faq

I get a lot of questions--here are some of the most common ones. If you have an inquiry not addressed here, get in touch. 

Policies & Details

Can I have a free consultation?

In some cases, yes. I do have to limit my free consultations to potential clients seeking whole website projects (including portfolio sites), ongoing or substantive consulting services or those who inquire about teaching possibilities, so I can provide the best possible service to my existing clients.

I am not able to provide a free consultation for Squarespace technical support, as I do have to dig into your Squarespace site to determine what your issues may be and the best approach for your situation. A great option if you just need a quick consultation is a 50-minute Skype session. That way we can go over any issues you may have and we can troubleshoot live. 

Can I take you out for coffee/lunch and pick your brain?

While I love sharing knowledge with people, it is very hard for me to find time in my schedule casual coffee/lunches. On occasion, I do mentor new professionals, but this is more of a casual situation and one that generally comes out of existing relationships, such as former students or colleague referrals. If you would like advice, I recommend reaching out to determine if scheduling a short Skype or in-person consultation would be of help to you. 

I’m a startup business, will you work with me?

I do work with startup businesses, but you should meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Referral from an existing or former client;
  • A track record of business success; or
  • Professional background working in the field your new business serves.

I love startups, but because these entities often have cashflow issues, I do require a deposit before performing work for new businesses. Get in touch to discuss terms in further detail.


Rates & Fees

What are your fees?

I know it’s frustrating to hear, but it really depends on the project. I don’t bite—I swear—so drop me a line and let me know what you’re thinking about project- and budget-wise. If you have a specific budget in mind, let me know--I'm happy to give you advice as to what's possible. 

For Squarespace technical support, my rate is $90 an hour. You can get an idea of how involved different projects are on my web & Squarespace services page. General information about my rates can also be found on Squarespace's website

I have a very small budget--will you work with me?

I work with lots of one-person micro businesses and I'm happy to talk with you about your needs and what you're hoping to achieve. If it's not a great match, I'm happy to refer you to someone who may better fit your budget and timeline. Also, I am pretty good at coming up with creative solutions on a limited budget, so reach out to me and see if we can make something work!

Can I pay your fees with goods and/or services (bartering)?

Unfortunately, due to the legal ramifications of bartering, and my strong desire to not make the IRS mad, I am unable to accept goods or services as payment. I do accept all major credit cards and offer staggered payment plans, however.


Services & Capabilities

Do you do graphic design?

Only for clients with whom I'm already working on another project (for example: if I'm working with you one a web project, I may create some icons to go along with your project). I also collaborate frequently with graphic artists, and other specialists who can assist with your project. This can be built into your project fee or you can pursue this on your own--it depends on whether or not you'd like me to project manage the graphic elements in addition to your digital project. 

If you want to find a graphic design specialist, I’m happy to make a few recommendations. I love the work Ashli Hughes does with her company, Cascade Creative PDX. For illustration, I recommend Sara Kaltwasser. My friend Melissa Averinos is a great option for hand-lettering.

I can build graphic design or illustration work from a subcontractor into your project a well. 

Can you help me with ecommerce or learning about selling online?

Yes, I am available to consult on ecommerce projects. There are many options available to individuals looking to move into online sales, and the choices can be daunting. I’m available to consult on your options, the technical concerns and the opportunities and challenges involved in entering the online marketplace. I am hoping to teach a class in the future on this subject as well, so keep your eyes out for that news if it’s of interest to you.

If you're ready to launch your online store, look into my comprehensive Your Shop Story package, which gives you all the essential tools to get started selling online and grow your shop for the long-haul. 

Will you take my photoshop files and program them for Squarespace?

Probably not. I prefer to work with clients on project without an existing design--we end up with a better functioning, more efficient website that way. If you have mockups you've created for inspiration, however, that's a different story entirely--send them my way and let's talk about your project!

We're an agency, will you work with me?

I do not typically work with agencies, as they're more suited for working with on-demand freelancers, and I run a business that schedules work 6-8 weeks out and therefore I cannot accommodate the quick turnaround and after-hours work agencies frequently require. With that said, if you feel that your workflow is a good fit for mine, I am happy to talk about how we could partner on projects. 

Can you create an app for me? 

No—you really need to find an app specialist for that. Before you contact an app developer, do your research—I like this article as a starting point. 

I need a profile written for my website/blog/etc. Can you help with that?

Yes! Profiles and bios are my favorite writing projects. I charge on a per page basis, rates vary with project scope. 

Can you write copy for my website?

Maybe! It really depends on the project and focus of the site. Send me an email to discuss it further. Additionally, I have an awesome copywriter--who's also a published novelist-- as well as a business writer that I like to work with on some copywriting projects. Let me know if this service is of interest to you. 

Can you send me some writing samples?

Sure. I’m happy to send you samples of my work--just send me an email. I do not republish writing on my website out of respect for the copyright holders. 


Blogging

Can you design my blog or help me launch/retool my existing blog?

Yes! I would love to work with you on your blog project from both a design and strategy perspective. I have also worked with clients on an ongoing basis by coaching them toward improving their blogging and providing scheduled feedback on their progress.

Blogs are some of my favorite projects and I think there’s tremendous potential in using your blog as your hub on the web. Some of my favorite blogger clients are Andante Piano WorksButterscotch Toast, Wander Nature and Bolt Neighborhood. You can also visit my own blog, Clear Eyes, Full Shelves.

Can you write a guest post for my blog?

Possibly. I generally charge a reasonable fee for guest posts of a professional nature—send me an email with your topic idea and I will be happy to discuss the timeline and fee.

If you’re interested in a book/reading-related post exchange, contact me via my book blog, Clear Eyes, Full Shelves


Miscellaneous

What content management system should I use?

It really depends on your needs. I now exclusively use Squarespace, but did use Wordpress for many years (though I've used Squarespace since 2010). Each has its strength and limitations. I always tell people to use the simplest solution for their needs and to first consider which platform is easiest for you to use—there’s no reason to spend your time wrestling with a CMS you hate. You can read about why I love Squarespace in particular over here. 

What social media platforms should I be using? 

Oh boy… that’s a BIG question. First of all, don’t try to use them all! Too many people spread themselves too thin trying to be everywhere online and it isn’t sustainable. I recommend that you 1) find a platform that works for you and you feel comfortable using; and 2) make sure you have a website or blog to supplement your social media presence—it’s important people have somewhere to go to learn more about you beyond simple social media. 

My other bit of advice is to not be afraid to experiment with social media. The best way to see if a platform will work for you is to try it out. 

With that said, I think Instagram and Pinterest are both really easy to get started with, and can be really fun for people new to social media to use. 

Can you talk to my group or organization?

Maybe! I enjoy leading workshops or conducting presentations for groups; generally there is a presentation fee involved unless it is a mutually beneficial collaboration. Send me an email and tell me about your group and what you’re thinking about. 

Do I have to be local to Portland, Oregon to work with you?

Nope! I’m happy to work virtually on nearly any project, if we're a good fit for each other. You may want to start with a Skype consultation to see if remote consulting will work for you. If you're looking for a website project, about 75% of my clients are outside my area--some even outside the country! This has been a very successful process for all of my remote clients, as I schedule additional check-in points throughout so they know what's happening every step of the way. My comprehensive services packages were designed with remote clients in mind, though they are also effective for locals. 


Classes & Learning

What classes are you teaching next? 

Check out the classes and presentations section of my website--it has the most current information. 

I am also available for training/teaching/speaking engagements, either with your group or company or on a one-on-one coaching basis. In fact, some of my favorite long-time clients have worked with me in this manner--it's a lot of fun and we work out a plan just for you that meets your unique needs. Get in touch if this is an arrangement you're interested in. 

Additionally, if you have a group of four or more individuals interested in training on the same subject, I may be able to create a class just for you! Let me know if this is of interest and let's make it happen!

Most of my consulting/coaching clients are in the Portland metropolitan area, but I am also available for Skype consultations. You can register and pay for this right here on my website. If you prepay for multiple sessions, you will receive a discount. 

Can I audit a class?

No. Classes are only open to enrolled students, and therefore audits or free previews are not allowed. 

Most courses I teach are through private organizations with specific enrollment requirements. Check with the sponsoring group or organization for more details about their policies. For classes organized by me, audits are strictly prohibited for insurance and legal reasons.

If you're uncertain as to whether a class will work for you, get in touch and I'll give you a straightforward answer--I promise!

I’m a former student and I’m looking for a link to something you shared in class—can you help?

Sure! If you took a class sometime between late-2011 and mid-2014, all links are stored on the class site on the Lore platform. Classes now are archived on this website--use the link you were given in class. If you were prior to that time, or can’t find the information you’re looking for, let me know and I’ll try to dig up the information you’re seeking.

Can you recommend a book if I want to learn about website design?

Yes! I love HTML & CSS: Design & Build Websites by Jon Duckett. It’s a great visual guide covering the basics of working on the web. It’s the only web design book I’ve found that has a design that’s as good as the content. Check out my resources page for more.