Recently I did a series of live videos on the Facebook page for my design business, talking about common mistakes people make while doing their websites - not only that, but common mistakes that might be turning your potential customers off, making you lose sales, and making you lose money.
No one wants to lose money through their business, right? Or miss out on sales.
So here are your website's hidden "money holes" that you may not have been aware of...
So I've been doing web design for, uh...a long time. When I say the actual length of time it makes me feel really old. If my web design was a person, it would be able to vote, let's just say that.
And when you've been doing this for a while, you've seen a lot of really ugly websites.
Not just ugly, either, but even worse - unfriendly, non-functional, confusing, frustrating websites. And if that website is for a business, if it's trying to sell products or services, that's a problem. If it's ugly, or it just plain doesn't work, it's turning potential customers away before they even buy anything. The website is losing money for the business it's supposed to be representing.
It's like if you have a job interview, and you go in wearing old, ripped pajamas. Even if you're the most brilliant person and the best for the job...you ain't getting that job. That's what having a bad-looking, poorly functioning website is like.
Don't be the guy in pajamas at the job interview, y'all.
I'm going to be doing a series of videos on my Facebook business page next week, every weekday morning. I'm going to talk about five common website mistakes that businesses make that cost them money and lose them sales. We're talking leaving potentially THOUSANDS of dollars on the table, if you're a business. One of these is a big mistake I made for years, so you can find out my old website shame in the videos!
There are fixes for the mistakes I'll talk about, though, and I'll tell you those too. So go follow my design business on Facebook, and join my mailing list for my design business too while you're at it, since I'll be sending out emails about these topics. Find out how we can build a better internet together, guys!
Today, for some reason, I thought about a word that I loved and aspired to when I was in my 20s, but hadn't thought about in a long time.
Isn't that a great word? Say it again...verve.
The actual dictionary definition is "enthusiasm or vigor, as in literary or artistic work; spirit: vivaciousness; liveliness; animation".
I seem to have added to the definition over the years to mean kind of a classier way of saying "pizzazz," and to mean doing things beautifully and with joy.
Art that has verve, according to me, has movement, energy, a clever use of color, and does the unexpected. That's the kind of art I want to make.
Verve is spicy. It's curry, not plain white rice. It's salsa, not ketchup.
Verve is messy but confident. It doesn't care if you like it, it just IS.
Verve is colorful, adorned in unexpected ways. Verve is embroidery, lace, velvet. Verve has texture and scent.
Verve is badass, too. Verve is sashaying into a meeting or interview and kicking ass. Verve is knowing what you're capable of. Verve is knowing your worth.
To me, a musical genre that's very verve-ful is bossa nova. Any music that makes you strut or dance has verve.
Doing things in the most fun way possible is verve. Dancing while folding your laundry is verve. Doodling while doing your taxes is verve. People watching in the airport on a long layover and making up stories about the people you see, that builds verve.
I'm sitting here on my exercise ball chair and bouncing back and forth while I type this. That's verve, y'all.
Things that are lacking in verve: restricting yourself or playing the martyr. Complaining. Plain, unadorned walls. Plain, unsauced foods. Sitting all day. Not allowing time for yourself, for relaxation, and self-care. Doing what everyone else is doing just to fit in. Being too busy is SO not verve-ful.
Other verve-inspiring activities: dancing, napping, playing, acting like a kid again. Going on walks and exploring. Doing a new hair or makeup thing just because. Playing with your food. Playing while you work. Standing out.
These are not in the dictionary definition, sure. But they're what I think of when I think of something that has verve.
Verve is how I want to live my life. How about you? How can you add more verve to your life? What's your power word?
The other day, I got a new Etsy sale notification...and I've made a few Etsy sales (more this year than ever before!), but it's always exciting, isn't it? Your Etsy app on your phone comes up with an alert, or you get an email saying you made a sale. Honestly, I was high on it for most of the day, not gonna lie.
You know the feeling, right, Etsy sellers?
Well...what if I told you that you could experience MORE of that feeling? More sales, more income, and therefore more art-making?
So, what have I been up to lately? Well, right now, doing a dance of joy and also freaking out, because I got into the Devour Culinary Classic as a live painter!
Why does this freak me out? Well, because it's in Phoenix, and I live in Tucson, about two hours' drive away (one and a half if you leave really early in the morning). And really, in order to do the festival, I would have to spend the night in Phoenix.
And I have a two-and-a-half-year-old. And I haven't spent the night away from him since he came home from the hospital. Cue the mom guilt!
During January, I did an art challenge. I decided on a list of prompts and posted it to Instagram for accountability and to invite others to join (although it seems few did, but that's okay, that wasn't the point). And then...I arted!
It was an exciting challenge. Last year I did a watercolor challenge throughout February, which was created by another artist on Instagram, and that was cool, which is why I decided to do one this year. Since you're doing a piece every other day, it forces you to think fast, and to not be too precious with it. It's not going to be a masterpiece, and that's fine.
I figured that since I was dashing off quick pieces and experimenting a bit, doing things outside my comfort zone (like a landscape, which I always find hard!), that I would try a whole new medium. So I picked up some gouache!
I had tried gouache during my teen years, when an art teacher recommended I try it, but he ended up being a major league a-hole, so maybe that soured me on gouache for a while. Whatever the case, I hadn't touched it in 10+ years, so I was coming at it as a gouache newbie.
This was the first one I did...the prompt was "jewels". Fun thing about an art challenge you create yourself: you can make up prompts you really want to do! I'm into rocks, interesting gemstones, fossils, and things like that. I low-key have been for a big chunk of my life, but when I started back into working as a social media marketer five years ago, I kept getting jewelry-related clients, and in working for them I learned a lot about stones. The reference for this was a photo of turquoise cabochons I took for a client's online shop.
The next day...MOTHS!
This prompt was "insects." I've always thought moths were cool (and also kinda disgusting, but fascinating), and there are some really weird species of moths. Like the rosy maple, which is what I'm painting here. I didn't finish this painting on the day that the prompt was due, but it will be finished! There are three rosy maple moths in this painting, and I may make it into a pattern and use it on Society6. Moth duffle bag, anyone? Moth leggings?
The pros of gouache:
Hi there! Yes, I have decided to start a blog again...as you can see, if you followed my old one, Dispatches from the Art Shack, I ended up not having time for it after the birth of my son, and it sadly was abandoned. But now I think I'm ready to give it a try again, on the already-seems-easier Weebly platform, and see what happens.
I'll be posting updates of what I'm working on, things that inspire me, the struggles of keeping my studio organized, what art supplies I'm digging, other artists to follow, and other things of that nature.
If that sounds fun, subscribe to my RSS feed up there in the sidebar! And as always subscribe to my mailing list...I won't send out an email every time I make a blog post, that would get tedious, but I will send out discounts and other tidbits periodically.