Who are you?
Rachael is the ultimate genius when it comes to branding your business and web design. Rachael considers herself as an artist, activist, and “awkward” marketer. She is the owner of the web design and marketing studio RKA INK, and she works with leaders and entrepreneurs build their businesses online.
Rachael taught herself how to code at the age of 15, first learning HTML, and began to develop her skills from there. After creating websites for friends, Rachael branched out and continued to code websites when she started her business. Although Rachael is from the Chicago suburbs, she is now living in a small town in Mexico, San Cristobal de las Casas.
What did you do before you decided to go full-time with web design?
Rachael started going to law school before pursuing web design full-time. While she agrees that some people go to law school because they love it and want to help others, she says she went to school because she thought it would offer job and financial security.
Rachael decided to take a break, and moved to Mexico. After her break, she had the choice of going back to school or quitting law school to pursue her dreams. Fearful that she might waste years of her life to pursue something she wasn’t passionate for, Rachael decided to leave law school and take time to figure out her next move.
What are the biggest branding mistakes that you see business owners making?
When it comes to branding your business, Rachael thinks the biggest mistake is not being visible. She believes that a business thrives on visibility, and you can’t grow your business if you are afraid of being seen, or if you’re inconsistent.
Another mistake Rachael sees is the lack of consistency. When branding your business, it is important to be consistent when creating content, and having a cohesive visual brand. While she loves tools that help people brand their business, like Canva, she also knows that it allows people to constantly create new things, which can be a hassle when branding. She recommends sticking to one theme, and with visibility and consistency, your brand will grow.
Another mistake Rachael sees is that other entrepreneurs and leaders try to emulate other successful people, instead of knowing their market and audience. In order to be successful while branding your business, you have to know who you are catering to and how you can help them.
What’s your process like?
Rachael always starts her process with a new client by figuring out their strategy. She will talk to them about marketing, their business plan, and even their brand’s message. Once that is complete, she goes into design and how she can help with branding their business.
When Rachael first started her business, she would design a client’s site right away. What she’s learned is that without a definite marketing and business plan, many clients would need to design their sites again down the road, or would lose focus and quit or lose their business. By asking questions to figure out if a business has their strategy together, Rachael is able to make an informed decision on if she thinks branding or rebranding is right for them.
What do you recommend for those that aren’t ready to redesign their site?
If you are branding your business on a super tight budget, Rachael recommends not hiring a web designer at all. Instead, she recommends hiring a business coach and copywriter first.
By hiring these people first, branding your business will be easier in the long run. Not only will you have a solid business and marketing plan, but you will know how to reach and touch your audience and get them to trust you as an expert in your field. That will also make it easier on web designers like Rachael to create the exact product and outcome that you want, without wasting your time, money, and energy.
What is one financial tip you have that could help the readers improve their finances right now?
Rachael’s financial tip would be to live the life that you love. You can have all of the money in the world, but if you aren’t living the life you want, you won’t be happy. In her opinion, if you want something bad enough, you should be willing to sacrifice to achieve that happiness.
How do you make money your honey?
Rachael considers herself a spreadsheet queen, and has her budgets, including income and expenses, ready at any given moment. She tracks her budget and makes sure that she saves a percentage of any revenue that she makes.
Where can listeners go to find out more about you?