So, I guess it took several weeks of isolation to finally give me the time and motivation to go through a much-needed re-branding exercise for my own business.
Talk about practising what you preach: I am constantly reminding my clients about the importance of keeping their website’s look and content fresh and relevant, about looking after the image of your business and all that jazz. Yet my own website was woefully outdated, to the point where I was no longer pointing prospective clients towards it.
I could blame it on how busy I’ve been, but deep down I know that would just be an excuse – or I could put it down to my own laziness, but that would probably be unfair, as I’m genuinely not a lazy person and in fact (my wife can vouch for this) when I get my head down and get started on a project it’s usually hard to pull me away from my desk. I need to see it finished.
Yet this half-developed new site had been sitting in a subdomain for the best part of two years and I simply couldn’t bring myself to finish it.
I think there must be a syndrome that affects people who do certain types of manual or creative work. I’ve seen it in tradesmen I’ve dealt with in the past: a builder who was really quick and efficient, and completed my extension in record time, yet had been struggling to do up his own house (he was telling me how the work had been dragging on for two years); a plumber who, again, was quick to respond to my call and carried out the work in no time, yet by his own admission couldn’t bring himself to refurbish his mother’s bathroom, a job she had been asking him to do for years; and I know many people in my own profession who face a similar struggle.
My best guess is that it comes down to the amount of pressure we feel to deliver something that “does us justice”. Take the builder: if he hadn’t been 100% happy with the work he’d done on my extension, he may not have been proud of it, he may not have taken pictures of it for his website, but he could have simply moved onto the next job – no one needed to witness his failure.
But how would it look to people who visited his newly refurbished home, if the work looked shoddy, or even just not outstanding? He would have had to live with it and be constantly reminded of his own shortcomings.
I know I felt the same way about my own website: it had to look and feel at least as good as anything I might produce for a client – and that felt like a monumental task. The pressure was such that I restarted the work several times and in the end just abandoned it.
It took a real push of my willpower to get past this mental block, but the relief is massive!
Does the new website live up to my own standards? Yes, I think so – you be the judges, but I’m genuinely quite pleased with it.
More importantly, I’m pleased that I can once again tell prospective clients to go and check out my online portfolio. Yes, I can invite people round again!