In order to build a successful brand, you need to have a firm foundation. Without the proper pillars in place, your business will eventually crumble. There are essential pillars that every entrepreneur should focus on when growing their brand. These pillars are critical to your success and must be nurtured if you want to see long-term success.
I’m excited to share this week’s guest, Amanda Shuman, Founder & Lead Designer of Carrylove Designs. She will be sharing with us all about the pillars to growing a profitable brand and the right time to invest.
The right time to invest in branding
The three levels of business
The difference between a functioning website and a good website
The 4-pillars of branding: messaging, design, website, and marketing
Why a “pretty logo” doesn't matter
How to re-position yourself in the market
MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST
Amanda is an award-winning website designer and brand strategist. She founded Carrylove Designs in 2017 after leaving corporate America. She is passionate about design and believes pairing a beautiful brand aesthetic with an intentional website strategy is the cornerstone for success, booking clients effortlessly, and creating a high-converting business.
Hi, y'all. It's Angela, I'm back for another episode of business. And I'm so excited for our guest today. She's a creative, but she understands the kind of most important thing that every business wants. Well, I think you should want to run a profitable business. But the reality is, especially if you're creative, you don't know what you don't know. And the number part and the black and the white and live in the gray. And the date is not the fun part. But when you start to track things, you know how to do it, your perception really does change, because it happened with me. And now I value that piece so much, otherwise, I probably would not have a business. So today we're going to talk to Amanda, she's an expert at this, and talk about why you want to have a profitable company. And really, more importantly, like the how of it, we'll get into that. So welcome to
the show. Yes, thank you so much for having me.
Awesome. Before we jump off, do you have any stories or any experiences that you could share, just to give us context of how have you gotten to where you are today?
Man, I could go really far back. But I started out I went to college for graphic design. I basically did not want to do anything that had it, you know, like numbers. At first I was like, I'm not a math person. Like I I'm gonna go to art school and I'm going to be a graphic designer, I even looked into interior design. And I was like, Oh, you have to say like measurements and like make sure that stuff. It's not like nevermind. school for graphic design. I ended up taking a branding class. And it was a quarter long and we took a brand that that we thought was not good for like a business that it actually existed. And we had to rebrand it. I absolutely fell in love with the rebranding and like the strategy behind it and everything like that. So after that class, I actually I started out to which I feel like a lot of creatives can probably enjoy this. I started out as an Etsy shop I opened up just like a pre made logo, Etsy shop selling premade logos for like $50. And from it just kind of grew in built itself from there. So then I started doing custom design, then I added in website design, then I realized that working with creatives, a lot of them don't. They started doing something because it's what they love to do, and they never actually wanted to own a business or knew anything about owning a business. And I actually really enjoyed that part I really enjoy like growing a business and owning a business. It's probably in my blood. There's a lot of entrepreneurs in our family. And so I kind of found that as like a unique selling point kind of differentiators that I like tell people I'm 50% creative and 50% analytical like I enjoy both pieces equally in my job of melding those two together is dream work for me
hmm well and it's so amazing that a your brain can do both sides because many people it just it doesn't work and then knowing that about yourself is like the first thing but then also understanding that just because you want something to look good and I mean this is me like putting my foot in my mouth so many years ago when we hired a girl who like knew all this analytical shit was rushed is hard and then she's like well you're attached to that picture emotionally because you like love that client that design and but it doesn't resonate with 90% of your audience because most people can't afford that. So do you want to use that picture? Do you want to do what you want to do or do you want to do it's gonna make money and I'm like, Why the hell are you even asking me like you guys already a be split tested it which I didn't know that was back then. And if you know what I mean? So it's like having I would say sabotaged things constantly, because I wanted it to look a certain way, because I'm a designer. And what I had to learn was the conversions and everything. It's in the data. And so if you just learn how to listen to people, and you let the data do the job, if it's set up correctly, you can make better informed marketing decisions. Which is, brings me my first question for you. Because when I hear branding or rebranding, knowing what it takes, and behind the scenes, people just automatically like, oh my god, it's a nightmare. It's so much bla bla bla bla bla cost so much. But really, it's an investment. Because if you're in the position of rebranding, that means you've done something right. And you we all need refreshes, we all need updates, God for at least update the copyright at the bottom of your website every year, like just the basic legal shit. Now, why would I say that first before making sure it looks pretty is because when you get drugged the court, not me, I was subpoenaed. On my case. The data is good to have. How do we know when is the right time to invest? In our branding?
There's a couple of different things. But the first one I always like to tell people is if you're asking yourself this question, then it's probably time to rebrand. Like, that's the biggest indicator is if you're like, should I read? There's something there like prompting you to ask yourself that. And so that's the biggest, I guess red flag you can say is if you if you're asking yourself that that question, then there's something there making you feel that way. And I see this in a lot of our clients, this is probably one of my favorite things about working with with clients, is there's a switch that happens during the process where they're like, oh, you know, I have this, you know, little business, you know, I have that maybe as a side hustle or whatever. And then whenever we get close to launching, they're like, I'm a CEO, like I own a business and their confidence goes through the roof. And that is seen throughout, like, you know, their marketing the way that they're showing up. And that's one of my favorite, favorite Yes, pieces of working with people is seeing that transformation happen.
And that's the thing branding does, right? Like it, it really talks to how do you want people to see your business, which for many of us that are creatives, like you said, we start with something we love, it's our passion, it's our baby. And it is like an extension of us. So it's not like it's an OFF ON button kind of thing. It I mean, I'm constantly seeing things and like getting inspired. But it's like, how do you channel it? That's why I call myself like a potty trained design brain. Like I know, like, Okay, I'm probably joining like not to bring it up anymore, right? Or if it's like, oh, that costs way too much, you know, it's just stop talking about it. Or I'm like, Well, we could do it on a smaller scale. And, you know, but it just, it's everything, and it matters. Most importantly, what I've learned when I have clients that usually they have a problem or a challenge with communication, they need some some help with communication, where they're bringing in the wrong type of client. I'll give you my favorite example, which is over and over wedding venues. And planners. I'm sick of doing a barn wedding. Why do I only keep getting barn weddings? I want to do weddings at the skirmish horn like you do. And I'm like, well, first off, if I go and look at your social media and your brand, you have a horse head and a gate in your logo. And you're telling me your tire barn ladies. Okay, that's the first thing. The second thing is your entire Instagram and Pinterest page are pictures of barn weddings. So if you want to work at different places, either come intern or go to an event and they can look like inspiration. But if you don't put out a clear vision, then people aren't going to be clear on what to hire you for. Right? So if you're I mean, would you say it's like the most important thing to like, niche down like who's your target audience? Yes,
that is something that we go through with all of our clients and I tell people all the time I'm like, the exact same thing. If you don't want to be booking, you know, weddings at XYZ. Don't put it in your portfolio like you are going to attract what it is, you know, that's coming to your door. Yep. And so that's that's for sure. You know, a big piece is knowing who you want to work within and attract.
And you have like, like three levels of like, business. What are the what are those? tears.
Yeah, so we have like a beginning business like your, you know, just, you know, coming coming up a new business. And then I like to call this the like awkward Middle School phase yours. And then you have your, you know, you're pro, you're seasoned, you've been doing this. And so within those three tiers, I can tell you a little bit more about each one. So maybe somebody can like help self identify, obviously, a new business owner, this is you know, you're just getting your feet on the ground, I tell people, I'm like, go buy that $50 etsy logo, go DIY that website, because right now, you know, nothing. And that's absolutely fine. That's totally fine that you don't know anything. This is where like you book any and every, you know, events, any client, yeah, anything and everything. So that way you can understand what it is that you like, where you want to be shooting, or where you know, where you want to be taking events at what type of client, then in your second, those like, awkward middle school, high school years, that's whenever like, you think you know where you're going, like, you're not new, you know, you're not new anymore, but you're not seasoned, like you're not pro. And this is where it's time to start investing and what you have learned. So this is where, you know, you expand your brand upon just, you know, just one logo, you may be investing copywriting now, because you know, who it is that you like to work with, you have somewhat of a portfolio built up to put on like a template website design, so you can start investing somewhat. And then once you're seasoned and pro, this is where it's time to go all in. Because at a certain time, you will hit a peak within your business, you'll hit a ceiling. And basically what you know, so far will get you as far as it's going to. And this is whenever you've got to bring other experts into your business to take it even further. And so this is whenever you do that high level branding, you go through like an entire rebranding process, like the correct way with an expert. So that way, you know, a lot of our clients, they have big milestones that they want to reach, they you know, want to get like into the luxury weddings here. They want to significantly raise their prices so that they can do you know, less of weddings and events, or, you know, they want to start hiring associates or get into the education or educational sector. And so those are kind of the three tiers.
And to know, and think ahead, and a lot of creative business owners don't. And this is about same potty training. But I never knew any of that, like, no one ever sits you down when you own your business. And they're like, why are you doing this? What do you want? How many weddings Do you injured every year? How do you want to spend your time? Why are you doing this, like no one asked you these things. But what I didn't understand too is like the different phases, you are not only in your business, but in your mindset. And so even when I say young entrepreneurs like I don't mean age, I mean, because there's people that have had a 25 year career retired, they figured out that they solve a problem, they're an expert at something, you know, and then they start their business. So you don't but again, you don't know what you don't know life experience does help but it's just again, like specially creatives, if you don't take a step back and take some time to work on the business rather than like in it, then you can't really evaluate and make decisions, you're down in the weeds. But you know, if you need a different result, you have to do something different, right? So that's where, you know, you're like, knowing what phase you're in, for example, you know, people that come in, like for a course, if they haven't been in business five years, at least they're not going to feel the pain of why do they need it. And I kind of feel the same way about branding. Like, if he if people are saying things to you, if you listen to your audience, and you don't like it, what they're saying about you or your brand, usually it's on you because it's a communication in your branding, that has to shift and that's not a bad thing. But a lot of entrepreneurs and creatives because we're so emotionally invested in what we came up with and it is our baby. We don't make those changes and those people go out of business unfortunately.
Yeah, I like to tell people that especially for creatives, that we basically brand for two sides of your business. So we have the personal branding side which is always woven into the business brand side because for a lot of you know wedding pros people are hiring for a very you know, special day it's you know, very personal and intimate and who they hire, they want to make sure that you know that's going to be their best friend, because they're going to be working with them on one of the most important days. And so there is the personal side where you have to weave in, you know, your personality and who you are and make sure that that can be showcased. But at the end of the day, it still is a business brand. And it's an extension of yourself. And what I like to tell people is, whenever we brand for our clients, we want to be branding for the business that you want to have three to five years down the road. Like, you know, whenever you're have a little kid and you buy them shoes, and you don't buy the shoe that matches their foot size, right now you buy like a half size, a size bigger so that you can grow into it. That's the type of branding that we want to do for your business of like, what are your goals that you want to achieve? Alright, how can we put a brand and a website in place that will help you achieved those goals.
And don't get bogged down? Because it's like, I remember like you because we do sub logos for you know, different things every year that we launch. And if you get bogged down in those details that just don't flippin matter. And you even say, a pretty little logo does not really matter. Like why, like, tell him like, what is your take on like, why? Just it's doesn't matter.
So I actually just posted about this on Instagram once like just the other day, because I hear this all the time of like, you know, branding isn't worth it. Or, you know, I invested in you know, I didn't see anything and I'm like, one, a logo isn't your brand, you didn't invest in branding, if you bought a new logo, I like the way that I like to help my creatives picture it is basically picture all these different gears that are together, like have you ever gone to a playground and you see the gears and somebody can turn the thing and it will like turn all the gears, okay, so picture that in your mind, you have so many different layers to the brand, you have your brand personality, your brand, design your website, copy your website, design, your ideal client, your actual marketing, like I could keep going and going and going. Your logo is literally one gear out of all of those. So whenever you're so you know, fixed on having the perfect logo, you've got four other gears that aren't tuned in are, you know, turning whenever you're marketing your business, and then people are saying, I'm showing up on Instagram and nothing's happening, or I'm going to bridal shows and nothing's happening. It's because they're not fine tuning every other gear. And so that's that's what our whole experience is about is let's fine tune let's oil up all of the gear so that way, whenever you launch, you have your new brand and website and you go to crank, everything is turning the way that it's supposed to.
And I'm sure you preach and preach to test things. For people launch them like oh my gosh, but so there's instill, people don't a lot of people now just don't know the difference between a website and a landing page. And then you have functioning websites, and you have good websites. And then you have websites that convert and you have websites that track and then websites that don't track because people you don't know you don't know. And I love these platforms I really do that have made it easy and obtainable for anybody to build a website and buy a domain. I really do. But what they're not telling you when they're like, Oh, it's so easy. It's drag and drop. You can put something and connect it to a URL, like a 10 year old has figured that out in my life. Yeah. By watching YouTube videos, but there's a difference between functioning and then actually like converting and like acting like a human being working for you. So like, what is the difference?
I love that. Yes, this question because I hear people say this all the time. Like, oh, I have a good website and I'm like, Oh, great. Like, how it's like converting people then like yeah, people that visit you and you know, and they're like, Oh no, like that. I'm like, then you don't have a good website. You have a functioning website. Right, but it's not a good one. Oh, um, so that's 100 so funny that you brought that up? Um, yeah,
so it makes a good one. Like, yeah, a really good one. What we
tell our clients is that your website should have one main goal. So whatever that is, that can be somebody filling out a contact form, booking a consultation call or signing up for a webinar or masterclass I'm getting emails, it doesn't matter like your your website, usually As one main goal in your website should be able to find cold prospects people cold means like they're not, you know, very aware of you, they're not somebody who you have like a direct conversation with and send them to your website. And they should be able to convert them to make an action on whatever that end goal is. And so my favorite referrals, whenever I see them come through my inbox is whenever it says, How did you find me and it says Google, and that is like, I just sit there and I smile, because I'm like, Oh, that's so cool. Like, my website, I was able to, like, nail the SEO keywords like have it show up in a search some I came spend time on my website, got all the information that they needed to make a buying decision, and they want to take the next step. And that is what we mean, whenever we have, whenever she says, like, have a website that works for you. Like that's literally an employee that's up and running 24/7.
Yep. And it's like little bitty simple things. So for example, before, like we went through, have you read story, Ryan?
I have years and years and years. Yeah.
When I learned about it, I was like, Oh, this makes so much sense, you know, like going through the different phases of things. But what my biggest takeaway was, if the CTA button, which is call to action, which, which helps the person take the next step. And it for some reason, especially creative entrepreneurs, we have a hard time getting people to the next step to like spend money. This is why you have either people surrounding you who were really good at it, or really good website instead of really great automation so that you don't always have to be the person. It does exist. But it takes some time and effort to get it all done and get it tested. But the conversion rate when a CTA button was not in phone view. And I'm talking like all the different versions droids iPhones, like we were asking people, and it's like, we were getting so many hits to this one landing page. But nothing was really converting the way it should be like based on our previous, like, hundreds of landing pages. And one of my girls was like, Oh, my God, the button is not in phone view. So by making the font smaller, and then taking some of the spaces out it, I mean, literally within seconds, like things start to convert. So it's just those itty bitty little things are the button, you think, Oh, the button doesn't need to all be the same size and the same color and a certain size. I mean, it comes down to a brand guide and a brand. I would call it a brand Bible. But you should not have to ask those questions you should, if you're doing it yourself, great. But the end goal is to hand it off to somebody to do it and execute. And when you have a Bible or breakout or whatever you want to call it, they're clear on exactly what needs to be done. And that's the part I think a lot of people skip is like doing that part. So you said it earlier, there's copy, there's all these different elements. And if you don't have the website, pictures and the videos and the copy, and I mean it, it all matters. And there's all different kinds of copywriters. Like, I mean, how many different copywriters are there? I don't Yeah, I don't even know. Yeah, there's so many. But even my brother who's doing a nonprofit for human trafficking, and just like, bring awareness to it. He's like, What is this bill for? I'm like, this is the person to write your copy for a landing page and an email campaign and text campaign. And he's like, What do you mean copy? I'm like, oh, it looks like text. And he's like, Well, I mean, his wife is she is she's copywriter, not she's not a sales copywriter. She doesn't convert or sell tickets. I mean, there's niche down. And I'm like, we have someone who raises money, who does this thing for nonprofits to convert. And you've got to plug the five senses. And I mean, there's all these things. But he's like, I don't know what you're talking about. I'm like, All the more reason you should just pay the right. Like, what do you mean, you'll go do it yourself, and then you're gonna be pissed because no tickets, you know? So it's like a downward spiral when you don't understand the value of something. And it's an investment, and it takes money to make money. But if people are looking to rebrand, and like reposition in the market, because a lot of people that I know, follow us and like ask us questions. And so if they've been in business for over 20 years, they're all at expert level, they know their shit. But when it comes to like branding and working on their own business, they're so busy taking care of everybody else. They don't want to take the time to do it. So if someone is thinking about it, like Oh, I know I need to update. I know I need to. We call it a facelift because I was in healthcare and we worked a lot of plastic surgeons, but it's like a new kind of new facelift. And facelifts depending on what's in there can be, you know, 1020 30 grand. I mean, there's some companies that spend millions and billion dollars on facelifts. It it depends on what exactly what you said the one word, the goal, what is the goal? So someone wants to reposition themselves or rebrand in the market? Like, is there certain steps that they should take that you would recommend?
I actually recommend that if you are going to do a rebrand, like we have a client right now that we're working with again, for the second time, we originally rebranded her business in 2018. And since then, so at the time, she was an event planner, this was back in 2018, she was an event planner, and then whenever COVID happened, and all the events in you know, the, in her pipeline, just like basically disappeared in a way she had to pivot. So she actually pivoted into doing mailers, and doing gifts and stuff. And now she runs a i It might be close to a billion dollar business through mailers. And she has she works with like Netflix, she's done mailers for like the Kardashians, she does these insane mailers. And we're actually rebranding her business right now. Because of the fact that what she does has changed, the level of client that she has has changed, her prices have changed. And you can't be running, you know, a billion dollar business on the same brand and website as much as she's like, I still love my brand. I still love my website, I get compliments on it all the time. But she's like, I know that for the level of client and the level of insight I'm doing that it's just not doing our work in our experience justice anymore. But going back to your question, my whole thing is that if you're going to rebrand that, you need to basically tear it all down to the studs and re build it. And the reason why is for one going back to that confidence level that we talked about, but too, if you leave some things the same, it just doesn't feel like it. Think about whenever you get close, if you've ever gotten clothes from like, goodwill, versus brand new outfit from I don't know, like whatever the most expensive place you've ever gotten. Like, even though they're both new clothes to you, they feel different whenever you put them on. And so going back to that confidence thing, but also, you end up looking like you piecemealed your brand and your website together, you want to shed it all like a snake skin and just have a whole new brand and website so that you're not missing any really crucial pieces. It's basically you taking an audit, and going all the way back down and starting it again. It is it's an investment. It's I'm not gonna sit here and be like, oh, yeah, it's not, it's not gonna take that much time. It's not gonna take that much money like, no, it, it will. But it's 100% worth it. I mean, we have a page dedicated on our website to just client results, and how much they're their life, their business, their ROI, like their bottom line, everything has changed. Because they took that step and they rebranded. And they, they, they took that, that, that step on themselves, like they, they saw a goal, they knew what they wanted to achieve. And they, you know, put their money where their mouth is and made it right and
right. And the results that it gets is priceless. So I know like during COVID We, we hoped that they would come to us to build courses. And then I'm like, we would do the strategy. And then somehow we ended up building them because it was COVID. And all of our events got moved to and so might well we have a lot of time if you guys want to learn how to do this, you know, let's do it. And we started doing events online, which all needed a whole branding structure. It was like little mini things inside of these companies. And it was just, it was actually a tad bit terrifying to me that companies didn't see the value and understanding that Okay, in this mini little product, you think that and I know some sometimes I know something's wrong with what the investment was, because we work with some tech startups. And then they tell me oh, well, we don't need all that. And I'm like, No, you you you actually do and your sales rep will suffer. Um If you're not talking to the audience, and so what happened was we ended up hiring a few people, a copywriter, somebody who did logos, and I'm like, Fine, we'll just some reason they would just give us the money, you know, like in one lump sum, if you took care of everything. So we ended up, that was not the plan. And then in December, my god no more, no more. We're not doing this is not what now that events are back. And we can travel and speak and, like do human things. Like it's not our we know how just because you know, how doesn't mean, you're an expert. And it doesn't mean it's a good idea. And so, you know, now we have partners, and people still ask us and like we don't do that anymore. But where the the information is missing is the education to people about how important it is and why you want to invest. And if you sit and listen to their challenges and their problems, and while they're pissed off, it all goes back to the first connection that a potential customer sees them, which usually is our website, you know, do you still have that belief that like Facebook is your second website? And then, you know, depending on where your audience is that a lot of people were saying that, but like in our industry, Instagram and Pinterest came in? And I don't know, do you still think that?
Yeah, so I Instagram for sure. Especially for our industry, Facebook, yes. So much anymore, Instagram for our industry. But I've had this conversation with more people on AI. And you're probably the same thing, correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're looking for a someone to hire somebody, no matter if you start on Instagram, or if you start on their website, no matter what you're checking out both, like if you start on their website, you're going on Instagram, if you start on Instagram, you're going to their website, but I think that their website holds more validity to it. Yeah, that if if I go to their Instagram, and I'm like, Oh, wow, you know, they spend a lot of time on Instagram, this looks great. And then I go to their website, and their website is like trash. I'm like, oh, okay, well, they're not very, very smart business owner, because they obviously are putting all of their their eggs in one basket on Instagram, and not, you know, taking their business, I would say seriously, and like building out an actual brand and website and having a more completed marketing strategy, rather than just spending all of their time on Instagram, download Tiktok Facebook, like, that's just one of the things that a lot of people don't understand is they think that that's a marketing strategy. And that's one component of a marketing strategy. And everything is, yes, people get so like zoomed in, you know, they're on like, 500%, zoom on like little, little tiny down, I like want to, like scroll out like zoom. Now you're not seeing everything.
Yep. It, it can be so costly. When you don't know what you don't know. And then, and unfortunately, there are a lot of branding and design and marketing firms. And, you know, if you're just looking for the cheapest one, you're gonna get the same result. I mean, we all have to start somewhere. But like, here's, here's my favorite thing that I learned a couple years ago just through entrepreneurship. So we had a client come in, they're like, I want that funnel thing where my wife, I make money while asleep. I'm like, Yeah, that's the American dream, right? Is that freakin easy? So he's like, Well, I want this, this, this and this and like a landing page, or he's asking for a website. I'm like, you're asking for a landing page with once you know, he had no clue. But like, it's his his his expectations were very unreasonable. And even though we were trying to educate, it wasn't a perfect client. And then everyone's miserable, because they don't value things. And I'm like, Well, how much do you want to spin out? First? I said, How much do you want your website to make you now it's a little bit different. If your Shopify website or products, which service is still a product, I mean, still your time, energy, effort, all that stuff. But he said, I told you a million dollars. I said, Okay, well, so we're gonna put a proposal together, but what what have you allocated for all of this that you're asking for? He said a couple $1,000 You know, no, three $4,000 And I said, Oh, no. So you just told me your website. You expect it to make this but you want to spend it it just it doesn't add up That's like going to eat it came from steakhouse but then going to McDonald's, get a hamburger it just it doesn't make sense. Even after We'd educated, you know, all the different pieces, all these different parts. And so those are opportunities that I've had to learn to walk away from. Because when you come back and say, Oh, actually, this percentage, like I have an internal percentage that is spent on updating, and, you know, giving things baseless each year, but do you have a thought on that if people ask you like, because that is probably what one of the questions we get a lot, how much should you invest? If you are a new brand? And how much should you invest? If you are? And I know it depends on the situation. But is there like a baseline that you give people?
Honestly, there's not, there's so much that goes into it as far as what you're saying with like, well, how much do you want to make? And, you know, what are your numbers? Like? What are you? What's your profit margin? You know, what are your yearly you know, what's your yearly revenue? There's so many numbers that can go behind it. And so you can get with a with a not advisor? Oh, my gosh, I'm blanking on the word with the money people and accountant. Yeah. Yeah, bookkeeper. And they can help you put together like an operating budget that goes over, like, deep into your numbers and making sure that you're profitable, and you know, how much your cost of goods are, you know, compared to your your package prices, and all that good stuff. But now, there's not like a hard and fast number. But as you were saying earlier, that it's definitely an investment. But if you hire the right people who know what they're doing that it's it's a really lucrative investment. Like, I just got a word from one of our clients on Instagram, I put together a post and she messaged me yesterday, and she said, she launched in 2020 2020. I believe so. Because she said that. Yeah, she said that the year after that she had gone up 200% in profit. Wow. Because yeah, of like, her website reads, yeah. Big rebrand. Yeah, her website or rebrand, and being able to raise her prices. And yeah, so numbers like, like that are just, and that's the most exciting part to me, like, being a designer and putting together a pretty website. That's fun. But the moments where I'm like, This is what I live for, is whenever clients come back, and they're like, I, you know, I was able to put a down payment on a house, or I was able to leave my full time job and do this now. Or, you know, I was able to what some other good ones that we've had in the past, I was able to start our, like, IVF journey. And stuff like that, like, that's the kind of there's, there's power in that. And so I just tell you, I'm like, we're in the business of changing people's lives. We just use branding and marketing to do it.
Yep. It's like the vehicle, like, Yeah, but without all the components, you know, inside the car, it's not going to, and that's what I try to tell people. It's like, you got a nice car, but you don't put the right gas in it, like you're screwed. And it's not going to go anywhere. So I love that like just understanding, is it functional? Is it up? Or is it actually, like, I didn't know what that meant? Either. years ago, my tea break, we were rebranding. And he's like, Well, you know, what are your expectations, and he's like, You have a lot of content and stuff to move over. And we need to move it to like Amazon versus, you know, space becomes an issue too. And again, rebranding on it just from speaking from personal experience, and blogging since blogging came out. And having all this information, we use that as a resource library. And so when he was like, we're just going to strip everything down. There was like what you said earlier, but it was like, But wait a minute, I actually searched bone shit on my blog, like, I don't want my blog. years old. And I know we post very consistently and have for a very long time, but I don't I want to make sure those are somewhere that I can get to those. And he's like, no, no, we don't have to do it's just he's like, all the other infrastructure stuff because there's so many rabbit holes that people could go down. And if you're not clear in the customer journey on the website, no one's gonna click and do anything. And it's true. So I learned to you know, take a step back and not really make the decisions like let allow the data to make the decisions and what you like and then what people are doing are always two different things. So yeah,
I will give Yes, for sure. I will give your your audience too little like website bonus tips because I know you mentioned earlier in that brought it back up. A lot of mistakes that we see people making are one they're putting their blog on like the top menu portion of their website. And for a lot of people, you want to get found, like you blog for SEO purposes to get found and have a greater chance. But once people are on your website, you don't want them going to your blog most of the time, because then they're going to get lost in what I call blog land. And they're not going to be able to find their way back, they just go down like a constant rabbit hole. And they forget why they started this search in the beginning. And so we always like, hide the Blog button, and like in a bottom menu, or somewhere where people can't find it, because you want them to stay on your, I call them your money making pages, like getting them to that end goal. The other thing that we recently started doing is a lot what's become really popular is putting you know that Instagram feed down in the footer where it has like the pictures from your Instagram really big. But once again, people once you're there on your website, you don't want them getting distracted and going to social media where you're having to, you know, compete with other wedding pros or business owners doing the same thing that you do. And so we just make it at the little, you know, social media icon. We don't do like the big huge Instagram grid to draw their attention away from your website, like once they're on your website, we want them spending time reading your copy, getting to know you and investing in your brand. And really making that business decision if what your services are in line with what they're looking for, instead of sending them other places like blogging and Instagram. So remove those eyes them. Stay on your website.
Yeah, and like two other really just important things to is like, you want to own your audience. And when you are allowing, or you don't have a website, or you're not sending people from Instagram, or Facebook or page to your website, there was a day. And we're still in the year that it happened that Instagram and Facebook went down client who goes live every Monday night. Some of our clients make six figures in one night, now they've worked for 10 plus years to build an audience, nurture an audience, they have put so much investment into different things. But when you rely on that to pay your bills, and pay your like your people, and put food on the table, your family, literally, and you work so hard and promote these these special guests that are coming on. And then it's the platform's down. And even though we always say you know, your audience, people don't know what that means. Even though we explained it, they had to feel the hurt of that. And then say, Okay, we have and I'm like, this is where email list texts, community, Patreon, like you've got to own your audience, people if you're going to make money online. And the other thing I will say, just a separate strategy, we do drive people specifically to our blog, from social media for two things. One, we have sidebar ads. And so we have a money making product there on the side. And the only reason we did that, we would never do that product COVID. Because over 90% of our analytic our traffic came from a smartphone. And then it flipped when COVID started. And so it's like paying attention to the analytics, not just once a year, but every 90 days. It's changing with the world, and what's happening and making those decisions. And the other reason we drive people to specific URLs, we use pretty links, which tracks everything. And we track all these numbers, because for sponsorships, and to make money, you have to track that. And when you send people just to your website, you don't know what they're clicking on. I don't. And so that's what link tree helps us do. But again, it they can go to the website from there. But if we're promoting ticket sales or something, you know, for a gala or nonprofit or something, that's where we want to be really specific. But that is like, I mean, I didn't get into that until I was I was a 15 year old business before understood and like got into landing pages and stuff. So it's like, just understanding the basic part. Going back to the goal and the why and not comparing because I know what somebody's gonna listen to our podcast and be like, what Angela sends me to the blog and Angela does this and she's doing it wrong. No, it goes back to your goal. And our goal is we don't do anything less we track it. If it doesn't make money doesn't make sense. So it's like if you're rebranding, or a new business owner, especially new business like you you need that you need that SEO you need it Um, but most people don't blog for profit, and they blog for the SEO, and then for a potential lead. And then if you go there, you've got to have a way to capture their information, right? I mean, as we wrap up, just being running and and having a profitable company can come so much from your branding how your website is set up putting out what you want. And you know, you're always here, dress for the job you want. And so if you want to get out of barn weddings, and you want to get in more luxury, you're gonna have to do something. And I don't always agree with photoshoots. But if you're capable of doing things and you need to show it, you know, do something I like to call it inspiration shoots, not photo shoots, because there's a meaning behind it, right? But you need good pictures, you need video, you need those assets for a website you need for social media, too. But if people want to connect with you, how, what is your pain? Like? Do you tell it tell people like just go to my website, like you have a favorite platform on social?
You can get on my website, actually. So if you want to take like a Cosmo style quiz and find out what stage of business that you're in, you can go to Carrie Love designs.com/quiz In take that it gives you like more personalized advice on like what your next steps are. But then other than that, I love Instagram of course like every other millennial, so you can find me on Instagram at Carey love designs.
Awesome. We will put all the links in the show notes. Thank you so much for your time today. This is awesome. That's it for this week's episode of business unveiled. Now that you have all the tools that you need to conquer the world and GSD get shit done. Would you share this with your friends and fellow business leaders? One thing that would really really help us and help new listeners is for you to rate the show and leave a comment and Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you tune in and listen to business unveiled. You can check out the show notes at Angela proffitt.com/podcast and link up with us on social media so you can share your biggest insights and I want to know your aha moments. Until next week, remember the profitable shifts and structures you're creating in your business help you be more present in your life. So get out there and GSD