I love the thrill of starting work on a new site with a new client. It is a little like the freshness of the new school year; full of potential and the unknown! Even though my initial discussions try to get to the purpose of the new site, I know from experience that it will ultimately deviate from this initially stated purpose. Usually this is because there are so many options to achieve the stated purpose that new options are incorporated, but it can also be because the originally stated purpose turns out not to be the real purpose.
If I am designing a site for a group, an organization, or a church, then the purpose is so much clearer. It is to promote the group and transmit information either to the outside world, to members, or to both. While this purpose may not be clear to the client immediately, once we start discussing the functions of the site, the purposes quickly come to light. Such sites may still gain additional purposes as the potential options are being explored, but the primary purpose doesn’t have much room for maneuver.
The purpose of sites built for individual clients tend to be much harder to pin down. The initial request will be quite straightforwards, such as, “I want to sell my book” or “I need to display my art so it can be reviewed by juries.” It is only as we explore the purpose more closely that we often discover that there are other, hidden, purposes. It may be a lack of confidence in what has been created, or a reluctance to let a strong skill set be seen in public, or sadly, fear that a relative will find the information and use it against my client. So much of understanding the real purpose of a site is a psychological exploration, long before it becomes an overt statement of purpose.
The good news is that you can have a preliminary idea about what you want to do, and we can discuss it and wheedle out the fears that are undermining what you really want your site to do. If the fears are big we can begin small, say by building a blog under a pseudonym so you can dip your toes in the water and start writing or displaying your art. We can find you a supportive community on Facebook and/or Instagram where you can get honest feedback and advice to grow your confidence in your work. In time you may decide to move toward more actively selling your knowledge, art, or writing, but you will do so from a position of strength. Your purpose will be able to come to the fore and no longer have to be hidden away. I really love it when people are able make this transition from hidden expert to overt expert!
So if you are hesitant about starting work an a site with me, don’t worry! The very first thing we will do is chat. You decide the time and date, and then we will talk to find out what it is you are ready to show the world, or what it is you would like your purpose to be once you have more confidence. Start by going here and following the simple instructions. There is no obligation to me if we talk, and no payment s are due until you are happy that we can work together and you want me to build your site for you.
I look forward to hearing from you!