I can tell you right away, hands down, it's the video inspiration pages she does every Wednesday. I can completely lose myself in watching her happy process unfold. I've been known to lose hours of my life to watching video after video. Donna packs in tons of ideas and demonstrates how to use different materials. I've learned how to make my own spray bottles of paint and how to transfer images from Donna, along with a million other fun techniques.
Her site is a complete reflection of her. Her background is a compilation of her own artwork and represents her perfectly. She uses her favorite color (teal) for her headers, which matches the tips of her hair, the paint on the walls of her studio, even her glasses are teal-ish. As she says, it's simply her. Putting herself out there in her own totally authentic way.
Now, while doing all this seemingly fun and joyful stuff, Donna is also selling herself and her products, but it doesn't feel the least bit slimy to me. She sells the supplies she uses in her inspiration pages, but it doesn't feel like a sales pitch. I want to buy them because I have seen what they can do and I want to try them out myself. I wanna make something fabulous like she just did! This is exactly how you want your audience to feel if you're teaching or selling products-you want to inspire your audience to create.
You might be interested in pulling the spirit of what Donna does into your own site if it feels natural to you. You're going to do it your way, but I think it's always worth it to spend some time studying what others do well, as you can learn from the success of others.
Here's my interpretation of what Donna does well, that you can draw from:
- Demos! I love DEMOS! People love demos and here's why: People are getting tons of good information FOR FREE. If you're giving me something for free, I feel much better about buying from you. It's a give and take. You've given something to me and now I'm giving back to you for your efforts and generosity.
- Show your skills: Seeing your process online helps me to feel confident in buying from you. I know that Donna knows her stuff and I know that she has something to teach me. I learn something every time, so I know I won't be disappointed with my purchase of a class from her.
- Strut your creative stuff-Donna has a seemingly bottomless supply of creative ideas and I bet you do too. Show them off! Then, I will want to be in the presence of your energy and travel to wherever you live to sit in a class with you.
- Share your adventures-Share your version of living the creative life. People are signing up for your lifestyle as much as your art. I love to see where Donna's been and what opportunities leading a creative life can bring. It's inspiration to keep on going! She's traveling all around teaching her classes and sharing her experiences along the way. Even if you're not jet setting about, you still have aspects of your creative life that will help draw people to you. Is yoga a part of your creative lift? Do you take different classes yourself? Do you visit parks with beautiful waterfalls that you might capture and inspire others with?
- Make your site an extension of who you are- Use your colors. Let your banner be a reflection of what your site is about. Here's some info. on creating a banner. It's geared toward Blogger, but the info. is helpful in general. You can also google "creating a banner in ___" and insert the platform that you use.
- Include great photos-The content, the clarity and the lighting of Donna's photos really reflect what she is communicating with her words. They make you curious, you want to go deeper. I know in my rush to post, I don't always spend time on my photos (Documenting my work is my least favorite part of the creative process). You will be best served however, by carefully curating your own online photos.
- Use your photos to tell a story-Often, you don't even need a lot of words in a post. Donna uses her photos to tell a story of what she has created. You can do this for demos too-you don't need to make a video even, you can show what you're doing step-by-step by taking photos along the creative journey.