Gathering content from clients for a brand new website, particularly written content….ack!
Not an easy task, eh.
First, many clients don’t know the web design process and they certainly don’t know YOUR web design process.
When you ask your clients to have all their content ready by a certain date so you can start designing, they probably won’t get what that really means unless you spell it out.
Designing a website has a gazillion moving parts and it starts with written content.
Actually, it starts with thinking about the written content in terms of the clients’ business goals and values and who their target audience is.
That’s where a discovery questionnaire is essential.
But it’s not enough.
Show your client what good writing on a website looks like
Another essential piece early in the process is showing your client what a good ‘hardworking’ website can do, not based on Design - that comes later - but on:
- how the content is written
- how MUCH content is written
- how that writing helps with the overall flow.
Simplify Content Gathering with a Walk Through Explainer Video
A quick screenshare vid will explain why a website works well based on its writing.
Save yourself time by preparing several videos in advance categorized by different industries or client types like service-based entrepreneurs, artists, scholars and individuals with portfolios, small businesses or non-profit organizations.
Once you’ve recorded the vids, all you have to do is share one of them with new clients, early in the design process.
What kind of websites should you showcase?
Show your clients a website that you have already designed, a Squarespace template demo, or any website - dare I say it, WordPress - that uses the latest best practices for written content.
Sometimes it helps clients to navigate around the website of a big name brand - but if your client’s budget isn’t high, emphasize that you are examining the copy and why it works, not all the bells and whistles.
3 written content pieces you should showcase in an explainer video.
1. Headlines & tagline - Is it clear, easy to understand, to the point.
2. Benefit vs Features Writing - Explain how powerful it is to show potential clients/customers how your services or products will improve their lives vs what the products and services can do.
3. Calls to Action Text - Explain how each call to action encourages site visitors to keep moving through a website.
Imagine your potential client is a lawyer with a small law practice. What website would you show this client?
What do you think of the Harris demo template from Squarespace?
- It has a clear headline on the home page explaining who they are.
- It doesn’t necessarily share the benefits on the homepage but it clearly explains that they have nearly 15 years experiencing advocating for creative communities which might be enough.
- It has button and text calls to action throughout the site that keep site visitors clicking around.
If I were to walk a client through what makes a website ‘work,’ this is what my video would look like.
(By the way, I use Useloom for explainer videos. Super easy and super fast. <--That’s a referral link if you decide to sign up from here.)
If you have any questions (or want to work with me as a Squarespace Designer Partner), get in touch!