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There are some things that are perfectly fine as do-it-yourself projects. Others… well not so much.
To start, PLEASE forgive the tone of this post but I prefer to speak frankly about this topic. As I browse the web, I constantly find myself shaking my head remembering #SimonCowell reply to a horrible #AmericanIdol contestant’s performance… “What are you THINKING?” Remember that?
For the love of God Almighty, people please listen to me right now. There is a growing trend it seems that is turning the entire internet into a bog of mudded up foul-smelling disgusting poop! The worst of course being the industry of get rich quick schemes… OH! The humanity!!!! I’m speaking of course of these horrible, terrible, awful low end DIY websites. I can’t even call them websites, they’re so crappy, using cheap low-grade imagery, endless scrolling single page nightmares that no one is going to EVER read through!
Personally, I think by now I’m pretty good at knowing my strengths and weaknesses. I know I’m a good musician. I know I’m a good designer. I like to think I’m a good father, etc… I won’t bore you with the rest. Conversely, I’m a decent cook but I am definitely not an executive chef. I would certainly not try to open up my own restaurant. I’m not an attorney. If I ever have legal troubles, I’m sure as hell not going to try to defend myself. I’m going to go and hire an attorney!
So all you indie artists out there, actors, models, anyone doing anything creative, all you business owners regardless of industry, etc. please, under no circumstances, in the name of everything that is human and sacredly Holy, unless you are in fact a professional designer and someone who understands all of the ins and outs required to put up a professional website, do not, I repeat do NOT try to build your own website! I don’t care if your mom or your friends tell you it looks good, go hire a professional website designer. DON’T use a template, “cookie cutter” website builder. DONT try to learn a program and do-it-yourself! DO NOT think that because you understand how this program works, that you’re automagically a professional website designer, foregoing years of practical design experience!
FREEBIE WEBSITES: One thing that REALLY kills any chance of a professional online image is that irreplaceable, unmovable, annoying, always visible… “This Website Built FREE by XYZ Websites”. As a business, that tells the world you don’t give a shit enough about your own brand and image to invest in it and if you are an artist, it tells a fairly longer tale.
BUYING THE PROGRAM: Sure, anyone can get #Dreamweaver and learn to “build” a website, but to “design” one, professionally, understanding all the aspects of a website and what it needs to be, what it needs to include, how to code, how to deal with #SEO, how to properly web format graphics and images, etc…. This is an entirely different animal. And of course using these templates means that you’re choosing one, a fish store in Maine is using the same one, another artist is using the same one… I think you get the idea. The likes of WordPress make it easy for anyone to put up a website. But trust me when I tell you, I’ve seen some real butcher jobs when using templates, you probably have too. If it’s a matter of using it as a simple blog, go for it, but not for your full-blown website… one that it supposed to be your PROFESSIONAL website. As far as for Search Engine Optimization, if you can’t get into the code, you either need 100 pages of relevant text, or you need to pay to have it listed on the top of #searchengines. Short of proper coding and knowing what’s involved in SEO tactics, your website will be a water fountain in the desert with no map to it. TRUTH!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Would you go out and try to land a record deal with music that is poorly recorded, where the instruments aren’t lining up, with a guitar out of tune, with a poor vocal performance? Ok well some might, but if you are truly serious about your career, you’re probably not one of those. No. You’re going to bust your ass to put your absolute best music out there. Why should you treat your online image any differently? You are the CEO. Your music is your product. Your online image is your marketing tool and the window by which the public gains access to you.
I don’t know how much time and how much money you spent on your career, but putting up a website that you THINK is going to work, that you THINK looks good, can honestly destroy everything you’ve worked hard to build. The smart move is to invest in yourself, whatever it takes, to make sure that you get exactly what you need and exactly what you want. Online, it’s all about image. You need to have a professional logo and a professional online image that is as professional as the music, the products etc. that you’re putting out to the public.
A website needs to be an extension of you, of your creativity, of your business. It needs to reflect what you stand for and what you believe, what your philosophies are. It needs to catch attention in a positive way in the first 3 seconds that someone sees it. It needs to be individualized to YOU by use of the right interface design, the right colors, the right text styles, the right imagery, etc. And ALL of this needs to be conveyed in a cohesive way, tying into your brand, your social profiles, your printed marketing material, and so on.
Before they will listen to you, they are going to SEE your website. Remember that.
Unless you’ve hired a professional designer, what you have right now is probably not up to par of what it could be, and I’m actually very confident in saying that based on what I’ve been seeing lately from businesses and from artists submissions to 1 ON 1 Entertainment.
Please my friends, my fellow humans, and of course my fellow independent artists… hire a pro. If you have any questions, 1 ON 1 Entertainment doesn’t charge to talk to people. I know times are tough, a lot of people are struggling, and probably none more than musicians and creatives. All the more reason to get yourself more competitive in some very competitive industries. Take advantage of EVERY advantage you can possibly get your hands on. Get your hands on us… we don’t mind. And if you want some help, and you’re really serious, maybe we’ll choose to work with you.
“Take Control”… its time!
1 ON 1 Entertainment is a professional graphic design, website design, online marketing, SEO, global distribution and social expansion firm.
Em. results [AT] 1on1ent [DOT] com