Hello Helen – Welcome to The Interview!
What sparked your interest in web design?
“When people ask me how did I get into web design, I tell them the story of a friend who had a disastrous experience with a web-designer who hadn’t spent any time understanding her business, charged too much money and walked off with her domain name – I saw an opportunity! We both agreed: “How hard can it be to build a website?” Eight years later, after re-training, I now create websites that look good, add value and deliver results.”
How do you get your inspiration?
“Listening to my clients is the key to my success. When it comes to inspiration my clients are often clear about what they like – and what they don’t like! This is the starting point; I usually develop the final design in consultation with my clients. As everyone has such different visions and desires for their website, my job is to identify exactly what a client needs and deliver a website that reflects his or her character, their product or service – in essence their unique brand proposition.”
What sort of web designs to you enjoy doing most?
“It is very satisfying to work for clients who are starting out in their sector and watching their business grow with them over time. I have a continuing relationships with many of my clients and that is what I enjoy the most.”
What challenges do you face when designing websites for clients in the creative industries?
“I think clients who are in creative industries have great imaginations, sometimes that means I need to temper their desire to have it all on their website and remind them of their original budget! You can of course have it all but we are all constrained by budgets.”
As a solo-preneur, what techniques do employ to grow your business?
“Growing my business has been key over the last three years to its success. I have used marketing and a small amount of advertising which brings fresh leads. Most of my new business at the moment is now coming through a business network, Athena, that I visit each month. Not only do I get referrals from other members but I also learn from them too.”
What one key piece of advice would you give a young web designer starting out?
“As I have been teaching web design for beginners at adult college I often talk to people who hope to run a business in web design, I advise them to read the trade blogs and news to see what is up and coming. I also tell them to keep training as this industry is on the move and your skills need to be up-to-date. If I had more time to mentor them I would also advise them to really listen to clients.”
What or who inspires you?
“I get inspiration from many different places. I love art, colour and visual expression so I enjoy a slow meander through a gallery. I also like to walk and take in the sights and sound of London around me; whether it is the simplicity of nature or the jumble of a bustling market. I love to listen to the younger generation who have such fresh ideas, you can learn a lot from them and get inspiration from their no-boundaries approach to technology.”
Check out Helen Bantock Web Design
E: firstname.lastname@example.org She tweets @HelenBantockWeb
I give you words like I give you gold
Disclaimer: Helen designed my website which I’m very happy with; and supported me in the production of this post.