My website is new (again)! If you’ve paid attention to how many times I’ve updated my website (four…but who’s counting?) – you may wonder, why? And is it really necessary? I could hum along with my business, happy with the status quo. But as the public face of that business, it’s wise to ensure a website exemplifies the brand. And my brand has evolved.
Early in my Public Relations career, I thought I knew everything. I was running the media operation of a mid-sized agency in Toronto at 25. I would meet with and train C-suite level executives at large companies, and they listened to my counsel. Imposter syndrome? No! Back then, I felt invincible.
Now, more than two decades later, and I’m all the wiser, especially from the past 6.5 years running my own consultancy; learning more about business, and myself along the way. My first RAliance Communications website was two colors and four pages of basic information. I just wanted to have something online where potential clients could see my bio and company model. I quickly became enmeshed with long-term client projects, and the website sat unchanged for a few years.
As my client list grew, so did my desire to get more specific in what my consultancy could offer, so I enlisted the help of a creative friend to enhance my site. Despite the updates, it was still static, with random content, and unmarketable. Web 1.0. As luck would have it, three early-stage companies asked me to re-do their websites in a short period of time. I partnered with a designer and liked the work so much I had her re-do my website completely, this time in a different platform.
At that time, I did a lot of exploration around “my” brand. I took a course for women entrepreneurs, met with other small business owners, and did a lot of soul searching. I ultimately decided to equate my brand with one of my key hobbies – athletics. After all, ‘going the extra mile’ and endurance sport analogies work with my business. It looked good, but I soon realized that this was how I saw my business, but not what my customers were seeking.
So, alas, I’m relaunching my website once again, now in yet another platform that is harder to manipulate, but has optimal digital marketing potential. It’s still static, but it’s more relatable, searchable, and findable. The personal aspect isn’t lost – it’s just now on more appropriate pages within the site.
The evolution of my website reflects my shifting goals as a business owner. When I started my consultancy I focused on building business through my networks and referrals. As time went on, I realized I couldn’t clearly define my brand (carpenter-shoe issue, since this is one of my favorite exercises to do with clients). This realization took me on a journey to clarify my business and life goals, which ultimately led to a necessary re-do of my website. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that nothing is static and any journey is meant to be just that. Keep an eye out for updates and new features, coming soon!