Your Website & Online Identity: What Are They Saying?

I’m not just talking about the words.


When you start looking in to who you are, everything is bound to change. And if you’re seeking because you’re hoping to change, oftentimes, the changes won’t be what you expected. The investigation itself, changes everything. Or it can if you let it. This is a good thing but you may ask why. Isn’t it easier to pretend you already know all there is to know, hold on to the status quo? So much less trouble. Don’t we just love to avoid and ignore? Sometimes, it’s best not to. Avoid, that is. Sure, the result could be that you don’t learn much or that things are fine the way they are, the way you’ve perceived them to be. But if you take the time to investigate, you’ll be sure that where you’re going is intentional. That’s important.

I’ve written some on finding your identity for social media. I’ve also written about strategic web design and factors to consider in a website redesign. This post is related yet different. I’d like to talk about the first stage in creating the container you will fit into.

The Nucleus Of Your Online Presence: Your Website or Your Blog…

…needs to imbue a strong sense of who you are from the first moment of the beginnings of perception. The very first –before your visitors become aware of the content on your site. Because they won’t even begin to poke around and engage if they aren’t presented with something that speaks to them on an emotional, gut level. They may not realize this is happening, but it is. It begins long before the very first words are read. It’s a feeling thing. When we work with you, we aren’t just developing or designing a website.

We are designing and defining you. Online you.

That means there’s some self-investigation in store.

It’s like Pandora’s Box -not filled with evil, but perhaps filled with things you haven’t considered before, haven’t registered. Surprises. Open the lid and find out what’s inside. It might be daunting or scary. It might be exciting. Heck, it might be fun. Do you like what you see or do you hope to change? What are you kind of fond of and what makes you uncomfortable or disappointed?

Don’t forget, at the bottom of Pandora’s Box remained the Spirit of Hope, hence the cherries in this photo. My father used to pace around the house singing “life is a bowl of che—-rries”. “Che” high note, “rries” low note. Can you hear it? We laughed but he had a point. When you pick your way through what might look like garbage or merely irrelevant, there could be a treasure lying in there somewhere.

Our job at Fat Eyes can be a lot of fun sometimes. We get to talk to people about stuff that becomes pretty fascinating pretty fast. We get to dig around, ask a lot of questions and be generally …uh…nosy. Who wouldn’t enjoy that? When you work with us we ask you who you are. We get you talking. We ask about your business, its style, its culture, what your vision and missions are, goals, daily activities and objectives. What makes you unique? What are your revenue sources? Who are your clients, customers, investors, donors? Your visitors and followers? Who do you want and need to reach? What are the other ways you reach them? What are you looking to accomplish online? What’s your website for, anyway? Sometimes we go off on tangents and a lot of seemingly extraneous, irrelevant information may surface but even that adds to the picture we are building. The information we are gathering.

We ask you to look at these things with us and in turn, it can create some new questions. We’ve found that in many instances, it becomes almost cathartic. As you find yourself answering or not being able to answer, you may become aware of mismatches, portions of your identity you’d like to broaden, changes you’d like to make, shifts in priorities or perspectives.

We go through this process for a few reasons. We need to learn who you are in order to succinctly communicate (your identity) with the world via design and messaging, navigation, functionality; all that stuff. To make the container I mentioned at the top. Your container. We also need for you to be clear on who you are so you can make choices and decisions about what we are embarking on together while we are in the process.

This is the first step in identifying identity.

Given the right circumstances, this kind of process may stimulate inspiration to go deeper into looking at what your identity is. It can be very exciting. And one of the coolest things about it is that your identity is absolutely not static. And neither will your website be. You will continue to grow and change and it can grow and change with you. But it’s still critical to make the container authentic to who you are, who your company is, who your organization is.

Understanding and declaring your identity is critical when it comes to online success. The secret of our sauce is that we are quietly absorbing the information into our own psyches to spit out later as we begin the creative process. Osmosis and alchemy.

photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

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    By: Gina Fiedel

    Gina Fiedel is the co-founder/owner of Fat Eyes Web Development. After a successful career as an artist and transitioning into electronic media in the early 90’s, she then founded Fat Eyes in 1998 to bring those skills to the web with her husband, Doug Anderson. Being engaged in business has created gratifying opportunities for communication and new inroads towards making a contribution that counts. You can learn more about Gina on the Fat Eyes Who Are We? page and Gina Fiedel Story.

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