“If you’re in transition, or in a rut, I can help you through it to a richer and happier life.”
— Charley Wininger, Relationship Therapist
Strategy / Web
When Charley approached me about building a website for his private therapist practice, I couldn't say no. It was an opportunity to help a friend build a business, and to help a business improve more people's lives and relationships.
Our goal was to establish a sustainable web presence; not just a website, but a website that converted visitors and one that Charley could maintain without having to learn to code. It felt like an honor--my favorite type of challenge.
We started by connecting with a photographer to create some compelling, colorful imagery that communicated to visitors the value of Charley's work and what it might feel like to work with him. We wanted people to intuit the therapy process and feel at ease reaching out for help, which isn't always comfortable for people to do. We iterated on copy together and established a simple, straightforward information architecture.
Our first attempt was a WordPress site. We cobbled together some interactive tools, like quizzes and intake forms, and we designed and built a custom theme. But iterating on look/feel and updating copy required more professional coding and time than we anticipated. It seemed like there was an inverse relationship between flexibility and coding skill level needed for Charley to make updates. We weren't satisfied with our results, nor with the process of making changes and testing different messaging.
We looked for a more sustainable fit for his small healthcare practice. One that required less coding experience, one that anyone could update with just a little training.
Charley wasn't building a software company. He was building a healthcare practice.
On the second try we picked Squarespace. It's easy, cheap, stays up to date, looks clean and professional, is mobile optimized, and maintains SSL/HTTPS security. We traded off flexibility and, well, our truly unique, one-of-a-kind designs and features without much sadness. And if we wanted to really go crazy customizing it, we could. (We didn't need to though because it looked way better than our initial attempt.) All major wins for a small, private therapist practice.
We were happy with our choice. Here are some early results.
You don't always succeed on the first try. But success isn't about first tries. It's about trying until you get it right, right? Every time you try, you learn something new. If you apply what you learn, you eventually accomplish what you originally set out to do, but you also grow in the process, often in ways you never intended.
To me, the most interesting outcome from this project was that our best performing solution was also the easiest. In our first iteration, we seemed to be spending more time editing lines of code than editing lines of text--iterating on our appeal to visitors was where we needed to invest our efforts. Squarespace let us focus on the things we really needed to--messaging and imagery--without needing to maintain any software.
We both learned a ton from this project, and the lessons I've learned have helped me help a lot of other projects find that smarter-not-harder sweet spot.
Is your business in a transition? In a rut? Maybe I can help you through it to a richer, happier life, too.
What we accomplished:
We retained a photographer to create original, colorful imagery that reflected the service offering and communicated emotion to the visitor. We used photography to complement textual messaging on the site and quickly establish a relationship with the visitor.
We built a website in WordPress with more technical overhead than we desired. We evaluated our progress at this point and decided to pivot to a different platform that would let us test and iterate different messaging faster and without requiring programmer support.
We built a website in Squarespace, which featured our photography assets, minimized and edited versions of our copy, and clear calls to action. We saved money, achieved higher traffic, and had less to do with regards to maintaining a website--which was our goal, so that Charley could spend his time where he was needed: helping people with their relationships.
Are you looking for help with your small business, startup or consultancy?