Mar 15 2018

Design Monsters: Scope Creep

We’ve already discussed one of the most formidable monsters of them all, the Problem of Good, Fast, and Cheap. Now, let me tell you about Scope Creep, how to stop it in its tracks, and still achieve the final product you want.

The Siren Song of a Private Patio

When I was a teenager, my parents decided to add a room to our house. Before very long this discussion ballooned to include an additional bathroom and a private entrance (via a small enclosed patio!) to my bedroom. Soon we were looking at catalogs of shiny fixtures and carpet samples because, my folks reasoned, if we were already doing some work, we may as well do all the work.

Thankfully, a voice of reason intervened and wrangled the project back down to its original scope, chastising my parents for submitting to a case of “While We’re At It-itis.” I never did get my private patio.

While We’re At It-itis, better known as Scope Creep, is a well-known monster we encounter frequently in all kinds of design projects. Scope Creep leads to unforeseen changes, because it keeps moving the creative target, which can be frustrating, expensive, and time-consuming.

Be Strong; Resist Temptation

Scope Creep is dangerous because it is distracting to both client and designer.  There should be some room in a project to pause and adjust course if new constraints or ideas come to light, but beware of veering too far off of the planned path—it can be hard to find your way home again.

Scope Creep is expensive, too, in terms of both time and money. When you want to add components or features that weren’t part of the original project, your design team must research the new idea and figure out how it will affect the structure of project as a whole. That means they have to divert attention away from doing the work you’ve already contracted them to do. And, once the door is open for more work, it’s so easy to lose your grip on deadlines and budgets.

Scope creep monster by Sarah Giffrow, 2017.

A “No” is Not Forever: Plan a Phase Two

It doesn’t have to be a negative experience when the designer you’re working with pushes back against incorporating new ideas into the work they’re doing for you. When inspiration strikes late or the problem you’re trying to solve changes shape, bring it to the table to find out if it can be reasonably included in the project scope you all already agreed on. Sometimes the answer is Yes!

Other times, though, the Creepy Monster must be put at bay, and one of the best ways to do that is simply drafting a Phase Two. Like you did at the outset of your work together, collaborate with your designer to make a new list of desired features for Phase Two —  Integrate your shop’s POS with your website’s e-commerce engine! Schedule a photography session to create high-quality visual content for your marketing materials! Plan a new managed social media campaign to show off your shiny new assets and drive traffic to your new website! Just because a new feature doesn’t fit right now, doesn’t mean you have to give up on it forever.

Team Upswept loves getting to know you and your business, and creating a project plan that solves your problems with beautiful and strategic design! Get in touch to schedule your free consultation so we can get started slaying those design monsters together!

Mar 02 2018

Brand Experience: Get in Touch With Your Feelings

Let’s talk about feelings for a minute.

Don’t worry, it’s not a heart-to-heart about your innermost dreams and desires. We’re talking about the feelings your branding creates.

How do you convince your customers to dig you? Connect with how your work makes them feel.

It’s often said that your brand design and messaging should create a feeling, but there isn’t as much said about what the heck that means. How do you create that brand feeling, or even decide what feeling it should be? In the end, it all comes down to what your customer needs, and how you handle that need through the experience you provide.

How Do Your Customers Feel?

Hopefully, you have at least some idea of who your customer is (if you don’t, we have a branding course that can help you!). Now, it’s time to put yourself in their shoes: how do your customers feel when they first come to you? And how do you want them to feel once you’ve helped them?

Perhaps they came to you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, but you want them to leave feeling calm and in control of the aspect of their lives you helped them with. Or, maybe they had a case of the “blahs,” but your product lifted their spirits! When your brand speaks to people on a level that addresses their feelings, it helps you connect with your ideal clients, and helps them remember you.

What Experience Does Your Business Give Them?

Every business provides a unique experience, from the moment you connect with a customer, all the way through to you closing the deal, and the client going home happy. That unique experience is part of what makes you different from your competition. There may be a few other businesses (or a lot!) who offer what you do, but your approach is almost certainly different from theirs!

Maybe you offer an experience that’s fast and efficient, so they get what they want right away. Or, perhaps your brand experience is one where you spend more time, but tend to their every need so they feel well cared for. You might design a product that appeals to many people, or individually tailor each thing you make to each new client.

These are just a few different approaches to business, but they all offer very different experiences. Think about what your process looks like, and how it helps you create the feeling that you want your customers to have when you’ve wrapped up doing business with them.

Focus on the Journey

Finding out which feelings fit into your branding doesn’t have to be complicated: just focusing on how your customer feels, from start to finish, can help you get at the heart of the good work you’re doing every day. By looking more closely at that journey, you can choose the right words, colors, and design aesthetics for your brand, appeal to those ideal customers, and guide them from feeling stressed to being happy.

Need help getting your brand in order? We’re developing (Honestly) Bona Fide Branding, an online course that guides you through the core pieces of your brand, so you can draw in the right customers for you. That means you’ll make more money and love your job more. Sound awesome? Apply by March 18th to be included in our first run of the course!

Sign Up Now >>

Feb 20 2018

Social Media Trends 2018

One of the biggest challenges of social media is that it’s always changing. Old platforms switch up their interface, lose users, or disappear entirely. New, confusing platforms pop up to fill the gap. Even the old stalwarts go through massive changes over the course of a year (installed the new Snapchat update yet?). Social media is an ever-evolving landscape, and 2018 will be no exception. As a social media marketer, it’s my job to research, anticipate, and prepare for possible trends on the horizon.  Here are the trends I see having an impact on social media marketing in the coming year.

New Tech = New Trends

Technology evolves rapidly, and the tech companies that run social media platforms need to implement and cater to them in order to stay relevant. Digital hangout platforms like Houseparty became hugely popular with young people in 2017. This is a good indicator that larger social media platforms will eventually incorporate some of the key functions of hangout apps into their own platform. Facebook tends to do this by purchasing an up-and-coming app, and folding that app’s functionality into their own system updates.

While new functionality can be intimidating, I think of instances like this as an opportunity. Many brands will be experimenting with new ideas. Nothing is set in stone. Explore the new technologies as they appear, and take the chance to do some experimenting yourself. You may end up setting the standard for how brands use that function to market!

Rearranging Chairs in the Twitterverse

Believe it or not, Twitter is starting to show signs of decline. For the first time, Twitter failed to increase it’s active users for the entire second half of 2017. The first sign of a dying platform is seeing a halt in active user growth. While it won’t happen as fast or be as dramatic as the sinking of the Titanic, this slowdown is worth keeping an eye on in 2018.

We can expect Twitter to throw some curveballs this year, similar to their decision to increase the character count of tweets near the end of last year. They might even try some outlandish things to stay afloat, which will affect existing marketing strategies. Keep an eye out for changes so you, too, can adapt and keep your market efforts effective.

The (Facebook) Sky is Falling!

Facebook Live is an example of a feature from another app folded into the system. Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash

One of the most dramatic changes in the social media marketing landscape happened at the end of 2017: Facebook changed the algorithm that determines how a user’s feed is populated. The changes are intended to prioritize posts from family and friends, and reduce “spam” from business pages. While this change has been live since November 2017, social media marketers are still adjusting.

So far, we’ve learned that the new algorithm punishes pages that use “baiting” strategies to boost engagement. This blog post goes into detail on what the algorithm will flag as bait, and how using those strategies will actually hurt the reach and engagement for future posts. As we approach the end of Q1 with these changes, updated strategies that take the new algorithm into account will solidify. Experiment yourself, and pay attention to what other brands in your field are doing differently.

Change is Scary, but We Got This!

The ever-changing landscape of social media makes marketing in these spaces a unique challenge. But if you stay engaged and up-to-date, you will be better prepared to make the necessary adjustments, and keep your online marketing relevant, engaging, and successful.

Of course, your real challenge may simply be that you don’t have enough time to stay on the cutting edge of social media marketing. That’s where we come in. Upswept Creative offers social media management packages designed specifically for each client. We will meet you where you’re at in terms of expertise, budget, and brand voice. Reach out to our Social Media Maven today to schedule your free consultation.

Feb 02 2018

Collaborate with Us!

Partnership and Collaboration are two of our core values at Upswept Creative. We bring this collaborative spirit to all of our projects, not only putting our individual skills and expertise to work as a team for our clients, but also nurturing partnership with our clients.

Getting to know you and your business over the course of our work together makes the final product more genuine and truly representative of what you do and who you are. When that authenticity shines through from your social media accounts, brand identity, and website, you attract more of your ideal audience — the kind of folks you want to work for, and who will appreciate your work.

Starting Strong

We want working with us to be pleasant and easy, and maybe even a little fun. We know that you’re plenty busy running your business without adding website design to your to-do list, which is the whole reason you’ve decided to look us up in the first place!  Your investment on some level, however, is necessary in order for us to make the awesome happen.

Before we meet with a new prospective client, we like to get to know a little bit about where you are with your business and your branding, which is why we ask you to fill out a short Get Started questionnaire. When you meet with us for a consultation we’ll talk about your pains and goals in even greater detail.

We want to meet you where you are, and  if you can speak to these questions, even loosely, that makes it a lot easier to find you on a map.

Photo by Ken Treloar on Unsplash


  • Why am I starting this project now?
  • What is working now with my current website and social media?
  • What problems do I hope to solve with this work?
  • Do I have a sense of how I want this to look and sound when it’s done?
  • What resources can I give to this right now?
  • What does my ideal partnership with a creative agency look like?

Digging In

When you work with Team Upswept, we keep you in the loop with preliminary mockups and planning documents. We ask for your feedback all along the way to ensure that our understanding of your business goals and your aesthetic preferences are as solid as our expertise in design.

We won’t  get your website launched in a week, even if you ask us very sweetly to do so, simply because a week is not enough time to make a researched, strategic, cohesive, unique, and totally rad-looking solution that shines your light to your target audience (like squid to a bright jig at midnight).

You have the most important role in any job we take on.  As the client, we are looking to work both for and with you in order to deliver a product that authentically represents you, your business, and your brand. Want to know what it’s like to collaborate with us? Fill out our short survey and schedule a free consultation! We’ll get your project started off on the right foot — with teamwork!

Jan 19 2018

How Much Will Your Website Really Cost?

When we talk website design with potential clients, one thing we hear pretty regularly is, “I have no idea what this kind of thing costs.” It’s not just about shopping around between different providers, either–there are a lot of factors that can affect your total investment.

If you want to get a better sense of what you can expect to spend, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

Good, Fast, Cheap: what are your real priorities?

image courtesy Berkonomics

There’s a saying in the creative world that Good, Fast, and Cheap doesn’t exist: you can only pick two.

What does that mean? Well, if you need your new website “ASAP,” and you want it to be both beautiful and effective, then it’s not going to come Cheap.

Conversely, if you’re looking to save money, you’ll end up “paying” for the project in other ways–you’ll either be waiting a long time to finally get your new Good website, or you’ll get a website that was created Fast, but is low-quality.

If you want to pursue a new website, make sure you know your priorities. I suspect you won’t want to sacrifice Good on your web project, so be prepared to either pay more, or wait longer for its completion.

What resources do you have?

Once you know what your priorities are, it’s time to look at where you’re starting from. There are a lot of moving parts to a website. A good website professional will be there to take on the design, coding, and strategy for you, but there are other important pieces to building a website that works well:

  • Your brand voice. Do you know who your business is? Do you know who you’re trying to reach? Your website team needs to know those things to create a website strategy that works for you.
  • Written content. Do you have descriptions of your services or products? Do you know what to put on your homepage? Your website pro can guide you, but someone needs to create the words that help your website sell.
  • Photography. Do you have professional-quality photos that represent what you do? Do you have a clear photo of yourself for your About page? Good design can get you part of the way there, but photos are what will put a face on your brand, and help tell your brand story.

These are just a few major project pieces that your web design professional will need to make your website work well for your business. If you’re missing any of these pieces, you’ll need to either need to create them yourself, or pay someone else to do it for you.

How much time do you have available?

Now that you’ve figured out what pieces you have, and what pieces you’re missing, take a look at your work week How much time do you have available? Realistically?

It’s easy to get excited about the idea of a new website, and say “yes, of course I can get you that content,” but creating good content takes time. Even if you have the best intentions, if you’re already too busy to answer your emails or post on your Instagram, then you probably won’t have time to create a customer persona or craft a brand statement.

If you do have some time to spare, there may be ways you can use your own knowledge and skills to help the process along. Just remember: nobody gets good at something new overnight, and it could take you hours upon hours of work to get it right. And, even if you *can* handle content yourself, there may just be better ways for you to use your precious time to keep your business running!

A professional creative has years of expertise that helps them get the job done faster and better than the average person. If your time is valuable to you, then keep it for yourself, and pay for a professional assist.

What are you willing to do? What do you NOT want to do?

You’ve gotten this far. You know what you need, you have the time to make it happen. Now it’s time to be honest with yourself: what are you actually willing to do to keep that website working well?

If you love blogging and want to regularly update a blog on your website, then hey, that’s great! If you used to work as a copywriter and want to craft your own website copy, then that could be helpful.

But, if the idea of writing your own bio makes you break out in hives, then maybe you should ask your website team for a copywriting quote. If HTML terrifies you, then ask your website professional about a maintenance package, so you don’t have to update the site yourself.

Whatever you choose, be honest with yourself about what you can do, what you should do, and what is better left to the experts.

Dec 22 2017

The Balancing Act of Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is unlike any other type of marketing. Facebook, LinkedIn, and all the various platforms provide unique opportunities to build an audience organically, made up of people that are just as psyched about your product/brand/business as you are. These platforms are highly personal. It’s prudent to keep in mind that your posts will be appearing alongside baby pictures, personal anecdotes, and selfies. Finding a tone that fits both your brand message and that context is what good social media marketing is all about.


At Upswept Creative, we call this “Finding Your Brand Center.” It is the core aspects of your brand that will help an audience quickly determine what your business is all about. Sarah actually wrote a short workbook that guides you through finding your brand center, which you can download for free.

A core philosophy behind “Finding Your Brand Center” is to imagine your ideal customer or client. Put yourself in their shoes. Which aspects of your business to you need to highlight in order to get noticed?


Facebook heavily controls how a page’s posts appear in the feeds of its followers. The link you include, the actual text content, the image – literally everything has an affect. Engagement has a huge positive affect. Generally, the more engagement a post generates, the further its reach. Engagement bait, however, is monitored and punished.

Finding a balance between experimenting with tone, and maintaining strong messaging, is tough but can look stunning in the end. Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

Having variety in the tone and content of your posts is a huge help in finding success. Not only do you get to experiment often, and find what works, but you avoid falling into the pitfall of sameness that plagues a lot of Facebook business pages. Providing a variety of content is more interesting to look at and stay engaged with. The challenge is to experiment with different types of posts while maintaining a consistent brand message.


The world is pretty grim. Social media feeds can often be a minefield of bad news, outrage, and aimless political arguments. Your business presence has an opportunity to cut through the darkness, and all it takes is some positivity. Don’t be afraid of getting a little silly with your posts. This is the internet after all, have fun with it!

Pictures of cute animals, using a popular meme format, or simply a “day-in-the-life” style post of your work day are all good options. Be creative!


I often think of social media marketing as a balancing act. Striking a tone that is both personal and speaks to the core of your business, experimenting with variety while maintaining strong brand messaging, and staying positive in a sea of negativity are all part of the balancing act. Stay focused by setting goals and measuring your success. Ultimately, though, it’s a lot of work.

Upswept Creative has a resident Social Media Maven, Josselyn, who is an expert in finding the path to success in social media. She’ll create for your business a plan that meets you where you’re at – from comprehensive management, to empowering you to take the reins of your own online marketing. Reach out to us today to schedule your consultation!

Dec 07 2017

Creating Better Together

Team Upswept Loves Local Businesses

If you follow us on social media, then you probably already know that we love partnering with and supporting other local businesses. We feel so grateful to work in this diverse community of Portland creatives, and we hold a deeply-rooted belief that if the service or the product doesn’t already exist, we can create it! Like so many Portlanders, we place a lot of value on supporting businesses with local roots, who aren’t afraid to try something that hasn’t been done before.

Pride-ified Books with Pictures Logo by Upswept Creative, 2017

Just like residential neighbors, the members of our creative neighborhood tend to face similar problems — whether it’s sourcing a sustainable material at a workable price point, or increasing studio rent — and we find that everyone feels stronger when we can face those problems together. We may not all be collaborating on every project, but keeping active in a network of other designers, artists, and entrepreneurs helps nurture those neighborly ties. And the knowledge-sharing is pretty great, too. When someone that you trust does the research to find a new printer, for example, and shares that knowledge, business gets better for everyone.

Partnering with and shopping at local business is also important to the local community, because money invested here stays here. There’s no better way to know for sure that the person who made your clothes is earning a living wage in a safe work environment than to ask her, which you can do when you shop local. It’s pretty neat.

Co-working Community Hubs

Whether you are a hobbyist or own a business, want to learn new skills or tools, or just need somewhere to get your work done, we are rich workspace resources. Here are a few of them:

The Perlene | A membership-based Social Club and Workspace for a diverse and ambitious community of women. The Perlene offers both dedicated desks and shared co-working space, not to mention a robust array of fitness classes, workshops, and social events.

We launched Carolyn Hart’s new e-commerce website earlier this year.

TenPod | More than just a place to rent a desk, TenPod comprises three comfy, pretty co-working spaces around Portland for those who want to rise up from their basement offices and cross-pollinate with other good people.

Portland Apparel Lab | PAL is a member-based makerspace and collaborative knowledge-sharing community for sewn-goods, with an in-house design support team.

ADX | Art Design Portland is a hub for collaboration where individuals and organizations make and learn. ADX has a makerspace, learning center, and custom fabrication shop in SE Portland.

Independent Publishing Resource Center | At the IPRC, individuals can access tools and resources for creating their own independently published media and artwork.

Local Businesses We Love (Go Buy Their Stuff!)

Portland is overflowing with smart and  beautiful products made locally by our hardworking neighbors. Here are some of our faves:

Books with Pictures | Radically inclusive comic book store in SE Portland that just launched a subscription service, so you can your fix no matter where you live.

Carolyn Hart Designs | Ready-to-wear women’s clothing line, Focused  on fit and design to wear from day to evening.  All production is made by either designer or production houses in the PNW.

Tori Tissell of Storiarts screen printing in her home studio.
Tori Tissell of Storiarts screen printing in her home studio.

Hubris Apparel | Beautiful and wearable clothing for real life in  sizes XS – 3X.

Left Turn Clothing | An alternative athletic wear company that specializes in team uniforms, merchandise, and custom designs for men, women and juniors.

Rose Temple | Fashion made in Portland Oregon for nonconformist women.

Storiarts | Clothing and accessories that celebrates the intersection of fashion and literature.

Union Rose | Montavilla boutique that carries only artisan and locally made products.

Creating Better with You

As Upswept Creative expands our service offerings and grows our team, maintaining our connection to the vibrant local independent business community is a priority. We want to be here to help others grow their passions into their livelihoods here in the Pacific Northwest.

If that sounds like you, drop us a line or fill out our Pre-Consultation Questionnaire and we’ll get back to you with swiftness and enthusiasm to schedule your free consultation with our team.


Oct 26 2017

Meet Josselyn Haldeman, Our Social Media Maven!

Josselyn Haldeman is Upswept Creative’s in-house Social Media Maven, an expert in taking advantage of the internet’s social spaces, using them to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to stores and websites, and share an organization’s stories to connect with the internet on a personal level.

What do you enjoy about working in social media?

J: My approach to social media marketing allows me to marry two of my passions: statistics and creative writing. There is a lot of creativity in building a social media presence — the tone, intended message, length, vocabulary — are all important. But to determine if those aspects are actually communicating your message, or if the message is even accomplishing your business goals, that’s where I use statistics and my analytic side.

Social media, marketing, branding Portland
Josselyn making the socials work for you, at Upswept HQ.

How did you get started in professional social media management?

J: I moved to New York City in my early 20s to work with a medical genomics startup company in a sales capacity. Eventually, my role grew to a more Business Development position. Because the company was new, they needed a social media presence, so I took the initiative and started their Facebook and Twitter presences, as well as a medical genomics educational blog.

After I moved back to Portland, I took on clients as a freelance social media manager. I had learned so much about social media marketing in NYC, and it was my favorite aspect of my job there, that I wanted to continue in the field.

When Team Upswept works with clients, we focus on telling authentic brand stories as a marketing approach — what are your thoughts on remaining authentic in social media?

J: Social media gives a business such a unique opportunity to interact with customers and potential customers directly. It’s so important to strike a tone that is authentic to the core of the business. I strive to, even in more advertising-centric campaigns, communicate like a human being. I’m not just some intern who’s just getting content on the page; I really do care about what gets put up, and how I respond to messages and comments.

How do you find an authentic voice to represent a client’s organization?

J: A big part of finding that authentic voice, for me, is taking the time to build a strong relationship with my clients. Why did they start their business? How is your business different from competitors? What is the story of your brand? At the core of every social media campaign is a kind of story that communicates all of those things and more. It’s only possible for me to tell that story if I feel like I truly understand the client and their business.

What’s a thing you enjoy in life that is not this?

J: When I’m not working, I’m usually reading, writing, or performing poetry. Portland’s local poetry scene is so inviting and good that it’s hard for me to stay away! I’m in the editing stages of my second chapbook, slated to be released this winter.

* * *

Josselyn is fantastic at what she does, running Upswept’s social media presence, as well as human-focused, data-driven campaigns for some of our clients. Whether you want to hand over the keys to your Facebook account and never look back, or you just need an expert to create a custom plan to make the social machine do your bidding, Josselyn and Team Upswept are here to help tap into your authentic brand voice, and extend your reach on the internet. Ready to talk about it? Get in touch here!

Oct 13 2017

SEO Made Easy: Keywords and Permalinks

website design seo portland
SEO work can help you make your website more findable.

Making your website findable is one of the most difficult tasks in creative branding online. To be findable, your website needs to be search engine friendly. This is accomplished with a number of techniques under the banner of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. If you’re not familiar yet, take a look at my previous post on SEO Basics.

One simple technique is to create user-friendly URLs that permanently link to the different pages of your website. These URLs are ideally custom, short, easy to read, and use keywords that people are likely to search for when searching for your business. They should also be accurate to the information that’s on the page.

Sound like a lot of work?

It’s really not with WordPress. We do love building websites on WordPress, and one of the reasons is how easy it is for users to work with. Changing the URL naming conventions of your website is very straightforward, and making a custom URL for any given page is a breeze. This lets you name important pages of your website based on keywords people might naturally associate with your business. A page’s current permalink is located below the page title on the “Edit Post” page. Changing the naming conventions of every page automatically is found in Settings > Permalink Settings.

The WordPress permalinks setting page. I recommend making your permalinks naming convention after the page title.

 Upswept Creative is a Portland based web design and creative branding company. Someone in need of web design services may use the search terms “website,” “professional,” and “Portland.” So, I commonly include these terms in custom URLs for different pages on our website – blog posts, service descriptions, even the main landing page. The more pages that have these keywords, the higher the search engine ranking will be for those specific terms.

If you need more guidance on where to start, Yoast is a tool that helps make sense of all this keywords business. It’s a WordPress plugin that outlines common  SEO techniques for each of your WordPress pages, and empowers you to take control and make adjustments to your site for better SEO. It allows you to define many different aspects of a page that directly affect how a search engine interacts with your website, like keywords, URL, and meta-description.

Identifying and defining aspects like keywords and meta-descriptions is closely tied to the core of your brand. Finding your brand center is what Upswept Creative specializes in, as well at the practical, nitty-gritty aspects of web design.

If you need some help with your website and SEO, we can help! Schedule your free consultation with us today.

Sep 29 2017

What Your Website Builder Isn’t Giving You

website design e-commerce portland
There’s more to building a good website than just putting it online.

With website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and others coming into their own, it’s becoming easier to put a website online. And, that makes it harder for the average person to tell the difference between what you get from a website builder, and what you get when you hire a website professional. After all, why would you pay top dollar for a website, when you can build one yourself for $19/month?

If you only look at cost of the website builder itself, a website building tool may look like a no-brainer, at first. But there are, in fact, several reasons why hiring a website professional is head-and-shoulders the better option for a business owner looking to make a serious impact online.

A Website Builder is Just a Tool

Companies like Wix and Squarespace have built tools that make it relatively easy for tech-novices to put up a website. But, these tools are exactly that: tools. They give you the parts you need to build something, but not the knowledge you need to make the best possible use of them.

Sitting an average person in front of a computer with a website builder would be like plopping me down in front of an old car and handing me a toolbox. An average person doesn’t know much about building websites, and I barely know how to change a tire. I theoretically have what I need to get that car running, and it sure looks like a car, but: will that car actually work when I’m done with it? Probably not, and definitely not as well as it could work if an expert mechanic had that toolbox.

Do You Know What Your Website Needs?

It’s pretty common for a business owner to think, “I need a new website!” without having a clear idea of why that is. Do you know what you need to post on your website? Do you know why your current website isn’t working for you?

If you don’t know the answers to those questions, then I have some bad news: that website builder tool you’re using can’t give you those answers, either.

The good news? A website agency or developer can guide you through all of this. They’ll have answers to all of those nagging questions you might have, such as:

  • What should my homepage say? (it depends on your business and your goals)
  • Do these colors go together?
  • Do I need my full bio and CV on my homepage? (probably not)
  • How do I rank higher on Google? (hint: it’s not just META tags anymore!)
  • How do I set up my e-mail with my new domain?
  • Can I just use these photos I have on my phone? (possibly, but it may not be the best idea)
  • How do I connect my website to my e-mail newsletter?

The website professional you choose to work with has built numerous websites, and gained the special skills and expertise required to make the most of those website building tools. They’ve heard these questions, and they know the answers.

You’re Not Just Paying for Tools, You’re Paying for Knowledge

Website professionals have years of knowledge, and that’s where their value lies. When you have a website agency on your side, they can not only fill in those blanks that you don’t know the answers to, but remind you of the questions you didn’t even know needed to be answered.

When we work with clients here at Upswept, we’re guiding them step-by-step through the process of building a website. We’re using our knowledge to find the right tools in that toolbox, and use them in the right way, to get that car running beautifully.

That means we do things like helping you identify goals for your website, and creating calls-to-action that achieve those goals. We can help you choose the right photos for your homepage. We provide you with a content structure, so you know what pages you need to fill. We remind you that your logo image needs to be a different size, or that you might not want to use a photo from your cousin’s wedding as the professional headshot on your About page.

We also do things like set up e-mail addresses, offer web hosting, or even contact tech support for you when your existing web host isn’t working like it should. We’ll help you set up an e-mail marketing account, and integrate it into your website so you can start building your mailing list. We make suggestions for what social media platforms would be the best to promote what you’re selling. We can set up your shipping calculations for your e-commerce store, and train you on how to use your new store.

Does a website builder do any of that?

Know How To Get Where You Want To Go

Website builders can be a terrific tool, especially for a new business on a limited budget. If you just need a web presence that you can put on your business card, then Squarespace or Wix can definitely help you do that. But, as you get a clearer picture of where you want to go, a website professional can help you make the smartest use of the tools in the website toolbox.

Are website builders not getting you the results you want? Team Upswept is here to guide you through! We’re a comprehensive creative studio, and we have years of website design expertise to put to work for you. Get in touch to learn more!