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THE DESIGN JOURNAL

A creative and inspirational space dedicated to empowering female founders breaking into and expanding in the beauty, health, and wellness industries to create purposeful brand strategies, craft personality-packed copy, design data-driven websites, and establish thoughtful workflows that that captivate, connect and convert from day one, WITHOUT the overwhelm. I'm keeping a pulse on the latest trends in branding, web design, and small business trends - and bringing them to you to each week to help you build & scale your small business.

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Why Templates are the Right Option for Emerging Brands

If you’ve got an online business having a professional and eye-catching website is a must. But not every small business owner has the budget or time to invest in a custom-designed website right from the start. And the truth is - you don’t really need it anyway.


This is why brand and website templates are the best options for emerging entrepreneurs.


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Understanding Templates

First things first – what is a template? A template is a pre-designed layout that allows you to modify and arrange content in a way that is customized to your needs. Think of it as a starting point, a base to work off of - not an end result. It’s should never be a copy-and-paste situation.


This is where having a solid brand strategy comes into play.


You can’t just buy the template, add your logo, connect your domain and call it a day.


In the past, you had to make a big investment in a custom design to get a good brand or website. Templates were something people used to DIY when they couldn’t afford a custom brand or website - and the results were amateur at best, lacking originality and professional polish.


But that's not the case anymore...


Now, you don’t have to spend thousands for a professional website - or settle for a lack-luster template that leaves little to the imagination. You can get the same results for less and feel good about your brand from the beginning. Brand, website and Canva templates are an incredibly powerful tool for emerging online entrepreneurs. It’s a step up from the basic DIY without jumping straight off the deep end with custom.


The only thing holding you back from utilizing the power of templates is believing the lies that have been spread about them. But there are some common misconceptions about templates that we need to address. So before we dive into why templates are the perfect solution for emerging brands, let me tackle 3 common myths and misconceptions about templates...


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Myth No. 1: It's an Easy Plug-n-Play Solution.

Like a I said before, a template is a starting point, not an end result. One of the most common misconceptions about templates is that they are a done-for-you, out-of-the-box type of thing, that by simply purchasing the website template means your website is done. When in actuality, they are a road map to help you build your online space without reinventing the wheel. It’s a foundation to build your unique online presence.


Starting with a template means you’re halfway there, but you still have to put in some work. In fact, any template in any form for your business should be tailored to fit your needs. It’s not a copy-and-paste situation.


Brand, website and Canva templates are plug-and-play to an extent. But in order to get the most out of your investment and your collateral, you need to put a little more thought into it than simply changing out your logo and swapping out some images.


Making a template your own is how they become unique and stand out from the crowd. When you put time into your own strategy, your own copy, and your own needs then things start to shift and transform and before you know it you have your own website. But you won’t be able to see HOW you can change the template until you look behind the design and figure out the strategy.


They all look the same.

Another common misconception is that using a brand, website or Canva template means your business will lack originality and look like everyone else’s. While templates provide a foundation, you can modify colors, fonts, layouts, and even add custom elements to make the template your own.


While templates do provide a starting point, they are versatile tools that can be transformed into a unique brand or website. When you understand the potential for customization and creative adaptation, you can harness the power of templates to build a distinctive online presence that resonates with your target audience.


They won't be as good as a custom design.

Some people think that templates are lower quality compared to custom-designed brands and websites. But when they are done RIGHT they are well-designed, organized, user-friendly, and can rival any custom-designed brand or website.


The key here is to choose a premium template over a basic one. Not all templates are created equal and in order to actually benefit from a template it needs to be a good one.


Premium templates can save you time and effort by providing a solid foundation with high-quality design and features. They often offer better customization options, helping you create a website that aligns perfectly with your brand’s identity and goals.


In the midst of all these misconceptions, one truth shines through: templates are not putting limitations on your business, but rather adding stepping stones towards an elevated online presence. By understanding that templates are versatile, and only as powerful as the intent behind them, you can harness their potential to create an online presence that stands out in an ever-crowded industry. The next time you consider using a template, remember that it’s not just a design; it’s a springboard for innovation.


Now that we’ve debunked some of the common misconceptions, let’s talk about why they are a good option for your emerging brand.


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Why templates are a great option for emerging brands...


If you use a template the right way and actually implement some strategy with it, it can be the best solution for elevating your online presence. While a custom-designed brand or website might be a dream, it’s not always a practical reality, especially in those first few years. This is why templates are the best option.


Templates offer a cost-effective and time-efficient solution for launching your online presence without compromising on quality so that you can have a beautiful and functional brand and website without having to learn how to create it from scratch.


They allow you to get your brand identity, your website, and your brand essentials up and running fast (usually a week or less) without wasting endless time figuring things out or waiting months to get on a designer’s calendar.


Think of website templates as a launchpad for your brand. They allow you to have a professional and visually appealing website up and running in a matter of weeks, not months. With the right template and process, you can easily attract your ideal clients, showcase your offerings, and establish your online presence without the hefty investment or timeline that custom design demands.


How to find a good template?

But here’s the catch (you knew it sounded too good to be true right?!). Quality matters. And not all templates are created equal. If you’re going to use a template, you are much better off using a quality-designed one.

You want your website to actually work for you and that’s why it’s crucial to choose a premium template that offers more than just aesthetics. Here are some things to look for in a good template:


Brand Templates:

  • Does or can the designer customize them for you? Most pre-designed brand kits from reputable designers offer template customization for you. This allows you to have a beautifully designed brand at a small fraction of the cost of a custom design, tailored by a pro to fit your needs. Most turnaround times are 1 week or less. Check out my semi-custom brand kits completed in just 1 day here >>

  • Do they offer some kind of brand guidelines to accompany them so you know how to apply them to your business?


Website Templates:

  • Do their designs offer all of the pages you may need for your website, or are their additional costs associated with page add-ons (like your Instagram links page, long form sales pages, blog pages, lead magnet opt-in pages, etc.)

  • Do they offer copy prompts to help you format your website to actually convert to sales?

  • Do they offer guides or videos to help you navigate the process of customization?

  • Do they offer support in case you get stuck with customizing your template and need assistance?

  • I often tell people that when it comes to picking a template, look past the colors, photos and general branding of the template and look at the foundation. Does it meet your needs, your industry and your niche? For example - if you're a life coach and find a template that was designed for life coaches with the exact pages you need to set up your offerings, promote your podcast, and host a membership - but you hate the design, colors or branding of it DOESN'T mean it's the wrong template for you. All of the branding will be customized by you - you want to focus on the bones of the site. The rest is fixable and changeable. Focus on getting a template that has the essentials of what your business needs, NOT the one that has the same aesthetic you're after. You'll have a much easier time modifying the aesthetics of the template vs. modifying the layout to fit your needs.


Canva Templates:

  • Do they offer guides on how to import, customize and use these for your business? For example, we offer kits of email marketing templates with guides on how to use them for each email marketing platform to make the process easy.

  • Do they offer all of the essentials your business needs or will you have to buy multiple kits to achieve your desired results? For example, our social media packs come with an array of different template for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and all of the different formats in each platform so you don't have to make adjustments.


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But before you get too excited...

Before you get too excited about building the brand and website of your dreams with a template in just one day, there’s one more thing you have to know...


Any template shop that tells you it is "super easy and simple" to customize a brand or website template are not telling you the whole truth. It CAN be, but only if you approach it the right way with the right strategy and the right kind of template.


I have seen many template designers oversimplify the website template customization process especially. They make it sound like it’s a quick swap of your text and images and you’re ready to go live. That’s only halfway true. Yes, templates provide a head start, but to create a website that truly resonates with your audience, you’ll need to invest time and effort into refining your strategy, crafting compelling copy, optimizing your visuals, and setting up the backend and workflows of your website to ACTUALLY WORK for your business. THEN you can simply swap and launch.



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