Episode 72: Bridget Willard – Her Business’s Story, How & Why It Started thru Today.. and MUCH More

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In today’s episode, Bridget returns to share her business story. We start by laying the groundwork.. and maybe getting a little distracted talking about social media (totally my fault, haha). Then we’re taken on an intriguing journey .. how it started through what things look like today.

Why did she leave her job? What she doesn’t like about working for others.. The challenges of leaving a job and going out on your own. What unique skillsets did she gain over the decades to help guide her to what she is doing today? How did her peers play a role? And how important was that! (hint: very)

The last 15 minutes or so we started talking on a topic we hope to continue someday.. we talked a bit about pricing and how to price yourself. And why you shouldn’t price yourself too low! But what if you need the work and need to take what you can get? Bridget has you covered.. You.. well, tune in to find out! Enjoy!

Author of several marketing books, Bridget Willard is a teacher who focuses on building relationships. Small businesses benefit from consults that result in an actionable strategy to focus their effort — and budgets. Bridget’s services include in-house training, marketing strategy, copywriting, and social media account management.

Her plugin “Launch With Words” is a value-add for developers to help those clients use their websites — publishing blog posts monthly. To empower small business owners, she writes, teaches, presents to small groups, and creates tutorials.

When she’s not inspiring small businesses, she is spending time with her friends, learning languages, or enjoying San Antonio. Say hi to her on Twitter at @BridgetMWillard.

THE MEAT OF IT!

  • Intro
  • Welcoming back Bridget!
    • Thanking her for referring so many great people to our show.
    • Speaking of which.. have you had James Roland
  • What are we talking about today ..
    • First episode, what built ‘that person’ ..
    • A new theme.. focus on building of the business.
  • What does she do for a business today..
    • No body cares about your story unless you can extract lessons ..
    • No body interrupts you on Twitter..
    • Provides SEO Copywriting, Website centered marketing on social media…
      • Twitter & LinkedIn focus .. why not Facebook and IG?
      • Twitter the Core
        • Add-ons – Copywriting, Facebook or LinkedIn ..
  • What about IG? Matt’s experience..
    • Bridget shares WHY it’s so hard to get any traction on Instagram.
    • Facebook .. vs IG.
    • Doom scrolling.. No following ..
    • Like gating.. vs now with IG.
    • Follow Limits.. no incentive to follow.
  • IG for Brand..
    • OR, you have to play the game (defined by Bridget)
  • People don’t do the outreach.. no follow backs.
    • YOU have to ask.. things don’t just come to you.
  • Circling back.. how her interest in Twitter in 2007 led to what she’s doing today.
    • Started as a Secretary
    • Various levels of office work…
    • Liberal arts degree.. teacher for a little while.
    • Construction business ..
      • Heard about WordPress and Twitter ..
      • Economy crashed.. how to get the word out they were still in business.
    • Started Twitter account, LinkedIn page.. WordPress.com
    • Spun off another Twitter account to give advice.. another place to talk marketing.
      • Started a little WP blog.
    • Began to be told she’s really good at this from peers.. they could see her success.
    • Full time office manager + Full-time marketing.
  • Why marketing?
    • Why wanted to continue talking about marketing ..
    • She’s got that teacher .. she wants to share naturally.
    • Twitter is a think-tank.
      • Met all of her really good people on Twitter.
  • How to answer the phone in business.
    • Starting teaching people skills like this..
    • People don’t know how to behave..
    • The role psychology plays.. in answering the phone.
  • The tool that works is the one you use.
    • Everyone can use a different tool.. that’s ok.
    • How can I serve you? What the best way…?
  • When it became a business.. how did that happen.
    • Wasn’t making enough money.. capped.
    • Saw others making much more tweeting ..
    • Was in a toxic situation at work.
    • Again, being told she was doing well. She was used to just being told she wasn’t good at her work…
    • Friends, told her to apply to ‘this’ job..
      • Didn’t get it, but knew.. got real quiet and started building her exit.
    • WordCamps.. meeting people. Helped her escape.. building peers cheering her on.
      • It’s a scary move.. it helps to have peers supporting you.
  • The difficulty shaking the fear of being homeless ..
    • Reminded.. “YOU did this.”
      • Did it.. sold everything and was able to build a new life, bought all new stuff.
    • She’s so driven because .. the fear.
    • Her Mom was good with work ethic.
    • The way she was built and raised..
    • Fear as a ‘why’ …
    • The pain to change.
      • Status quo is more painful.
  • Building her first WordPress site from Scratch ..
  • Wrote about her experience.. that article got shared.
    • Hired to write articles..
    • GiveWP
    • Testing plugins and writing reviews.
  • Thought house..
  • Doing this all after work .. during lunch. 16 hour days.
    • No work life balance .. only work. Until you can pay your bills.
  • Had to make a decision. Was made an offer.. 2015 at Thought House.
    • Left 2017 as the director of marketing..
  • Became the CEO she is today.
    • When she knew it was time.
      • The problem being an employee .. how you are treated working for others.
      • Employees will not care more about your business than you do.
        • they are not slaves.. you don’t own them.
      • The neuroscience of trust .. applied to employees.
      • Shiny object business owners ..
  • LESSONS …
  • Her no BS approach..
    • Tells you what you need to hear.
    • Telling people ‘no’ ..
    • Why do you want stuff?
  • Matt: YOUR authority is earned..
    • People will listen to you more as you gain experience..
  • Really successful business people hire people smarter than you ..
  • Building trust.
  • PRICING
    • When you have enough work.. you can start saying no and pricing yourself higher.
    • You are getting ‘35 years of experience’ ..
    • Not needing the work.. you can say ‘no’.
    • It’s different when you need the money..
      • You’ll sell your soul for cheap work.
    • How she prices herself..
      • “I want to be a 150,000 dollar person”.. trying to price in that direction.
  • Defining what your worth is starting out.
    • Finding ways ..
    • THIS IS WHAT YOU’RE WORTH. And be prepared to lose business.
    • Learning how to do job costing.
      • How much you cost yourself / hour.
      • Have to take in consideration ALL your costs.
      • Her freelancer worksheet here!
      • Then add profit.
      • Problem in freelancer, WordPress space..
    • The cheap people are the time-suck vampires. :man_vampire:
    • Getting a part-time job so you can charge more.
    • People will value you you more..
  • Matt’s experience raising his prices ..
    • There ARE businesses that value what you do and will pay what you’re worth.
    • And when you charge higher prices you can provide a better service.
  • Her clients – content starts on the website.
    • The extra stuff she does.
    • She’s participating in her business.. that’s why she’s getting PAID.
  • Last thing..
    • Her podcast .. and NEW Podcast.
    • 302 Marketing Redirect w/ Jen McFarland (and Bridget!)
      • Talking about things everyone in marketing wishes they could say.. but are too chicken.
Matt Levenhagen
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