Welcome to Episode 68: Website + Instagram Strategy for Professional Organizers
Your website and Instagram are often the first ways a potential client has to connect with you–and showing your best self there is important. We offer you specifics on how to look at your website and Instagram feeds a little differently, all to provide a simpler and better experience for your dream clients. For pro organizers, your online content is key–make it fantastic!
If you are considering starting or growing a professional organizing business, we have a brand new for 2021, totally free workshop you can take that goes beyond this podcast–you can register here if you want to check it out!
Links for listeners:
VSCO–photo editing software for Instagram: http://vsco.co
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You’re listening to the Pro Organizer Studio podcast with Melissa Klug and Jen Obermeier. Thank you so much for joining in our mission is to broaden the horizons of savvy business women in the organizing industry by instilling confidence and inspiring authenticity. You’ll gain new insight into strategies designed specifically for professional organizers.
So now let’s get started.
Melissa Klug: Hey everybody. This is Melissa Klug with the Pro Organizer Studio podcast, and Jen and I just want to welcome everyone to 2021. It finally happened. We thought that maybe 2020 was never going to end, but great news. It did. And if you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, we talked about the lessons that we were taking from 2020 into this year, and we really did learn some good things, but we are happy to welcome this new year.
And we’re even happier to tell you about some of the fun, new things that we have planned for this year. We have lots of content lined up and we will be announcing those things here on the podcast and in our emails and all sorts of other places. So please connect with us if you haven’t already on social media in our podcast group on Facebook.
And one of the things we wanted to remind people of is that we have a YouTube channel. It’s youtube.com/proorganizerstudio. And there is so much great content there that you can mine. If you love the podcast, you are going to love our YouTube channel. And today on the podcast, we wanted to bring you two mini episodes that are from our YouTube channel.
One is Jen talking about the three mistakes she sees professional organizers make on their websites. If you are looking to refresh your website this year, or just want to take a little bit of a walk back, look at an audit of your site and say, “Hey, how can I make it better?” We have some tips and tricks for you.
And then there’s also a mini episode about what professional organizers should be posting on Instagram. We want to get you started out this year with some great resources and let’s get started.
Jen Obermeier: My topic tonight is the three things that I see professional organizers doing wrong on their websites most often, and I’m not talking about my students, I’m talking about the hundreds and hundreds of organizer websites that I have seen in my research, I’ve come across, you know, several hall of fame situations in terms of, like, wow. I can’t believe you put that out there on a website. And I’m not going to talk about those extreme situations tonight, although, oh my gosh, we could stay on this chat for five more hours and I could give you 50 things that I feel so passionate about this topic, but anyway, we’re gonna talk about three things tonight that I see in a very general sense.
I’m not even talking about like web design in general. I’m talking specifically about professional organizers websites. Number one, because it’s the easiest thing in the world to fix. You guys would not believe how many websites that are out there, professional organizers, who you go on their website and there is no photo of the organizer or the photo is really, really bad.
And I’m not even talking about, there are, there are selfies out there that are cute selfies that kind of work. Like if you’re in a pinch and you can’t get your professional photo done yet, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about not even a cute selfie. I’m talking about like the photo of the person that was cropped out of a group photo, and you can, see like two other people’s heads on either side and they look like they’re standing in a restaurant and, seriously, you put that out there and thought like, this represents my best professional self on my business that I’m hoping to make serious money from. It doesn’t work for me.
The other thing that really doesn’t work for me is having no photo. And I’ll tell you why you guys, whether you realize it or not, you have to think from your client’s standpoint, not from your standpoint, you might not feel like your business is all about you.You don’t want to put yourself out there. You don’t want to seem like you’re, promoting yourself like your face or your whatever, but, the truth of the matter is, is that you guys are going to be hired or not based on a personal connection with your clients. And so if, you’re expecting your potential client to come to your website, gather enough information from whatever it is you have on there, and then them feel trusting and safe enough to open up to you and invite you into their home. However, you can’t be open and welcoming enough to have a photo of yourself on your website somewhere. That’s a problem. That is a big problem. I’m telling you guys as basic as this is, if you can have a good photo of yourself. I really, really recommend getting a professional photo. But if you can have guys can have a good photo of yourself that is not hard to locate on your website, it’s on your, about page or it’s on your homepage, or really like the homepage idea, because then they don’t have to click around your website at all to find it.
But it needs to be on your about page. It needs to be very easy for them to navigate to, because they want to know immediately who is this person behind these services? Like this is going to be somebody I’m going to be inviting into my home. So I want to see who it is. I want to feel comfortable with them.
You know, is that enough said? I hope it is because this is my, my number one thing.
All right. The next point I’m going to bring up, when you navigate to an organizer’s website for the first time sometimes, or often when I see that you come across is that each page of the site has too many choices, specifically, especially the homepage. When you go on the homepage, it’s like, so we have all these services, we have this workshop, you want to go to our Facebook page, we have this new blog posts, like blah, blah, blah.
It’s kind of like a choose your adventure type of situation, except it’s very chaotic and it’s very overwhelming. It’s not presented in a streamlined, like first I’d like you to get here a second. I would like you to go here. It’s kind of like throwing every option out there against the wall and letting your visitor choose.
However, I want to tell you why this is the wrong thing to do a couple of reasons. I’m trying to keep this simple, because I could write a book about this stuff. One is it actually kind of sends a weird message about you as an organizer. If your choices that you’re presenting to your visitor are actually kind of all over the place. I really believe you can have lots of different things going on with your business and lots of different social media pages, but you really need to choose or present your visitor with the path that you want them to take through your website. So if you have, let’s say somebody comes to your homepage and you have several different types of services.
You, might want to have a heading that says start here and then, they can see about you about your business. And then it’s like, okay, there’s a button. That’s a call to action that says, now click here to see our services. And then each service page needs to describe your service page.
And then at the bottom of that page, don’t leave them hanging. Don’t let there be a dead end. At the bottom of the page, after they’ve read everything there, it needs to be a button that either goes to your book now for consultation type of button, or it needs to be “see other services” type of button.
Don’t leave them hanging down there where there’s just like, “Oh, I don’t know what to do next.” I’ll just close the whole window. That’s the last possible thing you want. I guess I want to close this one out by saying too many choices slash being kind of chaotic. It’s confusing and it’s overwhelming and it makes you look bad because it makes you seem like, okay, if you’re going to be somebody who’s bringing calm and order into their life, however, you can’t make it a calm and orderly process in order to work with you.
What does that say about your care, your customer service experience, and really all three of these points are tying back to the idea that you have to actually think about your website experience from your client’s point of view, not from your own point of view. Disorganized people who are going through like crazy, like chaos and change in their own life, they cannot approach things rationally and make a decision the way that you would. So and this is why I say you need to lead your lead, your clients, or lead your visitors and your website through the experience rather than letting them choose what to do, because that’s just one more choice for them to make, or that’s 20 more choices for them to make.
And the choice that don’t make is just be like later, or this is not the right person for me.
Okay, so last but not least let’s get to my third point. And this is kind of like one of the funniest, but like not funny things that I have noticed on professional organizers’ websites, specifically, like the entire time that I’ve been involved in this industry. So there yeah are some websites that you go to and there is a lot of information that this organizer has given and it’s all in text format.
And this information is actually so well subdivided and organized on her site, it’s actually impossible to find anything because it requires so many clicks to get through all the headings and subheadings and like sub folders of information that you would never get to it. I recently was redoing a competitor analysis where one of the competitor’s0–not my students–she actually had her testimonials subdivided on separate pages, like by room, like testimonials for the kitchen testimonials for the living room testimonials for the garage. I just had to like laugh or like almost cry because here she has like the most golden aspect of her entire website and she is making her visitor work for it.
That right. There should pretty much sum up like what I see wrong with so many websites in terms of not thinking about the client and like what they need to see in order to make a decision about you. To feel like they know you to feel like they like you and to feel like they trust you.
And those testimonials, especially are something that should not be hard to find at all. You do not want to leave even a shadow of a doubt that if the person comes on your homepage and doesn’t click around to anything else. That they will see at least one or two testimonials about you and your service.
In fact, going back to some of these other points, I would really like to make sure that if they did nothing else, but see your homepage that they see on that page. A couple of testimonials about you, your smiling happy, awesome, excited photo of yourself, and a warm welcome into what you do. However, what 90% of professional organizers do with their website is they decide that this is the place where they need to show you how much they know by talking you to death with all this text.
Often that text is way too long, but the reality is, is just too much. Like they think that people actually care enough or have the time to read all these different pages in order to learn about what they do. So, I wrote down this point. And I actually, what I wrote was the information is too well-organized, but really the point is that it’s so much information that they have to organize it into, 15 different sub pages and it’s just not necessary. It’s just not necessary. And I think that they’re not realizing that people don’t care about you telling them everything that, you know on your website anyway.
I mean, that needs to be something that you more, show them rather than talk at them, especially like when you’re at your consultation is just that you need to like, be that calm presence, because what you’re promising them through your service is that you know how to create order and calm in their life.
So you need to actually demonstrate that through the experience of your website and experience of working with you from a to Z.
Melissa Klug: Thanks Jen, for telling us about some of those mistakes, you see professional organizers making their sites. Something that I recommend to my coaching clients is to have someone that they know and trust and will lovingly accept constructive feedback from take a look at your site and give you suggestions about what that site feels like.
From a visitor’s perspective, we get attached to our own sites. And the information that’s there. And sometimes we can’t see it through the right eyes. So find that person except their feedback and know that all you trying to do is be a better entrepreneur by taking that feedback and putting it into action.
All right. Let’s check out what Jen’s tips are for how a professional organizer should present themselves on Instagram.
Jen Obermeier: I get tons of questions all the time from my students and in my DMS about how professional organizers can use Instagram.
If you were an organizer out there, and I know who you are that wants to be using Instagram more, but you feel like your house. Isn’t that cute? Your clients’ houses are not super luxurious. You’re not getting like those before and after pictures that you see everybody else having on their feed.
If you’re totally scared of doing Instagram stories, because you don’t know what to talk about. Or if you have any other, just like general Instagram fears for your organizing business, I want you to check out these tips.
So here’s a question that I actually got from one of my students this morning, but it is repeated over and over again in different forms in my email and, all the ways that people communicate with me.
I know a lot of organizers, feel really perfectionistic about the work that they’re putting out there. And so therefore Instagram feels very intimidating because you see a lot of other people who have perfect photos and the luxury before and after shoot.
Take a deep breath, because if you’re an organizer, please do not feel like you have to copy that on your Instagram feed, especially when you’re starting out. And you do not have a lot of photos from your own projects as you get client projects. I think it is helpful to take some before and after pictures.
And if you have permission from your clients, test it out, trying to edit them a little bit, just to brighten up like the color. So, so if, for example, you’re working in a closet, which doesn’t naturally have great lighting because there’s no windows. See, that’s the thing is that we, we do all this amazing work, but we’re not doing it in areas that are always necessarily conducive to the fabulous, photo shoot afterwards.
Right. So play with some of your clients pictures, and if you can get one of the apps and I’m not even like an expert user on all the photo editing apps, but VSCO is one that I know has really good filters. Or you can get one that you can actually manually adjust all of it, which I think VSCO does that too.
So you don’t have to just use filters. You can adjust the brightness or the white light. That’s like the, that’s one of the biggest things that even organizers who do post like awesome before and afters, they’re still adjusting the lighting a little bit so that everything looks a little bit brighter and whiter, and they’re getting that really pretty look on their feet.
But here’s a big tip that I have for you is don’t feel like every single thing that you post in your feed has to be of a glittery before and after project of your own.
People ask about this a lot, is it okay to repost or regram other people’s pictures? And here’s my answer for that. A lot of people really want you to ask permission, especially if it is their client. I mean, it’s their work like it’s their before and after is their client. You need to ask permission before you repost it. And in addition to that, you need to make sure that you’re giving credit to them in a way and not writing a caption that makes it sound like it was the job that you did. I have heard horror stories of people using other people’s work and then even tagging the location as their location and not the organizer’s location to make it seem like it was their job. Please do not ever do that. There are lots of amazing organizers out there who have like fabulous pictures and they will go after you because we’re all like territorial about. And, they’ll ask you to take it down. So I would say, better safe than sorry. If you’re going to use somebody’s picture, please, ask them in advance and also of course, give them credit. You can mix in photos of your own work and reposts from other people. So that it’s not all just like one type of thing. And then in addition to that, you can mix in inspirational quotes. I see a lot of you doing that and it looks awesome.
You can even make your own branded quotes that match your brand. So your fonts, your colors this is a really good way to give your Instagram feed a consistent look without it having to be all about , pictures of Pinterest pantries and there’s perfect closets. You can get that consistent look by having your quotes or your favorite quotes or even things that are your own writing, put in that branded fashion and have a pattern like some people do like.
Diagonal rows and every five squares do this, that kind of thing that will help your feed have this consistent look. Even when a lot of what we’re posting is of before and after, that there’s sometimes kinda messy. Like you don’t want to have your Instagram feed of all. Messy before pictures cause it didn’t give it that like high end, like luxury feeling even though, and this is the sad part.
This is like the part that kind of gets me some of those before and afters that you have that are like, kind of like iPhone pictures or are from jobs where your clients actually loved the work that you did. It’s just that the pictures just don’t really do it justice. You know what I mean? So with Instagram being such a visual platform, you really want to have like the nicest photos that you can muster on your feed. Yeah. So learning a little bit of editing and you can do that.
It’s very doable. Also some of my students, or some people that I’ve seen out there have like done their own sort of staged stock photos. So it doesn’t take a huge area in your own house to have one area that does look really nice that you can use again and again , something to kind of mix in with all of your own, with all of your other photos of like client work, you can have sort of like.
You know, a closeup of like your coffee and your laptop and a plant like that kind of thing. You can create your own stock photos or you can buy them. There are a lot, or you can find some for free, but there’s a lot of really, really good paid stock photos sites out there that if you buy a set from them and again, you’re mixing it into your feed with everything else that you have, it kind of just gives it that consistent look instead of being just a splattering of everything.
So let me just say this. Not all organizers are designers like they’re organizing and designing are two totally different skillsets, but some organizers do have that odd for design. And the benefit of that is that if they can create an Instagram feed that like looks and feels. Really luxurious and upscale that, it makes it, it gives that automatic sort of sense that you really do have an eye for detail and that you care a lot about the results that you’re going to get for your clients.
So if you’re an organizer that kind of struggles with the design aspect and like making it all look nice, I would encourage you to put a little bit of effort into that, but not with the feeling that it has to be perfect because it’s so does not. With that next point, I wanted to tell you that Instagram stories is a great way for you to showcase the job jobs that you’re doing.
Because I think a lot of, you know, us being on Instagram as organizers is to show people hey, I’m working. I’m great at what I do. I do have other clients, like you can hire me, you can trust me, , you’re giving them that feeling of going behind the scenes in your business.
So that would be a great place, like on Instagram stories for you to put those not great photos of here’s the closet in progress. It’s not like the portfolio shot of the after picture yet, or you may not ever get there. You may not ever get to the after picture, but , if you have , those photos that , you don’t want them to live on your Instagram feed. But a big tip for Instagram stories. If you’re going to do that kind of thing is to not only feel like all of you, you have to do on your story is talk to the camera. You don’t only have to do that. There were a lot of organizers who are doing that, and that’s what makes it seem intimidating because you feel like, Oh my gosh, I’ve got to get my hair did and my makeup on by the way, that’s why I’m even doing a video today because I just got my hair cut and colored. So you know, so I get it. So I know it’s kind of intimidating, but when you’re on your stories, you can share , you can talk to the camera and you can share tips like a lot.
I know a lot of people do or you turn the camera around and show something that you’re working on. It doesn’t always have to be like, It doesn’t have to be you, but I think it should be you sometimes, so people can kind of get a glimpse of the person who is behind the business, especially if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to post photos of yourself and your feed.
Then I think Instagram stories is a good way to say, “Hey, it’s Jen and here’s what we’re working on today.” So I really liked that idea.
Also another tip. I know people are always like, how do you get, how do you get good lighting for Instagram stories? If you stand in front of a window and this is literally what I will do, if I’m, if I’m going to do a story is I’ll turn the camera on without clicking, don’t click any buttons yet. And I’ll walk around my house until I find some natural light that is coming through a window that is not shining down on me in an unflattering way. You know, walk around my house until I finally get a shot where, I’m like, “Oh, that looks good.”
I mean, I can’t naturally sense it. I have to actually like look into the camera and kind of figure that out. If you know what you’re going to say on your Instagram story in advance, that is very helpful. But a lot of people don’t know that you don’t have to fit it all into 10 seconds.
So you can just hold the button down and talk as long as you want to. However, I have noticed that when people have Instagram stories that are really, really, really long, when you look up at the top and there’s like, it seems like there’s 30 little bars that you can click forward to. That people tend to like skip the whole thing, because they’re like that’s too long. But if there’s only like four or five parts of your story up there, then people will tend to watch it more because they know it’s not going to be a saga, I know a lot of people are just trying to figure out this platform. So I am here for you. I don’t want you to feel like you’re behind. It’s something that some people naturally feel comfortable with and other people , it takes more time. So I want you to know that that is okay. If that is you, you are not alone.
A lot of people are signing up for Instagram and going, Oh my gosh I can’t figure out how to even translate, you know, my brand and my aesthetic into an Instagram feed and everybody else is doing it so great that I might as well, just not. And that’s a very self-defeating attitude.
I hope that if you’re feeling that way, that you don’t, because it can, I think it can be really fun. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If you look at my own Instagram, I mean, I go through times when I’ve posted really consistently and then other times where I go months without doing that. So this is from somebody who is not an Instagram expert in what I do practice at all. But I have seen a lot of professional organizers’ Instagram, and how it fits in with what else they are doing online, whether it’s Facebook and videos or their website and the things that I know that they’re trying to sell. So I have seen a lot of examples of things that are working really well and things that don’t work as well.
So I hope that this is helpful in some way.
DM me, if you have any other questions, things you want me to chat about!
So I’ll see you guys. Bye.
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