I finally have a new site, with website design and brand by the wonderful Helen Bee at B Double E, and I am ridiculously happy with it.
I couldn’t not have a call with Helen, after she was recommended by so many people on a voiceover group. Afterwards, I figured it was worth spending more money than I had planned to, as you really do get what you pay for.
Discovering my brand
The first aspect of the website design was to discover my ‘brand’, which up until then was non-existent. Through questionnaires and conversations, Helen established my brand identity, which is: friendly, approachable, creative and adaptable.
“Creative and providing elegant solutions to client’s problems. Everyday functionality, honesty, dependable, not pretentious, a straight shooter, people orientated.”
Colours and typography that reflected the brand could now be explored. Different styles of photography/typography on mood boards were presented to me. Eventually I chose one with simple photography, text in fun/solid styles and the colours you see on the website now.
My tagline ‘bringing life to your words’ also emerged. Helen thought of a way to make the final word of the tagline rotate, appealing to more potential clients. Did you spot it on the homepage?
The next stage of the website design was the logo. This was the hardest part for me to make decisions on and I went back and forth about typography/style. To not be swayed by colour, Helen initially showed me her ideas in black and white. My final design is simple yet artistic, with the art deco font on my name. The handwritten ‘voiceover’ adds a personal touch and the sound waves in the ‘O’ give a subtle nod to voiceover. But hopefully you worked all that out before I told you ?.
I was unsure about having brand photos taken, however now seeing how great they look, it was so worth it.
My LinkedIn connections recommended the wonderful photographer Nevra Topcu. We had a ‘discovery call’, where we talked about my new branding and the nature of my business. After the call, Nevra set up a Pinterest board with ideas, can you see the influences for the final images?
We spent the photoshoot day both out in London and in Nevra’s studio. She got a selection of work, hobby and playful shots, you can see a collection on my About page. We got my brand colours in the photos, and they perfectly bring the site to life.
Helen is not only a great website designer but knows a lot about search engine optimisation too. She optimised my images and added alt text for those using screen readers.
In the SEO Episode of the Voiceover Social, Helen shares lots of nuggets of wisdom, such as encouraging people to have a multi-page website rather than a single page. Google can read several pages much more easily than one long page with all the information on it. Also, she advised using subheadings on your pages and short intros, telling google what people are about to read/listen to.
Earlier this year I took Marc Scott’s (voice actor and business coach) Voiceover Marketing Playbook. It’s an in-depth online course with actionable, practical advice for marketing yourself as a voice actor.
Marc puts a big emphasis on writing your website/email copy with the potential buyer in mind. He says that people only really care about what’s in it for them. If you present your services as a benefit, showing how you solve problems, rather than a feature, you are winning.
Marc’s advice helped me formulate the copy for this site. I considered the customer journey, making it as easy as possible for someone to hear my demos and contact me.
Helen created a google docs spreadsheet to note down any amends. Nothing was too much trouble for her, as I am quite picky with tiny details. When the site went live, Helen did live training over Zoom to show me how everything worked/how to add new content. This was invaluable, and I refer to the recording often.
The pdfs Helen sent me for every step of the process, exploring brand colours, logos and typography were beautifully curated. This meant that I could see all the options and really understand the thoughts behind each one. There was also a ‘calendar’ on the documents, showing how close we were to the finished product.
It’s worth chatting to some website designers, if you are unsure about having someone do your website design for you.
My website was never going to look as good as I wanted it to by doing it myself. I found Squarespace frustrating to use and costly. Now my site is on WordPress and uses Elementor, the WordPress website builder, which couldn’t be simpler and is very intuitive. The time and stress I save by having an attractive, accessible website, with the client in mind, is worth every penny. Just for comparison, here’s what my homemade site looked like (this is why I stick to voicing).
London camera photo by Brad Starkey on Unsplash