Years ago, Michael Hyatt spoke at She Speaks, and I heard him say something that brought me great comfort. He explained that it’s very normal for people to re-brand about every five years. If you do a top-to-bottom re-brand more often than that, people are confused. However, it’s perfectly ok– and even good– to consider a fresh start every five years or so. Here’s why that model, laid out by an expert, has helped me:
Like many of you, I’ve felt like I’ve floundered trying to find my sweet spot and ministry niche. But through the lens of growth, every step has had purpose and meaning.
Right now, I’m feeling behind the curve as I prepare to move in a new direction, updating my vision, my biosheet, and now my website. Yes… an updated website for amycarroll.org is on my to-do list too. Here are some ways I know it’s (past) time for a refresh that you might check on your own website:
- Its mobile capacity is limited. Because most internet use is now on our phones, it’s really important the our websites present well on mobile devices.
- I’m getting spam out the wazoo… and it’s terrible stuff. My web-developer helped me put a patch on this problem last week with a new form that isn’t letting pornographic spam through (YUCK), but I know it’s an indicator of a need for a bigger overall update.
- My hemline is the wrong length. I use that as a metaphor to talk about visual trends in the web world that are much like changing fashions on NY runways every year. For example, my current website is rife with sidebar material that’s now out of fashion. I need to minimize and streamline.
If you’re in the same boat as me, needing a website update, or if you’ve never had one before, here are a few steps to get started.
Organize Your Own Website Tour
Make a list of speakers, writers, and industry experts, and go visit their websites. I always say that I study people who have people. Some of the websites that I’m studying are Lysa TerKeurst’s, Michele Cushatt’s, and Chrystal Evans Hurst’s. Even though I be able to do all that they’ve done, I can still see the trends there and get ideas for my own cyber home.
Create a Pinterest Board
Through Google results or Pinterest searches, make a Pinterest board of color palettes that you like, styles you prefer, font options, and personal photo ideas. I love the visual part of a website update, but all the options can be confusing. Doing this piece of homework will give you clarity before you hire a graphic artist or create your own design.
Research What You Can Do on Your Own
Today, there are many options for developing your own website with basic computer skills. One of my former clients designed a simple but beautiful and effective website on Wix.com, and there are other similar sites that are available. You can do a lot on a shoe-string budget if you’re willing to invest some time.
Find People You Want to Pay
Although I’ve come a long way in my technical abilities, there are still many things that I would rather pay others to do. I choose to spend my time on my areas of strength and pay others to do work for me in their area of strength. When it was time to do a website for Exhale, my new book co-authored with Cheri Gregory, Cheri jumped in to do a lot of the set up, and then we paid a graphic artist and web developer to do visual and usage improvements. Click here to take a peek. I think it turned out beautifully, and I plan to do that kind of hybrid process with my new site.
I look forward to updating my speaking site in the fall! How about you? Is your website still serving your audience well, or is it time for an update?
Did you know that Amy works on website content and planning with coaching clients. Here’s what one of her recent clients had to say about the process:
“Working with Amy helped me put words to the calling that God had laid on my heart. Her honest encouragement and sense of humor transformed a daunting process into an enjoyable one. Her guidance and wisdom was just what I needed to set and accomplish goals for my website content. I highly recommend working with Amy and Next Step Coaching! 5 stars!” ~Amy Loflin
**For inspiration, click here and take a look at Amy’s excellent new website.