Aerial Ardour, Aireen Arellano

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A Brand-Spankin’ New Website

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012 in blog posts | 5 Comments

As I smattered all over the Facebook and Twitter on Friday, I am BEYOND EXCITED for the launch of my new website!

THE OLD

What was my old website like? Before Friday, it was simply a Tumblr template redirected to a vanity URL. No diss to anyone who uses that method. It certainly worked for me! (It was free, and it took zero time to put it together.)

However, at the beginning of this year, I had a rash of requests for proposals that ended up with the potential clients not taking me completely seriously. They had found me through my website, and after great initial meetings and phone calls, when it came time to reviewing a proposal, they would be shocked – hell, even borderline insulted – when it came to the sticker price, despite my experience and portfolio containing work for fairly large and reputable companies.

It also strongly struck me when I lost out on a particular project earlier this year. I was so sure I had it in the bag. I had asked the potential client why he chose not to go with me, and said this: “You need to toot your horn a little louder.”

Aye.

He was right. I was too meek for my own good.

Clients want someone who is confident in their work. I am confident… but I needed to SHOW it.

My old site didn’t fit what I wanted to communicate to people. It was clunky and amateurish. It didn’t accurately and fairly represent the services I could offer to potential clients, and it didn’t fairly represent the work I had already done for so many of my amazing clients.

THE EPIPHANY

I did some soul-searching. I looked at my branding, my language. Ah HA! There it was.

I had resolved that my website was… not a real website – at least for a designer who was expecting to be taken seriously. I realized I had been wearing boxer shorts and a flannel shirt to interviews with Fortune 500 companies and then was shocked when the hiring manager asked me to work for less than minimum wage.

Essentially, I wasn’t representing myself the way I wanted to be treated. When I first started freelancing, I had quickly put together a website, naively resting on my laurels, thinking that my portfolio would speak for itself. Boy, what a cocky and foolish thing to think. A portfolio will only take you so far. The right clothes can take you further.

So I got serious and, with a pep talk and the help and dedication from a very talented developer, I got it done!

WHAT GETS IN THE WAY? A LOT OF TIMES, YOURSELF.

Getting the website done was also quite a feat, because after taking this project to a handful of developers already who couldn’t take the project home for me, 3 years later, my custom website is now a real thing. I had always intended to have a custom designed website, but I used my busy workload as the eternal excuse for not getting it done. This whole story is the classic cautionary tale that I relate to potential clients. How ironic that I didn’t heed my own advice.

But now, here I am, excited and proud to refer people to my site, instead of mumbling an apology/disclaimer.

The site was developed by my great friend and fellow lady entrepreneur, social media maven, and WordPress queen, Laura Oldham of El-Be Social Marketing. She brought my vision to life!! 😀 THANK YOU, Laura, for making this magic happen! (Seriously, as I was going through my list of custom plug-in requests and sent her my design, I was sure Laura would come back and tell me that I couldn’t do a couple of things. But no. She told me I could do all of those things. And better.)

THE FEATURES

As you can see, the website features a little bit about me, large images of my work as well as comments about each project, social sharing buttons on each project, a blog, and the ability for anyone to contact me directly through the website.

I’m also excited about the widgets at the very bottom of the website that connect you to my Instagram feed, Twitter feed, and also showcases friends’ and colleagues’ websites in my industry whose work I admire. (Laura did an AMAZING job with those widgets.)

I’m excited about this, because after years of slacking on a decent website (hey, clients get taken care of first!), I am excited to finally have myself look like a legit company. ;D I’ve been blessed with having great clients, and I’m excited to showcase them all on my website. I look forward to many more years of working with fantastic clients.

2012: THE YEAR OF SWAGGER

In January, when I was lamenting to Laura about the pitfalls of not giving my own branding enough attention, we had determined that we both are naturally inclined to hesitate talking too much about ourselves. Humility is great, but not when it’s detrimental. So we resolved to do better this year. As Laura awesomely put it, 2012 would be The Year of Swagger. Laura has been fulfilling her end of the bargain by working on more exciting projects with great clients… and I’m now finally happy to have begun fulfilling my end of the bargain.

5 Comments

  1. Laura
    August 28, 2012

    What a wonderful post outlining your process! I’m so happy to be a part of your new website, and I’m glad that we can continue to inspire each other. We need to start thinking about our focus for 2013, cuz that sucka is right around the corner.

    Reply
  2. Aerial Ardour Launches!! | El-Be Social Marketing
    August 28, 2012

    […] out her wonderful post describing the process of the two of us working together to get her site up and running, and play […]

    Reply
    • AerialArdour
      August 28, 2012

      Thank you for your kind words, Laura! And THANK YOU for making this happen… and thank you for YOUR great post! I agree with you when you say that it helps to have some outside inspiration, especially when you work for yourself. I can officially say 2012 is one for the books. And yes, it’s never too early to plan for 2013!

      Reply
  3. Elmarie Jara
    September 21, 2012

    Aireen!! The new web site looks great. You’ve got amazing things happening and I’m beyond excited for you and Aerial Ardour. I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things in store for you. You are a beautiful, clever and talented lady. I wish you nothing but the very best!

    xo
    El

    Reply
    • AerialArdour
      September 22, 2012

      El, thank you so very much for your very kind and flattering words! Coming from an extremely talented designer as yourself, this means the world to me. When going solo, having the support from strong individuals and entrepreneurs as yourself gives me the fuel to keep the passion going. Thank you! <3!

      Reply

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