Introducing Process to Profitability

Introducing Process to Profitability | Lemon and the Sea

I'm starting a podcast!

On Process to Profitability, I'll be chatting with creative entrepreneurs and small business owners in every industry about the tools, strategies, and processes that they've used to serve their clients and grow their small businesses.

Since starting my business, Lemon and the Sea, over two years ago, I've discovered the key to building a business that you love and that is profitable is serving your clients and customers really well. 

This is something that I have implemented in my own business and that I've helped my clients set u pin their businesses. Now I'm excited to show you how you can create a business that showcases your heart to serve and still allows you to grow and build a business that fits you and reflects who you are.

Each episode will feature either a guest or will be a solo show with me talking about the processes that I use in my own business. I'm going to encourage to listen and then take what you've learned and apply it to your business in a way that's going to match what you do and the people you serve.

Every one of us is on a unique journey, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from each other. So I'm excited to bring on some amazing guests who can teach you what they have learned over the years and how you can apply that to your own business in a way that works for you.

New episodes will be published every Thursday and I have a great lineup of guests that I'm really excited to share with you.

The show premieres on June 1st and I hope you join me on this journey from process to profitability.

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Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


How to Use the Squarespace Image Block

How to Use the Squarespace Image Block

One of my favorite parts about being a Squarespace designer is that I am a member of the Squarespace Circle. While that isn't necessary to do my job, it does allow me to find out what updates Squarespace is making and experiment with my (on my website and on client sites) before they are released to everyone else. (The other big benefit is that I have a six month trial on all new websites instead of just 14 days.)

Sometime this is beneficial - I knew when Squarespace was beta-testing PayPal integration and when fixes are made - but it can also be  detrimental when I know of a new update and can't share it with other Squarespace users just yet.

One update that I am excited about - and that many people were looking forward to - is the new Squarespace Image Block and the options available for adding text to images without a separate design program.

Basically, the Image Block now allows you to add text to images in a variety of ways instead of just as a caption below or in an overlay. Plus, the design settings for each option are controlled separately, so you can change them for each type of image you use.

If you haven't experimented with the new Image Block options, here is an overview - including the settings you can update in the Design > Style Editor menu. 

 
Inline Image Block

Inline Image Block

Image Block: Inline

Display an image with optional caption

  • Caption font matches paragraph font settings
  • Do Not Display Caption
  • Caption Below
  • Caption Overlay
  • Caption Overlay on Hover
 

Poster

with subtitle

Image Block: Poster

Display an image with text overlaying it

  • Text Alignment - left, right, center
  • Title Font
  • Title Color
  • Inline Link Color
  • Title Separation - the space between the title and subtitle
  • Image Overlay Color - color filter over image
  • Content Width - the width of the text
  • Title Background Color - optional color behind the title text
 

Card Image Block

with subtitle

Image Block: Card

Display an image with the text aligned to the right or left

  • Dynamic Font Sizing (On/Off) - resizes the text based on the browser
  • Content Position - top, center, bottom
  • Text Alignment - left, center, right, match (aligns title and subtitle on the same side of the image), opposite (aligns title and subtitle on the opposite side of the image),
  • Image Width
  • Title Font
  • Title Color
  • Subtitle Font
  • Subtitle Color
  • Inline Link Color
  • Title Separation - the space between the title and subtitle
  • Card Background Color - color that displays behind the caption
  • Card Padding - spacing on either side of the caption
  • Card Separation - space between image and card background
  • Image Overlay Color - color filter over image
  • Title Background Color - optional color behind the title text
 
haute-chocolate-styled-stock-photography-brights-workday-17.jpg

Overlap Image Block

with subtitle

Image Block: Overlap

Display an image on one side with text on the other, partially overlapping the image

  • Optional background color
  • Dynamic Font Sizing (On/Off) - resizes the text based on the browser
  • Content Position - top, center, bottom
  • Text Alignment - left, center, right, match (aligns title and subtitle on the same side of the image), opposite (aligns title and subtitle on the opposite side of the image),
  • Image Width
  • Title Overlap - how much the title overlaps the image
  • Title Font
  • Title Color
  • Subtitle Font
  • Subtitle Color
  • Inline Link Color
  • Title separation - the space between the title and subtitle
  • Image overlay color - color filter over image
  • Title background color - optional color behind the title text
 

Collage Image Block

with subtitle

Image Block: Collage

Display an image on one side and text over a background “card” overlapping the image

  • Dynamic Font Sizing (On/Off) - resizes the text based on the browser
  • Content Position - top, center, bottom
  • Text Alignment - left, center, right, match (aligns title and subtitle on the same side of the image), opposite (aligns title and subtitle on the opposite side of the image),
  • Image Width
  • Content Width - the width of the caption
  • Content Offset - how much the caption overlays the image
  • Title Font
  • Title Color
  • Subtitle Font
  • Subtitle Color
  • Inline Link Color
  • Title Separation - the space between the title and subtitle
  • Card Background
  • Card Padding - space on either side of the caption
  • Image Overlay Color - color filter over image
 

Stack Image Block

with subtitle

Image Block: Stack

Display an image with text below

  • Optional background color
  • Dynamic Font Sizing (On/Off) - resizes the text based on the browser
  • Text Alignment - left, center, right, match (aligns title and subtitle on the same side of the image), opposite (aligns title and subtitle on the opposite side of the image),
  • Title Font
  • Title Color
  • Subtitle Font
  • Subtitle Color
  • Inline link Color
  • Title Separation - the space between the title and subtitle
  • Card Background
  • Card Padding - space on either side of the caption
  • Image Overlay Color - color filter over image

To-Do for You: Try out the Squarespace Image Block and take advantage of the SEO boost that having actual text instead of an image of text can give you.


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Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


My Favorite Squarespace Customization Tutorials

My Favorite Squarespace Customization Tutorials | Lemon and the Sea

One of my favorite things about Squarespace website design is that I can customize so much of a website while still maintaining the clean design of the platform.

But I don't figure all that customization out on my own. There are lots of great designers out there who are sharing how they have customized Squarespace, so I like to take advantage of their generous sharing to use for my own designs.

These are some of my favorite customizations and how I've used them both for my own website and for clients:

Adding a Custom Font to Squarespace from MunoSpace - This is a fantastic post if you're interested in adding a custom font (not from Google or Typekit) to your Squarespace website. It does involve some Custom CSS, but the instructions are easy to follow - just make sure the font you want to use is a Webfont. I used this tutorial to change one of the heading fonts on Stag and Lily Event Co. to match the logo design.

 

How to Create an Accordian Menu from Forth and Create - This customization may seem difficult since it includes Custom CSS, Javascript, and a Markdown Block, but the instructions are easy to follow. I used this customization on quote a few pages for Ronsen Consulting so we could display a lot of in-depth information in a way that is interactive and legible.

 

Adding Domain and Email Aliases with G Suite from Squarespace Answers - This tutorial, which is actually the answer to a question in Squarespace's forum is extremely helpful if you have two domains for your website and want to receive emails to both without setting up and paying for two G Suite accounts. I used this to help Nicole at Stag and Lily Event Co. transition her domain name and email address.

How to Use Index Pages in Squarespace from Lemon and the Sea - This tutorial walks you through how I used Index pages and Custom CSS to create the new look for my website, Lemon and the Sea.

 

Squarespace SEO Tricks You Should be Using from Lemon and the Sea - I created this tutorial to help bust the myth that Squarespace can't have good SEO and to share the tricks I've learned through setting up basic SEO on all my client websites.

Squarespace Hack: Customize Your Contact Form from Forth and Create - This easy-to-follow tutorial uses Custom CSS to customize Squarespace forms so they better fit your brand. I use this on most client websites, including Candice Prentice's author website.

How to Create a Gallery in Squarespace from Lemon and the Sea - Galleries are one of my favorite tools in Squarespace, especially for small businesses that need to show a lot of images. I used this tutorial to help Jennifer at CAVdesign create her portfolio, as well as for Kate Phillips Events in a brief Squarespace customization consultation.

 
 

Customizing Squarespace with CSS Tricks from My Billie Designs  - this post covers a few different CSS Customizations you can use to make your website more unique.

Custom CSS for Menu/Recipe Design from Meg Summerfield  - The menu block isn't one I use often in website design, so I was thrilled to find this tutorial that allowed me to customize the block for use as a recipe display on Candice Prentice's Recipe Blog.

 

3 Ways to Have a ‘Tweet This’ Quote on Your Squarespace Website from Kreanille Design  - If you've ever wanted to add a "Tweet This" link on your Squarespace website, this post will show you a few options for creating one. I used this on my blog for a while before I began to focus more on Instagram and Pinterest.

How to Customize the Read More Link on Squarespace Blog Post Excerpts from Megan Minns - I haven't used this tutorial yet, but I'm excited to. Megan explains in detail how to customize your Read More links in blog posts so that they are more visible and fit your brand.

To-Do for You: Check out Squarespace tutorials (Pinterest is a great place to find them) and see how you can make your website your own.


Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


Why Customer Service Always Matters

Why Customer Service Always Matters | Lemon and the Sea

I looked long and hard for a client management software that fit my needs and was within my price range. For two years of my business, I did without because I couldn’t find something that worked with my process. Then I found Dubsado and I fell in love.

Now this post isn’t about Dubsado – although you should check it out – but about why I decided to sign up with them so quickly. Because it wasn’t the normal reasons I choose a service – I had a system that was working for me and my clients – but because when I signed up for an introduction webinar to walk me through setting up my account, it was led by Becca Berg, one of the creators of Dubsado.

And not only did she lead the webinar, but Becca and her husband Jake are also the people you hear from when you ask for help (in their Facebook group or the Help Center). It was the amazing customer service that I received right from the start that sold me – and reminded me how important serving my clients well really is.

Your Clients are the Basis of Your Business

Whether you’re running a service- or product-based business, your clients are the reason you’re in business. They are the ones who see your talent and recognize that they need you to help them. And they’re the ones how will help your business grow – through referrals, reviews, testimonials, and just sharing about you.

But that means that your clients are also the ones who can bring your business down if you aren’t delivering what you promised. (That sounds ominous, but it doesn’t have to scare you.)

Of course, you will never be able to please everyone. We all have customers who won’t be happy no matter what we do, but if you have a solid base of fans, those few negative voices won’t have nearly the impact you’re afraid they will.

Serving Well Comes before Making Money

My clients are important to me – which is why I’m so passionate that serving them well is more important than making a huge profit. (Plus, clients who enjoy working with you will be happy to pay you.)

Yes, there are those who make lots of revenue with not-so-good customer service, but those are usually short-term gains, especially online where there are so many services to choose from. When a business gets a reputation for treating their clients badly, it spreads quickly and can ruin a small business.

The good news is that great customer service will lead to profitability in your business – but it shouldn’t be your main focus.

Balancing Serving Well and Setting Boundaries

Here’s the problem that most small business have when it comes to providing great customer service – we don’t know where (or how) to draw the line between going above and beyond for a client and being taken advantage of.

Good customer services sets boundaries so that you can do your best work and your client knows what to expect. You can start by setting these boundaries early and continue to reinforce them throughout your time with a client so that you can avoid issues down the road. Consider making your boundaries clear in these areas:

  • On your website
  • In your welcome documents
  • In your contract
  • In your emails (signatures are great for this)

Not sure what kinds of boundaries you should be setting with clients? This is a good place to start:

  • Hours of availability
  • Types of communication (don't give out your cell phone number unless you want clients to text you)
  • Number of revisions
  • Non-refundable deposits
  • Consequences for client not following through
  • Consequences for you not following through
  • How and when you get paid
  • Scope of work
  • How to hire you for additional work

You’ll add your own boundaries as you work with clients and find areas in your business that need to be protected. (For more about setting boundaries, check out this episode of the Being Boss podcast.)

Find a Service Focus

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to be the best at every part of customer service (don’t you wish that was possible), so choose what areas of customer service you will focus on (this will depend on how you like to work and who your dream client is).

  • Extras and gifts
  • Working hand-in-hand with clients
  • Education
  • Becoming friends with clients
  • Connecting people

Your service focus is how you’re going to stand out from the crowd and find your dream clients – because they need exactly what it is that you’re going to help them with.

But remember that even if you focus on serving in one area of business, there are still things that must be done well, no matter the client or business. Efficiency, communication, knowledge, leading your clients, and meeting your commitments are the basis of great customer service and are non-negotiables. (You wouldn’t believe the number of clients who tell me that their previous designer took their money and totally disappeared on them.)

As you become known for your customer service, people will want to share your work to their friends. And when difficult times come – when you might fall behind or miss an email – clients are more likely to be understanding because they know it’s out of character.

To-Do for You: Evaluate your current customer service and see what areas you could improve. Then find ways - like automation and templates - to make that as easy as possible.

* If you're interested in trying Dubsado, you can get started for free. Then, if you love it, get 20% off your first month or year using the code lemon (and I get a free month as well)! I wouldn't recommend it, if I didn't love it.


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Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


7 Little Known Squarespace Tricks

7 Little Known Squarespace Tricks | Lemon and the Sea

Part of the reason I love using Squarespace so much for website design is that there are quite a few ways to customize your site without having to be a designer or developer. This is especially helpful because almost all of my clients come to me because they have no idea how to design a website on their own, but they want to be able to make basic changes once the website is live.

These are some of my favorite tricks to make designing on Squarespace easier and think outside of the restrictions you might have with the template you’ve chosen.

1. Duplicating a Page

This is one of my favorite tricks (I share it with all my clients), but most people have no idea it’s possible. You can easily duplicate any regular page on your website by opening the page settings, scrolling to the bottom, and clicking Duplicate Page. Then you just need to rename it, place it where it needs to be, and start editing.

I use this feature to create page templates that my clients can then duplicate to make adding new pages or projects easy. This really comes in handy when you have a portfolio with different project pages – you want them to have the same layout, but it can take a long time to recreate a page full of images each time you feature a new project.

You can also duplicate pages if you want to update your design without having the changes go live as soon as you save. Simply duplicate the page you want to work on and move it under Unlinked Pages in the side menu. Then you can change anything you want without worrying about your visitors seeing all sorts of crazy changes.

2. Adding Custom CSS to One Page

If you want to really customize your Squarespace website, custom CSS is a great way to get the look you want without having to be a website developer. (If you want to learn more about Custom CSS, check this post out. )But sometimes you want customizations on one page instead of throughout your website.

To add Custom CSS to one page at a time, simply open the page settings, go to the Advanced tab, and paste your CSS into the Page Header Code Injection area. You will need to make sure your code is read by adding Style tags like this, <style>/* Insert Custom CSS Here */</style>, but otherwise it works the same as the Custom CSS section.

You can also add Javascript, metatags, or other custom code to the Page Header Code Injection area to further customize your Squarespace website. (To see how I use this section to build my SEO, check out this post [http://www.lemonandthesea.com/blog/squarespace-seo-tricks-you-should-be-using].)

3. Creating a Faux Sidebar

While I love Squarespace, there are some limitations based on the template you choose. One of the biggest is that there is very little flexibility in how a blog displays.

For example, I recently had a client who wanted her blog page to be very simple and streamlined with the blog post thumbnail and excerpt laid out in columns. Because of her template, there was no way to create that look using her current template (even with Custom CSS).

Instead, we found a solution by creating a regular page and adding a Summary Block to display her blog posts. The problem with this? There was now no sidebar.

This is where Squarespace’s column design comes in handy – I was able to create a faux sidebar by lining up all the items in her previous sidebar and making them only a few columns wide. Then the Sumamry Block with here posts could look the way she wanted and the page still looked like the blog visitors see when they open a post to read more.

If you want to see how this works, check out Maggie Richard’s new website design featuring a custom designed page for her main blog.

4. Adding Permissions

Have you ever shared your Squarespace user name and password with someone who needs to access your website? You don’t have to!

Squarespace has built in a really great (and easy) system for adding people to your website with different permissions based on what they need access to. Check out my in-depth tutorial on how to set permissions and the different types of users you can have on your Squarespace website.

Just a note – on the Personal plan, you can only add one other person to your account, so if you have multiple people who need to access your website, you will need to upgrade to a Business plan.

5. Using a Cover Page instead of LeadPages

One of the reasons that I’m willing to pay a little more for Squarespace than I might for WordPress is that I can cut out other plugins and services.

LeadPages has become a very popular tool lately because it allows you to easily get people onto your email list (or signed up for your event) with great analytics and a high conversion rate. But if you’re on a budget or just starting out, LeadPages may seem overwhelming.

That’s where I like to use Squarespace Cover Pages. You can create a great looking landing page in just a few minutes that’s hosted on your website and doesn’t cost anything extra. Then you can set it up to connect to your email list, send people to a PayPal link, or anything else you want to do.

For a tutorial on how to create a Cover Page in Squarespace, check out this post[http://www.lemonandthesea.com/blog/creating-a-cover-page-in-squarespace]. It even includes a video tutorial from my Tutorial Library.

6. Changing the Squarespace Block Spacing

One of the biggest complaints I get from clients using Squarespace is that the blocks are all too far apart. While Squarespace does this on purpose to add white space to the design, sometimes it is too much for what you’re trying to accomplish, especially since each block has padding around it that can add up.

The solution for this is simple if you just add a little Custom CSS to your website. Go to Design > Custom CSS and add this code into the CSS block. You can adjust the margin numbers based on your design, but I’ve found that there work well to still allow for space while reducing it enough that your design doesn’t look too spread out.

/*SS Block Size*/

.sqs-block {margin-top: -5px; margin-bottom: -5px;}

There is also Custom CSS you can add to individual block types to adjust the spacing on those further, but that can vary by template.

7. Connecting Social Media Accounts

Did you know that Squarespace makes it really simple to connect to and share on your social media profiles?

Simply go to Settings > Connected Accounts and add any social media accounts you want to display (add them in the order you want them to appear). Then allow Squarespace to connect to your account and changes any settings as needed.

Now, when you add a Social Links block, the icons for those social platforms will display and will automatically link to your profile or page.

Here’s one more tip if you are trying to connect to a Facebook Business page: You will need to sign into Facebook with your regular account and then change the Push Target to the page you want blog posts to post to and update the Profile URL so it links to your business page instead of defaulting to your personal page.

To-Do for You: Check out your own Squarespace website and see if you can take advantage of any of these little known tricks.


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Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.