Websites That Work

Over the holidays, I got to see my friend Alisha, who was in town from New York.  She’s working really hard to get established as a working (PAID!) actor, which is no easy feat (in Minneapolis- let alone New York).  Alisha recently got a brand new sparkly website!  It’s a fantastic example of a website that works.  Meaning…

1.  It’s clear: There’s no tiny type or difficult to read colors (unlike this website).

2.  It informative: I come away knowing a lot more about Alisha, and her experiences as an actor.  It represents her honestly; the headshots are recent and look like her!  I also love the newsflash on the home page about her latest project.

3.  It’s easy to navigate: I can find the information I’m looking for, easily.

I know a lot of artists who are waiting to make the perfect website, with carefully selected typefaces and well-designed menus, but I argue that it’s better to do it now and have it be a bit janky than wait to be able to afford the perfectly designed page (Alisha’s website was designed by Todd Faulkner at Actor Fusion).  The point is to have an online listing of your resume and contact information, complete with a head shot.  If that’s all you have, you’re doing really well.

Websites like wordpress or blogger make this really easy these days.  If you want to upload video, you can get a weebly pro account for a small fee per year.  Or, Twin Cities locals get a free talent profile with their Minnesota Playlist membership, which is just $40/year.  Either way, the point is to (honestly) sell yourself, because you are your product.  There’s nothing sleezy about it; the point is to get hired.  And, to get hired you need to share the following:

1.  Who are you and what do you do? (Or, for some artists, What does your work look -or sound- like? In the case of actors, What do you look like?)

2.  What experiences have you had? (For many, this might include work samples.)

2.  How do I hire you?

I love this (recently re-branded) website for photographer Emma Freeman, which gives a great sampling of the different kinds of clients that she has, including non-traditional wedding clients.  I especially love the about section, because when I’m hiring a photographer (or anyone, really), I’m not just hiring them for their talent- I’m hiring them for their personality, and because I want to work with them.  Her website gives fantastic information on who she is.

Choreographer Karen Sherman also has a great website.  I particularly like the navigation images on the home page- because they’re pretty and fun (I’m a sucker for aesthetics) and clear.  The photos and project descriptions represent her work really well.

Lastly, I love this website from publicist Kate O’Reilly (Clever Kate).  It so clearly tells us exactly what she’s about and why we’d want to hire her:

  • This is who I am.
  • This is what I do.
  • This is how you hire me.

And, it’s pretty easy to put that on a website.  The rest is just frosting on the cake!

What websites are you a fan of?  


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