One of the parts we love most about our business is getting to know our clients. Not only does having a relationship help us build a better website for our clients, but we enjoy networking with and learning from our clients too. We’re thrilled today to bring you an interview with Margo Crawford, owner and founder of Wave Productivity. As a Productivity Coach, Margo is charged with training her clients to use tools to improve productivity through organization of their work space, time, and goal setting. Read on to get to know Margo and her “why” with Wave Productivity.

Tell Us a Little About You

I am the founder of Wave Productivity and as a Productivity Coach, I work with Serial Entrepreneurs, C-level professionals, and Small Business Owners to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace.

I have been in the productivity and organizing industry for over 15 years, and I continue to receive training that will enhance the experience my clients have and to continue to evolve in my process. I earned my certification as a Certified Organizer Coach (C.O.C.) and my Specialist Certificate through the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO). In 2017, I was a finalist for Tempe Chamber’s Business Woman of the Year and I am member of Leadership Rhode Island Class 2020, Pi II. 

I make my home on the East Coast and I am an avid surfer – I’ve traveled the world searching for perfect waves. When I’m not on the beach, I love to volunteer and hang out with my gorgeous, very fast Whippet.

Talk to Us About Your “Why” and How That Motivated You to Start Wave Productivity.

There are so many business professionals who struggle day to day to keep doing great work. They are overwhelmed and stressed out with email, time and workflow management. There is so much to do and never enough time. I work with people to shift the way they work with productivity tools and techniques that make a difference in their day to day. With Productivity Coaching people increase revenue, gain clarity and most importantly feel more in control and confident.

What Is Unique About Your Style and Product Offering?

As business owners we don’t often get someone who listens to us. My work as a coach is about deep listening. From that, we take brave next steps in changing the way you work for the better.

What Advice Do You Have for Other Entrepreneurs?

Celebrate in your success. As Entrepreneurs we tend to gloss over our wins and milestones because we are on to the next big thing. Taking time to step back and see what went right and how we can replicate it has great learning. Plus, you can always celebrate with a little bubbly! <clink!>

Ready to Get Started? Click Over to Wave Productivity’s Website to Contact Margo:

www.waveproductivity.com

margo@waveproductivity.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/waveproductivity/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/crawford-organizing-solutions/about/

Want to Read More Interviews? Click Here for More on the Hammersmith Support Blog

We are so thrilled that our owner and founder, Heather Locke, was selected as one of the panelists for The W Source Scottsdale / Arcadia Chapter discussion, “Marketing Your Business in 2020”!

The event boasted seven members of The W Source, all involved in various aspects of marketing. W Source member Debbie Pontikas moderated the discussion and led the audience down a marketing highway, covering all the cogs of the marketing machine. Each panelist gave her opinion, along with practical examples, about why her branch was a vital part of a business’ strategy. Each panelist gave great advice and all answered audience questions – it was a wonderful collaboration and networking opportunity for all those in attendance!

The esteemed panel was comprised of:

Kelly BohmDriven Relationships – Client & Lead Engagement

Jean Laninga – Photography/Social Media Branding

Heather Locke – Hammersmith Support – Website Development

Robyn Moore – Mack Media Relations – PR

Katrina Oko-Odoi, PhD – ContentWorm – Content Writing

Ashley RichardsE Squared Marketing – Digital Marketing

Emily Soccorsy – Root + River – Brand Strategy

In case you missed it, here are few key take aways from the morning:

  • The old days of beating potential customers over the head with advertising are over! Create your brand that is rooted in your core beliefs as business and market those beliefs instead.
  • Branding photography is much more than just head shots. Getting shots of varying angles, environments, and connections each show a different side of your brand. Also, knowing what you are going to do with the images plays a huge roll in what kind of pictures to capture.
  • The number one thing you can do to boost your search engine optimization is to have a blog. Consistent, fresh, and relevant content gives web crawlers new information to evaluate as well as free content for your clients and potential clients to digest.
  • When it comes to your website, ensuring that your site is secure, mobile optimized, and accessible are keys for success.
  • Tapping into your existing database in search of new leads is an obvious yet wildly overlooked marketing tactic. Using a database to analyze your past customers as well as contacts can generate new business.
  • Text campaigns have a 99% open rate. While that may not be a relevant tactic for your business or marketing, it’s still a staggering enough statistic for anyone to appreciate!

Want to know more about The W Source and their upcoming events? Click over to their site for more information.

All of us at Hammersmith Support have been anxiously waiting to share this interview with Lindsay Danielson with you! Not only is Lindsay a valued client, she has become a friend as we have learned about her story – it is fascinating. Lindsay is a mortician turned life coach…you may be thinking “that’s a hard left turn,” and you’d be right! Her journey is amazing and we consider ourselves privileged to know her story and to create a website for Lindsay that truly represents her passion as she works to champion others.

Tell Us a Little About You.

Embalming was my first professional passion. I always knew I wanted to serve in a unique and profound way but I did not know what that looked like for me until around 21 years old. You may be thinking, why embalming?! Well…unexpectedly, death became a part of my life when I was 13 when my father was suddenly killed in a car accident. As you might expect, it ripped my life apart.

When I mustered up the courage to see him prior to his cremation, what I thought would be traumatizing became a moment of comfort and curiosity. This curiosity evolved into me dreaming of becoming a therapist to help other youngsters who had lost a parent. The idea of therapy evolved into more of the medical side of pathology, which later sparked my interest in embalming. And as they say…the rest is history.

Since entering the industry almost 13 years ago, I have worked in various roles including 10 years of leading several crematory, embalming, and decedent removal teams.

What Does Being a Life Coach Mean to You?

Leading and supporting other leaders is my passion now. I have learned that everyone wants to be seen and heard and as leaders, we achieve that by acknowledging and validating our team in a meaningful and compassionate manner. Communication and community is everything in the workplace and building a culture that allows your associates to thrive is critical in today’s competitive work force.

What Is Unique About Your Style and Product Offering?

What I offer is not about me, it is about clients and guiding them to move past their bullshit so they can gain momentum and ultimately achieve what is most valuable them. Although the majority of my time is spent coaching leaders in the funeral industry, I continue to work with and take on private clients. My style is a unique blend of coaching and mentoring with a dash of tough love to lock in the most important piece of the client and coach partnership, accountability.

In addition to working with me one-on-one, you can get some free life coaching from me and my co-host Jena on our podcast, The Art of Getting Your Sh*t Together (TAGYST). Jena and I started TAGYST because with the constant demands in life and business, we wanted to create an impactful platform of real talk, expert advice and actionable steps to help others live their passion-filled purpose.

What Advice Do You Have for Other Entrepreneurs?

Remember, everything you want is outside your comfort zone but you have to be ready to fight against all the shitty stories you are telling yourself and you do not have to go it alone. Get support! Seeking support does not mean you are stupid or weak. It means you are resourceful and resilient. The most successful people did not get to where they are because they hustled their ass off alone. Do what you need to do to get you to where you want to be. No excuses or apologies.

Want to Know More?

Click on the links below to visit Lindsay’s website, follow her on social media, find the postcast and more:

www.lindsaydanielson.com

Instagram: @lindsay.danielson & @tagyst_podcast

Facebook & LinkedIn: Lindsay Danielson

For more on inspiring women in business, click over to our Hammersmith Support blog for other profiles.

Here at Hammersmith Support, we’ve been highlighting the various ways to boost your website’s SEO organically – meaning without paid ads / services. Fresh content, both internal and external links, using Google Search Console are all important parts of SEO. But what about the videos and images you’re using in your content? Are you getting the maximum SEO boost that you could from those images? Here are 5 items to consider for each visual post to ensure you are getting the biggest bang for your image bucks:

File Name

When uploading pictures to your website for a blog or any purpose really, be sure that your file name is complete. Web crawlers look to the name of each image to categorize it. Be sure to use plain but distinctive language and avoid keyword stuffing at all costs. For example, if using this image:

Hammersmith Support Website Maintenance

The image name could be “Hammersmith Support Website Maintenance”. This allows search engines to categorize the image and keeps your site name prominent as well.

Alt Text

Alt Text is often over looked because most don’t understand what it is and what it does. Alt Text are the descriptive words that appear should an image fail to load. The wording is also used for those who are visually impaired. Similar to the image name, using a short and plain, but distinctive description works best for web crawlers to analyze and catagorize. The difference is that the description should also include model numbers, years, anything that is specific to the image.

For this image, the Alt Text could be “Meridian Search Consultants Website Build 2019 Graphic on Laptop Screen”.

Meridian Search Consultants Website Build 2019 Graphic on Laptop Screen

Size Images

Keeping the size of your images in mind is important because an image that is too large won’t load quickly. This is an issue for both SEO and for your visitors. Most are not going to wait around for 3-5 seconds for an image to load. So keeping image size on the smaller side is important. On that same note, keep image sized uniform as well. This is less for SEO and more for the visual appeal of your site – which is important for keeping visitors there longer.

Captions

While these are analyzed for SEO, captions are utilized mostly by readers. Captions are the short descriptions under an image – they’re descriptive, yet not literal like Alt Text. Readers scan captions quicker than the body of the page content – if they don’t find what they’re looking for, they’re likely to bounce out of the site. So good captions keep readers.

The caption for this image could read “At Hammersmith Support, understanding our client’s needs is the paramount to our work.”

Hammersmith Support

Use Relevant Images

Slapping just any old image on your site won’t do you any good with boosting your SEO. Be sure that the images you choose are relevant not only to your business, but more importantly, be sure that they are pertinent to the content around the image. Using relevant images to your topic is important from a few angles. First, it lends validity to your site from a search engine standpoint, and a visitor one as well. Second, it gives an informative and professional appearance to your site. Avoid posting any images that don’t work with your content – the result is spammy and will turn off readers and search engines.

Don’t have any images to use? Don’t worry! There are tons of free stock photo sites out there – our favorites are Canva and Pexels. Just be sure your images are on topic.

This week’s blog focuses on our colleague and friend, Lyndsay Clements of Ellen Grace Marketing. We have worked with Lyndsay on countless projects, some remodels, some ground up builds – and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it! We know you’ll enjoy hearing about how she moved from the corporate marketing world to building her own company.

Tell me a little about you – Where did you grow up? What inspires you?

women in blazer and denim shirt looks up smiling from computer ellen grace marketing


I grew up in Scottsdale and then went went to college in Northern CA (Santa Clara University).  I ended up in San Francisco for 10 years working mostly in corporate retail and then getting my MBA in Marketing before I relocated back to Phoenix for a job promotion.  I am inspired to help small business owners grow faster and more efficiently.  I have a business partner (Craig) who is also my brother.  Combined we bring over 30 years of corporate retail experience to our clients and are passionate about helping them accelerate their growth and increase profitability.

Why did you decide to start Ellen Grace Marketing?


Prior to starting this business in 2015, I worked for larger retailers and really learned the ins and out of retail.  Large companies are smart in how they look at their marketing and sales data, to help them make strategic decisions.

About 4 years ago, I started to realize – mostly through conversations with friends who had either opened up a retail store or were selling products and services online – that there was an opportunity.  Most smaller business owners were brilliant at sourcing products and really passionate about understanding their customers’ needs but sometimes neglected their marketing or analyzing sales data because they wore so many hats.

It was then that I decided to go out on my own and bring the corporate way of going-to-market I had learned into the hands of smaller businesses, primarily retailers.  This also gave me the opportunity to be more flexible and present with our family.  My husband and I have two daughters whose middle names are Ellen and Grace, hence the name of the company.  I wanted to create a business that gave me the flexibility to work hard while still being present for those valuable moments that I saw myself missing while working in a corporate office.

What is unique about your style and product offering?


While we are a marketing company at the core, we are hyper-focused on driving profits for our clients.  Marketing can bring customers in the door and drive sales, but at the end of the day there are so many factors that contribute to our clients’ bottom line.  Our reporting and data analytics encompass key figures that a typical marketer would not normally unveil.  These areas include profit margins, churn rates, customer lifetime value, customer & product segmentation, as well as taking a deeper dive into the Financials/P&L statements and helping businesses develop sales tracking and forecasting.

What advice would you give other women business owners?

Don’t be afraid of your business numbers and data.  It’s so empowering to know what’s working.  At the end of the day we only have so much bandwidth to execute our plans and having visibility to what’s working will help you stay focused on the right marketing efforts, make smarter decisions and ultimately increase sales & profits.

Contact Lyndsay at:

www.ellengracemarketing.com

@ellengracemarketing

Facebook

We absolutely love working with Jena and Blush Cactus. Jena’s vision for branding and marketing focuses on not only stunning visuals but also loads of other creative resources, as well as strategy planning for your business. Being like-minded women entrepreneurs, Hammersmith Support and Blush Cactus make the perfect team. We hope you enjoy learning about Jena and her company as much as we have.

Tell me a little about you – Where did you grow up? What inspires you?

I’m the owner and creative force behind Blush Cactus Boutique Design Studio. Like many people here in the greater Phoenix area, I’m a transplant. I grew up in a small town in South Dakota, went to college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, and eventually settled here in AZ a little over 8 years ago.

As a business owner, I’ve learned the importance of personal development and it’s a big source of my inspiration and what keeps me going. I love listening to podcasts and reading books about business and self-development and I’m passionate about helping other creatives like myself navigate starting their own businesses or work it in supplementing their full time job with freelance. I love what I do, and I love helping others succeed doing what they love, too.

Why did you decide to start Blush Cactus?

I’ve been a graphic designer for over 12 years and a business owner for 5 of them. Originally my business started with my name on the door – Design by Jena. I know, so creative! But as my business has grown, I realized the need to scale my business and it isn’t just me doing all the work any more! I love being able to collaborate with other creatives to provide my clients with a variety of services I couldn’t do by myself, and also do it with the best of the best talent in their industries.

Soon we’ll be offering an online course that will help other creatives start their own businesses, coaching them how to get clients as well as the money they deserve. My hope and goal is to also create a community where creatives can find support and guidance from other people who are doing what they do. It can get lonely being a business owner and wearing all the hats, so having a community to lean into will help others feel like they’re not alone and have support. I’m super excited about that!

What is unique about your style and product offering?

I have a passion for making things beautiful and delivering an end result that the client didn’t even know they wanted or needed. Our team helps clients brand their businesses from the inside out, and create the all the supporting design assets to go along with it. A brand is so much more than a logo: it’s knowing who your customers are and how you want them to feel that makes a big difference. I care deeply about the success of my clients and operate by a set of values that is never compromised. It’s our secret sauce for creating loyal customers for life.

What advice would you give other women business owners?

Never stop learning! Find a mentor who you look up to – whether it’s books, influencers in your space, or even someone in-person who’s further along than you. Surround yourself with people who are doing big things and learn from them. Keep your eyes open for opportunity, but also learn the art of saying “no” when it’s appropriate. Take time to care for yourself and fill your own cup – as business owners we can get a little carried away working ALL the time (because we love it, duh!), but it’s just as important to take time off and regroup. Your creativity depends on it! Remember community over competition – it’s more important to be supportive than to try and compete to be the best. And remember that people will never forget the experience they had with your brand, so lead with that.

Follow and Connect with Jena and Blush Cactus:

www.cactusblush.com

@blush.cactus

https://www.facebook.com/blushcactus/

e.jena@cactusblush.com

p.480.540.7794

woman in pink head wrap and light blue suit Hera Hub Phoenix

We are huge fans (and clients) of Hera Hub! This female focused co-working space offers various forms and levels of office space for busy professionals that may not need a full office every single day. Whether it’s a quiet room to focus or shoot a video, meeting room, or a co-working space, Hera Hub has it all. What makes Hera Hub so special, is that it’s not just a business. Their mission is to foster women’s businesses and build up the community by providing productive work space and opportunities for collaboration. It is that mission that makes Hera Hub so special to us. We hope you enjoy reading about Shatha, the CEO of Hera Hub, Phoenix.

Tell me a little about you – Where did you grow up? What inspires you?

I was born in Homs, Syria, moved to Chicago as a young girl and settled in Phoenix as an adult. I’ve traveled the world, spending a lot of time in the Middle East. Witnessing so many diverse cultures throughout the world has been my inspiration to build figurative bridges across industries, communities, cities, and more. I believe women have innate capabilities and gifts that can bring people, families, cultures and minds together, once she has stepped into her full leadership potential.

Why did you decide to open Hera Hub Phoenix?

I stepped away from my corporate career knowing I wanted something different out of life. After soul searching, I founded a non-profit which became my full-time job. We began to grow our family and I found myself completely underwater managing the non-profit and our family. While in this state of chaos, I discovered Hera Hub and I was blown away by the concepts and their mission. I knew this is what I had been searching for; a space that allowed me to bring my passion for uniting women and fostering small business growth for our community.

What is unique about your style and product offering?

I wanted to create a working environment that was not only conducive to business, but one that created calm inspiration. Hera Hub is just that; a zen, spa-inspired, productive work space.  A place where people come in and really feel that this is the office space they always wanted. Where they are surrounded by people that they can relate to, collaborate with, and be comfortable around doing business. Our space is flexible; it works well for both short visits for focus, to full days of work that require both quiet and collaboration. We offer meeting rooms, conference rooms, training rooms, and event space all in one location making it easy to accommodate many different levels of business.

In addition, Hera Hub is absolutely dedicated to our mission of supporting women in business.  We’ve partnered with many organizations and groups to pull resources and connections to provide and support women to thrive in Phoenix.  Our aim is to be that inclusive and diverse landing spot and launching pad for women in the valley!

What advice would you give other women business owners?

I would say to female business owners is to not underestimate yourself or undervalue yourself. I talk to many women who don’t want to highlight their accomplishments and share their wins.  If this is still uncomfortable for you, then write it down, have it on your website and your brand content.  Then, surround yourself with others that will not only cheer you on, but can also highlight and be your advocate.  You’ve worked hard for all the work that you’ve done and deserve the recognition!

The next level of service after a website build should be support. Why? Picture this; you build your dream home with all the beautiful details you’ve always dreamed of: paint colors, finishes, stunning kitchen – the works. You live in the house and love it, but you never change a light bulb. Patch a hole in the wall. Water the plants. Put up security lights. Within a few months, the house is a mess – the lights don’t come on, the plants are dead and someone broke in the back door. Suddenly your dream home is a disaster.

Just like caring for your home keeps it in a beautiful state, so does consistent support for your website. Scheduled checks and scans ensure that your site runs smoothly and securely. At Hammersmith Support, our monthly site maintenance support process encompasses:

  • WordPress core and plugin updates that include the oh-so-important security patches
  • Adding client-generated fresh content
  • Lead testing
  • Analytics review through recording traffic

While each of these is important on its own, the components work together to create a system:

–> Fresh content through blogs and/or updated product information creates new information for search engines to evaluate, which means better SEO

–> That content brings potential leads that are given the opportunity to sign up for a newsletter or submit their email for a free download

–> Analytics and lead testing shows us which option got more of a response, the newsletter or the free download, and changes are made accordingly

–> Lastly, all of these processes are done safely because the site has up-to-date security

The end result is a process that allows the business to more efficiently target customers and achieve higher conversion rates. More customers with less work? That’s a winning combination.

women with auburn hair in a cream sweater in a light room soft smile and looking away from camera

We’re excited to share an interview with Nancy Lynn Miller of Posh Creative. She is a wildly talented photographer and the sole proprietor of Posh Creative. We were thrilled to partner with her on the redesign of Hammersmith Support’s website; Nancy was able to capture the human side of what is typically a faceless industry and we couldn’t be happier with the results.  Nancy’s calm yet extraordinary approach to photography is so appealing – we had to know more about her. We hope you enjoy her story as much as we have.

Tell me a little about you – Where did you grow up? What inspires you?

“I moved a lot growing up. I went to 9 different schools in my 12-year education span. I was always ‘the new kid’, which worked well with my natural sense of autonomy – I didn’t ever want to be boxed in. Which is funny because I like boxing myself in when it comes to my creativity because I enjoy breaking through those set boundaries. That is why I am so fulfilled by in-home lifestyle photography. I walk into a house, and that is what I have to work with. I get a surge of excitement when I’m getting the tour – I love finding and using a spot in the home that isn’t necessarily the most obvious.”

Why did you start Posh Creative?

“In January of 2007, I launched Posh Creative as a boutique graphic design and creative photography business. I added the ‘creative’ in front of photography because, although I loved doing headshots and taking photos for my design clients, I was not the most technically skilled photographer out there. I worked with a wedding photographer as a second shooter and learned a ton from her – including the fact that I didn’t really want to be a wedding photographer!  However, I soon discovered the shoots that felt less like work were the kind of client sessions that lit me up inside. I was already doing newborn sessions in-home, and I could so clearly envision how well it would work for families at any stage in their growth. Years later, I still love it.”

What is unique about your style and product offering?

“I think being a graphic designer, photographer, and a mom serves me well in all areas. I shoot to document the authentic beauty and connection in a family’s everyday life with the storytelling component and editing aesthetic of a magazine editorial. My sessions feel relaxed and easy. No forced poses or smiles. I want to document who the family is now, not how I’ve styled them up to be. I am freezing time and I ultimately believe I am shooting for the family they will be in 10 years. It can feel very intimate but to capture those varied, authentic expressions from a 4-year-old, telling his mom a story as he’s coloring at the kitchen table is priceless to me.”

What advice would you give other women business owners?

“Be you. Don’t compare yourself or your business to others. Seek guidance and get inspired by those who you resonate with – but take it all with a grain of salt. There is no right or wrong way to build your business and establish your brand. The truer you are to yourself and your work, the more ideal clients and customers you will attract. There is more than enough business to go around, and not everything is a good fit for you. It’s OK to say ‘no’ to projects and people that will drain you. This will leave you with the energy to take on the projects and people that lift you up. Know what YOUR personal and professional goals are, not what society conditions you to think you want to pursue.”

Any advice on being a single mom/business owner?

“Honestly, I’m still sorting it out! In some ways having my own business is a plus as a single parent. I have the flexibility to pick my kid up from school at 3 pm, be home with him when he’s sick. On the downside, it’s a challenge when work, childcare, and my own health all require my immediate attention. I’m actively working on establishing boundaries, though. My life mantra has always been, ‘less is more’. This philosophy helps keep our home life calm and manageable. And that is my definition of success.”

Visit Posh Creative at www.poshcreative.com

First, welcome!

We are excited to introduce the reimagined Hammersmith blog. Here, we’ll be diving into the specifics of our business, as well as bringing you our take on industry changes and trends. We’ll also share our mission of supporting our clients’ businesses through their online presence and our community through pro bono work, which is something so important to us.

Now, on to maintenance…

When it comes to small businesses creating their websites, rarely is site maintenance part of that thought process. And why would it be? Getting a site up and running is a huge undertaking and checking it off your ever-growing to do list is a major accomplishment.

But what happens when there is a platform update? A security issue? What if you forget to renew your domain name and the site goes down? Even worse – what if it’s your busy season and you’re left trying to juggle a solution AND run your business?

That’s where website maintenance is essential. It allows you to be confident that your online presence is in good hands and focus on what you do best: running your business. Hammersmith Support provides behind-the-scenes, comprehensive website maintenance that keeps your website running smoothly by performing regular site backups, security and malware protection scans, and site optimization. To help keep your site’s content current and relevant, we submit your site map to the Google Search Console and post content updates as you request them. Our maintenance packages keep your site in good shape. And if something unexpected does happen to your website, instead of panicking, you simply call in the experts who know you and your site, have a real-time back up ready, and are adept problem solvers.

You may use maintenance hours to keep your site’s content fresh and up-to-date. With Hammersmith Support, when you need changes made, you simply send an email to the team. No fussing with remembering how to do it yourself, or worse, making a mistake in the process. Hammersmith Support offers simplicity and peace of mind for your business’s online presence.

If you’re maintaining your own business site, what are your concerns? Functionality, security, SEO…all of the above?