Creating a Business that Serves your Family and your Clients | Web Designer | Mara Olson
Updated: Apr 19, 2022
Mara helps you get out of the weeds of doing whatever work comes your way by helping you create a clear deliverable. If you're going to take precious time away from your family or life to start a business, your work should be something that you love and earns a good income as well. Get your arms around your online presence to build an offer that will provide more "sweet spot" work - and Mara will show you how!
Mara provides educational content and marketing services through “Goal Setting Mama”. Mara’s marketing agency - Smart Bee - places an emphasis on excellent copy by serving small businesses and startups with their online presence through WordPress website design & management, Google My Business management, SEO, and email management.
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Mara Olson: a Mother, and Business Owner
Mara Olson is a wife, mother of 5, and business owner from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She owns a marketing agency that she loves for its versatility! There are so many facets of marketing from podcasting to ads and social media.
For Mara, her entrepreneurial journey started when she first got married almost 13 years ago. She always knew she wanted a flexible job for when she had kids. She started in the wedding design business, and it eventually evolved into what it is now, where she is essentially a writer and a website designer.
Mara helps you look at your business, figure out what you are really good at and communicate it to the world so that you can enjoy your work. On the writing side, Mara teaches business owners (specifically women) how to start a business they love. This topic is near and dear to her heart because her business has allowed her to be home with her 5 kids and travel. She has a passion for helping women, especially moms, get to that point as well. She dives into all of this at Goal Setting Mama, which is her teaching and writing platform.
VIP Website Intensive
Mara typically serves mothers who are starting a business or those working in service-based businesses who are wondering, “How do I grow?”. Especially those who don't have time to get their arms around the marketing or time to think it all through.
One of the main ways Mara helps is through her VIP Website Intensive. This is a quick, painless way to get a website from “DIY” to “done". If you are struggling to get your website to look professional, the tech is just too much to learn, or the content isn't coming together so it attracts the right clients, Mara can help.
Mara is a busy business owner, just like you, so she understands! she helps you finally get that website off the list! Often when you hire a website designer, you have to bring your own content. You have to wait months to get the whole thing done. It can be a really lengthy process. But the intensive is a great option because it basically gives you dedicated time to get your site done and off your plate quickly.
Mara is able to have the copywriting done within a week or so, and then the design work done a week after that, and then it's just up to revisions at that point.
Two weeks for a website? You're really moving, which is nice on both ends. It's nice for you, and Mara.
The WordPress Expert
Mara typically works with WordPress because she loves the fact that her client can own their website. Squarespace is a really good platform (especially for beginners) but you don't own your site. It's not quite as flexible. For someone who really wants to grow their business in the future and you decide to change your hosting, you would have to scrap it all and rebuild it. Mara loves WordPress because you own it, you take it with you, you can keep building on it, and it's really flexible.
Mara understands that at one point you hit a wall when building your website… you just want it to look really nice and it’s so hard to figure out! People reach out to her saying, “Hey, I'm trying to get my site done and I just can't fix it… like it's broken or something.”
Mara has taken the classes and understands the tech so she is able to go in there and finish it up for you.
Working in your Sweet Spot
Mara calls it a sweet spot offer because her branding is all around honeybees, so everything's sweet :)
Business owners are often caught up in making money and getting clients, and they want to get all the clients that they can. When clients love you they are inevitably going to ask: “Well, do you do this too?” So you pile on services and offerings that are not necessarily a good fit for you.
Some might be a really good fit! For Mara, she kept receiving requests for SEO work, which was a really great fit for her. She also ended up adding blogging services and email management. However, Mara had questions about things like branding and logos, which was not a good fit for her.
How to Create your Sweet Spot Offer
The first thing is to get out a piece of paper with two columns. Place things you enjoy on one side, and things you tolerate on the other side.
Tolerate Column For all the things you tolerate, make note of why you tolerate it.
Is it because you don't make enough money doing it? Is it something you have to do? If it is, think about packaging it into something else, where it can be value-added. So when your client says, “I'm going to need a logo with that” you will have your offer ready. You may as well make it a value.
Do you tolerate it because your clients need it? If so they will go elsewhere. If you don't give it to them, is it easier for your clients to keep all those services in one place? That's something to consider. Mara noticed she had clients who went with another person because they offered the service, and they didn’t want two people working on the site.
And finally, do you just not enjoy it? If so, do your clients really need it? Can you outsource it? Or can you just say no to some of those clients who just are not in your sweet spot?
This is Mara’s favorite option: say no! Often people think about losing something as a bad thing, but you should focus on what you're gaining. You could gain so much energy, creativity, and time. Maybe you would be able to serve your sweet spot clients better, the ones that you really want to be leaning into!
Enjoy Column Now go back to the enjoy column in your list and put a star next to the ones that are a win-win for both you and your client.
You make good money
Enjoy doing it
They get phenomenal results
It solves a problem
Fills a need for your clients.
That is the stuff that you want to focus on!
By now you should have a couple of two or three stars on your sheet with a list of sweet spot services. To make an offer, you will need to put some marketing, language, and a good hook around it. Once your sweet spot offer is written out, that is what you want to market on your website, on your social media, and in your email.
That is the win-win that makes you money effortlessly. It is highly desirable for your future clients.
Motherhood = a Strength in Business
Being a mom is a massive strength for Mara. Earlier in her business, she actually hid the fact that she was a mom because she thought people wouldn’t treat her professionally.
But honestly? If you told Mara 10 years ago that she’d have 5 little kids and be running a business, she would have laughed. It sounds so overwhelming and difficult! But when you have a bunch of kids, you don't have them all at once - at least not usually. So you ease into it.
Over the last 7 years, Mara has gone through a lot of growing pains in order to run her life really well. On the business side, that means if she’s going to be working, she’s going to be doing the thing that provides the most value for her work. Nobody wants to waste time, and she doesn't have time to waste!
Mara is very efficient with her clients, which is helpful to everyone. She’s developed streamlined methods of copywriting and website design. This allows her to achieve the results you need quickly.
It's a win-win.
She can get things done quickly, maintain her family-work balance and you get to have that project off your plate. You can grow your business without having to wait months and months for things to get done.
What has Mara been up to lately?
Mara has been working on her network over the last year. There's a lot of value in just meeting people, hearing from their experiences, and learning from each other.
She’s also gotten back into reading real books, you know the hard copies! It's hard to make time to sit down with a book and thumb through the pages and read. It's been a gift for Mara this year, it's like remembering something from her school-age that she used to enjoy.
Connect with Mara!
Mara’s Website: https://smartbeesocial.com/ & https://goalsettingmama.com/
Receive Email Updates from Mara: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/r8b2n6
Mara’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Goal-Setting-Mama-1911468509117614/
Book a call with Mara: https://go.oncehub.com/SmartBee
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