Elle & Company

8 Essential Plugins for Your Wordpress Site

ChaitraLauren Hooker1 Comment

A few months ago, I moved my site from Blogger to Wordpress for one main reason. Blogger is super easy and simple to work with and has a ton of functionality. However
what sets Wordpress apart from its competition is the large powerhouse of plugins that the platform proudly supports. 

At the time of publishing this article, there are about 41,727 plugins with over 1 billion downloads that extend the functionality of Wordpress. For almost every feature or functionality you want on your Wordpress site, there is a plugin ready to install and use. If you use a Wordpress site, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Here are the 8 most essential plugins that will supercharge your Wordpress website.

If She Can Do It, Why Not You?

Natalie MacNeilLauren HookerComment

Have you ever looked at a successful entrepreneur and thought “How in the world did they have that idea?”

Or “What could have possibly possessed them to create that amazing product?”

Or “Where – in the name of all that’s good and holy – did they come up with that?!!”

(And then maybe, for good measure, you throw in a little bit of self-doubt and wonder why you don’t ever have million-dollar ideas.)

If you’ve ever worked through a traditional business plan, you’ve probably encountered the ‘products/services’ area and maybe it tied your stomach in knots. Well, I’d like to let you in a little secret: a lot of those million-dollar ideas started out as one entrepreneur’s solution to his or her own tiny problem. 

The Secret to a Healthy Client Relationship

Jamie StarcevichLauren HookerComment

“Sure, I can have the book designed by tomorrow.”

That is an unnaturally short period of time to turn around a proof I felt comfortable presenting. I knew it, my boss knew it, the client knew it, but here we were all agreeing to meet this absurd deadline.

Just a few hours later, I had a proof ready to go through our marketing team to rapidly read before sending to the client. I waited more anxiously than usual, as I knew this wasn’t my best design work. Design elements weren’t properly aligned, formatting was most likely off, and the design was not fully considered as it should have been for an expensively printed book.

My instinct as a habitual people pleaser is to say “yes, I can meet that deadline,” while inside my gut tells me how absurd that guarantee really is. Saying “yes” to these agreements caused pain, forcing me to present design work that was not up to par.

“Under promise, over deliver” is a phrase many claim to adhere to, but it is worth diving into what this tangibly looks like for your business. It is a phrase I first heard while I was a graphic designer at a previous job (with the book project above), and it left its mark on me since then. Not only with how I handle my personal business, but also when working with other freelancers, collaborations, or as a customer myself.

5 Creative Lead Magnet Ideas to Attract Email Subscribers

Mike WallagherLauren HookerComment

Ask a handful of experts what’s the best thing you can do to market your business, and most will come back with a similar answer: build your email list.

The idea is simple. When people subscribe to your email list, they’re showing interest in your business or product. That gives you a direct means of contact with the people who are most likely to buy from you. You can then utilize this platform to offer deals, market new products, and make more sales.

As marketing guru Neil Patel points out, “Out of all of the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them.”

Any old email list won’t cut it, though. A “healthy” email list includes users who have a prior relationship with your business, such as people who read your blog or who have purchased from you before. It’s also one that uses opt-in emails rather than a list purchased from a third-party. With the right people on your email list, you’ll spend less money for better results and avoid having your emails sent to the spam folder.

But how do you get the right people to subscribe to your list? Through a lead magnet.

The Two Most Powerful Tools I Used To Launch My Business

Caroline WinegeartLauren Hooker4 Comments

It was January of 2014, and, as I stared at my computer for what felt like the 2,000th time that week, I started to panic. 

Just four months earlier, I had the distinct pleasure of being (lovingly) laid off by my boss-who-was-also-my-boyfriend. (Yes, you read that correctly). For two years prior, I had been running operations for his marketing startup, and I had fallen in love with the flexibility, control, and creative freedom that came with operating outside the lines of the corporate world. Hellbent on staying out of that world at all costs, when I found myself suddenly without a job, I made the decision to dive into the deep end of entrepreneurship as a freelance designer. 

Those first few months were honestly all about just surviving. I was still deeply unsure of how I was going to turn my self-taught design skills, limited business experience, and (very) limited client roster into a thriving company that could support me. 

Thankfully, though, even in those early months, I carried with me one absolute certainty: Whether I failed or succeeded, I wanted my business to represent ME.