Artwork for podcast Beyond the Kitchen Table (previously the Website Coach)
Ep 100: You asked, I answered
Episode 10021st August 2023 • Beyond the Kitchen Table (previously the Website Coach) • Marie Brown
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Here are the answers to the questions you asked me. Business and personal. Enjoy!

Resources:

Book a website review at https://beyondthekitchentable.co.uk/website-review

Find us at https://beyondthekitchentable.co.uk

Free PDF download: https://beyondthekitchentable.co.uk/downloads/

Blog post https://beyondthekitchentable.co.uk/blog

Follow us at https://www.instagram.com/beyondthekt

Email sayhello@beyondthekitchentable.co.uk

Transcripts

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hello.

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And welcome to episode number 100 of the website coach podcast.

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And you can probably hear in my voice that I am very excited to be recording this.

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And it's because it feels like a huge milestone.

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Well is a huge milestone.

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And I firmly believe that we should celebrate reaching milestones,

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celebrate our successes.

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Before we continue to move on.

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And 100 episodes of this podcast really does feel like a huge achievement.

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When I started this project a couple of years ago now, I didn't

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know where it was going to go.

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And I started it with the intention of podcasting every single week.

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And keeping going with it.

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I didn't podcast with the intention of just trying it for a few

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weeks and seeing how it went.

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I intended to make it a longterm project.

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Because I didn't think it would be successful unless I was

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consistent with the episodes.

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But I am just getting to a hundred episodes.

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Really.

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It doesn't seem like two years ago since I started it.

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And it feels like such a huge achievement.

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And I want to say a massive thank you to everybody who listens.

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And if this is your first episode that you've heard, then welcome.

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And if you've listened to a number over the past two years, Then thank you.

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Thank you for listening.

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Thank you for supporting me.

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And thank you for spreading the word.

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Because I'm recording this at the beginning of August.

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And July was the best month that I've had to date for podcast downloads.

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And that surprised me slightly because in July, people are on holiday and

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people's patterns are slightly different, but it just exceeded the previous

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record, which had been in January.

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So.

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It's really good to hear that the podcast is being supported.

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More and more.

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And certainly the feedback I get from people who tell me, they listened to

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the podcast is incredibly positive.

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So a massive thank you to everybody.

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Now I said I would do something slightly different for episode 100.

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It didn't feel right to the same as what I do for all of the other episodes.

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So I handed the mic over to you in many ways.

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And a couple of weeks ago, I asked for you to submit any questions that you

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might want me to answer on this episode.

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And if you follow me on Instagram or you're on my email list, I also

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asked them, so I've had a number of questions and I'm going to group

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them into topics to answer them.

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Thank you to those.

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That did submit questions.

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There's certainly some interesting ones and some challenging ones, and I'm just

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going to do my best to answer them.

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So let's get started.

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The first question I want to answer is from Phoebe.

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And Phoebe's asked what made you take the leap and start your podcast and

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was episode one, the hardest to do.

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Well, what made me start?

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I was looking for a way to grow my audience, as they say.

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And I knew there are a number of different ways of doing that.

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So I had a very good audience.

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I still have a very good audience.

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It was small, but mighty.

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Um, there were quite a lot of my existing clients in my audience and they were also

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other people that I knew and I felt that it was really full of the right people.

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But it was small.

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And what I wanted to do was to grow that audience.

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So when I talk about audience, I mean, people who know me and follow

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me and know me in a business sense.

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And a podcast is one option.

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YouTube channel was also mentioned as another option and the

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thought of doing YouTube channel, to be honest, horrified me.

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Because.

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Like a lot of women, I'm quite, self-conscious about the way I look

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and I knew I would find it hard to turn up on a regular basis unless

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I'd done my hair and I was looking.

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Presentable.

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Basically.

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Whereas with a podcast.

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You know, I can podcast episodes in my pajamas.

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I've done podcast episodes.

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With my hair all over the place.

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I'm not exactly looking my smartest today.

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I must've met.

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And it just felt a much easier thing to do to turn up.

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And talking to a microphone.

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And also from a technical point of view.

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Actually from a technical point of view, I'm not sure I really saw much different.

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I think, I thought a podcast would be harder.

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then it's actually been, from a technical point of view, so they

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were the two things that I looked at and podcasts was definitely higher

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up the list than a YouTube channel.

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I've talked about this on a, on a previous episode.

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I can't remember the number of it.

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Number 40 something.

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I think I talked about the lessons that I'd learned from a year of podcasting.

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And I think it was going to be.

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More of a silver bullet than it has been.

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And like a lot of things you have to do the promotion yourself.

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So I thought that people like apple and Spotify would push

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my podcast more and they don't.

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Yes, I've been in chart.

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But they don't push my.

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Podcast at all.

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I have to do that.

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So.

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I've had to promote my own podcast.

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And I think that's the thing that I probably didn't realize.

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And I think if I'd realized it was going to be as difficult as it

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has been over the last few years.

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I'm not sure I would have started to be honest.

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I think I would have used that time and that energy to

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potentially do other things.

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So I have certainly enjoyed doing it.

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I will say that.

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I don't regret it.

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I just, I think it's been harder work than I expected it to be.

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And it's, hasn't been for the return that I necessarily expected.

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I think I thought it would be just a lot easier to reach more people.

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than it has been, but in saying that certainly my reach has expanded.

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And it's interesting that sometimes when I go to networking events and

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I introduce myself, somebody will say, oh, I listened to your podcast.

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And that's really lovely to hear that it is reaching new people.

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So it's definitely meeting new people, just perhaps not quite as many.

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As I thought it would do.

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So the second part of that question was, was episode one, the hardest to do.

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No, I don't think it was actually.

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, first few episodes were really easy in many ways.

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My voice is probably a little shakier and not quite as competent as it has become.

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But in terms of the topics I chose topics, which I knew a lot about.

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And I had strong views on for the first few episodes and therefore

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they were fairly easy, too bright.

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So I outline all of my solo podcast episodes.

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I haven't actually outlined this one, but when I say outline, I

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basically write a blog post, which is sort of scripted for the podcast.

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So.

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When I went into episode, number one, it was pretty scripted.

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I just wanted to make sure that I sounded like I wasn't reading.

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That was my real worry.

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But I was very confident in what I was talking about.

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I think the hardest ones to do.

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But when you start to not run out of ideas, I've always got

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loads of ideas for the podcast.

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But you have an idea for an episode.

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And you start to think about what you're going to say.

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And you realize.

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That's only five minutes.

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And I liked my episodes to be around 20 minutes.

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Um, 15 minutes at the shortest, but usually around 20 minutes.

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And I know that that's about 2000 work block-based so that's quite a lot to say.

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And sometimes the episodes I found the hardest or when I have struggled to make

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it long enough, and I have put episodes out that had been slightly shorter.

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You probably find one or two that have 12 or 13 minutes, but there's definitely

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no five minute episodes in there.

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It annoys me when I listened to other people's podcasts

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and they really, really short.

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And because I'm on a dog walk or something, and I've got to keep, I'm

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going to move on to the next one.

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So I like episodes, which are about 20 minutes.

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And that's what's driven it.

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So they've been hardest, wanted to do.

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Those when I've struggled to expand my topic for 20 minutes.

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And often that means that I've ended up starting again with something,

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with a different topic and there are times when like everybody.

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I struggled to think about what to say.

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And I'm just not feeling creative.

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I'm not feeling in the zone.

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And often that's when I have left the podcast episodes to be.

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A bit too late and I'm feeling under pressure to actually.

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Go out there with an episode.

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So they've been the hardest ones today.

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The second question is from Paula and Paula says, I would love to know a

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little bit about what you've learned through any of your design processes

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with your clients this past year.

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So far.

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And then she's asked a second question.

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How challenges that you've come up against have helped you to further

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the already extensive skillset.

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Now I built Paula's website this year.

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I don't know whether she's referring to her own.

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But I think before I answer the question, it's useful to step back.

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I think people misunderstand the design process.

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When I designed a website, I take a lot of information from clients.

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I want to understand their own style and what they like and what they don't like.

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I'll ask them a number of questions in a questionnaire.

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I send them to do that.

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And I also do things like look at that Instagram, because usually with

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Instagram, people have got a style.

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Sometimes they don't, sometimes it's very all over the place, but

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you can get a sense of their kind of vibe if you like through them.

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So their style is hugely important because if I try and impose a very different style

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on them, they're not going to like that.

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So I try and understand what it is that they like.

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The second key element of any website design is understanding their clients.

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And the client's processes in working with them.

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So what our clients need to know who those clients are and an example of

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how that influences our design is I've just put a website live for podiatrist.

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And.

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Alone.

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He's keen to move to a slightly younger personnel.

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A lot of her clients are older.

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And so the website needs to have larger font.

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It needs to have a very clear navigation.

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It needs to be really more so than other websites I build.

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I was trying to use Clare navigation.

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But it needs to have very clear navigation so people can follow it.

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It's also things like the older generation prefer using phones.

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Keep booking things online.

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So I make sure I'm showing both though.

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People don't feel that they can't get in contact and also the physical

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address and how you get there.

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And those kinds of things that obviously massively important.

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So.

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That's how my client clients influence a design process.

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So what.

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Have I learned from my clients.

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I mean, all of my clients inspire me.

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They're all very different.

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They.

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A number of different industries, albeit all in a service-based industries.

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I think the, one of the things that I've learned probably more than anything this

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year is how people really need guidance.

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When I started out building websites, I used to say to people, just give

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me a content and I'll build it.

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And.

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People get very overwhelmed with that.

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So one of the things which I'm really trying to focus on when

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I take a break this month is getting my own processes in order.

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I really do things for clients to help guide them through the process.

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Now I have a questionnaire.

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I have a guide to a home page and those kinds of things,

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but I want to do even more.

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And just give my clients so much more guidance in terms of the content

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that they need to come up with.

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, and, and give them a lot of prompts so that it an awful lot easier for

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them because that's the one thing that I have learned, not just this year,

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but over the last couple of years is I need to make things as easy as

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possible for my clients, because if they don't build a website every day,

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Often they've built their own.

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The first one has been one that they built themselves.

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But, They need a lot of guidance.

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So that's the key thing that I've really learned.

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And challenges.

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I'm always coming up against challenges.

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I think when I started, I thought website designers knew everything.

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Or website designer's name everything.

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I've realized that that's not true at all.

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I don't think any website design, it knows everything.

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So there's no reason for me to know everything.

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I know quite a lot.

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And so I'm often coming up against design challenges, things that I want

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to do and which I don't know how to do.

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And there are a couple of things which I do in that case.

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One is good.

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Old Google.

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It's amazing what you can find on Google.

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And especially on YouTube, as long as you know, the right questions to ask.

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And who to trust.

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so Google is really good.

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Um, I'm in a couple of design groups.

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So asking questions in there that has been really, really good.

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One of those in particular.

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Shout out to Josh Hall's group.

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That has been really helpful.

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And the third thing is, I have a couple of people who I pay, and who I can

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rely upon when there are things which.

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It's not that I couldn't do.

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But I just know that it's not worth my time and effort to do.

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So there's sometimes very chemical things, which yes, I could learn how to do, but

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why do that when I can pay somebody else who can do it in a cancer at the time

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that it would take me to work it out.

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And they've done this many times before and it's likely to be accurate.

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So I've got, a developer in particular that I trust.

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And so I will often outsource things which are outside my skillset to him.

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Okay, next question is from Lisa and Lisa has asked how do

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you collect client feedback?

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I love this question, Lisa, because it shows that you're focused

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on collecting client feedback, which is a brilliant thing to do.

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Why is it so good?

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Well, there's two reasons.

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One is for your own internal process.

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How can you improve what you do?

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How can improve your products and your services and getting client feedback

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and understanding what clients want is key to doing that is to always improve.

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And that's something that I'm always looking to do.

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And I'll come on to how in a moment.

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The second reason it's so good is to help you with your marketing.

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I don't just mean quoting client reviews or testimonials, although

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that is incredibly powerful.

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But also you can, when clients leave feedback, you can pick up on

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some of the language that they use.

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And some of the things that they're thinking about.

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And you sat in your marketing.

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So you can, you know, if a client says that they, you know, before they came

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to see you, they were particularly worried about a certain thing.

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Then you can reflect that back in your marketing and you can

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overcome some of those concerns, which other people might have.

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So, how do I collect it?

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I ask.

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When I finish a bespoke website for client, I have questionnaire,

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which I sent to clients.

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And it's not particularly low.

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There's about five or six questions in there.

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So I asked things like what they're worried about before they started

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working with me, why they chose me, how they found the process,

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um, any particular highlights.

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I asked them through a review.

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And I also give links so that they can put that review on to Google, for example,

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which is something I want from clients.

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I want reviews on Google because that helps mic to be found on Google.

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And I also asked for feedback on what I could do better.

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So I sent that to clients.

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Do clients fill it in sometimes?

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Not always.

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I usually follow up once or twice.

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And then I just let it go.

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So.

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I get more forms back then I get Google reviews.

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So I think I've got 19 reviews on Google at the moment.

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Desperately trying to get that over 20.

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So if you worked with me and you'd like to leave me a Google review, please do so.

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Just type in, beyond the kitchen table and still going to my website.

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It should be on the right hand bar on, on Google.

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And you can leave a review on there.

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But at the end of the day, you can only ask so many times.

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And so when I ask clients, I do point out that it's really, really helpful.

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And that people are busy.

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So you can just ask and.

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That's what I encourage everybody to do is ask for the reviews.

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If people are busy and don't want to give a review, they

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won't, but you'd be surprised.

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I get reviews back from people.

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That I didn't expect to get reviewed back.

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And that's really good.

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And being helpful for my business

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Next question is from Ella and Ella has said.

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I'd love to know more about how to get a domain name.

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The so many companies offering them.

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I don't know where to start.

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And I've heard you should purchase a few similar ones to

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stop others from having them.

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When it comes to buying a domain name.

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So this is your website address.

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It doesn't really matter where you buy it from

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As long as it's somebody reputable.

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So 1, 2, 3 rage go daddy, Google, et cetera.

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It doesn't really matter.

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I used to recommend people buy from Google because then it was easier.

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If you wanted to use Google's email service, Google workspace.

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It was easier to connect the two.

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Google's actually sold its workspace to Squarespace.

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And I don't know whether they've solved it, a main service with it as well.

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So I'm not sure I've, haven't been advising that over the last month, but

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it doesn't matter where you buy it from.

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In terms of what you should buy.

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If you have the opportunity to buy the.com and the.co.uk, you should

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definitely buy both because there's a two key ones that people use in the UK.

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Dot co.uk tends to be used more by people who have a UK focused business.

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and.com by people who are internationally focused, but both are very accessible

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in the UK and they are the main chair.

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And by buying too, what you can do is you can have one of them

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as your main domain, and then you redirect the other one to that.

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Should you buy more than that?

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Well, it depends.

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And it might be worth buying an additional one or two, but the

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reality is there are so many different extensions, so you've got.co.org.info.

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Yeah.

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Design all sorts of different things that it's just not cost-effective to

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buy all of the different extensions.

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You've also got hyphenated versions.

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And things like that.

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So, It's very difficult to mop up all of the different domain

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names, but certainly.com and.co.uk.

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Beyond that I would probably go for registering your trademark, your brand.

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As a way to protect your name from generally being used by others rather than

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trying to buy a pool of the domain names

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I hope I pronounced your name correctly.

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There has asked what changes to do on a website so that it comes first in search.

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This is a question.

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I get asked a lot.

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Or it's an assumption that people have that when I built a website, they would

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automatically come first in search.

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And my question back.

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Is what you want to come first and search for.

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Because everybody wants to get to the top of page.

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One of Google.

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But getting there with your business name.

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Is one thing, but do you want to get found for other things as well?

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So getting found for your business name is not that difficult.

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But getting found for other things, it depends upon how

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competitive those terms are.

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So, if you want to get found for, I don't know.

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Boys running shoes.

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Just don't bother.

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Because, you'll have the Nike's and the Adidas and people like that.

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We'll just have that, that sewn up.

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And you're never going to be able to have the funds to be able to compete with them.

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And even if you did, I'm not sure it would be worth the money to be honest.

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So the first thing is to think about what you actually want

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to get found in search for.

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These are called your keywords and the best keywords are ones,

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which people who are looking for a service like you are searching for.

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That is relevant to your business.

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And that you can compete on.

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Once, you know what those words are.

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Then the next thing is to make sure that you're writing

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about that keyword or phrase.

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And he should make sure that on every page of your website, you are

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only trying to target one key word.

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If you try and rank for lots of different keywords on a page, Google

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would be confused and it won't consider your page for ranking on any

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of them or at least not very high up.

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It really likes to.

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Understand what a page is about, and then it will look to rank it for that.

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And that's basically the main thing you should do.

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There are a number of episodes on SEO.

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And I do some more.

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I've got some more coming up in September.

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And in fact, I've got a course coming up.

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Later this year as well, when I can go into much more of that, but it's

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understanding what your keywords are that you want to rank for.

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And writing about them are the two main things that you should be doing

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has asked what is the next thing?

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We have websites, Google social media.

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What will the next way of marketing be for businesses?

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It's really interesting question, Claire and I wish I had.

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A crystal ball.

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I don't know, but these are my thoughts.

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And I have two key thoughts.

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One is the impact of AI, which is obviously going to get bigger.

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AI has made it much easier for people to do content marketing.

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What is making it easier for people to do content marketing?

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And I think we're going to see an explosion in content marketing.

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There's going to be a lot more competition because it's much easier

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and yes, when it's easier for you.

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You think great, but it's also easier for your competitors.

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So you've got to find different ways of standing out.

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I think the impact of AI.

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On search engines, like Google is going to be.

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Fascinating.

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And I think a lot is a more generic search where people are

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looking just for information.

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And where websites might at one time have come up.

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They're going to be replaced by AI results.

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So people are not going to be directed to your website if they want to know.

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How to do something for example, or, Why you should do something.

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But I think, When it comes to searching for things like plumber and seven eggs,

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it doesn't really matter whether it's a search engine giving the result or

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whether it's AI search engines or just AI.

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Anyway, they're just ranking plumbers in seven AIX and AI might do it

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slightly differently, but at the end of the day, you've got to be

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feeding it the information so that it knows if you're a plumber and stuff

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next that you should be included in that list and preferably higher up.

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But the other change I think we're going to see in marketing is, and I've

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noticed this much more post COVID.

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Is people want to do business with people.

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And I have seen shift back to in-person events and people craving.

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Uh, meetings with individual people.

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Yes, we might use him and we might use.

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Computers for a lot of things.

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And save time that way.

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But I think we're also wanting that human interaction.

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So I think marketing is going to go back to.

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Being much more about your connections, much more about the

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people, you know, and who they know.

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And that's going to have a massive impact going forward as well.

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Ah, there we go.

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That's my crystal ball.

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Let's see.

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Let's listen to this back in five years time.

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And see whether i was right or

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not

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Okay, two more questions.

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So Sarah has asked how I managed to balance work with my family life.

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And when I started this business back six years ago, my children were.

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13 and 10.

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So they went little, little, but my daily life revolved

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around taking them to school.

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Coming home doing some work and then some afternoons I would be needed for school.

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Things like sports matches.

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For example, I was.

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Always very keen to see my children's play sport as much as I possibly could.

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And support them school pickup.

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And then in the evenings, it would be.

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Taking them to clubs.

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Swimming those kinds of things, being around for homework, cooking dinner.

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So at that time from about.

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Three 30 til 8:00 PM.

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I couldn't do any work and sometimes I'd work in the evening.

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So my work time.

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I had to be focused really the time they were at school.

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School holidays.

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Always challenging because although they didn't need complete supervision.

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They always wanted to be doing things.

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Uh, one of them used to be quite happy having a lot of play dates, which was

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really helpful for getting work done.

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The other one wanted to be out and about more.

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or play on electronic devices.

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So I found those different strategies of, yes, I might take them to

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soft play and I would take some work that I could do in soft play.

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I might swap with other families for play dates, always important to try and

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do days with both children going in.

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At the same time, otherwise you just end up with one child

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and that doesn't really help.

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In terms of getting work done.

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But it was just a case of fitting into where they were and the time

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that I had, and as my children got older, I have got more time

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because they're more independent.

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My eldest is it university.

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And yes, that means that when I go and take him and bring him

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back at the beginning and end of term, it's a couple of days out.

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But when he's home, he's pretty independent.

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And my other is 16.

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So she is again, relatively independent, although I'm needed for Lyft.

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And sometimes it might be, can we go shopping and blue

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water or something like that.

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So,

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During the holidays.

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I try and be more flexible.

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I can't always be around for them.

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With what they need.

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Especially when they usually ask me last minute.

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Like, can you take me now to something?

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And I've got a client meeting in 15 minutes.

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No, I can't.

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You'd have to wait, which doesn't always go down well, but it is a case

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of, I think sometimes just accepting.

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You have less time, you don't have 35, 40 hours a week, or if you do.

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Some of it's going to be during the day.

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Some of it's gotta be in the evening.

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The other thing.

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Often have done is work on weekends.

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And especially when my children were younger.

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Getting my husband to take them out on a day of the weekend.

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After the house, which meant that I could get stuff done.

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While they were out.

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The one other challenge I have now is now that we ask you guys, we've got a

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dog, so I have to fit in dog walking.

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So I still do the school run in the morning, and then I walk the dog.

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So I don't start work until about 10 o'clock and I try and have the

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first hour free of any meetings.

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So I try not to take client calls until.

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11 o'clock.

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In order to just make sure that I don't feel that I'm behind before

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I've even started the day properly.

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And the final question is from Georgina.

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Georgina's asked what's the most memorable thing that you've either

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woken up in the night, thinking about.

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Or has been your first waking thought.

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And I've left the trickiest one to last.

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It took a bad procrastination.

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I don't know, it's a very straightforward answer.

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I think like a lot of women and maybe men, I have often woken up in the middle

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of the night thinking about something.

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I woken up in the middle of the night.

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was it spark of inspiration for a client website that might

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be designed or more often.

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And certainly this has happened very frequently.

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Is something I've been thinking about more, how do I do that?

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And the answer will suddenly come to me at 3:00 AM.

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Not the most helpful time, but, if that happens and that's life, then

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my brain is often wearing at night.

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First waking thought is never very inspirational.

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I'm not a morning person.

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It's more likely to be, ER, what time is it?

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I really don't have an awful lot of brain power at very first thing.

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But certainly in the middle of the night, often wake up, but I can't think

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of anything particularly memorable.

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So sorry, Georgina.

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That's not really a very good place to end.

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Is it on the.

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The question that I can't answer, but it's not bad.

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One question I can't answer.

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Hopefully you found the other answers useful.

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This is not something I've done before.

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Maybe I'll do it again in the future.

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Let me know if you've, if you enjoyed this episode as being

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something different, I'm on email@sayhelloatbeyondthekitchentable.co.uk.

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Or on Instagram at, beyond the KT, you can message me on there.

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So that's it for this week, I've seen number 101 next week . Thank

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you so much for your support have a great week see you next week

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Thank you so much for listening all the way to the end.

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If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to follow or subscribe so that

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you don't miss future episodes.

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And I'd really appreciate it if you could leave a five star review.

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That makes a massive difference as to whether Apple shows

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my podcasts more widely.

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And head over to my website beyondthekitchentable.

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co.

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uk where you can find all the ways you can work with me.

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Whether you're just starting out, looking to grow your business, or scaling it.

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