quickly make any necessary changes. ShowIt takes the complicated coding off your plate and truly makes adjustments as simple and easy as you could imagine. Say goodbye to website developer waitlists and say hello to instant updates! 

Jen and I both recommend updating your website with every new project that you do. Can you imagine if you booked a dream client because they saw the epic wedding you just shot on your website? Versus having old galleries that don’t speak to the quality of work you can actually create? Wowzah! That could be dollar bills down the drain, just because you waited to update your website until your off-season. It takes only a few minutes to update images, so just set aside some time every week or month to get it done!

HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO ACTUALLY READ YOUR WEBSITE

“People read words when they’re laid out beautifully.”

Jen is the QUEEN of fonts and being strategic about copy design so that you don’t waste all your time writing words that will never be read. Check out her mind-blowing tips below.

  • When your copy is laid out in a beautiful fonts that not only convey your brand style, but catch their eye, they’re more likely to read it.
  • Choose 3-5 fonts that pair beautifully together and tell your brand story.
  • Having a hierarchy of sizes based on the importance of information is key.
  • Giving space for a break with images or white space is a great way to fight copy fatigue.
  • Do the scan test! If someone scrolled down your website and just looked at the big things, they should be able to decipher what story it is that you’re telling

THE HOMEPAGE BROCHURE

Attention levels are as low as ever before in this digital era (did you know you have .08 seconds to capture someone’s attention?). It’s time to get serious and give your homepage extra love and attention. You need to imagine if someone never goes past your home page… What would they know about you? It’s important to make your homepage the digital brochure for your business. Here’s how…

Make sure you cover these three essentials on your home page:

  1. Show your face
  2. Brand statement
    • What you do
    • Who you do it for
    • Where you do it
    • Why you do it well
  3. Show a lot of your work (your most impressive work to be exact –– check out The Profitable Portfolio if you need some guidance on how to curate for your audience)

GET EXPERT AND UNRESTRICTED FEEDBACK

Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. Have website and branding experts comb through your website at least once a year to tell you what’s not working. You never know the difference it could make just by making a better experience for all of your visitors! The truth is that consumers value a great experience, and more often than not they’re going to put their dollars with the one who has a better website. Let’s win out in that contest and be the best version of ourselves, shall we?

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A WEBSITE TEMPLATE?

When choosing a website design it’s important to take into consideration the way that you want to make people feel. Your website should feel like a home. Take a look at the spaces around you and the spaces you love to be in and then translate that into your website design. 

Tonic Site Shop not only serves up a wide variety of template designs, but they were so kind to extend 20% off to YOU, my lovely listener. Use code PLAYITBRAVE at checkout and unlock the magic of your website!

Check It Out!

free training

Get my Top 10 Tips to Grow Your Destination Wedding Business

Play

It Brave

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tune in now

free training

Learn how to Shoot
& Meter Film for
Window Light

A few of my favorite business tools:

CREATIVE LAW SHOP

Contracts, Privacy Policies, and more. Use code DARCYB10 for 10% off!

the archetype process

Struggle to match your digital to your film? You've met your match. Use code DARCY for 15% off!

pic-time

Say au revoir to lazy galleries! Use code DARCY15 to get 15% off annual plans.

tonic site shop

Crappy website? Say no more. Get 20% off a template with code PLAYITBRAVE. You're welcome.

free training

Get my Top 10 Tips to Grow Your Destination Wedding Business

binge-listen

Play

It Brave

podcast

free training

Learn how to Shoot
& Meter Film for
Window Light

A few of my favorite business tools:

CREATIVE LAW SHOP

Contracts, Privacy Policies, and more. Use code DARCYB10 for 10% off!

refined presets

Struggle to match your digital to your film? You've met your match.

pic-time

Say au revoir to outdated galleries! Use code HYEPZM to get 15% off annual plans.

tonic site shop

Sucky website? Say no more. You're welcome.

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