Today I celebrate the final piece in my business re-build - a shiny new website! YAY.
As I type this post, it is a bare bones site, with tons of stuff still to do, but at least it works, has a strong homepage and gives a visitor a quick hint at how I help them.
The story of how I got to this point follows below.
When I chose my 2021 Word For The Year, I chose 'BUILD' which may have seemed a strange choice for someone who has been in business for ten years. As we all know, 2020 was a strange year, but for me it was one of decisions, research and discovery. I had already decided that I was no longer going to offer services and would concentrate upon selling my online courses.
What I wasn't clear about was who I would target as my ideal audience.
And I certainly wasn't clear about how I would pull together my different websites and multiple social media profiles and all the online stuff we accumulate after 10 years online!
I had no idea what my message was, and needed a re-brand too. I needed to understand the legal aspects of selling online, re-visit my data protection stuff.... actually the list went on and on. Honestly, it was all rather a chaotic mess!
Through my hobby of textile art and my former podcasting services I had launched my podcast Stitchery Stories in 2017 and grew a global audience of textile art and embroidery enthusiasts and professional artists. And when the pandemic hit, it hit my audience very hard. Many were reliant on in-person craft fairs to sell their art and in-person workshops and classes to teach other creative souls. There was an understandable mass panic and artists who listened to my podcast and who had heard me talk about online business, they started to reach out to me and ask about how to teach classes online, how to create online courses and so on. No-one had much of a clue what Zoom was.
Was this the perfect audience for my new online course business?
I decided that perhaps it was, had loads of conversations, did tons of research and decided yes, I had an audience that needed what I could sell. A 'pilot' course in September 2020 confirmed I was on the right track as 8 textile artists joined me to learn how to create an online course.
I focused on the things they needed, things they told me they had difficulty with, and also had difficulty in finding someone to teach them 'the techy stuff' who also understood their art. Things like how to film your hands... essential when creating an online course teaching someone a craft, but never included in all the over-hyped 'guru' courses that charge up to £2000 for online course training.
Above all else, these mid-life creative women needed someone to hold their hand and gently guide them through a whole new 'scary' world.
And that took me to the end of 2020 when I decided to really go for it, and work with this niche audience. I knew I had a lot to BUILD. So that's what I have been doing all year. It was so exciting to be able to pull it all together and get moving with this website. I've been wanting to get blogging again, and was getting frustrated 'cos I wasn't yet ready to get this site done.
Rather than using a new domain, I decided to bring this one back to life and VirtualityWorks is also the name of my company so it seemed to make sense. I've even left some of my old blog posts up, 'cos actually I'm rather proud of the fact that I created my first blog post back in February 2010.
So that's where I am with all this.
And thinking about my word for 2022!