creative entrepreneur

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.

My Maternity Leave Plan

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Today I’m talking about my maternity leave plans. If you’ve been following along on social media or to some of the latest podcast episodes, you’ll know that my husband and I are expecting our first child at the beginning of April and I am planning on taking a maternity leave starting the last week of March, which means that I have been doing a lot of preparation over the last few months. Today I’m going to dive into what my maternity leave is going to look like, how I’ve been preparing, and the resources that I’ve used in case you want to plan your own maternity leave or long-term leave from your own business.

Topics Discussed:

  • How I planned for my maternity leave in each trimester

  • Resources I looked at as I planned an extended leave

  • What my maternity leave plans are

  • How I’m outsourcing, delegating, and letting things go as I prepare to go on leave

Resources Discussed:

Outsourcing in Small Ways

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While we’ve talked about outsourcing and hiring in the past, I wanted to give my insight into why outsourcing in small ways can be beneficial to your business. As a business owner, I know that it can be intimidating to think about hiring someone full time or handing over a lot of work to a virtual assistant or other contractor. While that may work for some businesses, and is very beneficial as you grow, starting small can ease your workload and help you better serve your clients right where you are now.

Topics Discussed:

  • Why you should start small when choosing to outsource

  • Figuring out what to outsource in your business

  • Finding people or programs that you trust

  • Working with someone to make sure everything is running smoothly

  • How I started outsourcing at Lemon and the Sea

Action Steps:

  1. Make a list of tasks you would like to get off your plate

  2. Create a detailed description of the work you’re looking to outsource

  3. Ask your friends or trusted Facebook groups for references of people who may be able to help

5 Ways to Give Back in Your Business

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Today I’m talking about 5 ways to give back in your business. The holiday season just wrapped up here in the United States and for many of us, the start of the New Year also means thinking about how we can do more with our businesses moving forward. If you’re like me, you want to do more than just serve your clients and market on social media – you want to make a difference year-round in bigger ways. If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to making giving a part of your business model, I have 5 ideas for you.

Topics Discussed:

  • Giving to a cause

  • Volunteering for local organizations

  • How you can use your influence as a business owner to inspire others

  • Why you should consider offering a scholarship to your program or service

  • Donating your skills as a business owner to those in need

  • Making sure you’re giving back the right way

  • How Lemon and the Sea makes giving a part of our business model

Action Steps:

  1. Brainstorm ways you would like to give back in your business

  2. Research organizations that support causes you’re passionate about

  3. Set aside a small amount of time or money to donate over the next month

How to Prepare for a Website Redesign

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Today I’m talking about how to prepare for a website redesign. Many of my clients come to me because they are ready to update or redesign their current website and they all have question about what they can do to make sure that they’re ready to work with a designer. Today I’m going to be going through the steps that you can take to make sure that you’re ready to work with a designer when you need to update or redesign your website.

Topics Discussed:

  • Why you need to start the redesign process by determining what types of updates you want to make

  • The differences between a full redesign, customization, and small design tweaks

  • Why you need to choose your website platform before choosing your designer

  • Finding a designer through referrals

  • Why you should always get on a call before hiring a designer

  • Getting to know your brand

  • Gathering the information you need before a website redesign

  • What to expect during the design process

Action Steps:

  1. Brainstorm a list of updates you need to make to your website

  2. Make sure all your design files are in one place

  3. If you’re ready to hire someone, ask around for referrals

Top Tools I Use in My Business

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Today I’m going to be talking about the top tools that I use in my business. I decided that this would be a good episode to share with you because while it is shorter, it has a ton of resources. I’m going to break the list of tools into different sections so that no matter what type of business you run, you can check out these tools and see if they would work for you in your business.

Topics Discussed:

  • The tools I use for design

  • My favorite business and administration tools

  • What I use for podcasting

Resources discussed:

Why You Need to Specialize (or why I'm not a copywriter, SEO strategist, or brand designer)

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Today I’m talking about why you need to specialize – or why I’m not a copywriter, SEO strategist, or brand designer. I’ve been learning over the past 3 years in business that it is important to specialize when you decide what it is that you want to offer in your business and who you want to work with. It doesn’t work to offer every service to everyone out there because then you can’t be known as an expert in any one thing.

Over the past three years, I have spent my time trying to figure out exactly what I could specialize in and how I could best serve the clients that I really wanted to work with. It took time and a lot of iterations of my services and website and what I wanted to offer, but as I have learned that I need to narrow down on what it is that I want to do and who I want to work with, I have also seen that my ability to serve my clients well has increased.

Today I’m going to talk through that journey with you and encourage you that if you aren’t sure if you should be specializing in one area, I really recommend that you do.

Topics Discussed:

  • How I went from offering every type of design service to focusing on website design
  • My fears as I chose an area to specialize in
  • Why I can’t offer every kind of service
  • What you should look at as you consider specializing
  • Honing in on your specific service, process, and dream client

Resources Discussed:

Action Steps:

  1. Figure out your why
  2. Narrow in on your dream client
  3. Remove any services from your website  that you don’t want to specialize in

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A Week in the Life of a Creative Entrepreneur

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Today I’m going to walking you through what it’s like to be a creative entrepreneur and going over the week in the life of someone who runs an online business. The format of today’s episode is going to be a little different because I’m going to record every evening (or the next morning) to go over what I did, what I learned, and some of the things that I’m working on so you get a picture of what I spend my days doing.

I have chosen to record this a few weeks in advance, so this is not the week previous to the episode coming out, and it’s a little bit crazy because we have a lot scheduled in the evenings that aren’t work related, but I want to pick this week because it will give you a good picture of what my life is like most of the time, especially going into the spring.

Topics Discussed:

  • How I schedule my weeks
  • What each day looks like
  • Why flexibility is important when you work from home
  • How I prepare for the coming week

Resources Discussed:

Action Steps:

  • Review your weekly schedule and see what might need to change
  • Build in flexible time throughout your week for extras that might pop-up
  • Plan one fun thing with your friends or family

 


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Celebrating 50 Episodes of Process to Profitability

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I’m so excited that we are at 50 episodes this week. When I started this podcast back in June of 2017, I never imagined getting to this point. I start podcasting because I was tired of writing blog posts and I felt like it wasn’t the best way for me to educate my audience and make connections with other people in the industry. After meeting a group of amazing podcasters at a networking event, I decided to jump in and try podcasting for myself. Since then, we have had a ton of amazing guests, some solo episodes, lots of freebies and opt-ins, and a couple of bumps along the way.

Today I want to look back over the past 50 episodes, give you some insight into what I’ve learned, the most popular episodes, and a little sneak peak of what’s coming next.

Topics Discussed:

  • An overview of the 5 most popular episodes
  • Some of my favorite interviews that you may have missed
  • The top 3 episodes to listen to before beginning your website design
  • Lessons I’ve learned from 50 episodes of Process to Profitability
  • Some of the big mistakes that I made
  • My favorite reviews (and why I love them)
  • What’s coming next
  • Ways that you can support the show

Action Steps:

Read Full Transcript


Most Popular Episodes:

  1. 01 | Using Your Blog to Educate Clients with Cinnamon Wolfe
  2. 14 | Writing a Book that Serves Your Audience and Your Business with Jodi Brandon
  3. 39 | Mindfulness and Entrepreneurship with Lee Chaix McDonough
  4. 11 | Creating Effective Surveys in Your Business with Lauren Black
  5. 20 | Pricing Your Services for Your Profitability and Your Dream Clients with Kristin Kaplan

My Favorite Episodes You May Have Missed:

You Need to Listen Before Designing a Website:

What I’ve Learned:

  1. I love having a conversation with my guests while still covering their area of expertise
  2. Podcasting takes a lot of time and effort and it costs a lot more than writing a blog
  3. It’s easier to interview a guest than to host a solo episode

Mistakes I’ve Made:

  • My very first episode was released with the intro and interview audio tracks overlaid, so you couldn’t understand anything
  • One of my early episodes was released with 20 minutes of audio missing in the middle – and I didn’t catch it until months later

Favorite Reviews:

“Samantha, host of Process to Profitability, highlights all aspects of business in this can’t miss podcast. The host and expert guests offer insightful advice that is helpful to anyone that listens!” – Brooke Craven

“I’m only a few episodes in, but I already love what I’m hearing. Samantha dives right into getting to know her guests and it’s all action from there, which is great!” – Krista Miller

“I’m loving Samantha’s podcast for her ability to ask questions that really allow the interviews to get to the strategies that business owners are curious about. It’s exciting to hear stories AND get something you can put into place in your business immediately!” – Reina Pomeroy

What’s Next:

  • 3 Action Steps for each episode
  • New guests covering topics like learner-centered design, subscription-based businesses, and the true value of an hour
  • New solo episodes including what a week in my life looks like, website analytics, and auditing your website
  • Transcriptions for each episode

How You Can Help:


5 Updates for a Higher Converting Website

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Looking Back on 2017 and What's Next

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Today I am looking back on 2017 and talking about what’s next for the New Year. I’m going to be sharing my big accomplishments, what worked and what didn’t, and even getting into some of the numbers. I hope this episode gives you a chance to see what it’s like behind the scenes of an online business and encourages you to reflect on the past year as you start to make your goals for 2018.

Topics Discussed:

  • My Focus for 2017: Abundance
  • Big Accomplishments
    • Starting Process to Profitability
    • Buying a house
    • Creating a signature process for website design
    • Deciding to stop offering brand design and focus on websites
  • What Worked
    • Raising my prices
    • Building relationships through coffee chats
    • Returning clients
    • Creating my business mission & values
  • What Didn’t Work
    • Scheduling content
    • Getting visible
    • Trying to find the magic bullet
  • Intentional Investments
  • New Tools
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Abundance

2017 Word of the Year

The Numbers

Instagram Followers

  • February 2017: 385
  • December 2017: 610

Pinterest Followers

  • February 2017: 782
  • December 2017: 1027

Twitter Followers

  • February 2017: 708
  • December 2017: 843

Facebook Likes

  • February 2017: 139
  • December 2017: 159

Email List Subscribers

  • February 2017: 121
  • December 2017: 156

2016 Income

  • Invoices: $18,068.42
  • Expenses: $8,945.29
  • Profit: $8,928.24

2017 Income

  • Invoices: $18,343.13
  • Expenses: $12,161.33
  • Profit: $6,181.80

*Put a bigger emphasis on investing in education

*Includes tithes to my church of 10% of my income

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Blessing

2018 Word of the Year

Goals for 2018

  • Word of the Year: Blessing
  • Grow my email list
  • Launch 8 websites
  • Find sponsors for my podcast
  • Launch a template shop

Announcing Showit Custom Website Design

I am offering Showit Custom websites starting in 2018. Showit is a great platform for photographers and those who want an easy to update website that allows for more flexibility in design.

If you're interested in working with me to design a strategic website on Showit, apply today.

Resources Discussed:


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A Brief History of Lemon and the Sea

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For the month of December, my solo episodes are going to giving you a little but more information about my business and what it is that I do and how I came to do that.

Today I’m going over a brief history of Lemon and the Sea, starting way before running a business was even on my radar.

Topics Discussed:

  • How I got started designing and creating at a young age
  • My high school activities and how they influenced my future
  • What architecture school taught me about business and design
  • How I started my career after college
  • The transition from full-time job to freelancing
  • My first design request and early business decisions
  • How I narrowed in on my niche and what I’m passionate about doing
  • The ideas that didn’t work and why I started Process to Profitability
  • How Lemon and the Sea is transitioning and what that looks like behind the scenes
  • My mission statement, manifesto, and core values

The Lemon and the Sea Mission

My mission at Lemon and the Sea is to empower creative, driven women to pursue their purpose and focus on what's most important.

The Lemon and the Sea Values

  • Serving Well
  • Laughter & Fun
  • Authentic Design
  • Everyone has a Purpose
  • Family Time
  • Giving Grace
  • Growth is Important
  • This is Worth It
  • Chocolate is Important

The Lemon and the Sea Manifesto

I believe in putting people over profit, that you aren't alone, that design should be beautiful and functional, communication is key, that you deserve to be seen, collaboration in design, and that you have a purpose and a place here.

Resources Discussed:

 


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Offering Services that Others Won't

Offering Services that Others Won't

When you restrict yourself to only offering services in the industry-standard way, you might be missing out on opportunities to grow your business. I have personally found that only offering pre-set packages limits my ability to work with potential clients.

Today, I'm discussing a few ways you can offer services in your business that others will not, while still being profitable and enjoying your work.

Samantha Mabe is the owner and designer at Lemon and the Sea. She loves empowering creative women with a heart to serve to grow their business through brand and website design. Her background is in design and architecture, but she’s been creating since she could hold a pencil. Samantha is a Pittsburgh native now living in Richmond, Virginia where she spends her days designing brands and websites and her evenings watching Netflix with her husband and their dog #gambittheweshi.

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