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#TopTips: Setting up a Website for Your Creative Business

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On Tuesday 2nd April we hosted a workshop on ‘Setting up a Website for your Creative Business’ kindly facilitated by Lizi Daley head of web at Kaizen Brand Evolution.

It was a fantastic workshop with loads of really useful information, here are our top takeaways:

General tips

  • Your website is as or more important than social media – for having a professional image, a reliable service that won’t suffer uncontrolled network problems and for sharing basic info – opening hours etc
  • The look and feel of your website is as important as its function. Your website is an extension of your brand and it’s important to give the best first impression you can
  • It takes on average 5 seconds for people to make a decision on a brand from a website (test yours out with friends and ask them what the first they saw was)
  • Have a keyword focused headline on the Homepage
  • Keep it simple & consistent – don’t make your users think keep it easy to navigate with important info clear on the landing page
  • Keep your website up-to-date for consistency and for ranking high in Google
  • Your narrative should change and reflect consumer behaviours and evolve with the web.

 

Web content

  • Do your research and think about your content in advance
  • Map out your journey – ask yourself who your target customer is (location, age, gender, income & hobbies) and what they would want to see
  • For site planning use post it notes or online platforms such as Gloo Maps for planning your site and content
  • Establish your goals – what is the role of the website – to inform? To sell a product or service? To generate leads?
  • This will define how you communicate with the audience through your website
  • What are the functions you require? Both now and in the future e.g. online shop, contact details, blog
  • Use a maximum of 600 – 700 words per page
  • Make sure headers make sense to your customers
  • Write in plain English
  • Think about how your write your content and the language you use to appeal to your target customers and fit with your brand
  • Get your content double checked by someone else

Colours

  • Think about your brand colours and consistency of colours and what colours will appeal to your audience
  • Try and maintain this consistency across social media
  • Use colours for call to actions

Images

  • Images are more important than words – users read 20% of text
  • Homepage images are most important
  • People like to see the people behind a business so add pics to the meet the team page
  • Try and use professional or good quality pics
  • Make sure images are not too big as they can slow the page down and use up hosting space – use software such as tinypng to resize the images but keep the quality
  • Free stock photos can be sourced from unsplash and similar platforms but be careful about just using stock photos as they can be off-putting
  • Plan your images in advance so there is no hold-up in the site going live

Blogs

  • Blogs are excellent for seo, google prefers recently updated websites
  • Blogs are also useful for getting people on your website from social media
  • Blogs should be no more than 600 words and done preferably a minimum of once a month

 

Technical tips

Different Web Platforms

  • WordPress – is good for blogging, and for plugins, Woocommerce can be used for selling online online without the need to move to a different platform. Beware though hosting with WordPress can be expensive so its often better to host your site with an independent hosting provider
  • Squarespace – is simple and straightforward to use and a good entry level platform with hosting and support all in one place
  • Shopify – is ideal for selling online, there are only a small amount of free templates, but it is an easy platform for web developers to work with

Domains

  • For professional email address
  • Try and buy .com or .co.uk addresses if possible for a professional image and so competitors ca’t redirect to their site
  • If you are using 2 words together in a domain name ensure the 2 words together don’t make 1 word (either something dodgy sounding or just confusing for your customers)

Hosting

Think about using local company for customer service and trouble shooting

Google Analytics

Regularly use google analytics to see which pages are popular, where traffic comes from and the best times for social media/offers etc

Google Search Console

Use to get your site recognised with Google, establish problems on your pages and get it ranked well on Google

#blickstudios on
Instagram post 2137097068936694690_295518986 Interested in starting a creative business or side project? Join us for our weekend Creative Retreat on 5th and 6th October which aims to empower and inspire creatives to make their creative business idea a reality!
Instagram post 2136307233603442912_295518986 What a morning! ☀️ A little detour was called for on the way to our Cathedral Quarter studios
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#walktowork #belfast #lovebelfast #cathedralquarter #CQBelfast #ireland #northernireland #explore #travel #graffiti #wallart #art #artist #artwork #painting #design #creative #city #nidesign #cityscape #belfastcreatives #citylife #urban #autumn
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#cathedralquarter #belfast #northernireland #belfastcreatives #sharedworkspace #sharedstudio #workspace #coworking #creative #creativeindustries #design #nidesign #explorebelfast
Instagram post 2134439374883376928_295518986 -- NEW FREE WORKSHOP-- Pitching with @timtendo. Learn how to communicate your business idea and get people excited about your creative business. Wednesday 23rd October 6.30pm - 8.00pm. Limited places
https://www.blickstudios.org/events/blick-academy-pitching-workshop/
Instagram post 2131336993530373739_295518986 Definitely a day for staying put in the studio!
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#cathedralquarter #belfast #northernireland #belfastcreatives #sharedworkspace #sharedstudio #workspace #coworking #creative #creativeindustries #design #designer #art #artwork #artist #wallart #nidesign #explorebelfast
Instagram post 2130566333094774766_295518986 We recently caught up with Ronan Lunney interviewing him on his time in Blick after being here 5 years!
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He speaks about what he has learnt in business, how the Blick space has been beneficial for his business and top tips for people just starting out! To read the full article visit https://www.blickstudios.org/blog-posts/ronan-lunney-farewell-blog/
-We are also excited that he is facilitating a 4 Week Squarespace course starting tonight! He will be covering the foundation of what you need to create a website on Squarespace! To book your space today, visit https://getinvited.to/blick-shared-studios/blick-academy-squarespace-course/
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.#coworking #workspace #creative #belfast #deskspace #sharedworkspace #creativeindustries #creativeentrepreneur #startup #creativespace
#blickstudios
Instagram post 2130496273772954643_295518986 When you can create in a beautiful environment, inspiration hits and everything clicks.
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Our Malone Road studios always shines light, even on those hard full days.
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Always find your light! Today is one of those beautiful days!
Instagram post 2129828232236000981_295518986 Lovely day for meetings in the Cathedral Quarter
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#art #design #belfast #belfastcity #instabelfast #lovebelfast #northernireland #ireland #discoverni #explorebelfast #visitbelfast #belfastart #city #cathedralquarter #insta_ni_ #architecture #CQBelfast #themac
Instagram post 2128335477504534457_295518986 Last chance to book! 4-week Squarespace course starting this Wednesday evening. Give yourself time to design and build that website you have been putting off for ages or learn how to tweak and improve an existing website.https://www.blickstudios.org/events/blick-academy-squarespace-course/
Instagram post 2128315641801998939_295518986 - - The Time is Now: Life After University - -
We are excited for our next The Time is Now panel discussion. The title is : Life After University and it is centered around sharing stories of what the realities look like after one leaves university.We have a panel of 5 speakers who have volunteered to share their stories! Stay posted for more information!Date: Tues 8th October
Time: 6.30-8.00pm
Venue: Black Box Belfasthttps://www.blickstudios.org/events/the-time-is-now-life-after-university/
Instagram post 2126218997950417600_295518986 Lunch break in the Cathedral Quarter 💙
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#lunchbreak #belfast #lovebelfast #cathedralquarter #CQBelfast #northernireland #ireland #explore #travel #culture #wallart #art #artist #artwork #painting #design #creative #city #nidesign #cityscape #citylife #urban #autumn
Instagram post 2125522643041179362_295518986 On the 11th September, we have our 4 week Square space Course led by Two Digs who will be breaking down the essentials on how to set up a website. The beauty of Squarespace is that there are customizable templates, personal domain names available, affordable prices and impeccable customer service to help you meet your needs.
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WHO IS THIS FOR?
This course is for everyone that want to learn more about Squarespace. Whether you are wanting to improve a current website, or starting from scratch, this course will give you the basic tools to start on your own.
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WHY COME?
There are 4 months left of 2019. This could be your time to try something new or to take that next step to maximize your potential in your business and personal life!
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In this day and age branding is extremely important for every brand and business. Whether you are for or against social media, it is the way forward to have a wider reach and to gain potential customers. Having a website is equally important for your brand/business as it is an extension of your vision.
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If you think this is for you, book this course today! If you visit www.blickstudios.org/workshops-and-events you can book your space. Limited spaces available! If you know anyone that would be interested in this course, share this post with them!
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#squarespace #design #coworking #workspace #creative #belfast #deskspace #sharedworkspace #creativeindustries #virtualservices #creativeentrepreneur #startup #blickstudios
Instagram post 2124832604552645256_295518986 It feels a lot like autumn in the city today!
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#walktowork #belfast #lovebelfast #cathedralquarter #CQBelfast #ireland #northernireland #explore #travel #graffiti #wallart #art #artist #artwork #painting #design #creative #city #nidesign #cityscape #belfastcreatives #citylife #urban #loveireland #autumn
Instagram post 2124773418837756682_295518986 Happy September everyone! How exciting it is that we are heading into a new month with fresh ideas and opportunities for growth.
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At Blick we are passionate about developing long term, meaningful business support for creative and digital start-ups in Northern Ireland.
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We aim to educate and inform creatives on oppourtunities to grow their businesses and to create a wider community of people to come together and support each other.
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On the 11th September, we have our 4 week Square space Course led by Two Digs who will be breaking down the essentials on how to set up a website. The beauty of Squarespace is that there are customizable  templates,  personal domain names available, affordable prices and immpeccable customer service to help you meet your needs.
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WHO IS THIS FOR?
This course is for everyone that want to learn more about Squarespace. Whether you are wanting to improve a current website, or starting from scratch, this course will give you the basic tools to start on your own.
-
WHY COME?
There are 4 months left of 2019. This could be your time to try something new or to take that next step to maximize your potential in your business and personal life!
-
In this day and age branding is extremely important for every brand and business. Whether you are for or against social media, it is the way forward to have a wider reach and to gain potential customers. Having a website is equally important for your brand/business as it is an extension of your vision.
-
If you think this is for you, book this course today! If you visit www.blickstudios.org/workshops-and-events you can book your space. Limited spaces available! If you know anyone that would be interested in this course, share this post with them! -
#business #entrepreneur #squarespacedesigner #design #creatives #belfast #empowerment
Instagram post 2121083814330999486_295518986 We are excited to announce our first ‘The Time is Now’ 4 week course in collaboration with @womenfolk.co @blickstudios & @creatingaspace
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This course will help you to create space in your life to work out what you want to do. To take the time to establish your values, vision and goals. To work out what is holding you back and help you find the confidence to make small tangible steps to achieve your creative dreams and ambitions no matter how big. .
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In Northern Ireland, there is a mentality that seemingly is ingrained in our culture of making ourselves small. Especially for women in the creative industries. There aren’t many spaces made for us to flourish and grow in a way that fits our needs. Enterprise support is generally based around high growth businesses rather than value led businesses that fit our personal goals and ambitions. There are many reasons people want to work for themselves and start their own business. This course will give you space and time to help you to define your personal values and vision and goals for the future and a plan for how to get there.
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.WHO IS THIS FOR? .
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This course is for creative women that want to take their dreams/ideas/concepts/current business/ideas to the next level. It is a creative approach to taking control and accountability for your life and going for what you want to do.
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WHY ARE WE OFFERING THIS COURSE?
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We are providing this course because we feel that it is important to create space in your life to sit down and plan out what you want to do. To take the time to evaluate what is holding you back from manifesting the dreams & ambitions that you have always wanted.
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For more information visit https://www.blickstudios.org/events/the-time-is-now-4-week-course/ and book your space today!
We have limited spaces for the first run of this course!
Instagram post 2121031651575687300_295518986 Thursday already. This week is moving fast!
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#cathedralquarter #belfast #northernireland #architecture #belfastcreatives #nidesign #studio #sharedworkspace #sharedstudio #workspace #coworking #creative #creativeindustries #design
Instagram post 2119633449265678398_295518986 @creatingaspace & @blicksharedstudios have teamed up to create an event that will be an interactive panel discussion.
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The phrase ‘The Time is Now’ came from noticing a change within Belfast within the creative scene. We love that everyone seems inspired to pursue their creative dreams. ‘The Time is Now’ is turning into a platform where we gather together to encourage men and women to challenge themselves, be vulnerable in a space by sharing experiences within their industries and give an insight into the beginning stages of their career.
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It is an ongoing project that focuses on creative people that are at the beginning and middle stages of their career, and creating a community of people that can share their stories and connect to other people that are going through the same thing.  Often we see people in the media that have “made it” but never show the process of how they got there. We aim to create a platform where people can share authentic stories, speak on their process and encourage people that they are not alone.
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In this panel talk, we are focusing on the experience of people that have recently left university or will shortly leave university. Breaking down what that looks like, sharing the trials and tribulations of how hard it can be and showing different cases of how people take on unpredicted routes from their chosen discipline.
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This is open to everyone because we know that everyone can relate to the unpredicted opportunities that may take us away from the plan in our head. We will be asking about the process of how people got to where they are now in the starting & middle part of their journey.
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If you feel that you need encouragement, or just to hear someone else saying that they don’t know what they are doing, or life has taken them down a different planned path, this is the event for you.
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We never come at an event saying that we know the answers, we simply step back and listen to people’s stories and hope that it inspires someone to make a start to go for their dreams.
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Stay tuned for more updates!
Instagram post 2119594036288762521_295518986 Good morning Belfast 💛
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#walktowork #belfast #city #cathedralquarter #CQBelfast #northernireland #ireland #explore #cityscape #citylife #urban #architecture
Instagram post 2116839509932315580_295518986 We are excited to introduce our new 2 day retreat called 'The Creative Start-up retreat'.
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Karishma Kusurkar from Karishma’s world and Christine James from Blick Shared Studios will be running a 2 day creative enterprise retreat on the 5th & 6th of October.
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They are aiming to empower and inspire creatives to make their creative business idea a reality. Having worked with creative businesses over the past decade, we wanted to create a tailor-made retreat for those in the creative sector looking to start something new.
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We know that it can be particularly challenging to build a viable business in the creative sector and our hope is that this retreat makes it a little easier to understand how that could be made possible whilst ensuring your creativity is able to flourish.
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Over the weekend retreat, we will focus on 4 key areas:
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Values & Vision – understanding your values, vision and goals and how these will impact your creative business.
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Your Customer Journey – understanding your customers’ values and needs, ensuring your business meets their needs and learning how to communicate with potential customers before, during and beyond launching a product or service.
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Business idea & Skills – refining your business idea, products & services, understanding your USP, pricing your work, networking and making connections and managing your finances.
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Communicating with your customers – creating a brand with integrity (visuals, words & actions), building an online presence that works (website, social media etc.) and presenting your work in person (sales, pitching & presentations)
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At the end of the retreat participants will leave with a completed values and vision board, creative enterprise toolkit (useful resources & templates) and a creative business action plan.
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The full course will cost £80.
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Visit our website to book your space today!
https://www.blickstudios.org/events/creative-start-up-retreat/
Instagram post 2115998541142080506_295518986 We are excited to announce our next event that is happening on the 10th September titled :
SME’s Survival – Unlocking Your Business Potential With Your Customers Perspective
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SME’s face significant challenges today. Accessing new customers and retaining existing customers is hard work. This is because customers today are spoiled for choice and have more options to choose from than ever before. But also, because habits are constantly changing as technology evolves around us.
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This session is about offering SME’s practical tools that they can use for their business to help them access their customer, understand who they are and their habits. The more you understand about your customer, the more opportunities for you to increase revenue from different customer markets. Markets that you’re missing at the moment because the needs of certain customer groups is unknown to you.
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There are only 10 places* available so booking fairly early on is essential. To book, https://elizabethmeehan.typeform.com/to/DD2lAM
- *2 persons from each SME allowed.
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This session forms part of USER-FACTOR a three-year project funded by the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme, aiming to strengthen innovation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It is offered free but, offering the latest thinking in, it is worth £265
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Location: Blick Shared Studio, 46 Hill St
Date & Time: 10th September, 6-9pm
Booking: see link above and complete short form
Further queries: info@coffeenosugar.co.uk
Cost: freeImage credit: Roman Krafhttps://www.blickstudios.org/events/smes-survival-unlocking-your-business-potential-with-your-customers-perspective/
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#course #business #customerservice
#blickstudios
Instagram post 2115282133206946786_295518986 Lovely quiet Wednesday in our Hill Street studio
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#cathedralquarter #belfast #cosy #northernireland #architecture #photography #photographer #interiordesign #belfastcreatives #sharedworkspace #sharedstudio #workspace #coworking #creative #creativeindustries #design #designer #illustration #illustrator #femalecreatives #art #artist #author #nidesign #CQBelfast #plants #studio #plantstagram #plantsmakepeoplehappy