Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Squarespace, just FYI.
I've only had this website up for a month now and I'm in love with it.
I am constantly improving it, playing with it, and discovering new levels of awesome in the meantime. And this is only possible because it's hosted on Squarespace.
Easiest website builder you'll ever use.
And while I don't think you HAVE TO have a professional website to be an online superstar, I do think it's one of the best investments you could make, especially if you're hoping to turn your passion into a profitable business. Your website will be your digital home, your office, your business card, your online hub, everything.
And I'm so glad I chose Squarespace.
Specifically, for three reasons.
1. First impressions are crucial.
One of my new clients (since the re-brand) told me she thought I was "Hollywood", meaning I charged something like $400 per session. Man, what a compliment!
In fact, I charge $100 - how's that for transparency - and I have paid $400 for a session, and let me tell ya, it was SO worth it because the consultant in question recommended that I should use Squarespace. I think she heard the desperation in my voice when I told her about my plain Wordpress site and the lack of a mailing list.
This is how much I love Squarespace - I'd pay those $400 all over again.
Back to the client... I've gotten this comment a few times now, and I've even had people ask me how I made the site exactly. (I can create some tutorials if you want.) But the point is, they schedule an appointment because they trust the appearance. And we all do this - from book covers to trailers to blurbs. We trust the first impression. And it's actually been scientifically proven that it's extremely hard to change that first impression.
It helps your confidence too, when you have a professional-looking website. And if you're not as stubborn as I am, you can pay somebody to make you a pretty website. In fact, they'll also take care of the one thing I couldn't do myself - the branding.
2. Some tools will open space for you.
Running your own small business is hard. You have to be everything - designer, accountant, marketer, writer, etc. So when a tool appears, one that makes your day-to-day tasks a little bit easier, you have to hold on it for dear life.
It's pretty much what happened the first time I created a Squarespace website. It was a free trial and I was hooked. The experience was amazing - finally I could create something beautiful without learning code! FINALLY. Know what I mean?
Creating this site was easy, everything was straightforward, and the instructions were super clear and helpful. It's been fun, too, because when you're the one who created your website, it's easy to maintain and change it. And you're relying on a platform that takes care of the boring stuff - for me, code is boring - and gives you time to play.
Holla if you agree: Life's about living your passion and designing your own creative lifestyle! And that takes money, which we'd rather not make from braincell-killing jobs. Maybe it wasn't possible for our grandparents, but it sure is possible for us.
3. When you do it yourself, you love it.
If I had paid a designer to make my site, it just wouldn't have been my site.
I decided that I'd be the one to make it out of sheer stubbornness.
(Also, I just know what happens when you hire freelancers. I recently hired someone to process a survey for me, and although I loved what she did in the end, it took us a while to get there because we kept misunderstanding each other. And you know what they say: Time is money. So is paying multiple designers if the first doesn't work out.)
So instead of paying someone to do it in a week, I did it in a month. Perhaps a bit moronic, but I think in the long run it was a good decision because:
If you created it yourself, you'll treat it differently. If I'd paid someone to do it, it would be scary or stupid to change it around, and I would feel... I don't know, like it's someone else's place, no matter how well they did it.
Maybe it's just me, but I don't like depending on people. I like to control things and when I saw it was possible with Squarespace, I jumped on the opportunity. Looking back, it was truly the best business decision - and investment - I could've made.