Personalize It

In this modern era of pre-fabbed everything, it can be difficult to set yourself apart.  Maybe my mind is clouded by the housing developments I've passed out here on the west coast.  Maybe I've been looking at too many websites that they're all starting to blend together.  In either scenario, it's important to make your domain your own.  And, it's easier than you might realize.

1.  Writing Style:  If you've noticed one thing about many of the articles on this site, you may have noticed my writing style tends to be more anectodal and conversational than others.  Blog posts have "my" voice woven into them.  The same goes for social media posts and newsletters.  The key is making it work for the particular space you're working with.  While I have done newsletters heavily laden with snark and sarcasm for some projects, that snark and sarcasm fits in those arenas.  It does not however, fit very well in a professional setting.  I therefore tone it way down or avoid it when posting here.  You need to identify your audience and find a writing style that works well to deliver your message.  

2.  Color Coordinate:  This seems like a no-brainer, but there are some people who stick to the basics.  If you haven't noticed, our site is a black background with.  Inasmuch as our logo is a beacon in the night (think Batman), it makes sense to have it set out on a dark background.  While this works well for our message, it would not work for our client with a holistic wellness practice.  Calm, soothing tones work much better in that space.  Your color palette should work with whatever colors are in your logo, but should also work to develop the message you or your business is trying to put out there.  Color coordination can also connect your website, social media, and podcast pages. 

3.  Photos:  While many companies rely on stock photos, you can add a personal touch with your site by using company photos.  It makes it a little more personal.  If you look at our blog page, for instance, many of the photos are stock photos, but we also include some personalized photos that we have taken.  Almost a quarter of the images used for our blog posts are photos we have taken on location while recording, from screenshots, or include personal touches.  

4.  Layout:  No matter what platform you are using for your website, you can generally resize images, move images around, and generally adjust how your site looks.  While using a standard template makes it easier to manage, making some basic tweaks doesn't add much to the management process.  Take this site, for instance.  For our blog section, we list the title of the blog with the image in a 3-across layout.  For a client's site, we might include a preview of the blog (3-4 sentences) in a list with smaller images to the left of the text.  It's the same platform with the same basic set-up, but that simple change makes it look completely different.  
While each of these suggestions can make your content look different from other content out there, they don't require a degree to make it happen.  It's something that can set your space apart without completely redoing it - like adding a splash of color to one of those pre-fab homes in a housing development by adding some potted plants in the front yard.