Imagine this: you and I (Kathleen here) are having a chat over lattes in a really cool, but not too cool, local coffee shop. We’re quipping back & forth about the creative process, work / life balance, new ways of going about business, and a world made smaller by blogs and online accessibility. At this point I will probably ask you “Have you heard of Gwen Bell?”
Gwen Bell is a creative entrepreneur who continues to push the envelope both online and off. She embodies a kind of fearless radical non-conformity that fascinates me – from minimally living out of one bag to refusing to use Google. But what I really love about Gwen is her ability to truly blend her work and her life. She’s not obsessing or over-analyzing what balance looks like but instead shows up to do the work like it’s her job (because it is), and chills out to meet her own needs when necessary. Gwen Bell lives and breathes her work – but on her own terms.
So, I’ve been crushing on Gwen Bell for a few years now. I first started following her when she made a bold move to stop blogging to instead send personal and accessible letters straight to her readers inboxes. It wasn’t the typical newsletter because Gwen recognized the sanctity of the inbox. (This actually inspired our own exclusive Letters for Creatives.) One day I had the nerve to actually hit “reply” and from there a kind of friendship was formed. I actually had the opportunity to interview Gwen from Sayulita, Mexico to talk about her recent work in web coding (Git, for those of you who are interested) but dropped the ball on a recap post of our conversation when I was struck with the funk that comes with the first trimester of growing another human.
But 6 months later Gwen is back (and I’m feeling a lot less pukey). She just relaunched her best selling EBook, Align Your Website. You see, Gwen believes that your website is a reflection of your second self – and if it’s not aligned with your real self you’ll lose the trust of your customers. Which means you’ll lose money. Pure and simple.
Align is an easy and totally worthwhile read. An hour of your time will leave you with a notebook full of action items to align your site, such as:
• Get new headshots – when the your offline image matches your profile picture you build trust
• Draw your website from memory – this exercise will help you recognize what is important and what can be edited out
• Update your “about me” page – this page often gets neglected but Gwen Bell recommends refreshing it every couple months.
• Tell the truth – okay, this one is a little more esoteric but is my favorite piece of advice from Align. Gwen Bell suggests that if you’re telling the truth, that would be saying what you mean in your own voice, that you’ll close more sales. That can be as simple as saying “I” instead of “we” if there is just one of you. Or it could mean you’ve gotta dig a little deeper and actually care about what you’re selling.
You can (and should) buy Align Your Website by Gwen Bell here for $35.
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P.S. Our December Braid ECourse for Creative Entrepreneurs is Dream Customer Catching: Embrace Your Expertise and Attract What You Track is now open for registration. This ECourse will be in session from Dec. 13-22. It’s great for established businesses ready to narrow in on their niche and for you aspiring creatives who are wanting to attract more freelance jobs you’d be proud to put in your portfolio. Learn more and register here.