Last February I got hopped up on Valentine's Day Conversation Hearts and was like "Dude, I'm going to knock out a new website for Land and Kamp." I did the usual scouring of Pinterest, fell down a rabbit hole of information, lists of to-dos, pages screaming how-to "easily" and "effortlessly" build your own websites. Ummm, not exactly. Two weeks later hunkered over a computer in a mental wasteland of despair a tiny little idea flamed. It went something like this "What the heck are you doing Roggenkamp? Obviously you are way better at other things so get yourself some dang help!"
A dear friend pointed me to Wovn Media which was a game changer, confidence installer and anxiety calmer. They held my hand through every call leaving me with pages of notes, to-dos and a gazillion more questions. There was a content call sheet. I didn't know I needed a content call sheet, a posting tool to help manage social media posts or administrative emails .
The To-Do for just the Shop page was: product categories, descriptions, pictures, make up SKUs, product excel spreadsheets, shipping price and shipping packages. The thing is I had to learn what a SKU was, did not learn that product pictures needed to be a specific dimension, realized coming up with a shipping prices takes forever so you don't lose money and product descriptions are practically a work of art to write and how they are written are highly subjective depending on what source you read.
We also needed pretty pictures. Lots and lots of pretty pictures! I started off reading a ton about product photography but SURPRISE the photography skills did not magically follow just by reading. HA, um yeah. It was a disaster. Second time in a few months where I dialed up professional help. I sat down with a dear photographer friend, Kate Mehmet who was a fantastic partner with great insight into where I wanted the brand to go and a vision on how to capture it. Even with Kate by my side there was still a ton to do. We needed a list of every shot that was necessary to fill each page of the website, get the products ready and prep for the shoots. Every time I look through my gorgeous stash of photos I'm so relieved that I asked Kate to take charge!
I also didn't realize all of the legality behind running a website. I had to take a small business legal course by Small Business Bodyguard. To up my writing game I took a copywriting class by The Middle Finger Project. It's a work in progress. So much to put to work. To figure out Land and Kamp's identity I dove into The Brand Stylist's book, website, spreadsheets and worksheets trying to absorb as much information as possible. Narrowing down visually, verbally and emotionally who you are speaking to is an insane adventure. Like trying to pick our your major in college all over again. For goodness sakes!
Once I had a messy notebook filled with branding ideas it was quite another to train those wild creatures into a lovable house pet. You know how much mental game goes into design? I had no idea that a font was a product of topography! I have no design skills! I needed to ask for help to create Land and Kamp's fabulous logo, narrow down the branded colors, carefully select the topography to reflect the brand and then figure out how to implement all that stuff into a consistent message. Again Wovn Media made all my hopes and dreams come to life like sparkly unicorns that smell like marshmallows!
In the middle of all this I've had to learn photography apps like Lenka and Snapseed along with the design app Canva to improve posts for Facebook and Instagram. I learned the Evernote app to write all of my copy while at home and on the fly. Then there was sharing photos through Dropbox. You laugh but I've never had to use Dropbox and I know I'm probably still not using it correctly. Every night I get home, change out of my business clothes, sit down at the kitchen table, flip the computer on and think, "What do I need to absorb tonight"? With everything I have read the whispering truth wasn't the information being presented but the invisible message that you better love what you're doing because blogs don't get written, photos aren't shot, plans of actions aren't assembled and questions don't robotically fall out of your mouth unless you stay curious, have a tiny amount tenacity to keep going and most importantly ask people for their help. Yes, help despite how many DIY sites you read. It's the most exasperated four letter word you're going to mutter in your pinnacle of frustration but will humbly guide you back to sanity. Ask for help and stay curious my friends!