Name: Shirley Ansley
Business Name: The Shirley T Brand and BrandSnax
Describe your business
I make designing complex websites with WordPress easy for tiny businesses.
Tell us about your self-employment journey
I’m a former engineer turned website developer. A few years ago, I was convinced that I would be the next Walt Disney Imagineer, but found myself thousands of miles away from the Magic Kingdom, on my mama’s couch, broke and only making $6.75 an hour. So, something had to change. And at the age of 27, I started a new dream designing websites for influential businesses.
I dove headfirst into website design because I saw how the power of design could grab people’s attention, get them recognized and help influencers make 3 to 10 times more income.
I use creative design and visual storytelling to create solutions for tiny businesses with great potential but need branding, user interface design and storytelling to take them to the next level.
For almost ten years, I’ve been creating awe-inspiring graphics with the mission of transforming ideas into greatness and empowering professionals who are dying to do something outside of their regular jobs to take the same leap I did.
What area of your business are you most passionate about?
I’m most passionate about working day to day on new design projects, virtually meeting people globally and making a huge impact in their business. I’m especially excited about a new offering, BrandSnax, that will make it easier for businesses to launch custom-designed sales funnels in days instead of months.
What’s the most valuable thing you learned early in your career that has contributed to your success?
Definitely to create systems that allow you to automate and simplify your processes. Whenever I struggle with time management, I know that it’s an opportunity to create a system that will reduce confusion and friction.
How are you pivoting your business during the COVID-19 pandemic?
During COVID, my biggest pain point was time. I never seem to have enough of it. So, the main pivot I made was to trim down my offerings to the essentials. From there, all I needed to do was create a system that I could implement and even train someone else to do.
What’s a recent project that you’ve worked on that you’re really excited about?
I recently worked with Journey to Launch on their website redesign. I’m super excited about it because the client is very happy with how user-friendly their new site is.
Are you a part of any freelancer communities? Which ones and how do they support you?
I’m part of a mastermind group of other graphic designers, and we all share strategies and ideas about how to grow our businesses. It’s great because joining a community has helped answer many questions, saving me time.
What advice would you give other self-employed people?
Mistakes will help you learn a lot, so embrace them. I’ve learned so much from the mistakes I’ve made in the past. These mistakes have helped me create solid systems and seek out help where I know my strengths don’t lie.
How has forming an S Corp leveled up your business?
It has definitely helped me feel like more of a business instead of a hobby.
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