Podcast

Episode 369

Aug 13, 2021

It thrilled Michael to have a discussion with two of his favorite people about one of his favorite topics. Marcy Basile and Rianne Chavez join Michael to discuss what to expect when working on a new website.

Listen to "E369: What to Expect When Working On a New Website (with Marcy Basile and Rianne Chavez)" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 369

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • What to Expect When Working On a New Website
    • What you need for DIY
    • What you should expect working with a professional

Quick Tips


Sponsors


Transcript:


Allissa Haines:

This episode is sponsored by Yomassage. 2021 is the year to start incorporating stretch and mindfulness into your massage sessions. With Yomassage, you can combine restorative stretch, mindfulness, and massage in a single one-to-one or small group session. The three-week virtual training with over 300 5-star reviews runs once a month and counts for 26 NCBTMB approved CEUs. Use the code MBBYOMI, that's M-B-B-YOMI for $100 off the virtual Yomassage certification, now through October of 2021. You can visit massagebusinessblueprint.com/yomassage to learn more. That's massagebusinessblueprint.com/yomassage.

Michael Reynolds:

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve your quality of life. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Marcy Basile:

I'm Marcy Basile.

Rianne Chavez:

And I'm Rianne Chavez. We had that-

Michael Reynolds:

And welcome ... What's that, Rianne?

Rianne Chavez:

I was going to say, "We had that perfectly planned."

Michael Reynolds:

I was like waiting, waiting. Welcome to our episode today. We are glad you're here. I am joined by two incredible co-hosts, and I could not be happier because we are going to have a lot of fun today. Two of my favorite people talking about one of my favorite topics. I'm just thrilled. So, Welcome. Welcome. I am joined today, again, by Marcy and Rianne to talk about what to expect when working on a new website, and Marcy and Rianne are great co-hosts for me today because they also work on websites. They are massage therapists, but also have businesses where they build websites for other massage therapists and other business owners. And we've got a lot we're going to unpack today, but first let's give a little bit of background information on my co-host. So Marcy, why don't you go first? Give us the 60-second intro on Marcy.

Marcy Basile:

Hi, everybody. I am, as Michael said, I'm a massage therapist, and I am also designing websites. During COVID, Michael offered his course on building websites, and that was kind of a pivot for me because my first 20 years of being out of college was in corporate communications doing all kinds of marketing and website design and daily newspaper work, so it was just going back to my roots. I'm still massaging, but I'm also doing websites, and I'm super happy to do it.

Michael Reynolds:

Awesome. Thanks, Marcy. And Rianne?

Rianne Chavez:

I'm Rianne, and I own Bold Lucidity now, which is the digital support marketing agency. But I'm a parallel entrepreneur. Originally as a massage therapist, I had a practice that I actually sold in Florida. At one point it was a multi-location, multi-therapist practice. Hurricane Michael disrupted that a little bit, and then I moved to Wichita and reopened another practice. And then, of course, COVID, so it's been a definite expanding of my skillset and how I'm going to use it.

Michael Reynolds:

Awesome. Well, I'm thrilled you're here. Let's jump into our What are You Reading section first. I purposely left my stuff out because you both have some great stuff to add, so let's start with Marcy. What are you reading these days?

Marcy Basile:

Well, it's not so much reading as it is jumping to the future every day. There is a dog farm, not dog farm, a doggy daycare farm in Australia that I use every morning to put me in a good mood. I drink my coffee, and I watch the 20-minute video of these dogs just having their best time every day, all day.

Michael Reynolds:

That is so random.

Marcy Basile:

No, but once you go look at it, it's so addictive. I started watching them because I saw a video where they put six mini dachshunds on top of a standup paddle board and pushed them around in a pool, and they were just living their best life. And for me, that is the best pick me up every morning, and it works. It works.

Michael Reynolds:

[crosstalk 00:04:34] Google daycare farm trips.

Marcy Basile:

Doggie daycare farm trips.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay. Gotcha. So Google's doggy daycare farm trips, everyone. You're welcome.

Marcy Basile:

Yes.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks, Marcy.

Marcy Basile:

Yeah, you're welcome.

Rianne Chavez:

I need that in my life.

Michael Reynolds:

Rianne, how about you? What's caught your attention lately?

Rianne Chavez:

I am down this rabbit hole of trying to find out information about some matriarchs in my family line or family tree, and finding information about women has been hard from 200 years ago. We didn't keep very good records about them, so I stumbled across a bunch of essays or books written by pioneers. It's all at archive.org. I don't know that I would recommend anything in particular. It is kind of boring, but if you want to hear about them sending off their seven-year-old on a horse to go to get their grains turned into flour that's 10 miles away, it's kind of an interesting read.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice. Thanks for sharing. All right. Before we move on to the main discussion for today, let's give a shout out to our sponsor. Marcy, you said you'd like to do the honors. Would you like to go ahead?

Marcy Basile:

Jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

Yes, The Original Jojoba Company. We are thrilled to be partnering with the Original Jojoba Company, and today I thought I would do something different instead of me talking about the highlights of jojoba, I thought I would ask our co-hosts to give a little testimonial. Marcy, you mentioned you would like to do this because you, on a regular basis, you use jojoba in your practice, right?

Marcy Basile:

Yes, I do, and I love jojoba. My clients love jojoba. I have several clients that are oncology patients, and the jojoba is just so enriching for their skin. Their skin just drinks it up. They don't feel icky and oily afterwards. In fact, they always ask me to fill their bottles with jojoba when they're done. And then I have a couple of clients that are allergic to different chemicals that go into different products, like different lubricants, and they just love the jojoba products.

Michael Reynolds:

Awesome. Thanks, Marcy. Appreciate it.

Rianne Chavez:

And it-

Michael Reynolds:

Go ahead, Rianne.

Rianne Chavez:

It is nice to know that you have something like in your office that you can pull out if somebody shows up and has some really random allergy or sensitivity, and you're just prepared all the time. You don't have to worry about it.

Michael Reynolds:

Awesome. Well, as our listeners may or may not know, you can get 20% off the price of jojoba products by using our link, which is massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba. That's massagebusinessblueprint.com/J-O-J-O-B-A. All right. Great job on the jojoba intro there, Marcy.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Let's talk about websites today. We are going to dig into what to expect when working on a new website. This has come up a lot recently because as a lot of our listeners and a lot of our members in our community are reopening their practices and kind of ramping up, even moving, even rebranding in some cases, a lot of people are thinking about their websites, either enhancing it, making some changes, or in many cases, redesigning it, getting a brand new website for a fresh start. And so, I wanted to bring the two of you on as expert co-hosts with me to talk about this.

Michael Reynolds:

And I want to kind of break into a couple different paths. One is the DIY path, the do-it-yourself. A lot of people, they go to Squarespace, or Weebly, or Wix, or WordPress, and they do it themselves. And I know both of you have experienced in this area. I'd love to hear the pros and cons and the pitfalls and the things to look out for on that path. And then also, I want to talk about what to expect when working with a professional like the two of you. What should a massage therapist think about? What should their expectations be? How can they make a successful, or how can they ensure that they have the most successful experience in getting a website built by a professional?

Michael Reynolds:

Let's start with the DIY path. Who wants to go first talking about your experiences with different platforms? Marcy is pointing at Rianne, so Rianne, why don't you jump in? What's your experience been?

Rianne Chavez:

I have had a lot of experience. I went through years and years and years of thinking that I had a bootstrap staff. I think I started with like, I think I even tried to create a website on Google Sites back in the day, and it was horrible. And then I think I built something on SpaBoom. I don't know that they're around, and went to Weebly, but I was not getting the SEO that I needed. So everybody at the time was like, "WordPress, WordPress, you have to be on WordPress."

Rianne Chavez:

And I went there, and I cried so many tears. The learning curve on WordPress is horrible, and you would spend like 10 times the amount of time trying to learn the thing that you want to do then doing the thing. And it improved my SEO, but it was really slow, and I just couldn't get the stuff that I wanted. Do-it-yourself is good, but expect to spend a lot of time tinkering and trying to get things just right or figuring out every platform is just a little bit different, so how you do it one way, you can't do it that way and another. I don't know.

Michael Reynolds:

And what DIY platforms do you have experienced in, Rianne? What have you worked with?

Rianne Chavez:

I've worked with Weebly. I've worked with Squarespace. I've worked with WordPress. I feel like there's another one that I'm not thinking about. Maybe Wix.

Michael Reynolds:

Wix is one of the big three I always hear about when it comes to the DIY platforms.

Rianne Chavez:

I feel like I dabbled in it, and then decided I didn't like it and I liked Weebly more. So I feel like I've played in like the back office part of it, but ... And this was easily over a decade ago, and I know things have changed, and it's more like user-friendly and everything, but it's definitely an investment of your time and your time as a resource.

Michael Reynolds:

Marcy, what about you? What platforms have you tinkered with recently?

Marcy Basile:

Well, my original website for my massage business was on Weebly, and at the time I built it, I thought it looked great. And then I went back and looked at it about a year and a half later because I was so done. It's like, it took me long enough to build it, and I was like, ah, I don't even want to look at this again, and I went back about a year and a half later and I was like, oh, this is horrible. And it just was not a good experience at all. I couldn't get my photos to line up. It was just, eh, I hated it.

Marcy Basile:

But my original background, I started out in Dreamweaver, which is like super high-end website-

Michael Reynolds:

[crosstalk 00:11:24]-

Marcy Basile:

... developing, like way high-end, but that was overkill for what I needed. So, it was very frustrating to build my original website.

Michael Reynolds:

Sure.

Marcy Basile:

And I just let it ride for years because I didn't want to do it again.

Michael Reynolds:

We're definitely hearing some pain points, but let's say a massage therapist has decided that the DIY path is right for them. What's some advice you would give them, either on platforms to consider and/or ways to approach it to make it more successful? Let's start with Rianne.

Rianne Chavez:

Oh, okay. I really enjoy Squarespace, and I would not even now be opposed to building a site in Squarespace. They have a lot to offer, and once you figure out the ropes, it's really easy to do things. And they have a great help support where you can watch videos and figure out those things. There's some stuff that you just need to know or get used to, but they have a lot of the stuff built in.

Rianne Chavez:

As far as like stock photos and that kind of thing, you can do a search right within the platform, which is nice. You don't have to go to a secondary service, use it, pull it in. Of course, I prefer to use either the stock photos that I created or the beautiful ones by MBB.

Michael Reynolds:

Great shout out. Thank you.

Rianne Chavez:

Right? That was not planned, but yeah, that you guys have provided because they're beautiful. So, you still have that upload experience, but when you're doing it yourself, you still need to collect the materials and the things that you need, whether it's your content or codes or whatever.

Michael Reynolds:

Speaking of content, Marcy, I know you're very invested in content, so how can someone best prepare their content for a DIY website project?

Marcy Basile:

The first thing to do is decide how many pages you want to have on your site, and from there you can start building your content. I mean, you need to know what photos you want to put on each page. What kind of text you want to put on each page? Do you want a service page? Do you want a page for them to contact you? Do you need to show them a map? Just gathering all your content, but make it easy on yourself and don't overthink it. Just get the bare basics together, and as you're building you can fill it in.

Marcy Basile:

Because remember a website is a living creature and you can always go in and change it. You don't have to have it perfect the first time around. It's always going to be changing, and the more you start working on it, and the more you build your business, the more you're going to add to it. But in the beginning, keep it very easy and keep it very simple. Maybe just a homepage, an about page, a service page, and a way for them to book their appointments online. That's really all you need to get started.

Rianne Chavez:

[crosstalk 00:14:31]-

Michael Reynolds:

I'm so glad you ... Go ahead, Rianne.

Rianne Chavez:

Oh, I was just going to add. Okay, so Marcy's first thing is to decide the pages. I really approach it as the first thing as deciding what the intent of your website is, whether you're going to be trying to attract clients, whether you're just having it in place of a phonebook listing. I've had clients recently that just want their phone number and location and how to get to them for existing clients because they have no desire to be attracting new people. So, I do feel like that intent is important to establish before you decide the rest of it, and that way all roads lead to that ending.

Michael Reynolds:

That's a really good point because there could be different purposes. I mean, obviously a lot of us think of the website is really mainly for attracting clients, but I've met massage therapists who are, their practice is full. They only have one or two slots a year that open up, and they're like, "Yeah, I just want to make it easy for my clients to get what they need, then book online," and that's their primary purpose, so they would have a different structure ideally than the new massage therapist who's trying to grow fast. So, it's a really good point.

Michael Reynolds:

And Marcy, I'm really glad that you brought up the overthinking part. I feel like that could be the theme of our entire discussion, quite honestly, because, and not just in the massage therapy community, but in general, small business owners, we overthink everything. We think, okay, I've got to have like 20 pages. I've got to make all the content perfect, and I've got to tweak every pixel and every color, and we just overthink it to death, and we don't end up launching on our website or get anywhere. I know the both of you have a really strong bias, like I do, toward action and simplicity and getting this stuff done, which I really appreciate.

Michael Reynolds:

I want to get to what I think is the more interesting topic which is working with a professional, but when it comes to the DIY route, is there anything else that you would advise our listeners on when they're, let's say they're using Squarespace or Weebly or something like that, Marcy mentioned content, what else will help them avoid as much pain as possible when getting their site from zero to launch?

Marcy Basile:

It's not going to be perfect. Just accept that from the beginning. That is a pipe dream. I don't know, is pipe dream even the right word? But it's just an unattainable goal of expecting perfection in order to launch or in order to be happy with it. You can be happy with it. Like Marcy said, it's a living thing, and you can go in and change things as needed. It's not going to live forever in that way, but I just think lowering that expectation of perfection. And that's not saying that you don't want things to look good or be functional or work. That's just saying perfect is not going to happen.

Rianne Chavez:

That's very true. Perfect is not going to happen. During COVID, this is an example, during COVID, we all had to put out on our sites our COVID protocols, and even then that was constantly changing. So, there's an example of how your website could possibly be changing every week or every other day, and it just depends on what's going on in the world and what you have to do.

Rianne Chavez:

So, if you had waited to know the exact protocol that you were going to do in your clinic before you launched your site, you would never have launched that site. You still might not even know. Masks, no mask. I mean, there's just so much that changes, and that's what's great about a website is that you can tell so many people, you can tell everybody that is looking for you all at once with just one simple change. And it just, it really simplifies your life to have an easy to maneuver, easy to change site.

Michael Reynolds:

Get version one out the door, you can always change it later. I'm going to add a couple of things, also myself. I'm going to say, first, make sure you know where your domain name is registered and how to get to it. That trips a lot of people up. So many people, they've registered the domain names somewhere like 10 years ago, and don't know how to get to it, how to log in. Go ahead and get that fixed. There are ways to look this up. If you go to GoDaddy or Google Domains or any of the big registrars, you can type in your domain name, it'll tell you where it's registered, and look at the bottom. It'll say, "Registered with this, GoDaddy," or, "Network Solutions," or, "Registered.com." Go to their site and do like a password reset, make sure you get your login information up to date and make sure that's ready because when it's time to launch, you don't want to spend days trying to track down your login information to your domain. Get that ready.

Michael Reynolds:

Also, your logo. A website redesign is a really good time to reevaluate your logo. Sometimes we have a logo that we designed ourselves in Microsoft Paint 10 years ago, and it's not really a logo, so it might be time to hit up 99designs or hit up Marcy or Rianne and get some professional help to get your logo designed. And it doesn't have to cost that much, it can cost a few hundred dollars to get a really nice logo put together and something you can be proud of as you redesign your website. So, logo, content, domain name, photos, get all that stuff ready to go and that makes life a lot easier when you're building out your pages. It makes it go a lot faster and a lot smoother.

Michael Reynolds:

Let's talk about working with a professional now. Obviously you are both professionals, you both run businesses doing this professionally. You have built websites for clients, and obviously you are a great resource on how to advise people on how to make their project most successful. All a lot of people do decide that working with a professional is best for them. They want someone else to handle the design, the development, the put it all together stuff, and they want to pay someone to do that. So, what are some of the biggest challenges you see people face when working with a professional to have their website built? Let's go with Marcy first.

Marcy Basile:

The biggest challenge I think clients have is honestly the price because they think that they can do it for free or a minimal price, but are they really willing to spend the time that it takes to get a nice site built? We all value our backgrounds as massage therapists, right? We charge our value, so you want to think about that if you're working with a website designer. Go for what you can afford, but make sure that it's somebody that knows what they're doing and isn't just like a fly by night.

Marcy Basile:

Then you want to look at some designs that they've already done. Is their aesthetic the same as your aesthetic? Are they going to be a good listener? Are they going to pay attention to the things that you, like Rianne said, like intent, are they going to be following your intent of what you want your website to be?

Marcy Basile:

And then are they a good designer themselves? Can they look at your photos that you give them and say, "Hey, this is how I think this should look," or, "We can crop it this way." There's a lot to think about when you're going there, but go into it with an open mind and make sure that it's somebody that you can talk to and communication, communication, communication is key. Somebody that you feel comfortable talking to, emailing back and forth with, and somebody that you trust with your identity and with your company.

Michael Reynolds:

How about you, Rianne?

Rianne Chavez:

I feel like a lot of people get overwhelmed with even just trying to talk about their brand. When you want to talk about what language do you use or what kind of voice you have. So, I think people really need to get comfortable with who they are as a brand so that they can communicate that. And granted, as a professional, we're going to help get that out of you, but I've had people almost shut down in just having that conversation because it's not something that they have thought about or intentionally made decisions about, so when you're asking those questions, it's just a deer in headlights moment. And I would definitely reiterate the price, or even just pulling the trigger to do it and get it done. That is definitely the two things that I see.

Michael Reynolds:

Marcy, I know you've got a really, well, you both have a really good process for taking people through from start to finish. So Marcy, do you mind sharing what the process looks like? And I realize it's different for different professionals, but in general, there is kind of a logical order that things happen when you're working with somebody to get a website built. So let's say a massage therapist comes to you and says, "Hey, great. Like where do I sign? Let's get this started," what does the process look like for you from start to finish to get that launched?

Marcy Basile:

For me, you have an initial meeting, and in that meeting is where we talk about what they're looking for, what I can do for them to get them to the point that they're looking for. Once we agree to work together, then I send them a packet so that they can jot down their ideas on what they want for content, what kind of photos they're looking for, colors that they're looking for. I have them send me their logo. I have them look at other websites just to see what kind of aesthetic they're looking for, what they like, what they don't like.

Marcy Basile:

And then I give them about a week to do that, and then once they get all of that together and send that to me, I help them choose a theme through the Zephyr. And once they choose their Zephyr theme, then I plug and play the photos that they've sent me, the logo that they have, the colors that they've sent, and then any content that they might've sent. From there, I give them, "How does this look?" And they give me their approvals. They say, "Hey, I want to change this up a little bit. I don't like that color." We go through that.

Marcy Basile:

And then by then they should have started writing their content, or if they're paying me to write their content, I'll have gotten a first round of content in there. And then we get into our second approval, make those changes, and then we're at launch. And it usually takes about three to four weeks from start to finish, once they sign that contract and to finish, and that's when I launch it. Like, "Hey, it's going out. Here we go. Go look at it online," and then we might have one more tweaky session, but I don't want them to wait any longer. "This is it. This is good. Go on out there. Fly, be free."

Michael Reynolds:

I'm glad you mentioned your timeframe because I hear so many horror stories from massage therapists who they've hired a professional, and six months later, they still don't have a website. And their website, a professional has ghosted them or is dragging things along or is not communicating well with them, and they just feel stuck. And I want to send a message out to our listeners that this is not how it should be.

Michael Reynolds:

There's a lot of advice, a lot of companies out there that I don't feel are always relevant to our audience. Like you've got big agencies that take a long time and charge a lot of money. You've got startup freelancers that maybe don't provide great service because they're just not used to working with a professional or in a professional context yet, but there are professionals and agencies, like the two of you and others, that meet those that real sweet spot of working with a small business owner who just needs something really simple, affordable, and fast and beautiful, and that can be achieved.

Michael Reynolds:

So, I love that you shared your timeframe of three to four weeks. I mean, that's honestly what we should expect in my opinion. As massage therapists working in a solo business, we don't need to overdo this. It shouldn't cost a ton. It shouldn't take a long time, and it should be pretty simple, honestly.

Michael Reynolds:

Do you mind sharing what you would recommend as a broad price range that a massage therapist should spend when working with a professional? [crosstalk 00:26:59] about you. Oh yeah, go ahead, Marcy. I'll start with you.

Marcy Basile:

My sites start at $1750, and that is a basic site. That's most massage therapists are going to fall into that $1750 to $2000. If I'm going to be writing a lot of content for the site, it's going to be closer to the $2000 price. But remember what you're getting, I have 25 years of writing in my background. That's what I did in reporting and communications and SEO writing, and then also the design and everything. And that's to get your site out within three to four weeks. And, I mean, there's no delay. And I keep on my clients like, "Hey, I need this, this, this, and this to get your site launched, and once I get it, we're done." And it's really worked out well for everybody. I've launched sites in as little as two weeks, and it's a beautiful site. She loves it. Everything, once it's all in place, it all goes together well. Those are my prices.

Michael Reynolds:

A quick jargon check to make sure we don't leave anybody behind. So a couple things you mentioned, you mentioned Zephyr is the website platform you build on, so that's why you mentioned that. And then SEO stands for search engine optimization, for those who maybe aren't familiar with that term. That's the practice of getting your website found on search engines like Google.

Michael Reynolds:

Rianne, what about you? What price range have you seen works really well and is appropriate for a solo massage therapist?

Rianne Chavez:

I feel like the $1500 to $2000 range is really where the average massage therapist, especially if they're a solo practitioner with one location, and they want online booking, a basic website, maybe with a blog, right? That's kind of the sweet spot, I find, that most massage therapists need. They don't need anymore.

Rianne Chavez:

And definitely one of the things when you're looking at working with a professional, make sure you understand what you're getting for your money, because I have a client, I'm working in a different capacity than building websites, but they just spent thousands of dollars, and had it delivered, and it's the framework. They have to go in and put in all the content, the images, everything. It was like, "Here you go, now you make it a website," and they were not expecting that.

Rianne Chavez:

Definitely make sure you understand what you're getting for your money in that. And that's, I'm sure Marcy is as well, but I want to be really transparent what our conversation was, and I'll lay it out. And if you see something that was discussed, but it's not in writing when you're signing a contract, have them add it in before you sign it, or definitely before you give them money.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on. Thank you. What are like the top one, two, or three things that you feel a solo massage therapist can do to make their project most successful when working with someone like you? Let's say they're hiring a professional, they've never done this before. Maybe they've DIY-ed it in the past and they're saying, "Okay, great. I've got a couple thousand dollars saved up. I'm going to spend this on my website. I'm going to invest it in something beautifully designed." What are some of the top things that they can do to ensure that they do their part to make it a successful project? Marcy, what do you think?

Marcy Basile:

First of all, it would be to gather as much information as they can. I'm all about content. Make sure that they-

Michael Reynolds:

Content is important, I'm with you.

Marcy Basile:

... gather as much information about themselves, about their business, about any services they have, prices they charge, if they have any great reviews, send those along because people love reviews.

Marcy Basile:

And then photos, make sure you have a great headshot or action shot of yourself. Clients want to know what you look like, so they make sure they're going to the right massage therapist when they walk in your door. They also want to see photos of your clinic, so make sure you have great photos of that. And these can just be photos that you use your cell phones to take. Just make sure the lighting is great, and it shows everything that you want the clients to see. They don't have to be spectacular. If you have professional photos, that's great. If you have a little bit of extra cash and you can get professional photos taken, that's fantastic. But just gather as much information and as much content as you can and get that to your designer, and that's really going to make the process so much easier for everybody.

Michael Reynolds:

And what if all the content is already on the existing website, is it okay just to say, "Copy and paste it all?"

Marcy Basile:

It is, if they want to do that. But I would ask them to update it, make sure that it's all relevant and that it truly reflects everything that they've are about now.

Michael Reynolds:

Marcy, you and I both know that's where all projects go to die-

Marcy Basile:

I know.

Michael Reynolds:

... is waiting for content from the clients.

Marcy Basile:

Yes, yes, yes, yes. If they have an existing site, I will copy and paste, but I will also ask them to double check it and make sure it's relevant and it's pertinent.

Michael Reynolds:

For those who don't know, I also have done this as a past life. For over a couple of decades, I owned a digital marketing agency doing websites, and we always found that the content portion, actually asking our clients to produce content or edit content or give us content was where everything just died.

Michael Reynolds:

So I would venture to say, as a massage therapist listening to this, if you don't have your content where you want it to be, the next best thing is to say, "Hey, copy and paste what's there, and we'll change it later." That's, to me, is better than saying, "Yeah, I'll get it to you soon," and then six months go by, and you've been busy because you're serving clients and you haven't written your content yet. So, I think action is better than nothing. If that means go with what you have, that's that's okay for now.

Marcy Basile:

Oh yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, if you're going to copy and paste your own content to send to me, that's great too, because I just need something to put into that website for you.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. So Marcy, you say gather all the stuff, especially content in advance. Rianne, what about you? What are some of your top guidelines for a successful project as a client?

Rianne Chavez:

I think, one, knowing who you serve and really understanding that. Two, really being able to share what you help them with and how you help them. Those are the three things, especially for a home page. If you can answer those questions for people showing up, that's 90% of the content that you need is answering those questions. So, really thinking about that, understanding that, and getting that done.

Rianne Chavez:

And also, just being open to the fact that things have changed. Something that worked, even five, 10 years ago, or something that looked good five or 10 years ago, there might be better ways of going about that, or doing it, sharing it, whatever. So, being open to using video on your website because that's what people want as far as that goes. Being open to sharing pictures of yourself. I will add to Marcy that if you're taking a headshot with your phone, have somebody else do it, don't do it selfie. And especially don't do it as a selfie in your car, please. You know we've seen it.

Rianne Chavez:

I think if you're hiring a professional, then be open to listening to the advice or expertise that they're bringing to the table, because that's why you're giving them money. Just don't shut them down just because you've done it X, Y, or Z way for the last decade.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, let's have a little fun. Marcy, what's the number one thing, in your opinion, that ruins a website?

Marcy Basile:

Oh, so much. I can only pick one? Oh, man.

Michael Reynolds:

You know what? You can pick two.

Marcy Basile:

For me, okay, it's going to be photos that are cropped in a horrible way.

Michael Reynolds:

Ah.

Marcy Basile:

I mean, because we all read with our eyes for, well, we all of course we read with our eyes, but it's all visual, right? Everything is so quickly and done so fast that we need to see, right? So the visuals have to be on point. And oh my God, poor writing. Oh my God, grammar. Ah, I'm I'm not one of those like grammar, it has to be perfect, but no slang in your ... Write the words out. Speak, I mean, those are my two.

Michael Reynolds:

How about you, Rianne? What ruins a website in your opinion?

Rianne Chavez:

Oh, my gosh.

Marcy Basile:

[crosstalk 00:36:12].

Rianne Chavez:

Probably when a font is in a color that's not legible like lime green. And also, especially for massage therapists, when they have the Google Ads all over their page, it drives me bonkers.

Michael Reynolds:

That's fair.

Marcy Basile:

Too many pop-ups. All those pop-ups.

Michael Reynolds:

I'll share one, poor quality stock photos. Stock photos that are obviously very stock, eStock photos, like the, you know the ones. Like people laughing in front of a laptop or shaking hands in a business meeting and those kinds of things, just horrible stock ... Or poor quality, like low-res photos that are pixelated when you enlarge them in the space they're supposed to be in. A bad photo will ruin a website. In my opinion, a super high-quality photo will make it amazing. I think quality photography is one of the most important things about a website. It can make or break the site in terms of visual aesthetics.

Rianne Chavez:

I agree.

Michael Reynolds:

Let's quickly touch on accessibility. Rianne, I know you have a lot of experience in this area, so how important is accessibility when building your website and what should you be asking your professional when it comes to accessibility to people with varying levels of abilities?

Rianne Chavez:

I think you need to ask and make sure that they're going to include it because for some people that's a extra or an add on, or they just don't bother with it. I mean, it also helps improve your SEO when you have your alternate text on things. But the more important thing is that you're making your information in your site accessible to people that normally wouldn't have that. So, I find it to be really important and they should know, going back to the lime green font color or whatever, right?That's hard to read for some people. And I'm even finding as I'm comfortably in middle-age now, I guess, I don't know, that sometimes I'm like, "I can't see that," and I'm like trying to pull it back or adjust it. That they just even have a knowledge of it, double-check that they do because it's-

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, there are a few simple things that you can do to really go a long way toward helping your website be more accessible. Things like the text you put inside of images so people with visual impairments can, their screen readers can read it properly. Captioning videos so that people that are deaf or have hearing impairments can read the captions instead of hearing us. Things like that are fairly easy to do and make a big impact on how accessible your website is to people with varying levels of abilities.

Michael Reynolds:

It can even go as far as menu structure. So, one thing I want to add is so many people still seem hung up on the dropdown menus that you see on websites, the old fashioned menu across the top and you click on something and it drops down. The problem with things like that is those are very difficult for some people with limited dexterity to use and they behave differently. Do you click on it? Do you hover? Every site is different. Sometimes you can't expect it to be a hover or a click and pull the menu down, and so knowing how to build a navigation menu that is accessible and easy to use for people of varying levels of dexterity is also important.

Michael Reynolds:

And Marcy, to your point about content, readability of content, that's an accessibility issue. If your content is too dense and too thick and hard to read without a lot of concentration, that can be an impediment to people that have cognitive processing issues, or just people in general that don't want to spend a lot of time digging into the content, they want to scan it. So, those are all important factors to ask about and make sure your website professional can handle it.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. We're running short on time, but I want to wrap up and just ask both of you. Anything else you would add that would help our listeners understand what to expect when getting a website built for them? We've hit a lot of great things, but anything we've left out?

Marcy Basile:

I think we'll think of 20 things that we left out as soon as we stop recording.

Michael Reynolds:

Fair enough.

Rianne Chavez:

I agree with that one too. Well, I will add that you want to make sure that your website is something that you actually send out, like you send your URL out to your clients. Make sure they know how to find you and make sure it's something that is a relatable URL to your business. If you can't get your own business name, find something that is going to be easy for your clients to remember with your URL.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on. I want to wrap up talking tech for just a minute. A couple of points, something that comes up a lot is email. A lot of people think, oh, my email is bundled with my website, right? No, it should not be. It used to be the case, but if you're working on a new website, your email really should be separate. We recommend using Google Workspace.

Michael Reynolds:

Google's gone through so many different names. It used to be G Suite, it used to be Google Apps. Now, it's Google Workspace. Tomorrow, it'll be something different. But the Google business email system, we really like here at the Blueprint, so I would say that's a really good option. It's like $6 a month for a single mailbox. It's very affordable. So you want to make sure that your email is hosted separately from your website, that way they're independent of each other, and they can move around separately if you need to.

Michael Reynolds:

And as far as the domain name, I also don't recommend bundling your domain name with your hosting provider. So if you're working with a website that's hosted somewhere, make sure your domain name is independent. That way you can move it around as needed also. Your website can move somewhere else, and your domain stays at the registration company where it is. That way, you can point it wherever you need to. Having these things independent is really useful, in my opinion, and really important.

Michael Reynolds:

Any other tech tips that either of you have that I've left out?

Marcy Basile:

Mine's not techy. I would just say get to know the camera on your phone, learn how to do different tips and tricks with it. There's a lot of YouTube videos out there for the different phones and the cameras and their abilities. These cameras are amazing. Just 10 years ago, cameras were awful on our phones and now you can film a full-length movie on them. It's crazy. So, use the technology that you already have in your hand every day and take some great photos and update your website with those. Take some, like, oh, I don't like this header photo, change it. Take a great one and then let's change it.

Michael Reynolds:

Rock on.

Marcy Basile:

But learn how to use your phone.

Michael Reynolds:

Let's have you repeat that again during Quick Tips because that's your quick tip.

Marcy Basile:

It is my quick tip. Sorry, but its techy.

Michael Reynolds:

But you have an extra thing to go with it though.

Marcy Basile:

But it was a techy quick tip.

Michael Reynolds:

It is, but you have something to share with it, so we have something extra.

Marcy Basile:

I do. I do.

Michael Reynolds:

We'll look into that a minute. Rianne, any other tech tips that you have or you think we're good for the moment?

Rianne Chavez:

I think we're good.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Well let's, again, we do have a couple things to offer here during Quick Tip session, so we'll get that in just a moment. But first, let's show some love to our other sponsor today, ABMP. And I know that both Marcy and Rianne are ABMP members, so I might ask to pick their brain on their opinions as well. But I will say that we are big fans of the ABMP Education Center. The landing page for that is at abmp.com/learn. It contains over 600 hours of CE courses, which is included with your membership, or available for purchase if you're not a member.

Michael Reynolds:

The topics include hands-on techniques, ethics, self-care, cultural competency, and courses for massage educators. And ABMP members get free CE for all courses included with their level of membership, so it's a great way to meet CE requirements, try out new presenters, and save your CE budget for other courses. So, we are proud to be partnering with ABMP. And Marcy, Rianne, anything you want to add about your experience with ABMP?

Rianne Chavez:

Well, I am also a massage instructor, and I have gone through three different courses in-person with ABMP just for instructors, and it's so amazing how they support your instructors out there. And they do the same thing for the massage therapist. They've got so many classes for you to take out there, and quite a few of them are free, and I'm all about free.

Michael Reynolds:

Free is good.

Rianne Chavez:

So, go out there and get them.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on.

Marcy Basile:

I love ABMP for a few reasons. I love that they take care of the people that provide content for them, that they're not just expecting people to do work for exposure. I think they've been a great company for that. And also, they're really making an effort as far as diversity and inclusion and offering courses. I know my friend, Shauna [Chavon 00:45:20], was on for their Social, CE Social, whatever they call it, and they've just really stepped it up and have been making an effort. And it's one of the only organizations for massage therapist that I'm seeing do that.

Michael Reynolds:

They're really innovative and just really good people in general. So again, we love partnering with ABMP. You can find out more at abmp.com/learn.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, so let's wrap up with Quick Tips. Marci, I know you kind of alluded to your quick tip, give us a recap, and then also, I think you have an offer, a free download for our listeners that will help them with their content. So, what is that all about?

Marcy Basile:

I do. Okay, so let me reiterate one more time. Learn how to use your cameras, the camera on your phone. It's always in your hand. It's always ready to go. Take some great photos. The more you take, the better you're going to get. And to go with that, I am offering a free download of content questions that you can use to help build up the content on your website, whether you have existing content or brand new, need some content, it's going to be different questions to answer that's going to help you get your intent, as Rianne was saying, find your intent and get the thoughts out of your brain and onto the paper so that you can give them to your website designer.

Michael Reynolds:

And where do we find that?

Marcy Basile:

I can't remember.

Michael Reynolds:

I've got it here. I'll share it. It's at a bluesettercreative.com/howtowrite. Again, you can-

Marcy Basile:

Thank you.

Michael Reynolds:

... download that at bluecentercreative.com/howtowrite. Look, I'm here to market your company for you, Marcy. No big deal. All right, Rianne, what is your quick tip?

Rianne Chavez:

My quick tip is to get a branding guide, sit down and think about it. I think this is probably the third time I've mentioned it during this podcast, and I'm not sorry. It doesn't have to be super fancy. I personally happen to be a little extra, so I like things to look pretty and neat. And I have a template that you can use from Canva to do that. But you get your color codes and your logo and your headshots. I have little notes in there, but you can create a public file, and even put in a link to the PDF so you can just click on your face and it would take you to a folder that has that information. But all of that's available at boldlucidity.com/brandingkit, and it will be so helpful for anybody you work with, whether it's social media, whether it's building a website, getting content to just have that branding kit and know what it is.

Michael Reynolds:

Awesome, thank you. Really great resources. And just to make sure we, again, reiterate where to find the two of you, Marcy, you're at bluesettercreative.com, and Rianne, you're at boldlucidity.com. I'm assuming you're fine if our listeners want to reach out to either or both of you to ask questions or learn more about working with you.

Rianne Chavez:

Yes, absolutely.

Marcy Basile:

Absolutely.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay. All right. Fantastic.

Marcy Basile:

Thanks.

Michael Reynolds:

There you go. So, there you have it. If anyone out there is curious about building a new website and you want to think about working with a professional, here are two that work in your industry and get massage therapists, so definitely reach out to Marcy and/or Rianne. All right. Well, thank you both. It's been a lot of fun as I predicted. Great topic, great company, so thanks for being here. I'm sure I will talk to you again sometime in the future.

Michael Reynolds:

With that, you know where to find us on the web at massagebusinessblueprint.com. You're welcome to send us a note through our website, or you can email podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. That goes to both Allissa and me, and we will respond. And if you're not a member of our premium member community yet, feel free to check it out. You can try it free for 30 days, and you can actually get access to Marcy and Rianne and ask them questions right there in the community. They actually pop in and talk about websites for people who ask. Again, you've got a 30-day free trial if you want to try it, massagebusinessblueprint.com. And thanks everyone for joining us today, have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Marcy Basile:

Bye.

Rianne Chavez:

Bye.

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