Should your website reflect you? Whether ‘you’ are a personal brand or your website is for your company (and, therefore, you refers to the company?). Yes. I think it should. In every case. Your website should reflect you.
When I started working on my website, I went through the process of choosing a new WordPress template. My business was having a slight adjustment in direction to focus more on business coaching and I wanted a site that, while still offered my country and equestrian PR and marketing service, wasn’t so country and equestrian it put people off. Because not everyone is country or equestrian. And not all my coaching clients are. So that was my objective.
I looked at a LOT of WordPress themes. And when I say a lot, I mean a serious amount of themes. And I found one I liked a lot. I spoke to the lovely Amy, my website designer, she had a look and thought it would work (yes, I work with a designer on my sites – they’ll be a blog about that soon!). So it was purchased. I developed the site alongside Amy, and it was nice. It did the job. But something was niggling at me. And I was damned if I knew what it was. It was a nice site. The colours were nice, the layout was nice. It was nice. It was formal. It was professional. It was slick. Now. I am professional, but I’m way too passionate about what I do to be formal. I’m not a big agency in London. I work with a number of talented people to help me deliver a really superb experience for my clients and a one stop shop, but I’m no big agency. The site was the site for a big agency. It didn’t fit. It didn’t really feel right. It wasn’t a reflection of me.
The site was SO close to being completed it was frustrating. But it just didn’t quite fit me. Like a pair of shoes that are a teeny bit too tight – it would be OK, but would get uncomfortable over time. So I spoke to a few people and decided to scrap it. Yes. I scrapped a complete website because it wasn’t me. It wasn’t a reflection of my brand or who I was. I’m a creative- I’m quirky – I’m passionate – I get results – I think outside the box. The old site said I wore a suit and was working 9-5 to pay my mortgage and simply went through a process. And I just don’t do that. So I started all over again so the website reflected me and my brand.
Now, if you’re not your brand, should it still be a reflection of ‘you’. God yes. In a world where there are so many vanillas, why not stand out by being different – by being authentic? So people buy into you and they already know about what makes you tick and your culture before they come and see you/visit a shop/see you at a show? Yep – it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if they don’t like a site that’s a true reflection of you and your company – do you think they’re going to like your company? Not so much. Be you. Be authentic…and let you website reflect who ‘you’ are.