072: Launch with confidence using a simple 4-page website with Samantha Mabe

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Samantha Mabe, creative director and designer of Lemon and the Sea, helps service-based business owners feel more confident sharing their expertise and promoting their work through custom designed websites. She loves creating websites with beauty and brains that are designed to convert and give you the power to make edits yourself.
If you are still finding yourself struggling to create a huge marketing powerhouse website just to get your business launched, Samantha joins me today to tell you why you can and should launch with just 4 pages. No need to make it complicated, just launch it already.
Discussed In This Episode:
  • The biggest obstacles people face when trying to build a website
  • The 4 main pages that you need to launch your website
  • Where people get hung up on website creation
  • The strategic client journey for your website
  • Samantha’s VIP day process for delivering a 4 page website in a day
  • One thing you should do with your website this week
Links Mentioned In This Episode:

Connect with Samantha:

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Other Helpful Links:

[00:00:00.130] – Miranda
Hey, friend, I’m back with another interview for you, and this time I’m speaking with Samantha Mabe, the creative director and designer of Lemon and the Sea. She helps service-based business owners feel more confident, sharing their expertise and promoting, doing their work through custom designed websites. She loves creating websites with beauty and brains that are designed to convert and give you the power to make edits yourself. And she currently lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and one talkative Toddler. In this episode, Samantha is going to walk me through the biggest obstacles people face when trying to build their website and where they get hung up on website creation.

[00:00:42.030] – Miranda
She’s also going to tell us why you only need four main pages to launch your website. Enough of trying to wait until you have that 47 page website filled with funnels and pop ups that just leave you confused and in a state of non-action. She’s also going to walk us through how she can create four page websites for her clients in just one day with her VIP day process. If you are in the market for a website designer or you think you’ll be launching a new website in the new year, tune in to this interview with Samantha Mabe.

[00:01:16.940] – Miranda
Welcome to Coffee Powered Systems equipping women with actionable steps to overcome overwhelm and streamline business and life. So grab your favorite drink and come hang out with me. I’m your host, Miranda Merten.

[00:01:31.250] – Miranda
Welcome back to Coffee Powered Systems. Today I am joined by Samantha Mabe of Lemon and the Sea. Samantha, welcome to the show. How are you today?

[00:01:42.370] – Samantha
I’m good. Thank you so much for having me, Miranda.

[00:01:45.030] – Miranda
Great. Thank you for being here, Samantha. Before we get started, I love the name of your business, Lemon in the Sea, and I would love to know what the inspiration was for that name. Where did it come from?

[00:01:59.870] – Samantha
This is a question I get so often because it’s unusual. But back in 2015, I think it was my husband had moved for a job and I was applying for stuff, and I was like, I’m going to start a DIY blog and I can make a little extra money and do all that. So I had been working on that with idea, and one night I had been praying about it and God was really just like, this is the name. And I was like, okay, and obviously from there, I don’t do DIY stuff.

[00:02:35.140] – Samantha
I cannot write recipes, I don’t have the space to do projects. So things have shifted. But the name stuck and has moved with the business.

[00:02:45.710] – Miranda
That’s amazing. That is so stinking cute. I used to do food blogging back in the day, so I love all the little names when I see them. And I’m just like, Lemon in the Sea. That is amazing. So you do website design, correct. So let us know a little bit about that and what you do with your clients. And customers.

[00:03:09.050] – Samantha
Sure. So like I said, I started out with a blog idea. I shifted into branding and all kinds of graphic design, and then I got into website design because I felt like that’s where my strength was and that’s where so many of my clients were struggling. They had DIY to blog or hired a cousin’s friend to do something, and it really didn’t reflect their brand. So now I help people with creating a website that reflects their brand that gives them the confidence to raise their prices and really put their business out into the world.

[00:03:43.440] – Samantha
And I am currently shifting from a longer process into a one day VIP process so that we can launch a website in a day and really get people’s work out into the world so that they feel like they have got the online home that backs up their expertise.

[00:04:03.140] – Miranda
That is awesome. So what do you find is the biggest obstacles then with people when they decide they need a website.

[00:04:12.770] – Samantha
The biggest thing I see is just all of the stuff that they have to do ahead of time, getting all the content together and images that can be really intimidating. And so many of us are busy with client work. We want to do that side of the business. And so setting aside the time to write all four pages of a website is difficult, and we have a hard time talking about ourselves a lot of the time. So that’s the biggest struggle that I see. And then people are just a little bit intimidated by websites themselves.

[00:04:45.740] – Samantha
They are afraid to hit that save button after they’ve made a change. They don’t want to break something. And so part of what I do is help them to be prepared and have all the resources they need. But those are the things that people struggle with, and it’s totally normal to be intimidated by those things and to feel like, oh, I don’t know what I’m doing here.

[00:05:09.710] – Miranda
Yeah. Exactly. So you say people get intimidated from hitting save, moving forward. Do you find a lot of perfection holding people back, but it’s not ready or anything like that.

[00:05:25.730] – Samantha
I think there is definitely some of that, especially if you have tried to do things yourself. I think once we hand things over to an expert, we tend to trust them more. But when people are doing it themselves, just like anything. We want it to be perfect. And our businesses like our baby to us. And so we want everything that goes out to be perfect. And that means a lot of times we’re not putting anything out, and I’m guilty of the same thing.

[00:05:52.970] – Miranda
Yeah. Me too. A lot of times, just like I work with clients myself as well as have business on the other side. And I think a lot of creatives do that as well. We have a few things going on, and I find a lot of times that I am working on my client side a little bit more. And then things like the website and things like that get pushed off a little bit as well, which can be super hard to wrangle that in.

[00:06:23.170] – Samantha
Yeah. Absolutely. And I think that’s because as creatives we want to serve, we know that we’re really good at what we do for our clients and all the other stuff is like, I have to figure this out. And that kind of stuff in business is not what we got into it for. And so that’s not what we want to spend our time doing.

[00:06:42.890] – Miranda
I would love to talk about how you launch a website or launch a business with just the main pages. What you think the main pages we need to get started are and kind of your process on launching and just getting going.

[00:07:00.220] – Samantha
Sure. So I really want people to know that they don’t have to have a complicated website. They can launch with four main pages. What I walk people through is a homepage that really shares what you do, who you’re for, that kind of stuff and about page that gets into your journey and how you can help people a services or sales page, depending on what it is that you offer and then a contact page, which just gives people a way to get in touch with you if they’re ready to work together.

[00:07:34.130] – Samantha
And that’s all you really need to take people from landing on your website, from Google or social media to actually taking action and hiring you or buying, of course, whatever it is that the next step is that’s perfect.

[00:07:48.630] – Miranda
So you say those are the main four pages. So where do you think people get hung up on then when it comes to? Oh, my God, I need a website. What goes on the home page? What goes on the about page four pages sounds so simple, right?

[00:08:07.240] – Samantha
Yeah. I think so much of the time we get stuck in the shoulds like everybody else is doing it this way. All these big name people that I’m following have a website with their face all over it and a video introduction. And they’ve got ten different services and all these courses and tons of pop ups and funnels. And I think when we want to get into business, we’ve seen them do that. We see people teach that. And so that’s what we’re envisioning. We have to have instead of going, you know what I’ve got like, this one thing I’m going to work on that first I’m going to get it launched, and then I can grow and pivot and change how things develop.

[00:08:50.750] – Samantha
So I think that is really what holds people back. We think we’ve got to be just like those people who have been in business for ten years and make millions of dollars when that’s not really true, we can show up and serve our clients and keep things simple.

[00:09:04.670] – Miranda
That’s true. Do you think this simple website option would work for any industry, any business type, like service versus product.

[00:09:13.670] – Samantha
It works really well for service providers and some, like course creators. So what I like to say is if you have one service or course that you are sending people to, this will work because you can use all of those pages to really talk about who it is that your dream client is. You can get at their problem, their pain points and focus in on how you can help them and the transformation that you bring. If you are at a point in your business where you’ve got lots of different options, it might not work as well just because you do have to direct people to the right place to go.

[00:09:53.120] – Samantha
And sometimes that means there are more pages and more explanation that’s needed. And then for product based businesses, you’ve got all of the products that you need to sell. And so there’s a lot more that goes into getting that up and running and the inventory systems and all of that stuff that you need.

[00:10:10.550] – Miranda
So I think that’s where people might get stuck. Right. So walk us through an example of what a strategic journey would look like, because I think a lot of people just put websites up and it’s kind of like, oh, I just need to have a home page with my picture on it. They’re not quite sure what they’re selling. Maybe they put an opt in box up there. What’s kind of like a good strategic? How am I going to get my customer from point A to point B?

[00:10:39.830] – Miranda
What is the goal of my website kind of thing?

[00:10:42.220] – Samantha
Yeah. So I think you mentioned having a goal so that’s the first thing is to figure out what you want people to do for some of us, that you want them to fill out an application to work with you or to just purchase your course. For some people, they really like to sell via email. And so the goal is to get people on their email list. So you have to figure out what it is that you want people to take action on first and then set up your whole website so that they have enough information to take that action, whether that’s knowing who you are and trusting that you can deliver what you say you do, or if that is knowing that you’re actually the type of person that would benefit from working with you and learning from you.

[00:11:30.840] – Samantha
I think so many times we get to a website and we’re like, but I’m not sure if this photographer works in my area or they actually work with my type of business. I have emailed coaches before and been like, Have you ever worked with a website designer before? So I think we need to make it clear on our websites. I work with these people if you’re somebody else. I love you. I support your business but I’m not the best fit for you. And then here’s how you can take action with me to get to that next step.

[00:12:05.580] – Samantha
The goal of your website.

[00:12:08.090] – Miranda
Awesome. I think you made a very good point there that we don’t have to serve everyone, right. I’ve seen it work where some people just do have, like, oh, I serve all the people, but I have landed on pages where it’s like, I serve so and so business providers for so and so things. And it makes it really clear that I am or I am not the person they’re looking for. So I think that’s a really great point that you made there.

[00:12:37.660] – Samantha
Yeah. And I think that’s so important for our business as we can serve people better if we know who it is we’re working for, because then we can set up a process and a system that gets them the results that they need, because we’re not trying to figure it out for every type of different person that might come our way. Yeah.

[00:12:57.940] – Miranda
And it makes it a lot easier for us as the business owners as well, creating strategic plans. And we actually met through a virtual dinner today conference, and I learned that you have a website design service, which I think is amazing. You can design a website in a day to get going. So I would love to hear more about that because the fact that someone could do it, consult with you and come up, walk away with a four page website ready to go in a day is amazing.

[00:13:33.470] – Samantha
Yeah. So I recently shifted over from it was an eight week process that I have condensed down into a day, so I’m really strategic about which pages we’re doing, making sure I help people get me all the content that I need ahead of time. And then my day is just like I drop my kiddo off and I am at my desk banging it out. So I do all of the front end work, kind of the prep, making sure all the files are there. All the questionnaires are answered.

[00:14:06.290] – Samantha
We go into a mock up, so some people get a chance to give me feedback on the design before we get into a full development. And then I sit on the back end of a website. I work in Squarespace, and I design test, insert content, put up the images, all of that stuff, and then help people get set up with all the tech, the newsletter, the Google Analytics search console, all of the back end stuff you need. And then really, my goal is that they can take their website and make changes and edits themselves, whether it’s them or their team.

[00:14:44.410] – Samantha
So I have tutorial, videos and instructions and backups and all of that kind of stuff ready to go for them. And doing it in a day really works for me because it eliminates a lot of the back and forth. I know that they are ready to answer questions if I have them and I can just sit there and do the back end stuff so that they are ready to launch once it gets to the end of those 8 hours.

[00:15:12.230] – Miranda
That’s great. I assume you’d have a big set up beforehand like they have to fill out some sort of a questionnaire and all that stuff.

[00:15:22.640] – Samantha
Yeah. So there is a questionnaire that just goes into what they’re looking for in a website, what they need as far as like newsletters, calendar, application, sign up all those details and what the design, what they are kind of inspired by. And then if they want to DIY their copy, which a lot of people end up doing, I have a whole workbook and set of questionnaires that helps them to do that with examples and kind of fill in the blank template so that if you’re going that route, you can just kind of fill all that out and submit it.

[00:15:58.270] – Samantha
And then if you are working with a copywriter, you can just send me a copy that they’ve done and having all of that at the front end before I get started. It means I don’t have to come back to you and ask questions like I can just copy and paste things into the site and work on the design instead of having to make sure that you have a headline and a headshot and all of those little details.

[00:16:22.630] – Miranda
That’s amazing. So what are your favorite tools right now for website creation? I think when you do your design in a day, are you using Squarespace?

[00:16:34.090] – Samantha
I am using Squarespace. So that’s where I design everything. I use Adobe XD for the mock up. So it’s really easy for me to play around in there without having to type in the code and all of that ahead of time. And then I use ClickUp to just keep things organized through the day of like, these are all the steps that I have to follow to make sure that I don’t miss anything awesome.

[00:16:58.580] – Miranda
And then do you have any other small tools or systems that you love to use just in business in general.

[00:17:06.230] – Samantha
The big other thing that I use is debsotto that does all of my contracts invoices workflow stuff so that I can be as hands off as possible. I have, like 20 hours to work a week because I’ve got a toddler at home, so as much as I can take off my plate as possible is awesome for me.

[00:17:27.230] – Miranda
And how old is your little boy?

[00:17:29.260] – Samantha
He is two and a half.

[00:17:30.930] – Miranda
Oh, my God. It’s such a good age. I love it. Mine’s 14. So I am well out of those years. I remember those times. So how do you manage your days with your little one and your husband? Do you have good boundaries going on?

[00:17:51.290] – Samantha

[00:17:51.880] – Miranda

[00:17:55.290] – Samantha
Before he was born, I was working like a normal 40 hours week when my husband was at work, and then after he was born, things kind of shifted. And then we were all in quarantine for however long. But now that we’ve kind of got a routine settled, he has child care four mornings a week. And that’s when I work. So I really got like, very specific hours for myself and my clients when they can get in touch with me. And outside of that, I’ve kind of set up my inbox so that I don’t see those emails when I’m not working.

[00:18:29.310] – Samantha
And that helps me to be focused on my family, with my family and focus on work when I’m at work. So he knows that when he is with the babysitter, he does not come upstairs and bother mom. He sees me at lunch and that’s it. So he’s really learned that too. That like, okay, this is Mom’s work time. This is when she gets to hang out with me.

[00:18:50.310] – Miranda
Yeah. And you have to set those boundaries or else it’s your day and go to crap real quick.

[00:18:56.790] – Samantha
When he was a baby, I didn’t have child care. And he was like crawling all over my office. And I’m like I had Thomas and friends on one screen while I’m working on the other. And it was just like, that’s not going to work anymore.

[00:19:12.990] – Miranda
All right. Samantha, can you tell us what you’re working on now? I know you have a freebie on your website how we can update five updates we can do to get a higher converting website.

[00:19:28.770] – Samantha
Yeah. So that just really goes through five small updates to see more conversions on your website. You can get it at lemonandthese. Com fiveupdates. And it’s the number five and the word updates. And it’s just a couple of quick things that I always recommend people do. And other than that right now, I’m just working on client websites. I am preparing for the end of the year, making sure all of that stuff is ready because a lot of people need they’re ready for a new start in the new year.

[00:20:04.040] – Samantha
So I’m already looking ahead to that in Q four, which is crazy that we’re already here.

[00:20:09.260] – Miranda
I know. Do you have spaces open for your website in a day?

[00:20:14.460] – Samantha
Yes, I do have a couple of spots in November and December. And then for people who want to look into January, we can do that too. Usually I do about four a month, so that really lets me focus on those things those days and then get the other business stuff done during the other time.

[00:20:35.610] – Miranda
Awesome. And then where can we connect with you? What’s the best place to find you if you want to connect you on Instagram and.

[00:20:45.550] – Samantha
Most of my connection time on Instagram, you’ll see a lot of my toddler and also some behind the scenes stuff. So that’s at Lemon and the Sea. And then I’m also on Facebook at Lemon and the Sea. That’s really where I hang out.

[00:21:00.580] – Miranda
Awesome. So I will drop all of those links down in the show notes to everyone. Samantha, can you tell us if there was one thing for people that wanted to get their website going, they’ve been putting it off. Maybe they can’t get to work with you yet. What is one thing they can do to get started this week?

[00:21:22.330] – Samantha
I would say this week, just go through your website and make sure that everything works. All the links work, all the buttons work, the forms work that can be something we overlook or things break over time and it really makes it hard for people to get in touch with us and makes it hard for them to trust us if your website isn’t working, so just check that out. Make sure everything works and looks at least professional, even if it’s not as up to date as you would like it to be.

[00:21:54.180] – Miranda
Awesome. Thank you, Samantha. Those were some wonderful tips. I love it. I’m going to definitely go through my website, make sure all links are working. And like I said, I will drop everything down in the show notes. Make sure you connect with Samantha on Instagram and Facebook and pick up the freebie that she’s offering. And Samantha, thank you so much for joining me. And you guys have a great day. That’s all we have. And I will see you next time.

[00:22:25.960] – Samantha
Thank you so much.

[00:22:27.790] – Miranda
Thanks for listening to Coffee Powered Systems. You can find links to everything mentioned in the episode. Download in the show notes are on the website.

[00:22:34.640] – Miranda
Mirandamerten.Com. If you enjoyed this episode rate and review it in itunes or where you enjoy listening so others can find it too and join me here next time. Bye.

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