Novel Website Design

Back in the day….like in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s, If you had a good product, people would buy it. Services were plain sight. If you had a plowing business, you might use your last name and put it together: J&K’s Plowing.

cocaine drops, 1800s advertisements, branding, history of branding, branding a service business

People thought this was a great product! No branding necessary!

It was clear what you did, and that’s all that mattered. There was no differentiation between how you did it, or what groups of people were best served by your service or product.

Branding came later.

Once commercialism had reached a pivotal point in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s (think: Mad Men era), consumers needed a way to figure out the difference between very similar products and services.

Simon Clift, Chief Marketing Officer of Unilever, describes branding this way: A brand is the contract between a company and consumers. A bundle of contracts, in fact. And the consumer is the judge and the jury. If he or she believes a company is in breach of that contract either by under performing or straying from its core values, the consumer will simply choose to enter a contract with another brand.

Discovering your company’s brand has many benefits.

It’s sort of like a map for your business. Once you know who you are, it’s easier to write about it, talk about it, and sell it. Your ideal clients will gravitate to it. It will look, feel, smell and taste authentic. You’ll be able to create marketing campaigns based on your brand. You’ll be able to partner with supportive businesses who understand your brand and mission.

Finding your brand isn’t easy. It’s hard to see the forest through the trees when you own a small business.

Try this exercise. Text five of your closest friends or colleagues and ask them to give you three words that either describe you (if your business is consulting, or centers around you as a person), or describe your business.

The results will not only make you feel great all day (we guarantee it!), but you’ll also get an idea of what other think about you and what you do. If it’s a little off, or not what you expected, adjust. If it’s spot on, keep doing what you’re doing and continue working toward exemplifying those words.

make your website awesome, Diane Whiddon, workshops for business owners, how to create my company brand

After that…come to our Make Your Website Awesome Workshop all about Envisioning Your Company’s Brand on Monday, April 13th at 9:30am at the Holobeing in Boulder. The intimate, informal class offers plenty of time for self-introspection, Q&A, and individual attention.

Diane Whiddon started Novel Website Design nine years ago to help creative-types get an online presence. Her “failed” career as a romance novelist helped her fall in love with helping others be their best selves and enjoy running their successful businesses.

Register Now

 

who am I, how to attract clients I like working with, authenticity, authentic, make your website awesome, Diane Whiddon, Novel Website DesignYou’ve heard it all by now right? Advertising, networking, having a great website, branding, cold calling…pick your poison.

Guess what? None of it matters if you’re not writing in a way that speaks to your potential clients.

We’re taught to be super formal in school because that’s how others think your’e supposed to come off. Academic, scholarly, expert-ish.

But, are you being real? Or, are you just writing what you think you’re “supposed” to write according to all the research you’ve read or what you’ve been taught your writing is supposed to sound and feel like?

Well, it’s time to throw it all out the window and look in the mirror.

Yep. All the experts out there can do as much jibber jabbering as they want, but they’ll never be able to tell you how to write like you. And being you is the best way to attract potential clients. That’s the secret. When you write like a human, others relate. When you share your weaknesses, others relate. And, when you write authentically and consistently, your prospects will begin to trust you and the sales process begins.

who am I, how to attract clients I like working with, authenticity, authentic, make your website awesome, Diane Whiddon, Novel Website Design, quotes about authenticityHow to start, you may ask? I like this quote from the blog at Zerys.com, “Producing authentic content and staying true to your brand’s personality will help to engage readers on a personal level. It encourages them to share your information, and helps them to trust you and believe when you say you have their best interests at heart. Keeping it real builds a genuine relationship between your company and your customers, which will pay dividends in customer loyalty and long-term sales.”

“I need inspiration! Will you help me?” Yes….here you go:

– What’s a story of failure that turned into success, surprised you, that you learned from?

– What’s a story of your humble beginnings and how did part of it lead to where you are today?

– What’s a story about how your service or product had an unusual effect with one of your clients?

And, if you’re a one-person business…throw out the rule that you must use “we” to describe what you do. It’s totally okay to use “I” and, I encourage it! Let your readers know there’s a real person behind your words and you’ll start the trust building right off the bat!

Want more? You’re just in time. Join us for an in-person workshop where we’ll cover all of this and more. Register on our Events Page, or Contact us here. There are 5 sessions left. Buy 3 for $175 or 1 for $45 and get ready to Make Your Website Awesome.

Diane Whiddon, Novel Website Design, how to make your website awesome, authenticity, being authentic, how to be better at sales

Diane Whiddon, Authenticity & Website Medicine Woman

 

 

Being authentic is realizing that you don’t always land on your feet, sometimes you have spinach stuck in your teeth, and occasionally, you make a huge fail.

Sometimes you aim high and almost get there, but you feel a little like this pup that almost made it.

Funny dog fail, epic fail, how to make my website better, how to get over failing in my business

Many of my a-ha moments have come from me screwing up in my business. It’s been dropping deadlines and picking myself up from that, or completely missing the point of what a client wanted or needed from their site design, or quite honestly, realizing in the middle of a client consult that I was actually talking about myself instead of talking to my client. (Don’t worry, these things happen rarely, and I always make sure my clients have a great experience with me, but hey, this has happened before!)

Can you relate? Sure you can! It happens to everyone.

And, when you address your own humility, acknowledge we’re all human and that we’re truly all the same, it’s easy to understand why others relate when we’re simply ourselves. Same goes with attracting potential clients. When you are yourself, you attract authenticity.

My next workshop is all about authenticity. How can you write content for your website that feels like you and still works? Join me on March 9th from 9:30am – 11:30am at the Holobeing to learn how. We’re keeping class sizes small for individual attention, so bring your questions, your laptop or notebook, and an open mind.

Landing on your website should feel to a visitor like walking into your office, sitting down for a session with you, or shaking your hand at an event.  And it should start promoting your business in the first 2 seconds that it appears on someone’s screen.

make your website awesome, workshops, Diane Whiddon, Novel Website Design, how to make my website betterWorried about cost? It’s budget friendly – just $45 for one class or $125 for three. (We recommend going ‘pro status’ and joining us for as many as you can, but of course, we’re partial).

View the schedule and sign up here.

Or, How one woman learned to do what she loves for a living: An Interview with Diane Whiddon

Fabio Book Cover

Diane founded Novel Website Design to help authors get their name out and shine online. The name is a nod to her beginnings as a romance novelist. “I quit law school to write romance novels.  Seriously,” she said. Unfortunately though, she wasn’t finishing them.

Then, at a writer’s group she had joined to hone her craft, (and perhaps assist with those ever elusive novel endings), a girl came in showing off her brand new website. “Back then, it was a novelty for authors to have one.” (Side note…check out these 17 “ancient” websites that still work!) Diane said, “It definitely sparked my interest. But, I thought I could do better.  So, I started playing around with different programs and eventually taught myself how to build websites. I built a couple sites for fellow authors, and then more authors started requesting me. After a while, a few writers’ organizations came to me, and eventually, I realized I was making more money building websites than writing unfinished novels. My journey began.”

As much as Diane had hoped, it wasn’t glitter and unicorns all the time (just most of the time, which is still great).

Diane Whiddon

Diane Whiddon

“Most of my a-ha moments have come from me, on my yoga mat, or in my meditation, or from screwing up in my business.  It’s been dropping deadlines and picking myself up from that, or completely missing the point of what a client wanted or needed from their site design, or, quite honestly, realizing in the middle of client consult that I was actually talking about myself instead of talking to my client.”

How does she deal with being human?

“I just remember sometimes that everything, everything, everything that exists is made up of this powerful, beautiful energy that is really just love.  It also reminds me that we’re all connected and that every time I look in someone’s eyes, I’m seeing a precious expression of divinity. That grounds me when I’m about to get up somewhere and talk about money and sales.”

Yes, you can sell your products in an authentic way while remaining true to your spiritual essence and Diane consciously shows you how. Diane is an acclaimed public speaker and self-proclaimed “website medicine woman.” Through Novel Website Design, she focuses on serving others in a heart-centered way and helping them live their passion to be self-sufficient.

  “Being an entrepreneur is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s constantly challenging, but I love it. I’ve never had this kind of freedom or excitement working for someone else. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Diane wants all entrepreneurs (or soon to be entrepreneurs) to have this same feeling. Check out her series of heart-centered workshops to “Make Your Website Awesome” so you can also learn to master your own website and marketing.

Classes will be held at one of our favorite wellness community centers, the Holobeing in Boulder and are sponsored by the Boulder Women’s Wellness Group. View the schedule and sign up here. Topics include SEO, writing great content, sales 101, how to make passive income through your website, and more. All workshops are two hours and cost just $45 for one, $125 for 3, or $200 for all 6.

Experience freedom and learn from the shaman of websites herself, Diane Whiddon. Contact Us to Learn More.

 

MakeWebsiteAwesomeFOOTER

Medicine Woman

Heal your website and business with Diane Whiddon, Website Medicine Woman

The world is constantly changing, but we already knew that! It’s difficult to keep up, that’s for sure. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in 2014 to carry us and our businesses into the new year, it’s to do what you do well, and outsource the rest. Not only will you save time on the learning curve, but you’ll be able to really put power where you shine – instead of walking wibbly wobbly on a tightrope. (Think: I sorta got this, so I got this. No, actually you don’t, so why are you trying so hard? Just ask for help!)

This year, we are offering a series of workshops to help support you, learn & grow with you, and most important – heal your website.

Or, if you don’t have a website yet, we’ll teach you the ropes so you won’t need to call us for major surgery on it later. Our classes take a collaborative approach. There will be lots of Q&A and individual attention spent on each attendee.

First up – we tackle how exactly search engines work and how your business gets found online. How do you get from page 4 on Google to page 1? What are the rules? What are some strategies that you can put into your own business today? With expert website designer, businesses owner, and SEO technical guru, Diane Whiddon, you can be an expert too after attending this affordable class. (Just $45 for one, or $200 for the whole series).

Join us on Monday, February 9th from 9:30 – 11:30am for some one-on-one healing with Website Medicine Woman, Diane Whiddon.

Our workshops will be held at Holobeing in Boulder (a multi-dimensional health & wellness community center – the perfect place to heal your biz!). For more information, and to sign up, check out our events page, or shoot us an email at diane@novelwebsitedesign.com.

 

Novel Website Design really knows how to have a good time and do good while they’re doing it. (Wait, wha? …read on to see what we mean!)

Check out the gallery from our holiday gathering & awards announcements at Global Goods & Coffee in Arvada – our favorite hidden gem. (Note: coffee & tea = delicious; staff & volunteers = so kind; socially conscious business that supports Global Refuge projects = we’re in!)

And, of course, we honored this year’s winners for the Bravery in Business and Fearless in Fiction Awards.

Bravery in Business Award Winner: Abbey Charles (Copywriter Extraordinaire!!) (www.abbeycharles.com)

Bravery in Business Tech Award Winner: Thomas J. McAlister, P.C. (www.thomasjmcalister.com)

Bravery in Business Marketing Award Winner: Nicole Greenhouse of Greensky Massage (www.greenskymassage.com)

Fearless in Fiction Award Winner: Justin Holley (www.justinholley-author.com)

Fearless in Fiction Award Winner: Wendy S. Marcus (www.wendysmarcus.com)

Congratulations to all!

 

At Novel Website Design, we believe in bravery, we believe in business, and we believe in you. That’s why we’re honoring some very special, very carefully selected, businesses and authors with our first ever Bravery in Business and Fearless in Fiction Awards.

The nominees are those who are meeting challenges and opportunities with authentic practice and succeeding along the way.

Bravery in Business Awardfor fearless authenticity in marketing, branding, and overall business.  This award will go to a business that is bravely showing up as exactly who they are, willing to be seen and serve the people who need them the most.

 

Nominees:

Abbey CharlesAbbey Charles – She’s Novel Website Design ‘s fabulous Copywriter and she’s brilliant at it. She’d like to say she could use words to sell ice to an eskimo, but that’s just mean, so instead she’ll tell you that her passion is taking your thoughts and putting them into meaningful and engaging snippets that bring you quality customers and lots of good feelings. 

Kim Brokling of Pole Compete. She’s a pole dancer, so I love her.  She is brave and amazing. You can see Kim in action right here.  Kim owns Pole Compete – a business enlightening others to live healthfully and authentically. Oh, with a side of pole dancing!

Tom McAlister of Tom McAlister Certified Public Accountants  – Tom is just a wonderful guy, plus, he’s brave enough to branch out with his marketing plan – big points for that.  Tom is also nominated for the Bravery in Business “Tech Award” for branching out into techie things like an e-newsletter – because his favorite website designer told him to ;).Nicole Greenhouse

Nicole Greenhouse of Greensky Massage. I love how Nicole shows up in her work, and I’m SO proud of the book she’s written and the other stuff she’s doing as a result of our consulting together.  I truly want to celebrate that.  I’m considering giving her a runner-up award of Bravery in Business Marketing because of all she’s done with her marketing strategy.  I just love how she approaches it.

LilyLily Calfee Calfee of Boulder Women’s Wellness started a networking group Boulder Women’s Wellness Group that I just love. Lily is nominated for the Bravery in Business Award because she’s worked so hard to connect and support women wellness entrepreneurs.  Watch an interview with Lily right here. 

 

 

 

Fearless in Fiction Award – for fearless authenticity in writing, publishing and overall writing craft.  This award will go to a writer that is bravely creating a writing career and marketing strategy that reflects exactly who they are, and delivers stellar writing to their readers.

Nominees:

Justin Holley –  Nominated for being brave enough to branch out completely into self-publishing and for being a prolific writer and builder in the writing community.

Justin Holley--Author

My Purple Fridays – Nominated for writing absolutely fearless stories to serve her demographic and for continuing to create wonderful storytelling through her blog.

 

 

Wendy Marcus

Wendy S. Marcus – Nominated for consistently creating excellence around her writing and her career.

 

Winners will be announced at 6pm at our holiday party (Tues. 12/16 from 4:30-6:30pm at Global Goods & Coffee in Arvada). Come enjoy a hot beverage and hang out with us. Whether it’s chai tea, coffee, latte, or something sweet, Global Goods & Coffee has it down. Everyone is a volunteer and the socially conscious business supports Global Refugee Projects. Maybe even grab a quick holiday gift while you’re here. Everything is handmade in the countries the shop supports. Check it out here. 

“Forget safety.

Live where you fear to live.

Destroy your reputation.

Be notorious.”

― Rumi

Are you ready to be brave in business? I’m Diane Whiddon, owner of Novel Website Design and I believe that entrepreneurs will save the world. We offer workshops, online and in-person, plus short-term memberships that help you stay accountable in your practice.Let me help you find your voice, and create a gorgeous website that show off your personal style and story. Learn more here. 

 

open bookHaving a website is critical for a published author, but what about the not-yet-published author?  Here are the top three ways that a website can benefit the gonna-be’s.

First, it shows agents and editors that you take your writing career seriously. 

This is pretty straightforward; if you’re willing to make the investment in a website and take the time and effort to fill it with engaging content that sells your writing and author platform, then you obviously care about your writing career.

An agent or editor who visits that kind of site is going to think, Ok, cool.  Not only is she a go-getter, this is also an author who is professional and is likely going to take her promotion seriously.  Awesome. 

Second, it pushes resistance out of the way.

I’ve seen it over and over again—something significant happens when a writer commits to moving forward and becoming visible with his writing.

Here’s the deal; getting your first website isn’t easy.  For most people, technology can be intimidating.  Plus, choosing a designer can be bewildering and terrifying, and then there’s the added stress of handing a chunk of money over to someone who’s going to be in charge of creating your professional presence on the internet.  Then, you have to figure out how to navigate the labyrinth of social media and actually create the content for the site, and figure out things like SEO, WordPress, and ALT tags. 

This is not small or easy stuff.

And none of that includes the rather vague, but still paralyzing feeling of just being out there with your writing.  I mean, people will see you.  It’s like the naked dream, but worse somehow, because they’re not judging you, they’re judging your writing.  Yikes.

So, first of all, if this terrifies you, you’re not alone.  It’s scary for everyone.  I don’t have a single client who didn’t have at least a minor freakout around either getting the site, launching it, or both.  It’s totally normal.  It’s a huge step.  It should be scary.  You’re a rockstar for even considering it.

And here’s the really awesome part, when you work through that fear, hopefully with the help of a supportive and competent web designer or writing coach, you’ll get so much out of facing it.  Your writing career will take on a whole new quality because you will take on a whole new quality.

You’ll realize that you’re not just waiting for the publishing world to notice you, you’re taking steps on your own.  That’s powerful.  And you’ll start adding the words “not yet” to your answer when anyone asks if you’re published.

Finally, it’s just plain lucrative. 

 “Self-publishing” and “e-publishing” aren’t the four-letter words they used to be, and income streams from teaching, speaking and blogging are more and more common. 

You just can’t do that without a website.  A website is the cornerstone of your author platform.  It’s where readers go to find out more about you and where you can communicate with them, not to mention sell and promote your books. 

It’s your online home, your store, your billboard in Times Square.  

It’s your sanctuary, where you go to be you and share your writing with your readers.

So, a website for an unpublished writer is an amazing investment and gift, both to your writing and to you.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat …?  And doesn’t Google have something now?  

I say focus on you and your business first.  Yes, social media can be important to your biz (and also kinda fun), but if you’re a tiny business and you’re just starting out, or if you’re a well-established business and you’re considering diving into the social media fray, remember this … 

Your best marketing is always, always doing more of your thing.  

Whatever that is, however it looks, you are almost always better off spending your time doing your thing than talking about it on Twitter.  

Here’s why:  When you do your thing–that thing you love and want to get paid more money to do–you get more happy clients.  Happy clients refer more clients.  More clients means more business and more opportunities to do that thing you love to do.  

Not to mention, the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it.  That means your happy clients will get even happier.  

So do your thing.  Do it a lot.  Do it with love.  And if you want to shout how much you love what you do from the rooftops, or the Pinterest board, or Facebook group, then do that, too.  But, only if it’s fun and easy for you.  Don’t torture yourself with social media.  Life’s too short.  Make it fun.  And your ideal clients will flock to you.   Every time.  

 

Social Media Permission Slip

 

Print it out and post it anywhere you need this reminder, above your desk, on the bathroom mirror, on your monitor, anywhere, or use it as a desktop wallpaper.  Forward it to a friend who might need it, too.

These permission slips give you permission to remember what matters–that done is better than perfect, that creating something you love every day is better than the accolades you get from the final creation, that comparison is an act of violence against the self, and at the end of the day, you get to simply have fun with what you do.

Permission Slips for Entrepreneurs

 

 

Print them out, cut them apart and post them anywhere you need gentle reminders, above your desk, on the bathroom mirror, on your monitor, anywhere.  Forward them to a friend who might need reminders, too.