OCTOBER 2018 OFFICE HOURS VIDEOS

Office Hours – October 9, 2018

Introductions to the Program and to the course participants. Discussion on the best way to take the course: do the lessons and then immediately apply them to your own site!

Office Hours – October 17, 2018

Discuss your efforts doing the niche and branding exercises.

Office Hours – October 23, 2018

Continued discussing branding and niches. Skipped ahead and had a discussion about the Brand Story from Module 4. Going over that may help you to understand how knowing exactly who your ideal customer is will help you write the content for your effective homepage design.
If you get stuck just keep going and watch out for the negative self-talk. Just trust that it will all come together.

Office Hours – October 30, 2018

Discussed progress on branding and niches and the need to take a look at the Brand Story Lesson. Also discussed big changes in WordPress as things shake out with Gutenberg and the page builders race to the top. It looks like Elementor is gaining traction over Beaver Builder. We are evaluating Elementor as another option to use for themes and if we go in that direction will include tutorials as well.

Office Hours – November 6, 2018

Discussed how important website copy is for a website to be effective. It’s easy to write marketing speak. We kind of fall into it because we’ve heard it so often. But it doesn’t work anymore. It takes a slight shift to write like a human to your audience, letting them know who you are and addressing their pain points directly and indirectly. This is when you see why it important to know who it is you are addressing. Otherwise, the web copy will not do the job you need it to do. I demonstrated with some sales page copy from a course for authors. Your site will be a work in progress. Don’t get hung up. Make your appointments with me for your first session soon.

Office Hours – November 13, 2018

People are concerned that they don’t really know who their customers are. Dawn knows her Smart Cookie best audience are women business owners who think they should be able to do everything themselves. She already has this kind of content on her website but it needs to be Showed an example website that is approachable and makes it easy for a visitor to connect with the message. Jill Lynn Design. Although it features Jill at the top, which is not very Brandstory, it works because you really get the sense that she will take care of you as a client.

Office Hours – November 20, 2018

This video went over hosting accounts and we briefly discussed the need to evaluate each new project to determine the best way to start it off. For example, if someone’s site is old and technically problematic, it is better to start with a fresh install and import of copy relevant content. If they have many blog posts you could import them. If the site is fins and they have many blog posts and images, it may be best to clone the site and change the theme. You have to take many variables into account before making a decision and the lessons in Module 3 cover some of the scenarios. We also talked about using the basic Astra Theme rather than the pro version when using Elementor since you really have all the bells and whistles you need with the basic version of Astra and it doesn’t then bring in code you don’t need.

Office Hours – November 27, 2018

Talked with Lisa about her niche. She told us that she loved restaurants and had worked several jobs in the industry. Lisa really likes the wine the food, the joking around, sarcastic banter and camaraderie. She believes that people in the hospitality industry value creativity and appreciate aesthetics. Businesses in the hospitality industry often need posters for events and they need to high quality. Restaurants need menus designed for print and for the web which Lisa has experience with. All of this makes it a no-brainer that she should gear her site to the hospitality industry. I showed everyone a restaurant marketing website my daughter put together in a weekend ( I helped her) using a StudioPress theme when she moved to town. We discussed that quick sites were very easy to do with StudioPress child themes.

 

Office Hours – December 4, 2018

This week was a wake-up call for those of you who are not up to date in your work to get busy. If you want to be a professional web designer you have to put in the work it takes to get up to speed. Next week we will have just shy of 2.5 months left in the course. ( I am counting the extra weeks I added due to the holidays). Next week, I am moving on to go over themes, specifically, Astra, the new light-weight, well-coded theme we are recommending to use along with the Elementor Page Builder. Although we supply you with the pro versions of both of these programs, you should start with the free versions of each so as not to get overwhelmed with too many choices. So do your damndest to get caught up so that you can take advantage of the remaining modules.

Office Hours – December 11, 2018

Michael Earley was our guest instructor in today’s office hours meeting. He showed us how to get started with the free versions of the Astra theme and the free version of the Elementor Page Builder. He has also done a video showing how he created a site with Astra and Elementor and provided the site so that you can try and recreate the site as a practice run.

Office Hours Bonus: for Practice with Astra and Elementor

Michael Earley did this video where he demonstrates building a site with Astra and Elementor. He has provided a link to the websites he created so that you can try your hand at recreating the site that he did. If you have trouble you can refer back to this video to get unstuck.

Here is the practice site link:
elementor4u.wpengine.com/

More fun with Astra and Elementor. We saw a site Tim and Jason are making. And saw a site Lisa is making. We discussed the best practice of using text as type on your sites rather than having the text on an image. Discussed using the z-index to show which layer goes where when elements on a website overlap. Talked about the importance of putting yourself in the target clients’ shoes when designing the site so that you include everything they need to know to see if they are in the right place and if they are they can find out more or get in touch. Also important to be serious about each and every site you do. Getting things right is important no matter how much they are spending. A website doesn’t have to be snazzy but it does have to get its job done. They all matter.

Office Hours – January 8, 2019

We went over Gerlinda’s website that she did with Elementor with a video gradient. Snazzy. Nikki’s book store site; alternatives to portfolios (describe your process); getting developer support when a site feature is beyond your abilities (don’t be too quick to turn the work away; it might just be a matter of approaching it differently); event management; privacy policy; mindset (what gets in the way) and getting back on track; Elementor tutorials.

Office Hours – January 15, 2019

We discussed moving on in the lessons despite people not being caught up. I offered to have a group work day where I would be available to help people when/if they got stuck. I went over the overview of the online marketing process from blog posts to opt-in offers for the mailing list. Warming up your contacts to add them to the mailing list. Last Office Hours is February 26th.

Office Hours – January 22, 2019

I went over the entire process for what to do with a potential client.
Add a sign up for a free 15-minute call or an hour paid consultation. Have a landing page with links to Calendly where your prospect can set up either appointment and pay for the consultation as they make the appointment. Provide your zoom link for both the call and the consultation. The purpose of the free call is to qualify them. If they seem like a good fit, really talk to them about what they need and want so they feel heard and trust you and want more. The purpose of the consultation is to dive deep into their business, goals, success, motivation, so you can make some recommendations. Do this well and they will ask… “How much will that cost?” Then you can do the Website Cost Estimator with them. Once you have the price, they will have a reaction. If it is a yes tell them you will send them a proposal tomorrow. If too much, then you can negotiate about what they can leave out or save to phase 2.

Office Hours – January 29, 2019

00:00 – Judi describes her experience with The Real World and how she came to embrace leaving her comfort zone. 9:30 – Controlling the input of essential info and images from clients, and a demo of project management app Trello. 16:30 – Judi demos Shopify and reviews the development of The Old Mill site using Elementor construction and design. 29:45 – Review of Gerlinda’s progress including a discussion about real estate sites, the importance of speaking the truth and crafting an authentic story. 47:30 – Review of Lisa’s progress, including a discussion on SEO and analytics. 54:10 – Review of Dawn’s progress, including logo and site design, issues with hosting services, and the importance of strategy in brand narratives. 1:08:30 – Review of Cheryl’s brand naming and hero images.

Office Hours – February 5, 2019

3:45 – Review of Dawn’s progress, including logo design, selecting a site theme, and hosting issues with clients. 15:00 – Judi and Su Schaer of Nimble Design Team discuss the challenges of getting prospective clients to closing. 22:40 – Nikki describes her first experience with an Elementor site build, including selecting right theme and choosing design applications. incorporating booking services, and product sales issues. 31:15 – Judi briefly demos her booking engine for Urban Oasis. 36:15 – A discussion of payment methods; Using Canva to resize images, recipe posts, etc. for various social media channels. 45:00 – Jason offers his take on OceanWP and Astra themes.

Office Hours – February 12, 2019

Michael hosts a Q&A related to Elementor and the Astra theme: Walkthrough of typical dashboard setup in advance of page builds; Troubleshooting Su’s problematic page header setup; Saving Elementor setups as templates; Utilizing Elementor’s pre-designed templates of Pages and Blocks; Setting up portfolios and category filters; Cutting and pasting elements; Setting up icons, image boxes, flip boxes, and call to action boxes.

Office Hours – February 19, 2019

3:45 – Review of Dawn’s progress, including logo design, selecting a site theme, and hosting issues with clients. 15:00 – Judi and Su Schaer of Nimble Design Team discuss the challenges of getting prospective clients to closing. 22:40 – Nikki describes her first experience with an Elementor site build, including selecting right theme and choosing design applications. incorporating booking services, and product sales issues. 31:15 – Judi briefly demos her booking engine for Urban Oasis. 36:15 – A discussion of payment methods; Using Canva to resize images, recipe posts, etc. for various social media channels. 45:00 – Jason offers his take on OceanWP and Astra themes.

Office Hours – February 26, 2019

Lisa is almost finished with her first WordPress website. She brought it up and we looked at it for usability. Some of the takeaways:
1. You absolutely need a recognizable, readable logo at the very top of the header – usually on the left side. That is where people look. It doesn’t have to be big. If it is in the top of the site it will be on all of the pages. If you put it in the hero image, the user will not have an orientation while on other pages.

2. Consider very closely who the target reader is, and how you should talk to them when creating the hero message. In this case, anyone looking for Brit Milah training would know this was training for performing a Bris. So, she could leave that out.

3. Make sure everything on the page is presented in the order that gives the reader what they need to know next. That way you keep their attention as they go down the page for more and more details.

4. Put yourself in the shoes of a person seeking the services/product the website is promoting. All information should be written to help them know they are in the right place, Connect with the company/business, understand what they offer, Know they can trust the company/person. Do not use irrelevant fillers. Have a reason behind everything on the page.

Office Hours -March 5

Office Hours – March 12, 2019

Office Hours -March 19

Office Hours – March 26, 2019

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