The Design Business Show 196: Creating the Best Customer Experience by Maintaining Your Website with Jessica Freeman

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | September 8, 2022
Check out episode 196 of The Design Business Show with Jessica Freeman to learn all about maintaining your website!

Jessica 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.

Here’s what we covered on the episode:

How Jessica Started In Design + Her Strategy

  • Jessica knew she wanted to be a designer at 15 years old, which is what she went to college for – during college, she started doing freelance design for her friends that were in various student activities
  • Right out of college, Jessica was able to get a couple of design jobs, and two years after she graduated, she took her business, Jess Creatives, full-time
  • When Jessica first started, she would do a lot of one-off projects and says that one of her first clients after college was a guy who had her design the side of box trucks
  • One of the joys about having your own business is being able to change it when you change your mind or as you grow
  • Jessica’s strategy has always been about empowering her clients to do what is best for them and teaching them how to manage and update their websites
  • How Jessica does a lot of education through her website and social media but also one-on-one with clients – she knows her clients appreciate that about her because they can come back to her for updates, but they also know how to do them themselves
  • The first website Jessica worked on from start to finish was for one of her long-term clients – she says it was a good learning experience and that she believes she only charged 500 dollars for that project
  • Over the years, Jessica has had many different packages and says she changes her packages based on the market, what people what, and what they’re interested in
  • Jessica says she typically just handles the website, but if people want to add on branding or anything extra, she can do that as well; it just doesn’t happen very often
  • When changing her packages, Jessica pays attention to those who didn’t end up booking with her to see if there’s something she isn’t offering that they want
  • A couple of years ago, Jessica started doing websites in one or two days as an offer but has recently decided to stop doing this because she needs more flexibility in her schedule because of her daughter
  • Before Jessica started doing websites in one or two days, she had a two-week timeline for websites, which is what she is going back to
  • Jessica’s two-week timeline is typically for an 8-page website, including SEO.
  • Part of what makes it so easy for Jessica to do websites so quickly is her clear processes, doing education with clients, and not having to wait long for content or feedback from clients
  • 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 Instagram, where she does a lot of educational content, along with YouTube, on ways to use your website, best practices, quick tips, client experience, etc.
  • What’s working well for Jessica on Instagram: Carousel posts, breakdown of SEO strategy pieces, and posting different ideas like what fonts to use or how to apply your color palette
  • Instagram Reels do pretty well, but Jessica explains that she gets a lot of random likes from people, which is cool because it reaches so many people but doesn’t really get her in front of the people she wants to be
  • Jessica thinks there are so many ways people could productize their services to create other opportunities in their businesses, like creating customizable templates or offering a VIP day
  • I explain how I can’t design a sales page in a day, but I can get with a sales page client and map out their launch strategy in two half days – what works for us might not work for you, and that’s okay because you should offer your packages and services in a way that works well for you
  • Connect with Jessica on Instagram and check out her website


Links mentioned:

Jess Creatives Website 

Connect with Jessica on Instagram 

Connect with Jessica on YouTube

Jess Creatives Content Library – Blog + Podcast


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