Hannah Lansford is a special interviewee for us! Unlike other women we interview, Hannah does not run her own full-time business (although she does take on small web-based projects on the side) because she is employed as a Web Marketing Specialist for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta. However, Hannah was formerly an intern for our sister company, Web Marketing Therapy, and we know that she is a fast-learner, critical thinker, and conscientious person who could rock her own business one day – should she choose to do it! Hannah is an incredible person, with deep insightfulness about work and life. It was a pleasure to catch up with her! She is truly a Wild Web Woman!
Meet Hannah Lansford!
What inspired you to pursue a career in web-based business? When I was a child, I absolutely LOVED playing around on my toy laptop and the archaic Windows desktop computer that my parents had (fully-equipped with dial-up internet!). As I got older, I found myself wanting to be on a computer all of the time either figuring out how to play games, researching, or building and designing presentations. The growing obsession I had with technology and design led me to pursue a web and multimedia specialty with my undergraduate degree in Information Technology, which introduced me to the world of digital marketing and web design. I love being able to create and manage content that lives on digital spaces, and seeing a vision come to life on a screen is especially rewarding for me.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments? I am very proud of my ability to learn and adapt fast and to deliver exceptional results. When I first started the position I have now, I had to learn a completely new content management system, workflow, and coding style to align my work with the company’s existing web presence. I picked those skills up quickly and was able to be the lead on a website migration project that went live within only 3 months of my starting my position there.
I am proud of finishing my undergraduate degree a semester early with four career-related internships and jobs under my belt. I knew I wanted to enter the workforce full-time as soon as I could, and that having experience in the field that I wanted a job in was extremely helpful. Those steps led me to a great job that I enjoy and am thriving in and colleagues that are wonderful to be around.
I am also proud of the balance that I’ve worked hard to create in my life. I hardly ever feel that I am overworked or that my personal relationships and overall well-being are compromised for any reason. It takes a great amount of intentionality to tend to every area of your life, and I’m extremely grateful to see that work pay off.
What are some professional risks you’ve taken that led to positive outcomes? Two years ago I was looking for internships online related to web marketing, and I somehow stumbled across a woman I’d never met but had worked for a company that had many areas of expertise that I was looking for. I filled out the contact form, mentioned her name, and that “connection” was what landed me an interview and ultimately an internship with Web Marketing Therapy! Even though they hadn’t advertised that they were looking for interns, my proactivity took me further than I ever imagined it would. Thanks to that one step of courage, I have learned new processes and technology, gained great experience, and developed professional relationships to take with me throughout the future of my career!
Where’s your favorite place to get work done? I’m happy as long as I’m in a properly cushioned seat!
Name three web tools you can’t live without.
- Grammarly – Nothing irritates me more than poor grammar!
- Google Apps – Google Calendar and Drive are my lifelines for keeping my work (and life) in order
- Feed Eradicator Chrome Extension – If I need to post something to Facebook for a business, I can get SO easily tempted to scroll through my own Facebook feed. This eradicator hides my feed from me and instead displays an inspirational quote so I can get my work done without distraction!
Do you have any professional role models? If so, who? Hannah Brencher – I have always been an admirer of people who can write words that speak to people’s hearts, and it feels like Hannah Brencher has been speaking to me through her writing for years now. I am especially inspired by her discipline to work on her craft, while implementing rhythms and boundaries to keep her on track with her goals. Her well-roundedness is something I strive to work towards for myself.
Am I allowed to list the Founder of Wild Web Women, or is that too biased? In all seriousness, working with and for Lorrie Thomas Ross has helped me learn and grow tremendously, and I attribute a great deal of my early career success to her guidance. She is incredibly encouraging and a fantastic teacher, and I love that you can sense her personality and passion in her work. I am so thankful for the time I had on her team!
Do you have favorite podcasts For fun: Annie and Eddie Keep Talking – These 2 friends get together twice a week to talk about their lives, current events, and what they’re thinking about. It’s the one podcast I never miss an episode of!
For business: Dare to Begin with Morgan Kennedy – Morgan is a professional photographer and is so knowledgeable about business and marketing online. Her podcast is perfect for people who want to learn more about being a successful business owner and well-balanced human being.
For soul care: The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman – This weekly podcast is all about decision-making and creating space for your soul to breathe. Listening to Emily will settle your spirit and guide you as you discern your next right thing.
What does your typical day look like? On an ideal day, I’ll wake up about an hour before I log on to work to do some reading, reflecting, writing, or simply sit in silence to mentally prepare myself for the day. Then I’ll eat breakfast and begin tackling my work task list for the day, take a break around lunchtime and sometimes go for a walk afterwards, and work until I’ve accomplished what I want to for the day. My usual work hours are from 7:30am-4:30pm.
How do you unplug from work? I always make sure that I have something to look forward to after the workday is over. This could be eating a yummy meal, spending time with my friends via FaceTime, over dinner, or on a walk, or diving into a good book (I’m currently reading Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May). I am also making more of an effort to cultivate some of my other hobbies – photography, writing, and hand lettering!
What tips for maintaining work/life balance would you give to other businesswomen? I believe that it is imperative to put “work” in its proper place. It can be easy to tie a lot of your identity to your work and productivity, and even though it is fulfilling to create and get a job done, your work is not everything, and it’s not your sole purpose. Make sure you’re filling your time outside of work with the things that truly matter.
Setting boundaries around your availability is one of the healthiest practices you can do to protect both your professional and personal life!
What’s something you do every day to take care of yourself? Drink a lot of water, wear blue light blocking glasses, and regularly take breaks to move my body by stretching or going for a walk or run!
What is a quote you live by? “Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise.” – Frank Ocean
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24
What advice would you give your younger self? I’d even tell this to my current self – don’t be afraid to ask questions! I am guilty of underestimating how willing and kind people are when it comes to helping others, and most of the time people are more than happy to share their knowledge and expertise.
What is the number one piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to run a web-based business? The web world is constantly and rapidly changing. Commit yourself to being a teachable, lifelong learner, both in life and in business, and you’ll be sure to go far!