In an increasingly digital industry, it’s easier than ever to find crew for your projects or crew up on someone else’s. But since the internet has become such a popular place to find work, it’s also easy for talented filmmakers like yourself to get lost in a sea of names. Having the talent, resume, and networking skills are of course a must, but to really stand out, you also need a killer website.
Here are five tips to keep in mind for building that better website:
1. Invest in YourName.com
There are tons of services and web designers for hire to build your site for you, but whether someone else creates it or you do it yourself, the first step is to invest in YourName.com. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people try to be too clever or cute with their web address. The more difficult your address is to remember, the less people will navigate to it. Essentially what you’re selling is yourself, so try to find a domain as close to your own name as possible. Stay away from abbreviations or unusual spellings. And even though there is a fee, registering a .com is well worth it. A long, convoluted web address looks unprofessional and might even make people think it’s a spam account.
2. Keep it simple
One of the most common mistakes people make on their website is filling it with too much information. Too many colors, fonts, and pages, leads to TOO MUCH CLUTTER. To avoid these design mistakes and present yourself as a professional, don’t be afraid to employ a little creative branding. Design a personal logo, unique icon, or image that you can use in multiple ways. Select a color scheme to represent yourself and your work, and then stick with it.
For the love of Steve Jobs, no one wants to see bright green text on a black background. Font-wise, the use of Papyrus or Comic Sans is a sin your reputation might never recover from. If you’re design-challenged, do-it-yourself websites like Wix and Squarespace have made these decisions for you with their easy and clean drag-and-drop templates. Use them! And as far as content goes, potential clients will want to see at a glance a visual representation of your work and how to get in contact with you. The “Home – About – Reel – Contact” formula is a good place to start to make sure you don’t overdo it.
3. Have social media links readily visible
But only if they’re related to your work. Don’t link to your Instagram account if the only pictures you post are of your dog or what you ate for breakfast. But DO link to your Youtube or Vimeo pages. Just make sure to only have your best work published. It’s also important to maintain visual consistency from your website to your business cards, your LinkedIn page, and wherever else you pop up on the web. That’s where that awesome logo of yours will come in handy!
4. Make sure it’s mobile compatible
It’s easy to overlook the mobile version of your website, since you build it on a desktop and that view is preferable. The reality, however, is that people are constantly on the go. It’s never been more important for your website to function on a cell phone or tablet. Most web design sites, including Wix, have a “mobile viewing” function to show you how your site will look on multiple devices, so there’s no excuse!
5. Don’t underestimate the power of SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. That’s all the keywords and text behind the scenes of your website that allows search engines like Google to find you. Though this more technical aspect of web design might seem intimidating, don’t fret. Many do-it-yourself web builders will walk you through setting up your SEO. Just check out the help section or FAQ to familiarize yourself with the process. There are also a ton of great websites and articles that specifically focus on SEO tips. All you have to do is search for those keywords and you’ll find them. See? Your first lesson in SEO was easy!
Overall, remember it’s the special attention to detail that will really make you stand out and help you book the job!