Nicole Durfee Shipley, owner of Beyond Pilates, approached me about options for a website redesign. The previous website had been built in Weebly with limited content and lacked full integration with their scheduling software Mind Body.
In talking with Nicole about challenges she was experiencing with workloads, it became apparent we needed to build a site that worked for her instead of against her. There were so many unique and lovely features about her Pilates studio that the old website wasn’t demonstrating well to current and potential clients. The time had come for a full redo of the website design as well as company branding.
Revamping the Logo
After the initial website questionnaire was completed, we knew we wanted to focus on a nurturing and gentle vibe. This was even more apparent to me after I had the experience of my first Pilates sessions - each instructor is incredibly skilled and focused on you and your body. This relationship between the instructors and their clients is carefully cultivated and developed over time. The website needed to reflect that and so did the branding.
We partnered with Snow in July Designs to revamp the logo and create a color palette that supported the unique brand. The result was phenomenal and created a key element for the website design to evolve from.
Creating Content and an Ideal Client Avatar
A majority of the work for this project centered around several content worksheets I had created to guide Nicole and her staff to answer questions in a way that would help us write the most accessible and helpful content for website visitors. More importantly, we worked diligently on bringing Nicole’s Ideal Client Avatar to life. This is such an important step that many business owners don’t take! You want to attract and work with the people that’s a great fit for your business and the way you like to run it, why try to attract the masses when you can attract quality clients instead?
After several worksheets were completed, I was able to piece together the most important content for placement on the website.
The previous website had utilized some stock images which can work fine for a while, especially if you’re short on time or have a limited budget. But when you have a beautiful studio space like Beyond Pilates offers to clients it’s really important to showcase the space, staff, and clients!
Beyond Pilates had several clients willing to volunteer for the photography shoot and it really paid off!
Nicole emailed her clients soliciting testimonials for our use on the website and in publication materials. The response was overwhelming in terms of everyone being so positive and complementary of Beyond Pilates as well as the sheer number of testimonials we received! I utilized Squarespace’s blog feature to capture testimonials for specific placement throughout the site with the use of tags. This way we have one single repository of testimonials and their website page placement can be easily changed by editing the tags.
The testimonials not only support the business as a whole, they also highlight the unique strengths each instructor brings to a session.
A cool feature that I personally love about the site is the soft gradient effects utilized in the background of the website. This soft transition promotes a sense of calm and softness, which is perfect for the Beyond Pilates brand! Another plus of using CSS for this effect is it keeps the website page size down since we didn’t use images for this effect (smaller file size).
Extensive Frequently Asked Question Pages
Based on personal experience, Nicole and the other instructors were used to answering a lot of questions from inexperienced and experienced clients. This is where a website can really shine in working for you! We created 3 FAQ pages for:
Rates & Sessions
Each audience is best served by knowing where to go, and the website has a handy search feature in the main navigation menu so you’re sure to find the answer you’re looking for!
Dynamic Biography Pages
The best part about Beyond Pilates are the instructors! What better way to highlight each instructor’s expertise and personality than with rotating action shots of them performing moves on equipment as a quick introduction, then a more detailed biography page highlighting each person’s background and why they love Pilates.
Social Media Integration
Beyond Pilates has a very active Instagram feed, so the most recent 4 images are displayed in the footer section at the bottom for continuously updating pictures!
Mind Body Integration
Second to the work on developing content, getting this 3rd party software to work within the confines of Nicole’s preferences and the website itself took some doing, but it does work! Brand new clients to Beyond Pilates and Pilates in general will have an option to book their first session online.
Coordinating Print Materials
With this many changes to Beyond Pilates’ branding, we needed to revise business cards and rack cards to match the website!