My top 5 business and marketing podcasts
How to make your Squarespace website work harder for you
If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you know how gung ho I am about education. I studied design at Virginia Tech, all things web and coding at ABTech and I joke that I’m currently getting my marketing and business degree via podcast.
The truth is, there are so many FREE ways to educate yourself and podcasts are a wonderful resource. I pretty much listen to 1-2 podcasts a day. I love learning, especially when I can also be productive in other areas of my life (and not spend a dime!).
Many people have asked me for podcast recommendations, so I wanted to share my top business and marketing related podcasts for all you business owners out there.
So you want to start a business... now what?
Your website is a powerful tool for your business. If you do it right you can save yourself time, land new clients and impress your visitors. My goal as a designer is not only to make your site look professional and beautiful, but to give your visitors clear direction in how to navigate the site and follow through with our overall goals.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your website was working hard for you while you’re busy handling the day-to-day tasks of your business? Check out these three ways to get your Squarespace site off the couch and off to work!
5 online tools I can't live without
As someone who specializes in logo and website design, I meet with a lot of people that want to start a business and I’ve found that some aspiring business owners want to jump right into the logo and website to get started. The truth is, there are a lot of steps that need to come before this phase. To pull in some expert advice, I interviewed Jill Sparks, the Executive Director or ABTech's Small Business Center to discuss the topic of starting a business. While I’m not a business coach, I hope that this post will help guide you through some of the key pieces to starting a successful business and point you in the direction of some amazing resources we have here in Asheville.
Similarities in solo travel & self-employment
I love establishing systems and processes and there are some great online tools out there to increase efficiency within your business. A few of these may only be useful for professional services like graphic design, but I feel like most of them can work for most industries.
This post isn’t necessarily about the best tools out there, but it’s what works for me. I’m always curious about people’s work flows and systems so I thought I’d share some nerdy admin stuff that I get excited about.
A simple and secure way to store your passwords
Two of the scariest and rewarding things I’ve done in my life have been traveling solo in another country and starting my own business. As I look back on my time in South America and quitting my full time job, I realized that solo travel and starting a business have actually been very similar life experiences for me.
When tragedy strikes and lessons learned
Passwords can be a pain to keep track of. Each website requires a strong, unique password with varying characters and symbols. How are you supposed to remember them all? If you’re like me, you’ve been through the maze of resetting passwords, getting locked out and talking to customer support. The best thing you can do for simplicity and security, is to use a password manager. Ever since I saw a cyber security expert speak about LastPass at a conference, I’ve been using it almost every day. LastPass is a free password manager and in this post I’ll tell you why it’s important and how to set it up.
Why you’re stuck writing your website copy – and how to fix it
Owning a business can be amazing. You make your own money, make your own decisions and make your own schedule. But, recently I’ve learned that tragedy can strike fast. Within one week I learned that my dad’s restaurant was being sued and filing bankruptcy and my fiancé’s work vehicles were set on fire. It has been incredibly heartbreaking and stressful dealing with these incidents, but I hope that by sharing these stories, other business owners will be better prepared for worst case scenarios.
New Studio Space!
You’ve decided it’s time to ramp up your online presence, so you’ve hired a designer for the job. Wahoo! You’re excited to get the ball rolling, but then the designer asks you for your website copy. Some people feel confident writing their own content, but I’ve found that most people don’t even know where to start. If the latter sounds like you, then this blog is for you. Messaging advisor, Anna Laman, has written a guest post identifying the three common problems she sees when entrepreneurs DIY their own website copy and has shared some super helpful advice.
An Interview with Chelsea Lane Photography
Many of you know that I’ve just moved into a shared office space in the River Arts District with some amazing women, so for this month’s blog I thought I’d share some of the details about how this got started, why we started it, who is in the space and most importantly, give credit where it is due. Big thanks to my dear friend Derek DiLuzio for the pictures!
Google My Business: why you need it and how to get started
Photography is so important for your business and brand, especially in this day in age. With social media being a huge aspect of marketing, you have to be authentic and have more content. A lot of people rely on iPhone pics, but if you want to stand out and look professional, you're going to want to hire a pro. For this month’s blog I interviewed Chelsea Lane Photography to talk all things headshots, styling, stock images and the overall importance of custom images for your brand.
Love to the small businesses!
If you haven’t setup a Google My Business account for your business, do it now! This is such an important step to get found online whether you have a storefront or work from home. It’s also an easy way to manage how your business appears on Google maps and searches. Did I mention it’s free? Check out this month’s blog to read why it’s important and how to get started.
Google Analytics: Setup and Basics
It’s Small Business Week in Asheville so I decided to give some love to the small bizz owners and share my story of growing up in a family business. Now that I own my own business, I have a huge amount of respect for all you people out there that started your own thing. It has been by far the most rewarding and terrifying experience (and I’m hooked). Want to see a kids menu I drew as a kid? Or funny old pictures? Click to read more!
One year anniversary in business!
Have you ever wondered why Google Analytics is important for your business or wish you understood some of the basic tools so you can improve your site? Check out this month's blog to see what channels people are using to land on your site, what cities people are visiting from and what your top pages are. I'll also walk you through Google Analytics setup, teach you how to add multiple users and show you how to remove your own traffic to your website so your data is accurate as possible.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Last January I made a big decision and quit my full time job to go off on my own. A lot of people thought I was crazy, but I knew I was ready. Today marks my one year anniversary in business and it’s been quite the roller coaster ride. It has genuinely been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and while I could talk for days about the best parts of working for myself, I thought it would be way more entertaining to share some less glamorous (and kinda funny) insights into my life as a freelancer. Check it out in this month’s blog.
Formatting images for the web without Photoshop (for free!)
You may have heard about this mysterious thing called SEO that can drive a ton of traffic to your website and potentially turn those visitors into customers. So what is it exactly? To be honest, it’s a loaded question, but the goal of this blog is to give you a basic understanding of the subject with the help of my friend Casey Nifong, owner of Mountain Laurel Digital and an overall SEO Queen.
Logo pricing explained
I’m often asked how to edit and resize photos without Photoshop and for the longest time I had no idea. Although I love Photoshop and use it personally, it doesn’t make sense for a lot of people to pay for it if they’re not using it regularly. The website app I’m recommending in this blog is called Pixlr and I’ll show you step by step instructions on how to properly save your image for the web.
Top 5 reasons why I switched from Wordpress to Squarespace
Logo prices can range anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars. So why is it so confusing and complex? There are a lot of factors that go into pricing a logo and I cover a handful of them in this blog post. Check it out!
The evolution of my brand
After switching my own website from Wordpress to Squarespace I was hooked. While Wordpress is a fantastic platform for many, I believe that Squarespace is a better fit for my business and the clients that I want to work with. Here's why.
As I was reorganizing my office, I came across some of my old business cards and thought the evolution and meaning of my own logo could be a great first blog post. So here goes nothing!