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How often do you go back to your roots, where it all started? I did this the other day with the Goal Digger Podcast, rewinding all the way back to episode number two and my first ever guest on the show, Jen Olmstead. And while I know so much more about podcasting now, and our production quality left something to be desired, and I think my voice sounds WAY different today than it did then, I am pretty dang proud of that conversation with Jen. So much so, that I wanted to invite her back on the show for another go-around, because so much has changed since that episode on November 18, 2016.
Jen Olmstead knows websites, and she’s one half of the Tonic Site Shop duo that has been helping Jenna Kutcher websites look fab since my very first site design. Jen knows how to present your brand in a way that stands out from the masses and attracts your ideal customers, even without a fully custom web design. So we’re talking about what she knows best today — website design. She shares why “looking the part” doesn’t have to mean a totally custom design, the crucial components of any business site, and the key clues that your site might be ready for a little refresh.
Psst… Looking for the discount code mentioned in the episode? Visit Tonic Site Shop and use code: JENNASENTME for 15% off your order!
Meet Jen (Again!)
Jen is the co-founder and lead designer of Tonic Site Shop, and they sell completely customizable website templates for the modern, stylish creative or, as they like to say, “Website templates for people who probably don’t think that they like website templates.”
Together with her business partner Jeff, they saw a huge problem in the website industry where there were amazing entrepreneurs and creatives and photographers and they didn’t have websites that showed their level of awesome. Jen said, “They had boring website template syndrome and it made us really sad and there were only so many people we could design custom websites for and we kept having to say no.”
Saying no to potential customers isn’t fun, and they really wanted to say yes! The solution was launching a business that allowed them to help more people in the form of templates. “We created the cure for the common website template,” Jen explained.
What’s Changed in 4 Years
In the last four years since our first conversation on the podcast, Jen became a mom of two more little ones and has learned new ways to be a business owner and the mama of three she wants to be. Tonic Site Shop also changed a lot in those four years, going from a side hustle to what Jen calls, “This kind of juggernaut of a business.”
She’s still learning how to be the CEO of a company. Jen explained, “I’m learning as you’ve learned how to manage a team and how to still get to do what I love. Because if you put me on alone in a closet and I got to design, I would be so happy.”
Learning the business side in the last four years meant managing a team so she could continue to do the parts that she loves, which is designing beautiful customizable templates for creative entrepreneurs.
Web Design Myths
“One myth that I see so, so prevalent is that you’re not legit until you have a fully custom website, and it’s shocking how many people I hear this from,” Jen explained.
“I think it kind of goes back to imposter syndrome, a feeling like I’m not enough until this. I’m not enough until I work with this person, I’m not enough until a designer gives me something that feels right, and I think it’s so important to remember that a designer can’t give you a brand. They can really only give your brand something to wear.”
So many entrepreneurs get caught up in looking the part and believe that it comes with a hefty price tag. This can be an excuse that holds many back from even starting. But Jen wants to challenge you on that. She said, “If you’re feeling like, man, if I don’t invest $20,000 in my website, I can’t really get up my business off the ground until I do that. That’s really a limiting belief that I don’t think we have to be impacted by anymore.”
Time for an Upgrade?
Are you looking at your website and thinking it might be time for a refresh or even a total upgrade? Jen has some advice on how to know you’re ready for a change.
First she advises that you ask yourself this question, “Am I in the place where I need a new website or do I just kind of feel bored?” Audit your website to determine if it accurately reflects where you are at in business and life. My old site talked a lot about photography and nothing about my growing family, so I definitely needed an overhaul.
“I think the biggest indicator is does it accurately represent where you are in your business or where you want to go?” Jen continued, “And then I think number two is does it convert?”
“This is something that a lot of creatives especially overlook and they view their website as more of a brochure or something that just looks beautiful but doesn’t ask anyone to do anything,” Jen explained. “It is your most important sales tool, and it should be selling your services and your products for you better than you can.”
What You Should Update This Week
If you’re reading this (or tuning into the episode) Jen recommended a few things you can do to refresh and update your website in the next seven days that will make an impact when potential customers land on your corner of the internet.
First, update your portfolio. “Chances are, if you posted on your Instagram, it should be on your website right now. So instead of doing that like a dump task when you have time in six months, maybe you do a weekly refresh or any time you finish a project, you add to your list,” Jen recommends. “With Tonic templates, it’s really easy to do that yourself. And so you’re not held hostage by paying a designer to do it for you or a developer to add something to your website.”
The second thing you should update this week is your home page. “Anything that you could do to refresh your home page, even if it’s just as simple as updating images of you,” she encouraged. “Showcase the stage and season of life you’re in because your client will resonate with that.”
Finally, be sure you’re frequently updating your services, especially in a year when so much is changing. “I think it’s incredibly important to have that ability to pivot and offer services and keep your offerings really up to date as frequently as you can.” If you’ve added or subtracted offers, changed pricing, or switched up your packages to accommodate 2020, make sure your services page reflects that.
More from Jen Olmstead
Love Jen’s advice and want more tips on updating your website, creating an aesthetically pleasing and conversion-ready site, and more? Hit play on the episode above. Find all of the new templates, and crowd favorites, at Tonic Site Shop and don’t forget to save 15% on your template with the code: JENNASENTME.