October 25, 2019

Tips for using social media in your #GivingTuesday campaign

Filed under: Social Media — lidia @ 10:03 am

We are almost six weeks away from #GivingTuesday! Now that you’ve outlined your goals and strategy, created a brand guide and developed your story, it’s time to launch your campaign on social media.

With 29% of online donors saying that social media is the communication tool that most inspires them to give, you don’t want to ignore this aspect of your campaign.

First, let’s go back to my post that mentions the 4 characteristics of an effective #GivingTuesday campaign and see how it applies to social media:

  • An inspired leader – Include thoughts from or images of your leader (or team member who is leading the campaign) in your campaign to bring a personal touch to your outreach.
  • Clear BIG goal – Define your social media goal: Is it donors, dollars, event attendees, followers, partners or volunteers?
  • Collaboration with partners – Collaboration is huge in social media. Think of ways to partner with a like-minded organization so you can both expand your reach.
  • Authenticity – Help your followers emotionally experience your mission and daily work through real-life photos and videos that genuinely tell your story.

Make a plan

You can’t expect success from a social media campaign if you don’t have a plan. Using your overall #GivingTuesday campaign strategy as reference, create a social media strategy that includes the following:

  • Goals of social media campaign
  • Social media outlets to focus on
  • Audience for each outlet
  • Types of posts for each outlet
  • Posting frequency

Remember that each social media outlet may have a different goal and audience, so you’ll want to consider each and tailor your content accordingly.

For example, 39% of millennials worldwide are inspired to give because of what they saw on social media, so you may focus on Instagram for that audience. And over half of LinkedIn users report donating to charities, so that outlet may be useful for targeting organization leaders or business professionals.

Focus, focus, focus

For a social media campaign to be effective, it has to resonate with your followers. One way to do this is to be very focused. Instead of sharing miscellaneous content, tell one singular story from different points of view throughout your campaign.

TIP: Creating a campaign focused on one story related to your mission also means you will end up with content that can be reused throughout the year.

Make it easy to share

In order to make it easier for everyone to spread the word on social media, it’s helpful to create a simple media kit.

Gather campaign-related images, videos, logos and other graphics. Then create a document with sample pre-written posts to cut and paste for each social media outlet. File everything in a shared folder that can be easily accessed by your team, freelancers, or ambassadors.

Did you create a brand guide as I demonstrated in my last #GivingTuesday post? Great news! Include that in the media kit so that your branding will be consistent throughout the campaign.

Get others on board

Social media is well, social, so get as many people involved as you can. Consider featuring your organization’s leader or the team member leading the campaign through stories and images. And of course, encourage your team to share the campaign with their personal networks.

If you have supporters who regularly share your posts or mention your organization in their posts—turn them into social media ambassadors. As nonprofit social media marketer Julia Campbell says in her guide to coordinating social media ambassadors on #GivingTuesday, this “group of passionate and inspiring people who want to spread the word about your cause and raise money for you” are your greatest asset.

Partner up

Are there like-minded organizations or groups—locally or nationally—that you can partner with on your campaign? By cross-posting content or participating in an Instagram takeover, both organizations can expand their reach.

And don’t limit yourself to fellow nonprofits. Small businesses, especially local businesses, can be great collaborators as they prepare for Small Business Saturday (Saturday before #GivingTuesday).

Get more done in less time

Organizations often struggle with social media because of a lack of time or resources.  A strategy I recommend is to block out a few hours to write and schedule a month’s worth of campaign posts. You can still share and post spontaneously throughout the month, but this way you’ll have a steady stream of posts and maintain consistency in your campaign.

Another way to save time is to use a content calendar to track current and upcoming posts. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet or you can use an app like Trello, which has useful content calendar templates.

TIP: Many social media schedulers and other tools have nonprofit discounts—see my list of 15+ Low-Cost Social Media, Content & Email Marketing Resources for Nonprofits.

Don’t push the ask

Don’t lead with the ask. Make sure your social media content is evenly distributed between information, education, stories, conversations—then the request for donation.

Also, remember that people may want to donate in ways other than money, so consider highlighting non-monetary ways to get involved in your #GivingTuesday campaign, such as board or volunteer opportunities or wish lists of goods and services.

Show followers the impact your organization is making, show them why you are passionate about your mission. Give them enough background so that when they do see your ask, they will be inspired to give.

Be inspired by others

As the #GivingTuesday Learning Lab Facebook page branding expert, I often hear people struggling to find ideas for their #GivingTuesday campaign. One of the best ways to get inspired is to see what others are doing.

Observe how other organizations are using social media in their campaigns—specifically techniques you may not have considered such as Instagram Stories, Facebook Live or a Q&A session or live interview.

A #GivingTuesday hashtag search will provide lots of examples, or you can reference #GivingTuesday 2018 Success Stories for examples from nonprofits, foundations, higher education, schools and more.

P.S. Be inspired, but please don’t copy!

Haven’t started working on your campaign yet?

Not to worry! #GivingTuesday has put together a handy 6-Week Communication Plan that will get you caught up, week-by-week.

On average, nonprofits gain 4X the number of new donors on #GivingTuesday than they do on a typical day. And with social media driving 57% of traffic to fundraising campaign pages, it’s smart to invest time and effort into this aspect of your #GivingTuesday campaign.

Catch up with my #GivingTuesday series:

And stay tuned for the next post where I’ll be talking about last-minute tips for your campaign.

July 31, 2019

15+ free (or low-cost) social media, content & email marketing resources for nonprofits

Filed under: Marketing & Promotion,Social Media — lidia @ 10:00 am

Free Digital Marketing Resources | lsvdesign.com

Offers are subject to change, refer to the company links for most recent information. Updated 2/15/20

As the marketing and communications VP for a nonprofit board of directors, I’m often called on to provide recommendations for digital marketing resources such as email marketing, blogging and social media scheduling. I’ve used many of these resources personally both in my design studio as well as in my client and board work. 

Social Media & Content Marketing Resources

One of the biggest time-savers for my clients has been using a social media scheduler, rather than scheduling posts manually. These tools for scheduling posts and creating a content calendar are essential for organizations with a small staff or those working with outside vendors, as they keep your social media and content marketing in one place and make it accessible by everyone on the team.

Email Marketing Resources

If you’re not already using an email marketing tool for your organization, now is the time to start. Not only does it make your message appear more professional, but it allows you to segment contacts for more targeted outreach, conduct A/B testing on your messaging, and see exactly who is engaging with your messages. 

Also, just because a nonprofit discount isn’t advertised, doesn’t mean it’s not available. Most tool developers are happy to work with you to meet your organization’s needs and budget, so it’s worth reaching out to them personally. 

Did I miss something? Let me know so I can add it to the list. And be sure to bookmark this page—I will update it as new resources are available.

Read the other posts in my series, Free (or Low-Cost) Design & Marketing Resources for Nonprofits:

February 6, 2019

Why (and How) to Set Healthy Social Media Limits        

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

In my post about why I didn’t check email on vacation, I talked about the reasons why you should avoid email on vacation (spoiler alert:  you will be more relaxed).

But for many of my colleagues and friends, the thought of taking a “digital detox”: is downright frightening. I totally get it: FOMO has been a part of my life since I was a teenager not wanting to miss a Friday night party. And since much of my social media usage is business-related, there’s the fear of missing out on a business opportunity.

Arianna Huffington—author of the book Thrive, which examines our addiction to productivity—describes our digital addictions perfectly: “We fear that if we don’t cram as much as possible into our day, we might miss out on something fabulous, important, special, or career advancing.”

Set digital limits—and stick to them

So how do we get ourselves out of this downward spiral of feeling like we always have to be connected? We’re not going to leave behind our smartphones anytime soon. The answer is: creating a healthy relationship with technology.

Like myself, journalist and former editor-in-chief of Glamour and Self, Cindi Leive decided to keep the spirit of her “digital detox” going when she came back from vacation. She says: “I’m vowing to stay off email for most of my evenings, to keep my phone in my bag, not my hand, more often this year. Anyone with me?” Sign me up!

Once I became more aware of how often I check my phone—and how most of the time it’s out of habit and not necessity—I knew I needed to set ground rules for my social media usage:

  1. No checking email on weekends.
  2. No phone usage while driving.
  3. No walking and texting.
  4. Minimal phone usage when kids are around.
  5. Minimal social media usage before bed.
  6. Bring magazines or books to appointments.

In general, I’ve gotten myself of the habit of using the phone as “something to do.” As a parent, I know sometimes you desperately need a break, but I try to grab a magazine or book instead. And if I am browsing my phone with the kids around, I will include them in the experience by showing them a picture or telling them about an interesting article I read.

Get a little help from your (app) friends

If the thought of going cold turkey on digital scares you, there are apps that track your digital device usage, such as Moment and QualityTime, which can bring you more awareness of how much time you’re spending on digital devices. (Also useful for iPad-addicted kids!)

If you’re ready to go hardcore, there are apps like Flipd that temporarily lock your phone for a period of time—and restarting doesn’t affect it so you can’t cheat.

And tech companies are jumping on board too: Google and Apple recently announced system-level tools designed to help users monitor their screen time and restrict their use of apps. And Facebook and Instagram debuted similar features that will be integrated within their applications. As this WIRED post says, “The implication of these companies’ actions is clear, if softly stated: People want help unplugging from our products, and they are in a position to help.” (Honestly, I’m a bit skeptical, but I will hope that is their intention.)

Remove—but make a healthy replacement

Instead of just stopping your digital habits cold turkey, it can help to replace it with something healthier. As Huffington suggests in Thrive, “Our primary goal shouldn’t be merely breaking bad habits as much as replacing them with new, healthier habits that help us thrive.”

Along those lines, it’s worthwhile to examine how you feel when you use digital devices. For example, if you feel tired and drained after reading your Facebook feed, perhaps your time would be better served doing something that makes you feel uplifted and inspired.

Personally, my solution during my vacation digital detox was to replace the time I usually spent in the evenings on social media with another activity—in my case, reading books or a magazine. And I found that it actually helps me sleep better, since I don’t have myriad thoughts running through my head before bed (which inevitably happens after browsing social media).

Be more intentional

My word for this year is “essential” so I decided to apply that advice by doing a clean install on my new phone and only adding apps that are essential—which meant no social media apps.

Now, if I want to post on social media, I have to do it from another device which makes it more intentional (and, I will admit, sometimes frustrating—old habits die hard!) Also, since I can only check social media at certain times of the day, it helps avoid the mindless browsing throughout the day.

And since the habit of checking my phone upon awakening is hard to break, at least now I’m seeing an empty screen—instead of a long list of notifications that puts my brain into “MUST—RESPOND—NOW” mode. This makes for a more peaceful morning and less chaotic start to the workday.

Disconnect to reconnect

This leads me to this last piece of advice from Arianna Huffington’s book Thrive: “Disconnecting from the digital world will help you reconnect to your wisdom, intuition, and creativity. When you wake up in the morning, don’t start your day by looking at your smartphone. Take one minute—trust me, you do have one minute—to breathe deeply, or be grateful, or set your intention for the day.”

My 7-year-old has a great habit of saying “Get off your phone and play with me!” which is a great approach to take—whether you have kids or not.

Everyone’s ideal situation is different, but if you bring more awareness to your digital usage, you will be amazed by how much better you feel.

June 15, 2018

Creating a better world for my children—one design at a time

Filed under: Biz Mama — lidia @ 9:15 pm

Lidia Varesco Racoma on CWC

I spend a lot of time interviewing moms in business for my online community Biz Mama, but I rarely share my own story so I was thrilled when Creative Women’s Co. (a Chicago-based group that hosts intimate gatherings for creative women entrepreneurs) asked to interview me.

Read on to get a peek into my creative inspirations, what a typical day looks like, and why I do what I do.

01. Introduce yourself.

Hello! I’m Lidia Varesco Racoma of Lidia Varesco Design, a branding and marketing design studio in Chicago’s West Loop. I help education-focused organizations such as nonprofits, associations and entrepreneurs share their mission and make an impact. I also outfit kids in good design with my line of baby and kids apparel, typebaby and have an online community for moms in business called Biz Mama.

02. Summarize your life in a few sentences.

I’m a mom of two—kids and businesses (my kiddos are 2 and 6 years old) and my husband is also a creative (writer) so I am creatively-challenged and inspired in both my work and home life.

03.Tell us about your education background.

I graduated from the graphic design program at Columbia College Chicago and was lucky to have talented professors working in the field, as well as an amazing internship at a small design studio that turned into my first job. This helped pave my own career path.

04. How did you start your business?

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I always knew I wanted to have my own business. I had an amazing mentor at my graphic design internship-turned-first-job (thanks, Robin!) so after getting a few more years of experience, I took the plunge and started my design studio in 2000.

05. What inspired you as a creative woman?

I am inspired by what I see around me. I’m a very visual person, so I need to be constantly surrounded by images and words (technology has made this much easier and neater!) Now that I have kids, my children also inspire my creativity as well as my problem-solving skills.

06. What was your first job ever? Any funny or memorable story?

My first job was in middle school as a receptionist at our local church rectory. It was by far the quietest, least stressful job I’ve ever had. In high school and college I worked in retail, which provided many opportunities to hone my customer service skills.

07. If you can build a million dollar company, what would it be?

Basically, I want to help create a better world for my children. I want to help as many organizations as possible get their message out so they can focus on making a difference. I do this by offering nonprofits and other small- to mid-sized organizations the type of strategic design they would get from a large agency but in a more affordable, accessible and personal way. I also aspire to grow my Biz Mama online community and bring more awareness to the many amazing mom-owned businesses out there. We are all in this together!

08. Walk us through your day.

I start off my day with breakfast and getting the kids ready. After I drop off my son at school, I work in my studio until school pickup time. Evenings are generally family time, but I catch up on work or social media in the early morning or evenings. Weekends are generally work-free zones.

09. What has been the highlight of your career thus far?

The highlight of my career was having my design work featured in HOW Magazine (twice!) I’ve been reading HOW since I was in design school, so seeing my work on their pages is an honor and a thrill.

10. Share a quote/advice that you’d like to tell the 25-year-old you.

Don’t rush—you’ll get there. I still have a tendency to try to do too much too fast, so I would encourage my younger self to be patient and know you have plenty of time to achieve all your goals (not to mention, the new ones that will come along!)

This post originally appeared on the Creative Women’s co. blog

Learn more about Creative Women’s Co here.

If you are a mom in business, visit my Biz Mama page to submit an online interview.

April 11, 2018

November 27, 2017

Recap: Digital Summit Chicago 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

The Digital Summit series made its inaugural stop in Chicago this year. The 2-day digital marketing conference was filled with insights on digital, email and content marketing. Here are a few of my top takeaways.

Deep thoughts by Ann Handley…

The conference kicked off with an inspiring and entertaining keynote by content queen, Ann Handley of MarketingProfs, who encouraged us to be bigger, braver and bolder with our digital content. Ann talked about the importance of data, used in conjunction with listening and instinct. Your brand should be in a place where your customers or clients will say “They get us!”

She also emphasized that your story is the start of what sets you apart. She challenged us: what is the story everyone tells in your industry and how can you tell it differently?

Lastly, she suggested that we be braver in our perspective and tone of voice. Think about how you sound vs. how you look. How can you make the ordinary (about pages, landing pages, email confirmation pages) extraordinary?

Email is still king—but keep it simple

Nora Snoddy of Emma told us that ROI of email is double of all other channels, (so yes, you should be sending out those regular email campaigns). She said that including video and GIFs can lead to higher CTRs. And she also advised not to give people too many options, stick to a single call to action (using first-person, action verbs) and tell people exactly what you want them to do.

She encouraged us to use automated email campaigns, as well as using reminder emails as a way to increase sales.

A few of her recommendations were to monitor CTR increases between campaigns, as well as subscriber growth over a year. And, split test those subject lines!

Don’t create new content—reuse what’cha got!

One of my favorite sessions was from Ginger Shimp of SAP. The visual learner in me loved the content map she presented, as well as her easy system of creating and repurposing content.

Ginger recommended starting your content creation with the end product, say a whitepaper, and then versioning it into various other content pieces: blog, cast study, podcast, video, eBook, microsite, presentation, infographic, web documentary, just to name a few.

She also brought up the idea of creating a video whitepaper (Is anyone doing this already? Please share, I would love to see!) One of her recomendatons is

Make search work for you

Shana Sullivan of Vertical Measures spoke about how to make search work in this ever-changing time. A few things to avoid are:

  • Duplicate content
  • Slow page load times
  • HTML problems such as missing metadata or title tags
  • Bad (or not enough) backlinks
  • Poorly optimized images and videos
  • Thin content (too short blog posts)
  • Not being mobile-friendly

She also told us what people are actually searching for:

  • Cost/price comparisons
  • Problems/issues
  • Comparisons
  • Reviews
  • Best of/Top posts
  • Resources

And she recommended using Google Suggests and Keyword Tool to get keyword ideas before you start writing your content.

Prepare for the skim

Lorraine Goldberg of Allrecipes.com spoke about being data-informed, not data-driven when doing email marketing. Look at and analyze trends, web analytics, news, social intelligence, SEO as well as top subject line performers.

She emphasized preparing for “the skim” and creating content that stands out. She also encouraged thinking at the little things in people’s lives—what are their day-to-day challenges and how can you help. And most of all, stand for something!

Take it from The Onion…

One of the most entertaining sessions was from Joe Fullman of The Onion. In addition to sharing classic Onion moments, he spoke about the 3 Ds of content: design, distribute, develop.

He suggested to continually measure reach of each content type by network, make sure content is format-driven, and develop content to be derivative and modular, easily targeted to each audience.

Now, time to put it all to work!

Overall, my takeaways at Digital Summit were to make a plan with concrete goals, be bold and tell a unique story, create content that can easily be repurposed—and most importantly, stand for something.

April 1, 2016

A to Z of Branding: a daily blog series

Filed under: Branding — lidia @ 3:20 pm

A to Z of Branding: a daily blog series

Today marks the first day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, a daily blogging challenge that takes place in the month of April. There are over 1,800 bloggers participating this year!

You may recall I participated in the challenge last year with my A to Z of Being a Mom in Business series.

This year’s theme is one of my other passions: A to Z of Branding. Follow along to learn a little something about branding, improve your own branding and have fun while you’re at it (and see what word I will come up with for the letter Z!)

Follow the A to Z of Branding blog series here or on twitter at #AtoZBranding

July 13, 2015

Featured biz mama: Megan Coleman of Megan Coleman Design

Filed under: Biz Mama — lidia @ 10:00 am

Featured biz mama: Megan Coleman

Megan Coleman of Megan Coleman Design creates beautiful, easy-to-use websites for small businesses and entrepreneurs. She has been providing friendly, reliable service to satisfied clients for more than ten years.

Megan and I met over 10 years ago in a local networking group. We have collaborated on projects, though now we find that most of our “business meetings” include our little ones.

Megan Coleman of Megan Coleman Design

Tell us a little about your business/job responsibilities.

I run my own business designing and building custom websites (mainly in WordPress). Being a one-person shop, I am the project manager, designer, developer, marketing manager, and financial person at my business.

What are the ages/genders of your children?

My son is 14 months.

Did you start your business before or after having children?

I started my business seven years before having children. Quitting my job and taking the leap to start my business was difficult, but the stakes were lower when I didn’t have anyone depending on me financially.

How did your business life change after having children?

I only work part-time now, so I am able to spend most of the week with my son and a few hours on work. Working a few hours a week is difficult because I have so much less time to get things done, my time is less flexible than it used to be, and I can’t take on as many projects as I used to. I also can’t work at home anymore, so I typically work at a local coffee shop, library, or co-working space.

Describe a typical workday.

Spend the morning with my son. The nanny arrives after lunch and I head to a nearby coffee shop for a few hours of focused work time! Typically this includes: designing/building websites, checking email, making calls, occasionally meeting clients. Come back home for dinner and bedtime routine. Once the kid is in bed, have dinner with my husband and an hour or two of personal time.

What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?

No matter how well your baby is sleeping, don’t schedule calls during nap time. Unless you can afford to reschedule them last minute!

Megan Coleman Design

Chicago, IL
www.megancoleman.com
www.facebook.com/megancolemandesign
twitter.com/megandesign

June 30, 2014

Featured Biz Mama: Sheri Kiss of Wonderland Press

Filed under: Biz Mama — lidia @ 10:00 am

Featured biz mama: Sheri Kiss

Sheri Kiss is a published author of both children’s and adult books. Dream Write is the first in a series of four books that offers kids the opportunity to face any emotional and physical challenge using the power of their imagination and writing/self-expression. The next in the Dream Write series is Feel Write. Each of the four books in the Dream Write series includes a writing prompt.

Past biz mama Rachel Teichman of OOGIAH told me about Sheri and her book. Since I’ve been working on my own children’s book ideas, I was excited to meet Sheri and feature her on the Biz Mama blog.

Sheri’s books are available on Amazon.com.

Tell us a little about your business/job responsibilities.

Wonderland Press is a small publishing company that Dr. Suzanne Mouton-Odum and I created after growing disenchanted with the traditional route of publication. Our non-fiction book, Out of the Rabbit Hole (under my pen name Bloom), offers tools and inspiration for tackling the common yet often unspoken anxiety disorder, OCD. Out of the Rabbit Hole has won first place by both the OCD Foundation in Texas and most recently by Indie Reader (1st place in the self-help category). Our publishing company is geared to offer readers books that inspire, engage and we hope empower people of all ages.

There are many hats one wears as a writer and business entrepreneur: marketer, publicist, accountant, editor, creator, secretary and entertainer (I typically perform a puppet show based on Dream Write and give speeches and TV/radio interviews for Out of the Rabbit Hole).

What are the ages/genders of your children?

Our oldest son, Aden is turning eleven this July and entering middle school (How did THAT happen??) in the fall. Our youngest, Elie (short for Elliot) will be a second grader this coming academic year.

Did you start your business before or after having children?

I started Wonderland Press after I had children. Writing was something I did all along. When I landed my first and then second literary agent, I naively thought “I’ve arrived!” Little did I know that this was just the first in a series of many literary hurtles. Wonderland Press is the figurative “baby” Dr. Mouton-Odum and I gave birth to once our kids were in elementary school, a natural manifestation of our growing desire to gain more control of our work.

How did your business life change after having children?

Before I had children I worked as a middle school English and theatre teacher. I was fully committed to this career but can still recall the hours upon hours of grading 125+ papers on a regular basis. I also continued to work in theatre (on stage) both in NY and then continuing to do so in Houston. Once the kids arrived, time morphed for me. Sleep-deprivation does that, I suppose! I still managed to squeeze in a theatre production here or there, but it was nothing like before children. My primary focus and priority became (and still is!) about our children. Still, I always tried to make sure that I carved out some kind of creative time for me. Writing offers a wonderful opportunity to retain our inner muse: the hours are flexible and our imagination is limitless.

Describe a typical workday.

Drop the kids off at camp (currently) or school. Feed the dog, clean the kitchen, feed myself. Pop in the never-ending load of laundry. Check email. Then write, write, write. This can be anywhere from twenty minutes to three hours–depending on what the day allows. Exercise (typically 20-30 minutes) and then it’s back to Domestic Land: food shopping, carpool, homework, dinner, kids’ shower/bath, snuggle/read time and bed time.

What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?

Follow your bliss. Life is too short to fill it with shoulds. We moms tend to allow our dreams to percolate but often don’t act on them. A dear friend once told me: “We underestimate how much we can do in ten years and overestimate how much we can do in five.” Baby steps, five minutes here, five minutes there, add up to the manifestation of our vocational dreams.

Wonderland Press

Houston, TX
www.dreamwritebooks.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=532860293467605&id=128238773929761
Blog: http://houstonpsychologists.com/features/dr-suzanne-mouton-odum-blog/

April 8, 2014

Featured Biz Mama: Jill Anderson of Jill Lynn Design

Filed under: Biz Mama — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

Featured Biz Mama: Jill Anderson of Jill Lynn Design

Jill Anderson of Jill Lynn Design is that rare breed of designer and developer who partners with talented designers, copywriters, and agencies on their websites, and their client’s sites. Jill is passionate about crafting beautiful and innovative websites focused on clear positioning and positive user experiences. As a freelancer for over 12 years, she loves typography, code, and WordPress. She lives in the Atlanta suburbs and enjoys hanging out with her husband and 4-year-old son. And cat, Peanut, the chief paperweight. She tweets @JillLynnDesign.

I heard about Jill through a mutual friend and was impressed with her website (great advertising!) so I reached out to her and was pleased to learn she is a fellow mom of a boy.

Jill Anderson of Jill Lynn Design

Tell us a little about your business/job responsibilities.

As a freelance web designer/developer, I make websites for creative businesses including graphic designers, copywriters and agencies. My favorite thing to do is to take a design and make it come alive on the web.

What are the ages/genders of your children?

I have a 4 year old son, Quinn.

Did you start your business before or after having children?

I started my freelance design business before having Quinn. My first freelance project was in 2002. For the first 5 years, I ‘moonlighted’ while working a full-time job. In 2007, I made the plunge to full-time freelancing, and Quinn was born in 2009.

How did your business life change after having children?

It has changed tremendously! When I first started freelancing on the side, I worked nights + weekends since I had a full-time job. Yet, even when I transitioned to full-time freelancing, I didn’t really change my ways. I just worked more. I worked between 9-5 pm and nights + weekends because that’s what I was used to. My most productive times were at 10pm.

Then I had Quinn in 2009 and my life completely changed. I, personally, couldn’t keep late night hours. Strangely, I became a morning person. My most productive time is now at 10am.

Describe a typical workday.

After I drop Quinn off at preschool around 9am, I head to my home office where I design and build websites all day and drink coffee non-stop. The day ends around 5:30pm when it’s time to leave and pick up my kiddo. I try not to schedule any client work on Mondays as those are ‘Marketing Mondays’ and the day that I work on my blog, newsletter, social media, and overall content marketing. Plus it helps me get over the Monday Blues (I’m always sad when the weekend is over) and gear up for the week.

What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?

It is okay to ask for help. You don’t have to do it all. My son started going to daycare when he was 6 months old because I am not the kind of person that can do 2 jobs well at the same time. I can’t be a web designer and mommy at the exact same moment and be good at both. I need to be 100% one or the other. And that works perfectly fine for my family.

Jill Lynn Design

Dallas, GA
http://JillLynnDesign.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/JillLynnDesign
Facebook: http://facebook.com/JillLynnDesign

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