Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Samantha Mabe, Owner of Lemon and the Sea, located in Chesterfield, VA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a website designer for service providers and coaches. I help industry experts to convert 3 new clients in 3 weeks with a custom-designed simple but strategic website. Through my two VIP Days - website design and sales page design - I help experts in all industries, from plumbing to healthcare, copywriting to coaching, to stand out online.
Tell us about yourself
I planned to be an architect and got an undergraduate degree in architecture, but I discovered once I graduated that I wanted to try out other options. Eventually, I ended up starting Lemon and the Sea with plans of it being a DIY blog, but I began freelancing and offering design services as well. I transitioned into website design a few years into the business and have continued refining my process to better help amazing small business owners grow without being paralyzed by their outdated websites. I love working with all different types of businesses because I'm always learning and getting to try new things.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I started my business when I was supported by freelancing income and could work 40+ per week, but when I became a parent 4 years into my business, I had to make a big shift. Not only did I have fewer hours to work, but I also wanted to set firm boundaries to enjoy my time with my family. This leads me to offer a VIP Day service model, which has been amazing for my clients because they can launch quickly and has allowed me to double my previous highest income year.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a solopreneur, you're wearing every hat in the business - whether you enjoy it or not. Marketing has always been the hardest piece for me because I would rather be head down in the design than on social media trying to reach new clients. But it's also the most important aspect of business because, without marketing, there is no business. Finding a way to market that I enjoy and brings in consistent clients has taken time and will always be evolving.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't be afraid to experiment. Take on a client whose industry you aren't familiar with. Send a few cold pitches. You'll never know what you love and what works unless you're willing to try it.
- Focus on relationships first. The biggest growth I've seen in my business has come when I'm focused more on nurturing relationships than growing my audience.
- Find your own process. I've had many iterations of my design process, and when I designed my current process fully from my own expertise and experience instead of trying to follow other designers' processes, it made my work so much easier to do and talk about.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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