Before moving into my new condo in Seattle, I showed the place off to a few friends, including Pamela Ellis, a professional home stager and client. Pam took one look at my living room and said, “You have to paint this room.”
“Paint? You must be kidding,” I said.
But Pam showed me places where the current paint was scuffed and she pointed out that the color wasn’t ideal. She suggested a new color and recommended a painter.
When I first saw the new colors, I went into Color Shock. The painter was still there. The living room was covered in drop cloths.
“Oh no!” I thought. “This color is SO bright. It’s so yellow…like living inside a buttercup. I’m going to hate it.”
I almost went into freakout mode. But I trusted Pam and, to be honest, didn’t want to spend more time and money on paint. Besides, I had to move out of my old apartment right away. So I took a big gulp and said, “Okay.”
Fast forward two weeks. After the painter left and the last box went to the recycling bin, and after I got some of my pictures up, everything looked different. I loved the color. Now I found myself wanting to spend more time in my living room. It’s warm and inviting.
You might be going through Website Shock during a website makeover yourself. In fact, you can expect any of these four possible responses to a website makeover.
The Click: When I’ve chosen wisely and written the specs carefully, the person I hired often “gets it” the first time and there’s an immediate click. I absolutely love when this happens, whether I’m the client or the copywriter.
The Realization: Sometimes it’s like the paint color. You have to live with it awhile. Often it takes time to realize, “Yes – that’s really me!” That’s what happened with the paint.
The Awakening: Often we don’t know what we want till we see it…or till we see something and realize it’s not at all what we wanted. That’s part of the collaborative creative process. It’s frustrating but normal. (It’s especially frustrating when you get The Awakening after you have hired someone to move large pieces of furniture, but that’s another story. )
The Mistake: Occasionally you realize that you’ve made a genuine mistake. You hired someone who didn’t have the skills and/or didn’t listen to instructions. You didn’t take time to know them or start with a really small project. With a designer, start with a header instead of a whole website; with a copywriter, start with a Diagnostic or a Paage.
You can also get recommendations from people who have achieved the effect you are seeking yourself. That’s what I did with the painter and with a designer who completed one piece of my makeover project. In both cases, I didn’t get anywhere near the rock-bottom prices I was quoted from craigslist and Odesk. But I saved many hours of agony and, most of all, was happy with the results.
What’s your experience with hiring resources for your online marketing makeover? And what lessons can you share? Answer in the Comments below.