Re-Release | Quarterly Maintenance for Your Website

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I can’t believe we are already at 25 episodes into this show, and I’m so excited that you’ve been with me along this entire journey. Today I want to talk about something that is going to be really important as we come up on the end of the year – quarterly website maintenance.

Some of these things you may have been doing all along and this hopefully won’t take you tons of time, but I think that they are really important to remind you to do at least every quarter. You may find that you need to do some of these items daily, weekly, or monthly depending on your business and website, but you should be going through this list every quarter to get into your business and know what’s going on behind the scenes without feeling overwhelmed by another item on your to-do list.

You can download a checklist of these items at www.lemonandthesea.com/episode25.

What is website maintenance?

This isn’t the day to day work of adding blog posts and responding to comments and it’s something you can do yourself with just a little time and know-how. Quarterly website maintenance is focused on keeping your website healthy, making sure you’re on track in your business, and that you’re getting the results that you want to see from your website.

Doing these things quarterly will also help you plan for future updates to your website and know what you want to change and who might be able to help you meet the goals you have for your website.

Back up your website

This is important so that you have a backup of your site in case it’s hacked or goes down. When you can recover at least the content, it’s a lot less stressful than starting over from scratch when things go wrong.

Check analytics

Use both Google Analytics and any analytics available from your website host. You can use this information to adjust the content you’re creating and promoting and where you’re focusing your marketing efforts.

  • What is your most popular page/post?

  • Are some pages dead ends?

  • Where are people coming to your site from?

  • What is your best conversion source?

Check website design

This can either be a quick check-in if you’ve kept up with your design or have just gone through a re-design or a more in-depth look if you haven’t had time to prioritize your design at other times.

  • Are the images up to date?

  • Does it still reflect your brand?

  • Does it look consistent across all browsers?

  • Does it look correct on mobile?

Check site speed

The slower your website loads, the less people are going to keep coming back to you. You want your website to load quickly so you can reach your dream clients (plus Google knows that pages that are slow to load are less liked, so they rank you lower in searches).

Check links

You want to make sure that all of the links on your website are still active and working. This helps with sharing quality content that helps people to trust you and helps with SEO because Google doesn’t like broken links.

  • Are all the links still working?

  • Are there any pages that no longer exist?

Test e-commerce and forms

Similar to links, having forms and a check out function that works properly helps your business run smoothly and builds trust with your audience because things aren’t getting lost.

  • Are all forms and check out functions working?

  • Does any inventory need to be updated?

  • Do you need to collect more/different information?

Update portfolio

Updating your portfolio can be intimidating because it takes time that seems like it could be better spent on client work, but by doing it quarterly, you’re showing off your expertise and creating fresh content for people who might be interested in working with you.

  • Add new projects

  • Update testimonials

  • Share any updated results from your service

Update bio

Check your about page, home page, guest bios, and social media to make sure every place is consistent and reflects your current services and brand.

  • Does your bio still reflect you?

  • Is your head shot up to date?

Updated features

By sharing the places you’ve guest posted or been invited to speak, you can build the know, like, trust factor with your audience.

  • Were you a guest on blogs or podcasts?

  • Did you speak at an event?

Check site map

Make sure that Google has a site map for your website so it knows which pages are on your website and help with SEO.

Poll audience and update copy

Make sure your copy reflects what you do, who you work with, and the benefits that you offer to your clients.

  • Take a poll (informal or formal) of your audience to see what they are struggling with and how you might be able to help

  • Update any services that may have changed

  • Make sure you’re still speaking to your dream client

  • Ideal Client Interviews

SEO

You want your SEO efforts to be pointing to the services and content that you’re offering now.

  • Update meta data and website description

  • Update keywords for future content

Run a UX test with a friend

Also known as a User Experience test, you can have a friend or Facebook contact perform tasks on your website to make sure that it’s easy to navigate and makes sense for your dream clients and website visitors.

Website Goals

Review your progress toward meeting your goals and adjust your content, marketing, language, or analytics as needed so that you know how your website is helping your business grow.

  • What progress are you making towards your goal?

  • Do you need to adjust which numbers you’re looking at?

  • Are there things you need to change or remove?

Remember, you don’t need to dig into these things every day, but by doing them quarterly, you will have a good picture of how your website is performing, what’s working and what isn’t, and things you can add to your list to improve.  The goal is that you continue building a website that shows your expertise and brings in more dream clients.

Re-Release | Starting Your Own Mastermind with Nevica Vazquez

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Today I'm talking with Nevica Vazquez all about starting your own mastermind and how her mastermind helped her take her business to the next level. She gives a lot of great tips and really practical information that you can use when you want to start your own mastermind instead of waiting to be invited to someone else's.

You will learn exactly how to start a mastermind that will fit your business and the vision you have and help you put together a group of people who will help you uplevel your business, support you, and give you honest feedback.

We also talk about the best method for hosting a mastermind and how you can keep it on track instead of worrying that everything is going to fall apart because there is no focus.

Nevica Vazquez is a Business Strategist to digital bosses who want to scale their online biz. The bosses she works with are past the beginner stage of their business and ready to assess and strategize their plan for new growth. Together, her and her clients create the online biz + marketing plan they need to get to the next level of their business. In addition to serving her clients, every week Nevica hosts the Digital Boss Roundtable a roundtable webinar show where experienced biz owners meet to have productive conversations on up-leveling their digital businesses.

Connect with Nevica:

TOPICS DISCUSSED:

  • How Nevica got started in business

  • How your dream client evolves over time

  • What a mastermind is

  • How being a part of a mastermind can benefit your business

  • How to find mastermind members who are a good fit

  • How to structure your mastermind

  • How to keep your mastermind on track

  • Why you need to have rules going in and how to enforce them

  • Why you don't have to be the leader of your mastermind

RESOURCES DISCUSSED:

Re-Release | Is Your Website Working for You? Creating a Strategic Website

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Today is the second episode all about website design and I am going to be talking about how you can evaluate if your website is working for you. If you haven’t listened to the first episode, I recommend you listen to episode 13.

This episode is useful whether you’re DIYing your website, getting by until you can hire a designer, or if you’re working with a designer now so that you know what to look for and ask for in a strategic website design project. Because that’s what I’m all about – using strategy in your website design so that it doesn’t’ just look good, but it also functions well and helps you grow your business.

I’m going to cover a couple of techniques for evaluating if your website is working for you and I’ve also got a checklist you can download at www.lemonandthesea.com/15download.

Topics Discussed:

  • The importance of having a strategy behind your website design

  • Why you need to test and change your design

  • Creating simple, easy to use navigation and what you should include

  • Why using website standards can help your design

  • Why your content is important to your website visitor’s experience

  • Things to check to make sure your content is working for you

  • The importance of having a call-to-action on each page

  • Creating a contact form that makes it easy for people to use

  • How the design of your website can support your main purpose

  • Why knowing your audience is important for your website

  • The tools I use with clients to test my website designs

  • The importance of testing and changing your design

  • My #1 recommendation for creating a strategic website

  • How strategic design serves your clients and customers

Resources Discussed:


Is Your Website Working for You?

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Re-Release | Using Customer Feedback in Product Design with Ashley Staum

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Today Ashley and I chatted all about using customer feedback in product design, but this episode is so relevant to people in the service-based industry as well.

Ashley and I actually met in person at a VIP Intensive back in February of 2017, so I was so excited to bring her on the show to talk about how she grew her company and how she uses customer feedback to help her design better products while still maintaining the vision she has for her business.

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Ashley Staum is owner of She Plans, a little planner company that sells planners, notebooks and printable planners. She is a self-taught designer with a degree in Marketing and an MBA from Virginia Tech. Her products are created with simplicity in mind, in both design and functionality, to allow you to create the space to let life happen - because life doesn't happen on the page. As the daughter of a Navy man, Ashley lived in six homes as a child and is on her sixth home since getting married in 2004. She currently lives just north of Houston, Texas along with her husband and four young girls. 

Connect with Ashley:

Topics Discussed:

  • How Ashley got started designing planners for herself and turned it into a business

  • Why she still creates printables along with her line of bound planners

  • Her transition from Etsy to having her own brand

  • Why Ashley loves getting customer feedback and how it’s improved her business

  • The four ways she receives feedback and how she uses it to make changes in her business

  • How Ashley avoids the temptation to stray for her signature style

  • Why she thinks of her customers as part of her business

  • Why sometimes less is more in product design

  • Why she doesn’t feel like other planner companies are competition

  • How starting small and not looking at the competition is beneficial

  • Her upcoming Fall launch

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Re-Release | Getting Started with Wholesale with Carolyn Keating

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Today I’m talking with Carolyn Keating of Wholesale 4 Creatives all about getting started with wholesale. Carolyn has a 10 year background in wholesale for other businesses and she has translated that into helping small creative businesses get into retail stores and get their products seen by bigger businesses.

Today we’re covering a lot of information that is mostly aimed at product-based business, but there are some great tips for cultivating relationships and figuring out pricing information if you’re a service-based business.

Some of the topics we cover are what wholesale is and why it’s beneficial, how you can price your products for profitability in the wholesale space, and how you can connect with people in stores and build relationships so you can be seen and stay top of mind whenever they are placingnew orders. We also cover a few of the ways that customer service changes when you are working in the wholesale space.

Carolyn Keating is the owner of Wholesale for Creatives, a resource for product based businesses looking to develop their wholesale and retail strategy. Prior to launching her business, Carolyn spent a decade in sales with a NYC-based women's accessories company where she developed and sold products to retail chains throughout the country. Her mission is to educate small businesses about the industry’s best practices so they can successfully compete in the marketplace and avoid making costly mistakes. 

Connect with Carolyn:

Topics Discussed:

  • What wholesale is and how it can benefit your business

  • Balancing wholesale products and selling on your own platform

  • Pricing for profit in the wholesale space

  • How to reach out to stores when you’re ready to start selling your products wholesale

  • Creating and building relationships with local businesses and buyers

  • How pitching a store is similar to pitching a blog post or podcast

  • The steps that happen when you’re products have been accepted into a store

  • How customer service changes when selling to a buyer instead of direct to the customer

  • The importance of dealing with issues quickly and well

  • How to stay top-of-mind (in a good way)

  • What you need to have in place before considering wholesale

  • The importance of having multiple products and manufacturers you trust

  • Why you need to evaluate if wholesale is right for you and do it yourself before you hire a team

Resources Discussed:

 

Re-Release | How a Website Designer Can Save You Time and Money

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Today is a continuation of my website design series and I’m going to be talking about how a website designer can save you time and money. I’m going to go into some really important things to think about when you are considering whether you want to DIY your website or hire someone to help you with the design and development in order to save you time and ultimately save you money so you can spend more time working with your clients and growing your business.

Topics Discussed:

  • Why you can’t do everything in your business as it grows

  • The ultimate goal of running your business and why hiring can help you get there

  • How a website designer can uses your vision and needs to design your website right the first time

  • Why a designer can save you money with their resources and knowledge

  • The back-end things that a designer should put in place that you can grow down the road

  • The importance of having a designer support you before, during, and after your website launch

  • The steps a website designer will follow to design a website that meets your goals

  • How a website designer can save you time by managing your project and keeping everything on track

  • Why having a designer who is familiar with your design and platform helps you post-launch

Resources Discussed:


5 Updates for a Higher Converting Website

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That’s a Wrap! Reviewing Season 1 of Process to Profitability

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I can’t believe we’re at episode 100 of Process to Profitability. It’s been an amazing two years of learning, taking action, and delving deep into all kinds of creative businesses. As I start my maternity leave, it’s a great time to review the past season and look forward to what the future holds for the podcast. I’ll be re-releasing some of my favorite episodes that you may have missed over the next 16 weeks, so make sure to stay subscribed to the show and leave us a rating and review in iTunes to help others find us.

Topics Discussed:

  • Reviewing the past 100 episodes

  • My favorite episodes you may have missed

  • What to expect during the season break

  • The future of Process to Profitability

Action Steps:

  1. Subscribe to Process to Profitability so you don’t miss any episodes!

  2. Leave us a rating and review on iTunes.

  3. Go back and listen to your favorite episodes and make a plan to take action.

Running a Business as a Side-Hustle with Shannon Mattern

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Today I’m talking about running a business as a side-hustle with Shannon Mattern. We chat about a lot of topics, including how she got started with her business and the transition she made to running it full time. We also talk about how you can run your business as a side-hustle in a way that benefits your business and the difference between that and running a full-time business. Shannon shares about creating a strategic plan when you’re running a side-hustle and some tips for balancing a full-time job, running a business, and self-care, as well as how you can transition to a full-time gig and the things that you need to do to prepare.

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Connect with Shannon:

Shannon Mattern shows side hustlers, bloggers, entrepreneurs and freelancers how build a website, grow an audience via online marketing and turn their expertise into income.  You can think of Shannon as your WordPress BFF! Through her signature course, the 5 Day Website Challenge, she has empowered over 6,600 people to DIY their website with WordPress. Shannon’s mission is to empower those who want the freedom, flexibility and financial independence that an online business can provide by removing the tech barriers holding them back! In January of 2018, Shannon transitioned from side-hustler to self-employed. She shares her journey, strategies and tactics via her podcast, Pep Talks for Side Hustlers at www.peptalksforsidehustlers.com/itunes (or wherever you listen to podcasts).

Topics Discussed:

  • How running a business as a side-hustle is difference from doing it full-time

  • The benefits of a side-hustle

  • Talking to clients about your side-hustle and setting boundaries

  • Creating a strategic plan for growing your business

  • Tips for self-care while working a full-time job and running a side-hustle

  • How you can prepare to transition your side-hustle to full time

  • Shannon’s words of encouragement to side-hustlers who can’t leave their day job

Resources Discussed:

Action Steps:

  1. Figuring out your magic number - what do you want to make a month/a year from your business

  2. If you don't love your day job, journal your 10 likes and 10 gratitude’s  about your job every morning

  3. Figure out how you can be more creative with your schedule to have time to grow your business

Hosting a Podcast that Supports Your Business

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Today I’m talking about hosting a podcast that supports your business. As I approach 100 episodes of Process to Profitability, I’ve talked to a lot of people about why I started a podcast and how I run it while still maintaining my service-based business. Podcasting has become the main way I create content to support my business, so today I’m sharing how I got started, how my podcast grew, and what you should consider if you want to start a podcast of your own.

Topics Discussed:

  • My podcast journey

  • Balancing podcasting and business

  • How I find guests for the show

  • Why I record solo episodes

  • Tools I use for my podcast

  • My step-by-step podcast process

  • Resources I recommend if you’re considering starting a podcast

Resources Discussed:

Action Steps:

  1. Apply to be a guest on another podcast to see if you like the medium

  2. Brainstorm ideas for your podcast that support your business and stand out

  3. Research starting a podcast to make sure you have everything in place before you jump in


My Step-by-Step Process

  1. Brainstorm topic and guest for episode OR review guest application

  2. Send or accept guest request

  3. Schedule guest using scheduling system

  4. Obtain guest's headshot and bio (I do this with a form in Acuity when they schedule)

  5. Send customized interview questions (1 week before interview at the latest)

  6. Create custom graphics for episode

  7. Record interview with guest

  8. Record episode intro (immediately after interview)

  9. Send guest gift

  10. Edit episode and add intro & outro

  11. Write episode shownotes (including links) and schedule to be published on the same date as the episode

  12. Email guest with their custom graphics, date their podcast will go live, and the link to their episode (1 week before)

  13. Promote on social media on published date

Partnering with an OBM with Brooke Jackson

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Today I’m talking about partnering with an OBM or team with Brooke Jackson. Brooke starts by explaining what an Online Business Manager does and how they work with business owners. We discuss the types of tasks an OBM can do and what they won’t do in your business. We then talk about building a team, with or without an OBM to help, including choosing the right people to hire, on-boarding new team members, and managing your team.

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Connect with Brooke:

Brooke Jackson is an Online Business Manager (OBM) for female entrepreneurs who are ready to take their business to the next level. She genuinely helps female online-business owners by taking over almost all of their current operations, business systems, team leading, planning & timelines, launches, and project management. Brooke has a passion and love for animals, worldly cultures, and online business.

 

Topics Discussed:

  • What an OBM does and how she can work with a business owner

  • The main types of tasks that an OBM can do for a business

  • How to partner with an OBM

  • What an OBM won’t do in your business

  • Tips for business owners who need to build a team, but can’t afford an OBM

  • Choosing the right type of person to hire first in your business

  • On-boarding new team members

  • Managing your team, whether or not you have an OBM to help

  • When you should start thinking about hiring an OBM for your business

Resources Discussed:

Action Steps:

  1. Start breaking down everything you do in your business and organize into daily, bi-daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly.

  2. Start documenting those processes! Break out anywhere you want to record them and write out the steps you take to perform actions along with guidelines & loom videos if needed

  3. Start assessing yourself as a leader. Get to know yourself and your working style.

What’s Included with Your Website Design

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Today I’m talking about what’s included with your website design when you work with Lemon and the Sea. One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a designer is “is this thing included in your quote?” so today I’m taking some time to lay out what I include with every website design and to talk about why it’s important to ask these types of questions when you choose a website designer.

Topics Discussed:

  • Why is it important to know what’s included when you work with a website designer

  • What I include for website strategy clients

    • Resizing images

    • SEO descriptions based on your keywords

    • Tutorial library

    • Custom tutorial videos

    • Post-launch support

    • Setting up Google analytics

    • Setting up Google search console

    • Testing before and after launch to make sure all links are working

    • Importing blog content

    • Mock-ups for design options

    • PDF guides to help you with SEO and launching

    • Connecting your domain and email address to Squarespace

    • Mobile design

    • Custom code to make your website more than just a template

    • Creating/tweaking small graphics

    • Creating a  mood board and color palette (if you don’t already have one)

    • Choosing fonts (if you don’t already have them)

    • Access to the plug-ins I have available (plug-ins I have not purchased already are extra)

    • Connecting to your email newsletter provider (but not setting up your newsletter)

    • Video or phone calls to discuss the design,  make changes in real time, and answer any other questions you may have

    • Outlines for page content so you can write your copy

  • What I include for website customization clients

    • Resizing images

    • Tutorial library

    • Custom tutorial videos

    • Post-launch support

    • Setting up Google analytics

    • Testing before and after launch to make sure all links are working

    • Mock-ups for design options

    • Mobile design

    • Custom code to make your website more than just a template

    • Creating/tweaking small graphics

    • Video or phone calls to discuss the design and make changes in real time

    • Suggestions for ways you can improve your current website design (that aren’t already on our to-do list)

  • Why I think it’s important to include these pieces in my design projects

Resources discussed:

Managing Entrepreneurial Anxiety with Wendy Breakstone

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Today I’m talking about managing entrepreneurial anxiety with Wendy Breakstone. We have a great conversation for you to listen in on today talking about why entrepreneurs tend to struggle with anxiety, how we can set and achieve goals in our businesses, and some recommendations for future planning. Wendy also talks about systems that we need to set up in our businesses that are fairly simple to help you get started and feel confident when you’re showing up in your business and for your clients.

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Connect with Wendy:

Wendy Breakstone is a Business Success Coach with more than 18 years of experience working with entrepreneurs and small businesses on their marketing, online presence, and foundational business systems. She got her own entrepreneurial start helping independent retail owners take control of their bookkeeping and business systems and soon transitioned to helping clients build and integrate ecommerce into their marketing and brand strategy. Today Wendy follows her passion for coaching entrepreneurs that struggle with business anxiety, overwhelm and frustration. She helps them take control and feel more confident by creating simple systems and strategies for long-term success. Wendy believes that when you simplify, success follows.

Topics Discussed:

  • Some reasons why entrepreneurs tend to struggle with anxiety

  • How to set and achieve goals when anxiety gets in the way

  • Wendy’s recommendations for choosing what to focus on when planning for the future

  • The systems you should set up to help your business grow without getting overwhelmed

  • Why the world needs you to show up in your business, even you’re worried

Resources Discussed:

Action Steps:

  1. When setting big goals, do Wendy’s visualization experience

  2. Set a single daily action

  3. Write a list of to-do’s for the day each morning

Choosing What to Invest In

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Today I’m talking about choosing what to invest in for your business. As your business grows, or even when you’re just starting, there are going to be some things you want to really invest in – coaching, professional design or copywriting, events – that aren’t an everyday expense. As the business owner, it’s up to you to decide what you should be investing in and how your money can best be used to support your business as it grows.

Topics Discussed:

  • Why investing in your business is important

  • My philosophy on business investments and why I won’t go into debt

  • The types of things you can invest in

    • Working with a coach

    • Group masterminds

    • Events

    • Software purchases

    • Hiring a designer, copywriter, photographer

    • Hiring employees

  • When you should start investing in your business

Action Steps:

  1. Research purchases or events you would like to invest in.

  2. Make a plan to start saving for these items.

  3. Sign up to get notified of deals and tickets.

Customer Service is Queen with Catherine Hildner

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Today I’m talking about how customer service is queen with Catherine Hildner. We have a great conversation about why customer service is important, what it looks like in our businesses, and how we can set everything up to be really customer focused. Catherine talks about her experience with both good and bad clients and how she has evolved her customer service over time. We also talk about how you create a one-of-a-kind experience without spending a lot of money. I suggest you go check out the Customer Service 101 Hack Sheet she references at the end of the episode – there will be a link to that in the show notes.

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Connect with Catherine:

Catherine Hildner is the creator, designer and heart and soul behind Kitty Meow: A Creative Boutique. At Kitty Meow you can shop beautifully designed paper goodies based on your mood, witty or sweet. Whether you're looking for something witty and even a little rude, or prefer sweet sentiments, she's got you. Catherine is also a wife, mother, anchor-loving philanthropist, and Customer Service Queen.

 

Topics Discussed:

  • The most important parts of having good customer service

  • How you can set up your business to serve your customers well

  • Owning up to your mistakes and celebrating your wins

  • Saying no to potential clients who aren’t a good fit

  • Breaking up with a bad client

  • How you can create a one-of-a-kind experience without spending a lot of money

  • Customer service when you have employees or contractors working for your business

Action Steps:

  1. Create a set of systems and processes for on-boarding customers

  2. Find thoughtful details to include in your customer service

  3. Own up to your mistakes with your customers