Hosted by Melissa Burkheimer, The Design Business Show is a podcast that shows expert entrepreneurs how to use strategic design to build credibility and increase conversions. Learn what works, what doesn't, so you can get the tools, strategies and design inspiration you need to grow your business your way.
Melissa Burkheimer is a conversion + sales page designer whose clients 10X their sales goals, change the lives of their customers, and get featured in places like The Ellen Show, Access Hollywood, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and other top-rated media outlets.
The Design Business Show 198: Setting Up Business Systems That Work for You with Shanice Miller
Shanice Miller is a business productivity consultant, specializing in project management, who helps clients ranging from small startups to multi-million dollar businesses save hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. Her passion for identifying and solving inefficiencies began when she sold her first business, an educational consultancy that had been recognized in Forbes and BET, at a less than premium price point because she didn’t have her systems and processes streamlined and documented. Over the last 10 years, Shanice has used her ability to identify operational inefficiencies and create solutions to not only help save her clients’ businesses (and hairlines), but to also fall in love with them again.
Here’s what we covered on the episode:
How Shanice Started Her First Business, but Decided to Sell it After Burning Out How I met Shanice through a connection from The Podwise Group How Shanice helps her clients automate their processes, which gives them more time and a higher price point for their sales How Shanice started off as an educational consultant, but quickly became overworked and overwhelmed because she was doing everything Instead of closing her business, she decided to list it on an online marketplace, and got an offer Shanice’s realization of the importance of documenting processes during the selling of her first business (and how she could have earned a larger payout) After selling her business, Shanice did some soul searching and went back to corporate to work in project management The advice her mom gave her about your first house being turn-key; and how she could apply that advice to her next business
A Peek at What Her Business, TasklyGroup, Looks Like Today Why Shanice likes working with a small team How she saved one design client 20+ hours a week by automating the review process using a project management tool Why using the tool made it easier for her client to manage and saved her money because she was going to hire a virtual assistant to do it The way she works with clients, through her VIP Days that show her clients how to break up tasks, put them into a project management tool and how to automate everything Why she focuses on different departments like marketing, sales, customer onboarding Mapping out tasks, hiring someone to do them for you, and creating a dashboard so you can see what tasks are in progress, overdue or when someone is stuck Why she wants her systems to create a calming feeling for her clients when handing over projects + tasks to your team Why Shanice’s favorite project management system is ClickUp and some of her favorite features that mean you don’t have to use multiple tools How Shanice works with clients on their systems + preferred project tools, and the workarounds she uses; like creating automations using Zapier Why Shanice wishes she would’ve done the systems early on; and why she wishes she had a better financial strategy A peek behind-the-scenes of what the client session looks like Shanice walks be through creating new client onboarding processes + as I create a new services page for my website Shanice shares some of her big picture goals for her business, like only working 5-10 hours a week while overseeing tasks
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The Design Business Show 197: Demonstrating Creative Diversity with CheerNotes CEO, Asha Banks
Asha is the CEO of CheerNotes, an inclusive stationery brand that focuses in diverse representation of creatives, designs, and messaging. A creative at heart and engineer by training, Asha seeks to build CheerNotes into a company that not only produces stationery, but also addresses common challenges for consumers and creatives who want to connect authentically. CheerNotes currently curates designs from over 30 artists, creates their own line of cards, and creates custom cards for small and large businesses. You can also find CheerNotes at over 40 retailers across the US and in Marshall's and Winners in multiple provinces in Canada.
Here’s what we covered on the episode:
The Unmet Need Asha Saw + Inspiration Behind CheerNotes How I asked my friend Shannon, who has been on the show before for some diverse guests, and she connected me with Asha, who is here to talk about her diverse stationery brand In junior high, Asha created her first products; skin and hair products for African Americans - this was the first time she desired to fill unmet needs Asha had been feeling something missing in the greeting card aisle for a long time, and although she's not a designer, Asha was trying to figure out how she could amplify the work she could find on the internet CheerNotes started as a curator for diverse designs - Asha would find designers all over the internet and bring them all to one place, making it easier for people to discover them and buy from them Asha would become a customer of these designers by buying from them wholesale The inspiration behind CheerNotes happened when someone was trying to buy sobriety anniversary cards for their friend but ended up saying nothing because they couldn’t find a card to help them express themselves This inspiration made Asha think about other moments and helping people connect, so they started making their cards in collaboration with other communities so they could really understand what people wanted to receive and give Asha says she struggled with marketing in the beginning because their business caters to a lot of different niches and identities One of the biggest ways they’ve been able to market is through word-of-mouth and building their community on Instagram Because Asha is not a designer, she’s been trying to find ways to share her reality on Instagram, which is finding artists and working with artists through her sketches to bring them to live How Asha’s background has nothing to do with retail or design, yet she’s building a creative company - Asha was a chemical engineer for 7 years In the future, Asha would like CheerNotes to not only be a gifting mechanism but also be a way for people to find products to help them connect with themselves, like journals Asha started the company while in her MBA program, and in her first year, she was working on a completely different idea, knowing she wanted to do entrepreneurship but decided it wasn’t a feasible idea Over the next summer, Asha was thinking about an idea she had worked on in the past on her own time, which was this greeting card company So often, we think about reaching out to people but never follow all the way through, which is why Asha was not only thinking about diversity but also thinking about convenience At first, Asha was trying to make a complicated tech-based idea because she felt that for her idea to be good, it needed to be tech-based, which is something she had to get over mentally Asha started a Shopify site, reached out to different designers, and told them her vision - they ended up starting with 4 designers Asha ended up taking down the Shopify service; she wanted to know if it was enough for them to just be a curator of diverse cards - was it enough for someone to come to them when they could buy cards anywhere else CheerNotes started in 2020, and by the end of the year, Asha paused the sign and send service, and they were 100% a curator of diverse and inclusiv
The Design Business Show 196: Creating the Best Customer Experience by Maintaining Your Website with Jessica Freeman
What also contributes to Jessica’s ability to do websites quickly is having a good niche and a very specific package outline - that’s not to say she can’t customize a package if a client needs more than 8 pages Jessica shares that she does service-based websites and typically doesn’t do membership or e-commerce websites The two platforms Jessica builds websites out of are WordPress and Squarespace Jessica does not call herself a developer, but she does know enough code to customize a few small things and has developers she reaches out to when she needs help For websites, Jessica takes care of the hosting setup, design, SEO, and connects any special plug-ins the client needs but does not do copy Sometimes clients write their copy, have a copywriter they know, or Jessica has a couple of different copywriters she partners with Tips For Maintaining Your Website + Automating Your Processes The number one tip Jessica has for maintaining your website is keeping up with plug-in updates - it’s the biggest thing people forget about Jessica explains website plug-ins are like apps on our phones - sometimes the plug-in updates are the developers realizing there was a security issue, or if there’s a WordPress update, they’re making sure the plug-in works with the newest version, which is why you need to keep it up to date Another thing people forget to do is update their websites when dates for events or deadlines change, or they no longer offer a certain service, which is frustrating to your clients - you want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy from you Jessica says you should do plug-in updates ideally once a week, at the minimum every month, and once a quarter click through your website and make sure everything is still displaying correctly One thing Jessica likes to tell people is the client experience starts on your website before people even inquire or start working with you Jessica's not sure how she’s able to do everything like her YouTube channel, blog, podcast, etc., but she utilizes good work boundaries so she can Jessica says one reason she’s able to do so many things is because of her client onboarding process; she’s always used a CRM - right now, she uses HoneyBook, which automates the onboarding process It’s helpful for Jessica to have some educational pieces automated because she doesn’t have to go back and forth so much with clients at the beginning of the process How Jessica’s onboarding and automation process has changed many times over the years As a side hobby, Jessica has 2 Etsy Shops that are automated, where she designs and sells t-shirts; she uses Printify and connects it to Etsy, so after she designs a shirt and uploads it to Etsy, Printify does the printing and shipping Jessica explains why she uses HoneyBook in her business and the different capabilities it has, like creating email templates and sending them out according to your workflow Know that you don’t have to choose the tools that everyone else is using or talking about - there are so many different options, and it all comes down to what is going to work best for your business Content marketing is the number one way Jessica gets clients because she’s found that her educational content helps build trust and credibility Jessica has a blog, a YouTube channel, and a podcast but says those 3 things are really the same because her YouTube video gets re-purposed as audio on her podcast, and then both of those plus the transcript are added to her blog Jessica's main social media platform is InstagraJessica Freeman is an Atlanta-based, award-winning web designer who has been in business for ten years. Jess helps nutrition and fitness business owners build authority and get more clients through their websites and online presence. When she’s not working with clients, you can find her teaching on her YouTube channel and podcast.
The Design Business Show 195: Creating Funnels + Showing Up Effectively with Renée Nichole
Meet Renée Serrant-Layne, an online marketing and launch strategist, marketing systems expert, and avid track and field fan. Armed with her FCE Framework, Renée works with online entrepreneurs to design and build their custom marketing ecosystems that take care of their audience on their entire journey to a purchase. And to do so in a way that feels fun, fulfilling, and aligned with the way they want to show up, serve and sell to their audience. Renée is able to break down the marketing process into easy-to-follow steps, through her signature foundation, communication, and expansion process. Renée has proven through her work with clients that having a profitable business doesn’t mean that you have to lose that personal touch or spend hours of your life doing activities that frustrate you and steal your joy.
With 10 years of business development and online marketing experience, Renée brings a wealth of knowledge to the table for her clients, spanning social media strategy, funnel design, and marketing tech, as well as development of multiple income streams.
Renée has been part of numerous marketing tech and business development panels, including the RAW Summit, the Innovate Barbados International conference, and many others. Renée's signature direct yet approachable style always makes clients feel understood and appreciated. Clients love Renée because of her thoroughness, responsiveness, sincere desire to see their businesses succeed, and unshakeable commitment to helping experts show up, market, and sell their products and services through genuine connections with their audience
Here’s what we covered on the episode:
How Renée Got Started With Funnels + Showing Up Best How Renée and I met through Sage Polaris, who recommended Renée to be on the podcast Renée shares that she was working as a hairdresser in Barbados when she had her son but wanted a better way to leverage her skills and create a more flexible lifestyle, which is how she stumbled into consulting and the online space When Renée first started, she had a mentor who was from Barbados that had created a virtual agency, which showed Renée what could be possible for her To start, Renée was a general administration virtual assistant but quickly realized that wasn’t what she wanted to do A client asked Renée about using the Katra platform to build funnels and systems - after tinkering around with it, Renée found it very fun, which is how she got started with funnels and became familiar with automation Because Renée is a strategic thinker, she wasn’t just happy setting up automation and doing design, so strategy became a big part of what she did and still does Renée believes being able to see the bigger picture and piecing smaller things together is an important skill to have when it comes to funnels because it takes a lot of little things to create your outcome The first project Renée worked on was one where she had to design and set up a lead magnet - it was a downloadable PDF where she designed the page, set up the automation, and created a nurture sequence In Renée’s business, they focus on offering design, tech set-up, and copywriting for funnels Renée says it’s important to know yourself and your brand so you can weave it into everything you do - it’s not just about your brand colors; it’s about the entire look and feel of a page, the language you use inside email sequences and the type of lead magnets you use to get people to join your email list or buy from you For example, If you are more of a writer and are good at using language to get people in your funnels, you’re probably not going to use a lot of videos or a podcast; you might use blog posts instead because writing is the best medium for you to communicate your value to your audience When it comes to funnels, Renée says it’s not about what the latest tools are or what’s trending; it’s about thinking about who you are, what your
The Design Business Show 194: Building a Brand Through Podcasting with Jessica Kupferman
Jessica Kupferman is the co-host and co-founder of the She Podcasts brand, which currently supports over 21,000 female podcasters and has a digital marketing reach of over 55,000 content creators. Her sweet spot is helping podcasters set up systems for growth and training them on how to obtain sponsorship. She also is an internet “Bat Girl” with an odd amount of experience in way too many software services.
When she's not planning the next She Podcasts LIVE, you can find her offering education to independent podcasters on marketing, growth, and sponsorship.
Here’s what we covered on the episode:
Why + How Jessica Started a Podcast How Jessica and I met in 2012 when we were both in Elizabeth DiAlto’s coaching group and how I’ve been on Jessica’s podcast, Lady Business Radio Jessica explains that she is formally trained in marketing and sales but fell into podcasting - Jessica does more of the marketing and branding, whereas Elsie, her partner, does more of the voices and audio technology Before starting a podcast, Jessica was a social media and website designer but started a podcast because that wasn’t going as fast as she would have liked I talk about how Lady Business Radio was a big inspiration for my show Jessica felt that a lot of other talk shows were men interviewing men, which annoyed her - so she thought about all the fascinating women she knew and decided she’d interview them and get into more than just their rise to the top story The reason Jessica stopped Lady Business Radio was because she got pregnant, and by then, Jessica was also doing She Podcasts Podcast; when she came back from maternity leave, the Lady Business group she had created was stagnant, but the She Podcasts group was bursting which is why she dove hard into that business When Jessica started Lady Business Radio, she was a blogger and would write emails to her list, but never really had comments on her blog posts or emails, but when Jessica started the podcast, she shared that suddenly she had feedback, mentions, comments, etc. from an audience that she had never met Jessica believes that having a podcast gives people an insight into you that they would not normally get, which elevates the relationship between you and your audience People say the market is saturated with podcasts, but there’s only one person that sounds like you with your experience and knowledge Lady Business Radio was a way for Jessica to build her business, and she used the platform to do that I love that Jessica asked the questions everyone is wondering on her show When Jessica was a designer and coach, she had to maintain two brands because the She Podcasts had to be a brand, and Jessica Kupferman was a separate brand Jessica shares that she rebranded her personal brand 6 times but says now she focuses mostly on the She Podcasts brand because that’s how she makes money and because the two brands are honestly tied together in many ways Starting a Business From a Podcast + She Podcasts LIVE How Jessica enjoys the clientele of podcasters more and that they were asking her for things like a directory, a membership, or a conference - so they delivered by turning She Podcasts into a business and conference Jessica has changed the look of the She Podcasts site multiple times because she believes you can change your logo colors, put your logo on top of any pattern, and it will still be recognizable As long as you keep the font and logo the same, you can change out the design elements - Jessica says it’s like changing clothes on your brand Elsie and Jessica have tried many ways to make money over the years, but in 2019, the conference made them the most money - due to the pandemic, they created a virtual membership because they wanted to support women podcasters but also still make money The hotel they had booked for their conference told them they had to do their conference by the end of 2021, which didn
The Design Business Show 193: Passionately Creating a Business Around Your Mission with Paty Ventura
Paty Ventura is a creative mind with a business brain. She believes in helping businesses conquer their market, launching successful branding, websites & marketing campaigns through her DiamondBase platform.
Here’s what we covered on the episode:
Paty’s Creative Journey How I found Paty on Twitter through Ari Hale, a guest on Episode 186 of The Design Business Show who shared her episode on Twitter Paty shares that she has always been creative and fell in love with the creative industry as a profession when her parents bought her a camera at 15 years old Through photography, Paty self-taught herself Photoshop and editing and found graphic design - she knew at 16 that she wanted to be a graphic designer Paty went to school for design and received a bachelor's degree in front-end design and visual development How Paty still does photography today and incorporates it into everything she does When Paty started doing freelance, she would take on photography and design projects but soon realized she was acting as a mini agency and started taking herself more seriously as a business owner What sets Paty apart from other creatives is she tries to set her clients up the right way through her DiamondBase methodology Paty shares that her 4 types of services are websites, branding, marketing, and photography campaigns Last month, Paty hired her first official team member that helps her with copywriting, digital marketing, design, etc.; and says she is considering hiring another person because she realized she needs more help Paty shares that she has been in business on and off for 7 years The primary projects Paty works on are web design projects - anything from e-commerce sites to fully custom solution sites Typically, the clients Paty works with are luxury/minority-owned, and she says at the start, she thought she could work with everyone, but through her rebrand realized that she does have a niche How Paty Uses Social Media + Her Mission Patty shares some of the wonderful luxury/minority-owned brands she works with Through using Twitter threads, Paty saw her business skyrocket and has been able to connect with her ideal clients and get the projects she wanted Patty says that people don’t take advantage of Pinterest enough, especially those in the creative space - she shares that a pin she uploaded to Pinterest 2 years ago is still driving traffic to her website What works for Paty is repurposing content on Pinterest in Twitter in different ways When Paty works with clients, she gives them presentation-worthy deliverables, which she will resize and put on Pinterest - Paty says she’s able to create 10 - 20 pieces of content on Pinterest that link back to her website from one client project For Twitter, Patty uses the questions she gets from clients, and after answering them personally, she talks about the topic in-depth on a Twitter thread Paty felt that her brand was all over the place, which is why she did a rebrand recently to nail down what she’s doing and who she is On Patty’s social media platforms, she has been talking about what makes her, her, which has to do a lot with her Mexican culture - In her new brand, she incorporates the beauty of Mexico that she sees and wishes others would see Paty’s brand is on a mission to redefine Mexican elegance By revisiting Ari’s Allergic to Hourly program, Paty realized she needed to restructure her business because she had outgrown it - feeling burnt out, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad business owner; you just need to restructure your business and shift your strategy Paty realized she was never going to be able to grow her business if she was doing everything herself, 16 hours a day which is when she decided to get serious about hiring Before, Patty saw hiring someone as a burden, but once she got out of that mindset and thought about where she wanted her business to go, she realized she needed a team Paty is buil
Awesome podcast with a lot of great guest that provide so much information on a variety of topics all around making your business bigger and better.
Blew my mind!
The quality of this show, the guests, and the content is unmatched. Melissa is the real deal!
Designers - listen up!
Melissa has so many great guests that bring invaluable knowledge to anyone interested in knowing what it takes to run a design business. Her authenticity and questions take you right to heart of her guests paths to creating their businesses and inspires us to do the same. Always fun and full of business strategies from those that are making it work. Listening to this podcast is time well spent!