The Re-Branding of Me: Website Under Construction

The Re-Branding of Me: Website Under Construction

Website under constructionShow Up Like You Mean It”

This is one of my favorite lines to use when I speak about everything from managing one’s own online presence to how to prepare for a job interview. If we are not going to put our best selves out there, why bother showing up at all? It takes hard work to stand out from the crowd. If we are lucky enough to be noticed, we have only a brief opportunity to make an impression. If all goes according to plan, the impression is a good one.

With that in mind, I realized it was time to take my own advice and seriously up my game on my own site. Lately, I’ve been speaking about social media more often than ever and doing more individual coaching and business consulting. Until now, my site was created and managed by a relative tech novice – me. While what the reader saw up front appeared clear and functional, behind the scenes was quite another story.

My webinars were run through software which did not integrate with my blog. Registration for the webinars was on another site (Eventbrite) and payment to attend required visiting a third site (PayPal).? I also host networking events for professionals in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Registration for these events was equally complex.? Email distribution lists are housed on yet another site to manage newsletters and updates (ConstantContact). Confused yet? Managing all of this has been exhausting, plus many of these sites charge monthly fees. More importantly, though, it has not provided you with a seamless way to take full advantage of the information and resources available to you.

Understanding the importance of sticking to what I know and seeking outside expertise when it’s needed, I called upon Kimberly Beaven of Blue Wave Media to work her magic on my site. She’s a creative genius, in addition to having wicked coding skills. What you see here is a work in progress. Though it is not yet finished, I asked Kimberly to publish the site as is to give those of you interested in how a site comes together a chance to peek behind the curtain. You’ll see a number of issues still needing to be addressed. For example, not all of the text formatting made it to the new design intact, the online store does not yet have anything in it and so on.

I would love for you to take a stroll around and let me know what you think of the site. How do you feel about the overall look and feel? Kick the tires, click on buttons and links – do they work and make sense to you? What would you change or add?? What is clear and works well, and where do we seem to miss the mark?

Your perspective is important to me. I look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions.? Bring it on!

14 Comments

  1. Silouan June 6, 2009 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Site looks nice and crisp. I really like the colors – it all leads me right to the text.

    Unfortunately the text is so light that I’m really straining to read it. The text blocks and links seem washed-out and weak. If the text were a bit darker/more readable, I’d be more inclined to finish reading an article 🙂

    Otherwise, very clean and attractive design!

    Silouan?s last blog post..Isaac of Syria on?Humility

    • Irene Koehler June 6, 2009 at 3:04 pm - Reply

      Silouan – Appreciate the feedback. Your input about the text color is very helpful. Of course, I want it to be easy enough to read that you’d want to finish the article!

  2. Miragi June 7, 2009 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Hi Irene. Had a moment to come over and check out the new digs. I agree with Silouan, the text is just a tad too light causing strain to read. Rebrand yourself with some darker, bolder text and you’ll be good to go! 🙂 Best wishes on the continuing success of your social media business!

    Miragi?s last blog post..So You Think You Want a Payday Loan?

    • Irene Koehler June 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm - Reply

      Miragi – Great input. The text, thanks to you and others, has now been darkened to make it more readable. Thanks!

  3. Chris Pugh June 7, 2009 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Rebranding can be a tedious process, congrats on what looks like a smart move. The WordPress theme comes from Elegant Themes Dot Com and was rebranded as being designed by BlueWave Media… for those interested in such things.

    • bluewavemedia June 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Chris, Actually you are incorrect about this as it was never mentioned as anything but the original theme design by elegant themes. We have modified it for Irene’s needs and assisted with the coding and modifications necessary for her efforts. Although we do create original themes, we wanted to gift our efforts to Irene to assist her. Thank you for your attention to this, but I do have to correct you and want to make sure you are not saying we did something we did not.

      • Irene Koehler June 7, 2009 at 6:34 pm - Reply

        Kimberly – Thanks for chiming in on this. Your work is fabulous. I appreciate all of your help and guidance

  4. Jeanette June 7, 2009 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Irene, I agree with Silouan everything looks great, no clutter etc. I even like the grey, maybe make it a darker slate for readability. Looking forward to hearing more about using advanced apps

  5. Trish McDermott June 7, 2009 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Hi Irene,

    Cool, I like it. Looks very professional, and everything’s now in one place/easy to find.

    The text looks fine on my Sony VAIO laptop, at 1280 x 800 dpi, 32-bit color.

    The only things I noticed after my quick preview, was that the Facebook flyout mentions “connect” twice, and in the Copyright line, “WordPress” should be “WordPress”.

    I have a design suggestion/tweak for your logo (the “as” one), if it’s still a work-in-progress.

    Trish

    • Irene Koehler June 7, 2009 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      Trish – Thanks for the input. I’ll definitely get in touch to get your thoughts about the logo.

  6. Mariam Ispahani June 11, 2009 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    I love your face, but I don’t like the banner. Like I said before, add color. At least make the outlines of the boxes some color. Too much grey for a cheery person like you! :–)

    • Irene Koehler June 11, 2009 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      Mariam – Thanks for sharing your input. This is very helpful. Most importantly, I’m glad you love my face as you’ve seen it plenty of times up close. 🙂

  7. Martin Piraino December 31, 2009 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Irene,

    I really like the layout of your site. My site is actually coming up on a year old now (mid February 2010 will be a year).

    I’ve been thinking about a redesign myself for my blog, and have been in touch with a couple of graphics/web designers I met through twitter, and tossed some ideas around.

    One of the things I like in particular on your site and something I mentioned to these people was the image at the top in the headline banner, I want to include a photo of myself there as you have with yours. Yes my picture is on my site, but it’s on a sidebar, not the first thing you see when you come to the site.

    I initially started my site on one of the free WordPress themes, then quickly changed to another which is the one I have now.

    While it’s only been a year, it’s been something I’ve been contemplating for a while, it needs a change, it needs to be ‘me’. I did add a new feature (page) to my blog last year, the networking calendar, but that’s about as much as has changed.

    Great work on your site, including the video spot and the other links to social media sites especially the “Call me” through Google Voice. I have the widget code for my own Google Voice, but haven’t placed it yet on my site.

    The page Menu and Category menu’s at the top are great too, easy to navigate your site.

    Great work Irene 🙂

    -Martin
    .-= Martin Piraino´s last blog ..New Site Feature =-.

    • Irene Koehler December 31, 2009 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for the comments, Martin. I took a peek at your site. It made me smile because that is the theme I used to have. I love the look and clarity of it. When building a site, it can be overwhelming with so many options for features and plug-ins. Choosing the ones which offer the most value without making the site too busy is the challenge. And, no worries about setting up Google Voice. I don’t know anything about code, but set that up really easily.

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