Getting To Know: Liz White of Linea Mae
Liz was my very first Instagram friend. I remember stumbling across her feed in the spring of 2016 and being so drawn in by the creative aesthetic and her thoughtful captions. I began looking forward to her posts, and then finally got brave enough one day to send her a direct message and ask if maybe she wanted to connect outside of the app. She was so kind, and to my shock, she agreed!
We started out sending weekly emails trying to keep each other accountable. And it was really serendipitous when I found out she was going to be in Austin for a few days over the summer. We had already bonded over work struggles and triumphs, but now we got to bond over GF goodies, macarons at Mañana, and Game of Thrones!
But in all seriousness, Liz has been an incredible resource, an amazing friend, and an unwavering support for me. She has an unbelievable way about her to help me think through things in a very methodical, strategic way.
Want to know the craziest part about our friendship? I had the idea of Own Your Why, but it was just a seedling of an idea. I went to New York City in the fall of 2016, and met up with Liz for a day. As we were talking about life & biz, I let this crazy idea slip - she was the first person to ever hear it. Liz was so encouraging about it all that I went home and decided to put some meat on those bones. Soon after that, we were working together on the custom sales page and launch materials for Own Your Why. Without Liz, I'm not sure I would have had the courage to take that first step. I am forever grateful for her, and I cannot wait for you to get to know her, too.
Tell us more about your overall journey for how Linea Mae came to be. Oh, and where the name comes from, too!
I started Linea Mae in 2012 as my freelance business while I worked a corporate job. Linea Mae started as a hybrid of wedding design and branding design, which is a very easy thing for a new designer to fall into! Of course since then Linea Mae has evolved, gone through service restructuring, and I’m sure it will continue to do so. I never want Linea Mae to stop evolving and growing.
Linea Mae comes from a combination of past family names I found on a very old family tree. Nothing too deep, I liked how it sounded and that it wasn’t niche-specific (allowing me to keep it as my business evolves).
What aspect of your work is the most life-giving for you?
I love being able guide other business owners into an “ah-ha” moment. To be able to help them sort through chaos and turn it into a very clear plan of action for their business that is in alignment with their brand and goals… that’s the best.
Was there ever a time when you happily ignored external validation or outside advice about your business so that you could follow the True North that you created for yourself? If so, how did making that choice to follow Your Why impact not only you, but your business?
When I finally deleted everything wedding-related off of my website, that was so freeing. During my time in the wedding industry I was featured in blogs, print magazines, wedding shows, and you can even still see my name pop up on MarthaStewartWeddings.com (which I thought was just the coolest). People didn’t understand why I left an industry that I was seemingly successful in, so that I could focus on what I really loved: working with other business owners.
Here’s the thing. I hate weddings. Absolutely hate them. Yet I found myself surrounded by them because it was easy and I just fell into it. Taking control and not letting my initial gateway into freelancing guide my business journey was something I had to do.
Realizing that the decisions I made for my past should not continue to guide decisions that I make for my future was very important.
Like so many of my online friendships, we met through Instagram. Your unique approach to your feed was really attractive and innovative, and over the course of the year that I’ve known you, you’ve gone through two rebrands. Each time it felt so impossibly seamless, so I’m curious to know: a) How did you know it was time to change it up? b) What was the inspiration for your most recent rebrand, and why does this finally feel like the right fit?
Each time I rebranded it was due to a shift in my service structure. The first was when I finally got out of the wedding industry. The second was when I completely restructured my business to focus less on branding and more on making sure a business is designed to sell. In addition to my new services focused on sales pages, I introduced business strategy and coaching. All of that to say my business needed a total facelift!
The inspiration for my rebrand came from wanting to infuse both my personality and design elements that I love into my business. Since my clients work directly with me and I’m the face of my business, it was important for my branding to work hand in hand with my personal brand as well.
Things that I love: plants, greenery, simple font treatments, subtle details, cool tones, crisp imagery, whitespace, cropped images. This rebrand I was truly designing for myself, so I wanted to make sure that it felt like me.
You are a sales page guru. What really excites you and draws you into this work?
I love the strategy behind sales pages. Sales pages take the guesswork out of what you’re selling someone and in the process it helps you get hyper-specific about your services/offers. This is so insightful, because if it’s hard for you to tell people what you do (and how they can give you money to do it) then there’s a bigger problem at play. While sales pages are extremely important for actually converting sales, the process of writing and creating the sales page is invaluable to your business.
In addition to custom sales pages, word on the street is that you’re also starting to offer coaching services through your Creative Strategy Sessions. Can you tell us more about what topics you might cover and/or what kinds of business questions you really love working through with clients?
It’s true, I love coaching! All of my services include strategic coaching sessions throughout the project, and to be honest it’s my favorite part. Being a strategic coach to other business owners is something that I always saw myself doing, but really didn’t know how to start. But soon enough I started getting asked if I offer coaching as a stand alone service, and there was the push from the Universe showing me that it was time.
Some things that I’ve worked with clients on during a strategy session include: Restructuring services, making a plan for Instagram that’s in alignment with their brand and business, website auditing to make offers easier to understand, tackling how to make a transition from side-hustle to full time freelancing… details and planning are two of my favorite things. I have a knack for taking what someone thinks is a total chaotic mess of ideas/dreams/to-dos/you name it and putting it in an easy to approach (less intimidating) plan. The AH-HA moments that come during these strategic coaching sessions are both incredible for me and my clients.
Because each of my clients have their own unique roadblocks, they often come to me to get an outside perspective and structured guidance. I can’t tell you how many time’s I’ve heard “It’s so easy for me to help my clients, but it’s hard for me to do the same for myself.”
What I love working through most? Taking someone’s biz struggle that’s driving them crazy (and stressing them out way too much) and shifting their perspective on it. Showing them either a way for them to start solving the problem, or being the first person to say to them “______ isn’t working, and that’s okay.”
More recently I did a half day intensive with a client where we tackled all her big business goals for the remainder of the year. We looked at what wasn’t working in her business, what was working, and how to address her problem areas first to make more room for her goals. It’s easy to get caught up in planning for the future (I totally do this too sometimes), but it’s much more important to know what needs to be done first in order for what you want to do to actually work out. You can’t build a thriving business without fixing the cracks in your foundation.
As someone who is not a trained graphic or web designer but needs to sometimes DIY a few things for my biz, what advice would you give to me? Is there a design rule of thumb by which you always abide?
The absolute most important thing no matter what your skill-level is consistency. Pick 2-3 fonts for your branding and stick to them. Pick 2-3 main colors and stick to them. Pick a style of photography and stick to it. Using the same core design elements will create a cohesive look across your business and you’ll be a DIY diva instead of a DIY disaster.
You are always sharing valuable nuggets of business advice on your Instagram stories and in your newsletter. Is there a system, tool, or app that has revolutionized the way you do business?
This year I finally invested in a Client Management System and it has transformed my client process. I use Dubsado and it’s allowed me to streamline everything that I require from my clients (contracts, invoicing, forms, email sequences). It’s also challenging me to create better systems and in turn a better experience for my clients.
You can also see all my business tools listed here: http://lineamae.com/resources
At the start of the 100 Day Project this year, you embarked on a journey to pull a tarot card a day and chronicle your journey towards holistic happiness. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you include in your daily & weekly self-care practice? Do you have any favorite resources you can share with us for someone who is interested in discovering what their self-care practice entails?
This year has been an awakening of sorts. My daily and weekly self-care practices are constantly evolving and changing as I discover what works best for me.
Daily: I start off the day by drinking Chloraphyll water (no more coffee for me) and taking my vitamins/supplements. During the Spring and Summer I try and do a green smoothie once a day, experimenting with different powders like spirulina, maca, and ashwagandha. Pulling a tarot card or spread is what I’m working on making a daily thing, as well as meditating. In reality, my daily rituals aren’t extensive and I’m not hard on myself when I don’t do something.
Weekly: Food is part of my self-care practice. I’ve been gluten free for 5 years and I recently went vegetarian. Not eating meat was a decision that I feel presented itself to me more than I really sat down and decided one day. I’ve been drawn towards high vibrational foods and I’m learning to trust my intuition there.
I think the first step in discovering your self-care practice is become more aware of the decisions you make everyday and how your body is feeling. What isn’t feeling right, and what in your decision making can be shifted in order to make your body and mind feel better? There’s no one resource I can point people to because it’s so individualized. But, developing true self-awareness is the first step.
This summer will mark one year since you’ve moved to NYC. What is your favorite aspect of big city living? Oh, and any favorite spots we should absolutely hit the next time we’re there?
My favorite part of living in NYC is that it has challenged the way I think about my business and forced me to change things that aren’t working at a much faster rate. If I hadn’t moved here I don’t think I would have grown as much in my personal or business life as I have.
Top spots to visit in Brooklyn:
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Ft. Greene Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Governor’s Island (not actually in Brooklyn, but catch a ferry from here!)
Top spots to eat in Brooklyn:
Ample Hills Creamery
BONUS: Please feel free to share anything else that is coming to the surface or that you’d like to share. It can be something fun, silly, informative. If the rest of these questions got the juices flowing, but you feel like you have something else to say - here’s the space to do it. :)
Don’t be afraid to share more of yourself and your personality in business. If you don’t know where to start, start with doing Instagram stories. Seriously. It’s the easiest way to show who you are in a way that works for your business and to build those personal connections.
Want to know more? Eager to connect with Liz? Here's how:
Work with Liz:
Learn more about her current offerings here.
Fun little extra:
Business downloads are fun and all, but I wanted something different and more empowering to be able to share too. That’s why I created a daily affirmations PDF that you can download here. By signing up you’ll also join my Inner Circle, which gives you the opportunity to schedule a 20 minute coffee chat with me (I offer 2 each Friday)!