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Get An Awesome Website Without A Designer

get an awesome website without a designer

I took a walk down this swanky gentrified street in Jerusalem known for it’s cafes and restaurants. Most of the joints on this street have given their storefronts a total facelift while others, well…haven’t.  Like the falafel joint. Now I love a good falafel and in these parts of the world we have some of the best.  But what happens when a tourist comes to town and walks down this swanky street.  Do you think he/she will be attracted to the hole in the wall falafel joint?

I’ve got a point here. Stick with me.

What would you do? Would you go into the dowdy looking falafel joint  or would you be attracted to the joint with the beautiful awning and gorgeous windows with pretty people sitting inside the cafe sipping their cappuccinos?

My guess is you’ll overlook the falafel joint. So what does this have to do with your website? Well if you haven’t put two and two together yet let me enlighten you.

Your business is working online, right? And this business of yours….it’s sole purpose is to attract customers so you can sell them your stuff right?

Ahem. RIGHT?

Right.

So it goes without saying that without a beautiful store front, you’re not going to attract clients. Period.

One of the biggest problems I see in my online community of virtual assistants is that many new VAs and some more experienced VAs don’t realize just how important good website design is and why bad website design is bad for business. I say this because as a virtual assistant coach it’s my job to review my clients sites and I can tell you that 70% of the VAs I work with don’t have the kind of websites that will help them build a profitable business.

Here are some examples of bad website design.  Do not be one of them.

A smart website design can make a huge difference for your business but design alone won’t do the trick. You have to combine great design with great content.

Okay, hang on a minute. You’re thinking “Reese, you’re overwhelming me over here. I need a beautiful website, killer content…I don’t know where to begin!”.

Well, what can I say, I like to get people out of their comfort zones and push you to do things bigger and better.

I want to get you thinking about your online presence because guess what people? You’re doing business online and with the competition out there if you’re website isn’t attracting attention than you’re just another fish in a vast ocean.

Ask yourself this.  Is your website just another same-sy. What’s a same-sy? It’s a word I just made up. Here’s the definition from the Reese Ben-Yaacov International Dictionary:

same·sy
adjective

1. Identical, not different.
2. Copies another’s dress, ideas, or behavior
3. Imitation, like Spam

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of VA websites that look like they were thrown together in a day.  Virtual assistants are saying the same thing and their sites, while “slightly” different are all sort of the same boring set up and same boring content.

It’s shake up time.

Since most of us are bootstrapping our start up process it’s important to know where to find affordable resources to help with websites, copy writing and graphic design.

Below I’ll introduce you to some of the best online resources I’ve found that will help you build a killer storefront for your virtual assistant business . With the help of the below tools you will attract prospects to your virtual doorstep. Once they are at your doorstep your content needs to hold their hand and invite them in.  Good Design/Good Content = WIN.

Don’t believe me?  Maybe you’ll believe Forbes?  They’re preaching the same thing.

Here’s that list.

Website Creation

Strikingly

Super simple and fun website creation that will make it look like you hired a designer.

SquareSpace

Another great website builder that’s gaining a lot of popularity. I see more and more SquareSpace sites popping up and they are beautiful to say the least.

Wix

One of the most recognized website builders.  Quality sites with good support.

Rocket Spark

Amazing company, amazing founders (I met one of the founders recently) and amazing offers.  They are a website builder plus you can add on logo design, copy writing, SEO help, and if you need your own photographer, they’ll even recommend one depending on where you are in the world.  Rocket Spark is great for those in the UK and New Zealand as they are a New Zealand based company with offices in the UK.

Elegant Themes

Choose from thousands of beautiful themes at a very low price. Want to know my personal favs? Let me know in the comments.

Copy Writing Help

A Course About Copy

AWESOME free tutorial vids on how to write one of the most important pages on your site.  The about page.

CopyBlogger

One stop shop for all things copy writing.  Has a free copy writing course and tons of information on how to persuade with writing.

Graphic Design

99Designs

Crowd sourcing design. Create a contest for your project, set a price and a dozen or more artists will submit their work for your review.  Pick the best designer for your project.

Fiverr

Great for getting logos or graphics for your site at a super low price as well as a ton of other offerings (my hubby bought me a happy birthday song sung by a guy in hot pink bikini bottoms – umm, weird)

Canva

design your own stuff, for free!

PicMonkey

another DIY design site

And last but certainly not least……..

Brandgasm

This is an awesome course that is a DIY design and copy writing kit that makes your website look like you hired a pro.  This kit was made for beginners in mind.

A Splendid Start

This option is unique from the options above.

A Splendid Start is an amazing option for those that  just don’t have the time or energy to do it all alone.  This option is half DIY and half designer created.  It’s catered to business owners like us VAs who are just starting out and have a tight budget.  A Splendid Start is part branding class and part web design service and as a result you’ll be getting the best of both worlds.

Did this blog post incite you to make some changes to your website?  Tell me about it below in the comments.  I want to hear from you.

16 Responses to Get An Awesome Website Without A Designer

  1. Amanda says:

    Reese, What is your favorite themes in Elegant Themes? Thanks!

    • Reese says:

      Amanda, I LOVE the Divi and Vertex themes. Let me know what you think.

      • Hi Reese – I thought I heard somewhere that those types of themes are NOT good for SEO purposes. Do I have that wrong? Because I really like both of them and already belong to Elegant Themes. Thanks!

        • Reese says:

          Erika, I’m not SEO expert and from what I do know about SEO WordPress makes optimizing your website super easy which is another reason I love WordPress websites!

  2. Lillian says:

    REESE! You just reminded me that I need to find a falafel recipe for Amelie. haha You’re absolutely right about the website design. It took me FOREVER to feel confident about it but the reality is you’ll always want to improve it here and there. I do feel great about my website because I had you to coach me along the way. I’m working on the freebie, that’s only thing I feel I’m lacking. Thanks for the tips!

    • Reese says:

      Lillian, while I was eating my falafel today I was thinking of you. It totally hit the spot after I forgot to eat breakfast and my stomach was growlin in anger.

  3. Resa says:

    Reese you’re so right! Thanks for this. I usually love WIX platform for building my sites and I’ve even used Weebly in the past as they have some pretty cool and easy features as well. But I must share with you this experience I recently had that hopefully won’t happen to anyone else. I was building my site in WIX and like most websites it really takes a little more than a day if you want to out something together that’s more than average. But once my “day” was finished I forgot to hide certain pages talk at weren’t complete and a potential client I was nurturing visited my site and saw the unfinished pages with all the WIX branding over it. To summarize he was not the least bit impressed and wrote me about it. But luckily I pulled out my charm book and instead of feeling insulted or bad that I just wanted to crawl under a rock and hide, I thanked him making no excuse for such an error and immediately changed it. He 2 as impressed by this and my next day signed on with me. Lucky? Maybe! But it’s a situation you prefer to avoid. So ladies please make sure your unfinished pages are hidden.

    • Reese says:

      Great advice, Resa! I think this could happen to anyone using WordPress as well. Don’t hit publish until you’re page is 100% ready to go.

  4. Resa says:

    Wow so many typos in my comment..another pain spot of trying to type on a mobile device. Hope you get the general gist though :)

  5. Geniece says:

    Hi Reese. I have to say it again. I so enjoy reading your posts and getting your emails. You make things so practical and easy to understand for virtual assistants who want to build a professional top quality business. I’ve been consistently using Canva for my blog graphics because of one of your past posts on “The Tools That I Use To Run My Virtual Assistant Business.” Thanks!!

  6. Cindy says:

    Hi Reese,
    Love the post. My daughter chose squarespace to do her portfolio style website. I do remember the post on copy on your virtual assistant site – epecially your facebook group comments on “about” page. Thanks for all your information.

  7. glynis bubenzer says:

    Thanks sooo much for all the amazing info Reese!!

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