In this episode, Andrea Krones and Kelley Gibson share their story of how they became an incredible team who are celebrating 5 years of being in business together. Their relationship-centered approach to branding and website design truly sets them apart along with their incredible expertise and interest in always being curious and learning more.
Inkling Design was born out of a passion for helping clients take their ideas from an inkling to completion. Kelley and Andrea bring together their expertise in all areas of graphic design, website design and website development. They specialize in building WordPress websites for female entrepreneurs that are beautiful, functional and easy-to-maintain.
When Andrea steps away from her computer you will find her exploring the neighbourhood around her downtown Guelph home, enjoying the nearby parks and trails, or escaping to the Ontario wilderness with her partner and two young children. And – When Kelley is not hard at work on client projects or toiling away on her latest personal venture, she loves experiencing life through the eyes of her two daughters, running, trivia nights and endless games of fetch with her Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Phoenix.
Listen in as we talk about:
- Why long-term client relationships are the best indicator of success in business. Andrea and Kelley give us insight into their relationship-centered approach to business.
- Teaching and learning as part of branding and website design. We learn why and how teaching and learning is a crucial part of the branding and website development process.
- The importance of transparency and honesty in business. It is better to say that you don’t know when you don’t know.
- Common mistakes when it comes to branding and websites. Kelley and Andrea share the common mistakes and oversights that happen during the branding and website development process.
Connect with Andrea & Kelley:
Connect with Tiana:
- Website: https://tianafech.com
- LinkedIn: Tiana Fech
- Instagram: @tianafech
- Facebook: @tianafech
- Book: Online Course Creation 101: A step-by-step guide to creating your first online course
WHY LONG-TERM CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS ARE THE BEST INDICATOR OF SUCCESS IN BUSINESS
“We are all aligned. We all have the same goals. We are excited to work together to achieve those goals.” ~ Kelley Gibson
Andrea and Kelley believe that customer satisfaction is crucial in any customer-based business. They take pride in their work and want their customers to feel proud of the work produced for them. They strive for long-term satisfaction and view it as the best compliment they can receive, along with word of mouth referrals. They aim to align with their clients’ values and become invested in their success, seeing themselves as partners in their clients’ journeys.
They emphasize the importance of a team approach in business, especially for solopreneurs or those working in larger teams. They value the opportunity to see how larger teams work and believe that a team approach can provide a supportive environment for entrepreneurs, who may often feel isolated. Overall, Andrea and Kelley value the relationships they build with their clients and see success as a collaborative effort between them and their clients.
TEACHING AND LEARNING AS PART OF BRANDING AND WEBSITE DESIGN
Andrea and Kelley prioritize learning and keeping up with changes in the industry, particularly in new technology and trends, to provide the best experience for their clients. They aim to provide training and tools to empower their clients to manage their websites independently. They find joy in helping clients overcome their intimidation of the development and content management side of things and seeing them succeed.
They offer training calls and specific documentation for each website project to ensure their clients have the resources they need to manage their site moving forward. They believe it’s important to not just hand off a website to clients but to teach them how to use it effectively, to avoid making clients feel locked in for maintenance. Andrea and Kelley value the teaching component of their work and take pride in seeing their clients successfully manage their website updates on their own.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TRANSPARENCY AND HONESTY IN BUSINESS
It is better to say that you don’t know when you don’t know. Early in her business journey, Kelley felt hesitant to admit when she wasn’t sure how to do something. She would spend hours of her time trying to figure it out and would stress about it. Now, she confidently embraces the idea that you don’t need to know everything.
If someone comes to her with a question about a platform that she hasn’t worked with before, Kelley doesn’t pretend that she knows about it. This doesn’t make her less of a web developer or less qualified because she hasn’t worked with one particular technology. Instead, Kelley says that she doesn’t know but she is happy to take a look. She has the skills to understand what is going on and to bring that understanding to the process. Somebody with expertise knows where to start looking and knows the questions to ask.
COMMON MISTAKES WHEN IT COMES TO BRANDING AND WEBSITES
“Know who you are talking to and what you want to say.” ~ Andrea Krones
Andrea and Kelley suggest that businesses should focus on speaking to a specific audience and having a clear goal in their marketing materials instead of trying to say too much to please everyone. They advise against overwhelming customers with too many features or messages on a website, as people usually have a short attention span and may leave the site if they are confused.
They recommend that businesses analyze websites and brands they admire to see what elements they like and why, and use that information to make more informed decisions about their own brand. Additionally, they stress the importance of having clear calls to action that are easy for customers to find and use.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
What is something that you would love to learn about or something that you would love to learn how to do?
Andrea: Design a garden
Kelley: Sign language
What is a place that is at the top of your travel bucket list?
Andrea: Costa Rica
What is a book, podcast, or TV show that you have enjoyed recently?
Andrea: Book – Run From The Danger by Sarah Polley
Kelley: Podcast – Smartless and TV Show – Beef
If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone that you would love to learn from, who would it be?
Andrea: Jane Goodall
Kelley: Brene Brown
1:00 Meet Andrea and Kelley
3:05 Andrea and Kelley’s story
5:40 Andrea and Kelley share why long-term client relationships are the best indicator of success in business
8:40 Andrea and Kelley talk about how teaching and learning are a part of the branding and website work that they do
17:30 Andrea and Kelley outline the most common mistakes or oversights that people make when it comes to their branding and websites
19:40 Andrea and Kelley provide their top tips when it comes to branding and websites
23:20 Andrea and Kelley reflect on their favourite teachers
29:55 What Andrea and Kelley are most proud of looking back on their journeys so far
33:00 Andrea and Kelley answer some rapid fire questions
37:10 Andrea and Kelley’s words of wisdom