064: Heather Baker Steele on Solving the Content Creation Process


About Heather Baker Steele:

Heather is the founder and CEO of Blue Steele Solutions and The Problem Solver Method. Heather started her website design company 11 years ago because she was tired of seeing great companies and great people fail just because they couldn’t clearly communicate their value.

Heather’s companies help people create clear, concise, and actionable marketing messages through consulting and branding services and premium Ebooks and templates.

Find Heather Baker Steele: Blue Steele Solutions | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn


Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
064: Heather Baker Steele on Solving the Content Creation Process
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Transcript

Speaker 1:

Welcome to women in WP, a bimonthly podcast about women who blog, design, develop and more in the WordPress community.

Angela:

Hi, welcome to women in WP. I’m Angela Bowman.

Tracy:

I’m Tracy Ebbs.

Amy:

And I’m Amy Masson.

Angela:

Our guest today is Heather Steel, joining us from Denton, Texas. Heather builds websites that help generate leads for primarily small B2B service businesses. Welcome Heather.

Heather:

Hello ladies.

Angela:

We like to start off each episode asking our guests how they got into WordPress. How did you get started?

Heather:

So I actually was a Joomla person way, way, way back when I very first got into doing websites. And about the time that Joomla 1.5, I think it was rolled around. It was a major update that broke almost all of the 1.0 sites. Tracy’s nodding her head. It was a mess and I decided, I can’t do this. It’s not going to work. And so I started researching some other options and decided to try building a WordPress site, just to see what had changed. This was probably 11 years ago. So most of what I’d known of WordPress before was just blogging and not anything very sophisticated. And so when I started building my first WordPress site, I was first of all, just blown away by the community.

Heather:

Joomla had some great active communities, but not very many that were primarily English speaking and so finding local WordPress people that I could actually collaborate with and that were super supportive and helpful and actually wanted to help other developers do really well was just amazing. And I got into the Genesis framework and was just blown away at how much easier it was for me and for my clients than the Joomla world that I was coming from and the community is really what I stayed for. Kind of stopped searching for other solutions because I knew I probably wasn’t going to find a community that was as supportive and helpful and just willing to provide answers and share in the process of learning.

Amy:

I started off with a few Joomla sites back in my, oh, what’s a content management system? And so I kind of dabbled around in a few and then I was like, oh, Joomla, it’s so powerful. And I made a few sites with it, but what I found was that my clients couldn’t figure it out and then updates were a massive headache.

Heather:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Not a whole lot of backwards compatibility, at least in those days of Joomla. I’m sure it’s changed now, but [crosstalk 00:03:00]

Amy:

And this would’ve been in 2007 or something when I did it, a long time ago. I didn’t even know there was a Joomla community, but then again, I didn’t know about the WordPress community for like seven years after I started WordPress, so.

Tracy:

That’s fair. I know I also tried a couple Joomla sites and Drupal and-

Amy:

I’ve never tried Drupal.

Tracy:

Oh, don’t.

Amy:

We need to Drupal person on.

Heather:

[crosstalk 00:03:29] I know why Drupal pull people that are way smarter than me.

Angela:

I thought I should check out Drupal, that was the real development tool. And so I went to one Drupal meet up and after just listening to these people, talking at a Drupal meetup, it takes 15 people to make a Drupal site and they all are segmented in their little specialties. I was like that’s probably not going to work for me.

Heather:

If something’s that complex, then I just don’t need to be near it.

Amy:

And are you primarily making just client websites?

Heather:

We have a couple of sites of our own, but then we work primarily with B2B service providers. We do some B2C websites as well. But most of what we focus on is creating really great, well designed websites that actually say the right things in the right places to generate leads for the business. So we’re really focused on getting high quality content, whether it’s clients taking our content course to write their own content or letting our writers write it for them. And then making sure that that’s structured in the right throughout the website so that when people come to one of our client sites, they go, this is the solution to the problem I’ve been having and I need to know more about it.

Heather:

Outside of that, we don’t really get into heavy customization of integrations or e-commerce, or anything like that. We have great colleagues that we can refer that work to. But if somebody’s needing a website that just contains the right information to make people want to learn more, to continue down that sales journey, then we can give them that site.

Tracy:

And that’s something that I try to, because I teach web development and then I also talk to people and they’re like, oh, I don’t, I can’t do anything fancy. And I’m like, but that’s not what’s needed here. Something that has a strategy, that has good writing, that has a good message. It doesn’t matter. It could be a white background in the Times New Roman text, as long as I am engaged and I’m interested in that. I don’t care if it has all the bells and whistles. So I think that’s really important to note because that’s a big thing. Do you get that kind of educate, had to educate in that in your field?

Heather:

I think it it’s really easy when someone thinks website or even is a developer or a designer that they think about the design first and what’s it going to do? Whereas for most businesses, the only thing it needs to do is help actually grow their business, which means that the content is the most important. So obviously, our sites look great. We focus on the design quite a bit and make sure that their beautiful and elegant, but it’s that content that’s really the driving force. And once we can explain that to a client that, starting with that content and making sure that that is exactly what it needs to be. It has all of the elements that are required to make the prospect’s brain get triggered and ready to move forward, and then it has all the right information in the right places, then they kind of start to realize, okay this is the path I need to go down. And I need to get less hung up on the bells and whistles and flashy things and design stuff that at the end of the day, isn’t going to make a difference in my business.

Amy:

That is so important. And I struggle with that with people all the time. Can we make it animate or flash or do this? And I’m like, but what are people really looking for when they come to your site? Is that what they’re looking for? They’re looking for great content, but then if I try to talk to them about content, they never want to talk about that, or really focus on that. So, let me ask you this, when you’re working with clients, how do you get them to deliver great content or to really work with you to get that great content?

Heather:

So with the way we work, we give two options. You can work with us for your content, we’ll do a discovery call, kind of learn everything we need to about your service or your business, create the first round of content and then go through a couple of rounds of revision. Maybe some other calls, depending on how in depth the site is, or if you don’t want to invest in that, then you absolutely must go through our content writing course, where we go step by step through each section of the website and talk about what elements need to be included, how it needs to be structured. And then as our clients are taking this course, they’re actually pre-populating their website by filling in their content in small chunks. So instead of just giving them a blank page and saying here, write your content, we’re saying the homepage should have this kind of heading, this kind of call to action, and it should be phrased in this way, fill it in here.

Heather:

The next section of your website should really build the stakes and show people what’s going to happen if they don’t take action, fill in some bullet points here. And so instead of giving them this major task of go write your content, we say, let’s go step by step, fill in the blank, fill in these small little text boxes of what you need to tell people and then magically that into your undesigned website on the back end. And that has changed things dramatically, because then we don’t take a step. We don’t do anything. We don’t start design. We don’t do anything on the website until they’ve completed that content. And we make that really clear on the outset that, you may be struggling with this content for a year, but we’re not going to touch the website until you start your content. And what generally happens is most people either get in there and they write it or they realize it’s over their head and they come back and ask us to write it for them.

Tracy:

All of my sites, I would say 100% of my clients, the hardest thing is content. And as you’re talking, I really love that that class because you think about I’ve been a part of these new business incubators, startup incubators, and they give you basically this formula. So you fill in, okay, what’s my business goal? What’s my why? All of that stuff on a chart, you hang it on the wall so that you always know what your kind of goal, what your why is. I don’t think most business owners are people that are like, I need a website. They don’t think through that. That that’s the important thing. And when I tell people, oh, I won’t design until I have your content because I also believe that the design needs to support the content and the design is the content as well. And so I need to understand that. And if I didn’t do that, I hid a website, I’m done. Years later sometimes, still haven’t filled up the website.

Heather:

And I think the way my brain works, I couldn’t possibly build a website without all of the content. I don’t know how people do it. It pains me to use Lorem Ipsum text. We don’t do placeholders because who knows what that’s going to turn into when the client finally writes the content. So we absolutely- [crosstalk 00:11:22]

Tracy:

I was actually thinking about getting a tattoo of Lorem Ipsum I think that would be really great. I’ll get like, or waiting on content, something on my, just as a tattoo as-

Heather:

This is burn the Ipsum.

Amy:

I used to have a t-shirt that just said Lorem Ipsum across the front.

Tracy:

It’s so great.

Angela:

Fill on the blank there.

Tracy:

I love it. And I agree it’s some of those things because, I kind of realized this a couple years into when I was designing sites, because I’d be like, oh, I’m going to start designing this site. I design that, oh, goes around content that’s not there. So it’s like I write in there, here’s where this thing will go. So kind of the course, but if I didn’t do that, it would just be a bunch of boxes and images.

Heather:

Right? It’s hard to figure out what to put on the page when you don’t know what’s going to go on the page.

Angela:

So are you using a forms plugin in order to have people type and then it auto populates pages or what’s the workflow with that?

Heather:

So, it’s a gravity form plug in that’s embedded within the course, and then we’ve got some custom development on the back end. So each new client, we spin up their dev site. It has the course already included as they go through the course at the end of each module, they’re filling in these pieces of content that they can either copy paste over from their workbook or retype, whatever is comfortable for them. And then we’ve got some workflows on the backend that map those entries to the specific modules that we use. We use beaver builder so that we kind of have these vanilla modules just waiting to receive that content.

Amy:

I’m so inspired right now.

Tracy:

That’s amazing.

Heather:

It’s made such a huge difference in our workflow just because then we receive the site, everything’s built in already. It’s really just a matter of our design. So the rest of the process goes with our designer, creates a homepage based off the client’s branding and their preferences and everything they’ve told us about what they’d love to see on their website, the content they’ve provided and then that goes into development. We create the whole rest of the site. So we have a great designer developer person who just uses the homepage as inspiration, does everything else in the browser. No other design mock up. In fact, the homepage only goes for approval. We don’t even call it a review. We just say, this is here for your approval. They can say yes. We’ve never had anyone say no, but if they did, we either make minor tweaks or say this isn’t a good project for us.

Heather:

We’re not on the same page. You’re not going to trust us to be the experts in the process so we’re probably not going to move forward. But once that homepage is done, the developer completes the site in the browser and then the client gets one round of review on the website. So we’re also cutting out all of the back and forth, design, review process that we used to do on all of our custom websites. Just because we thought it’s what you have to do, that would make it take a lot longer, use up everyone’s time. And I think honestly confuse the client more than anything because a mockup, even if it’s done in XC it’s just not the same as an actual website. And once they can see the completed site and get the full picture, we get much higher approval rates, way fewer rounds of revision or requests made on that site.

Heather:

So it’s been a much better process for us, just from a profitability standpoint, timing standpoint, and then the clients get a site that costs them less. That is a lot better experience for them because they’re not feeling weighed down by being so involved in the process.

Tracy:

It took me years to get that because I’d be like, this is a wire frame and people are like, and I’m like, this does not have colors. This is just showing the boxes and where the content will go. And then the comments are always, well, I really wish there was color or I really want images.

Heather:

My brain barely operates with wire frames. I don’t know how anyone can expect a client to, right?

Tracy:

Exactly.

Heather:

It’s so hard to picture that.

Tracy:

So I get to the point now I still will make them, but I don’t show them to the client. So, I mean, it was years before I realized no, they don’t need to see the whole process. It is just confusing them and overwhelming them, give them the little bits of pieces of it. I see people like, oh, do you want a WordPress site? Or do you want Joomla site? I don’t know, they want a site.

Heather:

Right-

Amy:

I had somebody recently- [crosstalk 00:16:12]

Heather:

Those technical need are that advanced, then they’re not for me.

Amy:

I had someone recently say, oh, how do I convince them that they want a WordPress site? And I’m like, they don’t care what kind of site it is. They don’t care what it’s made on. That’s not what you need to convince them, convince them that their site sucks, and it does. And build it on whatever platform you think is best.

Tracy:

I started putting it in my contract or my quotes because about the company about that, not even just giving it an option of just why do we use WordPress? Because if they care about it and then I can explain about the community and the meetups and the free to very cheap conferences and that there are a gajillion other developers. So if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, that someone will be able to pick up your website and run with it.

Heather:

It’s kind of a no brainer.

Angela:

How many employees do you have and are they freelance or full time and do you bring freelancers in as needed or do you just have a set team you’re working with all the time?

Heather:

So it’s pretty such a set team of contractors. I did, for many years I had full-time employees. But it really got to a point where me as the primary sales person I just didn’t have the bandwidth to sell enough projects and work to cover a staff. And so we started transitioning people that wanted to continue working with me, transitioned into contractors and I helped find other people that they can work with as well. Some left and went to work for other agencies. And so now I have basically two developers, two content writers, two designers, and a project manager that I work with 99% of the time. And then every now and then, if we’re just overloaded or if we have something that comes up that’s a little outside of the wheelhouse, but we still want to do it, I’ll bring in another person. That’s just been a much better fit for me personally than having full-time employees.

Tracy:

I think that’s something that, I know a lot of more established corporations and companies they have their set ways and that’s the, but for most smaller companies, startups, personally owned businesses, it’s so smart to do that. And especially if you have people that trust you trust but then it is one of those where I don’t know for me, I never want to have employees just because that stresses me out.

Heather:

It’s a lot. It can be a lot.

Tracy:

Exactly. I wouldn’t be able to do it.

Amy:

Well in this remote age, right now if all my people were employees versus contractors, they would also have to pay taxes here. And because they’re contractors, they only have to pay taxes in their state. And I think that that’s not something to dismiss.

Heather:

I hadn’t even thought about that. We don’t pay state income tax here in Texas, so I hadn’t even thought about that. But for me it’s a matter, if I had built my team out starting with sales people, it’d probably be a totally different scenario. But with me being the only salesperson and admittedly not the best at that, and it’s not my favorite job to do but my availability over the years has gotten less and less and less, well the need to keep my employees busy with work had gotten more and more because we had grown. And so bringing that back down, getting rid of all the other services, not being a full service marketing firm, just focusing on doing these websites, made it possible that now there’s a very specific process that it’s much easier to plug people into when they’re available. Or if they’re not, we can go out and find other contractors that can fit into those pieces a lot easier. And then I’m not having to try to keep a whole staff of people covered all the time.

Amy:

So, tell us a little about this thing you started called problem solver sites.

Heather:

So the problem solver sites are what I described to you. So it’s more of a productized offering where we’re still delivering a custom designed website, but it’s through this specific process of starting with the content course, taking them through this more watered down design process where we’re not sharing rounds and rounds of mock ups and going back and forth on revisions. We’re really limiting all the revisions to at the very end of the project and delivering on a specific set of plugins and themes that we use so that it’s always the same framework. And that’s all I’ve offered really since the end of December last year. Got rid of all the other new do work that I was offering to do. We still have a couple of retainer clients that I manage, but that’s been the sole offering and those people, once we go through the website, set up process and they go into a maintenance plan, there’s a monthly fee and it’s been working great.

Heather:

It’s been really a relief to bring the focus into one offering, to have an offering that’s very simple to explain to clients that one proposal pretty much does it for everyone. It’s a turnkey, easy process for people, especially if they’re having us write their content. And it’s been pretty great for me personally, just to have that burden of the explaining and writing a different proposal for every client and managing projects that are all different because of those different services that we used to offer brought into just one thing. And it’s all based on our framework that we use for our content and the course that we take people through, we call it the problem solver methods. And so it’s a way of writing content that specifically explains the problems that you solve to your potential clients and makes them see you as the only solution for them.

Heather:

So we’re really working with the way that the brain processes information, delivering information back in the right order, in the right small chunks. So that first of all, they’re not overwhelmed and they start to really understand the need for your solution more and to see your solution as kind of the only one for them. And it’s just really highly effective. It’s an easy way for clients to write the content because it is very bite size and it creates websites that are really highly effective because we’re using the power of how our brains work to make people go, I need that now. And so it’s been really great getting that out there to people, having lots of clients really test it and see how it works for them. And even one of my clients is a behavioral psychologist and having her go through the process and go, oh my God, this works, this makes sense. Has been awesome. Just that validation and seeing that it really does work well for people.

Angela:

Have you ever thought of offering this as a standalone product in and of itself where someone like me or Amy or Tracy could say to our clients, hey, use this content creation and then, or sub licensing it to other agencies or anything like that?

Heather:

I think that’s on my list for next year, right? There’s still some cleanup I want to continue doing on the course and make it a little better. And in that process, find a way to be able to either white label it. I haven’t decided if I’ll do that or not, but definitely I think that being able to sell this as a licensed plugin that a developer can purchase put on the websites that they’re doing and have their own clients go through this process would be super valuable. Just something that would make the process a lot easier for people in a great way to get the brand known to more of these clients a lot quicker than just going through me. So, I think [crosstalk 00:24:54] that’s definitely something that’s on the horizon.

Amy:

I want to give some the money right now.

Tracy:

I know right? Can you have, here’s my money, please. [crosstalk 00:24:58] Right? The UX person was ginking out about it thought about it.

Heather:

[crosstalk 00:25:06] Do I want to get into this plugin management side of the business and who do I partner with to make sure I’m doing that the right way? Because that’s definitely something that’s totally different than what I do in my day to day. But yes, it’s definitely on the horizon and I’ll keep all of you in mind as data testers.

Amy:

We definitely want that. So when you’re finished with a site, you have ongoing support plans. What do you include in your plans?

Heather:

Most of our clients are on our basic plan, which is the general stuff, right? Hosting, maintenance, we run all the updates once a week, we do the security work, firewalls, kind of all of the basic maintenance stuff that you would expect. And then we give up to an hour, a month of work on the website. So that might be adding some blood posts, creating a new section of the site, kind of small functionality changes, anything that we can fit into an hour. The only caveat is that we request them to send us those changes only once per month. So our clients can’t go in and spend five minutes here, 10 minutes there. It’s really one batch a month that takes us about an hour. We’re still small enough, we have about 40 sites under maintenance right now.

Heather:

So it’s pretty easy to kind of just have the conversation with people that, hey, what you asked for is really not a maintenance task. We need to send you an invoice for this or people who never use their maintenance task and then maybe they ask for something a little bigger one month. We can kind of go ahead and accommodate that. But it’s been pretty easy for people to kind of understand what they can get within that one hour a month. And it adds a lot of value to them because then they don’t need to be trained on their website if they don’t want to, they don’t ever have to log in and unless they really just want to, they can really just rely on us to manage everything, take care of everything for them.

Angela:

So, do you do training of clients? Do you have a training course or do you use anything for training?

Heather:

I just do a Zoom call at the end of a project. I still do them myself, at some point I’ll have to transition that to probably the person who does project management or go into just a pre-recorded course, but I think it’s a really great way to get some FaceTime, to really make sure, especially as this is a newer offering, make sure that people really are very pleased with their website. So we just go through and spend about 45 minutes to an hour showing them how things work on the back end, how to submit the request and then talk about how the project went, get a good debriefing and be able to feel them out to make sure that they’re really happy with what we’ve delivered.

Tracy:

I really like that. The training and debriefing. I’m making myself notes over here.

Heather:

Because you could tell, right? When someone shows it for training, if they’re excited, then you know they like the site. If they’re kind of quiet and not easy to read then you know something hasn’t gone great and I need to figure out what it is so we can fix the process.

Angela:

I’ve been installing video user manuals on client sites. I have a big license for that and I’ll just give them assignments. And I like that they’re just two minute videos. A lot of people are like, how do you hyperlink something? There’s only so much you can do in a training session with people, they need six hours of training [crosstalk 00:28:50] but I can just them, I give them this one video. Watch this two minute video and that’s all.

Tracy:

Do they turn in their homework or did their dog eat it or?

Heather:

Right.

Amy:

Well, we use video user manuals too, but very few people I find actually watch the videos and they just send me emails. So I tend to make just a handful of very specific because every site’s different and I feel like has different needs of things. Here is how you do this, the thing I think they’re going to need to do the most and just put it right in there so they always have it. Those get watched, but I still do the video user manuals and I think there’s a lot of value there. I wish more people would actually go there for their answers instead of just emailing me because that’s what everybody including my children and everybody I know, they just ask me to Google things for them. If I had to make a resume today, my number one skill would be Googling.

Angela:

I also love Loom. I do a lot of little Loom videos for my clients.

Amy:

I do too.

Angela:

I haven’t found out yet, I haven’t created a process of where I could store kind of their Loom videos, except for often I have a Google doc, which is documentation and I’ll put links to the Loom videos in my Google doc that I pass off to them at the end of the project. So everyone has some sort of documentation of here’s the plugins I’ve installed on your site and why, and who owns the license. And here’s the theme and why, and here’s how you log in and people really do appreciate that. And I found that they will reference these personalized things for them.

Heather:

That’s a great idea. I had video user manuals for a couple of years and I don’t think anyone ever watched them. They were- [crosstalk 00:30:34]

Amy:

I had a plugin that I put in a site, it was almost like a little wiki in the dashboard and I was able to put my Loom videos right in there and now I don’t remember what it was.

Heather:

Oh, that’s pretty cool. That’s a cool idea especially if you could find a way to kind of control that from one central source. It does not have to be-

Amy:

I do a lot of cool things and then never remember how I did them or what I did. My documentation for myself is terrible.

Angela:

I’ve been trying to throw things into gist as much as possible or GitHub, but million gists.

Heather:

It’s bad when you have so many options of where to put things, because then it’s like, wait what mind space was I in when I had a really brilliant idea for how to save this information?

Amy:

So earlier in the call, you mentioned that one of the things you liked about WordPress was the community and there really wasn’t a Joomla community. So it seems like you kind of found the community early. What’s been some of the things that have been useful for you?

Heather:

I would say early on it was just learning, right? Figuring out WordPress and how things work. And even just still learning a lot of website development stuff, because when I started my business, I was not a great developer. I’m still not a great developer that’s why-

Amy:

Who among us was/

Heather:

I have other people that do this work? And so I think it started out just as a place to answer questions or get pointed in the right direction for documentation. But over the years, my relationship with others in the WordPress community has really morphed more into a peer support group and friendships and people who are just like-minded and understand our world a little bit better. And so, I think some of my closest friends are people that I’ve met through WordPress and it’s that day to day, I have a couple of people that we’re in a group together that we text each other 50 times a day, just to have an outlet and to have other people to talk to. And this can be a lonely world when you’re working remotely and you don’t have employees around you or you don’t have coworkers. And so over the years, it’s definitely morphed from a help desk type relationship with the community to these are the people that I’m really closest to in a lot of ways.

Heather:

And of course referrals, there’s people like Carrie Dills is a great example. She did live here close to me before she moved. And so my first, I don’t know, 10 or so Genesis sites were referrals from her. It was work that she wasn’t going to take on and she sent over to me and that was huge. I mean, there’s definitely been months when my mortgage was paid because she sent me work and so that’s another great thing about this community is that people aren’t selfish. They’re not so worried about themselves. They’re really willing to look out for each other and help develop each other and share the secret sauce of what they’re doing and share their processes and be an open book so that other people can learn from them.

Tracy:

I think that’s really key because I noticed that too, there’s more of collaborative versus competitive and same thing, I’ll refer people. Just openly sharing their information, which I realized is not the case in other communities. And because they’re like, oh, you’re going to have to pay for it or nope, because then going to meet my competition. I love that. And I think that’s one of my favorite parts of the community and just having other people to talk to and just bounce ideas back and just have that emotional support.

Amy:

I felt like the Genesis community was really where I started to get my feet wet with getting to know people and I’m not even doing Genesis sites anymore, but I still love all those people. That was the community that I felt was most helpful and most social and really kind of led me into becoming more involved.

Heather:

For sure. I’m glad I went Genesis initially, because I think some of those people that I crossed paths with definitely were the make or break in whether or not my business was going to make it.

Amy:

Well, Genesis was my number two. I started with Thesis.

Heather:

Oh no. See Thesis is they had the Joomla issue, right? When that conversion of Thesis came out, it was [crosstalk 00:35:28] a totally different world. I did one site in Thesis and then they up updated right in the middle of the project. And I was like no, I don’t know what’s happening, but I’m not relearning this.

Amy:

Exactly. But then I started doing Genesis and I found Streetar and that was before it was paid, which I then paid for forever. And I went to some Genesis meetups, I didn’t know any other groups that were having meetups outside of just WordPress stuff. And this was very specific and it was just a great way to meet really, really great people. So I don’t know about anybody else, I don’t know about the other themes, but the Genesis people are great.

Heather:

And I see that now coming up with the beaver builder people that I’m around, that there’s-

Amy:

I’m one.

Heather:

So collaborative and it’s awesome to see that people are wanting to help each other, not out smart or outdo each other. It’s really an environment where you want to bring people up with you.

Tracy:

I think that’s key right there, bring people up with you. It’s interesting. I never got into any other frameworks because they were confused to me. Because I started off with development of I code HTML and CSS and then I was like, okay, now I’m teaching myself PHP and now I’m figuring all these other things. And then I was like, that’s one more thing and I’m like I can’t. But hearing more and more about that, it seems like those kind of frameworks is actually a really good entry point for many people and for web development.

Angela:

I think you’re right Tracy. The frameworks create these little micro communities that kind of shrink the WordPress world a little bit into almost a more manageable piece. And so I think that is kind of a fascinating sociological study in and of itself is the communities that either arise around a framework or around a plugin, like you have the give community and you have, I don’t know if gravity forms has as much of a community, but there are just there’s woo commerce has kind of a little community. But some communities like give and Genesis really create real sense of community. And I do think it’s worth, it would be great to study it. I have whole academic mindset about these things. These are phenomenon and it would be just fabulous to really dissect what are the qualities that make it work as well as it does for people.

Angela:

Before we go, I did want to ask you just about your life and how are you and what do you do for fun? And how’s your kid and how’s COVID been treating you? Just tell us about you.

Heather:

Those are some loaded questions in there.

Angela:

You can address any of them you want to do, you could just do the fun part or whatever. We just want to know a little bit about you.

Heather:

So I, outside of being a business owner, I’m a mom, I have a 13 year old daughter and an 11 year old son. And I’m very happily married. My son has special needs. He has severe autism. And so part of the reason that my work life has changed so much over the years of running this business is that his time that he really needs me to be available to him has gotten more and more and more. So, the public school system is not a fit for him. It would not be a safe environment for him to be in. So he’s in a private program where he’s one on one with a therapist all day. And I say, therapist, they’re his best friends. Don’t misunderstand that. The kid has a blast all day and it’s insurance funded. So over the years, as he’s gotten older, our insurance company pays for less and less hours. So he goes there 28 hours a week, which is my work time. So it’s a very condensed work week for me.

Heather:

So outside of work, I’m really generally hanging out with him, with my daughter. She plays volleyball and she’s really active. So we do a lot of stuff together. And I was on a, I don’t know if y’all have heard of Lunch Club, but I’ve started doing these one-on-one meetings through Lunch Club. And the first time I was on the person asked me about my hobbies and it was kind of this shock to realize that I don’t have any. I don’t do anything outside of work and kids. And so I’ve made a real conscious effort this summer to start trying to do things for myself. So working out every day, trying to just go find things to do. My daughter and I went paddle boarding for the first time last night, for example, just to do something that’s for us and it’s not work related and it’s not because we have to, but just because we want to do something fun and active.

Heather:

So that’s been really on my mind a lot lately is trying to make more time to actually do things for myself instead of work or family. And to set that example especially for my daughter, that there’s more to life, right? Than just working and paying the bills, that you’ve got to make some time to do something important for yourself as well.

Amy:

Well, I think for so many of us that have, especially kids, your hobby is your kids. And I have a 16 year old and almost 18 year old. That’s about I’ve got two years and then they’re both going to college. And I looked at my husband, I’m like, we need a hobby because our hobby’s about to move out and I’m not going to be the weirdo sitting at the high school football games since my kids are graduated. My husband- [crosstalk 00:41:41] I will not be there.

Tracy:

I love it.

Angela:

Well, it’s been so great to talk to you Heather.

Amy:

And before we go, can you tell everybody where they can find you online?

Heather:

So the best place to find me is on LinkedIn. You can just search for heatherbakerssteel.com or not.com, Heather Bakers Steel on LinkedIn or Heather Steel 03 on Twitter. I’m a big lurker there. I don’t post much, but I do pay attention to what’s going on. Otherwise, I have a website bluesteelsolutions.com and you can see all about our problem solver sites on there.

Angela:

Fabulous.

Tracy:

Awesome, thank you.

Heather:

Thanks.

Speaker 1:

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