Joanne is a graphic designer, web designer, and Squarespace Authorized Trainer based in Perth, Western Australia. She helps her clients tell their visual story by developing everything from logos to websites, and teaching them to own their online presence.
Circle: How did it first occur to you that building Squarespace websites was a viable business channel?
Joanne: When I started my business, I was offering classic website design along with my graphic design and branding services. I found the need for a simpler and easier-to-use website platform for clients that would work within their budget as start-ups and small businesses. So I abandoned the old style of designing (working with a coder) and started working solely with Squarespace as my website offering.
C: Why do you work with Squarespace over some other website building platforms?
J: I tried other platforms initially but found the user interface of Squarespace was much easier and nicer to work with. The templates are all beautifully designed which, as a designer, is a big draw for me. It basically ticked all the boxes and I thought, rather than offer website design service with a little knowledge across a lot of platforms, I would focus on one platform that I really loved and offer clients a high level of knowledge and service there. Using Squarespace gives me the tools to completely oversee the project from start to completion which means I can quality control the project.
C: How did you find your niche in your industry?
J: I knew I wanted to help small business owners and start-ups with their branding and websites because my passion is really in nurturing people through the branding process at the start of their exciting business journey. Many small businesses aren’t aware of the importance of branding and consistency through all platforms of their business. I get a great deal of job and personal satisfaction from knowing that I have really added value to someone’s business dream.
C: How has becoming an Authorized Trainer changed your work?
J: I feel this really builds my profile as someone who truly knows how to create a beautifully designed and functional website for their clients but has the knowledge to back that up. There is a great deal of trust that comes with the fact that clients know I am a trainer of the platform as well as a Squarespace website designer. I have received a larger number of enquiries for website designs, one-on-one training sessions, and website audits, and am able to really position myself as a leader in my field within my local area.
C: How does your work in graphic design translate to the web design and development work you do?
J: My favourite type of project is when I get to design the branding for a business and then apply that to their website design. That way, I can ensure brand consistency and it gives me the opportunity to be involved from the very start. I love seeing an entire project come to life through the website development because it really combines all the elements of the brand personality, its visual aspects, and brand voice.
C: What kind of business results have you seen over your time in Circle?
J: Developing websites has nearly overtaken the logo design projects I take on. It is great to offer it with the complete branding package (which is the most popular) but aside from that I also get a lot of work on stand-alone web projects, website audits, and website training. I do something in Squarespace pretty much on a daily basis. The fact that I am so proficient in Squarespace definitely creates a niche for me in my area which has boosted my business results for sure!
C: What’s the role of customer care in your business?
J: Customer satisfaction is really important to me as it really boosts your reputation as someone who is reliable to work with and actually cares about your business. If there is ever something I am unable to fix myself, Squarespace Customer Care is fantastic in resolving issues. My customers’ satisfaction then leads to recommendations and further business.
C: How does Squarespace help you stand out in your field?
J: For a long time I was the only designer that I knew offering website design within the Squarespace platform in my local area. With the growing popularity of the program. obviously more people are picking it up now. However, my experience using the program means that I have a very high level of proficiency and this certainly helps me stand out as an expert.
C: What would you tell your former self to do differently?
J: I would have told myself to discover the joys of Squarespace sooner, haha.
C: What do your family and friends think of the business you’ve built?
J: Well, they are quite impressed and are always very encouraging and complementing of my successes. I am lucky to be surrounded by really supportive family and friends that cheer me on regularly. Sometimes I don’t really acknowledge my accomplishments, but they tend to remind me and boost my confidence on a regular basis.
C: How are you pursuing your passions?
J: Squarespace helps me realise my dream of helping others whilst loving what I do and being creative. My work is my passion. Being creative, designing brands that my clients love, and attracting their target market means I can assist them in building a successful presence online, which is hugely satisfying for me. Achieving this as a profitable business means I get to live a life I love.
Special thanks to Joanne for sharing her story.
Find out more about Joanne’s work on her website.