I have so much that I want to share with you that I feel like I’ve totally run out of time on our Tuesday/Thursday blog posting schedule to fit it all in! I have a lot of information about Shopify, WordPress, and blogging coming up for you, and I am pulling those posts together now. Each of our blog posts takes hours, and one of the things I’m getting ready to share with you is the huge list of to-dos we run through, so you can see what goes into making a post drive traffic back to your site.
So it seemed like a good idea to add a day to our schedule where I could share news more quickly. I’m experimenting with Wednesdays and this is my first update type post!
For this post, I wanted to let you in on what we’ve done with our schedule this year. We have never had happier clients! We used to take on projects as people asked us about them, fitting them into our schedule as soon as we could, and refusing to book out further than a few months, because we wanted to be open and flexible.
We are now doing the opposite of that. I know we are on a lot of people’s “near future” planning list, so here’s the info on what this means to you:
We strategically schedule launches now
Instead of asking you when you want to get started on a project, we now ask you when your most important sales season is each year, and aim to launch your site when your customers are paying the most attention. So let’s talk about the launch date and work back to when you should get started.
We get all our ducks in a row before design starts
Instead of agreeing on a plan and jumping right into action, we now set up purposeful time before each project begins for you to pull all your content together. Your “content” means your product photos, lifestyle/styled shots for the home page, product descriptions, “About” page copy, bits of copy for the home page, newsletter subscribe, etc. This way, we aren’t designing while guessing at your content, or using placeholders that might change.
Sam, our project manager, is right there beside you during this process, letting you know what needs to be ready and supporting you in gathering it. She will also loop in our product photographer and our copywriter if you don’t have these things covered on your end.
One of the important things about having a custom Shopify theme made for you is that the design is not meant for any old content – it’s meant for exactly what you plan to have on the site. So getting that all gathered together up front is crucial to the success of your project.
We launch your site exactly on time
I am chagrined to say that launching on time used to be something we felt out of control of. If things went perfectly, we would launch on time, and it was worth celebrating. But more often than not, the deadline was a suggestion, not a rule, and projects would go at our very busy client’s pace.
With ten or more clients at once needing “a few more days” or “getting back to us soon,” it often happened that many clients at once would suddenly all be ready to get back on track at the exact same time, and then we would be forced to either pull all-nighters until the work was done, or push half of the projects farther out in the future.
My greatest pride over the last nine months is that we’ve made deadlines non-negotiable between us and our clients – and it works. We have hit every single deadline for clients that began work with us starting last summer. We have never missed a launch date, and in some cases, have been done shockingly early (we just finished a two month logo project in one month).
You may have worked with a web designer or developer in the past and felt like things were either moving at a sluggish pace, or they were unresponsive for weeks at a time. So frustrating! With Aeolidia, you’ll feel like our only client, every date on your calendar will be etched in stone, you will always know what is expected of you and when we need it, and the biggest thing: we guarantee the launch date in your contract. You can tell your audience exactly when your new site will launch, and be confident that it’s going to happen.
It’s hard to promote a moving target, and that rock-solid launch date means you can make the most of publicity and immediately see your investment begin paying off in sales.
What’s coming up this summer?
Our work schedule is divided into five two month blocks. We are currently completing Block two.
Block three starts May 9. Logos begun on this date will be done by July 1st. Websites take two blocks and will launch September 9. If you’d like a logo/brand identity and a website, that will take up three lovely blocks, and have you launched by November 11, right in time for holiday sales.
Our clients ready for block three include:
- Four stationery, gift and lifestyle shops
- A boutique party store
- A children’s clothing brand
- A gift and clothing store
- and Handcrafted Honeybee’s website (you can follow along with her brand design, completed in our last design block, in this series of rebrand posts on Academy of Handmade)
We are in talks with the final folks who will round out our spring/summer schedule, and hope to be able to fit you into one of our last spaces! Please email me today to make plans.
Let’s transform your business before the holidays
If you’re thinking of working with Aeolidia on a new and improved website before Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, now is the time to have that discussion with us. Sam tells me she’s about to fill two of three spots still available to start a website project in May and launch in September.
If you’d like to work on your logo and brand identity as well (including product packaging, so important for your holiday sales – did you know that retailers care more about your packaging than about your actual product??), that takes two design blocks – so getting in touch with us this week is your LAST chance to launch with us before the holidays.
If you want to start in May, you’ll need to spend the last two weeks of April preparing your content. This is less time than we like to give our clients, but we’ll be there with you during this process and if you’re feeling motivated, we can help you succeed here.
What to know about our block schedule for 2016:
- We will add people to the May-September block in order of who’s ready first.
- If you miss May, the July block launches before the holidays (but only if you already have a strong brand identity and don’t need our assistance with that).
- We are booking July now, too, and it’s at least half full.
- Our next spot after July begins in September, and is prep for businesses that want to launch in early 2017.
It’s going to be a fun summer, and I’d love to get you on our launch list for early fall!