This year has marked some massive changes for Brand It Girl, with the majority of them taking place in the last 6 weeks. I had been feeling for some time that there had to be a better way to do some of the things I was doing. And some of those old ways of doing things were leaving exhausted and costed me money and time.
So I woke up. I saw that I could change things in my business that not only made my life a whole bunch easier and more productive, but I could see that the change I was going to make would also help my clients and make their experience with me a bunch better too!
Today I want to recap on the changes I have made to my business system, because I think, just maybe, you might find some value in hearing about what I have done and my thoughts about everything that's going on!
1. SWITCHING TO SQUARESPACE
The first big change to my business was that I switched from Wordpress to Squarespace (you can read all about the switch here). I have to say that this has been by far the best decision I have made for my business. Squarespace has changed the way I use my website and I am finding new functions and capabilities all the time that are making my life so much easier!
The best part of Squarespace (apart from the fact it enables beautiful website) is that it is super initiative to use on the back-end and there are endless possibilities using code injections. The only thing I am still trying to get my head around is the lack of plugins - having said that, there is not a single thing that I haven't found a way around! Literally anything you want to do can be done on a Squarespace website and it is making client work so much easier. Squarespace makes it easy to create client websites and smoothly transition ownership to the client once it's done!
When I switched to Squarespace I also pretty much redesigned my website. I really wanted to use the Hayden template but one thing I struggled with was the narrow sidebar for the blog. I previously had so much 'stuff' in my sidebar, the narrow sidebar kinda freaked me out and I spent ages trying to work out coded ways to make it bigger. I did kind of work it out but I ended up embracing the narrow sidebar and saw it as a way to free up that space from the clutter!
2. I GOT MY OWN OFFICE
It was a huge decision to get my own office and while I had been dreaming about ever since I started my business, it felt like the right time. I am still essentially working alone, I am renting an office space and no one else is around. But despite that, I don't feel alone! I am keeping up with all my principles of staying connected and having my own workspace is keeping focused!
It was a particularly hard decision because I was moving my office out of my Mum's house. I thought working at Mum's would be the perfect in between - technically it is still 'home' but it's not where I sleep and so I thought it would be a win win. And it was - it absolutely served it's purpose and I couldn't be more thankful for the time I spent there.
However, as I started ramping up my business I encountered a few issues.
- The space (my room) wasn't really feeling like Brand It Girl. It is a lovely room, overlooking the backyard, lots of natural light, but it didn't feel like Brand It Girl and I couldn't see how I could convert it.
- When I was at my Mum's house, I actually just really wanted to hang out with my Mum! There is nothing I like more than a tea break with Mum, and sometimes it's not the break that's the issue - it's the breaking of concentration and flow.
- The third reason was a personal reason, and it might sound crazy but it was a big part of my motivation to move. I felt like it until I took my business seriously, I couldn't expect anyone else to take it seriously. My family are wonderful and supportive but often they don't think my job is a real job - no one ever said it, but that's how I feel. Even when dining with friends, everyone will ask each other how work is going, but no-one would ask me. They weren't trying to be nasty or disinterested but I could tell to them they didn't understand what I was doing. Once I got this office, it was something my friends and family could understand - something that made sense to them.
So I made the move. I woke up one day, said "Gav, I am going to find an office" and he said "let's do it" because he is the most amazing person I know. And two weeks later, I was moving in! I got all new furniture and while that is story for another day - I can tell you, I spray painted an ikea bookshelf gold. And it's on point!
3. MOVING FROM MAILCHIMP TO CONVERTKIT
This was perhaps the hardest change. I love Mailchimp, but moving forward as my business and list grows, I need a solution that is subscriber based rather than list based. What I mean by this is that with Mailchimp, subcribers join a particular list - you can get them all on one list but it takes some work and if you don't do that, then you could have multiple listings for the same person and you can't send newsletters to more than one list etc etc - it just makes the whole thing a little complicated.
I was attracted to Convertkit because it is subscriber based, meaning that it is much easier to manage and the segmentation feature makes it easier to target the people that will benefit most from each post.
One thing I am not loving is the plain-ness of the email templates. Mailchimp make it easy to send pretty emails and while I know emails don't need to be pretty to be effective, being pretty is part of my business mission! I have, however, found a solution - I created a custom template using html and css and I am feeling much more comfortable with the decision!
I can really see the potential for growth with Convertkit and my brand new opt-in offer will launch next week, so stay tuned!
So those are the massive changes going on behind-the-scenes at Brand It Girl! Lots of great things happening!
Are you thinking about making some changes of your own? I would love to hear all about it! Post in the comments and don't forget to leave your link too!