My introduction to Amber Lilyestrom involved saving a lost dog and Beyonce. I had tears in my eyes within minutes.
Needless to say we dove in deep & fast and by the end of the call I had the extreme pleasure of being asked to be a guest on Amber’s online TV show, Live Your Freedom TV.
Below is the complete transcript (with links & pics for you). Enjoy!
AMBER: Welcome to Live Your Freedom TV. I am so, so honored to welcome today’s guest, Greta Rose Zagarino, of the Greta Rose Agency. Welcome, Greta!
GRETA: Thank you so much. I am thrilled to be here. Thank you for inviting me.
AMBER: You’re welcome and thank you so much for reaching out and connecting. I just feel like soul sisters from coast to coast over here. In our first conversation we were talking about Beyonce. We were talking about our childhoods. We were going deep and it was awesome.
GRETA: Didn’t we have that moment with the lost dog and rescuing this animal and I was crying and just saying hello to you?
GRETA: We just dove right in.
AMBER: We did. There was no hesitation and that just shows you that we are making it happen. We were just talking about how women are taking over the world and just totally changing the game and allowing ourselves to truly show up. The crux of what both of us do is really show up in our businesses and our brands as our true selves, as our authentic hearts and allowing other women, other entrepreneurs, men as well, to do the same by giving themselves permission to be who they truly are in their brands and business. Your tagline is we make websites you love. I think that is just so simple and so spot on because that is the point. So, tell me a little bit about your business and what it is that you do. What is setting your heart on fire right now?
GRETA: I started this particular agency, I am going into my third year. Before that I was in the world of nonprofit and doing the same thing but for nonprofits. I kind of thought I would save the world. I actually grew really cynical because I wasn’t saving the world, Amber. There were cases of cancer and people were still feeling pain so I got a little burned out. I thought I just need to try just for a little bit to be in the for profit industry. I just want to work with people doing what I love and I started very small. What I found immediately was that I was so much more fulfilled working one on one with a small business and the results were so tangible. I was helping them and I saw the light go on and I felt like, oh my gosh, I feel more fulfilled, like I am doing more service and good now than I ever did in the world of nonprofit. I still love nonprofit, it has its place but I feel like I am doing better. Then, I was building these very expensive websites for clients. They were investing what they thought was a lot of money into this project and I would hand them over the keys so that they could manage their own websites and they would look at me like a deer in the headlights with fear in their eyes. What a second, I have a website?
AMBER: Now what??
GRETA: I started feeling again that sort of sense like okay I am not doing enough. I could be of more service here and I started realizing that there is this huge gap between when you have a website and then when you actually use that website to grow your business as a tool. Marie Forleo’s B School really helped me define what that was that I could do which was create this book and now that is my mission. I still love and do build websites. My whole agency is still intact but now I am just wanting to talk to as many small businesses as possible to help fill that gap.
AMBER: Is it platform based? Are you teaching specifically around WordPress? Tell us a little bit about what is in this book.
GRETA: It is targeted towards self-managed platforms so WordPress, Shopify, any kind of a website system that you have access to be admin. The idea is that you want to be able to control your content, to be able to add and edit content really to your website. But it is so much more than that because that is just one part of it. There are these three circles and I have this fun little diagram. I can send it to you so you can pop it up or whatever.
AMBER: Yeah, I can throw it on the interview page.
(here it is!)
GRETA: So, there is your website, that is one circle. Then there is social media which is another circle. And then there is Google which is another circle. Now where those three circles intersect you want to actually operate your online presence from that intersection. You don’t want to ever ignore one of those other two circles. A website cannot exist without social medial which represents engaging. It is your customer service. It is engaging with your audience. At the same time Google which represents all search engines, I just call it Google, so any search engine that you should be a part of, that is the phone book. It has literally replaced the phone book so this is how people find things now. They have a question, they go to a search engine, they type in a few words and then they are usually selecting those first few answers. So, we need to have a relationship with that search engine so that it can find you. My book is putting all of those three circles into a context and giving you a sense of calm navigation to the online frontier, really clear, basic answers, lots of exercises so that you feel like you have confidence and authority to manage your website.
AMBER: Yes, this is something that I talk a lot about with my clients too. It is just that you want to be able to drive your own business and these tools, specifically for most of here and most that are watching on this Periscope right now are online entrepreneurs. You can’t be an entrepreneur, we were talking about this before, being a brick and mortar business and being an online only business. It is sort of one and the same in a lot of ways when it comes to your web presence, right?
GRETA: It really is. This helped me actually sort of have the light go on when I was able to draw this analogy. There is literally no difference for managing a brick and mortar store than managing an online website. The way that you approach a brick and mortar store is the exact same as you want to manage your online presence. In fact, if you think of it, it is just an online brick and mortar store.
GRETA: If you have a website it is your brand, it is literally just this virtual brick and mortar. There are a couple of things that you would always have in your brick and mortar store. It is going to be clean, right? You are not going to have dusty cobwebs and nastiness. You are going to actually clean it. It is going to have a pleasant front entrance, right? So, you will walk in and hopefully it will be pleasing to you.
AMBER: Curb appeal, yep!
GRETA: You are going to have some displays up front showing off your best items. You want to maybe have a mannequin with a favorite outfit, suggesting this is how you can use my product in a really cool way. You are going to be met with an awesome manager. Someone who speaks your voice, maybe it isn’t you, but definitely represents you and is super friendly but not annoying, right? Just if you are looking for anything particular, let me know.
GRETA: Maybe there are flowers. Maybe there is a little hot cider and cookies. So, maybe you are offering a little gift or a little friendly extra treat.
AMBER: A little welcome, yep.
GRETA: And then how they navigate through the store you have thought through. You are going to think about how are they going to get to the back? Where are the dressing rooms? Where is all of the clutter and extra shoe boxes and all that stuff? You are going to hide it. If they purchase something that is super easy and friendly.
GRETA: And then as they exit you are going to give them a friendly wave off, like thank you so much, come again. That is how you apply your website.
GRETA: The only difference is the tool. It is just learning a little bit of technology to apply what you already know.
AMBER: I love it. So, that is a beautiful visual example. It makes it easier. I think that is really tangible so thank you for illustrating that. What do you say to the newer entrepreneur who has, let’s say she has her Squarespace website. She has figured out how to run that content management system. She feels really good about it. She is doing it but she is just not sure. What do you say to her besides, buy the How to Manage Your Own Website book by Greta. Besides that, where should she begin? What are some of the main points that she should focus on in terms of laying out that user experience?
GRETA: Love that question. And, you look beautiful by the way. Let me just tell you.
AMBER: Thank you!
GRETA: I am like, what did you say? I am looking at how pretty you are. Okay so, number 1 is why do you need a website? Absolutely the first question and you were saying this to your pre-Periscope folks as well. Making sure that you know what that, and I call it your desire transaction. I feel like this is the number 1 thing. If you know this everything else falls into place. So, why do you need a website? What achievement will that website give to you to grow your business? If it is just to contact your? Awesome. If it is to schedule an appoint with you? Great. If it is to purchase something? Great. If it just to show off a portfolio so that they will contact you? Perfect. Once you define that transaction then you want to write that really big. I use white boards and Sticky Notes. I like to have things out in front of me and see what my goals are and keeping me on track. I want that desire transaction to be like a big bell that is going to ring for me and be my beacon every day.
AMBER: I love that.
GRETA: And then I design everything else around it. So your first desire transaction should be really apparent to me when I come to your website, what you want me to do.
AMBER: Right. Okay. Good stuff. That is a great place to kind of check in and think about and I think we are getting some parts for that. So, thank you for sharing. I know, this Periscope is in a very weird place but this is a cool way to do this right? Because we are multi-platforming, sharing, connecting, real time, all that. The next piece that is coming up for me is as I am listening to you talk, is just a little feeling of overwhelm around, like when you say the word Google, when you say integrate all the social media and all that. It is hard for me to manage and I know how to do a lot of these things so for the folks that are new, especially around the Google piece, like how do you chunk that down to focus on what’s most important within those three circles.
GRETA: Oh, gosh.
AMBER: Great question.
GRETA: It is such a great question because it is the overwhelm! you know how, again I am giving huge props to Marie’s B-School. You know how you just fall in love with your desired customer?
GRETA: It breaks my heart. The overwhelm is the feeling that I want to just explode. I want to give everyone the tools so that they can not feel overwhelmed. If there is any kind of serenity and calm I can bring, this is truly why I am doing this. It is overwhelming and one thing that helps me to know is that every single person in technology is scrambling to keep up.
GRETA: I don’t care how geeky and calm and whatever they appear, the are scrambling to keep up because it moves some quickly. So, knowing that, I let myself off the hook a little bit. I am never going to maser every single thing and if I do by the time I do it will be like obsolete anyway.
GRETA: So, what I say is that there is a method. I like to create an assembly line with my business, just in every area, but specifically with managing my website. This assembly line helps me organize and I don’t have to worry about the end of the assembly line when I am focused on the beginning. So, I have put it into five steps. They are in order. You cannot miss a step. If I start a 1 I just know I got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and back to 1. It immediately centers me. So, I am going to tell you what they are if that’s cool?
AMBER: Juicy! Get out your notebooks!
(pssst! Great time to download my free PLAYBOOK here to follow along with my exercises!)
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
GRETA: I know, I know. This is the good stuff. I almost want to re-write my book and focus just on this. So the first one is create. I will say what they all are and then I will go back quickly and define them. Number 1 is create. Number 2 is upload. Number 3 is optimize. Number 4 is share. Number 5 is analyze. Now I am saying those words which do kind of trigger a little bit of overwhelm only because I want you to remember that the optimized is your SEO. The analyze is your Google, just so you can kind of compartmentalize, okay, that’s where that lives.
AMBER: That thing does that for me, right?
GRETA: Exactly. This step is going to accomplish that goal and it will take that whizzing thing that is causing the overwhelm, that’s where it lives.
GRETA: So, step 1 is create. That’s the fun part. I think that is the part where people kind of forget. That’s your heart. That’s your soul. Don’t even worry about technology or anything else around your website. Just remember who you are and why you are doing this and what you want to say and get into that authentic!
AMBER: I will pause you because I think the most beautiful illustration of that is exactly what we spoke about on our first chat was Beyonce and her performance of I Was Here. And what was the event that she was at for that? It was a significant international event.
GRETA: Human. Oh my gosh isn’t funny.
**Amber – I believe this was the event if you want to put it in somewhere – United Nations World Humanitarian Day Performance**
AMBER: Yea, big.
GRETA: Must have been really good.
AMBER: The link will be down here you guys. So she had this vision. Right? I can almost hear her explaining it to people. You know, I want a screen behind me. Right, like the giant screen that is going basically just be this huge band shell behind me capturing the stars, the universe, people, emotion, human, feeling, animals, life, the world, right? Just life happening, in this beautiful just epic way. And here she is standing just so poised and elegant and gorgeous in the middle of the stage with her amazing voice and delivery in a white dress. I t was just breathtaking. There is no chance you can watch this and not be completely moved to tears if you are a crier like you and me.
GRETA: Exactly. You know left brain, right brain. You can’t be thinking about the logistics when you are just going to that place of what’s possible. You need to just go and sit by the stream and do whatever you have to do to just clear your mind and be as big as possible. Dream big.
AMBER: So, I can only imagine what that conversation was like in that room when she was like, well see, this is what we are going to do. It is going to look like this and I am going to be here and there is going to be all this in the universe and the children and the tech people were probably like okay Beyonce, whatever you say! You are Mrs. Carter, you know, such a fierce. You got it. But I love that. So that is a beautiful example of just create from the space of creation, not worrying about all of the next steps. I will let you keep going with your steps.
GRETA: I love that. So, then you move to the second step which is, I call it upload because that’s where you are going to determine the online place that that creativity should go. Maybe it’s a blog post, maybe it’s a page on your site, maybe it’s just a social post, maybe it’s a Periscope. You need to determine where should this piece of creative joy live? And that is the one technical step of taking the time, we are all brilliant people here so it’s just taking the time, being humble to ask very basic questions, and yes, I do provide a whole bit about this but leaning the technology enough so that you can add that content onto your website. If you can’t then are you giving your power away. Back to the brick and mortar analogy. You would never let some stranger run your brick and mortar for you.
GRETA: You would never have some new cash register POS system put into place to handle your money without you getting trained on how to operate it. Even if you delegate that to your store manager, you are taking the time to learn it. So, I give some tough love here and I say, take the time, take as long as you need but do not delegate this without knowing it yourself, how to add content to your website. Once you know it, you know it. It’s like riding a bike. You just have to keep doing it.
AMBER: It gets easier. It takes time but it gets easier. Just like doing Periscope. The first one is really awkward and then I wouldn’t do it for a month because I was all- you know, people were making inappropriate comments and then I was like, I can’t do this, I don’t know how to block them and I was just scared and I just shut it off. But now my experience is completely different and I do it every day now and it is really easy and it’s fun.
GRETA: And isn’t it empowering when you do actually master some new technology?
GRETA: It just gives you freedom to express your creativity.
AMBER: Right. So I can share my message. It is a beautiful thing.
GRETA: Exactly. So, upload is a crucial step and you don’t get out of it. You have to actually do it yourself. The next step is optimizing. And this is the world of SEO. So, that word search engine optimization usually sends people running.
AMBER: Yea, I’m like la, la, la.
GRETA: But here’s the beauty of it. It is actually like that card game that you play with little kids, the matching game. Remember where you have two cards and they have pictures of cherries and you mix them with other pictures of fruit and you mix them all up and you turn them upside down.
AMBER: Memory, yes.
GRETA: Memory, that’s it. So a person goes over to Google and they pick up one card and it has cherries and they go to Google and they say okay Google, find me the other card that has cherries on it and Google does what’s called calling and fetching and they go across the land and they find all the matching cards with cherries and they say here’s some cards with cherries. So, then, and we will talk about the order, the ranking that that is presented in a second but really we are just talking about matching. So, our job as business owners knowing that our amazing desired customers will be looking- we know they are going toshow up with a card with cherries. We have to do our part to put as many cherries on our website so that we can be like, hey we’ve got cherries, we’ve got cherries! So, optimization is literally just what we do on our site to place as many matching words and phrases as we think that our desired customer is going to request, just so that we are ready. That’s it. First we have created, then we have uploaded and that’s when we are going to take a moment to look at what we just uploaded and put in some keywords just so that we are ready for Google. It is a little preparation, so that’s done.
GRETA: We move on to the next one.
GRETA: You good?
AMBER: Yea, I’m good. I just need a sip of water after that SEO stuff.
GRETA: I know, take a break. So then the next step is sharing and you really notice that there is an order here.
GRETA: Once you are now sharing, now you are sharing powerful shit. Now you are sharing your heart, your soul..
AMBER: Yea. This is the fun part. This is fun. I like this part.
GRETA: You know, some people are super intimidated by it.
AMBER: This is true.
GRETA: They don’t know what to say. They don’t know where to say it. So sharing is putting yourself out there. Jumping off the cliff, like saying here I am and not. Again, you are just in this one section so just share. Just risk it. Get it out there.
AMBER: You have nothing to lose. You literally have nothing to lose especially when what you are doing is really aligned with who you are and what your soul wants you to do.
AMBER: If you are going to put that out there, then what do you have to lose? Really, truly. That’s what we are all trying to work towards anyways. To live in our most authentic space. So, I love that. Share, share, share.
GRETA: I think sharing brings up what it used to in high school. Where you are afraid that no one will like you or be interested in what you are saying, you know it brings up that insecurity like what do I have to say? Who is going to care about it? That’s just voices in your head. Just ignore it and do it anyway, just do it.
AMBER: I started to say that some of the folks here I have seen them post their first Periscopes within the past few days. I am really proud of them for doing that because I know that it is really hard because it is in real time and you are live and it can be really awkward but you are just allowing yourself to really just show up as you are, right here and right now without the editing, without the – when my friend Tory was over earlier, we were talking about starting and stopping it a million times and not, that’s not good enough. And when are you actually you? I love it and the platform of Zoom Meeting right here is what I am using for our interview and then also Periscope are two really powerful platforms.
GRETA: Yea, and I think what is key about sharing is that there is giving and taking. A big part of sharing is also participating in existing conversations, just jumping in and making comments and liking other people’s stuff. You can’t just share and hope that you will get a million fans if you are not also engaging in what they are doing as well. So, that’s what we were talking about. How entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs, have this amazing way of supporting and lifting each other up. Making each other bigger. An equal part of sharing is that you are going to share your stuff and then you are going to go out and really join other conversations so that you are growing. That’s the party. Right? Like that’s where you want to actually throw the party and have fun with it. And then the very final step is analysis, analyze. That is such a crucial part. Again, people run for the hills. They don’t like it.
GRETA: It sucks, right, like who likes that statistics course that you were forced to take in school. Stats is truly accountability at its very finest. If you don’t look at insights and glean information then you are driving blind. You have no idea. You are just shooting stuff at the wall and hoping it sticks. So the insights that you can glean, did people respond to you? Are you getting the Periscope followers? Are people shooting off hearts? Are they engaging with you? Are your fans good fans or are they dead fans. What is happening?
AMBER: It is actually the other powerful part of unsubscribes in a lot of ways too because you are actually kind of paring down your list of the people that are really going to resonate with your message and eventually convert to becoming a customer too. So, it is a nice way to truly look at unsubscribes. It is analytic and it’s a powerful thing. I know that the times when I have sent out some of my most passionate emails and I had unsubscribes afterwards. I actually didn’t feel sad or crushed at all. I felt actually kind of excited because I knew that okay, the people that are really connecting with this message are staying and the ones that it is just not their thing then they are moving on to a different pasture and that’s totally okay. Because I know that there is no possible way that I would write that any differently. So, that is very empowering.
GRETA: I am so glad you said that because actually that is so right on. Analytics are not good and bad. There is no grade, there’s no A+. Every insight that you glean is good information. It’s like just driving instructions.
GRETA: It only tells you what’s working and what’s not working. If you know something isn’t working, don’t do it again. Change it. Adjust it or do what is working. I did a Facebook ad that was very successful and then I did a different ad to that same group of people and I got nothing.
AMBER: At least it didn’t cost you any money.
GRETA: It did not cost me money and I was like huh?
AMBER: Alright then. Good to know. So now I focus back on what that means in the grand scheme of my advertising plan, right?
GRETA: Exactly. So, based on your insights that takes you all the way back to 1 and it informs how we are going to create. Remembering what your desire transaction is, you know that your objective here is to do X. To get people to contact you, to get sales, whatever that specific desire transaction is. If you have more than one, choose your priority. Number 1. Now based on my insights I create, maybe make a little adjustment. Now I am going to upload, make a little adjustment. Now I am going to optimize, maybe make a little adjustment.
AMBER: Right. I am going to break this down just into real, live, and in color. So, let’s say that a coach or a person who runs programs, group programs whatever. The goal is to grow the list. Okay. To book discovery sessions, to get signups for programs, to grow the list. But as we all know, you are not going to necessarily convert colds, you really want to get them on that list, right?
AMBER: That’s the goal. So, the way that you position that home page, the way you position the entry into the store, the virtual store. Right? If we use this brick and mortar example is like how are you going to put it right in front of them and giving them the opportunity to signup with your list. Do you want to share maybe some examples or some thoughts around that?
GRETA: Right, exactly. So you’re saying the desired transaction is to have a person submit their email?
GRETA: You want to collect an email address. Yes, I am going to design my home page so that even more than anything else, even if I am offering products or whatever, if my primary desired transaction- I am going to make the shiniest page on that home page be my email collection. So hopefully the words, now I am going to probably want to offer a reason that they are going to give me their email that is going to be really enticing. To me I think opt ins need to hurt just a little bit. I think you need to give big.
AMBER: Oh, I like that, I like that.
GRETA: Yes. When people say ooh for tips and highlights give me your email, I am not going to put another thing in my inbox. I want something good.
AMBER: Yes. I know that with a jewelry store that I would go in and it says 15% off your first order, you better believe I am going to sign up for that, you better believe.
GRETA: That’s a good example.
AMBER: So think about that for the viewers in your business, what is high value to you. So for you Greta, it is potentially write a chapter of the book. What do you have happening right now?
GRETA: For an opt in, for me if my primary objective was to collect emails, I would consider maybe doing a Facebook fan page makeover.
AMBER: Ooooh, yeah.
GRETA: Amazing and brand into their business. Or do a private two-hour session. Although that’s a big one because if I get a whole bunch of emails, that’s a lot of time.
AMBER: That’s a lot of time. And the goal is volume. So, its taking something off that. So maybe it is a section on one of your paid programs, like a piece or part of a module or something that’s high value.
GRETA: Yes. And I do actually have an opt in where I give away my free Playbook that goes with the book. That Playbook is super high value. It has eight fully fleshed out exercises. It’s like a book in its own. If you actually just got the playbook and nothing else, you would skyrocket your business.
AMBER: What is the URL for that?
GRETA: Manageyourownwebsite.com. That’s the book.
AMBER: Great. I will share that in the notes of the interview as well so it is right down there. So, Manageyourownwebsite.com.
GRETA: Yes, Manageyourownwebsite.com and when you go there, I am not much for popup windows but I use it here and it really is the most effective thing. So a popup window will come right up and it says for eight amazing exercises get the free Playbook and put in your email. So, number 1 I am being creative. I’m just thinking what juicy, amazing thing can I give from my heart and my soul that my desired customers would love. I am going to create that thing. So for my I designed my Playbook. Then number 2, I am going to upload it onto my website. I am going to determine my actual opt in tool, MailChimp is my favorite, favorite tool. A lot of ecommerce sites offer their own which are great that’s cool but if you don’t have one already built in, MailChimp.com.
(here’s the opt-in I’m referring to. Go ahead and click on the picture to see what happens!)
AMBER: 100%. I refer my clients to that too.
GRETA: If you just go to MailChimp.com and look in the top menu, click on support and then video tutorials, they have the best support, they will walk you through how to do it.
GRETA: So, that’s uploading. With MailChimp you can take that tool and you can upload it to your Facebook fan page, you can put it into your website, you can put it anywhere, you can share this link, so now you are uploaded. Number 3, optimize. So, I am going to look at my Playbook and I am going to stick in a few words, manage, website, SEO. I thinking what are words that people are going to Google, where I want them to find me. Then I am going to share, I am actually going to put the word out there. I am going to do maybe a blog post just about my Playbook and then I am going at my insights, my analysis. I will look at Google analytics, I will go to MailChimp and see if people are actually signing up. Are people getting the Playbook?
AMBER: Right, right.
GRETA: And if they are not, I am going to change it until they are. If they are, I will be very happy. Because that would be awesome.
AMBER: Personal high five! Cool. So, this has been really, really helpful. I am sure folks have been looking at your website while we have been chatting gretarose.com and looking at your beautiful work. I know that you are still taking on website and branding clients, right?
GRETA: Oh, yes. Absolutely.
AMBER: So, the best way is to just go over there, reach out. You can book an appointment on there and connect with you and have a conversation. I would also imagine that if people are interested in maybe they are not sure where they need to go next. Maybe you will help direct them on their journey of what might be the next step.
GRETA: Absolutely. Right now I am just putting myself out there. I want myself to just be a resource. So, I am answering questions, I have a Facebook group. It is the Greta Rose Book Club where you can actually, I think that is where I am going to put my customer service. If you have questions about this stuff, join the group and I will answer them. And mostly, I just really believe in people. I believe that you can do this. If you have a business, you have already done the hard part. This just another tool. It is like learning how to go from tape decks to CD players.
AMBER: Yes, love that analogy. And it doesn’t need to paralyze you or stop you on your journey. It is just a new skill set that you can work on acquiring over time. It is not like you have to know all of it tomorrow. It is a process and it is going to continue to change so just stay nimble.
GRETA: Yes, definitely take it in little bite-sized pieces, be very loving and gentle to yourself. I think a lot of times, if it becomes too overwhelming I say go back to the very beginning. Like I said whiteboards and Sticky Notes are your friends. Just get all caveman on it. Just do some nice planning.
AMBER: Mind mapping, right. Lots of lists and priorities. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. This was awesome. So much value. Greta, thank you for your time and for being here with us today. I am just so grateful. I can’t wait to watch this back because there is a lot here to really download.
GRETA: Cool. Well, I adore you. I just think that you are absolutely amazing and you are offering such a huge, huge resource to entrepreneurs everywhere. So, thank you for being here.
AMBER: Thank you for that I will give you a little heart for that. So, thank you as always. A little heart-shaped rock. Love it. This is a fake one. I need to get a real one in here. I have them all over the house but not in this room for some reason.
GRETA: I have mine!
AMBER: Beautiful. Yay! I love it, I love it. Alright Greta Rose of Greta Rose Agency. Thank you so much. Lot’s of love.