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Here’s the situation. “Your parents went away on a week’s vacation.” Just kidding. No, for real. You just got a great lead. Super awesome lead. But the client needs work that is out of your wheelhouse. What do you do? We suggest partnering.

On this episode of the Smart Marketing Show, Jason and Bridget will be joined by Jen Miller of Next Door Marketer to gain some insight on how to find those magic partnerships.

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Partnering Helps with Time Constraints

Being a freelancer or an agency of one is great until you want to make more money. You either need to charge more or do more. That only works for a while. Then you have another choice: hire or partner.

“I’m not someone who can walk away from a deadline.” Jen Miller

Know yourself. If deadlines are important to you, then partner with a vendor who feels the same. In fact, Jen Miller suggests building in a weekend. Give your vendor a date that is before it’s due to the client. Time marches on and waits for no vendor and sites don’t build themselves — even with Gutenberg.

Partnering Helps with Growing Pains

Growth is good until you fall asleep while you’re typing. (Never publish without editing, by the way.) Networking (in-person, Slack Channels, etc) is so important. Get to know people and how they work. Ask questions. You never know when you’ll need a qualified referral (handoff) or a partner.

Checking in with a potential vendor or referral on their production schedule before recommending them to your client is just plain smart, Jen suggests.

“As an agency owner, you have to be willing to step in and do those pieces.” Jen Miller

Partnering Requires Communication

It’s like on a dating app when everyone says they value communication until there’s a communication problem. Part of good communication is open communication and frequent communication. This is where networking and systems meet.

“Check in to see how the partner is doing on the project,” Jen Miller says. After all, it is your client. In the end, the work is your responsibility. If you don’t want the responsibility of managing the partner-vendor, then you’ll need to handoff the client to someone. Even then, you may want to check in.

Project Management is Key

Project Management Systems are a huge part of successful communication. Choose a tool and use it consistently. Have a system. Sometimes a Google Sheet is good enough. A system only works if you use it.

It’s even a good idea to create a short training video to quickly onboard partners. If both you and your partner-vendor use a project management tool (Jen likes Basecamp 3), choose yours. It’s your client. 

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Jen recommends his Clarity.fm.

Jason recommends the Google My Business app.

Bridget recommends Seconds. It is an app for interval training timers.

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Jason Tucker: [00:00:00] This is Episode number 160, of Smart Marketing Show. This is ServerPress makers of DesktopServer. They make local WordPress development, easy check them out over at serverpress.com and our friends over at Cloudways. Go check them out at cloudways.com. If you’re looking for a WordPress web host, support us over from Petreon.com. Go to patreon.com/wpwatercooler. And you get added to that list there. I’m Jason Tucker. You find me over at JasonTucker on Twitter, my cohost and friend Bridget Willard. She’s a marketing consultant. Following her over @youtoocanbeguru on Twitter and our guest Jen Miller, founding director and CEO of Next Door Marketer Inc.

Hey, how’s everyone this morning.

Jen Miller: [00:01:00] I’m good.

Jason Tucker: [00:01:02] Good, good. It’s been a crazy morning as usual every Friday morning. Always crazy. Always pushing the wrong buttons as usual, which

is good.

Bridget Willard: [00:01:12] Patriarchy.

Jason Tucker: [00:01:16] Yeah, you should go help. Go help us out on Patreon. That’d be great. So we have Jen Miller on the show today and we’re going to be talking about partnerships.

And, and how do, how do they start building those out and how do you get people to, to help you out when, you know, you just don’t have the right skill set or you don’t have enough of the skill set that you need. Jen, before we get into all of that, could you give us a little, little self-introduction tell us just a little bit about what’s going on and, and what you have going on.

I’m intercepting the, Your body liquids between the two of you. It’s hilarious.

Bridget Willard: [00:01:56] Just tell us what’s going on with next door marketer.

Jen Miller: [00:02:00] All right. So, many of you know me I’m from need someone to blog. That’s kind of how I got into this world. but we launched our company as next door marketer a year ago. And that’s because we do so much more than blogging. And so we do website content.

We help with website builds, email marketing campaigns and, of course blogging and, whatever you need as far as the written word or. Local marketing. We can help you or point you to the resources who can help you further. And that’s part of the reason why this topic came up is, is that, we partner with a lot of likeminded, hyperlocal focused businesses that can help you next level, your business.

Yeah. I mean,

Bridget Willard: [00:02:45] I heard a talk from Alex Vasquez at like word camp, orange County I’m want to say 2013 or 14. It was one of my first. And he was saying, look, look around, look at the room. These are people you should be partnering with. If you want to get the better work with the better clients who don’t.

Nickel and dime. You have bugs bug the crap out of you because they want this and this and this and this and this, then you need to partner. And that’s always kind of been in my head because at the time I worked for a general contractor, we were a paper contractor cause we subbed out all of our work, right.

So we dealt with the client, contract, the payment, and then we paid all of our vendors. So that. Made it so obvious to me. And then I got a question from somebody, one of my friends on Twitter, I was like, what do I tell this person? Cause I can’t do all this work. And I’m like, you do the yes. And yes. And, and the other day, like I totally did that.

I was like, Wait, Jen, do you have time in your schedule with your writing staff? Because I really don’t want to do these two blog posts for anybody that thinks I’m writing for them, by the way. cause I always tell my client that, but she’s like, yeah, sure. And I’m like, That’s awesome. Send me an invoice.

Right. And so, because it’s not even always a skillset, right. You guys sometimes it’s time.

Jen Miller: [00:04:20] Right. So other commitments it’s opportunity cost where where’s your best value going to be for that client?

Bridget Willard: [00:04:29] Yeah. Cause it’s so it’s almost like referring, but instead of referring, you’re like, okay, I’m in a partner with this person and this person, you only deal with me.

I have a deal and it’s kind of like, how you can be an agency. One like Nathan Lopate says.

Jason Tucker: [00:04:53] Yeah, it’s kind of like a construction does this where they, they sub out the, they sub out, the various pieces that they just don’t have the internal skill set to pull off. And they’ll, you know, they’ll, they’ll make sure that the things gets done because those two outer parties don’t have to talk to one another.

It’s just the, you know, they act as the middle person there to kind of make sure everything’s working

Bridget Willard: [00:05:16] right. So Jen, like what? I know that you do this a lot and I, you know, I’ve, I’m not trying to, like, I Jack the microphone, setting it up for our listeners. Like we all know this in theory. Okay. Because we’ve heard it so many times.

That’s my point. What are you, how do you do this in practice? How do you get from Holy crap? That’s too much work or Holy crap. I can’t do that. Or I’m afraid of this thing too. The mindset. How do you overcome that mindset of fear?

Jen Miller: [00:05:55] Well, so I can look back to when eight years ago I started need someone to block.

And we were doing well. I was doing blog posts for multiple clients and word of mouth spread quickly. And suddenly I was getting some clients who were paying just my normal rates and then some clients who were wanting me to do more exclusive work for them and wanted to pay more. And I realized my time constraints, you know, I’m one of those people who can operate on four to five hours a night of sleep.

Yeah, but that didn’t mean that I wanted to live a lifestyle or build a business around my personal, you know, ability to withstand being awake for long periods of time. And so I started reaching out and finding other writers who wanted to do part time work and they would kind of fill in for me, but I had to train them all.

And I actually. launched a course, for needs and one to blog to help train them. And then I turn that into a course for just the general public. And so for a couple of years, I had that running where people could take my content course to help them build the content on their website. And, but that evolved from training my team.

I wanted them to be able, as we grew to be able to keep the same standards as I did, because. I knew I would get to the point where I might not even be able to touch everything that came in. And so I had to have people in place who understood not only the technicalities of the grammar and punctuation and the writing, but understood the intent behind each post and behind, what it really means to be hyperlocal, to be.

So focused on how can we help in that local market and what do those people need and to be able to write from that standpoint. and, and so, you know, in the beginning I was scared because there was so much work and it was only me. And I mean, I would fall asleep, typing. Sad, but true. And I would wake up in the morning and be like, Oh my gosh, I wrote a blog post last night.

Like, I didn’t even remember it. But, and, and that was just part of that new business, you know, trying to work through. The growing pains. And, luckily I didn’t publish anything until I had read it while I was awake. but I’m really good at writing my sleep. And, that is what really prompted me to, to reach beyond myself.

And, one of my writers has been with me for more than eight years. and so she. She gets me and, you know, we text, we don’t always, do everything in a formal fashion because we’re both busy and on the fly, but we’re both w we love to write and we love to figure things out for people and figure out what that angle is.

And then, we interact with the other writers as well, but if I need something done, like, you know, spin around within a day, I know who to reach out to and other people I’m like, you know, these are our guidelines and timelines. And what we do now is we just have a Google doc and people sign up for what work they want to do and the deadlines that are there.

And, if there’s urgent projects, those get moved up. But for the most part, it works out really well now, but it was scary in the beginning. And, I am not somebody who. Can walk away from a deadline. Like if it’s there, I need to achieve it. Or I just feel really badly. And I know that there are people I’ve worked with them because I’ve hired them as writers, you know, who see that as more of a guideline versus a, this is when projects do.

And, as a business owner, Or agency owner, you have to be willing to step in and complete the project if you have someone like that. And so, especially if we partner with people on things, as we’re talking about today, it’s important to know who really will step in and do those pieces that you need done for that client in a timely manner.

And, so when Bridgette, before she ever calls and refers anybody to me, she checks in and says, Hey, are you available to work with this person? Key? It’s totally important to do that because that takes away part of the fear, because then as a person giving the referral, you have the confidence, but also as the person receiving the referral, you have.

Not necessarily background. Cause we don’t always share a ton of information about the people we’re referring, but you have a vibe on whether or not the project is within your wheelhouse and something that you really feel comfortable taking

Bridget Willard: [00:10:47] on. Yeah. Yeah. That’s wow. Do you think that, you’ve got that deadline in you from when you worked at the newspaper?

Jen Miller: [00:10:59] Absolutely,

you know, 20, almost 24 hours a day too, because you know, the story never sleeps. So you, you do what you have to, to, to meet those deadlines and to, to find the information out. And, you know, sometimes it’s early, early morning meetings and sometimes it’s late night, you know, Coffee shop adventures it’s and, being a journalist, I think trains you for just about any jobs you could ever do.

the other thing is that because my business is international and, you know, we have people in other countries that work for us, I’ve had to be available at odd hours. and. our writers are all based in the U S but our programmer are not, and I have a virtual or had a virtual assistant I don’t have for right now, but, I’ve had team members that have been in other time zones.

and my writers are throughout the United States. So we’re on all different time zones. And so, communication can also be a place where you can have, some problems, you know, We do everything. We don’t use Slack just because since a lot of my team members are not working full time dedicated, they’re not on line all the time.

And so email thing or, we use a project management tool. Those seem to be better methods for us then having a. A communication device that just is constantly in a thread.

Jason Tucker: [00:12:39] Yeah, no, that, that makes, that makes a lot of sense. Cause I know that even like with the remote work that a lot of folks have been doing right now, they they’ve had to been kind of thrown into using Slack or using one of those things.

And with these people that, you know, you’re, you’re speaking about as someone who’s a, a resource that you’re pulling in as you need them. you don’t necessarily want to, kind of present to them a way in which they feel like they’re an employee of yours and they probably don’t want to feel like they’re an employee of yours.

You’re just handing off, you know, a part of a job that they need to work on and just kind of go from there. So, yeah, I think that might be something if someone’s looking into, starting, starting some type of partnership like that, or even just. And being able to have the, the capability of doing work that’s outside of your normal scope.

That it’s a good idea to, really make sure you define those, you know, those, those guidelines way ahead of time and just say, Hey, you know, I’m not, you’re not my employee and I don’t want to be your boss, but like, here’s the things I need to have done, you know, get done and, and we’ll kind of work, work through it.

from there you talked a little bit about your project management system. How, how do you, how do you manage that with someone who’s not someone that’s an employee of yours to make sure that they understand the work that needs to be done. and, and that they, you know, do, do, do you ever get any resistance from like, well, I already have my own project management system.

Why do I need to use yours too? Have you had to deal with any of that?

Jen Miller: [00:14:08] not necessarily that so much, because I don’t think that many of the people who are on my team have their own. Project manager they use. but I have had to change my project management system to, you know, to upgrade and to support the people who are on my team.

my, I have a full time developer and he prefers a certain platform. And so that’s what we use. And everyone else, as part of their training has to learn. How to use that, that tool so that we’re able to assign in there, but I usually use it more for website projects and for longer term projects. so, and then we use a different tool for our writing staff and, and so, so, the writing staff is more, I, I would say those.

People use less of a project management tools. And so for them, a Google drive spreadsheet and being able to sign up is way easier than us listing topics by week. And it’s a lot less management to, be able to, to handle it that way. And so, every, every type of business that you use, I think has. It’s own tools.

So we have many, avenues of revenue. We have to focus on what tools work best for each.

Jason Tucker: [00:15:39] Makes sense. Yeah. Kurt Carlos, and the chats asking you is I really enjoy using monday.com. Are there better systems out there? I always love the term better systems. Cause it, it means that, that you have had, or already have used monday.com to, to figure out if it’s a better system or not, but instead of the better system, part of it, how, how would, what things have you used and how do you feel about them for

Jen Miller: [00:16:01] project management tools?

Yeah, I have not used that

Jason Tucker: [00:16:06] one. I

Bridget Willard: [00:16:07] keep seeing their ads

Jen Miller: [00:16:10] name is frightening to me. Like it’s just a Monday thing. I wouldn’t be into it as much, I don’t think, but

Jason Tucker: [00:16:15] maybe it’s, I feel like I use sunday.com,

Jen Miller: [00:16:22] but, I, Right now, what we use is base camp 3.0 I’m way, way, way, way back. When I use base camp, when it was first a thing, and then we went away from it and we went to a sauna we’re using Trello. We were we’ve used different. products in the past and base camp came back to me cause I kept some projects on there.

just because I like to archive everything so that we can always go back. Cause you know, with website designs, especially people come back three to five years later and you want to be able to see what did we do from last time? And, it’s an easy way to keep that corporate memory. So base camp 3.0.

When they launched that they reached out to me and said, Hey, you know, grandfathered rates, blah, blah, blah, do you want to try this? And I looked at it and then it was so simple and everyone on my team has found it very simple to use. And so we, even the, the writing staff, the, my bloggers will, check in on there.

And so it makes it like for big content projects. It makes it really easy to assign everything attached to date. And I like the fact that I can add a glance, see what people’s activity has been and comment, more projects that I have, you know, that are top of mind for me and be able to just jump on something

Jason Tucker: [00:17:44] because no one wants to be asked, like, where are you in that project?

You’re working on? It’s like, Like we have modern dating tools. Like, you know, it’s like here, go look on the project management system and see, you know, what they’re working on.

Jen Miller: [00:17:56] And, and there are some tools that I’ve found, that I’ve I use with clients. Right. Because I, I take that and then I bring it back to my team, but I’m using the client interface.

Cause it just makes it easier for them. There’s some tools that I just find with notifications and with things just get lost really easily. And. I would prefer to do email and then use their project management tool. And so, it’s really a personal thing when you’re choosing something like that. But you know, when you’re the founding director, CEO, whatever you want to have that luxury for the person who’s, you know, the buck stops here, you get to choose the project management tool.

So, and actually. Grew in my developers, the one who chose ours. So he makes the decisions, right?

Bridget Willard: [00:18:48] Well, I mean like I’m the big proponent of whatever tool you use is the one that works because we think a tool. It’s going to solve our communication problems, but it doesn’t, and I’m, I’m often on the other side of that, Jen, where I’m either white labeled or a partner on an existing team, either an agency.

So I’m like the stepchild, I mean the grandchild or something like that. So, I mean, I’ve used them all. I click up a sauna. Base camp to base camp three, Trello, when I was managing the marketing team for make WordPress or whatever you call it. I was just some team rep that left team for two years or whatever.

I’m not bitter or anything, but like that kind of stuff. But also like I have some clients like my blogging clients, where they, they buy 10 at a time or 20 at a time. Google sheets. I mean, here’s the topic, here’s the date. I turned it in. That’s what they like, like, I don’t need any extra thing. They don’t want me in there, whatever they’re using.

So like one of the, one of the clients I write for, I just go in there a sauna. There’s a big list. It’s a content board. It’s a big list of topics. Pick one. Once you pick it, you assign it to yourself, you move it to the researching. Why? Once you start writing, you move it to writing. Then when you’re done, you assign it to the editor and you move on into editing, like easy.

I click up. It’s the same thing. I’m another client that I edited things for and he’ll DME and Slack and his Slack. And then I have to go there. So, but here’s the problem. And onto the next question. When you are a white labeler or the, when I’m white labeled, or when I partner with you and you use the color, you lose the client.

Then I lose the client, which has happened to me a couple of times.

Jen Miller: [00:21:02] So

Bridget Willard: [00:21:03] that’s going to happen anyway. Right. But like, how do you vet these partners? Cause Jen, you were like, Saying you should be able to jump in at any time and finish. Right. And so if you’re not sure about the skillset, then how do you vet these partners?

Jen Miller: [00:21:24] So I was saying that in respect to the work that I take on, in my company’s name, if I’m partnering with someone, I usually do a handoff and I introduced them, but I introduced them as. You’re working in working directly with them. I am not the go between. I do not do. Although I offer my services as white label, I do not do a lot of white label services where I have someone else doing the work.

usually I just need more control than that. And so usually if I’m accepting the work, my team is doing it. And that way I can monitor and audit it and make sure that everything is going well.

Jason Tucker: [00:22:06] Jen Miller is not a PHP programmer, so she, she doesn’t need to be there a bunch of PHP to build a website that is now breaking cause some custom thing is messed up.

So

Jen Miller: [00:22:18] Jen Miller, a few tests and see if the custom theme has any food in it. You know, and then say, Hey, I need you to optimize this for me. You know, what’s going on with this URL. Like I can check and see things that need to be done without doing all of that work myself.

Bridget Willard: [00:22:36] Yeah.

Jen Miller: [00:22:36] Yeah.

Jason Tucker: [00:22:37] So what that vetting part of it is it, is it where you essentially have to, like run a test with them and say, Hey, you know, I need to have you work on this website with me and here’s what needs to be done.

There’s a custom API that you need to talk to and then have stuff show up on the website and. And use that little test to do it, or how are you, how are you figuring this out? I know that people go to like meetups and the watch and see if the person actually knows what they’re talking about, but you can talk the talk, but if you can’t walk the walk, then it doesn’t really help you much.

Jen Miller: [00:23:11] Right? Well, a lot of times it’s just working with people like you just jump in, you know, I mean, I’ve watched Bridget work for years. If someone asks me for a social media referral, And they need engagement. I know where to refer them. There’s no question there. Yeah. If Jason were available to do video work, I would definitely send people your way, because I know that that is what you live and breathe and love, you know, but I also know that you don’t have that big of a span for doing so and traveling all the way to capture things, and, using it virtual home tours.

You know, I can send people his way. And so there are people and Amy, if someone needs help with MailChimp, I’m not going to try to jump in and do that for them. You know, refer them to my friend, Amy, who is a MailChimp consultant. and there are so many people who I know who have specialties because I’ve heard them talk at meetups or at work camps or through personal experience.

I used them because I needed them to. Boost up my LinkedIn profile or, you know, me with my tech in my office or whatever it is. my, the wedding videographer, who’s done a couple of my children’s weddings. If anyone needs storyboarding or, you know, wedding photography or regular, like a day in the life of.

photography slash videography. I would totally get, give his name out and say, I have a friend who does adventure photography. And just by seeing his work, I know, I don’t know how he, well, I do cause I’ve hired him, but like, I don’t know how he relates to other people as far as timelines are concerned, but I know that his work in the end is amazing.

And I know that he has always performed well for me. And so. A lot of times, it’s, it’s trying out the service, you know, it’s just like when you get a new car, right. I have a new car and I took it in, I didn’t take it to the dealer where I bought it. I took it in for it. 30,000 or 3000 miles. I don’t know, whatever.

The first checkup, when the light went on and I took it in and I went to this place, this closer to my home and really had a great service experience. So the next time guess where I took it back there. And if someone asks, I’ll say, Oh, You should do this. I’m thinking about buying another car and what am I thinking about?

I’m thinking about a car that I can take to that dealership because I have a relationship there. Yeah. And as a woman, mechanics just are not my thing. Like I don’t want to have to maintain my car. I want to have a good relationship where I feel comfortable when I take my car in it’s the same with an email campaign.

If you’re not a techie person, You don’t want to have to deal with your website, the content, the tech, and so finding people who can be partners, who you can refer to is a matter of learning their work and their style and making sure it’ll mess with your client. Because a lot of times I have some clients who would work great with this partner, but would not be a good fit for this one.

And that’s part of knowing my client. Yeah. Before, right.

Bridget Willard: [00:26:29] Yeah. And knowing the industry and knowing the people. So like, it’s all about what relationships

Jen Miller: [00:26:36] it’s

Bridget Willard: [00:26:37] always about relationships. So for example, the two people that I’m part that I partnered with on this proposal for a CBD B2B, thing estimate I’ve reached out.

I known their work for 11 years. I read their posts. I pay attention to what they say on the internet. Right? So you, you see their work. And I mean, I get referrals all the time from people say, Oh, a bunch of people recommended you. Well, I can’t put that in my little spreadsheet for my lead score, but that’s fine.

I’ll just say Twitter. You know what I mean? But like, that’s what happens. So you have to see the work and this is why I’m always harping on your website. Is your portfolio. Whatever you do on the internet. You know, if you want to show off your code, then put it on GitHub, you know, or code pen or make videos of it, or like you have to put your work out out there.

Right. so, and then one of the things that has been done, that. I’ve been asked to do. And then I ask others to do is like a test project, not spec work for, to get the job, but like, Hey, what’d you do this 500 word post. Oh shit. That was really good. And she did it on time then I know it’s supposed to be, but also the communication, right?

Jen, like deadlines that are real deadlines. If you know, people don’t understand deadlines and you pad the deadline, you don’t tell. Your client, you don’t tell your, your partner that you’re is, is technically your vendor, that the deadline is the 30th. You tell him the 20th,

Jen Miller: [00:28:25] right? You,

Bridget Willard: [00:28:26] you need to pad that because if you’re not sure.

Jason Tucker: [00:28:32] Yeah, build contingencies in place. Even if you don’t have the contingency, at least you have the time to scramble to get it figured out if you need to.

Jen Miller: [00:28:41] On the weekend, if I am working with someone who’s new, just so that I have a batch of time, it’s not just, I’m giving a, you know, if it’s a week long project and I only give them two days of lead time, and then I’m supposed to have that project to the client on Friday.

That’s going to be a problem. Right. But if it’s something where it’s a month out, you can really space that to where you have time to review and process. And if you’re the intermediary, but I think a lot of times. At least with this partnership, the way I look at it is that person’s in charge of their own.

I might check in with them and I know my friend, Adam silver, like he and I do work with one another and he’ll check in and say, Hey, how’s that project going? Just to make sure I’m taking care of his people. And I think that’s great that he, he puts things in his calendar to kind of remind him. He checked in with Jen on this date and, you know, Most of the time.

In fact, I think just about all the time, it’s a good check in where, you know, the client’s happy or the client’s already gotten back to him and said, thank you so much for the referral. but there are some instances where something’s a little off, you know, whether it’s a client issue and the client’s just not able to be pleased.

And so the two of you need to touch back and try to work together. And Bridget, I know we have client like this. Right where there was a little bit of disconnect, but it wasn’t between the Bridget NY and the, intent that we had to help this client. It was the client’s vision of what we were going to do, which was like 12 times

Bridget Willard: [00:30:29] what the old vendor to whom she was asking advice.

Jen Miller: [00:30:35] Right.

Jason Tucker: [00:30:36] That’s fun.

Jen Miller: [00:30:37] Yeah. So sometimes you get into those kind of projects. And even though you’re a TA, you’re turning the work over to someone you completely trust and you know, they’re going to do the job the way it needs to be done. It, it doesn’t mean that the client understands what needs to be done.

Bridget Willard: [00:30:58] Yeah. I have to be the bouncer. I said, you know what? That’s super awesome. Jane DOE, but that is not what’s in Jen Miller scope of work. So I’m not going to have her do that. So what you’re asking, it’s this, like, you need to protect your vendors too, because if I work with somebody and they leave me to, if they use me as a scapegoat.

Jason Tucker: [00:31:23] Oh boy. Yeah. That’s not good.

Bridget Willard: [00:31:25] I’m out. They’d be like, that’s, you’re going to burn your vendors. Cause you’re irresponsible. But literally I’ve not had that happen. I’ve been ghosted, but you know, but that’s why

Jen Miller: [00:31:38] I’m prepaid.

Bridget Willard: [00:31:39] Right pay full or partial months. No refunds.

Jen Miller: [00:31:43] Well, and with that particular client, it all ended up working out really well.

She was happy with the work. She just wanted much more scope and Bridget knows this about me. I. I don’t know that I have trouble with boundaries, but I like to deliver as much value as I possibly can. So if someone asks me to stretch a little bit more, I figured out a way to do it when they start stretching and stretching and stretching.

That’s when I call him, I’m like, is this what you want me to be doing? And she’s like, Whoa,

Jason Tucker: [00:32:19] well, as our, as our, as our friend Steve saying, it says he loves change orders. And that, that sounds like you’re getting into the change order territory and change orders are great because it means that, The, the, the whole thing can kind of be reset and you can say, Oh, and what else did you want me to add?

Oh, you want pickles

Jen Miller: [00:32:34] added to the burger?

Jason Tucker: [00:32:35] No problem. Did you know pickles go really great with lettuce? We should totally add let us into this as well. And you have those opportunities to kind of work through that stuff.

Bridget Willard: [00:32:47] She’s is always a change and they still cheeseburgers. No. Seriously, like, think about how many times you go to get a burger.

Jen Miller: [00:32:56] And they show

Bridget Willard: [00:32:58] it with the cheese on it. They show up with the cheese, but she’s this always an upgrade. So it’s okay. If, you know, if McDonald’s could do it, if all these other places could charge for cheese. Then, or, was Chipolte lay with the guacamole, right? It’s a, it’s a change order and we have to expect that too, but that’s like, I was proud of myself because I was like, no, Jen, no, I I’m a not allow you to do any more work.

And I’ve had, I’ve had people do that for me too. And I’m like, that makes me feel like that’s a person I want to work with no matter where that person’s working.

Jen Miller: [00:33:39] Right. Well, and with this. Scenario. I was the white label. Right. So Bridget would have had to be the one to do the change order. Anyway, even though I was communicating directly with the client.

And so that’s why I needed to talk to her about it. Exactly. Even, but like with Adam, when he calls and checks in on a project, you know, if there’s something that he’s like, Hey, you know, I think that you need to charge more for that. I’m going to listen and I’m going to do it. because. Sometimes I personally can get just lost in the project.

I get excited cause I’m working on this fun, you know, that type of thing. Or, I, I, I can see so many ways that we can do this and Oh, this person wants to dominate in this area. I want to have, let’s do this and this and this. And I get my team going on something and then realize. We’re doing way more than we should to, accomplish these goals for the amount that was agreed upon.

And I think that, that’s just because I want to make sure that, you know, people leave. Feeling great about us. And, and sometimes I think, I don’t make the profit that I could because of that. I tell Bridget all the time, I don’t know if I should be in business because I like give away the farm full time.

But as long as my business is making profit, that’s great. Right. And, So, but it’s, it’s just, that’s, I’ve been looking a little more closely cause I work with a lot of nonprofits at like migrating closer to that sector, simply because that’s where I come with that internally. That’s what I want to do organization.

So I might as well help organizations with the intent of helping that organization instead of, you know, trying to wreck a billable hours. And that’s how

Jason Tucker: [00:35:26] Ross was saying in the chat here. He says, I do this with my team members. I follow up with my team members and make sure that the assess of the client’s work.

Once I get the status, I contact the client to provide them with expectations before they can call me to find out what’s going on. Before. Exactly. And I think that’s good because you’re in that situation, you are essentially representing or being you’re representing what the developers wanting to need or that, that partner person that is wanting to need.

And also the other way around, you’re the go between that needs to get that information back to the client. And then the client may even have to have some followup that goes all the way back to. Down the chain again. So yeah, being that person, that’s kind of moving that data back and forth, be it words or code or design or anything like that, you know, you gotta, you gotta have that, that way of kind of making sure everything happens.

So,

Jen Miller: [00:36:19] and Ross is actually a perfect example of this, right? He pulls together people all the time because he works with chambers. So he’s working with people who operate. There are businesses. Plus he’s working with the higher level of the chamber that orchestrates all of those business efforts together to, you know, a common good.

And, so he, he knows people who need things. And luckily he’s in a place where he knows people who can offer those services so he can sort of be that bridge.

Jason Tucker: [00:36:50] Yeah. That’s cool. What else we got, we got a, we got a couple of minutes until we jump into our next thing.

Bridget Willard: [00:36:58] Not to be like an over talker. Cause like Jen and I do this all the time.

Jason Tucker: [00:37:03] I have never noticed in their entire relationship with the

Bridget Willard: [00:37:10] topic.

Jen Miller: [00:37:13] So,

Bridget Willard: [00:37:14] but yeah, you have to, the communication managing expectations, like Steve’s then get says it like every fourth word. I haven’t been to a meetup in a while, but it doesn’t matter. Cause I know he’s gonna say yeah. That and you know, you do it in your dating life. You do it with your marriage, you do it with whatever I did it.

Like I would call my husband on the way home, my late husband on the way out from work, because I knew it was about an hour. I’d say, okay, what’s going on? What do I need to know? Do I need to stop at store, like, let’s do a quick check in what’s the staff meeting, you know, I’d call them around to, you know, also, also make sure he drank because you’d get obsessively reading, you know?

So it is it’s that intimate knowing of how people are, you know? I know, some of my friends that I partner with, I know. How they work, you know, for example, Sarah Pressler is my editor now, and I know that she binges. So, I mean, I don’t really care that it’s not done, but I check in with her and she’s, she’ll check in with me and it should give me some work to do, and then I’ll give it back to her and then she’ll give me some more work, but I know that I want her to do that work that the last week.

So I don’t care when it’s done. Because she’s going to binge on that thing and it’s going to be like fine tooth comb. Right. But finding something done faster, it’s not her. It’s not anything about her as a person. That’s how she works. Right. It’s like Jen typing in her sleep. Whereas I am constantly going.

Okay. If I’ll do this today, I’m going to get a DM and Twitter and it’s going to be super friendly, but it can be like, so how’s it going? Because I know I haven’t done this, even though there’s no like hard date. There’s a couple of clients that I write for that. I do it every week. And so like, My head peeps.

So is Tuesday in my head when it’s Thursday and I’ve, and I’ve kind of trained them. That that’s what I do. So I would say, Oh, I didn’t do this on time. There’s no like hard deadline, but I’ll, I don’t want to disappoint people. So that’s my intrinsic motivation. So some people are like, no, I’m not going to start this unless I know it’s going to be a hundred percent.

That’s why I say Sarah kind of binges. And so that’s fine. That works for me, but it might not work for somebody else. Everybody has their own way of doing things. And sometimes when you ask them, what is your goal with this work? So I do this work for you now. What’s going to happen. You know, like I edited the drips, the 24 drips for peep, so, and, And, first I started giving it to him as I did.

and then I was like, that’s dumb. He’s going to end up them all at once. Hello, Bridget

Jason Tucker: [00:40:14] drip campaign

Bridget Willard: [00:40:17] dripping it to him. And then I just said, you know what? This project needs to be binged. I need to sit down and do your time. I talked to Jen on that. Like I would just, so sometimes it’s not even partnering, but sometimes just reaching out saying, Hey, what do you think I should.

Do you have some advice on this exact strategy? Right? Jen, like Tom sits that too well.

Jen Miller: [00:40:44] And sometimes, it’s finding, well, I was thinking back Bridget, to like women who WP and that’s how we started this organization of women who could support one another. Emotionally, but also support one another in learning new tools and in learning how to network and give referrals.

my mug is from my hair, in India and they started a woman who WP there. but what those connections have done is brought us all together so that we have people. Who we can refer throughout the world and who we can think about. and so, but some of those people, like, I know Yvette Sonnevil, you know, you and I have both consulted with her cause we got to know each other so well, while we were on that marketing team, we, we were able to put together projects based on that.

And like she went in and she did the whole infusion soft training. And so now we have someone who, because of these community events, the activity that we had in not only putting them on, but in attending events, we’ve met people who are resources for services. We may not have had an art Quill, so to speak before,

Bridget Willard: [00:42:11] you know, kind of the bummer of the meetup being a zoom, because it’s not the same.

Jen Miller: [00:42:16] It’s not

Jason Tucker: [00:42:18] down the hallway truck part of it.

Bridget Willard: [00:42:20] Cause there’s no side conversations. Like if essentially a meetup is somebody talking and he raised hands now that works on zoom, but it’s after that’s over and you pull somebody aside and you’re like, you know, you asked that question about blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Did they do the other? And they’re like, you know, that’s not happening on zoom. We have to. That’s probably why Facebook has their rooms. Got Facebook is so AOL. They are a hundred percent

Jason Tucker: [00:42:51] a key keyword with WP water cooler. Make sure you go check it out.

Bridget Willard: [00:42:57] Like, I mean, having a first Bible study, I went to, those are the first friends that I met.

On all 5.0, I mean, all of it was so amazing, but now it’s come full circle, right? Because we, we need that community and not just for relationships before these business, you know, Events. So, it’s almost tool or tip of the week. Time. Yeah,

Jason Tucker: [00:43:22] we can make tour tip of the week happen.

Jen Miller: [00:43:25] I do have clients with email addresses stuff.

Jason Tucker: [00:43:28] Yeah, too.

Jen Miller: [00:43:31] It just passed. Send them

Bridget Willard: [00:43:36] a thing.

Jen Miller: [00:43:36] I introduced them to email. Don’t worry.

Jason Tucker: [00:43:40] All right. Let’s get into Tool or Tip of the week. Let’s let’s go and check out what our Tool or Tip of the week sponsor has to say real quick, whether it’s an existing website or a project on your drawing board, Cloudways offers a hosting environment with all the features you need to succeed online.

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Thank you very much cloudways. We really appreciate it. So today’s tool Tool or Tip of the week. Bridget, you want to start us off with what you’re towards at

Bridget Willard: [00:44:26] the weekend. So I have this app and it’s called seconds and it looks like it looks like a big timer thing costs a little bit. Like, I mean, they have all these whatever’s $5.

We used to be like, Whoa, God so much really. Really I’m my website costs more than that. A latte costs well that ordering toilet paper now costs more than that. So anyway, I’ve been doing the circuit training. I’ve originally got most do a kickboxing to remind me of all the different AB exercises and it timed me for the plank because I was doing these planks and then it’s hard to, okay.

So the reason why this is so good instead of just your regular timer is because you can program it. To have rest intervals. Okay. So when you’re doing planks, your hands are busy. Okay. So you want to be able to like have a minute and 32nd rest have a minute and 32nd rest have a 32nd rest. So on this, I have a, an exercise with that.

I do a Saul and then we have three spots. That’s why as the circuit and when I press play it’s Oh, I should have said push play instead of my mic. Anyway, it’s just exercise one or whatever, and then you go and it says rest, rest. Okay.

Jen Miller: [00:45:50] Exercise too.

Bridget Willard: [00:45:51] And then go and it’s different colors and you could call them whatever.

I mean, you can like really go in and then it says like how much remaining? So it’s integral to a 12 remaining 24, and then it goes to the next one. Like, you don’t have to do anything because like, and what we’re doing, like. I keep my box. I keep my boxing gloves on because we’re doing the boxing and then we’d go to like lunges and then we’d go to apps and then go back to boxing.

You want to really want to put your gloves on, on and off all the

Jen Miller: [00:46:23] time.

Bridget Willard: [00:46:24] So you shouldn’t be touching stuff plus your seconds. Like you can do, you can program it however you want. But for us, we have 15 seconds to between our two minute rounds. So we have four rounds of three exercises that are two minutes with 15 seconds in between.

And boy, are you glad? And then when it’s about to end you, cause you can, you have a lot of choices, but I have it set up. So it goes three. To one rest, I guess it goes three, two, one exercise three, but you can make it say, I mean, I could totally program it, say punching back and it will say it out loud more.

Jason Tucker: [00:47:07] Yeah. That looks really neat that you can do that with

Bridget Willard: [00:47:10] us because it’s just one, two, three, one, two, three, because we changed them a lot. But. You can actually assign a song, teach exercise.

Jason Tucker: [00:47:21] Oh yeah. Right here, the music options. That’s really cool.

Bridget Willard: [00:47:25] Super cool. So if that’s, if that works better for you, like he has his thing and he puts on ACDC and then I have my phone and it does the timer and it works.

And I go over there, the garage is open and we just do it. And then we high five each other and it’s over and I’m sweating and I hate my life. But today it’s only 30 minutes, 27. But

Jason Tucker: [00:47:46] I like that it turns off the music during the break. That’s really cool that it does that. Cause that means because music, music is the trigger.

That’s the thing that’s telling you, you need to be doing stuff. So when it stops you go, okay, I’m just going to take a break.

Bridget Willard: [00:47:58] Yeah. So if you’re using them in your earbuds, you know, or on the treadmill or whatever, you’re just doing it by yourself. That’s fine too. Right? Cause, you know, it’s just both of us in a garage, but the thing is that was really helpful when I was doing my planks Eva, by myself.

And then when he was like, we kept having to take her off her gloves and start the timer again. And then, Oh, I think this is a long enough for us. And I was like F that I think I have an app that I shouldn’t use it.

Jen Miller: [00:48:26] Whoa. This is

Bridget Willard: [00:48:26] the best thing. And he goes home, which is the coolest, and I’m like four or $5, like.

Do we even care about $5 anymore? Just more than that to get a door. And let me tell you what’s bad.

Jason Tucker: [00:48:42] Five bucks.

Bridget Willard: [00:48:43] Robbins comes by door

Jen Miller: [00:48:44] dash.

Bridget Willard: [00:48:47] I ever learned. And here’s, here’s a funny, tiny story. Last night at door dash two hand pack courts of basketball. And the, my friends texted me and said, you want to walk down and ride aid for some Thrifty’s ice cream.

And I said, yes,

Jen Miller: [00:49:02] but I didn’t use

Bridget Willard: [00:49:05] the scoop. People aren’t open yet because the Kobe, right.

Jason Tucker: [00:49:09] Oh man. That’s that’s good stuff.

Bridget Willard: [00:49:11] And my science is dope, but anyways seconds,

Jason Tucker: [00:49:15] Jen Miller, what you got

Bridget Willard: [00:49:16] got to stay. That’s not that nobody paid for these ads. We forgot to say that.

Jason Tucker: [00:49:20] I know I’m paid now. These aren’t ads.

And if they, if the person, when I get to mine, if they would have paid mine, we would have been making a lot of money. So, Bridget, what about you? What do you or Bridget? Jen Miller. What about you? What do you got to share

Jen Miller: [00:49:33] with us? My tool. Isn’t something brand new. It’s been around for quite some time, actually.

But, because I’ve been doing a lot more strategizing consulting, I’m starting to use it. it’s called clarity, FM clarity.fm. and I found out about it because Amy Hall was using it on her website and I was checking something out for her. And it’s super cool because for. People who you don’t already have a relationship with, like Bridget, Jason, you know, many of people who I already knew, I mean, it’d be just talking with them, right.

And we’re going to be brainstorming a little bit, but this is for someone who doesn’t know you, or even someone who does, who they can schedule an appointment with you and they know upfront how much it’s going to cost based on what they want to ask or, and they can ask you questions and then it’s built by the minute.

And they pay for it upfront. So you don’t have to worry about collecting payment if you never talk to them again, but you can give them strategic advice for, you know, 20 minutes, 15 minutes, whatever it is. And they put in what their needs are and they request a call and then you call them back and can give them the information they need.

So I just think that’s a super cool thing. So we’re putting it on my side so that I can start using that. I usually use something called Calendly where people can schedule through my website for appointments and that you can set so that they pay your consultant fee before they meet with you. but I’m going to be trying this because.

What I’m finding is that a lot of people right now, because they have more time at home are brainstorming and needing someone to just talk through these ideas. And so I want to give them opportunity to reach me during the times where I’m available, to have those conversations and see if we can.

Do partnering, do, you know, get more work, flowing, that type of thing. but it’s a less of a commitment. I think that hiring me as a consultant or a client because they can determine how long they want to spend. And I get the rate. I want to be paid.

Jason Tucker: [00:51:44] Yeah, that’s that’s cool. I I’ve, I’ve had to answer a couple of questions that people had to answer.

I had the opportunity to answer people’s questions and, some of them, some of them, they didn’t quite understand why they were asked. Like they didn’t, they, they didn’t know what question to ask. You know what I mean? We’re, they’re kind of just like, Oh, I want to start a podcast. How do I do it? What’s a podcast, you know, it’s like, they don’t even know what they want, but they they’re willing to pay for it.

So, yeah, it’s, it was, it was a fun experience to kind of go through those and, and. You know, talk to people and figure out what it is that they want and, and that stuff. So thanks, Jen. I appreciate that clarity, clarity, clarity has been, been around for quite a while now, and they’ve just been doing some really cool stuff and I even have a saw on my website.

So. Awesome. Thank you for that. My is, we’ve talked about this a few times now and I didn’t realize that this thing actually had an app. And it’s, and it’s a, it’s this little company called Google. And so what Google does is, is, is you search for things and then they give you all the answers. Well, Google by Google, by business, which is something that we’ve talked about in the past, like.

I don’t have a brick and mortar business. And so I was trying to figure out like, can I have Google my business for my non brick and mortar business? Like my virtual business, can it actually have a Google my business account and sure enough, it can, and you can do offers and you can do, you know, events and attract additional customers and, and manage those customers.

And there’s a whole slew of things that you can do in here. So if you have, you know, if you have a business, and I’d imagine you do, if you’re listening to this show here, go and download the Google my business app. And if you haven’t set up your Google, my business account, make sure you do that. So that way you’re able to, you know, this actually worked for you, but, what’s, what’s nice about this Google.

My business thing is. For someone like me, I don’t use my computer a whole lot when I’m at home. And if you’re at work and you’re running around taking care of all of the different orders that are happening in your business or any of those sorts of things, you can do this just by pulling out your phone.

And when you pull out the phone, you can go and say, I want to create an offer. I want to put my graphic in there. So load up Canva, make your little graphic or whatever, plop it in there and give it a shot. So. For me, my offer is going to be that, you know, we accept people to come on the show and speak with us.

And the other side of it’s going to be. We also provide opportunities for our advertisers to be able to advertise on the show as well. And so, like, those are my two offerings that I have both directions and we can kind of use that as a way of, making that all happen. I’d imagine in the next couple episodes here, I’ll also be talking about, ways in which you can take the information from your WordPress website and force it into Google my business.

So you don’t have to do, you know, additional work. But, there’s a, there’s, there’s a lot of opportunity there with it because, this is, what’s going to be showing up on your search engine results for your business itself. And I know my friend, Bridget here has been using Google my business for her stuff.

And I know that, many of our other, friends in, in folks that have been watching our show and stuff have been using it and it just keeps coming up over and over again. I’m like, I, I don’t, I don’t have one of these. I don’t know how this works. I need to start playing around with a little bit and.

It’s really, really interesting. I think there’s a lot to it. And especially since there’s an app for it.

Bridget Willard: [00:55:01] Right. I love it. The app. And you can also put your products on there, Jason.

Jason Tucker: [00:55:06] Yeah, that’s really cool

Bridget Willard: [00:55:08] to finally release our Bridget and Jason checklist for your blog post. You dock the it there, but also it makes me think maybe you should advertise your clarity.fm account, right there

cast both y’alls tools.

Jen Miller: [00:55:30] I love the show pretty clearly that you can do reviews on there because it links to your Google business page. You’re going to have. you know, you can have people leave reviews and that just brings you up in the search engines we’ve been using for a long time to help people to get more phone calls, not necessarily their websites rank, but they’re, they, they get more search engine volume.

from that Google page, it’s super

Bridget Willard: [00:55:57] important to local SEO, right? Jen? Absolutely.

Jen Miller: [00:56:00] Yeah. Yeah,

Bridget Willard: [00:56:01] brick and mortar. It’s good for brick and mortar, but it’s, I mean, I think it’s, you know, I was talking to somebody, I forgot who maybe it was on the show and I was like, what? I don’t have a Yelp page. I started one.

I mean, I didn’t want my address to show up. I put my address in there and then I took my street address off. So it’s not like I don’t and this is the thing. I don’t get local business. That doesn’t mean, I don’t think I’m important to be seen locally.

Jason Tucker: [00:56:33] Yeah. Yeah.

Bridget Willard: [00:56:36] My business comes from Twitter and I have done the lead score to show that, but it’s still super important because.

Jen, you always talk about this. People look you up. I mean, we have two more minutes, like give us the pearls of your wisdom for this. Like what, like, just to summarize the show, like if you’re wanting to get more business, what should you be

Jen Miller: [00:57:03] doing? Okay, well, I do not advocate getting a Yelp profile just saying that’s, I’ve done too much reputation management for clients to advocate that platform.

So. Bridget. I don’t want people to hear what you said and go out and get one and then call me and have me fix it. So that’s great. You cannot control the reviews that go on that page. That’s true. Now with that said, if you’re after reviews, Google, Google business page is the best place to be. Like gather your reviews there because you’re going to get searched in and play off that you can link it to your website.

People will come, they’ll go to all of your different channels. You can put all your platforms on there. Every social media account, you have it, it will link to the world. So that’s great. But content. It’s all about being an expert on your topic, whether it’s on your website, whether it’s on your social media posts, whether it’s, from speaking, at things like this, you know, whether a zoom call that’s goes on YouTube or a meetup or attending an event, if we ever have in person against, again, those kinds of things are what builds your authority and remind people that you’re there.

But then you have to document that you did them. So it’s putting those keywords and phrases into that content into your assets, that you have your digital assets as a business, they’re going to help people to find you online.

Bridget Willard: [00:58:31] Wow.

Jason Tucker: [00:58:31] Awesome.

Bridget Willard: [00:58:32] I love that so much. That’s that’s the perfect way to end this show.

Perfect.

Jason Tucker: [00:58:41] Well, here it goes. Our outro

go over to patreon.com/wpwatercooler, where you can help us out by sponsoring us on that platform. There we’d really appreciate it. And we’ll list your name at the end, in the beginning of our show. That would be awesome with Nick.

You also subscribe to this content on YouTube. Make sure you click the little bell. So you’ll be notified when the show goes out. If you didn’t know. This already, we don’t just stream this stuff onto YouTube and all the other places that are on the internet. We also make them available as a podcast.

So if you want to listen to stuff while you’re doing that hit training, like Bridget was talking about, or if you want to go in, listen to us as a podcast where you’re driving to work or wherever it is that you’re going, you can definitely do that. Go over today to our webite at wpwatercooler.com/subscribe, to learn how to do that.

Thanks.

Episode Info

2 Comments

  1. Jen Miller mentioned this Post on twitter.com.

    On May 28, 2020 at 10:50 pm
  2. WP FeedBack liked this Post on twitter.com.

    On May 29, 2020 at 2:53 am

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