Suzanne asks:

Looking for advice on professional web design v. self design. Objective to attract biz, be good return on investment and not rubber-stamp like. Also some good advice on logo vs personal service brand.

Two important questions here and they’re both worth addressing.

DIY web-design versus professionally designed

I design my own website, using WordPress and the Divi base theme, adding onto it to suit my own needs and purposes. But I do it because I can, and if you can’t then you ought to outsource it – in-fact you should outsource anything you can’t do yourself, to a standard you would be happy with, in your whole business.

Suzanne goes above and beyond here, identifying some objectives. Attracting new business and being a good return on investment requires a website that’s a cut above the rest, so honestly, I’d find someone you trust, and then trust them to build a website that would sell you. Don’t tell them what to design, actually trust them to deliver on those objectives. I would even consider adding an incentive into the mix. If the designer can deliver on the objectives – using a specific and measure-able goal – perhaps offer an incentive payment.

Designers work best when you communicate expectations and objectives, and let them create and be an artist. You’ll get a website better than you ever imagined.

But if you think you can deliver on your own objectives, then do it yourself.

Large brand versus personal brand

This is a topic I’m quite passionate about.

I’m a strong believer in an authentic and vulnerable life, and that leads itself to being in an authentic and vulnerable business.

I see celebrants using brands that are bigger than themselves – and I’m prepared to be wrong on this, please tell me in the comments – I see celebrants trying to pump up their brand to look bigger and better than they are. And the problem isn’t that they are doing that, but that they don’t believe that them as they are is enough.

I did this myself.

In 2009 when I started as a celebrant I Tweeted to my community and a photographer friend in Busselton suggested “Married By Josh”. From 2009 to 2020 I was Married By Josh, on social media, website, domain name, email. I eventually found the courage to drop the brand and just be me: Josh Withers. It’s the best thing I’ve done. No more hiding behind a logo or a fancy name. It’s just me. That’s why I cost so much, it’s just me. That’s how I do what I do, it’s just me. That’s why I have the reputation I have, it’s just me.

Just be you.

That said, you can still have a cool logo, just get it designed by a designer you trust. Maybe it can be the website person?