After 8 years in the web development business, Cheryl Laidlaw of Reyl Design Group can now get you online in just one day with her top product Website In A Day! Here, Cheryl discusses her experiences with impostor syndrome, dealing with naysayers, and the importance of finding that fabulous mastermind group.

 

Highlights

Biggest challenge

  • Dealing with impostor syndrome

Words of Wisdom:

  • Just go for it! If you don’t try you will never know
  • Do not listen to nay Sayers and people’s negativity
  • Join a mastermind group and networks

Links and Tips:

 

Full Interview

 

AO:  Hey everybody thanks for joining us for this episode of she owns success, today I’m joined by the fabulous Cheryl Laidlaw of Website in a Day, who will have your business up and running and succeeding in no time. Hi Cheryl!

 

CL: Hello!

 

AO: Thank you very much for joining us, we are really quite excited to hear all about how you started, all bout your business and your journey to this wonderful place that you are at, so hopefully you won’t be shy to tell us. 

 

CL: Absolutely. I’ve been doing website in a day officially for about a year now. It all came about when I was doing a website for a friend. We got together and before I knew it I had designed and built a whole site for her in a day and she said – You really might have something here, so I did some research on it and saw that there were a few people doing it in the States. So Website in a Day was actually born in April last year. I did some test sites and it was the perfect business model for me because it fit in with my clients, I love face to face meetings and I much prefer to be in front of the client rather than speak on the phone. Changes can be sorted out easily and it just seemed to fit with everything that I like to do and my clients absolutely loved the efficiency.

 

AO: In terms of the transition into the Website in a Day model, what were the first steps and actions that you had to take in order to that?

 

CL: First of all it was just an additional service from my Rey Design Group agency. It was a separate service for about 6 months, then someone else said ” have you checked if there is a domain name free?” and I though no, maybe I should have a look. So I did, and it was available, so I purchased it. I didn’t do anything with it for 6 months, but I was getting more and more enquiries and referrals and before I knew it I had a busy diary and I thought, there is definitely something in this and perhaps it should be a completely separate entity to by current business. So that is when I decided to design and build the Website in a day website. It has only been live for the last two months, you can never make a decision on your own work- the electrician never does the lights in their own house and the web designer never does their own website. But it is up, live and has been a product for about 6 months.

 

AO: In terms of challenges, Website In a Day has obviously launched and it sounds like it has been extremely successful, but what has been the biggest challenge on your entrepreneurial journey so far- you mentioned this is part of your wider business, Reyl Design Group. What has been the single most difficult challenge you have had to overcome?

 

CL: That is a good questions. This sounds a bit cheesy but I think it is getting to know yourself. People talk about the demons inside your head, what I mean is that when you first start a business you don’t know whether or not you’re going to succeed, you just give it a go. you might charge well under your skill set, you learn along the way as you start going to seminars and workshops, you meet people along the way ding similar things or have already done it and are 10 years ahead and you can learn from them, so, I would say it is the battle that you have with yourself believing that you’re not good enough one day and you are the next. It is a natural feeling but it is the whole challenge of being an entrepreneur, it’s the hardest part.

 

AO: It’s our minds playing tricks on us, that fraud or the imposter syndrome. 

 

CL: Exactly, that’s my biggest learning. Knowing that you are forever learning, you are never there whether it’s two yours or four years. I’m about to go into my eighth year, so for me it’s great knowing that I’m still learning.

 

AO: We have taken challenges, I’m sure there have also been many high points, what has been the best moment for you in your entrepreneurial journey so far?

 

CL: It is Website in a Day. When that took off. Building a product rather than a service, it is still a service but an entity and product in itself. Having the feedback from the clients and the testimonials, that is my highlight.

 

AO: We are going to shift to your day to day, give us a brief insight into what a great day looks like for you.

 

CL: I’m super organised so everything I do, there is a system for it. You get scheduled into the diary- it gets done. My clients know when they will receive logo concepts and design concepts. My perfect day is having everything color matched in my diary, I normally wake up, check email or head to meetings. But as long as I can wake up and know what I am doing from hour to hour actually that is an ideal day. I can be networking one day and be back to back in meetings the next, then be doing website in a day on another day, so it’s good to have the variety.

 

AO: That is super-duper organised, hour to hour! What do you use to schedule?

 

CL: I simply use Google calendars, it’s connected to my phone, I get notifications when my next meeting is, how long it is, make sure I put the address and telephone numbers in just in case my Sat Nav doesn’t work which is often the case. It’s simple, my business coach introduced me to Google Calendars about 4 years ago and I have not looked back.

 

AO: Moving on to motivation and productivity then, whet two daily habits have you developed for success? 

 

CL: I wouldn’t say I have a daily habit. It is something I have spoken about recently. I have been reading blogs about how the most successful people get up, they do an hour of yoga or they go to the gym, there is a whole system and I don’t do any of that. Like I said before, I could have website in a day, meetings in town or a design day, so I’m wouldn’t say I have a system in place daily. But, so many blogs I have read recently talk about getting up and exercising so at some stage I’m going to try this. But if I’m honest I have no real regular day.

 

AO: You have given us google calendars, can you give us two other business hacks or productivity tools, or any other technology that you use in your business?

 

CL: I use buffer for my social media, I do this to schedule my social media links and what I want to put out. If I’m on the go and I take a photo of where I’m going, what I’m doing, where I’m heading, what I’m designing. If I want to give a little bit extra I share things from Social Media Examiner. They have a really great blog, they write so much content and I like to share this with my clients and followers and just give something back. So I use Buffer and you can link your Facebook, your twitter, you’re linked in, google plus, you can even link Instagram and it will send out your blog for examples to the different platforms at different times and different days! I also use Instagram a lot, there is a great app called word swag that I use to put text over images and make my images more creative. It’s a great little tool.

 

AO: Word Swag, buffer and Google calendars. Really useful. And is Instagram the social media platform you are rocking, is that where you hang out?

 

CL: I hang out on Facebook and Instagram. That is not to say I’m not on the other platforms, I do them all but I’m mainly on and enjoy Instagram and Facebook more.

 

AO: Let’s fast forward, what exciting things are coming up for you in your business? Although you have just launched so, busy busy!

 

CL: Exactly that. Website in a Day is fully booked for January, I think I have one slot left. So, it is now a case of being super organised, getting all the design concepts ready for them for January and February and just enjoying and embracing this work that I love.

 

AO: What’s your ultimate vision for your business, are you someone that is a log range planner or are you a pivot and shift as it goes?

 

CL: The mastermind group that I’m in, we do sent quarterly goals as well as yearly goals so I would definitely say I plan. Everything is constantly laid out and planned but I wouldn’t say I go long term, the farthest I go is probably the year ahead. So, what would I like to see for website in a day- I would like to see someone else come on board. I have a vision where you can go online and pick your creator. I had a vision, if you played street fighter- I have a vision of creating something like that with characters, with pros and cons. Make it more fun. Not sure how far I will go with this but, getting someone on board so I don’t have to have a limit for example the summer. Its four to five people maximum a month, I can’t do much more because I can’t give my clients the attention that they need. I would therefore much rather give the clients I have my full attention. So, we will see if someone else does come on board to help me out- it should be fun!

 

AO: Tell our listeners, if they are looking to have their website designed and built, what can they expect from website in a day? 

 

CL: Ok, I like to meet my clients so I normally have a face to face briefing session where I find out about their business foals, their typical audience, their brand colours, the whole brand look and feel, you name it, we discuss it in that meeting. Then I design two concepts, one exactly to the client brief, and another design concept with a twist, perhaps with something the client had not thought about or something completely different to throw the off and give them a nice alternative. So, from there they give me feedback they can then either merge the two or pick a. or b, we set a date- which is already set by this point and we sit together either in the office, I have also done home visits, whichever is more comfortable for the client. I also operate out of offices in Charlotte Street. So, whatever suits the client. We sit together all day and go live at 5:30pm.

 

AO: That is intense, 5:30pm of live, do you push the button or does the client?  

 

CL: It’s really up to them. It’s go, go, go, then they get excited and you see the massive smiles on their faces, then you leave. You leave their house or the office and it’s a great feeling, a constant happy feeling because you’re making them happy.

 

AO: And there are some difficult decisions through that process, Cheryl here did my fantastic logo for She Owns Success and it was a very difficult decision because everything was so stunning. 

So, words of wisdom. You have had quite the journey, what is the one thing that you think every single entrepreneur should know that you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?

 

CL: I think everyone is different. All out journeys are different. I think it’s great to join a group where you will feel supported, whether that’d a Mastermind group or a networking group, meeting with people. Sometimes when you start a business you’re on your own and if you’re lucky you might have a team, but it’s important to be around people going similar things. I did all this, but it took me a while to find out that these places were around, so maybe do some research on these places. Until you research, you don’t know where to look.

 

AO: Is there a particular place that you would recommend anyone starting out does have a look? 

 

CL: Eventbrite. They have got so many networking events on and they do this for different industries. Also Meet Up, if you want to talk to similar people in the industry. They are all out there, some free, some are £25, some £125, but there is something out there for everyone.

 

AO: Great tip thank you. So, what final words of wisdom would you like to leave our listeners with that they can take away if nothing else?

 

CL: Just believe in yourself, believe that everything and anything is possible. They sound cheesy but, don’t let anyone bring you down. When I first started people would say- “It’s a tough old world out there”, “Do you really want to lose that monthly salary?” and you just think hopefully I will be earning more than they are- what if you don’t? They fill you with fear. Ignore them, if you don’t try you’ll never know. That is the advice I would give. Go for it.

 

AO: That’s great advice. Exactly, if you don’t try you’ll just be stuck so go for it. With those fantastic final words of wisdom we have come to the end of a very inspiring journey so please tell us where can we find you and what’s the best way to connect with you before we say goodbye?

 

CL: You can find me on all the social media accounts under Cheryl Laidlaw, if you google web design, Cheryl Laidlaw, Website in a Day and Reyl Design Group.

 

AO: Fantastic, and everything that we have discussed today and all of Cheryl’s fantastic insights and all of her hints and tips will be in the show notes, including how you can connect with Cheryl. Thank you so much Cheryl you have been fantastic, we really appreciate your time and we appreciate you being so open and honest. 

 

CL: Thank you, thanks for having me.