How important is having a professional designed website?

This was the question asked by LinkedIn board member Sergio a designer and developer from the UK. I don’t normally find it imperative to join in on discussions like this, for the simple fact that I think sites – websites of any kind – tend to speak for themselves. Here then was my two cents:

Nathan Lang • Quite simply, you are what you represent. I can’t underestimate the power of clear communication that your brand represents. When I visit prospective sites for market research, client follow-up, etc. I can immediately get an excellent picture of who (or what) I’m either dealing with, or going to be dealing with. As an Actor (and do not be fooled) we are actors first. It’s just as important that our Brand communicates the very same qualities and high level of standards that anyone in a business would want to get across. I have had my website revamped all of 4-5 times. Still it continues to morph. At night, in my sleep – It speaks of evolving even more, intimating how it might go about showcasing more – doing more. I work with an awesome designer who designs CMS (Content Management Systems) for vo talent and agencies like no ones business. In the end though – we really do represent what people see, unless we change that. By really focusing in on what we excel at in voiceover, then pushing it forward to put it on full display. If you are in this for the long-haul, and I assume we are, spend the money (add it as the cost of doing business) and get the work done that focuses on YOUR brand. Young, Hip? Your site should communicate it. Sweet Sexy? A prospective client should get that on the landing page. Don’t skimp. Put in the time and effort, and the sweet rewards will kiss you back 😉

While this really is a very basic idea I have about websites, and in particular, sites that showcase the intangible talent and services of Musicians, Actors, Graphic Artists, etc.
It just seems plain that a prospective client, brand, or whatever end-user you would want to use your services would like your site to “get to the point.” Essentially, tell me what I need to know, know about, or interest me in what I’m looking for. Now. Everyone loves a good challenge. But requiring too much digging to find what they need, and well you know the rest… On to the next site. Is it important that a site I’m researching or thinking of doing business with accurately reflects my interests? Absolutely. Do I care about all the bells and whistles of this flashy site? Hell no. I was fortunate enough to find a web developer – Suraj Nuniyar – through one of my reps, and he came highly recommended. Thorough to a fault, he had all the experience of working with voiceover talent CMS (content management systems) that not only worked well, but were expandable, configurable, and relevant. So spend the money. No, “invest” the money in your brand, ’cause Coca Cola is gonna spend their last $2.00 trying to get you to spend your last $20.00 🙂