Be Sew Crafty – Freelance Client
What was the problem?
Be Sew Crafty is a business that teaches sewing skills to adults and children alike. They offer camps and classes for kids, as well as workshops and individual lessons for adults. BSC is run by Toni Mason, a local small-business owner. She has a loyal following for her camps, but she wanted to better develop her adult audience, and also learn how to engage them on social media in a meaningful way.
What was the solution?
After an initial meeting and discussion of goals + priorities, we determined that the first step was to teach Toni social media strategy and give her posting guidelines and tips. Together we’d work to really define her target adult audience and figure out who it was we wanted to engage with on social media. I’d also help her set up an Instagram, as well as teaching her how to use Facebook Ads for low-cost/high-impact marketing to her target audience.
Secondly, we’d overhaul her website. While the current site functioned and did its job, Toni admitted she’d like to see it look more modern, and there were some things (like a calendar, and ticket sales) that she wanted the added capability to do — but wasn’t comfortable trying to do that herself. Because she was hosted by WordPress and familiar with the backend of that framework, I kept to the same CMS and created a modern, mobile-friendly website.
On the back end, Toni had mentioned that sometimes the emails from her payment client would get lost. Or, worse, she couldn’t always see them where they were supposed to be. People would sign up and she’d never know! I made sure when I looked for a calendar and ticketing system, that I went with a robust plug-in option that would be easy to utilize and guaranteed to deliver. I also utilized Paypal’s developer site and API functions to integrate payments into her website.
What role did I play?
I was responsible for project acquisition, client management, and website creation. I designed and developed the entirety of the new website, while also teaching Toni the best practices of current social media. This project also included a set of “cheat sheet” deliverables to be used for reference.
While Toni was referred to me by a mutual friend, I made sure to cultivate and manage our working relationship. Working with Toni was amazing, and I was so lucky to get to help her learn how to use social media in the way she wanted, as well as how to reach her target audience.
For my freelance clients, I work on a three or four step process. The initial discovery phase has us together in person, going over what sort of things a client is looking for. What do they like? What don’t they like? Do they plan on downsizing their offerings, or scaling up? I get as much information from them as I can, even if it all doesn’t fit together (yet).
Once I’ve gotten their information, I take that with me and start working on very basic wireframes and a project proposal. Because I was working with a small-business owner, I decided to offer my services on a “per project” basis, with payment split between three milestones. My time, skillset and incidentals (theme costs, plug-in costs, and other materials) are included in said cost.
We have a second meeting where we go over the wireframes, project scope, projected costs, and projected timeline. For this project, the three milestones were set as “contract signing”, “mid-way review” and “final launch”. As preparation for the site builds, I created a development website so that Toni didn’t have to worry about any downtime.
During our mid-way review, we take a close look at how things move, the user flow, and the information hierarchy. I also introduce a three to four index card sized deliverables that showcase typeface and color options. At this point, I tell all of my clients to take the website for a week and “play with it” to see what works and what doesn’t. No colors are introduced until after the week is up and my client has had a chance to really see everything in action. They provide a write up of what needs changing and choose their colors and fonts.
Sometimes the “final draft” step and “final launch” step happens at the same time, but for this project, it made more sense to split them up. Once the final look was approved, we set together a time to “flip the switch” and go live.
What was the outcome?
Her group classes and events have doubled, and she’s now working with local charity groups teaching community members how to sew reusable shopping bags.
After learning social media strategy and development from me, Toni jumped from 50 followers at the end of March 2018 to 620 followers as of 2019. Her facebook’s reach and engagement numbers have also doubled since our lessons! With a niche, local-focused small-business, I found her a right-sized audience of highly engaged clients.