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.

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.

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 You Need a Professional Website for a Word of Mouth Business

Why You Need a Professional Website for a Word of Mouth Business | Lemon and the Sea

Have you ever looked up a restaurant you heard great things about only to find an out-of-date website (or no website at all)? I know that I have. And while I may be more picky than most, I usually choose not to eat at that restaurant. It’s not that I don’t trust the person who referred me, but that I like to check things out for myself.

Recently, a client came to me in need of an updated website. Her business was thriving and she was booking new clients faster than she imagined through word-of-mouth referrals, but she wanted to appear more professional when people searched for her online.

Referrals are great – and my business is built on them – but it’s important that you don’t let a word-of-mouth business tempt you into letting your website remain less than professional. (If you’re just starting out, I totally support your DIY-ing it until you’re ready to invest in working with a designer.) You want your website to support the recommendations you’re receiving.

These are a few reasons why having a professional website is so important:

Have a Home

Your website is the online home of your business. And in an age where everyone is searching online, that home needs to reflect what you do and who you work with.

If you’re currently building your business based only on social media platforms, you really need to create a website as well. While social media is a great way to build community and share your work, it doesn’t belong to you. Facebook can shut your account down at any time, even if you didn’t do anything wrong, or they can decrease your reach so you have to pay for ads to continue growing.

A website is something you own and you can change it as needed to reflect your business. You can also use your social media to direct people to your website where they can more easily get in contact with you so that you can find more of your dream clients.

Build Trust

People judge a business based on it’s website. There’s no way around that, so you need to have a website that looks professional and trustworthy.

Your website should reflect your brand, be authentic to your voice, and provide value to visitors so that they can know and trust you before they even get in touch with you about working together.

Building trust can be done is many ways, including:

  • Creating and sharing content
  • Posting consistently
  • Sharing images of yourself (head shots and at work)
  • Featuring testimonials and projects
  • Making it easy to navigate

The best websites will have all of these things, and you should be checking every few months to make sure they are all up-to-date.

Find Dream Clients

A well-designed website will show your dream clients that you’re the perfect fit for them (and it will turn off those not-so-dreamy clients so you don’t have to).

This is where your portfolio becomes really important – you want show work that you want to be hired for, not just every project you’ve completed. Here are a few tips to help you curate a portfolio that gets you hired:

  • Only share work you loved and want more of
  • Include a testimonial from the client along with a head shot
  • Talk about some of the details of what you did and how that benefited your client
  • Include a link to a blog post with more of the story if applicable

You can also make it really easy for visitors to know who it is you work with by telling them who your dream client is. Making a list of things your dream client loves, believes, and does is a great way to do.

The overall goal of your website is to get your dream clients to hire you and to turn others away for you so you don't have to say no.

Share Important Information

We all have information that we would like our clients (or other vendors) to know before they work with us and it can be exhausting to share that each and every time someone asks.

You can use your website (especially your blog) to education clients about the most important information, answer your frequently asked questions, and let people get to know who you are before they hire you.

By sharing this information freely and openly, you let visitors know that you’re an expert in your industry and that you provide even more value if they hire you.

Move to the Future

You can grow and expand a website as your business grows and changes.

They are easy to update (especially compared to paper documents), help you reach more potentials clients, and can help you build an audience over time so that you always have people supporting you.

While you may not know what services you want to offer in the future, a professional website will be able to expand with you so that you aren’t limited by the platform.

To-Do For You: If you don't already have a website, look into Squarespace. It makes it really easy to DIY a website until you're ready to invest in a working with a designer.

If you have a website, but you think it needs some improvements so that you can get hired by your dream clients, book a FREE website assessment with me. During this 20 minute assessment we'll

  • Review your website together
  • Talk about ways you can tweak your website to attract your dream clients
  • Come up with three simple updates you can make today

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 Index Pages in Squarespace

How to Use Index Pages in Squarespace | Lemon and the Sea: Step-by-step guide to index pages in Squarespace including custom CSS you can use to make your website design unique.

If you've been to Lemon and the Sea before, you may have noticed that I made some changes to my website design. I updated the colors, making the brighter and more vibrant, updated my copy, organized some pages, created new awesome resources in The Vault, and redesigned quite a few of my page layouts.

While some changes are small, the thing that took the longest and has the most impact are the new layouts for the Home, About, and Services pages. In addition to changing the content on these pages, I also redesigned them using Index pages.

5 Updates for a Higher Converting Website

Get the Guide

Why I Love Index Pages

I love Squarespace's Index pages because they make it so easy to create beautiful layouts with sections that are easy to customize. This is a feature you'll see on a lot of WordPress websites, with full-bleed images and colored backgrounds helping to divide up a page so it's easy to read, but it's not easy to replicate in Squarespace.

But now that Index pages have become more popular and are offered of many different templates, you can get this look without a lot of custom coding on the back-end of your website. (Just a note: Each page of an Index and the Index itself all count towards your pages, so if you're on the Personal plan, you may have to upgrade to have more pages available.)


Templates that Use Index Pages

Squarespace offers three types of Index pages. Templates that offer Index pages will have one of the following types, but not multiple types:

  • Grid Style - each page in the Index creates a thumbnail image on the Index page. To open the page, a visitor would click on the thumbnails. This style created a visual navigation grid. See an example.
  • Stacked Style - each page in the Index creates a section on a single scrolling page. Each stacks vertically, giving the look of one page, but with more options for customization. See an example.
  • Slideshow Style - each page in the Index displays as a full-age background image with content on top. Visitors click on the page title to open the connected page. See an example.

Many Squarespace templates offer Index pages, but some do not. If you want to use Index pages as part of your design, make sure you choose a template with the type of Index options you want.

  • Avenue - Grid with required thumbnails
  • Beford, Anya, Bryant, Hayden - Stacked
  • Brine, Basil, Clay, Feed, Foster, Greenwich, Hatch, Heights, Hunter, Hyde, Jaunt, Juke, Keene, Lincoln, Marta, Mercer, Mojave, Motto, Nueva, Rally, Rover, Sonora, Thorne - Stacked
  • Flatiron - Grid with required thumbnails
  • Forte- Slideshow with required thumbnails
  • Marquee, Adversary, Alex, Eamon, Ginger, Mint, Shift - Stacked
  • Momentum - Slideshow with required thumbnails
  • Montauk, Julia, Kent, Om - Grid with required thumbnails
  • Pacific, Bryler, Charlotte, Fulton, Horizon, Naomi - Stacked
  • Supply - Grid wtih required thumbnails
  • Tremont, Carson, Henson - Slideshow with optional thumbnails
  • York, Artesia, Harris, Lange, Jasper, Shibori, Taylor - Grid with optional thumbnails

If your current template does not offer Index pages, you can create something similar on your own.

  • Grid Style - create a grid on images with clickthrough links on a regular page. This will look very similar to a grid-style Index page, but you will have to create and align each image yourself.
  • Stacked Style - Add images and text to a regular page. This will limit you somewhat because your images will not be full-width and it is more difficult to add different backgrounds to each section.
  • Slideshow Style - Add a Cover Page with multiple images that will rotate. This will give you a similar appearance to a slideshow-style Index page, but will not have a menu bar or footer.


Creating an Index Page

To create an Index page, you will need to start by creating an Index. You can do this by creating a new page and selecting Index.

You can adjust the settings of an Index as you would any other page by clicking on the gear icon. Here you can add a banner image, update the Index name and URL, and add custom code.

Once you've created the Index, you will need to add pages to it. You can either add a new page into the Index by Adding a Section or by dragging an existing page under the Index.


Adding Pages

Once you have the Index created and some sections added, you will need to design each section. This works just like editing a regular page. In a stacked-style Index, you will see an Edit option for each section as you scroll down the page.

If you want to reorder the pages in your Index, simply drag and drop them in the order they should appear.

If you are using a grid- or slideshow-style Index, make sure you have added the thumbnail you want to display for each section.



Each Idex style and template will allow for different style options, which you can find in the Style Editor (Design > Style Editor).

  • For grid-style Index pages, you can change the number and shape of the thumbnails, adjust the padding, and change how the page title appears.
  • For stacked-style  Index pages, you can change the fonts, navigation elements, and how the page content appears. These options will vary by template, so be sure to check out which options are available for the template you are using in Squarespace's tutorial.
  • For slideshow-style Index pages, you can style the page names and how visitors click through to the connected page.


Custom CSS

If you want to add a custom background color or image to any section of the Index, you can do so with some custom code. This needs to be placed in the Advanced tab of the Index settings, not in the settings for the section itself.

Start by adding the Style designations to the Advanced tab. This will tell Squarespace that you are adding CSS code.

<style> custom css goes here </style>

Adding a Colored Background

If you want to add a colored background to an Index section, use the following code. You will need to change the "section-url" text to match the URL of the page within the index you are targeting. You can then add the custom color in rgba or hex format.

RGBA: #section-url {background: rgba(173, 222, 224, 0.3);}

Hex: #section-url {background: #59c4c0;}

Adding a background image

You can also add a background image to each index section. To do this you will need to upload the image to Squarespace and then assign it to the section you want it to appear in.

Start by resizing and making any adjustments to the image in a photo editing program such as Canva or Adobe Photoshop (this may take some trial and error, so save any files you've been working on so you can access them later).

Then, upload the image to Squarespace by going to Design > Custom CSS > Manage Custom Files. You can either drag the image into the Custom Files section or upload it by clicking on the arrow. I like to add Custom Files by opening the Custom CSS section in a window because it is easier to read.

Once your image has been added to Squarespace, you will need to find it's unique URL. Do this by going to the top or bottom of the custom CSS that is already on your website and then clicking on the image. You will then see the URL of that image appear in your code. Copy the entire code, then remove it from the code section (so you don't mess up any customizations), and save.

Once you have the image's URL, you can navigate back to the Index settings and add it to the code there using the following:

#section-url { background-image: url(your-image-url);

You will need to replace the "section-url" with the page you are targeting and "your-image-url" with the URL you just copied.

Once you save the Settings, you can refresh the page and your changes will appear.

The best types of images for Index page backgrounds are repeating patterns because you won't have to worry about parts being cut off, but you can use other images as well. I used both in my website redesign, but it did take some trial-and-error to get the image size and cropping correct.


And that's how you can use Index pages in your own Squarespace website design. If you're using Index pages, I'd love to see what you've done with them to customize your website.

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.

What I Do In My Time Off and Other FAQ's

What I Do In My Time Off and Other FAQ's

How did Lemon and the Sea get it's name?

Long story short, God gave me this name very early in my business (like, before my business was even a real thing) and I've stuck with it ever since. For more details, check out this post all about the story behind the name and how Lemon and the Sea got it's start.

Who do you work with?

We love working with creative women with a heart to serve. It doesn't matter is you are in a "creative" industry as long as you're willing to think about the box and push past what's "normal." We've worked with wedding professionals, interior designers, authors, bloggers, accountants, dance instructors, and even an agronomist and we've loved them all! If you have a passion for serving others well and want to build a business that supports the life you want to live, we're on-board for that!


Your brand is you, especially if you’re running a one person business. It’s what you’re about: your values, your message, and your approach. Branding is how you present yourself to the world: through email, social media, blogging, and anything else you do. Design takes all of that and makes it visual. This can include your logo, your color palette, your website, or your print documents. Your design should match your brand, not the other way around. This is why I take so much time to get to know you and your business before I jump into creating.


I love Squarespace! I want to make things as easy as possible for you as your business grows and you need to update your website. Squarespace makes updates and changes super easy. I can set all of the visuals in place and you don’t have to worry about a new page or blog post not matching the rest of your site. It’s easy to use and works really well because you never have to worry about plug-ins or updates. Squarespace also has a great customer service if you ever have questions.


I’ve been creating and designing since I was old enough to hold craft supplies. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career that allowed me to combine my love of creating with my passion for organization and helping others. I attended Clemson University and studied Architecture, where I learned a lot about design in general. My favorite part of every project was playing around with concepts and figuring how to mesh beautiful design with practical experience for each different client. After graduating, I took a job working for a family run business where I handled everything from everyday administrative tasks to updating and photographing products for their online store. I was able to design for every aspect of business from email marketing graphics to real estate advertisements, from product photography to website additions. When the time came to relocate for my husband’s career, I was excited to have the opportunity to take everything I’d learned and the projects I’d done to build a business that allowed me to design for people who are just as passionate about what they do as I am about my own work.

Do you have kids?

Okay, maybe this one is mostly from people I meet in person, but I do get asked this a lot since my husband and I have been married for 4+ years now. The answer? No, we don't have kids, but we do have a goofy little dog named Gambit who hangs out in the office with me every day. Check him on Instagram at #gambittheweshi.

What are your business values?

We believe in serving well. We believe that we’re all at our best when we’re serving others with our talents and skills. That’s why we focus on creating processes that make communication easy and work efficient.

We believe in meaningful projects. What we do matters. That’s why we choose projects that we can execute well and that speak to our mission and vision. And you should too.

We believe in authentic design. Design should be a reflection of who you are, not what’s trendy or normal in your industry. We aren’t afraid to think outside the box.

We believe in family time. You know that idea that you have to hustle all the time? We believed it too for a while. Then we learned that we’re at our best when we can invest in the people who matter most - our friends and family. So we take time to make them a priority - and you should too.

We believe that growth is important. We love continually learning in growing, both in business and personally. We’re always testing out new systems and making investments in our future.

What do you do in your time off?

What time off? Just kidding! I've learned the hard way that it's important to make time for myself and my family if I want this business to be sustainable.

When I'm not working, I love cooking dinner with my husband, binge-watching Netflix, hanging out with local creatives and my church life group, and spending time exploring Virginia. I'm a big reader, so I always have a book by my bed and I'm all about DIY projects for my house.

My favorite shows include Criminal Minds, Veronica Mars, Firefly, and Gilmore Girls. My most watched movie is probably Legally Blonde (my sister and I watched it everyday for an entire week once), and my favorite (non-business) podcasts are Myths and Legends, Crime Writers On, Casefile, Generation Why, Invisibilia, and These are Their Stories.

Want to know more about me? I'm always sharing behind-the-scenes stuff on Instagram.

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.