Personal Branding

October 18, 2022

Owning and running any kind of creative business or freelance operation is incredibly vulnerable.

On one side of the coin, you’ve got your client work—you spend hours and hours developing a creative concept for someone’s biz, or life, or home, or wedding, or whatever else. And after all of that heart & soul work you’ve put into it, you’ve gotta get feedback on it. (Because at the end of the day, what the client says is what goes.)

But on the other side of the vulnerability spectrum is showing up for your own business. Between your website, social media, your email list, your blog… there’s a lot of creation going on! And though creating content for yourself often feels more aligned—you are your own boss, after all— it’s a hell of a lot easier to feel that self-doubt creeping in.

As I website designer, I’ve seen the gamut of self-doubt and I’ve experienced it second-hand with many of my clients. Regardless of whether or not you hire a professional to design your site, or write your copy, or do your socials, you might be straight-up nervous about having a real-life public website that communicates just how f*cking awesome you are.

But oftentimes, the stuff on our website that we’re most nervous about are the parts that are the most high-converting. And as your web designer (and built-in hype girl), it’s my job to kindly push back and letch’ya know when you’re letting your insecurities get in the way of your conversions 🙂

With that said, here are 3 things I hear people say about their websites all the time that usually come from a place of insecurity, and how to get over them if you find yourself saying them 🙂 Let’s rock!

“I don’t want people to have to scroll that much.”

Or, a few alternatives:

  • “I don’t want to have that much copy.”
  • “I hate when you go to a website and it’s just so many words.”
  • “I want to keep it super minimal content-wise.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love a minimalist moment—when it’s strategic. But when someone’s asking for MINIMAL minimalism, it’s usually coming from a place of insecurity.

On a technical level, your website needs at least 300 words per page in order for Google to understand who you are and what you do. But from a sales perspective, copy is what connects and sells. You can have the most beautifully designed website on planet earth, but without enough copy that speaks directly to your ideal client and helps build a connection between them & you, it won’t matter.

Look, I get it—more content entails more writing. More writing entails having more to say. And having more to say entails vulnerability. But they’re on your website to learn about you and what you offer, right? They have the autonomy and free will to “x” out whenever they want, right? Then give ’em somethin’ to read! 🙂

(And newsflash: they’re never going to read every word on your site. That’s never the point. The point is to give them enough to skim, click through, and navigate around. That’s what makes a good user experience, not bare-bones minimalism.)

There’s a way to be minimalist, clean, easy to read & scroll-through while also giving enough information. In fact, designing websites like this is kinda my specialty.

“I don’t want there to be a lot of pictures of me.”

For a specific kind of business, I totally understand and agree with this sentiment. If you’re running a whole ass team, or you’re an agency, or your brand is really focused on a community-effort, that notion makes total sense and I agree wholeheartedly.

But you freelancers that I hear saying this… I’ve got a bone to pick with you. 😉

You might be thinking, “but Sarah, you’re an actor—brand photoshoots come easy to you! You love being in the spotlight and blah blah blah.”

That might be true (and being an actor does come with a dash of narcissism—it has to!) but similarly to the copy conversation above, well-taken brand photos build connection and trust. So much so, that I usually tell people that if they’ve only got the budget for photos or a website, always start with photos. Without great photography, investing in a website is not worth it.

Now, does every single picture need to be of your face? Absolutely not! Detail shots and flat lays are great filler content for the freelancer or service provider who doesn’t want to feel like an instagram influencer. But please, dear God, show us who you are!!!! 🙂 (And learn how to plan an EPIC brand photoshoot right here.)

“I don’t want to be too repetitive.”

One of the qualities of a high-converting website is repetition. Whether that means having a newsletter signup at the end of every page or listing a similar Frequently Asked Question on both your services and contact pages to drive a point home, strategic repetition is the name of the game on any given website.

And people get so stressed about this.

Above, we established that people don’t read every word on your website, right? So repeating certain concepts or ideas actually behooves you, because if your users don’t see it on one page, they might find it on another. And if they see it on both? Even better! Studies have shown that it takes a user seeing something 7 times before it sinks in.

Repetition is your friend. (And it means that you can spend less time re-inventing the wheel content-wise, too.)

Remember: It’s Your Website

The whole point of a website is for people to see who you are, what you do best, and if you can help them. If someone doesn’t care about you (which, let’s be honest, most people are more concerned about themselves anyway), then they won’t be on your site in the first place. But you owe it to the people who do care—and are looking for your solution to their problem—to show up fully and completely. 🙂

Let’s work together on a high-converting website that shows you off wholly and fully. You know where to find me.

Hi, I'm Sarah Kleist.

Brand & web designer, personal brand strategist, and marketing educator obsessed with the power of connecting with audiences.



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