Mary Harcourt 0:05
Hi and welcome to Ready Set glow, a podcast where I interview entrepreneurs, brands and idealist, people and the stories behind it all. Discover what it took to get started, lessons learned along the way, and the advice they have for you starting on your own journey. So join me and my guests as we talk about all things business, beauty and brands. I'm your host, Mary Harcourt of Cosmo glow, as we discover the stories behind the names. Jenny is my guest today she is a CEO and creative director of Jenny B designs a Website Design Studio. She helps entrepreneurs and small businesses build websites that communicate and connect with visitors and attract their ideal clients. With a background in nonprofit and corporate marketing, she has been designing websites for over 20 years. Jenny understands that building a brand and a website can be overwhelming. She strives to simplify the process so that busy entrepreneurs can be proud of their online presence, land more clients and get back to business. Tune in as she has a helpful and free PDF in this episode with actionable steps you can take for your own website. Let's get started.
Jenny Belanger 1:27
I'm Jenny overland Jr. I am a wife and a mom to two kids ages six and seven. And I live in Redding, Massachusetts, I own Jenny Lee designs. We are a Web Design Studio. And we work primarily with female CEOs who are busy running their business managing their teams and are ready to scale. And we do this by building strategic and really beautiful because I love the beauty of design websites that are designed to book more ideal clients and make you money. And I work primarily with creative entrepreneurs. So those in the coaching and strategies sphere, as well as videographers, photographers, and then a lot in the health and wellness and beauty industry.
Mary Harcourt 2:09
Well, beauty industry is right up our alley. That's amazing. What made you want to focus on female CEOs? Do you find that you just align with them? Is it something that you experienced in your own life? And you kind of want to help them out? How does you find your market for that?
Jenny Belanger 2:24
I was in the nonprofit world. And it was very female dominated when I was there. And I worked with a lot of women. And I found that there was a correlation between the nonprofit space and entrepreneurship. And I just really wanted to help others as I made my transition, make their own transition and help females just really be supported online and have them have their businesses shine. I love that.
Mary Harcourt 2:48
Well, do you consider yourself to be an entrepreneur, a solopreneur, a business owner? Like what do you consider your title,
Jenny Belanger 2:55
I consider myself CEO, I like to say that I'm an entrepreneur and CEO of my business, while I do a lot of the work, I do have a team as well. And I'm in charge of the creative direction and strategy. So that's how I classify myself.
Mary Harcourt 3:09
Awesome. So you've had experience in this for quite some time. And website to me is like daunting, it's such a, I don't understand it, I don't speak that language. So your knowledge is definitely helpful, especially to the CEOs, and we're trying to do it all entrepreneurs solopreneurs everyone running a business that you have so much on your plate, and that is just not an area of expertise. We're strong in what was it like to come into this industry when he first started? And now be where you are now, what are some of the things that you saw change over time,
Jenny Belanger 3:42
as you transition into running your own business, you're trying to do all the things you're you're you're so busy doing everything and putting everything out and just doing so much. And I found that over the years, there's been a lot of transition to kind of streamlining and less is more and understanding who your ideal client is talking directly to them, simplifying your offers, making everything a little bit more concise, and Chris, and the transition from kind of doing it all to kind of narrowing in on what you do. And what you do well, and focusing on not has been the biggest kind of transition in my journey, my business journey over the last few years.
Mary Harcourt 4:22
And what are some tips when you wanted to reach your target audience? How would you find out who that person is? How do you speak in that language? How do you help your your clients kind of connect their target audience with their messaging?
Jenny Belanger 4:35
Yeah. So when you think about your messaging, and this comes back to I'm kind of doing everything with a lot of clients that I work with, they develop their own website, and they kind of wanted to share all the things we all want to share all the things and so you put everything out and and there's usually a lot of copy and sometimes it doesn't align with your ideal audience. So one thing I always say is, there are a lot of Facebook groups that you can join that is related To people who are in your industry, and listening to conversations and figuring out listening to how they use words and how they phrase things and kind of incorporating that and weaving that into your website, throughout all your copy, and every one that you utilize online is a great way to really understand your target market in your niche, and just not overcomplicating the process. So really keeping it simple, really clear and concise, and sticking right to your ideal client.
Mary Harcourt 5:30
And so when you say Don't overcomplicate it, what for everyone listening, who I think it's self explanatory, but what like, what are some bad examples, you see where you land on a website, and you're like, Oh, honey,
Jenny Belanger 5:41
yeah, so here's, here's the top thing, I think, when you land on someone's website, you need immediately to tell them what to sell, why that should matter to them, and then how they can do business with you. So really simple. Usually, I do two lines of text with a button, taking them to the next step, your call to action to do business with you. So really clean, really simple. For a lot of brands, if you are the brand, if you're the CEO or the or the entrepreneur, I would recommend a photo of you. So a really beautiful photo of you in action. And then those two lines with a simple button a call to action, when someone lands on your website just really clean and crisp, and don't overcomplicate that process.
Mary Harcourt 6:28
And so from the landing page, you do a short one sentence introduction with a call to action, click here to learn more, does the click here to learn more take you to a place that has a lot more information.
Jenny Belanger 6:39
When you're paying for your website, I want to to understand the overall goal of that website. So think about your sales process. For example, if you you know, you've worked with a lot of beauty brands, is the first step in the process. Is it to have someone fill out a contact form to get in contact with you? Or do you want them to book a consultation call with you? Or is it to just actually schedule an appointment, understanding what you're driving people to, and then every single page on your website should reflect that goal. So on your homepage, I set a button to take action to learn the next step. Typically, you would take them to your services page so that they can learn about your services. And then from there understanding what's that step that is the next step that I want to drive them to. And so if it is to have that call, then having a link a button to book that call, just driving people exactly to that first step in your sales process, but in the most streamlined, simple way as possible.
Mary Harcourt 7:40
Have you always felt like you had the entrepreneurial drive to own your own business and be a CEO and your business? Or is this kind of a new venture?
Jenny Belanger 7:48
Yeah, I've always been a go getter, like ever since the beginning. You know, it was like, selling lemonade many years ago. And I had horses so I feel like you had to like do a lot of work in the horse industry. And so I've always been a go getter. And I've always had this side business. And then when I realized I didn't want to work for someone else, I just really wanted to build it. I knew that I knew that I could do it, it would take a lot of hard work, but I definitely definitely felt like I could make it happen. Just have to keep going. What was that kind
Mary Harcourt 8:18
of final conversation when you decided to do it for yourself? Was it being home with your kids? Or was it just having the confidence to say I can I can do this my own I have the knowledge I have the skill. Like what was the aha moment,
Jenny Belanger 8:30
probably being home with my kids. When I when I had my son, I just didn't want to work full time, I wanted to work part time. And that wasn't an option where I was working. And I said, You know what, I think I can do it like I can, I can have my own business and work my own hours. And I remember when I started my son was little he was like napping four times a day. And he would not for like 33 minutes. And those four for 33 minute pockets were when I did my work. But the rest of the time I was with him and it was great balance. And that that's why I did it so that I didn't have to go to a job and and work for someone else.
Mary Harcourt 9:08
And so throughout this process and you've grown your business, what has been your proudest accomplishment?
Jenny Belanger 9:13
I think getting it to a place where I have a lot of joy and ease in my in my business. I've always loved what I've done. And when I started, I felt as though there was a lot of hustle, hustle, make things happen, do all the things and I'm most proud that I've been able to really streamline my efforts get really clear on exactly what I do perfecting my processes and just being able to balance you know, I don't want to be working 24 hours a day. That's why I left my job. So being able to create a job that has really great balance and working with clients that I love doing something that I love. I'm really proud of where I am right now at this current moment in time.
Mary Harcourt 9:55
I think it's so true. It's like climbing a ladder. Sometimes you're in it especially when you first go If in your business, you're either still trying to figure it out, or how to juggle it all, and how to make it work, or you're in a hustler mindset, but it is really cool to get to a further point in your business where you've now figured out what's working and what's not. And you can focus more on what's working and less of what's not and really get to an enjoyable place where you created such a great environment, and like you said, was the reason you left working at another place to come have everything that you wanted? I love that. Yeah,
Jenny Belanger 10:28
I agree. And like, you know, I felt I feel as though a lot of I did a lot of mindset work. And that's something that people don't really mention, when when you start in your entrepreneurial journey, that there, there will be a lot of mindset work that needs to take place. But that also helps just understanding that you don't need to hustle all the time, and you need to build a business that works for you and doing things how you say they should be done.
Mary Harcourt 10:51
And so let's dive a little deeper into that. What do you mean, when you say mindset, is it? Dude, give yourself affirmations? Do you believe you can do it before you've done it? Like, what is what how would you say mindset really helped you what was what helped you
Jenny Belanger 11:05
two things, I started working with a coach probably in the middle of my journey. And by doing that, and having a sounding board and having someone kind of helped me over these hurdles, I feel like every business kind of gets to a point and then they have to make some changes in order to grow. And just understanding that you're not alone having support. And that, you know, you can do this. And just to keep going I did a lot of kind of snow limiting belief work with my coach. And I also did a group that was for mindset work for overwhelmed moms who are entrepreneurs. And that also was really life changing, we learned a lot of strategies of how to practice mindfulness in both your life with your family, as well as it pertains to business and being able to spend time on both and not feel like you're neglecting one or the other and finding balance. So those two things really helped propel me to the to the next level, I think.
Mary Harcourt 12:05
So give us an example of the mindfulness that you would use the strategy when you are trying to balance motherhood and entrepreneurship,
Jenny Belanger 12:14
it's important for me to be able to work and then be able to put it down and then be present with my kids. So I work on a lot of strategies to be able to be present in everything that I'm doing, taking up some time to just be in the present, to be grateful for where you are. And to just take note of you know where things are, and then move on to the next set perks. For example, a lot of times I do some meditations in the car, just kind of grounding exercises, touching the steering wheel, thinking about gratitudes, and just changing the the, the, the part of my day from where I was working to when I go pick up my kids and then transitioning to being with them. So just taking a couple of minutes to understand where I am and what's gonna go on next. And that really helps me like not have my brain churning and spinning and thinking about work 24/7
Mary Harcourt 13:09
I mean, I think we could all relate to that. That's a very helpful exercise, I struggle a little bit with that, right? I'm always in work mode. And until I can step outside and go for a walk and break the fact that I'm not sitting at my desk working all day. But I love I mean, that's such a great thing. And you do need to have that kind of leave it at the desk and go pick up your kids or pick it up and put in the last hour at the end of the day if you want to. But understand that there is separate there's differentiations between your your work life essentially and every other part of your life.
Jenny Belanger 13:41
Yeah, absolutely. Or wind down routines is another good one. You know, lighting a candle is taking the last 10 minutes to wrap everything up and then then leaving it aside. So I really I really want to be able to focus on my kids and not have to think about like emails that I have to send later. So something I'm always working on.
Mary Harcourt 13:58
That's so funny is a candle. That's like the one thing I do as well. I told my husband the other day, like when I light a candle, it's because I'm prepared to relax, work is done. I like it's just I know it's so simple, and so almost silly, but lighting a candle for me. And trust me, I don't even smell them. For some reason our house doesn't even bring in any scent. We've tried all of them the super mega scented candles. It doesn't hold scent in my house. So it's not like I don't want to light a candle. So my room smells good. I just light a candle because it's like, Okay, I'm ready to relax now. So we touched on this a little earlier, but it's something that you practice with your clients. How do you how do we turn our websites into client attracting machines?
Jenny Belanger 14:41
I would say the biggest thing I mentioned this earlier is understanding that goal of their website. So understanding the overall intention where you are driving your visitors to. So we had that example earlier of someone filling out an inquiry form, making sure that all of your pages reflect that goal. So the copy reflects that and you're driving people to the next step on your website that ultimately takes them to fill out our contact form. I think that having that main goal is the biggest thing to remember when creating a website. And then the second thing I mentioned is that landing that above the fold, that's when you catch someone, you have like less than three seconds to really capture their attention. So you really want to be clear on who you are, how you can help them and what you want them to do next. Those are really two main tips. And again, the call to action. So many times they see websites that don't have a call to action, they're just words and pictures, and you're not really telling someone what to do. And if you're not telling someone what to do, then you're not going to make money with your website. So really getting clear on that. And then integrating that into your website is very, very important.
Mary Harcourt 15:54
And then for your business, I know you work with like strategies, build websites, do you help them with messaging marketing, is it just the production of the actual site themselves talk a little bit more about the services you offer,
Jenny Belanger 16:07
I do all three. So I would say about 75% of my clients come to me and they're ready to really invest in their brand and kind of level up with their online presence. So it would typically involve creating a visual identity. So developing a new logo, new fonts and colors, developing that first. And then I have copywriting services. So a lot of times they want some help with their messaging, and we've come up with a copy for their website. And then finally putting it all together with the websites built. Again, website design is kind of my main love, and my team helps me with the branding and the copywriting. And so I can do it all or if someone just wants help with their website, and they already had their copy and branding ready to go, we can do that for them as well.
Mary Harcourt 16:56
And so if someone's just starting out, and they're trying to tackle their website, which is terrifying, sometimes it can be a lot. What are some tips that you have just break it down into the easiest steps for how someone can create their own website?
Jenny Belanger 17:10
I would say first of all, if you're thinking about a platform to use, try a few out and use what's easiest for you that you will actually be able to maintain yourself. Because you're creating yourself right? Squarespace is a great option. WordPress is a little bit more complicated show it is also a beautiful option for beauty brands, especially because it's such a great, easy to use platform. But then you can do some really wonderful designs with that. And then keep it simple. So maybe you don't need a full website to begin with. Maybe you just need a homepage that really talks about who you are, what services you offer, and then how they can get in touch with you with the contact form. Do you have some social proof that's always super important as well, you can throw that on a one page website, you know, don't feel like you have to have a huge website to begin. Again. There's like an overall goal. And that's, you know, to get people in the door. So start small and then and then you can build from there will be my advice for someone who's starting out.
Mary Harcourt 18:10
Awesome. Are you Squarespace before it was really easy to use. I mean, it was at the time that I was building my own site. I don't know the other one. So don't judge me on that. But I will put a pitch in for that. It was really if I could figure it out. I think most people can. When you say social proof, what are some examples for how people can use social proof on their website.
Jenny Belanger 18:29
I love social proof, I always encourage my clients to have as much as they can. So by social proof, I mean quotes from your clients, you can use that in the form of words, you can also use that in a form of video. Video is key. If you can have some video testimonials on your website, that's even better. There's a really cool tool, it's called Video ask. And I think it's free for up to like five testimonials. You can send that to clients. And then they can record a testimonial. And then you could just embed that into your website. It's a really great collection tool. Or you could just ask them to film something with their phone. But if you can have that on your homepage, either video or quotes with a picture of your client, that would be a it would go a long way to increase your credibility with your website.
Mary Harcourt 19:15
And would you use reviews in the same way as quotes? Yeah,
Jenny Belanger 19:19
reviews? Exactly. I would use you know, if you have a Google business page, and you're collecting reviews, that way, you can just kind of put that onto your website. But yes, yeah, reviews.
Mary Harcourt 19:29
And then so you've grown this business, you start with just yourself and you've grown into a small team. Now, what is something that you thought was? Let's rephrase that? What is something that was a little bit harder than you thought it would be when you first started to where you are now,
Jenny Belanger 19:44
growing a team to hearing out my systems and my processes. I could do it all myself. And then when you start working with other people, you you have to really document what you want to happen and then understanding how to share that information. when, and how to how to work with team members so that we're all on the same page. That's been one A, it's something that I've been learning about a lot recently. And it's something that I wasn't expecting.
Mary Harcourt 20:12
I will second that coming from running a salon systems are everything. And I had no clue how to write a system until, I don't know, even if it was a YouTube video or someone's page, or I went to a class or something, but it's just who, where, what, when and how. That's it, who's doing it, how was it supposed to be done, at what time for how long, and in what order. And once I got that, under my head, it made so much sense that a lot of us we run these businesses, because we're great at doing skincare or lashes, or online design or making T shirts, whatever it might be, and we're so good at doing that. And then to grow and expand, it's so hard for us sometimes to give all of the same directions to that other person, so that they can do just as good of a job. And having systems really makes that so they they can have just as much and if not better, of an outcome that you do systems are so important.
Jenny Belanger 21:07
They definitely are. Yeah, cuz we, we don't want to keep it all in our heads. We want to be able to share it with our with our team so we can grow. You
Mary Harcourt 21:14
also deal with strategy. Let's talk a little bit about what strategy is and then how you help others find it. Yeah, absolutely. So
Jenny Belanger 21:21
if someone isn't ready to invest with me to have me design their website, I do strategy calls. So it could be a website that you design or that you had designed, and perhaps it's not working for you and making money like it should. So we get on the phone, and we talk a little bit about the changes that you can implement that will make a huge impact on making more money with your website, we'll go through the site, page by page. And you'll walk away with at least 10 recommendations that you can do to really improve your online presence and make it a little bit more strategic things like I mentioned about you know, your land, and you're above the fold, and your calls to action, and understanding a little bit about, you know, SEO, search engine optimization, and what is working for you and what might work a little bit better. And then from that call, you can make those changes yourself, or you can have me help you make those changes. And then it just kind of elevates the website that you have and makes it work a little bit better for you.
Mary Harcourt 22:21
But those are so helpful. I think sometimes we don't know where to start. And then even if we know where to start, we don't know how to quite throw it to the endzone. So having someone that you can call and jump on a zoom call and go through your website and really hammer down your messaging is so helpful. Have you been into design at a young age? Or is this a new thing for you?
Jenny Belanger 22:44
That's an interesting question. Because if you ask me if I'm creative, I would say no, in my mind, I've always been a strategy person, very analytical. I'm very like taskmaster, very organized and detail oriented. But somehow website design, it's like I see the strategy. And then from there, I just am able to design on a website, I can't draw. I'm not creative in that way. But just on the screen, I'm able to do do fun things with websites.
Mary Harcourt 23:16
I mean, that kind of makes sense, in a weird way. Because if you're analytical and you see things in a form of lines and numbers and pieces and want to put them all together in a puzzle, moving a little mouse around to get them all to fit perfectly has to be like a fulfilling, yeah, it looks so good. They're totally a need for your service. It's especially as you mentioned, your target audiences, the female CEOs, I think not everyone understands how to do it. And if you're great at it, and it sounds like you are, then it would be so fortunate to be able to work with you to free up our time to go focus on what we're good at and allow you to hammer this out. So it looks great for our target audience. When you bring on a client how what does that process like? Do they usually stay with you? Is it more of like start to finish in a matter of couple of weeks months? Or is it something that you work with them and kind of stay on call for ever? How does that work?
Jenny Belanger 24:13
My website designs are project based. So I design a website in four weeks. Our engagement typically lasts about two months, depending on if they add branding and copywriting and all that upfront work. From the time of launch and going forward. My clients tend to work with me on an ongoing basis for updating needs. So I maintain their websites, a lot of them stay on my care plan. And then I'm kind of like a designer on demand. So if they need some changes to their copy, or they need additional page because they have a new service or a new course. I'm always on call for them to kind of update and help their websites grow as their businesses grow. So it's an ongoing relationship but that first, design is kind of a prod Deadspace timeline,
Mary Harcourt 25:01
and four weeks is fast. Four weeks, if you if you're attempting to start your website and you have no knowledge, I promise you, you will probably investment more than four weeks and not be happy with the outcome. So what I handed over to professional four weeks is the fast launch.
Jenny Belanger 25:19
It is I honestly I tried to streamline i less is more I just want to, you know, kind of make things happen. So I really have tightened it up to to four weeks, and I just want to get you set up online. And so do you think you have a simple
Mary Harcourt 25:32
landing page, then it goes to your services, do you think it's important to have all the information like your hours, your website, your about me a list of the services, the product line you carry? Or is it more important, just less is more and have a few things
Jenny Belanger 25:49
they get depends on where you are in your business, and what you're looking to do. If you're able to share information about your services, I think that's a great thing to have. So a separate services page for sure. You know, if you are able to list out all the things and then again, driving people to to book an appointment with you. the about page is also really important. It's a highly visited page on your website. So if you're able to, I would definitely create an about page, I always say, you know if you can, if you don't have time to do everything, and you can't, you know, spend the time really getting it right, less is more just have a single page site. But if you are able to invest the time and the strategy behind each page, then yeah, have an about page and have a services page that link up to that contact page. Awesome. Well, what's great
Mary Harcourt 26:41
advice, Jenny, where can people find you?
Jenny Belanger 26:44
People can find me online at Jenny B designs.com. And if you go to Jenny B designs.com backslash podcast, I actually have a free download you can grab that helps with some of these tips. And you can kind of implement them on your own website and hopefully see some changes and make more money with your website.
Mary Harcourt 27:04
That wraps up today's episode. For more information on our guests. You can find them at Mary harcourt.com under the episodes tab. You can always find me on Instagram at Mary Harcourt underscore in app the cosmic glow light. I hope you enjoyed today's episode and many more to come