Posted on

Get More Attention in Business with Kara of Simplifying DIY Design

So many business owners are spending weeks or days reinventing the wheel!  If small businesses want the attention of new clients, we need good visuals– in the photography AND the designs we share.  But, we shouldn’t have to spend hours or days creating them.  That’s why I had to share my online friend, and fellow momprenuer, Kara.

easy design for business with templates

Kara is the owner of Simplifying DIY Design and has been certified in graphic design for over 10 years. She is a full-time blogger that specializes in combining her knowledge of graphic design with online marketing to create better social media graphics, lead magnets, and digital products that are currently helping over 15k bloggers grow their online businesses.

Templates are her JAM and her passion is to create design tools and systems that can be used to implement your way to success in your digital business!  Check out the interview with Kara below for lots of goodies about design in business.

What is your background?  What do you do now?

I’ve always loved art! I took advanced drawing and painting classes in school and took my first graphic design class in 8th grade. I completed the graphic design program at a local vocational school and passed my state certification by the time I graduated high school.

Then, I decided not to go to college for design. I didn’t love traditional graphic design– headers for stationery, corporate logos, etc. So I became a nurse and worked at a correctional facility for several years until my son was born. Once he was born I decided to be a stay at home mom. I quickly learned that we couldn’t afford for me to not work and I was wanting something of my own that I could call mine.

I did several things to try to make money– an Etsy shop, blogging, and then eventually I got a job as a graphic designer for a blogger. I learned a LOT about blogging and digital marketing and I saw a need in that community for designs– pins, lead magnets, entire courses.  Everything involved graphic design and most of the bloggers I saw in Facebook groups didn’t know where to begin with it.  After all, they started their business because they like to write!

So I started my own blog about design and how you can combine design with your marketing to make more impact. I began selling design templates and courses and the rest was history!

What do you love about your business?

I love that it gives me freedom and flexibility to enjoy my life and family WHILE getting to help people. I can’t express how much it excites me when I get emails from people telling me how many sales they’ve gotten from a product they created in minimal time because of my template. Or when people tell me they hit thresholds for Mediavine because of my pins. Things like that. I LOVE seeing results and it’s such a cool feeling to know that I was able to help them.

You seem passionate about helping small businesses.  What mistakes do you most often see businesses making and what tips do you have?

I think the biggest mistake I see is the unwillingness to invest. I do understand that when people are just getting started, they don’t really have the budget to spend a lot. Trust me, we were on the financial struggle bus when I started my first blog for sure!

However, it is necessary at some point to invest in the proper tools and education to grow.

Most of us realize the importance of great graphics but a lot of us still struggle with it.  What advice can you give?

First, I always encourage everyone to try their best not to be a perfectionist– done is better than perfect. That being said, don’t underestimate them either. The difference between getting a click and a sale can sometimes be boiled down to the image– it didn’t stop the reader long enough to get the click.

My best advice is to test, test, test. Don’t make one and be done forever. If you’re running ads, make multiple graphics. If you’re making pins to blog posts, circle back, and make new graphics on a routine basis. Not only will this give you PRACTICE but it’ll also help you see what works and what doesn’t.

Take note of any image that DOES work– what are the colors, what are the fonts, what are the photos, etc.

Keep track so you can pick up on any trend or similarities.

Also, don’t make it complicated! Find a design template that you love and use that as a jumping-off point!

I’ve found a lot of entrepreneurs can’t afford to hire when they are first starting out, what simple ways can they still outsource?

In terms of graphic design, it’s easier and less expensive than hiring a graphic designer if the entrepreneur purchases design templates and then hires a VA to edit them. VA’s are generally less expensive to hire than a graphic designer is and they generally have less of a wait time as well.

How do you spend your time on your days off?

BATHS!! I love a great bath, seriously I could spend hours in there (and sometimes I do if I get soaked into a video from a course or program I’m taking). That, and a lot of family time! My husband and I both have close families so we try our best to make sure everyone has time with us and our kids.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Don’t obsess about your brand! I know it’s a common theme among designers to recommend a breathtaking brand and that’s totally fine to have but I see it paralyze so many entrepreneurs as they obsess about color palettes before they’ve even figured out who they want to help. Remember, anything can be changed. Just get started and the rest will come!

Where can we find you?  Are you on social media?

I am!

Facebook: facebook.com/simplifyingdiydesign

Instagram: instagram.com/@simplifyingdiydesign

Pinterest: pinterest.com/simplifyingdiydesign

Blog: simplifyingdiydesign.com

Any specials or promotions you’d like me to mention?

If you’re looking to get started with design, you can check out my free training: Blog Graphics that Convert!

Posted on

Email Marketing with Bonnie Morata of The List Lab

If you’ve been around here a while, you know I believe in outsourcing every element of business that we can.  As business owners, we are pulled in 100 different directions and time is too precious to spend on tasks that don’t NEED our attention.  But as we know, we can grow faster when we hand over pieces of our business to someone else.  Beautiful, right?

That’s why I love Bonnie Morata and her membership called The List Lab.  She is an expert an email marketing and provides templates for weekly emails.  I just know that you all would love to hear from her and learn how you can outsource another thing and save even more time!email marketing tips for outsourcing

A Little Bit About Bonnie

Bonnie Morata is a business strategist, entrepreneur, creator of The List Lab, and momma. Like you, she’s just a gal that enjoys working but is focused on doing so from a place of rest and inner-alignment.

Her superpower is “vision weaving” meaning nothing gets her more excited than a big idea in need of a step-by-step plan to give it life. She also has a knack for taking complicated concepts and reframing them in a way that is digestible, useful, and kinda fun.

 

Amy:  Hi Bonnie!  What is your background?

Bonnie: Oh gosh! My background is not linear at all. I started out in commercial real estate and in my first role, I was very much an entrepreneur. I created a previously non-existent job description that focused on client happiness through events. I started dabbling in graphic design because I wanted to make cute invite emails and event materials. From there I began educating myself about email marketing best practices to increase the attendance of these events. That was about 8 years ago now!

With the exception of a Digital Marketing certificate, I am 100% self-educated in marketing and business. Well, I should not say self-educated — I’ve taken several online courses. After a while, I became tired of Googling and just wanted streamlined answers to my questions.

Each phase has been a stepping stone to what I offer now — a content membership. It’s continually growing into the ultimate vision I have for it as more than just a tool, but a community for heart centric entrepreneurs.

Amy: You seem passionate about helping small businesses.  What mistakes do you most often see businesses making and what tips do you have?

Bonnie: Yes!! Entrepreneurs hold a very special place in my heart and are the focus of my work. A common mistake I see entrepreneurs make, and it’s a pattern I have to continuously correct myself, is obsessing over the small details that will not make or break a business. This perfectionist behavior is a symptom of fear — fear of failure, visibility, success…you name it. So my best advice is to do mindset work from day one and every day after.

Amy: Most of us realize the importance of an email list but a lot of us still struggle with it.  What advice can you give?

Bonnie: It all comes back to mindset. And I want to address two common hang-ups about email. Number one is trying to appeal to everyone with too many options. You only need one offer, one opt-in, and one welcome email sequence to be successful.

Yes, many established entrepreneurs have multiple opt-ins for multiple offers. That works for them and it’s important to acknowledge that they also have a team and time behind them. Focus will always bring better results when you are a solopreneur or working with a small team.

The second thing is that entrepreneurs are worried about being “spammy” and refrain from sending regular emails. This one drives me nuts because I know that they have big hearts and brains to share with their community — who by the way literally asked to receive emails when they opted in.

So send the weekly email. If people don’t want to receive it, they’ll unsubscribe and everyone can move on.

Amy: I’ve found a lot of entrepreneurs can’t afford to hire when they are first starting out, what simple ways can they still outsource?

Bonnie: Templates! There is an abundance of templates available now — from legal contracts and websites to my own content membership, The List Lab. Templates are the best option for the DIY entrepreneur who wants to have a stellar online presence and save a ton of time while working with a small budget.

Amy: Bonnie, Where can we find you?  Are you on social media?

Website: bonniemorata.com 
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/bonniemorata
Instagram: @bonnie.morata

If you’d like to learn more about Bonnie and email marketing, check out her training for the 5 Simple Secrets of An Effective Email Strategy and The List Lab.