Not only is this the first blog post I’ve published since the end of January, it’s the first post to appear on my shiny new website. Welcome! Have a look around, settle in and get comfy.
I suspect the main thing you’ll notice is that Love Audrey is no longer ‘just a blog’. I’ve finally transitioned from whispering quietly about what I do for a living to shouting at the top of my voice. It feels like a huge step, but I’m thrilled my blog finally has a purpose within the business it’s helped me build.
I’ve come a long way since Love Audrey launched in 2009, and even further in the six years I’ve been freelance. I can’t wait to start filling this blog with words and pictures again, to tell the kind of stories I want to write, and I hope you’ll want to read.
Creating and launching a new website is no small feat! Here are three things I’ve learned along the way…
It’s a Big Investment
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that a fancy new website doesn’t come cheap! Alongside the obvious financial outlay, they require a great deal of time and energy. Even though I’ve supported countless clients through the same process, I still found it hard to juggle working both IN and ON my business at the same time.
Striking the right balance between the two is a constant challenge when you’re self-employed. Rather than spend time building a strong foundation for the future, it’s tempting to focus on things that immediately put money in the bank. The irony is my business model relies on other people prioritising the kind of work I had been neglecting myself!
In the long-run, nurturing your business benefits both you and your clients. Rather than trying to squeeze in the odd task here and there, I found it useful to allocate time in my diary each week, setting aside an entire morning to work on the website. I didn’t want to rush the process but setting a deadline for completion forced me to hold myself accountable and GET SH*T DONE.
You Need the Right People for the Job
The last time I commissioned someone to redesign my website was in 2014. Launching almost 4 months later than promised, the process was long and painful. Worse still, I was never completely satisfied with the end result.
I learned a lot from the experience, including how important it is to trust your gut and work with people who care about your project as much as you do. You need someone who ‘gets you’, who understands how much is riding on your success.
This time, having worked alongside Becky Lord Design as a copywriter, I knew she would throw herself into the task at hand, using her knowledge and expertise to create the kind of website I’d been dreaming of. She’s professional, down-to-earth, incredibly stylish and generally fabulous. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her for all your design needs. I also need to give my cousin, Andy, a quick shoutout for his unwavering tech support in the last few weeks!
In terms of copy, you’d think I’d be all set. Turns out, even when you know your way around a keyboard, writing about yourself is hard. I constantly fantasised about outsourcing but accepted it would probably defeat the purpose!
However, writing my own website copy helped me appreciate the value of what I do for other people. I’m a fresh pair of eyes, an objective opinion, a cheerleader and dedicated hype woman. If talking yourself up makes you squirm, find someone who can do it for you without breaking a sweat.
Change Is Scary
Even when you know change is absolutely necessary, and essential in order to move forward, it can be terrifying. In the weeks leading up to today’s launch, I’ve found myself feeling more and more nervous about introducing everyone to my new online home. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I willingly allowed myself to feel so vulnerable.
These fears have been less about how the site will be received, and more about what these changes represent for me and my business. In many ways, up until now I’ve been hiding behind my shoddy online presence. It allowed me to stay ‘small’, both literally and figuratively, minimising my role as a business owner, the value of my work and the impact it has on the lives of others. I excel at downplaying my achievements, and my reluctance to allow my business to take up space online is an extension of this.
Launching this website is the beginning of a new chapter. I’m no longer someone with a blog who does a bit of copywriting, I’m a Copywriter with a capital C! This is how I’ve been living and working for a long time, it’s just taken a while for my website to catch up.
- Whether you’ve followed for years or stumbled across Love Audrey for the first time today, thank you for being part of my story. Let’s weather these changes together.
Love Audrey xxx