One of the things I haven't written about here in a long time is about how much I enjoy my primary work. Specifically, I haven't written of my enjoyment in working with people who use Squarespace to create and host their websites.
Today I've been thinking about some of the consulting clients I now work with. This wasn't such a big part of my life, several years back when I was blogging several times a week. Now that I've been "at this Squarespace thing" for more than 10 years, and a steady stream of new and repeat clients find me on their own, I'm finding that not only do I work with people who need a brand new site from scratch (my portfolio of samples is out of date and I intend to remedy that by next week,) but I also get calls now from people who need just a few hours of my help.
This is as enjoyable for me as building an entire site from scratch.
Who are these people? All kinds of website owners, really. I thought I'd tell you a little about two recent examples that immediately spring to mind. And I'll tell you a bit about the kinds of things I've been able to help them with:
A Professional Fine Artist
She is a fine art painter from the northeast region of the US who uses technology every day, in basic ways. Having worked on it a while, solo, she uncovered some understandable challenges navigating some of the more nuanced details needed for building an entire site from scratch. But she's bold, and tenacious, and used to doing things on her own. I laud folks who jump in and test the robust set of tools Squarespace offers the DIY set. When she contacted me, she'd already set up a free trial account and built several content-rich pages.
Ways I've Been Able to Help:
- Showing her that she wasn't locked into the default way her chosen template presented her portfolio content helped her to move past a great hurdle. Squarespace is versatile enough that you can often achieve a single goal in several ways. While certain options might make a template distinctive in one way, if one doesn't understand their options, they might find themselves limited, in other ways. We were able to discuss her ideas for what she was looking for. After that, showing her an alternative, "live" with some of her actual work in place, helped move things further quite rapidly.
- Helping her to understand some differences between photo gallery pages and gallery blocks. This is one of the less obvious distinctions in the array of Squarespace offerings and I was glad I had the opportunity to help her decide what she actually needed.
This client reaches out here and there, and we talk by phone, or Skype, and in between she goes back to handling what she can on her own. I'm really proud of her when she shows me the progress she's making on her own, between our calls. It's going to be great to get the news when she's ready to launch and show the world her impressive body of work.
The Partners from A Music Company
The principals in a southwest music company decided to create their new site on Squarespace, too. They had gotten impressively far on their own, and now needed a fresh, creative eye to take a look at what they'd managed thus-far, and brainstorm ideas on how to raise the bar a bit.
Ways I've Been Able to Help:
I started by having separate conversations with both partners and listening to each of them share their visions. We looked at a few sites they like, to better articulate what they imagined with the help of real world examples. I was able to take the information from those conversations and input some of their content into an alternate trial setup using a different template from what they'd chosen, that seemed likely to suit their needs.
It turned out that while I am not an expert on every single Squarespace template, having had the opportunity to work with quite a few different styles over the years, and experiment with some of the newer ones on my own "just for fun," gave me the awareness that the solution they were seeking was more easily doable than they'd realized. They were elated. And were able to take what I shared with them in our follow-up, change the template on the site they'd been working on, and work from there. I hear they're getting fairly close to launching and, once again, I'm proud of the work they've achieved toward reaching their online goals.
Sometimes helping is as much fun as doing something for another.
The thought above, about helping-rather-than-doing, isn't profound or shocking. In fact, it's a fairly typical, ordinary facet of my reality. Yours too, perhaps. Reflecting on the ordinary things, though, can lead to new insights. Today my own simple reflections reminded me that I've wanted for a while to revive my blog. What better way to work toward this effort than to share a bit about a side of my work that I've never written about online before?
If you're looking for some help with your Squarespace website, maybe I can help! If you're curious about that, too, here's a long form with some questions that help me know if I'm a good match for what you need. If long forms overwhelm you or you'd rather just explain your needs in a basic email, use this one! Either way, if you're exploring Squarespace, I highly recommend it. Not to suggest it's perfect and every little thing it does thrills me to no end, it is nonetheless my go to solution for any serious website that needs to be birthed. Maybe you'll enjoy it too. With or without my help!