If you haven’t heard already, we had some big news to share with our Pet Marketing Unleashed community - a baby is on the way!
That’s right - I’m (Mikaela) expecting my first baby boy in late February, 2022 and I’m so excited!!
I wanted to take this time to not only dig into what to expect when it comes to what’s happening with Pet Marketing Unleashed services and content while I’m away, but I also wanted to give some suggestions and tips on planning a maternity leave, should anyone else be expecting or planning a longer break away from their business.
So, let’s get into it!
What to Expect From Pet Marketing Unleashed During My Maternity Leave
The good news is that we’re going to be offering most of our services and producing regular, valuable content for you throughout my entire maternity leave.
We will still be offering many services through Michele (our BOMB brand designer - she’s done ALL of our logo and branding projects since the beginning, so you’re in good hands with her - check out our portfolio if you’re interested).
Here's the services you can still receive:
Logo and branding projects through our VIP Days
For those looking for custom Wix website design: We still recommend getting started on the branding side of things via our VIP Days. This allows you time to get T-shirts designed and/or professional photos for your website so we can hit the ground running when we open booking for Wix sometime in May/June.
If you are interested in working with us, head here and we’ll immediately send over the next steps. For branding and website design projects, you’ll be sent a design application. Once complete, we’ll be in touch to go over specific options as well as provide you with our recommendation on the best path for you!
If you’re in a time crunch and need a website ASAP, we will still have our Wix website templates available for purchase in the PMU Shop. These website templates are easy-to-customize and include a full course on onboarding strategy, how to edit your website, how to write your copywriting, how to implement SEO, how to integrate your software and email marketing, and how to do all the ‘techy’ stuff to get your website launched to the world! It’s ALL the things you need in bite-sized chunks to get a new, strategic website.
To check out the website template options, head here.
Lastly, while I’m away from my desk, you will still have support from the Pet Marketing Unleashed team, Michele and Danae. For our current and past design clients, Michele can assist you at firstname.lastname@example.org and for general questions or shop support, Danae can assist you at email@example.com.
We’ll also still be posting and sharing our regular content via email and social media so you can receive tips, blog posts, and value-based content from us without pause!
I’m so excited for this new adventure in my life, but also feeling a bit sad about stepping away from work (I’ll be honest!!). I’ve never been able to step away for an extended time and I’m sure it’ll be a big learning opportunity for me, but I’m looking forward to being back sometime in the summer! P.S. I’d love to still stay connected on Instagram @petmarketingunleashed as I’m sure we’ll be sharing lots of photos and updates throughout my leave and I would love to stay in the loop of our PMU community!
Tips for Planning a Maternity Leave or Other Extended Leave From Your Business
1. Start planning earlier than you think you need to.
Planning for a maternity leave, let’s face it, is a lot of work! Not only do you need to accomplish any 1:1 tasks with clients but you also need to get the business set up to run as much as possible without you. These things can take time, and you definitely don’t know how you’re going to be feeling during your pregnancy, which means things can take longer than they normally do. So, setting aside additional time and starting earlier than you think is best! I started planning mine right when I found out I was pregnant, and almost wish I started earlier!
2. Plan to be gone longer than you think!
You can always come back earlier if you’re feeling great, but it’s also great to prepare for other scenarios. Depending on your birth, your recovery, your energy level, your headspace, etc., you could be gone longer than you anticipated. If that happens, it will feel MUCH better knowing that your business will be okay if you take more time.
3. Prepare content ahead of time
If you want to continue to post regular content and you don’t have a marketing person doing this for you, I highly recommend scheduling in time to plan your content ahead of time using a scheduler like Later or Planoly. That way, your business doesn’t just go MIA while you’re gone and people can still stay in the loop with your business!
4. Revise and optimize your onboarding and client process to a TEE.
This is a BIG ONE and probably the most important because this right here will be what allows me to focus on baby and this new life adventure! I definitely do not want to be worrying about whether clients will be well-taken care of while I’m away, so that means it’s my job to make sure things are set up properly, that they can run smoothly, and they can do so while I’m out of the office.
And not only do you want this to go smoothly for your team while you’re gone, but it’ll also be nice to come back to an even more streamlined and simple business.
5. Train your team
Whether you just have one virtual assistant or a full team to manage, this is the time to REALLY make sure they’re thoroughly trained not only to handle the regular tasks but potential emergency or outlier situations. Our PMU team will be walking through all sorts of scenarios to make sure they feel confident in all situations that may pop up, so they don’t get stuck or worried about what to do that may be out of the ordinary.
Things that can help with this:
Create a master GoogleDoc with scenarios, contact info for emergencies, email templates, 1:1 meetings before your leave, create an automated email responder, etc.
P.S. Speaking of email templates, these are a GREAT time-saver and helper when training others to respond to emails for you. Check out our Email Templates for Pet Businesses right here to get some implemented into your business!
6. Inform your audience ahead of time what to expect while you’re gone
Similar to what I did above in this blog post, it can be really helpful for your audience to know that you’re leaving, for how long, and what to expect while you’re away. Will you be continuing services? Who will be helping them? Keeping them in the loop will help with less confusion, frustration, and it’s just plain good business practice!
I hope this was helpful for those planning to take a step away, regardless of whether it’s for maternity leave or not! Sharing behind the scenes of the planning process is super fun for me, and I think it’s so great as business owners that we’re able to have businesses we can step away from when needed, even though we’ll miss it!
I’ll still be around though - can’t stay too far away from the wonderful PMU community! Stay in the loop over on Instagram @petmarketingunleashed and I’ll see you there!