The Most Interesting Part Of My Career As A Squarespace Web Designer & SEO Specialist
Humans haven’t always been specialists.
For most of our evolution, it’s assumed we were generalists.
I guess it was the transition to farming during the Neolithic Revolution that began to see us fulfill specific, rather than many, roles.
Then, as philosophers thought about the best ways to organize societies, specialization seemed like the most practical approach [Plato’s The Republic].
Then, with the Industrial Revolution, there was no turning back. You pick a career, and you specialize in that thing, and not much else.
While I’ve certainly had to specialize in web design & SEO, my career has an interesting twist to it.
I get hired to research other people’s industries…
Industry Research Before Design
One of the most important first steps in my process, before any web design takes place, is research.
To initiate this process, I have a questionnaire that my clients fill out. One section of this questionnaire is entirely focused on strategy, asking questions such as:
Describe the ideal visitor to your website. Consumers or other businesses? Fashion-forward or more conservative? High-end or budget? Local to you or far-flung? Young or old?
When your ideal visitor arrives, what frame of mind are they in? Seeking information? Ready to purchase?
If your ideal visitor stopped by your website, what would you want them to do before they left? Contact you? Book an appointment? Make a purchase? Subscribe to your newsletter?
Tell me about your industry and how you fit into it. Newcomer or established? Local, regional, or national? Artisanal or mass market?
What makes you or your business unique/competitive/appealing?
… and more.
The responses clients give to these questions help guide my research of the industry as a whole, how they fit into that industry, where they stand out in that industry, and helps me to hone in on the audience they’re wanting to attract.
Once I understand all of these details, I can craft an SEO strategy that gets their website noticed by that targeted audience.
I never start the design phase until I feel like I have a firm grasp on these things.
interesting Things I get To Learn (outside of my own industry)
While designing a website for my client HAVEN, I was exposed to intricate details about:
shipping container homes
Scandinavian interior design
biophilic interior design
creating an AirBnb investment property
during my research, I happened upon an incredible design firm called Snohetta who inspire me regularly to this day
While designing a website for my client Brendan Doherty, I learned:
all about impact investing, which was a term I had never even heard of. It was inspiring to learn about impact investors and what they make happen in the world.
I also created some pretty great custom code during this project ;)
Squarespace CSS: Create A Text Hover/Rollover Effect For Summary Wall Block [Mimics Flatiron Portfolio]
While designing a website for my client Ritual Home Design, I learned:
of the podcast ‘Where Should We Begin’ with therapist Esther Perel, which I still listen to while I work. If you have any voyeuristic tendencies, I definitely recommend it.
all about the San Francisco woodworking and furniture making market
to reflect on the daily rituals in my own life, and how there is more than one way to brew tea ;)
While performing SEO for my client IGNITE, I learned:
about the importance of purpose in the workplace
how vital team development and leadership development are to a successful company
While designing a website for my client Tentrax, I learned:
all about off-road cargo trailers
that I wanted my own adventure vehicle that was capable of off-road exploring! (Now my husband and I have a project vehicle we’re working on this Fall & Winter that we can take off-road and sleep in starting next year!)
While designing a website for my client Spera Special Events, I learned:
all about the New Orleans wedding scene
about locations in New Orleans and the interesting history and culture there
While designing a website for my client Enlightened Oilers, I learned:
sooooo much about essential oils. So. Much.
that Idaho Blue Spruce essential oil from Young Living is pretty much just magic and I’ll never be without it again
While designing a website for my client Victoria Fritz, I learned:
about the interesting history behind Victoria’s traditional English estate and the interesting journals of a man who began gardening there a century ago
more than anything I got so inspired by delving into English country cottage gardens, studying photos and design, and reading Victoria’s gorgeous writings for her blog
There’s so much more… I’ve casually called famous actors on their cell phones to chat about the site I’m building for them, and I’ve delved into the world of rustic barn weddings and what Connecticut folks are looking for in an interior designer, video production and screenprinting in Chicago, the world of wooden maps, gay weddings in Seattle, and yogis in Washington DC.
It’s so much fun! This, I think, is what keeps me interested in my job. Every single project is different and is a whole new world I get to immerse myself in that I might have otherwise never touched.
Want to hire me to dive into your industry and produce a beautiful website that acts like a workhorse?
Let’s schedule your project~
Hey there! I’m Tiffany ~ a Web Designer & SEO Specialist. Here on the blog I write about web design, SEO, and running an online business. I hope you’ll find some nuggets of knowledge and inspiration and that you’ll stop by again and again.
Feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org