I’m guessing a solid 99% of online business owners experience some sort of burnout at some point in their journey.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day of growing our businesses that soon, we can find ourselves not running a business but having a business that runs us.

In an effort to help you build your business without the overwhelm, I’m so excited to have the founder of the Booked Out Designer program and host of the Breakthrough Brand podcast Elizabeth McCravy join the podcast.

In this interview, she shares how she’s learned to grow her online business from designer, to web designer, to template creator and podcast host/coach without the typical overwhelm that leads most people to burnout.

Oh and all while being a young mom working from home.

While she was open about her highs and lows, lessons learned, etc, she’s a great example of how intention and priority can truly help you build a business that you love and that doesn’t overtake your life.

Hope you enjoy this chat as much as I did!

In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
02:43 – Greeting to Elizabeth
10:49 – Clients from anywhere
13:30 – Introverted extrovert
16:48 – Be self-aware
19:12 – Know your services
24:23 – The pivot
26:31 – Raising rates
30:26 – Booking clients out
34:37 – Focus time
36:51 – Wear all the hats
38:34 – Build the content
42:48 – Intentional not interruptive
48:01 – Utilize other freelancers
50:02 – Template sales option
56:39 – Change in the name
1:00:06 – How to control overwhelm
1:06:06 – Becoming a new mom

Elizabeth’s Course & Coaching Program – Booked Out Designer

Connect with Elizabeth:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #220 Full Transcription

[00:00:00] Josh: Hey friends, Welcome in episode 220. I am so excited to bring to you in this episode an awesome guest, somebody who has had an incredible journey so far as a designer. Then becoming a web designer and then a template seller, and now an online coach and also a podcast host, all while being a young mother. This is Elizabeth McCravy, and apart from having a really cool journey in just evolving her business in so many great ways that suit her life and her interest and where she’s at seasonally and her life, the other thing that she’s done a really good job of is doing all this while avoiding serious overwhelm.

[00:00:44] Josh: Because what I’ve found in myself and the majority of online business owners I know is there is usually a point where there’s burnout or there’s a point where you get to like a breaking point and you’ve just created such a Frankenstein of a business that it just starts controlling you and you’re not controlling your business.

[00:01:00] Josh: And Elizabeth was really open in this interview about the highs and lows she’s had and lessons. But one thing that does separate her from a lot of other entrepreneurs I know is that she has not had a point where she has been overly overwhelmed. And it was really fun in this conversation to dive into that and figuring out what she’s done and what she’s doing to make sure that she’s avoiding overwhelm and avoiding burning out and really working on the work that she wants to do and is and feels led to do.

[00:01:27] Josh: And again, now as a young mom is able to balance work life and home life and all those things in together. My gosh, what a great conversation I have with Elizabeth. We’re gonna dive right in here. I do wanna say too, there’s a couple things that’s, that are, is really cool that she’s up to. First off, she is the host of a podcast called The Breakthrough Brand Podcast.

[00:01:48] Josh: Uh, she was kind enough to have me on recently. I was on on episode 1 78, if you wanna check that out. And it’s a really, really great podcast for, for designers and web designers. If you have not yet subscribed to that, I recommend it. You’ve likely seen her on Instagram because Elizabeth is really active on Instagram and has a, a really great following there and a lot of fun resources that she’s dishing out.

[00:02:10] Josh: And she’s also the founder of an online coaching program called Booked Out Designer. So after this interview, if you feel like you resonate with Elizabeth and you’re thinking, I want more Mc Gravy in my. Then that’s where I recommend that you, you check it out. So recommend all that. Of course, those will all be linked in the show notes at josh hall dot slash two 20.

[00:02:31] Josh: Without further ado, here’s Elizabeth. Let’s talk how to build your business without that big old nasty overwhelm.

[00:02:43] Josh: Elizabeth, welcome to the podcast. What a pleasure to have you on.

[00:02:47] Elizabeth: Yes, thank you, Josh. It’s an honor. I’ve loved your show and your business and all the things. I’m excited to

[00:02:52] Josh: chat. Well, it’s funny cuz uh, well at the time of recording this, you just in interviewed me for, for your podcast and I wanted to immediately have you on mine. So, um, you had me on your show to, to kind of talk about my journey and story and web design and course creation. And I’m really excited to, to chat with you, to hear really, I mean, I have so many questions because I feel like you’re in a bit of a different world than I am as a show at Web Designer. Uh, I’m in the WordPress and Divi realm, although I teach folks all from all over.

[00:03:22] Josh: Um, but yeah, I’m really excited to, to hear from your experience what you’ve learned particularly about, uh, it sounds like you’ve really kept a, a balanced lifestyle. With building your website business, and you’ve learned a lot about avoiding burnout and, uh, overwhelm, I think is probably safe to say, but you’re also young mom, you’re, you’re a parent printer. So I think we share a lot of similarities and I’m excited to, to talk to you about what you’ve experienced. So, to kick us off, do you wanna let my audience know, first off, maybe where you’re based out of, and then I’m kind of curious, when people ask you what you do, what do you tell.

[00:03:53] Elizabeth: Well, that’s a great question. Yeah, so I’m based in Franklin, Tennessee, which is a suburb area of Nashville. I really love it here. It feels like truly like my dream place to live. Uh, and I’m from Tennessee as well. And yeah, when people ask me what I do, gosh, I, for the longest time, and I’m sure new website designers will sync and relate to this, but I struggled so much to explain what I did.

[00:04:13] Elizabeth: I fumbled and then made it sound super uninteresting. Also, super unsure of myself as I, as I fumbled over what I do. Um, I used to say I was like a freelancer, kind of. I do websites, I do brandy, I do, I do this in that. Um, now I usually tell people though, I say I own a website design that sells templates and I do online courses, which is still not the best, most clear answer, but usually someone ask that I actually wanna share something to, I say that, or I’ll just say, I own an online business, which also confuses people who don’t know what that means.

[00:04:45] Josh: Yeah, I, yeah, it definitely depends on the room you’re in, right? Yeah. With how you answer that question. Cuz yeah, the answer to grandma might be very different than a, a, a friend that, you know, you went to college with or, or worked with or something.

[00:04:57] Elizabeth: Very true.

[00:04:58] Josh: You know what’s funny? Um, Previous to this, uh, you we were, we were chatting and when you said where you were from, my, my AirPods were going out on me, so I did not hear it. My family and I just stayed in Franklin. I’m so upset. My gosh. I didn’t realize you’re in there cuz we just went on vacation. We went down down south of the edge of Florida and Alabama and uh, we stayed in Franklin cause it’s a great halfway point between Columbus, Ohio and there. So yeah, I had no idea.

[00:05:21] Josh: You’re right there. My gosh. Uh, that’s funny. What a great area though. Like Franklin is awesome. It’s right outside of Nashville. Uh, yeah, we went downtown to the little cute downtown area there.

[00:05:30] Elizabeth: Yeah, I’m like about 10 minutes from downtown Franklin now. Um, yeah. So that’s so fun that you were there. It is interesting. It’s such a Nashville in general, but even Franklin, some of the suburbs have become more common, like vacation spots or even what you’re saying of like, you passed through and hung out here for a while. But yeah, it’s so. Yeah,

[00:05:48] Josh: it was a nice area. Like we didn’t wanna stay right in downtown Nashville for one. The, the, it’s kind of hard to get a hotel sometimes, and we have toddlers. We didn’t wanna like go to a high highrise hotel situation. Yeah. So, uh, yeah, it was just outside of town and was a great area. That actually kind of leads me into asking you about your clientele as a web designer. Like Yeah. Were your clients when you started, were they local or how did you Uh, yeah, take us back to like, when you became a web designer, how did you start getting clients for your business?

[00:06:19] Elizabeth: Yeah, so I, I started my website design business on accident is what I usually tell people, which I know we are saying when I was just on your show, which people need to listen, uh, or I was, you were just on my show. Whoops. Um, people need to get listened to that for almost like the beginning of this conversation.

[00:06:35] Elizabeth: but you were sharing how like most people’s first clients come through, like the, the network and that we mostly don’t, um, I guess just like end up like, you know, you said website design school, and then, um, we end up doing it. But yeah, for me, I studied design in college actually, but like a mix of like digital media studies, like some computer science, PR marketing, and also did a few things in design, mostly focused on like branding in college.

[00:07:05] Elizabeth: Um, got an ad agency job right outta college here in Nashville that was so stoked about, Hated it. Um, quit it within four months and I was newly married, needing ways to make money. Um, it was like my husband, um, worked for a ministry called Young Life and was not making a lot of money and it was like, yeah, we, we really like need, need my income, um, and need it to be close to what it was, um, at my ad agency job.

[00:07:30] Elizabeth: And I kept just applying for more jobs. Like, I, like I’m, I’m gonna find something somewhere. Um, no one. No one wrote me back, like I never got interviews even, which is so, it’s so fascinating to me to think back on that cuz I got my first job without agency so quickly. Like, um, had lots of friends graduating who were struggling to find jobs, Got that one, quickly quit it and then couldn’t find anything and I ended up.

[00:07:53] Josh: Real quick, elizabeth, what was the role of that job? What was like the job title? Yeah,

[00:07:58] Elizabeth: great question. Yeah, I was on the design team at like a medical advertising agency, so Oh, interesting. We did. It was very, yeah, it wasn’t, it was not a dream job in the sense of like, I didn’t love the, there were a lot of the reasons I quit it were more so a lot of me not fitting in well with like the nine to five corporate life.

[00:08:16] Elizabeth: But I did enjoy the job overall. I did a lot of video stuff. Um, In a lot of random design stuff for, again, a lot of medical lawyer, more corporatey, which is so different than the clients I work with now. But, um, yeah, that’s kind of what that, what that job was. And I freelanced when I quit it and ultimately ended up building up the freelance business so much that it made sense to, like, let’s make it official. And that’s when I built my website, um, and started like calling myself a business owner, um, and started more actively booking clients. So to bring it back around though, what you asked of like how, how are the first clients found?

[00:08:56] Elizabeth: I mean, when I was super freelancing I actually did work with quite a few local clients. Um, early on I worked with, um, EOI Steeple. Chase was a big horse race here in Nashville and I did all their like brand collateral and all the designs of the billboard, the magazine stuff for that year. So that they were one of my first like big well paying clients.

[00:09:18] Elizabeth: Um, but I also found clients on Upwork early on. Mm-hmm. . Um, through that, the steeple chase job came from someone at my church who I literally just said to her when she randomly asked who I do, I was like, I’m actually trying to like freelance design. And then she was like, Hey, my PR client, um, is steeple chase, if you ever heard of them, Like, would you be interested?

[00:09:36] Elizabeth: So, um, that was how I found clients a lot early on. And then eventually, um, with my one on one work, it turned into a lot of clients, like literally all over the world and actually randomly a ton of people in the uk, um, was a big place I had clients.

[00:09:49] Josh: What’s so interesting, I’m glad we actually brought up the whole Franklin and Nashville area because you’re in an area where you could 100%. Just stick with local clients. Yeah. And be fine. Like Nashville, much like Columbus is booming. Mm-hmm. , actually, I love Nashville. My wife and I were just talking like we would totally, we would, I feel like we would work in Nashville. It would, it would, it would go well. It’s very similar. Um, like the area is hopping, there’s obviously the downtown is booming.

[00:10:14] Josh: It seems like there’s a lot of businesses there. A lot of people from other parts of the country have, have come there. Yeah. Um, so was that like, I wanna actually dive into that because a lot of my students who are in small towns might feel like I can’t get local clients or even get clients because I’m not in a big city, or I’m not in a place where the economy is booming.

[00:10:34] Josh: What’s your thoughts on that? I mean, obviously it’s a nice luxury to to be in a place like Columbus like I am or Nashville like you are. But you sound like you got a lot of online clients through what your personal network and referrals. Is that how that kind of happened?

[00:10:49] Elizabeth: Yeah. So you’re saying the clients that were not local to Nashville or the ones who were Yeah. I mean, gosh. Well, so like. The local clients. Even some of those did come through my marketing efforts, like on my blog and on social media. Um, and some were like larger and some were smaller when it was local. So I did, um, I worked with a staffing agency early on, which I sometimes even forget about that experience.

[00:11:13] Elizabeth: But where they were like, you know, they had these clients who needed temporary design work and it was always super well paying. I actually did work for Logan’s Roadhouse, um, if anyone knows that restaurant, which is headquartered here in Nashville. So I worked with them for a while and that was another like, local client.

[00:11:29] Elizabeth: But as far as when I started transitioning more to like people not around the Nashville area, I would say that almost felt like another level of like, Okay, I’m really doing this thing because it is someone who like, they’re, they don’t live near me. They’ve, um, have only heard of me through like the internet world.

[00:11:45] Elizabeth: Um, and a lot of that was, I, I did a lot of Facebook groups, which is something I always. Teach students. And in my course of like, there’s so much like we can find, um, through these like more niche Facebook groups where people are in there saying like, Hey, I’m such and such business type. I need a website.

[00:12:00] Elizabeth: I need a brand. Um, so I did a lot of that of like commenting on Facebook posts, writing a good pitch for myself, um, and people finding me that way. And then a lot of referrals. So like when I had my season of like a lot of, um, life coaches is really who like the, when I had a lot of UK clients, um, they were all referring each other to me.

[00:12:20] Elizabeth: So it’s like a big kind of network there. And they’re like, Hey, this girl, um, in Tennessee, we all like working with her. You should hire her. Um, so I think that’s like the power of a referral is so huge as, as designers to like try to get.

[00:12:34] Josh: Yeah, there’s a lot of lessons in what you said right there with, I mean, the ability to go local if you want. Did you ever do any like business meet ups, networking group or anything like that locally? Or did you pretty much stick online?

[00:12:46] Elizabeth: I did do some of that. I did The Rising Tide Society for a while here, which I feel like Covid really. Made that transition so much. I’m sure a lot of people have heard of that. Like, um, networking group. I went to a few different things. Um, also spoke at some local events here in Nashville, which that’s something too. If you do live in a city where there are, um, more, like for example, the one I spoke at last. Was a wedding event.

[00:13:11] Elizabeth: So as people who worked in the wedding industry, they’re paying to be a part of like this organization and the organization tries to get speakers to come into their monthly meetings. So maybe looking at like, how could you be the speaker, um, and speak on your topic of website design and get clients that way. So I have done some of that. Um, I’m so introverted though that I feel like the, which know a lot of designers can relate to that. I’ve, I’ve almost, I feel like I haven’t taken full advantage of in-person networking because I am more like home bodied and introverted.

[00:13:43] Elizabeth: But I have enjoyed, cuz I also like speaking and stuff like that and doing things like podcast connecting. Um, I have enjoyed doing events as like a way to find clients.

[00:13:51] Josh: Yes. See, I feel so conflicted on that statement because I don’t view you like that at all. E especially because when I think of an introvert, I think of somebody who would never ever step on stage. But I will say funny, my wife and I were just having this conversation when we were driving through, like Tennessee. Yeah. Um, we were talking about how like a lot of entertainers and speakers will be like really charismatic and, and like engaging on stage, but then when you meet them off stage, they’re completely different.

[00:14:21] Josh: Yeah. They’re really reserv. Are you, are you a little more like that? Like are you a little more engaging and, and lively? Like on calls and on stage? What are you a little more like in a group of people? Would you kind of sit in the corner or, or is it mix?

[00:14:33] Elizabeth: No, I would say I still, so I guess that’s where like so’s inch for an extroverted, like get defined differently in different ways. Cuz I am. I feel like I’m pretty outgoing. I definitely am like the way I am right now in a big group or in a small group. And I do like being on stage. Um, and I like doing things like podcasting and content creation, but I’m fueled most when I’m alone. So when I do, like right now as we’re recording, Josh knows this, but like I’m in doing podcast bashing for my show.

[00:15:02] Elizabeth: Um, and I am gonna need tomorrow to like, I have a mastermind call with my mastermind and I’m like, I don’t know if I’m gonna attend. Cause I’m like, I need, I need a break after all this.

[00:15:11] Josh: You’re gonna, you’re gonna be draining.

[00:15:13] Elizabeth: Yeah. Yeah. But I do like, I, I have a social person. But yeah, I said that’s why I don’t take, I feel like I can be, um, I’m, since I’m not so fueled by being around big groups of people, I probably haven’t taken as much advantage of, like in person networking as I could have.

[00:15:28] Josh: You know? That’s a great self-aware like test though. Um. I think for anyone, regardless of whatever type of sales or marketing you do, it’s good to know that about yourself. Like, I’m actually opposite of you. I would go to a networking group and I’m fired up afterwards. Yeah. If I sit alone for too long, that’s when I start doubting myself or going into places that don’t help me in my business.

[00:15:50] Josh: But I re Like you’re at lot like my wife actually, she’s very similar. In a party she’ll talk with everybody and be super lively, but she needs the next day to do nothing. Yeah. So it sounds, and that from a business perspective, I, it’s really interesting and I think it’s important to know that because you may have to like batch when you do social stuff and when you do calls and make sure in your case, Yeah.

[00:16:11] Josh: Like maybe the next day is a free day to be creative, to just read or plan or create whatever you wanna do. I think it’s actually a really valuable lesson that kind of leads into this idea of like avoiding burnout. Because I think for somebody who feels like they need to constantly be on calls and in meetings, if that does not fuel you, You’re gonna be drained and you’re not gonna enjoy your day.

[00:16:33] Josh: So when did you learn that about yourself? Did you know that early on? Uh, Or did you, did you learn at some point that okay, I need to like, I need to have these windows of time when I do the tasks that even though I enjoy ’em, they might, you know, drain me, might wipe me out.

[00:16:48] Elizabeth: Yeah. I feel like it is trial and error and like so much in business we can look at like, this is what someone else says you should do. Like, something like batching for example. Like people might say you should do a lot of batch, all your podcast or batch all your content and that might be draining for you. Versus like, um, even though it’s productive, it might not work well for you to do that sort of thing. So I think, I guess as far as like how long I’ve known that about myself a while, um, I’ve tried to, I’m really into, like you were just saying, of making your business work around your life versus life around, You’re business.

[00:17:22] Elizabeth: Did I say that in the right order? I think you got it. I feel like a few just like, Wait, is that the right?

[00:17:26] Josh: Yeah, you got it. No, that was beautifully said. Yeah.

[00:17:29] Elizabeth: But yeah, making sure that like, um, I mean, so often we quit, like I was saying, I quit, um, a corporate job that was gonna pay great and had good ways to move up and you know, you do get to leave the office when you leave at five and that’s great and all. And we quit those kind of jobs. Many times entrepreneurs, cause we want something more. We have stuff we’re excited to start and things we wanna do differently. Um, but so often we kind of put ourselves back into the nine to five mentality or um, ultimately end up burning ourselves out because we just, Well, you can do all the things right.

[00:18:06] Elizabeth: You’re your own boss now. So work doesn’t leave at five. And um, I feel like I’ve had to learn the hard way at times, but also like I’ve done a good job in my business of knowing. What my goals are in trying to like, keep my eyes on that versus like chasing random versions of success.

[00:18:24] Josh: Yeah. Well, and I, I think it seems like from your background, from what I gather, it’s, it seems like you, you know, went right into freelancing and started killing it pretty early on. I mean, obviously you have some local connections that then spurred on to more niche, kinda, um, getting clients online and things like that. But it seemed like you were pretty self aware about who you were and, and feeling confident about, you know, how, how are you helping clients? Pretty early on, I’m kind of wondering, did you know your services well?

[00:18:55] Josh: In the beginning or did you play around with a lot of different services and eventually reel in, you know, what you were, what you were doing, cuz you were doing branding and a lot of different things. Uh, I’m actually kinda curious, did you always do branding and graphic design along with web design or when did you like, feel like you found your, your ideal services?

[00:19:12] Elizabeth: Yeah, so I started my, well I started my business doing a lot of different things that related to digital marketing. Um, when I was in college I did an internship at a PR agency where I did social media management and it was really fun. It was a lot of lifestyle brands and bloggers and like very, very cool, um, field to have worked in.

[00:19:32] Elizabeth: As I’m so grateful for that internship when I look back on it. So any college age person listening, get a great internship. Um, it was a really good growing experience for me, but that job led me into. Both doing design work for them. And I was trained in design through school, um, to then when I was starting to nce, I’m like, Hey, I can do social media management.

[00:19:52] Elizabeth: Like I did this at an agency level. Very successful agency doing this. I learned their methods here. Um, I can take on my own clients. So I actually had at the, the high point of this, about 12 retainer social media management clients. And in addition to that, I was doing branding and some website design.

[00:20:12] Elizabeth: Website design actually came a bit later for me as like something consistent. Um, and I would also do billboards and restaurant menus and um, brochures and all the random stuff people need business cards. Um, but the social media management was a really big thing. And that looked so different than it did, than it does now.

[00:20:31] Elizabeth: I mean, I ran like quote unquote Facebook ads for people, but it was really like boosting post back things. That was like when Facebook advertising first like started even be a thing. They were trying to sell us. And you know, managing someone’s Instagram account was only. Square posts to their feed. So, um, yeah.

[00:20:45] Josh: When was this? I meant to ask when at the height of your like digital, uh, social media strategy and stuff. When was that?

[00:20:51] Elizabeth: That would’ve been 2015, Um, is when I maybe, yeah. Early. Really, All of 2015 actually would’ve been when I was doing that. And I kept doing it for a while and kind of slowly phased out, um, the social media clients. I quit marketing that, that was like a thing I’m offering. Um, and went to like, kept, kept a lot of them for a while. Um, longer than maybe some people would say you should, when I decided like, hey, I want to niche down to branding and website design. But I really liked the clients and it was nice retainer work.

[00:21:21] Elizabeth: Um, I just was like, I’m not gonna take on. More so actually some of those clients I, I kept for like three years, so into my business when people were like, Wait, I would never guess she was doing social media management, but it was like working well for me and for them.

[00:21:33] Josh: So yeah, I think that’s a great way to go. I did that similarly when I dropped graphic design is I just reduced what I would do and then I only did it basically, it was like a, it was like a hidden service for my best clients that I would still do some graphic design for. It is a great way to phase out services that I recommend for anyone who wants to phase something out.

[00:21:53] Josh: You don’t necessarily need to, like cold Turkey. I’m never doing this again. You could take your best clients and just hide it and do it for them or just kind of phase it out and maybe eventually hire it out. But I’m, I’m glad that worked out for you as well, because that’s the way I approached it and it, Yeah. Did, did that help you? Do some services you were familiar with good recurring income, good, solid, stable income with good clients. But did that leave some room for you to like, learn more about web design and do branding on a different level?

[00:22:20] Elizabeth: Yeah, I mean it’s, so I, I always tell people with nicheing down, if you’re interested in like multiple things that you could do, like, you know, you wanna own a business but you’re not sure which exact thing, like try multiple things, but with the intention of like, I’m not gonna do all the things forever.

[00:22:37] Elizabeth: But for me at one point it was like, Hey, I might become a social media management company and like that’s what I do. Um, and it, and then I realized though I was better at website design and branding and I liked that better. Um, which I’m really grateful I made that decision cause I feel like right now I would not want to be managing people’s social media accounts so much to keep up with even. Um, and that with how social media’s always changing so much. Um, but I kind of just realized that was what I felt like I was best at and what I enjoyed the most as well. And so that’s how I ended. Honing in on that more over time?

[00:23:12] Josh: Yeah, that’s a good point. I think a lot of people tend to start a service and feel like, All right, I’m gonna do this forever, but very rarely are you gonna do something for that long. And, um, on your show, I kind of shared my experience with the, the seven year business itch, where usually once you do something, after a handful or seven years or so, you start either wanting to switch it up or add something new, or have a passion for something else.

[00:23:37] Josh: So I think it’s really common and I, I think it’s a good mindset to have that. I might launch this, I really like it. Um, but, you know, ideally you’re gonna serve your clients for as long as you can, but it definitely doesn’t mean that you need to commit to something, especially early on. I do think it’s really important to try a bunch of different services out, see what you like, see what you’re good at.

[00:23:56] Josh: You may be surprised that what you’re, you’re. You end up being really good at, and then you can make that chance to, or that choice to pivot and refine your services. How did that affect your clients? Like did you have to let a bunch of clients go completely? Sounds like you kept some, did you, like, did you tell your social media management clients that now you’re doing websites and how did that, like what, what, when you, when you pivoted and like refined your services, how did that affect your clients?

[00:24:23] Elizabeth: Yeah, it was, it went smoother than you would think. I ended up for most of them, referring them out to someone directly of like, Hey, this person who I’ve already, I did like the most honestly for them. Instead of just being like, here’s a list of people you could contact, um, at least a few of them, I literally set them up with someone else who I’m like, I’m going to tell this person what I’ve been doing.

[00:24:44] Elizabeth: Um, and then basically giving this person, like them as a client. Um, a few of them though, actually. Like their way out of working with me in social media. I did their branding. Um, I can’t remember that. Did any of their websites. I’m thinking back on it, but I did have a few where it’s like it started overlapping into other services.

[00:25:02] Elizabeth: Um, and that was really cool and, and a good thing. But I would say the transition out was smooth and they probably kind of saw it coming because that is my, my business was clearly like shifting directions towards more of branding and website design. But I am so grateful I did the social media management and the other stuff because I wouldn’t have been able to build my business as six figures a year as quickly as I did.

[00:25:26] Elizabeth: And I wouldn’t be able to match my income that I needed to from leaving, um, my first job if I hadn’t have done that. And I think so often we hear the advice of like, just do the thing. Don’t be the, you know, jack of all trades, master of none. Um, is often the thing we hear people say. And I do think. Tons of truth to that, but at the same time, um, you’ve gotta figure out what you like. Um, and you’ve got to like find ways to make money in your business from the start, ideally. And that’s a great way to do it by like, trying out different things.

[00:25:55] Josh: Yeah, that’s very well said. I mean, it sounds like you just we’re fairly confident with your offers and, and the results that you were getting for clients early on. Did you start out. With like a, a bad money mindset and low pricing. And did you change that pretty quickly or do you feel like you actually, just based off of your experience and, and everything you went through, do you feel like maybe you started at a, at a different place on the, uh, I don’t know, the freelancing ladder or whatever?

[00:26:23] Josh: Where do Yeah. You know, like when, when you started out just, Yeah. It seems like to me, I, I personally took a much longer road to get to where you potentially like started at in freelance.

[00:26:31] Elizabeth: Yeah, I think I, I did do my first few, I did, I definitely did a project for free, um, like maybe two, even a branding projects in particular, um, in exchange for like portfolio work and a testimonial, and also me getting the experience and confidence of like, working with a client.

[00:26:49] Elizabeth: So I did that, which is something, you know, sometimes we say not to do. Sometimes we say it’s fine to do different opinions on that. Um, but I, I did do some of that, but I raised my prices consistently with. Booking, um, each project basically. Okay. So I think sometimes as designers, and I know everyone does client calendars and like booking out differently, but for me, I often was booking clients out months in advance where it’s like, Hey, you’ve booked me, you’ve paid your deposit, and now.

[00:27:19] Elizabeth: Three months from now is when you, between now and then you’re doing your client homework, you’re getting your images to me, your copy. And we might kind of talk a little over email, but we’re kicking this project off in three months. Well, when I’m booking that project, I have other projects I’m doing between now and when that project starts in three months, I’m gonna get better as a designer.

[00:27:36] Elizabeth: So I was often raising my prices like based on like what’s about to happen? And a mistake I see a lot of designers make is you wait until you’re like at this project and you’re like, Wait, I’ve gone so much better since then. And you’re feeling resentful that this client’s paying lower and now, and now you’ve raised your prices, but the next three months all these clients are at your old pricing. So I think it’s important to like raise prices consistently and constantly, like reevaluate what we’re priced at.

[00:28:02] Josh: Yeah, such a good point. Did that help you from being overwhelmed with like, the amount of clients you were working with, like just raising your rates? Did that help you kind of have a sustainable amount of clients?

[00:28:14] Elizabeth: Yeah, definitely. I, I don’t, I’ve never really been one to work with like tons and tons of clients at once. Um, so I think having higher rates can help you work with less clients at a time and space them out more and give yourself white space in your business to focus on growing the business, creating content, um, and all, and all of that sort of good stuff.

[00:28:35] Elizabeth: But yeah, I think it helped me too in the not, I really do think it can be common for designers to end up presenting our clients, which, I mean, that happens and like, it stinks when that happens, but like, I think when you are raising your prices consistently, um, it helps you not do that. And one thing I run into as students is people being afraid that once you raise it, no one’s gonna book.

[00:28:56] Elizabeth: And what I always say is just if you do have, um, whether it’s a range on your website of like. This package, it starts here. This low still cost, this is the highest. Just bump those up like a hundred dollars, $200 in each end. Doesn’t have to be anything dramatic. And if you feel like your inquiries has have slowed down insanely and no one’s booking, you can bump it back down.

[00:29:18] Elizabeth: But there’s nothing wrong with like, trying that out for a few weeks. Um, and, and just seeing if that helps you. Um, and it might help positioning wise of like positioning yourself as a higher end designer might lead you to even booking more clients, um, than being at a lower price.

[00:29:33] Josh: Yeah, definitely will for sure. Um, I know. When I started raising my rates, it was, I always like to frame it in the same price bucket. So I was like a thousand dollars and I would go like 1500. Like it’s not terribly different still if I had went to like 3000 or 4,000 from 1000, that’s a pretty big difference. But um, those little increases can make a big difference on every project and I’ve found that gives you some confidence.

[00:29:57] Josh: Yeah. When you raise rates and need to get a client at the higher level. Yeah. I don’t know too many people who are gonna go back after that cuz it’s like now I got. Clients pay me this amount. So I, it sounds like that’s probably what you experienced with, you know, raising your rates. That was really interesting.

[00:30:09] Josh: Raising your rates as you’re booking new clients. I’m curious, did you have an approach where you were booked out and you would not take new clients and you would be open for clients? Is something I see a lot of web designers doing? I, I have a lot of mixed feelings about that cuz it’s not what I did, but how did you approach that?

[00:30:26] Elizabeth: Yeah, and I, I know there’s so many, and we might have done this completely differently cause I don’t know exactly how you did it either. And the truth is, and it’s a good thing, right? In business there’s so many different ways to do things and you have to figure out what works for you or works for the season of business you’re in.

[00:30:39] Elizabeth: Um, but what I did, and I teach a few different ways to do this typically to students, but I was booking out where it’s like, hey, you’re, we’re gonna start this date, um, you have this timeline to get stuff to me, and then I’m booking another client for the start date, another client for the start date. But I think you lose, um, what’s the word?

[00:30:58] Elizabeth: The like. I’m literally blanking on the word, but like, you momentum, Yeah, you’re losing momentum if you go way too far out. So like, you don’t wanna book a client a year out, like that’s, that’s, they’re, they’re gonna have their life change too much. Um, you, your life might change too much. So like, I would say no more than like six months out.

[00:31:17] Elizabeth: Ideally, if not even tighter than that. Um, but I would, I would do booking out and I actually did a wait list method where people would get on a wait list to work with me. And then I did booking periods where it’s like, Hey, this week I’m booking out the next, you know, four months, um, in my business. Doing phone calls, um, with those people like discovery calls and seeing if it’s a good fit.

[00:31:39] Elizabeth: And I found that helped me too with charging more because it was like, Hey, this is the time if you wanna jump in and working with me, um, I’m booking right now. And then I wasn’t having to constantly be on discovery calls with clients. It was like, Hey, I’m doing this booking period, booking out, getting all these, um, you know, deposits in on the projects and then I’m able to focus on client work more in between.

[00:32:01] Elizabeth: Um, and that worked well for me until I got to a point where it was like, there’s too much demand. Um, you have to decide like, do I want to hire on more designers to like take on all these clients or do I wanna pivot to other ways to like serve these people who are interested in working with me? And in my case, I ended up moving to selling website templates in addition to one on one work at that time when I kinda hit that point where it was like, Hey, I’m booked out really far in advance.

[00:32:28] Elizabeth: I’ve got a wait list. Um, a lot of these people wanna work with me and are super eager to, and that’s awesome. And they like my design style, but they also are new business owners. Maybe now I’m starting at a higher price point than I even would want them to pay, honestly. Um, and so that’s where website templates came in for me as like another option. Um, and even as like a price anchor to one-on-one work to, to kind of be like, Okay, here’s what a one-on-one website costs, but then here’s website template is like your alternative. So two ways to serve people.

[00:32:57] Josh: That’s perfect. I wanted to segue into the next evolution of your business with templates and then eventually coaching. But, uh, real quick, the booking method I think is really, really worthwhile reiterating again, because I see a lot of people booking themselves out, and I have some students who may be potentially booked out for a few months. And then my hesitancy with that, and I’ve seen some of my students go through this to where they’re booked out, but then they don’t do any selling or marketing in that three month period, and then after three months they’re like starting fresh again and they have no one in the pipeline.

[00:33:30] Josh: That’s happened to a couple folks who I’ve seen recently and I’m like, This is the problem with that. Um, but I think the, it sounds like the counter to that, the fix of that would be to have those booking periods. So yeah, you might still be booked out on projects, but you could still open up the next, like the month after that.

[00:33:46] Josh: Yeah, and you could still almost keep your sales hat on in marketing, you know, periodically. I, I love that idea because it seems like it would, again, alleviate the problem of being booked out for two or three months and then you’re kind of, you know, you’re starting again from complete scratch to get new clients.

[00:34:01] Josh: Yeah. Um, and I would think too, it’s, it’s actually funny. It seems like that method has transferred to the way you do your podcast stuff too, because you said when we got connected, you were getting ready to book out. Um, August and September. Yeah. And then, I don’t know, maybe you don’t do booking for a few weeks after that.

[00:34:19] Josh: For me, it’s a little bit ad ho right now. I’ll book, you know, all throughout the week. Uh, so that’s kind of interesting to see that that worked for you. It kind of inspires me to even put some of these, like booking scheduling times in advance for, for what I have a, what I have doing. But it could be applied with web design too, no matter how you run your business.

[00:34:37] Elizabeth: Yeah, I mean, doing work in focus time I think has been huge for me, especially. Like we were saying earlier, I, my son’s about to turn one year old and I haven’t, this year’s been crazy for, I took a five month maternity leave and so I really haven’t even been back like working as that much, um, since he’s been born.

[00:34:56] Elizabeth: But it’s been helpful to me to like, even within things like, yes, podcasting, I’ve been trying to do like I do, whether it’s interviews or um, solo shows, like a week where it’s like, Hey, I’m focusing on podcasting, getting a bunch of episodes ready to go for the next few months. And then I have team members who are like ready to like, take over on, um, taking the stuff to completion.

[00:35:19] Elizabeth: Um, after that, even for my membership, I’ve been trying to do like batching the creation of it, and then of course in the membership. Continuously, but some, some of that I, I found batching to be really helpful. Yeah. Um, it to not especially have so many different things you’re doing right to like have, um, be able to focus on like just this one part of your business and then switch to other things after that.

[00:35:41] Josh: Well and speaking of the idea of avoiding burnout and overwhelm, like I, what I have found is that if you are constantly in, if you’re like every day going back and forth between sales and deliverables and sales and client communication, it can be extremely overwhelming. And I did have my seasons, I was able to manage that pretty well.

[00:36:00] Josh: I think potentially because working with people tends to fuel me. Um, whereas some people, Yeah, like maybe if they did a sales call, they can’t even create cuz they’re just wiped out afterwards. For me, a sales call would generally fire me up to get going on a project. So that might be a personal thing for people.

[00:36:17] Josh: But you can still, I learned like to do sales maybe like once a week. And then have the other days to do the rest of the businesses. All these different tips and tools that I think will help people to avoid that burnout and overwhelm that can happen. Because the reality is if you’re a freelancer, even one of the small team, you’re gonna be doing a lot of the different roles.

[00:36:36] Josh: Like how did you manage that? How did you manage doing sales? Maybe, maybe you already answered it with how you book people out, but how did you manage wearing the sales hat and creativity and deliverables? I mean, did, did that kind of get you into the mode of scaling and hiring, or how did that work for.

[00:36:51] Elizabeth: Yeah. I mean that is hard. It is like, yeah, especially as designers, it can be, One thing I see a lot, a lot with designers is they don’t like marketing. And by they, I mean we, but I like marketing . Um, so I say I, I feel like I’m, I almost am unique sometimes in that with, with some designers. Like, we love creating, we love working with the client, doing the project, but then the idea of going out there and like promoting yourself is really hard.

[00:37:14] Elizabeth: Um, so I think that’s something that’s so important to like pull in. Um, and for me, wearing the marketing hat has always come like easier cuz I do like marketing a lot. Um, as far as wearing all the hats though, I do think. Getting in the mode of the thing has been really helpful to me to avoid like the overwhelm of it, of like, okay, right now I’m working on client stuff and that’s what I’m doing right now.

[00:37:39] Elizabeth: I’m gonna work on content creation, um, for my business and working on like promoting it in that regard and kind of switching between those things. Um, yeah. Yeah. Which one thing I would say too, that is helpful both for building a business as a designer that gets booked out, but also making the marketing side less overwhelming, is to have a content marketing strategy that fits with your goals and your interests as a designer and that’s like sustainable for you.

[00:38:09] Elizabeth: Um, which I know you also are very into content marketing, um, cuz that’s like how you, how you built this side of your business and I’m so into that. It’s like, you know, when it comes to things like alternatively paid ads, like when we’re talking about service work as designers, like focusing on providing valuable content that our potential clients are going to learn from and enjoy and that.

[00:38:34] Elizabeth: Elements of who we are and what we do, um, is so huge. And so one thing I always like to tell designers is to pick a content, um, a content method. Um, so it could be something like podcasting, YouTube, or just blogging. Um, And if it is podcast or YouTube or something like that, then blogging should go in addition to it.

[00:38:58] Elizabeth: Um, so always blog because you need it to be on your website for seo. And as the point of like if the clients found you, let’s say on Instagram, when they’re considering work with working with you, they’re gonna click over to your blog, um, and see what’s going on there. So like, picking the content place, you’re gonna deliver it.

[00:39:14] Elizabeth: Um, and it’s good to pick it based on like what you like and what you enjoy. Um, like for me, a podcasting came like natural to me as like a way to create content, cuz I love it. Um, so having that place and then one place that you’re gonna primarily market it, like on social media, um, ideally, so like, maybe it’s Instagram, but could be like TikTok, Facebook or somewhere else.

[00:39:36] Elizabeth: And then I always say, and Josh you might, you might not do this way, but Pinterest being like the other one, that’s just like a must for the content. And as designers it’s such a, it’s such a good, it’s sometimes untapped like place to put things, because Pinterest is so visual, you can pin the websites you’re designing.

[00:39:53] Elizabeth: Someone clicks over and they’re like, Oh my gosh, this, this website looks exactly I would love, um, or it’s like, let’s say a content piece where it’s educating. So that’s usually like the kind of content strategy I like to teach.

[00:40:04] Josh: I love that. E every content creator I’ve talked to when I ask them about their. Tips on starting. They all say just start with one, just one platform. But you’ve kind of hit an interesting next level to that, which is like pick your, your source, your medium, but then it’s then distribution. It’s like where does that go? Cause that’s where people can get into trouble. It’s like, well I just wanna do a podcast.

[00:40:27] Josh: Or for me, I just started on YouTube doing tutorials. But other than the YouTube algorithm, I still needed to like let people know. So I chose Facebook because I was so yeah, into divvy Facebook groups and web design groups. I never had an, I just recently started an Instagram, so that’s kind of new territory for me.

[00:40:44] Josh: It’s funny though, one of my students today just mentioned that her two biggest lead sources for growing her business have been um, blogging and then Pinterest. So that is, it’s interesting. It’s very uncharted territory for me because I don’t really use it. Um, but there it is interesting. There’s a whole nother market there. So I appreciate hearing about that cuz I feel like that’s something that’s definitely un untapped for a lot of folks, probably.

[00:41:09] Elizabeth: Yeah. And it is like, it doesn’t have to be crazy overwhelming. Um, but having, and I agree that like starting with blogging is, is easy and um, it’s right there on your website, which is a good fast way to like show your credibility to a potential client when they click over to their blog, your blog and they see maybe it’s a recent portfolio piece or it’s like you’re educating them on something that’s gonna help them with their business and create trust with you.

[00:41:36] Josh: I feel like there’s a big difference too, between attractive content versus interruptive content. , and by interruptive I mean pretty much most all the social media platforms, because we’re all just scrolling. Anything we see, even if we want it, like even if I see one of your posts, I’m not expecting it necessarily, which, I mean that’s the game of social media, but I personally think it’s a lot more worthwhile to start out with blogging and content videos that will be housed on your site that you could push out on all the other souls, the interruptive kind of stuff.

[00:42:09] Josh: Yeah. For years to come because. Like if I saw a, a post from, from you, Elizabeth and I went to your site, but there was no social credibility there. Like all these posts were on social media, but not on your site. It would probably affect how I would view your service because you know, your site may look like it doesn’t back up what you post on social media.

[00:42:29] Josh: So that’s kind of my view with that. Do you, would you agree with that? Do you feel differently about that as far as like starting like build your home on your website first and then. Because I honestly think that makes it easier. Cause you don’t need to overwhelm yourself with all the socials and then then add those in for distribution moving forward. That’s kind of my approach at least.

[00:42:48] Elizabeth: No, I totally agree with that. And it is right. It’s easier. And I like the term you’re using of like interruptive, It’s like it’s better when it’s something like more intentional, like a blog post or something easier to keep up with. Even less intimidating. And it’s funny, I actually find myself regularly going to my own blog to get content for social media.

[00:43:07] Elizabeth: Like the other day I was recording some reels and I was like, Okay, I wanna tip for, um, actually for service providers on scaling their business, making more money with like less things. I’m like, Oh, I did Tupac. I’m gonna bring up the show notes and I’m going to say what I wrote. Um, so it’s like your, your own content on your blog can be the way you’re coming up with content other places.

[00:43:27] Josh: That’s a great point. I actually. Did you recently have a post that said, like, for these tips, listen to these episodes for these tips?

[00:43:37] Elizabeth: Was that you? Yeah, I do. Stuff like that. Okay. Maybe I do, I try to do that of like promoting podcast content through reels and posts. Yeah.

[00:43:44] Josh: I thi I feel like, yeah, I feel like I saw that from you recently and I was like, Ooh, I am taking that. Because it’s kind of a problem when you get to a point where you have so much content and then for one you can forget about it. Luckily there’s search bar and websites hopefully or something where you can navigate it. But it is a great way to like bring those posts back up. And for anyone who, I mean, most web designers aren’t gonna be, you know, influencers or like full-time content creators, but if you do something once a month for three years, you’re gonna have, you know, a few dozen posts that you can keep on putting in different places.

[00:44:19] Josh: So what a great way to go about it. Like you don’t need to come up with something new, you just share something you posted two years ago that’s really relevant. It’s actually a challenge. I’m kind of putting on myself too, instead of always doing new content to circle back around with what I have and repost it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, what a shame to do something once and it never promote it again.

[00:44:40] Elizabeth: And that’s why it stinks too, if you create stuff and it never goes on your blog where it’s like house to be found later through SEO or through the search bar on your website, all of those sorts of things. It’s only like an Instagram post. Um, it’s not gonna be found asies, although Instagram and Facebook do like show up on a, on like Google search, but Facebook more than Instagram in my like times with it. But yeah.

[00:45:02] Josh: Yeah, that’s true. It is a whole wild world. But I, I think the idea of just having that content that, you know, can live on your website or if it’s embedded as a YouTube video or something, that’s, that’s gonna be the core of what you can do with these social media platforms.

[00:45:17] Josh: Keeping it around the idea of overwhelm. I think where so many of my web design students feel overwhelmed with social media is they feel like they have to be at all the places, do all the things and post constantly, and it’s just a recipe for disaster. Yeah. The, the only reason that I’m able to be as many places as I am now is because I’ve done it one step at a time and I’m actually just about to hire a, a social media guy, my guy Kevin, who’s in my website club to like help out with all the distribution and posting that way I don’t have to physically do it myself.

[00:45:49] Josh: I can create the content and then they do actually all the distributions. So yeah, those are some great tips cuz I feel like that’s something when it comes to marketing, that’s like the biggest overwhelm piece is just trying to be everywhere for everybody when there’s so much power in just choosing one channel or one niche, just going for.

[00:46:07] Elizabeth: Yeah, I agree. And being everywhere is, like you said, recipe for a disaster and just so much shiny object syndrome. Like we see it all the time. Like Clubhouse was the thing for a second. Like if you were like, I’m gonna throw out my entire strategy. Mm-hmm. , I’m gonna go to Clubhouse. It’s like you don’t have to hop over to every new thing happening and sometimes ends up being a good thing where I like talk, I’m not on TikTok, I don’t think you are either, but like there are plenty of people finding success on there.

[00:46:30] Elizabeth: But like, if we always are just jumping around from thing to thing, we’re gonna create a lot of stress for ourselves. Um, and just distractions, um, in our business. Yeah.

[00:46:40] Josh: It’s one reason I haven’t started, uh, Pinterest or it’s reason I’m not on LinkedIn because I, I would probably excel at LinkedIn. I feel like I would crush it if I did that, but I’m just at a place where I just can’t, I feel like I just can’t handle that right now. I’m just keeping up with Instagram and Facebook, which luckily are tied together with my posting. So, yeah. Um, you know, I, yeah, I think the one step at a time is the way to go.

[00:47:04] Josh: And it’s a good reminder too that when we see a lot of the, the more, um, advanced and legendary online entrepreneurs, they more than likely have teams behind them pushing a lot of their, like one of my, one of my, um, mentors is Amy Porterfield, who, uh, you might know. Yeah, female entrepreneur, like actually in Nashville now too. I had her on the podcast a while back and I remember we were talking and I just was thinking about like how present she is in all these different platforms, but after talking with her, it made me realize she has not only a team, but full time social media people.

[00:47:39] Josh: Like she is not doing all of the posting. That’s why there’s so many posts a day going out. So it’s just a reminder too that, um, You could get to the point where you can hire stuff. Have you ever done that? Have you ever hired any of your distribution or marketing out or have you always kind of took lead on that, taken the lead on that plus cuz you enjoy it. Yeah.

[00:48:00] Elizabeth: Yeah. At this point in my business I have three con, they’re all contractors, so not full-time team members. Um, and not like employee status, but I have three people who like consistently work in my business with me, um, doing stuff for the podcast, um, for customer support. Cause I do have a template shop which requires like a different level of like inbox.

[00:48:21] Elizabeth: Um, so I’m actually not in my inbox really. Um, but Stacy on who does customer support is, um, and then I have another designer on my team and then some other contractors like, um, a copywriter and podcast editor and things like that, which I’m sure you like also work with people like that. So I, I have had all those and back when I was doing.

[00:48:41] Elizabeth: Just one on one work. I did hire, um, for help pretty early on with like some of the content creation side of like working on putting the blog post up versus like me doing every single step. Um, and that was really helpful for saving time and allowing me to do like the thing that was bringing in the money. Um, and that wasn’t something that like someone else could just be taught how to like, put this in WordPress, you know?

[00:49:05] Josh: Gotcha. And so I’d love to kind of switch gears and to focus on this next evolution in your business. So you did templates, was that. Bringing in a different type of customer that you found, because I would imagine you’re now getting like web design potential clients, which is way different than clients who are business owners who may, maybe they’re looking at templates, but um, a serious business owner is likely not even gonna be messing with their website.

[00:49:30] Josh: So what happened when you started doing templates and how did that affect your. Your one on one services?

[00:49:36] Elizabeth: Yeah, I mean, my template, the Tim side of my business is seriously, like one of my favorite things. Um, I think it was a really smart business move that I did at the right timing. Um, I see a lot of designers try to go from Tim, from one on one work to templates like immediately or skip one on one more completely.

[00:49:55] Elizabeth: And a lot of times when you do that, you end up not designing templates that people actually wanna buy, um, because you don’t know the skill of like what building a website is like, um, or, and what like clients need in that regard. Um, but yeah, I would actually say like a lot of template customers are more serious, um, serious business owners.

[00:50:14] Elizabeth: I’ve had people who buy templates who’ve had their business for years and years and just enjoy like doing the design side themselves on show it or who are hiring a designer to customize the template. Mm. So that’s really common would show it is like template as the start designers who like have built their businesses customizing templates.

[00:50:35] Elizabeth: Yeah. Um, but yeah, I would say like the, the template audience, um, great. Uh, yeah, I don’t know. I love all them. I don’t even know what else to say besides that, but it’s been like a really lucrative part of my business as well. Um, and really, really fun for me.

[00:50:49] Josh: And you kind of hit on it earlier, but what made you wanna start doing templates? Cause that’s very different than, than the service one on one work.

[00:50:56] Elizabeth: Yeah. I think like having people who, the demand was there, right? Of people who wanted to work with me but weren’t wanting to pay like $10,000 for like a custom site. Um, but were willing to pay, like my template pricing is like more high end, so it’s a more, um, some, some or less, but typically around like $800 for website template, which for some people when you’re starting out, that might be what it costs for a custom site, right?

[00:51:20] Elizabeth: Like it’s right. It’s, it is just different products. But, um, I had people who were like, Hey, I’m a new business owner. I found you through Instagram. I found you through your podcast. Um, and I don’t need a custom website or don’t want one. I wanna, I have the time to DIY it because that’s where I’m at. Um, being able to serve them was really, Why I ended up doing it and like, yeah, again, the demand was there.

[00:51:43] Elizabeth: I wanted to be able to reduce time working one-on-one, but still make more money. Um, and I kept doing one on one work and I would actually say I still do one on one work. I just haven’t taken on a one-on-one client since my son’s been born. Cause I haven’t done a lot of things since been, honestly. Yeah.

[00:51:56] Elizabeth: Um, but I like keeping on doing one on one work because I think it keeps me fresh as an educator and I like working with clients still. Like I honestly still enjoy it. Um, but I, it allowed me to like slowly kind of move to like, made more sense in my business to sell templates and create more of those than it did to take on another, like one on one client.

[00:52:17] Josh: And I’m not too familiar with the show at World, but yeah, our. Are these things where they basically purchase it and they get support for a certain amount of time? Or like, is it ongoing support forever? What, what did the support, because that’s where overwhelm with any sort of product or template, plugin, child theme.

[00:52:35] Josh: I mean, in my world, in WordPress, that would be more probably like child themes is what we call it. Where it sits on top of WordPress and it’s like a template and then you just, you customize it from there. Um, but yeah, I mean the support end of that I could see being completely overwhelming at scale. So did you hire pretty quickly on that or did you get to a point where you were like, Ohoh, this is like a completely different thing that I’ve got myself into, or were you prepared for the, the scalability of that?

[00:52:59] Elizabeth: Yeah, and you’re right that like theme. So show, it calls it templates themes is what like you typically hear with WordPress. It’s like, it is the same concept, like you said, similar to like a child theme. Every like template shop does it differently. But for us, I do offer ongoing like lifetime customer support to them with their template.

[00:53:19] Elizabeth: Um, show It is easier to use though than a lot of other platforms and they have a really great support library and they offer customer support themselves, um, like in house in Arizona. Um, and a good response time, all of that. It’s a lot different than like if you’ve ever talked on the phone with like someone like Go Daddy support.

[00:53:36] Elizabeth: It can be like, tough. Um, it’s like, it, it’s different like would show it like they’re, it’s like real people right there, um, in Arizona to talk to you. So that helps like reduce some of the customer support. Um, I also though I have a course that people get with their template purchase called the show at Blueprint course that teaches you how to set up your template.

[00:53:54] Elizabeth: Um, and it’s something I hear people say often that they reference back to, um, over time cause it, it might have like, you know, There’s videos like embedding your, um, email marketing software, like how you have a form in it and stuff like that. Okay. So people reference that, but I also do customer support too.

[00:54:11] Josh: And that is a one time, That’s a one time purchase.

[00:54:14] Elizabeth: Yeah. They buy the template and then they have the course and the template. Um, Gotcha. And then they get customer support for much was, some people never use some people, um, email more often. And I didn’t hire customer support immediately, but I did pretty quickly as like the template business crew.

[00:54:32] Josh: Gosh, I can’t believe that’s not a recurring, uh, revenue situation. I feel like, especially with the course and the support behind it, that just screams to me like it could be like an annual kind of thing. I’m so sorry to put my coaching shoes on. I just, you’re like, my gosh, I, I totally see that as like, recurring to where they, you know, basically just rent out the template and support while getting their website set up.

[00:54:54] Josh: And then if they, you know, Maybe they pay the full amount and then after that they can renew the subscription or if they go, they go, but they just don’t get support.

[00:55:03] Elizabeth: Yeah, that’s a good idea. I feel like I don’t see that much in show it templates. Um, and so like the pricing varies so much. Like I feel like mine are more on like the high end pricing and that is because they’re getting this course and they’re getting like in-house customer support.

[00:55:17] Elizabeth: Um, and there are plenty of people selling show at templates who it’s like you get the site key is what we call it, The site it’s delivered. And that’s like it, you know? Right. So, so I think that like the price point is almost like kind of maybe taking the subscription element out, but I like that idea.

[00:55:32] Josh: Yeah. It’s just, yeah, I think especially now there’s just so much emphasis on subscriptions and clients are luckily used to, to those, and it just, it helps with, with business when there’s something, you know, recurring and, and stable and, um, I guess expected. In some ways because with any sort of business, if it’s just one time, it’s gonna be, you’re gonna have those ebbs and flows and feas and famine type of month.

[00:55:57] Josh: So, uh, but it’s great to hear that’s worked out for you cuz I think that I, it looks like that kind of brought you into a new world. When did the coaching element and when did your, your course creation stuff kind of, because you built your business under your personal brand, right? Yeah. Or did or is elizabeth mcvey.com is that, um, just like a.

[00:56:18] Josh: Yeah. Is that different?

[00:56:20] Elizabeth: So I did what a lot of web designers do, and I’ve had actually three different business name changes. So I started my business under, like, you made up a few cool words together, put the word creative after creative studio. And that was like, did that, and then I changed to another name and then eventually I was like, I just wanna be my own name. I enjoy it.

[00:56:37] Josh: I have to, I have to know the names now. Oh

[00:56:39] Elizabeth: yeah. I can tell you, I, I’ve shared so much with, on my own podcast and on my website, I’m very, I’m very open with sharing that journey even. And you can actually see, if you go to my blog and look, cause I’m blogging forever, even before having my podcast is at like 170 something episodes now.

[00:56:53] Elizabeth: But before then, Blogged a long time under Speak Social agency was what it was at one point. Um, and you can even, as you hear that, it’s like, hey, did they do social media management? Are they an agency or is it just Elizabeth? It was just me , but, but was like kind of pulling in the idea that I was doing digital marketing in addition to design, but the first name was every whim creative.

[00:57:15] Elizabeth: Oh, okay. Which I realized really quickly it was so like even just now, I had to like really enunciate. So it was a challenge for people, but I still own both of those, like Instagram accounts and they have like in the bio, like, go here. Um, so I, yeah, I, I think too, just a quick like tip for anyone listening.

[00:57:33] Elizabeth: Um, so often we can take forever to pick our business name. Um, you can change it. That’s just like the advice I would give and like I’m living proof that like I’ve been through three business name iterations, three different multiple websites under each of those names, but three different, um, websites that I had to later redirect and email addresses and like, it’s totally doable. So don’t spend forever trying to pick the name. And if you aren’t sure, just go with your name cuz you might end up there eventually.

[00:57:59] Josh: That’s so well said. It’s funny, I, cuz I recently rebranded the podcast to the web design business podcast previous, it was the Josh Hall web design show because. I wasn’t sure what name to choose. Uh, yeah, I literally, in the beginning, web design business was one of the options, but I was like, I’m still teaching website design in a lot of ways and like business was a part of what I was teaching two years ago, or almost three years ago in 2019. But I wasn’t ready to commit to the business side of things fully.

[00:58:28] Josh: So I just called it the web design show and then eventually I realized business is where I’m headed and what I’m speaking about, you know, 90% of the time. So let’s call it the web design business show. So I was able to, you know, pivot slightly with the show. So it’s a great reminder that you don’t have to be married to a name for, for like, you can go with it.

[00:58:48] Josh: If you need to change it, it’s more than likely gonna be fine. And yeah. Win a doubt, just go with your name. You can always change your, your, your clients aren’t gonna know your business name anyway. They’re just gonna know your name of your, the personal contact.

[00:58:59] Elizabeth: So, and that was a time I actually changed to my name when I was still just working one on one with clients. And it was like often testimonials were like, Elizabeth did this and they weren’t even saying my business name anyway cuz they saw it, the business as me. Yeah. Um, and I was very early on interested in sharing personal life stuff too. I’ve enjoyed social media as like a, a method to both get clients and like shared links to things I like.

[00:59:24] Elizabeth: And I do a lot of like affiliate marketing my business and making money that way. And that was something that like made more sense if you’re gonna be a personal brand, then like over here, like some business thing where like there’s a lot of people and agency vibe and all that.

[00:59:37] Josh: So you asked me on your show what the difference was when I started offering like courses and you know, tutorials, different products and service based business. I’d love to ask you that same question. What did you experience, especially in regards to like limiting how overwhelming this could be while running service based business and your template shop and getting into chorus creation and content. Like what, what did you experience with this whole new world? Of course creation and, and you know, Yeah. These new offers.

[01:00:06] Elizabeth: When I did so transitioning from one-on-one work solely to templates, I did some scaling back of one-on-one clients a bit to make time to make the templates. I also had a few clients ask me to delay their projects, which we all hate when that happens, but I said, Yeah, okay.

[01:00:23] Elizabeth: Cuz I’m actually trying to work on Southern thing right now, so I’ll consider this a blessing, um, that I’m having this opportunity. So that was what that looked like from like a timeline perspective. Um, and then moving though from adding. Okay. I still sell templates, but adding in booked out designers, the name of my course, um, it was, I, I did a beta launch, was like a, a big part of that.

[01:00:44] Elizabeth: So I, I talked for a thousand years it feels like that, hey, designers in my community, designers feels to my podcast. I wanna make a course for you. And I kept putting it off because I was like, I gotta sit down and make this whole thing and then sell it. And I was so convinced that like, I don’t wanna be to launch.

[01:01:00] Elizabeth: I wanna make the whole thing and then sell it. Um, and basically ended up having like a mindset shift after talking to a mentor of mine where he was like, You just need to do it this way and try it. And um, so I actually had the concept of like, here’s what all it’s gonna look like. I did a beit around where they were buying, buying that’s gonna be done by like this state.

[01:01:21] Elizabeth: But, um, You’re gonna get coaching with me in the meantime and a lower price than what it’ll be later. And I had 40 people join that way. Um, it actually sold out within 30 minutes, Like an hour. I was like, I was limiting it to four to 30 spots and then had too many people join it once. So a lot of demand, which was really like, what a cool moment as a business owner to like have to have built up that kind of demand for something you haven’t made yet. And so I was so hype at that point to, to make it, um, and I made the course slowly listening to their feedback.

[01:01:52] Elizabeth: So I’d be like, Hey, I’m about to make a module on discovery calls. Like what are your questions about? Like what are awkward moments? What are hard things you’ve had happen? And then I was able to like create content around

[01:02:01] Josh: that. And were, were most of the, the first wave, the beta people, and eventually a lot of your first students. Were those people who you were connected through, through your blog and through your template, or were they on social media? Like how, where did they come from? A

[01:02:14] Elizabeth: lot of my podcast listers, um, Oh, okay.

[01:02:16] Josh: So you had started your podcast before you did a course?

[01:02:19] Elizabeth: Yeah, my course has actually, I launched it in 2020. Okay. So it hasn’t been that long. So I started my template shop in 2018 and then added in, booked out designer in 2020, um, like early 2020. So, and I had my podcast for like a few years. I think I started my podcast in 2018.

[01:02:36] Josh: Oh, you picked a, picked a good time to launch your first course. .

[01:02:39] Elizabeth: Yeah. I, yeah, I Are you saying that’s sarcastically or seriously?

[01:02:42] Josh: No serious, actually. Yeah. Cause so many people needed, needed help during that time with transition.

[01:02:48] Elizabeth: Yes. Yeah. And that’s such an interesting thing, how that the covid and all that affected so many different businesses in different ways. For a lot of us who do education or even like my template side of my business grew a lot during that time because there were people starting businesses moving, moving what they’re doing online, where they realized they actually do need a website and, and that sort of thing.

[01:03:10] Elizabeth: But yeah, I. I would say with Book Out Designer and building it though my template business is pretty passive, like generally speaking, um, I, I kind of hate the word passive income, but it is more passive and scalable. And so I had the time to work on building book out designer and really, like, I, I love teaching, which I know Josh, you also like feel that way of like, educating is just so fun.

[01:03:33] Elizabeth: And I had my first taste of course creation through the course that comes with my website templates. Um, which, that’s different. I was teaching more technical stuff of like, how do you show it? So when I got the chance to teach like, Hey, we’re gonna lead the technical stuff aside and talk business, it was like, this is so fun for me. It felt like, yeah, I think I was, felt like I was good at as well.

[01:03:53] Josh: And then when you started to really build that program and get more students, did you, is that when you kind of really limited the amount of one-on-one work you were doing just to make room for, you know, the simplest side of things to scale and, and your courses?

[01:04:07] Elizabeth: Yeah. Yeah, I would, yeah. I would say with, um, yeah, around when I started creating Booked Dot Designer, I was taking on less client work. Um, I did though, which I thought was really helped me get in the zone on that course. I had a client project the entire time I was making the course, so I was like, I was working with the client and then working in the course about working with clients.

[01:04:29] Elizabeth: So I felt like that helps me even of like being in the right mindset of like what’s helpful in this regard that I was literally working with client then yeah.

[01:04:38] Josh: Just take your experience and just put it right on a module.

[01:04:41] Elizabeth: Yeah. And my course includes videos actually, where you can see me do real calls with clients where it’s like, this is the website walkthrough call. This is a discovery call. Um, so I was able to ask those clients like, Hey, can I put this in my course? And they said yes and awesome. Um, yeah, but I, it is nice though to now for me working with clients, it’s because I want to, and also to keep me fresh as an educator and, um, come back with like, like you were saying when I, you were on my show of like what you’re learning through those experiences, like being able to like teach from it.

[01:05:11] Josh: Yeah. Yeah. That’s so, yeah. Super valuable. Especially when you’re, cuz it’s, it’s hard to be a service provider and teach because you’re just not gonna have that much time. But if you can do it on a very small, scalable level and or like a limited level and still work with one client or occasional clients, that’ll give you plenty of real world experience.

[01:05:29] Josh: Also, based off of years of doing it, which are gonna last for years after doing it. So. Yeah. That’s really cool. I’d love to wrap up real quick with becoming a parent. With becoming a mom for the first time. Did you, you, it sounds like you’ve really had a different year with, you know, having a newborn and taking the gas pedal or taking the, the, the gas off your business like, um, Did you, do you feel fortunate and did you intentionally get your business to a point to where you could do that or, Yeah. I’m just kinda curious like, uh, what’s the experience been like where it looks like you have kind of reeled back a little bit the past, the past year or so?

[01:06:06] Elizabeth: Yeah, and it’s, it’s hard cuz I, it can be so emotional doing that cuz you can feel like you get behind, um, which is a sucky feeling, but also like I was able to like, speak truth into what was really happening every time I felt that. But yes, I, whenever I found out I was expecting a baby, I was like, cool. I’ve like worked my business in such a way where I can take a long maternity leave. And I know a lot of business owners don’t want a long, um, fraternity maternity leave because you’re like, I love my business so much, I just wanna like, jump back in.

[01:06:34] Elizabeth: I’ve had friends who like, you know, two weeks into having a baby are like, I wanna do a coaching call with someone. And like, you never really know how you’re gonna feel until you’re in it. So I’m like, I’m gonna assume. That I might want more time, and if I don’t, that’s great, but I’m going to set things up so that if I do feel like I need a big break or I know Josh, you were saying like your baby was in the NICU a long time.

[01:06:56] Elizabeth: Like you don’t know like what your situation is going to be. So like I, I spent a lot of my pregnancy. I actually created Booked Out Designer when I was pregnant. That was like my first trimester project, which is so crazy to think about. I think, I think very fondly of like creating that course and like being so excited about, I like Grown a baby I feel like that was like my superpower and created,

[01:07:19] Josh: You were creating two amazing things at once, a course and a baby.

[01:07:22] Elizabeth: Yeah, I, I was really blessed that my pregnancy, I had a really difficult birth experience, but I felt really good like my whole pregnancy, which I know again, not, not everyone experiences that, but I felt good enough to like work consistently and I felt a lot of creative energy, which I think helped with like diving into some projects I wanted to do before.

[01:07:40] Elizabeth: Going on maternity leave, but, but yeah, I did a lot of time spent getting my team ready for me to be out. Um, Gotcha. Prepping podcast interviews and episodes in advance and blog content. And, um, just tried stepping away. And really the only areas I didn’t step away from was like communicating with my team frequently.

[01:08:00] Elizabeth: Um, semi-frequently. They, it was like I was gonna check in with them, but like, only really reach out to me about something that’s like, something you can’t figure out, which helped creating autonomy for them and like, kind of, um, removed me as the bottleneck in some areas I probably was still holding onto.

[01:08:16] Elizabeth: And then I showed up on Instagram still because, Wanted to enjoyed sharing about when new podcast episode aired and like when you just had a baby, you might be like, Oh my gosh, I wanna share. So like, yeah, sure I did some of that. Um, but it was emotional at times. Sky did sometimes feel like, Oh my gosh, I’m getting too behind.

[01:08:32] Elizabeth: Um, even down to like, gosh, like I used to convert, give email marketing when I came back from maternity, like they had changed the entire interface, . So it’s like, do you have stuff like that happen when you’re like, What the heck? Like everything things are changing when you’re like sitting still. Um,

[01:08:45] Elizabeth: That’s a good point. Yeah. Yeah. But it was um, a really huge blessing to me to have been able to step away and my business actually did really well. Like during, cuz I was, I started back. Really from maternity leave in like January-ish. So that was a big amount of like, um, 20, 20 ones, um, year of business. And it still was like a great year in business.

[01:09:08] Josh: So is it fair to say that you just did the things that you pretty much wanted to do? For the most part, it felt like you, you really had a drive to do, but it sounded like you weren’t working 40 hour weeks No. During that time, by any means.

[01:09:20] Elizabeth: Yeah, and I’ve never really worked 40 hours a week in my business consistently. It’s been more normal for me to work. Like before I was a mom, maybe like 30 to 35. And now back from maternity leave, more like 20 to 25 hours has been normal. And it really is like how much time you have is what things take. And like I’ve become really deliberate and good at delegating. Um, And that’s worked really great for me.

[01:09:45] Elizabeth: And again, back on, we, you were saying this early in the episode, but like, you want to build your business around your life, not your life around your business. And it is like, that’s so important from like early on in your business to plan that way. Even though like there’s lots of hustling that might happen early on, that’s fine.

[01:10:01] Elizabeth: But like, have the goal in mind that like, this isn’t the forever way you want things to, to, to be. And you can plan a maternity leave, whether it’s that you have, um, something like templates and courses, or if you are working one on one clients. I’ve had plenty of my students do maternity and maternity leaves with like, With client work being like their main focus too, just with some planning.

[01:10:22] Josh: It’s so well said. It’s kind of a great cap on this discussion and kind of a good closing point. I know I experienced that this summer as well here in 2022. My family and I sold our old house, moved into our new build and uh, were expecting number three here in the next month or so. Yeah, so it’s a very different season.

[01:10:39] Josh: I had to give myself grace. I’m gonna, you know, the numbers are gonna be down a little bit. I’m not doing any launches or any new things. I feel the same way. It’s like you could take a week or two. Often you feel so behind on what’s going on in the world, but it just is what it is. Uh, and I think that leads to a lot I’ve overwhelmed for people. Sometimes people can go on vacation and feel completely overwhelmed after a week or two, and that’s, that’s no way to live as an online entrepreneur.

[01:11:04] Josh: I have to keep on telling that my, myself, that as well, that it is okay to step back and turn things off. Yeah. The world’s not gonna, the, the online entrepreneur world’s not gonna blow up without you. People aren’t gonna miss you if you don’t post on Instagram for a week. It’s fine. Uh, so yeah, I think it’s a great message to, to help with that idea of avoiding overwhelm and, and burnout, especially if you’re, you feel like you need to constantly be present and go. Yeah. I love that. Elizabeth, this has been a great conversation.

[01:11:31] Josh: I’ve really enjoyed hearing some of your story and hearing some of your tips on, on what you’ve done to stay balanced and, uh, saying during a pretty, pretty awesome journey, it looks like, especially through different types of services and products. So it looks like you’re at the foundation of a really exciting kind of next chapter with whatever you decide to do with, you know, your offerings and what you do.

[01:11:50] Josh: So I’m super excited for you. Um, for, for my audience who is, is interested in getting to know you better, where would you like them to go after this? Is there, uh, you, you have your podcast, which is the. The Breakthrough Brand, is that right? The Breakthrough Brand, Yeah. Podcast. Yeah.

[01:12:05] Elizabeth: Yeah. I mean, yeah. Well, Josh, thank you for having me. And I enjoyed, we’ve been talking so long, like this has been really fun.

[01:12:11] Josh: The whole whole afternoon together here between me on your show and you’re on my show.

[01:12:15] Elizabeth: Yeah. So, but yes, places people could find me. If you like podcasting, listening to podcast, Breakthrough Brand podcast, um, you’ll find a lot of tips for both website designers and people are, Web designers, but a lot tips on marketing, running your business, booking clients, um, things of that nature.

[01:12:32] Elizabeth: I do a lot of solo episodes and then Josh will be on there as well. So you guys to listen to that. Um, my website is another place that’s just elizabeth cravey.com. Um, if any designers are like wanting a free thing that would help them, um, in building and booking clients, um, elizabeth mcra.com/discovery.

[01:12:52] Elizabeth: I have a guide there that’s like really a really fun one. I, I, I so enjoy discovery calls and talking about like, the marketing side of our business, and that’s a guide on like really taking you through like how to do a call with a potential client. Well, basically like where you’re on Zoom or a phone call.

[01:13:07] Elizabeth: Um, so that’s something to check out. And I’m on Instagram. I like, I like that as my, like social media place. So if you wanna send a message, I’m Ed Elizabeth Mcra.

[01:13:15] Josh: Awesome. Thank you so much for your time. Elizabeth will have all those linked in the show notes and I’m definitely excited to, uh, spend another, another afternoon with you here in the future cuz This was awesome, man. I’m so mad that I didn’t realize you were in Franklin. We could have done this in person last week. Yeah, that would’ve,

[01:13:29] Elizabeth: Yeah. Seriously. Would’ve worked. Great. Maybe next time. .

[01:13:31] Josh: Next time. All right. Thanks for your time, Elizabeth.

[01:13:33] Elizabeth: Thanks.

Ready for better website conversions and a complete understanding of conversion based design for websites?

Learn Conversion-Based Web Design

If you struggle with the "design" part of web design, this is your course.

• Learn how to have an EYE FOR DESIGN even if you're not the "creative type"
• Understand the fundamentals of good design which you can take to ANY MEDIUM
EARN MORE by offering beautiful, conversion-based designs for your clients

"Josh takes you through the thought process when working on designing a website. He untangles the complexity of arranging the content and shows you how to bring the client’s service or product to the foreground. The course is easy to follow and has extra resources."

Joan M.

"I’ve been in web design for over 20 years and I got this course because I’m always looking for new ideas and resources to create sites that not only look good but actually do what they’re supposed to do, make sales, get leads and inform. This web design course that Josh put together does all that and more."

David S.

Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts: