There is so much noise out there- you all know it. We are constantly being bombared with marketing messages, grimy sales tactics (ahem, people literally giving us a sales pitch on instagram before even getting to know us) and it’s hard to break through the noise and stand out. People always tell me they want to be authentic and keep it real and honestly… I think we over-complicate it- and I think of it is unlearning some of the things we used to think to be true.
And when you add anxiety into the mix, sometimes it feels like you just can’t get ahead.
Anyone who knows me knows I’ve struggled with anxiety disorder almost all of my life. It really started to show itself when I was young and my mom was sick with cancer and my sister was sick with a life-threatening disease at the same time. Since then, I’ve been on so many different anxiety medicines, and trying to find ways to naturally help my anxiety attacks that would seem to show up more often than not.
Sometimes I find that entrepreneurship amplifies my anxiety on small things- just because there are so many things that are going on in the day-to-day that sometimes I feel like I can’t keep up, or that I am not doing enough, which triggers a lot of things for me emotionally.
There are SO many things out on the internet that explain best practices for your website and what is essential. After designing over 60 websites since I’ve been in business, I’ve been able to really figure out and nail down the things that help your website do more than just look pretty- but convert visitors into paying clients. Here’s five things that your website absolutely needs to actually CONVERT visitors into CLIENTS.
The other day Instagram was down and every entrepreneur I know went into full panic mode and I realized how much we truly have invested in one platform. I mean don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the ‘gram, but it got me thinking… what if instagram disappeared tomorrow?
One of the biggest things my clients struggle with is choosing colors for their brand. Everyday someone asks me “HOW DO I KNOW WHAT COLORS TO CHOOSE? THERE ARE SO MANY, AND SO MANY SHADES OF THEM ALL!” Trust me- I get it, and I’ve been there. It took me being in business for three months alone before I really nailed down and solidified my own personal brand colors.
Picking your brand colors can be simple and stress-free if you follow these few steps.
One of the first steps in my branding and web design process working with clients is one of their favorite parts of everything- creating a brand vision board on Pinterest. I do this to see what they are naturally drawn to so I can make sure the brand I design for them matches both the things they feel authentic/resonate with them alongside with things that they feel inspire them.
A lot of you who follow me know that the last few weeks I have been moving and SHEW am I glad it’s over. I wanted to share a little behind-the-scenes sneak peek of our home so far with you, even though it’s not even remotely close to being finished (but, lets be honest, are our homes ever reallyyyyy close to being finished?) Sebastian and I have SO many exciting projects in store for this home and I can’t wait to see how we truly make this place ours. But, I think we are off to a good start. :)
Photography is a HUGE component of the brand and web design process and something so, so important. I’m sure you’ve heard it so I don’t need to remind you, buttt just incase:
People want to connect with you first, then your business. That is why it is so ESSENTIAL to have professional photos of yourself.
Seriously-- they do. They want to know what your life looks like behind-the-scenes. They want to like you first, then they’ll trust you, then they’ll buy from you. People are interested in people. (Trust me, I used to think “Little ol’ me? No one cares about what I do. And I was proven SO wrong!)
There are SO many designers out there-- you’ll see what I mean if you ask Facebook or Google for recommendations. And trying to figure out which designer to choose to bring your businesses’ identity to life is definitely a big decision. I believe to truly create something amazing, it needs to be a perfect fit for both parties involved.
Here are five things you should look for in a designer to ensure that you are making the right choice.
We are all CONSTANTLY hearing about how important Instagram is, am I right?! It is SUCH a powerful platform, but sometimes, when you begin to use it for business, it gets slightly overwhelming. Here are 10 tips I have learned over the years as both a past social media manager and a current brand designer to keep your Instagram feed looking good and professional.
Alright-- you know it, I know it, we all know it: photography is a really competitive, saturated market. In all reality, most creative fields are. I see so many people hustling and bustling every single day to build their business but there’s one foundational piece missing that is really going to set them apart from their competition in such a competitive market…
A question I get asked ALL the time is how (and why) I got into entrepreneurship. It’s always, for some reason, a question I try to avoid answering- because it is SO much harder to explain than what people expect. Today, I promised myself to sit down and write down my thoughts to really explain where I came from and how I got where I am today.
As a lot of you know- I’ve been on the go most of the last couple months. Between traveling to Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, California, South Carolina, and now Florida in a few days- my entire life has been out of a suitcase. BUT, by the grace of God or the universe or whatever you believe in, I’ve been able to continue to successfully run my business while being gone. Here’s how I did it:
It’s my 24th birthday today, and I was getting ready to write a blog where I talked about all my goals for this upcoming year of my life- then I was like, but wait, what about all of the damn accomplishments this year?!
I have this flaw- it’s called striving and never arriving. I always am too busy trying to do more, be more, make more, rinse & repeat that I sometimes (usually) forget to look at what I have created, how far I’ve come, and how amazing that feels.
This is a blog topic I’ve found myself continuously adding and erasing on my content calendar. I always preach authenticity and try to show you guys the real me… but, admitting your flaws and short-comings and failures can be really hard. As someone who really believes in trying to showcase real life through business and all the struggles that come with that, I decided today to sit down and actually write it and be totally transparent and real with you guys.
I put out a question sticker the other day on Instagram asking if anyone had anything they wanted me to write about blog-wise, and this was the first question. I think it is SUCH a good question and I want to breakdown the steps I take to really get the creative juices going so I can create my best work.
I remember when I first started in the business world- I had just hired a business coach when we talked about creating an avatar for my ideal client on one of our first calls. Uhm, ideal client? My ideal client was anyone who would pay me over $7 an hour. Seriously. I knew I had built the blueprint for a successful business but also had NO IDEA how to actually make money by getting clients.
As entrepreneurs who are always wearing 5,000 hats, there’s always so much more we could be doing to keep growing our businesses. I have found some incredibly helpful tools this last year that help uplevel my business and really save me time and money (and when you’re an entrepreneur, you know time IS money!)
Here’s a list of my favorite tools and resources that I use every single day:
Something I get asked a lot from clients, friends, and even strangers is “What makes up a good logo?”
I work with so many creative entrepreneurs who find the absolute most beautiful hand-illustrated super-freaking-intricate logos and send me examples of them when they want something designed for their own brand…
I learned a lesson back when I was working in the corporate world and went through the branding process with my old company (I wasn’t doing the work, I was just the director of marketing that helped make some of the big decisions). This was a HUGE branding project, we’re talking an almost six month timeline with a six figure price tag.
Everyone who knows me and who follows me knows that I am always shouting self-care from rooftops. I think business boils down to one thing: mindset. And mindset all depends on how well you care for yourself throughout this journey of business. I am constantly (unapologetically) prioritizing my self-care.
Self-care isn’t selfish. Wellness is a business decision, people.
This last year I quit my 9-5 job. I broke off an engagement and relationship. I launched a successful web design and branding business where I’m now booked out for months (!!!) I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina from Louisville, Kentucky. I learned how to live by myself and pay the bills alone for the first time ever. I got off all my anxiety and depression medicine by practicing mindfulness. I doubled my corporate income by working with my dream clients in my own business, doing work I love. I adopted a dog I couldn’t love more if I tried. I made new friends. I fell in love with myself again. 2018 was so good to me and I learned SO many lessons along the way.
One of the most common questions I get asked is how I took the leap from my 9-5 into being a full-time entrepreneur. It feels like there a million different things to consider (and a million different ways to talk yourself out of it) but I’m going to break down exactly what I recommend doing before handing in your notice to ensure you’ve set yourself up for success as a business owner.
One of the most popular questions I get all the time, from everyone who views or follows me on Instagram- is WHO is taking these photos of you?! My friends all have their own conspiracies- they think I have a tripod I set-up in my room every single day to take a million of my own (not a bad idea), they think I have a friend in my apartment building who I have come down and use my camera to take these photos of me (also, not a bad idea).
In this video where I was interviewed with Her Exchange, you will learn: The difference between a logo and brand, how to use Pinterest as a tool to help build your brand, how to use your current dream clients to attract more like them, the “5 things strategy for your social media and blogs,” what to look for in a branding and website partner, the pros and cons of sites like Fiverr and when to use them (and when not to!)
It was a very slow build up, but one day I realized that my fear of not living out my potential and having the life I dreamed of and knew was possible, had become so much greater than my fear of leaving my safe, secure, practical, but unfulfilling job.
We need to journal-- we hear it all the time from the top people in our industry, from our therapist, from Tim Ferris (who may also kinda double as our therapist). We order our lovely patterned journals and our perfect liquid pens off amazon and then boom- we finally experience writers’ block. Like we want to write… but about what?
As creative entrepreneurs, it is so important for us to stay inspired. We see a lot of the glamorous parts of entrepreneurship- the Pinterest-worthy home offices with faux fur rugs tossed around the white leather chairs in the spotless homes… the women who are making their keto dinners for the week every Sunday while producing a podcast and doing Facebook lives.
As many of you know, my own site, along with all of my clients’ sites are created with Squarespace. During calls with new clients, they ALWAYS ask me why I choose Squarespace over all of the other hosting platforms out there. I wanted to answer that question here and really delve in into the ins-and-outs of Squarespace and why I continue to use it, even with my previous experience in Wordpress.