🎵 Happy birthday to me… happy birthday to me… happy birthday, dear me-eee… happy birthday to me! 🎵
I’m a big “birthday person,” so when it came time to celebrate my golden birthday — and 30th birthday, no less — I wanted to go all out.
I’m still riding the high of my birthday (slash our anniversary) trip last month, when we toured the northeast while visiting some friends and family.
Fortunately, the fun’s not over — I still have our actual anniversary and the holidays to look forward to.
How are you feeling heading into the holiday season? I hope you’re able to find pockets of peace amid the coming chaos, and general joy through it all.
Some people might get emotional about turning the corner on a new decade, but so far, I feel good. Grateful for what I’ve experienced, content with what I have, and hopeful for what’s to come.
It probably helped that I was celebrating halfway across the country, sipping warm drinks with my husband in Newport, Rhode Island, while the rain fell poetically outside.
If this next decade will be anything like my last, I’m in luck.
Watch my hair get progressively curlier as the day wore on… 👇
Before leaving for our trip, I was able to book one exciting new website and write / design the first draft of another. When I sent it to the client for review, she responded:
“I’M SOOOOOOOOOO BLOWN AWAY WITH HOW YOU CAPTURED MY WORK AND VOICE. You’re a freaking pro and I’m so excited to continue to work with you… This website is gonna fill us right up with clientele!”
My favorite part about these projects?
They’re both for clients I’d almost given up on after they’d said “not yet” a few months ago. Just goes to show patience and persistence pay off!
I say “conquered” because it felt like a feat: planning, primping, buying props I surely didn’t need, actually being photographed… it was all a bit much for an introvert to bear!
But Maddie Peschong made the whole process so painless.
From communicating regularly before the session to putting me at ease during it, Maddie really lives up to her reputation as the best brand photographer in Sioux Falls.
I’m scheduled to get the photos back this week… coming soon to an Instagram near you! 👀
Here’s a little sneak peek…
…Yeah, I did about 0 minutes’ worth of work on those in October. 😞
I’m disappointed — not necessarily in myself, as I simply had to prioritize client work prior to my vacation, and I spent whatever “marketing” time I allow myself on that brand photography session.
I’m just disappointed in general, as I know I’ve lost momentum with those courses. I really want to get back on the saddle this month!
Business finances, admin stuff, work for clients who have been very accommodating with me… I’ve got several to-dos piling up in my Asana, and they tug at me every day.
Good thing we’re heading into a very not-busy season, right? 😅
Who’s in control: you or your client?
Booking Maddie for brand photography was one of my first real experiences in hiring a service provider for my business — so I got to sit on the other side of the client experience for a change.
And she really took care of me! Not only did Maddie send me a thoughtful welcome gift, but she also guided me, step by step, through the process of working with her. (May I just say, her email automations are tempting me to level up my own Dubsado game!)
Now more than ever, I respect a service provider who can drive the bus.
During my session with Maddie, we bonded over our shared love of onboarding questionnaires and proactive communication.
I send a pretty thorough questionnaire to my own clients, but — especially after seeing, firsthand, how helpful they are in helping both the service professional and the client gain clarity on their goals — I stand by my lengthy form. 😜
And I’m working on communicating better with my clients. For example, when I sent the aforementioned website to my client for review last month, I included four Loom screen recordings, talking through my decisions for each page (and the site as a whole). As my client said:
“That’s so cool and effective, by the way. Saves so much time and answered any question about any thought I even … almost had! Way cool.”
By setting clear boundaries with your client — by driving the bus, and letting them know exactly where you’re going, and why you’re taking this route — you will have one happy passenger.
After all, they aren’t hiring you to fall asleep at the wheel.
How do you keep track of all the places you want to visit while traveling?
I used to copy everything into a ginormous Google Doc (and, okay, I still do) — but lately, I’ve been using a saved list in Google Maps to access local bars, restaurants, and attractions more quickly.
Considering I always check a business’s Google listing before patronizing it (the reviews are much more trustworthy than, say, Yelp), I may as well hit “Save” when I’m looking it up. Then, it’s super easy to access my saved list from both desktop and mobile devices.
I found this especially useful in New York, where we’d end up in a new neighborhood and wanted to find a fun spot nearby without wasting time searching.
Bonus trick: Be sure to save your home, work, hotel, or Airbnb address in Google Maps, too, for simple directions from anywhere!
Chrome users, stop what you’re doing right now and go download Brave.
I’m serious. Since switching to Brave last month, I’ve saved 38 minutes of browsing time and almost 45,000 trackers and ads — including all those annoying ones on YouTube!
Plus, it takes barely a minute to set up, as it imports all your Chrome bookmarks, extensions, and passwords for you (if you want).
With 3x faster page load times than Google Chrome, 33% less memory usage, and up to one hour more battery life, Brave is the browser that’s built to perform. Unlike Google Chrome, Brave automatically blocks ads that track you, allowing your content to load quicker. And since Brave is powered by the same engine as Google Chrome, all of your favorite Chrome extensions are still readily available for use. The difference? Brave delivers superior performance because of our commitment to protect user privacy. It’s truly a win-win.
All right, I’ll wrap it up here.
As we head into the holiday season, I’m wishing you all the happiness.
If you have any questions about web design, copywriting, or business strategy — or you just want to meet me for a Christmas cookie — please let me know!