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Redesigning A Company

We have been nose to the grindstone working on a whole new Phoenix Design and we wanted to share with you guys some of the lessons we learned along the way, some of the choices we made and why, and a little about the journey that brought us to where we are today.

Building a new company

We decided that some things needed to change in our business so when we approached this redesign we took a step back and looked at what was working, what wasn’t and what we even wanted to do going forward.

The one thing we knew for sure is it needed to revolve around results.

About 12 years ago we started this company as a mostly graphic and print design shop and shortly after we pivoted into branding and web design and that is what we have done for over 10 years.  We wanted to help small businesses build a brand and a presence online, and we’ve done that.  We’ve done that pretty freaking well actually.

But looking back over the last 10 years and the cool brands that we have helped build, a lot of our customers were new companies or young companies who didn’t have a budget to market those new websites.  They had a long road ahead of them in promoting their brands online, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that would go into those brands and they should be proud of that.

But we weren’t.

We noticed that the projects we felt the best about were the ones where we could see an impact we made in those businesses.  We could look at the dollars we added to their bottom line, the traffic we brought to the website, the audience we helped them build.  We wanted to do more of that.

So that was the core guiding principle for everything we did next.

This broke down into three areas.  Strategy, Design & Development, and Ongoing Support.  And those being our core pillars, that is exactly what you see on our homepage now. Which brings me to our next goal… simplicity.

Simplicity

We now had a new direction for the company and it was time to start redesigning the brand.  Our old logos (we have had a couple over the years) had the name Phoenix Design with the icon of a phoenix.  This phoenix icon has changed over the years a few times but we never really felt that it added anything to the brand, it didn’t seem to match our brand as a whole, so in this iteration we ditched the phoenix imagery altogether.

This felt much more in line with the overall brand we were trying to build, it was simple and clean and it wasn’t trying to be something it wasn’t.

This bled right into the rest of our redesign of the website.  We wanted to maintain that simplicity and clarity throughout the whole site.  We wanted it to be clear who we were and what we were about.  Knowing this going in made writing the homepage so easy.

Remember our guiding principle?  We wanted to help people build their businesses by working with us.  And that meant one thing.  Getting them more customers.  And that is exactly how our messaging is positioned.  Then straight into our three pillars.

Boom! Homepage done.

If there is literally only one thing you get out of reading this (assuming you have made it this far 😉 ) it’s to get clear on who your target market is and what it is you want to accomplish for them.  Do that, and writing content for them is soooo much easier.

So the homepage is done, we have all the design elements, colors, fonts, etc. all locked down.  Now it was just a matter of translating that to the other pages of the site which was pretty straightforward BUT we wanted to launch.  Our site had been down for longer than we wanted during this period and we wanted to get it out there.

Now, this has always been an internal struggle for me.  Impatience vs. Perfectionism.  Do I launch an incomplete site or do I keep putting it off until it’s perfect? (#spoileralert, just freaking launch it.)

Over the years I’ve learned that you just need to launch it, get it out in the world and iterate from there.  So we stripped out everything that wasn’t a necessity and just launched.

Iteration

I’m a big fan of Amy Hoy’s “Just F#*!ing Ship”. Which basically is the mantra of, whatever it is you are doing, just get it out in the world.  Get it out in the world and then iterate from there.

Is our site complete?  Not even close, we don’t have a services page, our contact page is literally just a contact form which is a big no-no as far as contact pages go.  We have no lead capture in place and no email sequences to help educate our potential customers.

Do we need those things?  Hell yeah, but it didn’t need to hold us up from launching.  If you are following along you will see a ton of changes to the site over the next few weeks, more pages, more educational content, a contact page that actually is useful to us and our potential customers.  All those things are happening but we didn’t have anything to gain by waiting to launch until that happened.

Our site accomplishes our main goals.  It tells our customers what we want to do for them (get them more customers), it tells them how we do it (the three pillars) and it shows them how we have done it for people in the past (our portfolio).  Literally, the only other thing that was absolutely necessary was a way to contact us.  The rest is important sure, but it will come, and our site will get continually better over time as we add these things, learn from them, and continue to iterate into better and better versions.

Moving Forward

There’s still a lot of work to do and like I said, over the next few weeks and months you will continue to see a lot of changes as we develop our site and strategies moving into 2018.

We have a lot of new content planned including some more behind-the-scenes on our content strategy moving forward. We will also be documenting some of our ad performance and sharing that with you guys so you can learn from what we are doing (and what mistakes we are making.)

Additionally, we are planning on a lot more video content in this next year including some live video on Facebook so make sure you are following us on Facebook to see some of that.

We hope this has been useful to you guys, and we hope to provide you with much more insight into what we are doing and why so that hopefully you can glean some information that might help you in your business.

If you want to learn more about what we are doing and get notified when we post more stuff like this just sign up below.

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