Tell me if this sounds familiar.
You’re in the shower, lathering up with your fave shampoo, when suddenly, it hits you like a lightning bolt. A brilliant idea. An idea for a business that’s sure to change the world as we know it (or at least your little corner of it), and that you know you must act on NOW, or it will never happen.
Lit up like a Christmas tree, you jump out of the shower with your hair full of suds so you can scrawl down your genius thought before it vanishes into the ether.
As you skid back into the bathroom, your mind goes into overdrive dreaming up your branding for the new pursuit. You can’t remember the last time you were so excited. Fame, fortune, and that splashy trip to Paris are surely just around the corner!
But then you have another thought: “Crap. I’m going to need a website.”
The smile fades from your lips as the water goes cold.
Yep – you’ve got a tall order on your hands. This ain’t your first rodeo, and you know from experience how hard it is to find a talented designer who a) “gets” your vision, b) actually returns your emails, and c) is available sometime before 2014. Oh yeah – and you also need to come up with $2,000 for the project. Stat.
And just like that, the bubble bursts. You can already see the finished site in your mind’s eye (it’s gorgeous! flawless! primed to reel in the clients!), but you’re painfully aware that getting there is going to be a real struggle.
I know you’re trying to outsource the stuff that’s outside your zone of genius. That’s a smart strategy. But if you’re a creative solopreneur (especially one who’s a bit of a design snob), hiring out your website can be a massive mistake.
Let’s get very real here: after months of back-and-forth by email, costs that balloon with every revision you ask for, and a low-level migraine you can’t seem to shake, you could STILL end up with a site you don’t adore.
Does outsourcing still seem like the way to go?
So what’s a girl (or guy) to do? Why, DIY, of course!
That’s right – I said it! For visually picky solopreneurs, learning to create your own website – coding and all – is the smartest choice you will make this year.
- Learning to code is easier than you think. There’s this perception that it’s scary and weird, but this is just what “web people” want you to believe. The end result? You end up paying them money to do something they get a real kick out of. Actually, learning HTML and CSS is no different from leaning any other new skill. I taught myself HTML when I was 13, and I’m not even a supernerd.
- Building your own sites saves you serious cash. You know the old proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. If you have ten ideas for new businesses or online projects over the next few years, you could be forking out as much as $50,000 for web design and web development work. That’s $50,000 you could be using to start a bold new movement, a charity, or an impressive shoe collection.
- Coding is what lets you create amazing, non-template-y visual effects. Putting up a basic WordPress site has its place, but if you care deeply about your branding, you need to know how to code. Paired with graphics (which you can make yourself online, for free), HTML and CSS knowledge is a must-have for getting a gorgeous, customized look for your site. “Cookie-cutter” won’t know what hit it.
- Knowing this stuff makes you super business-nimble. Came up with a great new opt-in offer? If you know HTML and CSS, you can throw it up on your site within minutes of envisioning it. No matter how you slice it, that’s pretty darn awesome.
- If you’re taught the right way, code and web stuff can be fun. Like, not going out on Friday night because you want to stay in with your computer fun.
- Total empowerment. Imagine the feeling of freedom you’d have if you finally knew how to get the ideas out of your head and onto a computer screen – so that your ideal clients and customers can bask in their beauty.
As an entrepreneur, I can’t tell you how valuable it is for me to be able to get a new site online, exactly the way I want it to look, within hours of it popping into my head. You can have that feeling too!