A big reason for this has been the evolution to the next level and expansion of the message of Muslim Empowerment. Alhamdulillah
The other primary reason for spending months doing this with my team has been to give you a better experience as you visit the website.
Our previous brand experience was not able to fully express the impact of the message I have to share with you. It was time for an upgrade.
I invite you to check out the new website experience designed for you, my friend.
For the first 3 years of my online journey, I spent a lot of time and effort building and redesigning my website.
I’ve done a lot of design work and poured hundreds of hours into my website (zero exaggeration). I’ve worked with web design freelance contractors, SEO agencies, and web developers.
Over the years, I’ve gotten lots of praise, comments, insults, and questions about my branding. I have preserved quite a few lessons in my jar of mistakes that can help you. If you’re thinking about creating/redoing your own website, you’ll find value in this.
Here are the three things I’ve done differently this time, and what you can learn from my rebranding experience.
What did I do differently this time? And what can you learn?
1) I went for a simpler (less clunky) design
My first website went through countless iterations, and after endless tinkering with colors, fonts, copywriting, professional photoshoots, and editing – it ended up like this:
Truth be told – I didn’t love it. But it did a fine job for a few good years.
There were quite a few problems with it – the site was unclear as people had to email me asking questions on what type of work I do with my clients, none of my newsletters were published on the website, and overall, it was limiting the impact of our work.
After studying literally hundreds of websites, I’ve learned that the best sites are simple, easy to navigate, and help the visitor take action on everything we have to offer without confusion.
I now have better search functionality incorporated into the site. There are separate archives of articles and newsletters on my site. These archives are based on 6 core categories of content I usually write about to help you read what you need.
This kind of site architecture makes it easy for you to find what you need…this is one example of pillar content.
WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM THIS: While design is important to give a pleasant visitor experience, for new entrepreneurs logos, fonts, styling, color palette, etc – is all ‘froth’ that can keep you playing around in your comfort zone without taking action on stuff that actually matters.
This can distract you from the real work, which is uncomfortable, requires hard effort, and is challenging as it pushes you out of your comfort zone.
If you’re under 2 years of marketing and selling your product/ coaching, you are likely not very good at sales, marketing, understanding how to create client transformations, testing your program curriculum, coaching etc. That’s the real work.
Remember to focus on getting clarity, validating your idea with paying clients, and getting traction before investing in a professionally designed website. Until then, consider DIY-ing it.
2) I treated my website as the gateway to our message.
Contrary to what some business gurus say, having a website is important.
Some of the business gurus who are successful will preach against having a website – that’s because they’ve built a business, not a brand.
Your website is your virtual business card. Every one of my clients and partnerships discovered me through my website.
Even more now, I’m working on growing Muslim Empowerment as a brand by sharing my knowledge without holding back and monetizing my expertise.
If you’re an avid reader Muslim Empowerment, you’re probably after the same things that I am after – balance of Dunya and Akhirah, doing valuable work for others with integrity and excellence (Ihsan), getting financial freedom to work on my own terms…
This means, you’re also striving for something I call, The Big Win…to win BIG in Dunya and Akhirah:
It’s to design your best life that you love, that strives to follow our Deen principles in everything, and to create impact in others with your knowledge, time, and money.
This means YOU, too, are a part of this brand.
WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM THIS: In the early years, your branding begins with YOU. You are your brand in the beginning since you’re starting as a solopreneur (one-person business) in the online space. And over the years, it can grow to become something bigger than you.
But you can validate your business by getting your first 3-10 clients and building your MVP product without a website.
You can do this simply through DMs and social media profiles. In fact, I recommend starting that way so that you have clarity on your message and audience before you invest on a website.
It can be quite expensive to invest in your brand website while you’re still ‘figuring things out’. I recommend having a well-defined vision and clearly articulated copy before you invest in hiring a branding expert.
3) I invested in my website after establishing a well-defined brand vision and mission
For a year, we’ve been cracking our skulls to refine and define the Mission, Vision and Values of Muslim Empowerment. I didn’t redo the branding until we had nailed our message. This was in the middle of 2023 – that’s when I started the process of investing in the website upgrade.
I outsourced everything except the copywriting, branding, and site architecture, and worked very closely with my in-house web development team to create this upgraded brand.
This has been a journey of 5 years in the making.
I’ve learned that you must have the patience to let the long-term vision for your brand slowly bake over years.
WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM THIS: You must be like a lab scientist testing, iterating and optimizing how to pinpoint and articulate your vision and mission.
It will evolve and grow as your work evolves and grows. It will be as strong as you are at any given time.
And in the start, you’re never as strong as you will be over time.
But that doesn’t mean you should wait until you get stronger.
Quite the opposite – I’ll challenge you to think that you can’t grow stronger without the slow burn and baking. Take the example of a diamond – Diamond sits at the top of the Mohs scale of hardness (at number 10) as the hardest material. It’s formed through depths of over 120km, through intense heat of between 900°C and 1300°C, and over millions of years.
Now apply that analogy to the evolution of your legacy brand.
You must be willing to accept that impacting others with your work through a mission-driven brand and business is a process that never ends.
But the good news is – there’s beauty and joy at each stage! From the first day you hit publish to your new website with 0 visitors to the growth of your audience and reach of message – it doesn’t have to be too serious or stressful work…it can be good fun and spiritually satisfying Alhamdulillah! promise. 🙂
There’s still a lot of work going on in the background to publish past newsletters, redesign key landing pages to align with the brand, and clean up broken links from over 200 posts.
But that process has been in motion for months and will be taking another couple of months. I figured that shouldn’t be a reason for us to withhold the brand upgrade from you.
My new branding and website is clear, straightforward, simple and provides a smooth experience.
I needed a new face to represent the identity of Muslim Empowerment, and to create a vortex in the digital space for the high achieving spiritually conscious Muslims.
I hope this brand provides you a better experience and deeply valuable content for years to come.
I invite you to explore the new site experience, dive into the past newsletters, and join me as I work hard to move along this continuum.
If you’d like my help in turning your knowledge into an online brand that stands out and monetizing your expertise while being aligned with Faith, fill out this questionnaire to let me know a little bit about yourself, and your business goals.
If it feels aligned, I’ll give you a coaching session with the same dedication and attention I give my clients, instead of a sales call. If you love the experience, we’ll schedule a follow-up session to discuss what it would look like to become a client.
That’s all for today.See you next week In Sha Allah.