How to structure your homepage as a creative service provider
How do you structure your homepage so people and search engines get a clear understanding of who you are and what you do? As a business, you want to sell your services. But as a creative person – dare I say, artist? – you want your personality to be front and center.
What’s the right balance to strike?
The purpose of your homepage
The homepage is where people and search engines look for the most factual information about your product or service. It’s the place where you own the conversation about your business.
Your homepage is where you must build your authority and establish what your website is about and who you’re for and what you do. And, it’s the place on your site where you need to immediately establish what you’re doing and try to build trust signals. Because that’s where people and search engines are going to be looking for the most current information about you.
Use design elements to show who you are
Most creative entrepreneurs I talk to are worried about sounding like everyone else or not standing out.
Your personality will shine through in the choices you make about how you want your site to look. From the colors and fonts you choose to the outfit you’re wearing in your headshot. So if your hero image is a photo of you leaning over a motorcycle in a bikini, and your colors are crisp black and deep red, you don’t need to waste any time talking about your bold personality – we’ve already gotten that impression. Now let us know what you do and how to work with you if we’re interested.
Use your copy to state the facts
There are many places on your website where it’s okay to be fun, cheeky, and informal. But on your homepage, you really need to be clear and specific.
You can use your own voice. You just need to be clear about who you are and what you’re doing. Are you a boutique advertising agency or a virtual assistant? Do you serve enterprises or busy mompreneurs?
I see a lot of creative entrepreneurs who start their homepages like, Hi, my name’s Betsy and I like tacos. And it’s fine to infuse your personality and humor into your website. There are many places where it’s totally appropriate to do that.
But going off-topic is a definite “no” for your homepage. xf
As a solopreneur, you can be a little cheeky on your about page. Because that’s a little bit past the surface, but the homepage is the origin. where search engines will start crawling and looking for fact-based information about your business and about who you are and what you’re doing and what your offerings are. When a person has reached your about page, it’s safe to assume that they’re somewhat interested in your services and now they’re trying to be sold on you.
Show people how to work with you
The goal of your homepage is to start your clients on the journey of working with you. One way to do that is by creating paths based on your service offerings. If you offer three services, you might create three attractive-looking links to those pages to encourage people who are interested in those services to learn more about them. It’s like air traffic control for your website.
Show you know your stuff
Although your homepage isn’t the place to write an essay, you can lay the foundation for some social proof. If you have client testimonials, the homepage is a good place to showcase them. You can also offer case studies and resource guides as opt-ins to build your email list.
Should you use a template or get a custom website?
If design is holding you back, I recommend going with a WordPress child theme that’s specifically designed for creative service providers. I use and recommend Chicserv from Bluchic. It was really affordable and easy to use. I really like it because it’s made specifically for creative women’s service providers. It saved me a lot of time and money versus hiring a Divi developer or trying to retool existing templates in Divi to better align with my vision.
Also, the documentation was clear and comprehensive, making it very easy to set up once I was clear on my vision. I didn’t really have to do anything to change it other than add my logo, my photography, and my colors and fonts.
A lot of people who use that theme keep the pink and the stock photos that come with it. And that’s perfectly fine. if that works for you, if that’s aligned with your brand, go ahead and do it. Personally, I wanted a different kind of a look. But I think the layout works really nicely.
One common objection creative entrepreneurs have to using templates is the fear of looking like everyone else. And it’s very easy to look like everyone else, if you choose the same fonts and the same style of photos. But for layouts and structure, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel.
You can leverage existing patterns. You don’t need to go and completely try to redesign something from scratch every single time. People in your market will know how to use those kinds of websites and search engines can crawl them.
How to choose the right template for your website
The objective isn’t to come up with the most unique website. The point is to create something that’s accessible, both for people, and for bots. So if you go with a template, that’s perfectly okay. Just make sure that it’s something that actually works for your business.
I see sometimes creative entrepreneurs that have exclusively online businesses will try to adopt something from a template labeled “small business” and think it’s right for them because of the name, but it’s intended for local businesses with multiple storefronts.
And the websites are just not designed the same way. They’re not meant to have the same amount of content or the same type of content. So it ends up just being really awkward and hard to use. While it’s absolutely okay to use a template, just make sure that you’re using one that is meant for a business like yours.
Drop your questions in the comments section! I’d love to hear from you.