The 4 Must-Have Elements Every Creative Business Website Needs

Feeling overwhelmed about what to put on your business website? 

Wondering what your creative business website should (or should not) include? 

If you’re drowning in “must-have” lists and generic templates that just don’t resonate with you or capture your unique creative business, I feel you. 

Navigating the murky swamp of conflicting information can be a frustrating experience. Every precious minute you spend untangling one-size-fits-all website advice could be better spent creating, marketing, or even making sales.

For this reason, you might find yourself with either a bare-bones website that barely scratches the surface of your talent, or a cluttered site so overloaded with text that your visitors struggle to understand who you are, much less what you offer.

The inconvenient truth is that for creatives, there’s no cookie-cutter solution. Our world is wildly diverse. You might be a graphic designer crafting stunning visuals, a musician perfecting those high notes, or a crafter spinning yarn into magic. Whatever your art, your website needs to be as unique as your creative work.

Whether it’s a Shopify store for handmade goods or a portfolio site showcasing your graphic design, the purpose and presentation can differ vastly between product-based and service-based businesses.

But despite this diversity, there are certain elements every creative brand’s website needs.

Here’s the good news:

There are golden threads that tie the most successful websites together. They’re what can make or break the connection with your audience, turning casual browsers into loyal customers.

Stick with me. 

I’m about to guide you through these universal essentials that will ensure your website isn’t just functional but a true reflection of your unique talents and an irresistible magnet for your ideal clients. 

Let’s dive into what makes a creative business website not just good, but great so your online presence is as compelling as your creative work. 

#1 Share Your Story

Your story is more than just background information – it’s the heart of your brand. For that reason, it needs to be front and center.

Think about it. 

As a creative entrepreneur, your journey shapes how your audience connects with you, no matter if you’re elbows deep in paint or code. 

At the end of the day, people like to work with people. So, whether you oversee a large team or run the show on your own, you need to showcase the humans behind the creative work. 

Your story is what makes you, your team, your work, your offers, and your brand both distinct and memorable. 

So, what’s your story? And no, I’m not just fishing for your resume here. 

Consider weaving in the following story elements throughout your website:

Origin Story

How and why did you start? What mountains did you have to climb to get here? Your business origin story isn’t fluff—it’s the foundation of your brand, especially if you consider yourself a solopreneur or a personal brand

Even if you’re running a product-based business, the genesis of your products likely started with a story.

Take a page from Shark Tank. 

On the show, the audience roots for entrepreneurs who share compelling stories behind their creations

Whether it’s the busy mom who designed a revolutionary baby product to simplify her life or the avid runner who couldn’t find the right gear to meet their performance goals and decided to create their own, these narratives resonate deeply.

So, how can you harness the power of your unique origin story for your website?

  • If you’re a musician– share the first time you performed in front of an audience or what it was like the first time you picked up your instrument!

  • If you’re a painter– talk about where you learned the foundation for your signature technique.

  • If you’re a jewelry maker—describe what it was like to sell your very first piece or the inspiration behind your first line.

It’s these human elements that transform customers into a community. Suddenly your brand isn’t just another business, it’s a magnet that helps your audience self-identify as a buyer or a client and draws them into your creative world.

Your Professional and Creative Journey

Your origin story isn’t the only story your audience wants and needs to hear. There is tremendous value in sharing your journey along the way as both a creative and a business owner. 

What path did you take to hone your craft or develop your products?

Bring your audience along for the ride, showing them the dedication, the failures, and the victories that mark the way (yes, sometimes this calls for a humble brag to show you know your stuff)! 

Transparency, vulnerability, and a behind-the-scenes look at how you got from your origin story to where you are today create a powerful connection. It’s this raw honesty that makes your journey relatable and inspiring, turning casual website visitors into loyal fans who root for your success and feel invested in your brand.

Unique Selling Proposition

What makes you stand out from the crowd?

This is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and it’s gold. Dig deep. What do you offer that no one else can? Maybe it’s your method, your madness, or maybe it’s just you. Whatever it is, own it—and tell its story.

Here are some prompts to get you started and help you pinpoint your creative brand’s “secret ingredient”:

  1. Do you have a unique method or process that you use to create your work? How does this process benefit your clients or customers?

  2. What do your clients or customers consistently praise about your work? What do they say makes you different or better than others?

  3. What core values drive your business? How do these values influence the way you create or deliver your work?

  4. What do you see as missing or lacking in your industry that you provide? How do you fill this gap uniquely?
With your USP clearly defined, you can craft a compelling narrative around your USP. This not only makes it more memorable but also helps your audience connect with your brand on a deeper level. 

For example:

  • You can focus on a gap your brand fills.
    • If your USP fills a gap or challenges the status quo in your industry, tell the story of how you identified this opportunity and what inspired you to take a different approach. Highlight how your unique perspective is shaking things up and making a difference.
  • You could also lean into your brand values.
    • Your core values are the backbone of your USP. Tell the story of how these values came to be and how they consistently guide your business decisions and creative process. Illustrate how your values set you apart and make you the perfect fit for your ideal audience.

Once you’ve crafted your USP story, weave it throughout your website copy. This narrative thread will not only attract the right audience but also reinforce your unique place in the market. By telling your USP story, you invite your audience to become part of your brand’s journey—and that’s a powerful connection.

People Love, Remember, and Relate to Stories.

Remember, people relate to stories. They support those they feel connected to—people and brands they understand and remember. A well-crafted story not only enhances your brand’s relatability but also builds trust, which is essential for any business relationship. 

If you do this well, when it’s time for them to buy from you, they’ll be nodding their head “yes” because they relate to your work, value it, and ultimately want to purchase it– specifically from you because you’ve got the secret sauce they’ve been looking for.

#2 Showcase Your Work

Your website should serve as a vibrant gallery of your work. Depending on your field, this could range from digital portfolios and case studies to product galleries, demos, and service descriptions. The way you present your work should not only reflect your expertise but should also be aligned with the goals of your website, whether those are to attract commissions, sell products, or book services.

No matter what you choose, here’s how to make sure your work shines:

Curate Your Best

Curate your best work and show it in the best light. 

Select work that showcases your top-notch quality and skill. You don’t need to, and shouldn’t, show everything you’ve ever done. 

Don’t overwhelm visitors with volume—quality always trumps quantity. Use your website to build credibility by highlighting your most popular products or projects.

COO Tip: Protect your work! If necessary, you might consider using password protection for sensitive or copyrighted content, such as exclusive designs or commissioned pieces. For example, licensed creative work like pattern libraries or commission work that you can’t publicly share may need restricted access. This way you can maintain control over who has access and for how long while protecting yourself and your intellectual property.

Demonstrate Success

Don’t shy away from showcasing social proof. This is a chance to let your clients do the bragging for you! Your brand’s social proof should live on your site somewhere that people can easily see and dive into (aka don’t bury it)

Include testimonials, reviews, and case studies that show the impact of your work. Testimonials and reviews can significantly influence potential clients’ perceptions and decisions. 

Showcasing these different types of social proof can help build trust, credibility, and excitement around your brand. 

Social proof extends beyond testimonials and reviews; it encompasses any evidence that others are engaging with and trusting your brand, such as case studies, media mentions, or user-generated content.

Highlight collaborations, award-winning work, media and press features, or recognitions that boost your credibility. If you’ve worked with a popular brand– share that! 

#3 Engage and Connect

A robust engagement strategy is vital for turning visitors into loyal fans and clients. You want to give people a path to contact you, connect with you, and learn more. 

Your website should facilitate connections through several channels:

Share Captivating, High-Value Content

As you know, people love a good story (sense the theme here?) especially when it’s real and raw. On your website, you can continue to connect with your audience via story through blogs, podcasts, or videos to share insights, updates, and behind-the-scenes peeks into your creative process. 

  • Did you just finish a challenging project? Talk about the hurdles and how you overcame them. 
  • Launched a new product? Show the journey from idea to reality. 

This content not only showcases your expertise but also keeps your audience engaged and coming back for more.

Social Media Links

Wouldn’t it be amazing if every visitor was ready to buy the moment they landed on your website? 

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Some people need more time—they want to dive deeper, learn more, and ask questions. If you don’t cater to both the ready-to-buy visitors and the ones on the fence, those “window shoppers” might bounce and disappear forever.

Make sure your website includes social media links so visitors can stay connected. If you have an Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or YouTube presence, include those links (I have these in the footer of my website)

This keeps potential customers within your business ecosystem, giving them more ways to engage with your brand until they’re ready to make a purchase.

COO Tip: Don’t link to inactive social media accounts—it can have the opposite effect on your credibility!

Interactive Elements

Encourage interaction and provide value by inviting visitors to join your email list in exchange for exclusive content, such as newsletters, freebies, or behind-the-scenes access.

Offer a downloadable guide, a free mini-course, or a sneak peek of your latest work as an incentive for users to opt-in to your list. This provides value to your audience and allows you to build a direct line of communication with them through their email addresses. I call that a win-win!

Here are a few examples to get your neurons firing:

  • If you’re a graphic designer, you could offer a freebie like a “10 Tips for a Stunning Logo” PDF in exchange for their email. 

  • Or, if you’re a musician, how about a behind-the-scenes video of your recording process? 

These touches make visitors feel valued and part of your inner circle while introducing them to your style, approach, and what you have to offer. 

Plus, building your email list is crucial. Doing this through your website ensures that when you have something to sell, you’ve got a warm audience ready and eager to hear from you. Nurturing this list means you’re not just reaching out to strangers but connecting with people who have invited you into their inbox.

#4 A Clear Customer Journey

Your website is more than just a digital portfolio; it’s a guided journey that leads your visitors toward a specific goal. Whether you want them to make a purchase, book a service, or sign up for your newsletter, your site should be designed with a clear customer journey in mind.

Clear, Visible Calls to Action

First things first—what’s a Call to Action (CTA)? It’s that nudge on your website that tells visitors exactly what to do next. Think “Buy Now,” “Book a Consultation,” “Sign Up for Our Newsletter,” or “Contact Us.” 

CTAs are the magic buttons that guide your visitors towards taking action, helping you hit your business goals. Without them, your site is just a pretty picture with no purpose. 

And don’t forget to make those CTAs (calls-to-action) stand out! Sprinkle these buttons throughout your site so clients can’t miss them. Think bold, eye-catching buttons that scream “click me!” 

Your CTAs should guide your visitors toward taking the next step, whether it’s buying a product, booking a service, or reaching out for more information.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for the Sale

I see this mistake all the time. 

Creative business owners often shy away from “asking for the sale” because they worry about feeling “salesy” or pushy. 

But let’s get real—your website is your online storefront. Its ultimate goal is to facilitate business transactions, whether that’s booking a service, selling a product, or securing a commission. You can’t just assume people know how to hire you, buy from you, or book a consult. Your job is to make it crystal clear.

Streamline Transactions

Eliminate as many barriers as possible. Reduce clicks, integrate Apple Pay or Google Pay if you can, and use tech tools that make it easier for people to give you their business and their money. The fewer hoops your clients have to jump through, the more likely they are to take action and buy. Quick payment options and minimal clicks are key.

Provide Clear Guidance

Make sure clients know exactly what’s what when it comes to working with you. If there are prerequisites, like filling out an application, make these steps obvious and easy to follow. Clear, straightforward instructions make the process smooth and hassle-free.

Contact Options

Okay, your contact page might not be the most glamorous part of your website, but it’s definitely the most practical. If people can’t reach you, they can’t take the next step in building a relationship with your brand or making a purchase. Your contact page is the bridge that connects interested audiences to your offers, so make sure it’s super easy to find and use.

Think contact forms, email links, and direct chat options tailored to your business. Make sure to think about the user experience on your website and create a clear path so they always know exactly what they need to do and what the next steps are.

And here’s a helpful tip: let them know when they can expect to hear back. Make sure it’s something you can realistically stick to and then set up a system to manage it.

Keep Your Objective Front and Center

While sharing your story, showcasing your creative work, and sharing your message, don’t let your CTAs to buy, book, or inquire get lost. Keep your objective front and center, and ensure everything on your website supports and drives towards your business goals.

By designing your website with a clear customer journey in mind, you’ll not only create a more engaging user experience but also increase the likelihood of converting visitors into paying clients.

Tailoring the Essentials to Fit Your Creative Business

Here’s the thing: these four elements are universally crucial, but how you use them should reflect your distinct creative niche and brand.

When your website combines your story, connection, valuable content, and clear next steps, it doesn’t just sit there looking pretty—it works. It boosts your online presence, attracts more clients, and ramps up engagement.

Remember, every part of your site should tell a cohesive story that shows off your talent and makes it ridiculously easy for clients to take the next step.

If you’re looking to enhance your online presence and make sure your website is working harder for you and your clients, these guidelines are your blueprint for success. Embrace them to not only highlight your unique skills but also build meaningful connections that propel your creative business forward.

Let’s Stay Connected

As a business coach for creatives, I’m all about practicing what I preach. Just as I’ve encouraged you to build a community with your audience, I’d love to do the same with you. Let’s stay connected and keep the conversation going!

Join my email list and become part of a thriving community of creative entrepreneurs. 

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  • Exclusive content tailored to help you elevate your creative business
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  • Access to resources, educational materials, and tools to support your creative journey

My mission is to help talented individuals like you debunk the “starving artist” myth and build a business that you love, one that supports your passion and provides the lifestyle you deserve.

Don’t navigate the world of creative entrepreneurship alone. Join my email community, and let’s take it one step at a time. 



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