Improve Your Website Using the Enneagram
I’m an Enneagram six (the loyal skeptic), so I guess it’s totally on brand that I’m generally skeptical of personality tests (confirmation bias is real, y’all!). But even I have to admit that the Enneagram can be a pretty fascinating tool to learn about yourself and your motivations!
Learning about your Enneagram type can give you insight into a lot of different aspects of your life: your relationships, your working style, and more. So, I figured it could give you insight into your brand and website as well!
Read on to get some specific website advice for YOUR Enneagram type! And be sure to tell me what type you are in the comments and if this rang true!
(Note: I’m getting my information here from The Enneagram Institute)
Type 1: The Perfectionist
Enneagram ones have super high standards for themselves and for others. They see the world in clear rights and wrongs and strive to do what’s “right” in any given situation. They are very detail-oriented, and operate with a strong sense of purpose.
Type 1 website wins:
Type ones go to painstaking lengths to ensure that every detail on their site is just right. If the font size looks “off,” they will tweak it until it looks EXACTLY the way they believe it should. This means that ones’ websites tend to be very visually pleasing because all those little details add up to a beautiful site!
Type 1 website pains:
The flip side of this, of course, is that ones are spending a TON of time on their site. While others set up their sites once and make tweaks every so often as needed, ones make tweaks on a weekly or even daily basis! The trade-off for their beautiful website is that it becomes a total time suck. Rather than spending their precious time building relationships with clients or following up on inquiries, they are spending it obsessing over details that often ultimately don’t even matter.
Website advice for type 1:
If you are a type one, repeat after me: “Done is better than perfect!” Give yourself permission to let go of sweating those details. As a professional designer, I can assure you that the color of a button or the exact image on your services page is NOT going to be a dealbreaker for anyone. Website design isn’t math class—there’s not a “right answer” you will eventually come to if you just spend more time searching for it. I recommend limiting yourself to one day a month where you allow yourself to get into the details of your site and make changes as needed (ps- my website audit checklist can help!).
Type 2: The Helper
Enneagram twos thrive on serving others and feeling needed. They feel most fulfilled when they are empathizing with others and making them feel loved. They thrive on family and friendship, and tend to be popular and well-liked!
Type 2 website wins:
Type twos are “Ideal Client” whisperers. Because they love helping people so much, their business is rooted in a desire to solve people’s problems and make them feel good. Type twos rarely struggle to think of blog content because they are in tune with their audience and know what they need to hear.
Type 2 website pains:
Because type twos thrive on helping others, it can be tough for them to say “no” when someone comes to them for help. Getting inquiries from clients who aren’t a good fit is very stressful for a Two because they are people-pleasers at heart! Often, Twos will feel guilted into saying “yes” to these types of clients, and end up doing work they don’t really want to do!
Website advice for type 2:
If you’re a Two, design your website with the concept of “attract and repel” in mind. This means that while you definitely want to make everything as appealing as possible for your ideal client, you want to make it as unappealing as possible for non-ideal clients! On your services page, for example, include an FAQ section that sneakily states the kinds of services you don’t do. Be as explicit as you can in stating who you are, what you do, and who you serve (hint: this should be stated ASAP on your home page!). This will cut down on those non-ideal client inquiries that become so stressful.
Type 3: The Performer
Enneagram threes are high achievers! They are productive, energetic, and efficient. Threes are driven by the motivation to achieve and earn external praise. They are competitive, driven, and will do what it takes to accomplish their goals.
Type 3 website wins:
Take a glance at a Three’s about page and prepare to be impressed. They have likely been published on industry blogs, guested on a few podcasts, and won some industry awards. This lends a ton of credibility to them and their business. Clients don’t have to wonder if they are truly experts; their many accomplishments speak for themselves.
Type 3 website pains:
Of course, these accolades don’t appear overnight, so Threes just starting out often feel like they can’t show up for their audience just yet because they haven’t proven themselves enough. Threes want to impress others, and can put pressure on themselves that makes them feel like they aren’t measuring up. Even threes who are more established in business can feel this way if they are noticing peers start to “get ahead” by reaching milestones they are still striving toward.
Website advice for Type 3:
Threes, my best advice for you is to dance like no one is watching! Seriously, cheesiness aside, no one is as worried about your image as you are. Let go of your worries that you aren’t “impressive” enough and worry about the sphere of influence you DO have. Even if the industry magazine and podcasts aren’t knocking down your door yet, there are some people who think the world of you: your clients! Fulfill your “three” needs by reaching out to past clients for testimonials (I have some great tips for this here ). Your clients’ kind words will remind you that you ARE enough and you have already proven yourself through your outstanding service—plus, those testimonials will look super impressive to your future clients!
Type 4: The Romantic
Enneagram fours are creative and artistic. They seek to find meaning in everything they do and strive to always be authentic. They feel they are different from others but desire to feel understood.
Type 4 website wins:
Fours refuse to be “just like everybody else.” Their website stands out from the crowd because it’s one-of-a-kind. Fours shy away from using templates, but if they do, they go to great lengths to customize their site. Clients are drawn to their site because it isn’t like anything else they have seen out there.
Type 4 website pains:
The effort to have a unique website, while noble, can be extremely frustrating. For example, it’s hard to find a font that looks great but isn’t already being used by a ton of other businesses. Fours can also put pressure on themselves by putting in a lot of work to their branding, but still feeling like they aren’t being “authentic” enough. Fours tend to be very self-aware but can struggle to communicate their special type of awesome to their potential clients.
Website advice for type 4:
Know that your uniqueness comes not from a font, a color, or a layout, but from who you are and what you believe. It’s okay if another wedding pro uses the same website template as you—it doesn’t mean that clients will perceive you the same! Instead, set yourself apart by establishing your mission statement and core values. Really dig into your “why.” Once you have a good sense of it (don’t stress about it being perfect), incorporate it throughout your site—on your home page, in your “about” bio, above your contact form. Don’t be afraid to tell your clients what makes you special!
Type 5: The Observer
Enneagram fives are intellectual and perceptive. They look investigating to figure out why things work the way they do. Fives are very knowledgable and enjoy learning for its own sake.
Type 5 website wins:
Fives take it upon themselves to learn about the different components that make up a good website: images, copy, visual design, SEO, and development. They are confident that their website adheres to best practices because they have studied these practices at length.
Type 5 website pains:
The pressure to be knowledgable about every aspect of their site can be paralyzing for Fives. They are hesitant to outsource to others, but also want to feel educated on a topic before taking action. For example, Fives are likely to ignore their SEO until they have time to really dig in and learn the ins and outs.
Website advice for type 5:
For Fives, it’s all about the small wins. You don’t have to be a design or SEO expert to make meaningful updates to your website. I recommend starting with my website audit checklist for a list of small wins exactly like this. Fives should also consider some self-exploration to determine what website tasks they truly enjoy, and what can be outsourced. This will allow them to launch sites much more quickly than they would if they were taking the time to learn everything on their own.
Type 6: The Loyal Skeptic
Enneagram sixes are driven by the desire for safety and security. They are reliable, hard-working, and talented at anticipating problems and brainstorming potential solutions. Sixes are very cautious.
Type 6 website wins:
It can take sixes a while to trust others, so they understand how others might feel the same way. Because of this, they work to build trust with potential clients through their website. Sixes are great at communicating how their service can solve the problems of their ideal clients. Their site is probably easy to navigate and full of useful information for potential clients.
Type 6 website pains:
Sixes’ cautious nature makes them incredibly indecisive. When it comes to their website, they probably really struggled to decide on the various elements the first time around, so making changes can feel even more intimidating. Sixes tend to keep the same website for a long time without making a lot of changes, which means their content and design can start to feel stale.
Website advice for type 6:
Sixes can keep their websites fresh by making smaller, more frequent changes. This is less intimidating than making huge changes all at once. For example, a new footer design can add a fresh, new look to the entire site but only requires making a few decisions to do. Sixes can also lean on industry pals to ease the burden of their indecision—use an Instagram poll if you are stuck between two options, and go with the winner!
Type 7: The Epicure
Enneagram sevens are driven by a desire for freedom and happiness. They are spontaneous, fun-loving, and bring a positive attitude to their relationships and work. Sevens love to feel excited and occupied.
Type 7 website wins:
Sevens aren’t too concerned with their image or external approval, which is liberating in web design! Sevens change the look and content of their websites frequently, which keeps things fresh and exciting! If a seven is using a template for their website, chances are they have purchased and gone through several in their years of business.
Type 7 website pains:
While this desire to keep their website exciting and new can be interesting to potential clients, it can also confuse your brand message. If your website is changing too much too often, clients may not recognize it as your own. All that change can cause you to lose brand recognition.
Website advice for type 7:
Rather than entirely swapping out templates, consider changing up your website design with faster, lower-cost changes: a new brand font, a new hero image, or a new blog layout. If you do decide to switch templates, choose a template that is similar in look and feel, and keep other brand elements consistent. Keep your logo consistent at all times so that potential clients can recognize your brand (unless, of course, you are going through a rebrand!).
Type 8: The Protector
Enneagram eights are driven by their desire to maintain control over their own life and future. They are enthusiastic, independent, and love feeling “in charge.” Eights want to avoid being controlled by others.
Type 8 website wins:
Eights’ individualism and determination make them great at DIY. Eights are likely to take the attitude of “I can do it on my own” and figure out their website as they go. This means that they have a hand in everything on their website; everything on an eight’s website is a true labor of love. Their intensity means they are able to execute this DIY with great success!
Type 8 website pains:
Of course, creating a website as an entirely DIY operation is extremely time-consuming. Their tendency to build up their egos to protect themselves makes it difficult to take criticism, even well-meaning suggestions from friends. An eight is likely to not admit to themselves that their website is not as great as it could be because they are so insistent on doing it all on their own.
Website advice for type 8:
A website audit can be a great option for eights. It can be a short-cut that gives you the blueprint for updating and refreshing your website, while leaving the power in your hands. For eights more experienced in business and ready for custom design, find a designer with a collaborative process (hey, I know one) so you can still feel in control of the process.
Type 9: The Mediator
Enneagram nines are motivated by their need to create harmony in their environment. They tend to look at all points of view and avoid conflict. Nines are trusting and supportive of others.
Type 9 website wins:
Nines are inclusive and welcoming by nature. This translates to their websites, as they are able to clearly communicate who they are and what they do throughout their website. This makes potential clients feel welcome because they know exactly how to type nine is going to be able to help them. Nines do a great job of stating what problem they are solving and how they are uniquely prepared to solve it for their potential clients.
Type 9 website pains:
Nines hate to “rock the boat,” which can be a challenge on their website. By attempting to keep the peace, nines can avoid taking any risks with their site. That might mean being afraid of niching down or choosing a specific visual direction, or of repelling non-ideal clients. This can end up diluting a type nine’s brand over time.
Website advice for type 9:
Keep in mind that you can’t make everyone happy all the time! Consider creating a personal board of directors that’s full of people you really trust—they could be former clients, industry peers, or pals in an adjacent industry. Use this group as your sounding board that can push you to make waves when you otherwise might be afraid to.
Clearly, each Enneagram type has its own strengths that can be leveraged into making your website even more awesome. If you’re working with a designer, be sure to tell your designer your Enneagram type, so they can tailor their experience to you and your personality!
What’s your Enneagram number? Tell me in the comments!
Alex Collier is a brand, logo, and Showit web designer for wedding professionals. Are you ready for a brand and website that elevates your business and books ideal clients? Get in touch!