I shared the good, the bad, and the downright UGLY with you on Instagram Stories. For six months, Greg and I bounced between his parents and mine while we built what I affectionately called “the new HQ.”
“The new HQ” is a fixer-upper that Greg’s dad ripped down to the studs. When we announced that we were moving back to New York, he stepped in and started helping out with the project to make the house a home that we would (hopefully) be happy in for years to come!
Since finally being able to move in, I have gotten a ton of questions about how I balanced building a new house and my business.
Look, I’ve never been good at “work-life balance.” I’m typically someone that goes full force in one direction while lacking in the other. SO when some of my friends and followers noticed my business growth while I was building the house and living in chaos, they asked: “How are you doing that?” Today, I’m here to tell you.
I went from making less than $3,000 a month to making over $7,100 a month in less than five months.
In September of 2018, Greg and I packed our bags and moved back to New York. That month I had an income of around $3,000. By March of 2019, I brought in just over $7,000.
Here’s the best part: During that time I lost clients, signed new clients, lived between 2 houses with no “quiet spot” to work, got engaged, celebrated holidays, traveled, and lived in utter chaos. If I could grow my business during this, I know you can too.
When I quit my job in February of 2018, I spent the first few weeks figuring out what it was actually like to work with me. What would I offer? How would I offer it? Who was it intended for?
But I neglected to figure out HOW they would work with me. I wanted the experience to be like something they had never gone through before while achieving all of my client’s goals and desires.
Since I had a steady income with my clients on retainer and my life was flipped upside down, I had the time to really nail down this process. I was already giving my clients a great experience, but I knew I could do more.
I identified any gaps in my business and my client interactions. I wanted to meet my clients individually wherever they were in their business journey.
I already knew most of my clients were established US-based brands who had between two and ten full and part-time employees. They (for the most part) had their branding already worked out. I knew most of them had had a bad experience with an agency before where they felt timelines weren’t maintained, processes took longer than they needed to, innovation and risk-taking in marketing wasn’t happening, and growth was slow.
But some of my clients were soloprenuers or had a virtual assistant working with them, and not much was established within their brand. They had a rough idea of their brand, no idea on messaging for their brand, and little clue who their target audience was. I also knew they were frustrated by getting locked into long contracts that had little to no return for them.
So what did I do? I started from scratch. I took the screen off my Surface Book and grabbed my Surface Pen, and I began drawing out my client process like it was a flow chart.
I began to ask myself questions: Where did my client come from? Instagram? Networking events? My website? Referral? Okay great. Now what? Where did they go from there? How would they book a call with me? What did the proposal look like? How soon would I send out the contract after our initial request? What would offboarding look like? Would it have a goodbye packet? How would I collect reviews and testimonials?
I literally went from start to finish in my process including a timeline.
After identifying the on and off-boarding process, I went through and…
I identified ways I could delight and better serve my clients while they were working with me.
Could I communicate more? How could I communicate better? Were they getting everything they needed from me or was there more I could do? How often would we meet? How would I work with affiliates/influencers on their behalf? Would I include more graphic design in their contracts?
I also looked at how many clients I could take on and when I would be available to kick off a new project.
How many clients could I reasonably manage while still giving them the perfected experience I was working to create?
Because of this, I knew what income I could expect to be coming in. I knew if I had four clients at my standard package, I would be bringing in $6,000 a month. I knew if I had a social media strategy thrown in that mix, I would be bringing in an additional chunk of change depending on what tier they signed up with me at.
After going through all of this, my process was solid. I was confident in my offer to my clients and the experience they would receive working with me.
When I created the packages I was using back in February 2018; I was trying to appeal to as many people as possible because I was broke. I had just quit my job, and I had literally $52 of projected income. I think this is common when just starting – you’re putting something out there hoping someone (anyone!) will buy it. Whether it’s your side hustle or your main gig, we want money. We need the cash-flow, so we want to appeal to as many as possible. We say “yes” to projects we shouldn’t, and maybe we even gasp discount ourselves to get the client.
While I was perfecting my processes of working with me, I noticed there were parts of my packages that weren’t necessarily needed by my clients. So, I removed them.
This also applied to any packages that weren’t selling. When you have too many packages, you confuse the buyer. So, I cut them back. While I never had numerous packages on my website, I did in my proposals. I had my top-tier, my mid-tier, and my low-tier package. My top and mid were very similar in offerings so I removed the mid-tier from the proposal template. This has lead to me being more clear on who I’m offering what package to and has made my leads more confident in their decision to work with me – because they know exactly what package is right for them and what they’re getting! It’s a win-win!
Onboarding an assistant was one of the most significant changes I made in my business. Why? For a lot of reasons!
When I moved from Indiana, my boyfriend (now fiancé) was working weird hours. Since I didn’t have an office or a quiet spot to work, that meant I was also working odd hours. Having someone to delegate to helped me better spend the time that I was working on onboarding new clients, scaling the business, and meetings with my clients. I was no longer bogged down by the small tasks.
While all of this sounds incredible, It didn’t come without hiccups. There were times where I was so focused on other things, I wasn’t properly following up, and I wasn’t checking work.
Once I worked out some of the “kinks” of having my first help, things ran smoothly, and I was able to confidently sell knowing I had the bandwidth to serve the new client and my existing client without working too many more hours (that I didn’t have).
Delegating alone lead me to onboarding two new clients.
If you’re asking someone to invest money, they need to know what they’re getting. They need to be able to trust you. And if they can’t trust you, you don’t have a business.
Building trust through your portfolio and testimonials isn’t enough anymore. Yes, you need prior work to showcase. Yes, you need testimonials, but that isn’t enough. People need to know how it is your work. They need to see that the work your selling really is your work and what goes into it.
Being transparent in my processes in my marketing meant showing my processes. That included showing how I do hashtag research, what I include in my social media strategies and how I do that work, what project I was working on at the moment, and what the results were. Obviously, there are some things I can’t share because of NDAs – but if I can share it and it’s something that my ideal client would be interested in knowing, I’m sure to share it.
Sharing this behind the scenes content has been paramount. It’s allowed me to invite my audience in on the process. It’s made it engaging for them and helped them become excited.
Why was all of this possible? Because I created a framework in which my business was operated within. I took my successes and failures over the years in business and created what I call the Managed Social framework.
Imagine if you knew just how to bottle up your specific set of talents to create premium packages and price them with confidence.
Imagine having a streamlined, automated onboarding process and a powerful set of workflows that reduced the number of hours you worked AND made your clients even happier.
What would that feel like to you?
Imagine if you had a business that was streamlined, scalable, and sustainable that you and your clients loved being a part of.
Let me take my 6+ years of experience and help you build a business of your dreams. The time is now.
No more living “invoice to invoice”. No more wondering if you’re being paid enough. No more frustration.