5 Things I Learned from Bringing ChatterBlast’s New Website to Life

Valerie Hoke image
Valerie Hoke
January 30, 2023

Okay, so *I* didn’t actually bring this website to life. 

But over the last year, I stretched the limits of my usual creative role (this is your Associate Creative Director speaking) and assumed management of revamping our website. Between identifying every little piece of copy that needed writing to digging through the archives for some of our greatest hits, I carved out a little section of my brain for this website to live rent-free for the past year. (It came dangerously close to overstaying its welcome, but don’t worry—its bags are all packed and the cleaning crew is now preparing for the next tenant.) 

As we finally release this new site into the world, I’ve found myself reflecting on five lessons that I learned along the way. 

1. We’ve done a lot of growing up.

When I first started at ChatterBlast as a little baby copywriting intern in 2015, we were loud and proud about the fact that we were a social media agency. These days, we still are—but we’ve also ventured so much further into the multiverse of media. Our skills, services, and interests have grown dramatically in the past few years, and this is precisely why we decided to reflect our evolution through a reimagined version of our website. After all, ChatterBlast is now a teenager. And rather than regrettable emo bangs and Hot Topic shopping sprees, we decided to channel our teen angst into this shiny new website that you’re visiting now. 

I’m so proud to have watched this company grow in size, confidence, and capabilities over the last seven years that I’ve been around. Soon enough, this teenager will be able to drive, too! 

The newbie holding a kitten at CBM HQ during her first week never would’ve thought she’d be around 7+ years later!

2. A good partner is invaluable. 

Though we do offer a slew of web services ourselves (*hint hint*), we knew that we needed to call in the pros for this project. Our friends at WhitePenny were up for the task, and from our initial discovery meeting to the email chains still going to this day, they’ve been with us every step of the way. 

For me, it was interesting to experience the life cycle of a project from the perspective of the client rather than the agency. Even though I don’t work directly with our clients as frequently as my counterparts on the account team, the experience led me to reflect on my client-facing interactions and think differently about how both parties collaborate to push along a project. Hopefully, it’s made me a more empathetic partner with a better understanding of the processes and timelines on both sides of the relationship. 

3. It’s important to be challenged. 

The first time we received mockup for the site’s homepage, we probably guffawed a bit. Those fonts? That shade of purple? This doesn’t look like us.

But then our CEO Evan Urbania made one of the most important suggestions of the entire process: “Let’s let the team explain it.” So we did, and we realized that not only was it exactly what we asked for—a sleek, grown up version of ChatterBlast—but it also objectively looked great. It was just different, and that freaked us out. A tale as old as time! 

4. It’s hard to talk about yourself. 

For someone with a background in copywriting, you would’ve thought that writing the copy throughout the site was one of the easier parts of the process. But since overthinking things is my greatest skill, of course it wasn’t! 

How do you distill 10 years of projects and partnership with a client into a single paragraph? What about knowing when to stop listing out different types of content we can create, when we could go on and on for days? Each part of the site, from our case studies to our about page, was an exercise in being concise and carefully considering what our audience actually wants and needs to know. Sometimes being voice-y is fun, and sometimes it’s just noise. 

5. Our creative team should get an Oscar. 

But you already knew that.

From the first conversation about redoing our site, we knew that we wanted to create a completely original piece of dynamic video work for the homepage. But as my responsibilities with managing the site’s overall content production grew, I stepped out of the creative process for said video and left that up to the visual masterminds. Over the next few months, I heard whispers about the video’s general approach and style, but I really didn’t know what to expect. 

When I saw the first draft, I was blown away. The snappy motion, textures and layers in the artwork, and clever copywriting in the script come together to offer a goofy glimpse into the world of ChatterBlast—a world in which we take great pride in our work, but we never take ourselves too seriously. Everyone who worked on the video should be beyond proud, from the artists themselves to the secret Blaster who provided the voiceover (brownie points if you can guess who). 

Even though I played a central role in bringing the site to life, I couldn’t have done it without the help of every member of our team, from the account managers who dug up campaign data to the ads and analytics gurus who translated web lingo when needed. 

Yes, ChatterBlast is a teenager now, but we promise this isn’t just a phase. (No, really, mom.) Get in touch to explore how we can help your brand do a little self-reimagination of its own.