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Ep 100: You asked, I answered

21 Aug 2023

Here are the answers to the questions you asked me. Business and personal. Enjoy!

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Transcript
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hello. And welcome to episode number 100 of the website coach podcast. And you can probably hear in my voice that I am very excited to be recording this. And it's because it feels like a huge milestone. Well is a huge milestone. And I firmly believe that we should celebrate reaching milestones, celebrate our successes. Before we continue to move on. And 100 episodes of this podcast really does feel like a huge achievement. When I started this project a couple of years ago now, I didn't know where it was going to go. And I started it with the intention of podcasting every single week. And keeping going with it. I didn't podcast with the intention of just trying it for a few weeks and seeing how it went. I intended to make it a longterm project. Because I didn't think it would be successful unless I was consistent with the episodes. But I am just getting to a hundred episodes. Really. It doesn't seem like two years ago since I started it. And it feels like such a huge achievement. And I want to say a massive thank you to everybody who listens. And if this is your first episode that you've heard, then welcome. And if you've listened to a number over the past two years, Then thank you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting me. And thank you for spreading the word. Because I'm recording this at the beginning of August. And July was the best month that I've had to date for podcast downloads. And that surprised me slightly because in July, people are on holiday and people's patterns are slightly different, but it just exceeded the previous record, which had been in January. So. It's really good to hear that the podcast is being supported. More and more. And certainly the feedback I get from people who tell me, they listened to the podcast is incredibly positive. So a massive thank you to everybody. Now I said I would do something slightly different for episode 100. It didn't feel right to the same as what I do for all of the other episodes. So I handed the mic over to you in many ways. And a couple of weeks ago, I asked for you to submit any questions that you might want me to answer on this episode. And if you follow me on Instagram or you're on my email list, I also asked them, so I've had a number of questions and I'm going to group them into topics to answer them. Thank you to those. That did submit questions. There's certainly some interesting ones and some challenging ones, and I'm just going to do my best to answer them. So let's get started. The first question I want to answer is from Phoebe. And Phoebe's asked what made you take the leap and start your podcast and was episode one, the hardest to do. Well, what made me start? I was looking for a way to grow my audience, as they say. And I knew there are a number of different ways of doing that. So I had a very good audience. I still have a very good audience. It was small, but mighty. Um, there were quite a lot of my existing clients in my audience and they were also other people that I knew and I felt that it was really full of the right people. But it was small. And what I wanted to do was to grow that audience. So when I talk about audience, I mean, people who know me and follow me and know me in a business sense. And a podcast is one option. YouTube channel was also mentioned as another option and the thought of doing YouTube channel, to be honest, horrified me. Because. Like a lot of women, I'm quite, self-conscious about the way I look and I knew I would find it hard to turn up on a regular basis unless I'd done my hair and I was looking. Presentable. Basically. Whereas with a podcast. You know, I can podcast episodes in my pajamas. I've done podcast episodes. With my hair all over the place. I'm not exactly looking my smartest today. I must've met. And it just felt a much easier thing to do to turn up. And talking to a microphone. And also from a technical point of view. Actually from a technical point of view, I'm not sure I really saw much different. I think, I thought a podcast would be harder. then it's actually been, from a technical point of view, so they were the two things that I looked at and podcasts was definitely higher up the list than a YouTube channel. I've talked about this on a, on a previous episode. I can't remember the number of it. Number 40 something. I think I talked about the lessons that I'd learned from a year of podcasting. And I think it was going to be. More of a silver bullet than it has been. And like a lot of things you have to do the promotion yourself. So I thought that people like apple and Spotify would push my podcast more and they don't. Yes, I've been in chart. But they don't push my. Podcast at all. I have to do that. So. I've had to promote my own podcast. And I think that's the thing that I probably didn't realize. And I think if I'd realized it was going to be as difficult as it has been over the last few years. I'm not sure I would have started to be honest. I think I would have used that time and that energy to potentially do other things. So I have certainly enjoyed doing it. I will say that. I don't regret it. I just, I think it's been harder work than I expected it to be. And it's, hasn't been for the return that I necessarily expected. I think I thought it would be just a lot easier to reach more people. than it has been, but in saying that certainly my reach has expanded. And it's interesting that sometimes when I go to networking events and I introduce myself, somebody will say, oh, I listened to your podcast. And that's really lovely to hear that it is reaching new people. So it's definitely meeting new people, just perhaps not quite as many. As I thought it would do. So the second part of that question was, was episode one, the hardest to do. No, I don't think it was actually. first few episodes were really easy in many ways. My voice is probably a little shakier and not quite as competent as it has become. But in terms of the topics I chose topics, which I knew a lot about. And I had strong views on for the first few episodes and therefore they were fairly easy, too bright. So I outline all of my solo podcast episodes. I haven't actually outlined this one, but when I say outline, I basically write a blog post, which is sort of scripted for the podcast. So. When I went into episode, number one, it was pretty scripted. I just wanted to make sure that I sounded like I wasn't reading. That was my real worry. But I was very confident in what I was talking about. I think the hardest ones to do. But when you start to not run out of ideas, I've always got loads of ideas for the podcast. But you have an idea for an episode. And you start to think about what you're going to say. And you realize. That's only five minutes. And I liked my episodes to be around 20 minutes. Um, 15 minutes at the shortest, but usually around 20 minutes. And I know that that's about 2000 work block-based so that's quite a lot to say. And sometimes the episodes I found the hardest or when I have struggled to make it long enough, and I have put episodes out that had been slightly shorter. You probably find one or two that have 12 or 13 minutes, but there's definitely no five minute episodes in there. It annoys me when I listened to other people's podcasts and they really, really short. And because I'm on a dog walk or something, and I've got to keep, I'm going to move on to the next one. So I like episodes, which are about 20 minutes. And that's what's driven it. So they've been hardest, wanted to do. Those when I've struggled to expand my topic for 20 minutes. And often that means that I've ended up starting again with something, with a different topic and there are times when like everybody. I struggled to think about what to say. And I'm just not feeling creative. I'm not feeling in the zone. And often that's when I have left the podcast episodes to be. A bit too late and I'm feeling under pressure to actually. Go out there with an episode. So they've been the hardest ones today. The second question is from Paula and Paula says, I would love to know a little bit about what you've learned through any of your design processes with your clients this past year. So far. And then she's asked a second question. How challenges that you've come up against have helped you to further the already extensive skillset. Now I built Paula's website this year. I don't know whether she's referring to her own. But I think before I answer the question, it's useful to step back. I think people misunderstand the design process. When I designed a website, I take a lot of information from clients. I want to understand their own style and what they like and what they don't like. I'll ask them a number of questions in a questionnaire. I send them to do that. And I also do things like look at that Instagram, because usually with Instagram, people have got a style. Sometimes they don't, sometimes it's very all over the place, but you can get a sense of their kind of vibe if you like through them. So their style is hugely important because if I try and impose a very different style on them, they're not going to like that. So I try and understand what it is that they like. The second key element of any website design is understanding their clients. And the client's processes in working with them. So what our clients need to know who those clients are and an example of how that influences our design is I've just put a website live for podiatrist. And. Alone. He's keen to move to a slightly younger personnel. A lot of her clients are older. And so the website needs to have larger font. It needs to have a very clear navigation. It needs to be really more so than other websites I build. I was trying to use Clare navigation. But it needs to have very clear navigation so people can follow it. It's also things like the older generation prefer using phones. Keep booking things online. So I make sure I'm showing both though. People don't feel that they can't get in contact and also the physical address and how you get there. And those kinds of things that obviously massively important. So. That's how my client clients influence a design process. So what. Have I learned from my clients. I mean, all of my clients inspire me. They're all very different. They. A number of different industries, albeit all in a service-based industries. I think the, one of the things that I've learned probably more than anything this year is how people really need guidance. When I started out building websites, I used to say to people, just give me a content and I'll build it. And. People get very overwhelmed with that. So one of the things which I'm really trying to focus on when I take a break this month is getting my own processes in order. I really do things for clients to help guide them through the process. Now I have a questionnaire. I have a guide to a home page and those kinds of things, but I want to do even more. And just give my clients so much more guidance in terms of the content that they need to come up with. and, and give them a lot of prompts so that it an awful lot easier for them because that's the one thing that I have learned, not just this year, but over the last couple of years is I need to make things as easy as possible for my clients, because if they don't build a website every day, Often they've built their own. The first one has been one that they built themselves. But, They need a lot of guidance. So that's the key thing that I've really learned. And challenges. I'm always coming up against challenges. I think when I started, I thought website designers knew everything. Or website designer's name everything. I've realized that that's not true at all. I don't think any website design, it knows everything. So there's no reason for me to know everything. I know quite a lot. And so I'm often coming up against design challenges, things that I want to do and which I don't know how to do. And there are a couple of things which I do in that case. One is good. Old Google. It's amazing what you can find on Google. And especially on YouTube, as long as you know, the right questions to ask. And who to trust. so Google is really good. Um, I'm in a couple of design groups. So asking questions in there that has been really, really good. One of those in particular. Shout out to Josh Hall's group. That has been really helpful. And the third thing is, I have a couple of people who I pay, and who I can rely upon when there are things which. It's not that I couldn't do. But I just know that it's not worth my time and effort to do. So there's sometimes very chemical things, which yes, I could learn how to do, but why do that when I can pay somebody else who can do it in a cancer at the time that it would take me to work it out. And they've done this many times before and it's likely to be accurate. So I've got, a developer in particular that I trust. And so I will often outsource things which are outside my skillset to him. Okay, next question is from Lisa and Lisa has asked how do you collect client feedback? I love this question, Lisa, because it shows that you're focused on collecting client feedback, which is a brilliant thing to do. Why is it so good? Well, there's two reasons. One is for your own internal process. How can you improve what you do? How can improve your products and your services and getting client feedback and understanding what clients want is key to doing that is to always improve. And that's something that I'm always looking to do. And I'll come on to how in a moment. The second reason it's so good is to help you with your marketing. I don't just mean quoting client reviews or testimonials, although that is incredibly powerful. But also you can, when clients leave feedback, you can pick up on some of the language that they use. And some of the things that they're thinking about. And you sat in your marketing. So you can, you know, if a client says that they, you know, before they came to see you, they were particularly worried about a certain thing. Then you can reflect that back in your marketing and you can overcome some of those concerns, which other people might have. So, how do I collect it? I ask. When I finish a bespoke website for client, I have questionnaire, which I sent to clients. And it's not particularly low. There's about five or six questions in there. So I asked things like what they're worried about before they started working with me, why they chose me, how they found the process, um, any particular highlights. I asked them through a review. And I also give links so that they can put that review on to Google, for example, which is something I want from clients. I want reviews on Google because that helps mic to be found on Google. And I also asked for feedback on what I could do better. So I sent that to clients. Do clients fill it in sometimes? Not always. I usually follow up once or twice. And then I just let it go. So. I get more forms back then I get Google reviews. So I think I've got 19 reviews on Google at the moment. Desperately trying to get that over 20. So if you worked with me and you'd like to leave me a Google review, please do so. Just type in, beyond the kitchen table and still going to my website. It should be on the right hand bar on, on Google. And you can leave a review on there. But at the end of the day, you can only ask so many times. And so when I ask clients, I do point out that it's really, really helpful. And that people are busy. So you can just ask and. That's what I encourage everybody to do is ask for the reviews. If people are busy and don't want to give a review, they won't, but you'd be surprised. I get reviews back from people. That I didn't expect to get reviewed back. And that's really good. And being helpful for my business Next question is from Ella and Ella has said. I'd love to know more about how to get a domain name. The so many companies offering them. I don't know where to start. And I've heard you should purchase a few similar ones to stop others from having them. When it comes to buying a domain name. So this is your website address. It doesn't really matter where you buy it from As long as it's somebody reputable. So 1, 2, 3 rage go daddy, Google, et cetera. It doesn't really matter. I used to recommend people buy from Google because then it was easier. If you wanted to use Google's email service, Google workspace. It was easier to connect the two. Google's actually sold its workspace to Squarespace. And I don't know whether they've solved it, a main service with it as well. So I'm not sure I've, haven't been advising that over the last month, but it doesn't matter where you buy it from. In terms of what you should buy. If you have the opportunity to buy the.com and the.co.uk, you should definitely buy both because there's a two key ones that people use in the UK. Dot co.uk tends to be used more by people who have a UK focused business. and.com by people who are internationally focused, but both are very accessible in the UK and they are the main chair. And by buying too, what you can do is you can have one of them as your main domain, and then you redirect the other one to that. Should you buy more than that? Well, it depends. And it might be worth buying an additional one or two, but the reality is there are so many different extensions, so you've got.co.org.info. Yeah. Design all sorts of different things that it's just not cost-effective to buy all of the different extensions. You've also got hyphenated versions. And things like that. So, It's very difficult to mop up all of the different domain names, but certainly.com and.co.uk. Beyond that I would probably go for registering your trademark, your brand. As a way to protect your name from generally being used by others rather than trying to buy a pool of the domain names I hope I pronounced your name correctly. There has asked what changes to do on a website so that it comes first in search. This is a question. I get asked a lot. Or it's an assumption that people have that when I built a website, they would automatically come first in search. And my question back. Is what you want to come first and search for. Because everybody wants to get to the top of page. One of Google. But getting there with your business name. Is one thing, but do you want to get found for other things as well? So getting found for your business name is not that difficult. But getting found for other things, it depends upon how competitive those terms are. So, if you want to get found for, I don't know. Boys running shoes. Just don't bother. Because, you'll have the Nike's and the Adidas and people like that. We'll just have that, that sewn up. And you're never going to be able to have the funds to be able to compete with them. And even if you did, I'm not sure it would be worth the money to be honest. So the first thing is to think about what you actually want to get found in search for. These are called your keywords and the best keywords are ones, which people who are looking for a service like you are searching for. That is relevant to your business. And that you can compete on. Once, you know what those words are. Then the next thing is to make sure that you're writing about that keyword or phrase. And he should make sure that on every page of your website, you are only trying to target one key word. If you try and rank for lots of different keywords on a page, Google would be confused and it won't consider your page for ranking on any of them or at least not very high up. It really likes to. Understand what a page is about, and then it will look to rank it for that. And that's basically the main thing you should do. There are a number of episodes on SEO. And I do some more. I've got some more coming up in September. And in fact, I've got a course coming up. Later this year as well, when I can go into much more of that, but it's understanding what your keywords are that you want to rank for. And writing about them are the two main things that you should be doing has asked what is the next thing? We have websites, Google social media. What will the next way of marketing be for businesses? It's really interesting question, Claire and I wish I had. A crystal ball. I don't know, but these are my thoughts. And I have two key thoughts. One is the impact of AI, which is obviously going to get bigger. AI has made it much easier for people to do content marketing. What is making it easier for people to do content marketing? And I think we're going to see an explosion in content marketing. There's going to be a lot more competition because it's much easier and yes, when it's easier for you. You think great, but it's also easier for your competitors. So you've got to find different ways of standing out. I think the impact of AI. On search engines, like Google is going to be. Fascinating. And I think a lot is a more generic search where people are looking just for information. And where websites might at one time have come up. They're going to be replaced by AI results. So people are not going to be directed to your website if they want to know. How to do something for example, or, Why you should do something. But I think, When it comes to searching for things like plumber and seven eggs, it doesn't really matter whether it's a search engine giving the result or whether it's AI search engines or just AI. Anyway, they're just ranking plumbers in seven AIX and AI might do it slightly differently, but at the end of the day, you've got to be feeding it the information so that it knows if you're a plumber and stuff next that you should be included in that list and preferably higher up. But the other change I think we're going to see in marketing is, and I've noticed this much more post COVID. Is people want to do business with people. And I have seen shift back to in-person events and people craving. Uh, meetings with individual people. Yes, we might use him and we might use. Computers for a lot of things. And save time that way. But I think we're also wanting that human interaction. So I think marketing is going to go back to. Being much more about your connections, much more about the people, you know, and who they know. And that's going to have a massive impact going forward as well. Ah, there we go. That's my crystal ball. Let's see. Let's listen to this back in five years time. And see whether i was right or not Okay, two more questions. So Sarah has asked how I managed to balance work with my family life. And when I started this business back six years ago, my children were. 13 and 10. So they went little, little, but my daily life revolved around taking them to school. Coming home doing some work and then some afternoons I would be needed for school. Things like sports matches. For example, I was. Always very keen to see my children's play sport as much as I possibly could. And support them school pickup. And then in the evenings, it would be. Taking them to clubs. Swimming those kinds of things, being around for homework, cooking dinner. So at that time from about. Three 30 til 8:00 PM. I couldn't do any work and sometimes I'd work in the evening. So my work time. I had to be focused really the time they were at school. School holidays. Always challenging because although they didn't need complete supervision. They always wanted to be doing things. Uh, one of them used to be quite happy having a lot of play dates, which was really helpful for getting work done. The other one wanted to be out and about more. or play on electronic devices. So I found those different strategies of, yes, I might take them to soft play and I would take some work that I could do in soft play. I might swap with other families for play dates, always important to try and do days with both children going in. At the same time, otherwise you just end up with one child and that doesn't really help. In terms of getting work done. But it was just a case of fitting into where they were and the time that I had, and as my children got older, I have got more time because they're more independent. My eldest is it university. And yes, that means that when I go and take him and bring him back at the beginning and end of term, it's a couple of days out. But when he's home, he's pretty independent. And my other is 16. So she is again, relatively independent, although I'm needed for Lyft. And sometimes it might be, can we go shopping and blue water or something like that. So, During the holidays. I try and be more flexible. I can't always be around for them. With what they need. Especially when they usually ask me last minute. Like, can you take me now to something? And I've got a client meeting in 15 minutes. No, I can't. You'd have to wait, which doesn't always go down well, but it is a case of, I think sometimes just accepting. You have less time, you don't have 35, 40 hours a week, or if you do. Some of it's going to be during the day. Some of it's gotta be in the evening. The other thing. Often have done is work on weekends. And especially when my children were younger. Getting my husband to take them out on a day of the weekend. After the house, which meant that I could get stuff done. While they were out. The one other challenge I have now is now that we ask you guys, we've got a dog, so I have to fit in dog walking. So I still do the school run in the morning, and then I walk the dog. So I don't start work until about 10 o'clock and I try and have the first hour free of any meetings. So I try not to take client calls until. 11 o'clock. In order to just make sure that I don't feel that I'm behind before I've even started the day properly. And the final question is from Georgina. Georgina's asked what's the most memorable thing that you've either woken up in the night, thinking about. Or has been your first waking thought. And I've left the trickiest one to last. It took a bad procrastination. I don't know, it's a very straightforward answer. I think like a lot of women and maybe men, I have often woken up in the middle of the night thinking about something. I woken up in the middle of the night. was it spark of inspiration for a client website that might be designed or more often. And certainly this has happened very frequently. Is something I've been thinking about more, how do I do that? And the answer will suddenly come to me at 3:00 AM. Not the most helpful time, but, if that happens and that's life, then my brain is often wearing at night. First waking thought is never very inspirational. I'm not a morning person. It's more likely to be, ER, what time is it? I really don't have an awful lot of brain power at very first thing. But certainly in the middle of the night, often wake up, but I can't think of anything particularly memorable. So sorry, Georgina. That's not really a very good place to end. Is it on the. The question that I can't answer, but it's not bad. One question I can't answer. Hopefully you found the other answers useful. This is not something I've done before. Maybe I'll do it again in the future. Let me know if you've, if you enjoyed this episode as being something different, I'm on email@sayhelloatbeyondthekitchentable.co.uk. Or on Instagram at, beyond the KT, you can message me on there. So that's it for this week, I've seen number 101 next week Thank you so much for your support have a great week see you next week Thank you so much for listening all the way to the end. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to follow or subscribe so that you don't miss future episodes. And I'd really appreciate it if you could leave a five star review. That makes a massive difference as to whether Apple shows my podcasts more widely. And head over to my website beyondthekitchentable. co. uk where you can find all the ways you can work with me. Whether you're just starting out, looking to grow your business, or scaling it. And see you next week.