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Design Your First Branded Enterprise Web site

Should you’re of a sure age—let’s say 35 or older — you most likely keep in mind the awe and immersion you felt the primary time you spun up Netscape Navigator and visited your favourite model’s enterprise “web site.”

Now fast-forward to this age of AI, Uber, Roblox, Meta, Snapchat, and a lot extra… And guess what? An internet site remains to be the easiest way to share your model with the world.

That’s true whether or not you’re a mega model or a humble creator, solopreneur, or small enterprise proprietor. Many years on, a web site nonetheless supplies unparalleled artistic flexibility and management over your model. It’s a spot the place guests can be taught extra about you in your phrases. An amazing web site helps you inform your story, construct belief, and even create group and followers for all times.

Right this moment we’re sharing a primer on branding and web site design for on-line creators and entrepreneurs. We’ll stroll you thru the best way to design a web site in your model, whether or not you’re a creator, solopreneur, or small enterprise proprietor with a staff of staff.

This text gained’t perform as a step-by-step information to launching a web site or go into an excessive amount of depth on the subject of branding itself. (For that, The SPI Newbie’s Information to Branding can assist you outline your model’s mission, imaginative and prescient, and extra, and resolve if it must be a private model or an organization model.)

Quite, this can be a discipline information to designing a web site that places your model entrance and heart and connects along with your audience.

Hand drawn website wireframes.
Picture by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Why You Want a Branded Web site

So why a branded enterprise web site? Alongside along with your e-mail record, a web site is a must have once you’re beginning out constructing your model. Like an e-mail record, you’ve got extra artistic and administrative management over a web site than you do your presence on different platforms like Fb, Instagram, or Etsy. And except uncommon service interruptions or safety breaches, your web site is way much less more likely to disappear the best way a social media account might be banned or suspended.

Your branded web site is like your own home base, a focal place for shaping your model picture and narrative. At SPI, we not too long ago revamped our web site to concentrate on our core focus of group constructing and make it cleaner and simpler to navigate.

Right here’s what a well-crafted small enterprise web site can assist you do:

  • Management your model: An internet site provides you full management over the way you present your model to the world, with out the artistic restrictions of third-party platforms. It additionally diversifies your on-line presence, decreasing dependence on any single platform.
  • Construct belief: A well-designed web site lends an air of professionalism and legitimacy to your model, instilling belief.
  • Personal your content material: You personal and management the content material in your web site, decreasing the danger that algorithm modifications or platform shutdowns will harm your content material’s attain and visibility.
  • Earn money: You should use your web site to advertise and promote services or run adverts.
  • Construct group: Web sites provide a devoted area for constructing a group and a following. You possibly can seize e-newsletter and email-list sign-ups, and even hyperlink to your personal membership group.
  • Showcase your work: Use your web site to share case research, testimonials, and portfolios of your work along with your viewers.
  • Perceive your viewers: Web site analytics present invaluable information on consumer habits, serving to you higher perceive your viewers and optimize your content material to achieve them.

Your Web site Ought to Specific Your Model Persona

When lots of people hear the phrase model, they suppose emblem. And true, a emblem is a key a part of your creator or on-line entrepreneur model — however your model can be much more than only a snazzy graphic. Since your web site is your own home base, it’s the perfect place to convey the essence of your model via the next key components:

Patagonia's purpose statement on its website: "to save our home planet."
Patagonia’s function assertion is easy however highly effective: to save lots of our dwelling planet.
  • Colour scheme: Make the most of a most of 4 brand-reflective colours. Align colours with professionalism; keep away from mismatch. Discover shade psychology—the examine of how colours have an effect on perceptions and behaviors—for steering.
Screenshot of Ali Abdaal's home page.
Ali Abdaal’s web site makes use of a relaxing combo of gray, black, blue, and white.
  • Tone of voice: Past aesthetics, your branded enterprise web site wants a definite voice — a tone that informs all of your written content material. Adapt your tone to your character, area of interest, and viewers, preserving it approachable and jargon-free.
Screenshot of the Smart Passive Income home page: "Become the entrepreneur you want to be."
At SPI, we goal for a mixture of pleasant, even a bit informal, however punchy.
  • Tagline or motto: A concise, memorable tagline helps convey your model identification and worth in bite-size kind. It’s a bit element that may matter lots!
Dollar Shave Club's homepage: "Shave time. Shave money."
Greenback Shave Membership’s tagline is #dadjoke perfection, conveying the model’s irreverent nature.
  • Signature font: Select one or two readable fonts that replicate your character, for consistency throughout every part you write and to bridge your model’s visible identification with its written one.
Example of SPI's signature font: Figtree.
SPI’s signature font, Figtree, matches our model voice by being approachable.
  • Unforgettable emblem: Final however not least, an eye catching emblem supplies instantaneous model recognition. Contemplate enlisting a graphic designer for this one.
Jay Clouse's Creator Science logo.
The brand for Jay Clouse’s Creator Science model captures each components (get it?) of the model identify completely.

Optimizing the Visible Expertise of Your On-line Enterprise Web site

For probably the most half, guests will expertise your web site visually, so there are just a few extra necessary issues in terms of your web site’s visible property. Ensure that the pictures, background designs, and different visuals you utilize in your web site are:

  • Related to your model and content material: This will likely appear apparent, however your web site visuals ought to make sense within the context of your model and the encircling content material. Every visible asset ought to complement and improve the content material it accompanies and align along with your model’s identification, reflecting its values, character, and messaging. 
  • Strategically positioned: Place visuals purposefully to information the consumer’s journey and emphasize key messages. Contemplate the circulation of the web site and the way visuals can improve storytelling.
Gif of Paul Furey's animated website text: "We want to be honest, and yet ... we all find good reasons not to be."
Advisor Paul Furey’s web site makes use of textual content and pictures to inform a narrative in a charming method.
  • Constant in type: Sustaining a constant visible type throughout all photographs creates a cohesive and harmonious look and helps with model recognition. Use these model colours!
Example of SPI's branded color palette and icons.
Icons representing completely different components of our on-line group share the identical feel and look, together with shade palette.
  • Prime quality: Use high-resolution, skilled photographs; grainy or pixelated ones can detract out of your model’s credibility.
  • Accessible: Not your entire guests will probably be experiencing your branded enterprise web site visually, so be sure that any visible property are accessible by including descriptive alt textual content to your entire photographs.
  • Optimized and responsive: Visible property ought to adapt nicely to varied display sizes, significantly on cellular gadgets. They need to even be compressed to enhance loading instances (and search engine rankings).
Web design firm Nettl's ad campaign showing the humorous risk of not making your images mobile responsive. The full web page reads: "Badminton Scuba Breathing Apparatus" but the superimposed iPhone version reads "Bad breath."
Internet design agency Nettl’s advert marketing campaign confirmed the humorous threat of not making your photographs cellular responsive.
  • Authorized: All photographs must be both unique, correctly licensed, or fall beneath honest use. Respect copyright legal guidelines, and get permission if you want to!
  • Timeless: As a lot as attainable, select visuals that may evolve along with your model quite than traits that may develop into outdated.
  • Human: Human faces and expressions can create a stronger emotional reference to the viewers, so incorporate photographs that characteristic folks.
Screenshot from the SPI community: "Ready to find [crossed out] join your people and level up?" Smiling faces decorate the page.
The SPI group is made up of individuals, in any case!

By ensuring the visible and written expertise of your web site is constant, skilled, and aligned along with your model identification and voice, you’ll foster a way of familiarity and belief along with your viewers.

A Nice Creator Web site Wants a Nice Consumer Expertise: Format and Navigation

Your web site isn’t only a static show; it’s an interactive expertise in your viewers. When you’ve established the important thing model components your web site wants, out of your model’s function to its voice, tone, and visible identification, it’s time to start out designing the precise web site structure.

As you’re selecting a structure, take into consideration what’s going to greatest convey your model identification and message whereas making issues as seamless and intuitive as attainable in your guests to navigate and discover what they’re searching for. Listed here are some common structure choices to contemplate:

  • Single-Column: Clear and simple, with a single column for simple navigation.
Screenshot from Seth Godin's blog, showing the advantage of a single-column layout.
Seth Godin’s well-known weblog takes benefit of the simplicity of a single-column structure.
  • Grid: Organizes content material right into a visually interesting grid construction, appropriate for showcasing a number of objects effectively, like portfolios or product shows.
  • Journal or Weblog Format: Mimics {a magazine} or weblog with a number of columns — well-suited for content-heavy web sites.
Screenshot from The Verge's home page, showing the example of a magazine-style website layout.
The Verge’s web site is a daring instance of journal structure.
  • Hero Picture or Video: Contains a placing picture or video on the high, capturing speedy consideration and sometimes used for product showcases or setting the model tone.
  • Cut up Display: Divides the webpage into two distinct sections, offering a contemporary and visually interesting design with room for artistic components.
  • Parallax Scrolling: Creates a dynamic scrolling expertise with background components transferring at completely different speeds, including depth and interactivity.
  • Card: Presents content material in modular and versatile playing cards, selling visible hierarchy and straightforward group, appropriate for numerous forms of info.
Screenshot of SPI's card-style testimonials on our Community page.
We use playing cards to share member testimonials on our Neighborhood web page, made utilizing Testimonial.to.
  • Full-Display Background: Incorporates a full-screen picture or video background for a visually immersive expertise.

A fast notice on navigation: No matter structure you select, your customers’ ease in navigating your web site will decide how lengthy they stick round and whether or not they’ll discover what they want—or in the event that they’ll get annoyed and quit. It’s also possible to assist folks navigate your branded web site via cautious placement and group of menus and footers.

The Strategic Content material Your Web site Wants

You’ve discovered your model’s visible identification and voice and chosen a structure for the positioning. Now you want to fill it with helpful content material that tells your guests who you’re, what you do, and how one can assist them!

These are a number of the key pages to contemplate in your branded enterprise web site—some are must-haves, whereas others will rely on your small business and choices:

  • Residence Web page: The house web page ought to provide a snapshot of your model, attractive guests to discover additional, speaking your distinctive worth proposition, and guiding customers to key sections of your web site.
  • Weblog: Past selling your services or products, blogs are nonetheless a well-liked solution to share invaluable content material that positions you as an authority in your area of interest.
  • Podcast Web page: You probably have a podcast, you must undoubtedly have a devoted web page for it in your web site. Though your podcast can technically exist with no web site, a podcast web page can promote your present and assist listeners be taught extra about your model and choices.
  • Credibility Part: Testimonials, case research, and press protection showcase the constructive experiences of others, establishing your model’s credibility and reliability and constructing belief. This content material can reside by itself web page or be positioned strategically at completely different locations in your web site.
  • Product/Service Pages: Every services or products web page ought to present detailed info, advantages, and a compelling name to motion (CTA). 
  • Model Story/About Web page: Your viewers connects with the folks and the story behind your on-line enterprise. Use this web page to speak your mission, values, and the journey that led to the creation of your model.
  • Store Web page: If you wish to use your web site to promote issues, you’ll want a store web page with straightforward navigation, clear product categorization, and a streamlined checkout course of.

Examples of On-line Creator and Entrepreneur Branded Web sites

For a bit inspiration, right here’s a number of nice branded enterprise web sites created by on-line creators and entrepreneurs identical to you! These of us all occur to be members of our SPI Professional group, which you’ll be taught extra about at SmartPassiveIncome.com/group.

Gnome Angel

Ange Wilson’s quilting-based creator enterprise web site has a robust, vibrant visible identification primarily based round a palette of pinks and blues and a playful header font. The Gnome Angel worth proposition greets you as quickly as you open the house web page, and as you scroll you find out about Gnome Angel’s sources and merchandise through a “patchwork” design type that evokes a quilt. The “sticky” navigation menu persists as you descend the house web page, offering quick access to the remainder of the positioning.

Gnome Angel's quilting-based creator website home page: Gnome smiles with an image of a colorful quilt and playful fonts.
Gnome Angel’s quilting web site makes use of a colourful palette and playful fonts.


The Piscari web site is an organization model web site with a easy, clear, practical dwelling web page that serves as an About web page for the corporate and its founder, Mike Lander, with a hyperlink to hitch the Piscari e-mail record on the backside. A high nav menu that shows on each web page makes it straightforward to be taught extra in regards to the firm, its providers, and different sources. The “Contact Us” button, framed in daring inexperienced, highlights the principle name to motion guests are inspired to take.

Mike Lander's Piscari homepage, with a clean design and simple graphics.
Mike Lander’s Pisacari web site makes use of a clear, but colourful homepage design.

Jette Stubbs

Profession and enterprise coach Jette Stubbs’ web site introduces her choices proper off the bat, adopted by a pleasant photograph of Jette that humanizes the model. The easy single-column structure reduces distraction and guides you down the web page as you encounter a contented shopper’s testimonial and be taught extra about Jette’s providers. Graphic components and pictures are interspersed all through, together with delicate font shade modifications to spark consideration. The parallax scroll impact with Jette’s face within the background provides extra human dimension and a little bit of novelty. A easy high navigation menu is duplicated on the backside, with hyperlinks to an About web page, Jette’s podcast, and testimonials.

Jette Stubbs' homepage, featuring a photo of Jette smiling and introducing her offerings.
Jette Stubbs’ web site is constructed round humanizing her model and introducing choices rapidly.

Nonetheless on the Fence about Constructing a Web site for Your Small Enterprise? 

We’ll finish with just a few reminders — and by debunking just a few widespread misconceptions about making a branded enterprise web site:

  • Sure, you do want a web site. Web sites aren’t only for large firms, and social media isn’t sufficient.
  • Your web site doesn’t should be complicated or aesthetically gorgeous. Easy, user-friendly designs typically carry out higher, so concentrate on readability and performance above all.
  • An internet site wants consideration. Your web site isn’t simply going to draw site visitors by itself. It’s good to put it on the market and commonly populate it with contemporary, Search engine optimization-rich content material.
  • You don’t should go it alone. There are many nice designers on the market who can assist you craft a emblem and construct a professional-looking branded web site. (We labored with the great folks at Rockbase for our redesign.)

Should you’re feeling daunted, don’t! We’ve bought all of the help you want to begin constructing your model and designing a killer web site to indicate it off to the world. Take a look at our web site’s Free Assets tab, the place you’ll discover content material for entrepreneurs at any degree. Should you’re able to take the following large step in your on-line work trip, head to SmartPassiveIncome.com/group to find out about our communities for on-line entrepreneurs. You possibly can be taught from others such as you who’ve constructed their very own branded web sites, achieve entry to our full library of programs, take part in reside occasions, and extra.

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