A DAY IN THE BUSINESS OF KATIE WILLIAMSEN – SIMPLIFIED STRATEGIC WEB DESIGN

Published on June 29th, 2017 // BRANDING BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP BUSINESS BUSINESS OWNER CLIENT EXPERIENCE DESIGN PROCESS DESIGN TIP ENTREPRENEURSHIP ONLINE BUSINESS ONLINE MARKETING SMALL BUSINESS STRATEGY Web design website

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Building a pretty website is nice but it’s not enough. Having a strategic web design plan for your site will in the long run help you convert visitors into customers. My friend Katie is sharing today her heart for creating websites that are both aesthetically pleasant and functional. Katie is the web strategist and designer behind Katie Williamsen Web & Social Media, LLC.

‘A DAY IN THE BUSINESS OF KATIE WILLIAMSEN’
SIMPLIFIED STRATEGIC WEB DESIGN

  • Could you briefly tell us about who you are and why you’re passionate about entrepreneurship?

Hi! I’m Katie Williamsen a web strategist and designer. I can’t get enough paper goods, planners and pens. I love a beautiful craft cocktail and sour gummies. Taking long walks with my pup and husband is where it’s at, and if I could travel anywhere right now, I would go to my favorite city, Florence, Italy. I’m the owner of Katie Williamsen Web & Social Media, LLC. I’m super passionate about helping creatives have functional + pretty websites that don’t break the bank.

When I was in college, I dreamed of owning my own business but after graduation, I started down a traditional 9 to 5 path. And then, just over three years ago, my life changed seemingly overnight. I was diagnosed with a sleep disorder, narcolepsy with cataplexy. My sleep cycle is irregular and I often get very tired during the day. This makes it challenging to work a “normal” job. With a desire to own my own business and the need for flexibility, I dove head first into the crazy world of entrepreneurship. I must say, I couldn’t be happier despite how difficult owning your own business can be.

katie's-headshot

Katie is the web strategist and designer.

  • What is your business specialty and what audience do you serve?

My combined background in graphic design and interactive media has made me passionate about creating user-friendly websites. I want to help the creative community flourish and grow by supporting them and their business ambitions.

  • What drew you to this niche and what inspired you to offer the services you provide?

I’ve seen so many websites that are confusing and hard to use, and they are doing a disservice to the business they represent. I want to turn this around and let people know they can have a website that works for them.

I offer services at a variety of different price points so lady bosses can start to improve and optimize their website, wherever they are in their business journey.

  • What is your favorite part of what you do and why?

I love teaching and supporting others. There’s nothing more rewarding than helping a fellow lady boss create her first blog post or understand the importance of Google Analytics.

  • Could you give us an overview of what it’s like to work with you on particular project? Walk us through how you assess your client’s needs and deliver your service?

Knowing a client is a good match is extremely important to me. So, before beginning a project, I like to hop on a phone call and learn about the creative, her business and what problems she is experiencing. If we are a good fit, I recommend services to best serve her needs, and off to work I go.
I work very collaboratively with my clients so they understand what is happening at each point of the process. I’m there to answer questions or hop on a quick call.

katie's-website

Katie helps fellow boss ladies create functional and beautiful websites that don’t break the bank.

  • What do you think are the most important things business owners need to consider when they are creating or redoing their website?

Everyone wants to have a beautifully designed website, but before you go and make your site pretty, you must think about the strategy behind it. How will site visitors navigate around your website? How will you get them from the homepage to your services or shop page? When you think about function first and then design, you will get a website that works for you.

  • What is your decision process for creating content for your audience? Is it through personal experience or from requests of your audience?

When it comes to my blog, I typically share my web, tech and business knowledge. I get these ideas from questions I see in Facebook groups or issues I see my clients facing. I share more personal reflections about life and entrepreneurship on Instagram and in my newsletter.

  • What ways have you found to keep being inspired while running a creative business?

When I’m feeling down and uninspired, I have some amazing biz besties I can turn to to help reinvigorate me. There’s nothing better than hopping on a video call or meeting up in person.
I’m also a huge fan of podcasts. I listen to a variety of podcasts, so I’m always getting new ideas and learning different ways to look at things.
And when all else fails, I take the evening or the day off. Taking a step back for a bit can be exactly what I need. Plus, everything will still be there tomorrow.

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Katie’s and her husband’s Chad pups Hobbes (right) and Sonny (right).

  • How do you deal with feedback and rejection?

Because I went through art school, I used to think I took feedback just fine, but I’ve come to find out I often take it too personally. When I receive negative feedback about my work or process, I try to remind myself they are not talking about me. Instead, I look at it as a way to improve my client experience and offerings.

  • Give one tip or advice for creative business owners as it relates to their website?

First, make sure you have Google Analytics installed. Then, spend some time exploring the platform. I think you will be amazed at the amount of information you can learn about your audience and how they use your website.

Katie’s Social Links:

INSTAGRAM
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
PINTEREST

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WHY SLOW + STEADY WORKS FOR CREATIVE INNOVATION WITH EMILY CRETELLA

Published on June 14th, 2017 // ACTION PLAN BLOGGING BRANDING BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP BUSINESS CULTIVATE CREATIVITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP GOALS INSPIRATION INTENTIONAL LIVING MOTIVATIONAL ONLINE BUSINESS ONLINE MARKETING STORYTELLING STRATEGY

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‘Passion’ and ‘pace’ may start with the same letter but they certainly seem to be arch-enemies sometimes. What if diving head first into pursuing your passion, forcing to monetize creative innovation, wasn’t actually the best way to proceed? And what if that was actually… okay?

Today, we have Emily Cretella sharing with us her story about creating her passion project, the MotherHustle movement. I had the privilege to be the creative director and designer for the project, and fell in love with Emily’s heart and gained so much respect for her journey. I wanted her to personally tell her story on the Reverie blog. We launched the website for MotherHustle on Monday and the stories are nothing short of inspiration and the website itself is beautiful – if I do say so myself, ah! Here is Emily’s story:

“There’s a difference between feeling the drive to do something and feeling driven to do something.

When I started my copywriting and content marketing business back in 2013, I wanted it to be a success and I was ready to work for it. I had a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, and let’s just say marketing agency life was not my definition of fulfillment. So I worked. Hard. And I created a business that I enjoy and that more than covers my previous 9-5 paycheck.

I felt the drive to succeed in business then, and I still do today. But through that time, there’s also been something I’ve felt driven to do — as if this thing wasn’t up to me. It was a need. A nagging sense of want and opportunity and connection.

About a year into owning my own business, I began daydreaming about creating a resource to help other creative mamas — moms like the ones I worked with in agency life — escape the daily hustle and create their own version of success.

I wrote this idea down for the first time in a flurry of late-night inspiration in July 2015 — but it wasn’t until February 2016 that I began sending out a weekly email called MotherHustle.

The newsletter was a way for me to share not only the strategies and resources that were making my business successful, but also the stories that felt excluded from my everyday work experience. I had more to share than copywriting and marketing tips and tactics. I had stories that needed to be told.

Almost immediately, I began to get responses.

Notes from other mamas thanking me for the letters. Telling me they were their bright sparks of the week; that they were the catalyst for helping them make the leap into entrepreneurship.

So, I began to slowly think bigger.

And now, about 16 months after my first MotherHustle email and nearly two years since that first inspiration burst, I’ve launched MotherHustle.com as an online publication and community for creative mompreneurs.

It was a long journey, but one I am completely comfortable and happy with. And there are a few reasons why — reasons I hope you consider if you’re feeling pressure to turn your passion into a paycheck:

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  • #1: Slow and steady is a great pace for testing your passion.

You know how you know you’re really passionate about something? You’re still jump-up-and-down excited about it two years after you come up with the idea.

As entrepreneurs and solopreneurs and infopreneurs and whatever type of online business owner you consider yourself, we’re used to seeing — and craving — fast success.

We’re used to being told the “right” way to grow, the “right” strategies to follow, the “right” platforms to master. We want to do it all now, yesterday.

But taking your time with an idea, letting it form and grow on its own terms, is a good way to make sure you’re not just chasing the next shiny object. Slow and steady also lets you test your idea with your audience over time. Which leads me to…

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  • #2: The value you bring is more important than the product you offer.

There’s something that’s always rung true for me, in my copywriting business and in MotherHustle. And it’s this quote from Content, Inc. by Joe Pulizzi:

“No product? That’s good! … When all your focus is on an audience you know deeply, instead of a product, good things usually happen. When we listen intently to our audience, we are automatically led to new product opportunities.”

When you take your time and get to know your audience — their wants, needs, challenges, struggles — then you can better help them. You can create the products and services that they actually need. But in order to do that, you have to first create content that connects with them.

That’s my goal with MotherHustle — creating strategies, stories and an overall feeling of sisterhood that brings us together so that I can better serve these mamas that I so want to help succeed.

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  • #3: Creative innovation is a worthy pursuit, in itself.

As creative people, business can often feel like a burden. Because we have certain capabilities, we feel like we need to use them to make money, and make money now.

But simply pursuing something because it fulfills us is ok. Being creative for the sake of being creative is important. Because if we’re always laser-focused on the end money goal, we could miss the innovations that come out of the creative process.

I am not saying money doesn’t matter. I am not saying work for free. But I am saying that if you feel driven to pursue a creative passion, you should do so without the guilt of money attached. Because when you are creatively fulfilled, you will be better able to turn that fulfillment into a source of income.

For me, I may be two years into MotherHustle.com — but I’m only just beginning. I can’t wait to see where this slow and steady passion pursuit takes me.”

ABOUT EMILY:
Emily Cretella is a content marketing strategist, copywriter and the creator of MotherHustle.com, a publication that empowers creative mompreneurs to create their own success and explore personal fulfillment in motherhood and business. She loves being mom to her two little ladies and drinking obscene amounts of coffee from mugs with pithy sayings. Read her business writing at cursivecontent.com.

You can find her on social:

INSTAGRAM
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
PINTEREST

Emily MH Headshot

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A DAY IN THE BUSINESS OF ALLI ELMUNZER WITH TURQUOISE & PALM – RUNNING A CREATIVE VISUAL CONTENT BUSINESS

Published on May 30th, 2017 // BRANDING BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BUSINESS BUSINESS MANAGEMENT BUSINESS OWNER CULTIVATE CREATIVITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP INSPIRATION ONLINE BUSINESS online store SMALL BUSINESS SOCIAL MEDIA VISUAL CONTENT

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Content is king in the online world and we all know that – I hope. We also know that in the sphere of creative content, visuals can capture the attention like none other, that is why I thought it might be interesting to chat with a visual content creator and get a glimpse into her colorful world and her process both with 1-1 clients and with her stock gallery. Today, I present to you, Alli Elmunzer from Turquoise & Palm:

‘A DAY IN THE BUSINESS OF ALLI ELMUNZER WITH TURQUOISE & PALM’
RUNNING A CREATIVE VISUAL CONTENT BUSINESS.

  •  Could you briefly tell us about who you are and what gets you passionate about what you do?

I’m Alli Elmunzer, a lawyer turned photographer. I have been a photographer for the past 8 years at my studio Turquoise & Palm where I specialize in product and brand photography and creative content creation. I am also the founder and creative director of the Stock Gallery, a stock photography membership site for businesses looking for unique yet high quality stock photos. I am so passionate about what I do because I feel extremely lucky that I was able to leave the practice of law (something I definitely was not passionate about) and do work that I truly love and fulfills me.

  • What audience do you serve and how do you differentiate yourself in that?

I actually serve businesses both small and large. From solopreneurs to publicly traded companies, all businesses no matter what stage they are in have a need for beautiful visuals. In order to differentiate myself, I started by posting what I loved and resonated with me. I then paid close attention to the response it got from my audience and community. Noticing what stylings and photos got the best response helped me hone in on really fine tuning my style and thereby differentiating myself from others.

Alli-Elmunzer-Headshot-CROPPED
Alli is a lawyer turned photographer.
  • How did you find that niche?

I think the niche actually found me. With the rise of social media and the standard for visuals in the business world being elevated everyday, the need for creative styling and photography is at it’s peak. Businesses want to stand out and those companies that don’t have in house photographers or creative teams need to outsource to accomplish that. So although the market is quite saturated with photographers, the creative styling and photography niche is still being developed. Luckily it is a niche that I am passionate about so I was able to fall right into it once I realized how big the need really was.

  • What is your decision process for creating content? Is it through personal experience or from requests of your audience?

If I am creating content for a client, it is usually a collaboration between the two of us to decide what the ultimate goal for the final product is. I definitely use their insight and ideas but ultimately use my expertise in styling and photography to create awesome content for them. If I am creating content for my business, I basically just create whatever speaks to me, but it always includes lots of color!

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Image from Alli’s stock gallery.
  • Could you walk us through your creative process from the client contacting you to delivering the final product?

When I client initially contacts me I send them my information packet including details about me, Turquoise & Palm, samples of past work, what they can expect from the experience working with me, and the timeline for the process of us working together from start to finish. Once the client has a chance to review the information and decides to hire me, we work together to determine exactly what their content creation and photography needs are through a shared Pinterest board and a detailed questionnaire. We then move into the creative phase where I put together the creative concepts I will be shooting for them. The client then approves these concepts, we set a shoot date, and I start prop sourcing. Once I have all the props and the shoot day arrives, I shoot the photos, edit, and deliver to the client. Usually the process takes 3-4 weeks, but sometimes is faster, depending on how quickly the client gives me feedback and creative concept approval, and how heavy my work load is at the time.

  • What is your favorite photography or styling tool?

My favorite photography tool has to be my 50mm f/1.2 lens. I initially got this lens when I was photographing weddings, but it’s the perfect focal length for both my lifestyle and styled work.

  • One tip, one advice for creative content creators/photographers?

My tip would be to not be afraid to reach out to those brands and businesses you would love to work with. Companies right now are desperate for creative visual content and you never know, they might just said yes to what you are offering! When I started out I reached out to many companies I wanted to work with and can say I was shocked and excited with how many of them said yes and hired me! Don’t be scared of the no’s, every no gets you closer to that yes!

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Image from Alli’s stock gallery.

Alli’s Social Links:

Lifestyle & Commercial Photographer

Founder & Creative Director, Turquoise & Palm Stock Gallery

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

PINTEREST

TWITTER

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