Signed, sealed, and delivered. Your first or 30th client is on your books, you’ve done the questionnaires, filled out the notes, and started drafting their sales page.
The start of every relationship is like the inaugural lick of an ice cream cone – flawless and defies physics – but give it a little time and shit gets messy quick. (No napkin can win against gravity.)
Which you already know especially if you’ve been living with other humans/been in a relationship/looked at another person.
It always feels like this in the beginning:
And then you realize their payment is 21 days overdue and your rent needs to go out NOW.
SO. MANY. FEELINGS.
Check your redrum rage and let’s dig into this situation because it’s never as simple as it seems.
I genuinely believe all clients want to pay you on time and in full. That’s been my experience every time and I’ve yet to meet the Douchicorn that proves otherwise.
They’re usually people who are dealing with clients themselves, lack of carbs, or country-hopping.
But bitch needs to give you your money for this relationship to work.
Here’s how to lock this shit down so you can get back to lounging:
Evaluate what caused the fall down
Change how you bring new clients in
Put your emotions and follow-ups on automatic (or templates)
Every time something falls down in your business – unhappy clients, money lost, shit goes south – then you need to stop in your tracks and fix your client making machine.
Your client-making machine =
Friend refers them (through social media/email/phone call) > goes to website > reads blog post > investigates About page > buys via sales page > internal client system = happy, high-paying, repeat clients
This client-making machine is what I spend 8 weeks on with my Be Booked Out clients because it’s not that your clients are bad or you’re not good enough, it’s about making sure you create an experience of mutual success.
When things go awry in your business like not getting paid or not getting paid on time, this is a warning sign that your business is leaking, so make sure to fix it before it sinks.
Tell me what your experience has been with clients and payments and what’s your percentage of peeps who walk away without paying in full?
I don’t mean a tiny glass of gin, now is the time to reconnect with your friends and family that you’ve probably been too busy to spend time with. Buy the first round of drinks and let them know you’re celebrating your new found status.
Pro-tip: do this with your biggest supporters and peeps who tell the world how awesome you are. Show your thanks by buying the first round of burritos and gin.
(Are they half a world away? A digital thank-you card or e-gift card is always appreciated.)
Make sure to let your past clients know that there will always be a place in your heart (and scheduler) for them. Schedule in monthly emails to check in on how they’re doing. Send them postcards. Make the time to show you care. This not only encourages a positive relationship but also helps when you’re looking for new clients again. (Past buyers are future buyers.)
The sweet satisfaction of buying a new laptop or signing up for a website rebrand or hiring a systems person to help you streamline things is incomparable. Feel like a REAL adult and tell the internet, “I’m a BALLER NOW!”
Take a look at when the booked out status is going to run dry and make sure to start planning and preparing a month or so in advance for re-launching or filling up your client spots. Nothing worse than living on Cloud 9 only to find out that you forgot to fill it up.
Make your life easier when you have to fill up your spots by taking the time now to grow your audience. Run webinars, host Twitter chats, jump on Periscope, create new opt-ins, give back to the internet to grow your following.
By being booked out, you’re going to have a wait-list to start working with you. Have a private, earlier launch to these specific people because they’re showing lots of interest. Make sure to give them something fun, free and special for being on the wait-list in between your spots opening.
That’s right. You’re in demand, overlord, which means you can raise your rates now. Consider this your level-up moment! Let everyone know your rates are increasing and if you have a couple of one-off spaces give them a chance to buy them.
Nothing gets people as excited like a deadline.
Ahhhh, the sleep of the booked out is one of the finest things in life. Sayonara, 2am money-stress wake-ups!
When you’re hustling hard, fun gets bumped to the back like a dude at a ‘girl’s night’ bar line. What’s a hobby you haven’t done in a while or even better, one you haven’t tried yet? Time to discover what you enjoy doing outside of business and hustling. It’s a good time to take a long weekend away as well, you’ve earned it.
Time to do development work on yourself. Is there a skill you’ve been putting off to launch your new thing? Has a new social media platform emerged that you wanna play with? By figuring out how to be client catnip, book out your business, time to improve your skills for them and you. Be Booked Out is an 8 week LIVE program that takes you through my proven method of getting you clients booked months in advance.
Two important things to know – this program has TWO EXTRA weeks this round, AND the price is going up by $500 next time we launch so don’t miss out.
Marketing can be hard to do consistently and the problem is when it slips thru your fingers so do your client numbers and sales.
The key is to always be marketing (and by marketing I mean, ‘educating and exciting the interwebs so people give a shit’) that way when you open up your client doors you have new ones waiting.
You don’t need to know everything about marketing since I’ve got you covered, but you do need to adapt your method if it isn’t working. How can you tell it isn’t working?
Here are the top 10 signs/symptoms that you need to get strategic with your marketing so you can be booked out and rest easy:
It sucks to go from $$$$ one month to $$$ the next. Fluctuating income is a result of not getting strategic with your services and marketing so that you have a BASE level of income coming in. The way forward: you need to focus on getting enough clients in to maintain your BASE level of income you need each month.
2. People say nice things but don’t buy
You spend hours devising your services, writing the blog post, crafting the sales page, only to shakingly share it with the Internet. With tingly anticipation you wait for the payment emails to come in! But instead, you get some (very sweet) compliments that don’t help you understand why people aren’t buying. The way forward: you need to engineer drool-worthy services that sell themselves (and each other).
3. Unsure of where your income is coming in next month
This is THE WORST. The way forward: when you plan where your money is coming in (based on your launches, services and growth campaigns) you no longer fret. Jot down two launches for the next 12 months.
4. You rarely get work inquiries in your inbox
I’m jealous of the delicious silence of your inbox.
You should be getting at least ONE client inquiry a month in your inbox. The way forward: making your website a 24/7 salesperson is vital to keep those new work inquiries coming in. Does your content make the ideal buyer feel at home and excited?
5. When you send people to your website you don’t hear from them again
Your website is a black hole full of client anti-matter. There are essential elements of a website that converts strangers into subscribers. The way forward: add newsletter forms above the fold, have an exit pop-up and free downloadable that compels readers to take action and sign up for more.
7. Past clients don’t become future clients
Do your clients keep working with you for years? Because you should have long-standing supporters of your business that keep coming back for more. The way forward: You need to be engineering an excellent client experience and following up with consistency.
8. Your newsletter has no one (except your mom on it)
Aw! Your mom is great.
It’s okay to have a small audience but if you have ZERO peeps on it and your website has been up for a while (longer than 3 months) than this is BIG gap. The way forward: cement your success by putting your robot butler to work and adding an one-line sentence at the bottom of your posts telling people to sign up.
Extra tip: create an experience by calling it something other than ‘newsletter’.
9. You don’t have time to write your book/plan your retreat/do your brilliant thing
Passion projects are crucial for negating burn-out but there’s no way you can focus on your book/retreat/hobby if you’re submerged in the hustle. The way forward: get 6 months of clients in the door and you’ll finally have the space to canter forward with your hobby horse.
10. You have no idea what to write/say to make sales
You stay quiet about your excellent brain and miss sales because you’re afraid to appear douchey and sales-y. The way forward: creating sales has a formula to it. You need to craft high-value specific content out and link it back to a thing to buy.
11. Biz-envy (Bizvy!)
A true sign that unconsciously you’re ready to kick your business into higher gear. The way forward: don’t worry about feeling envy, take it as a sign you need to push yourself and your own business by digging deep into what only YOU can offer.
12. You don’t work ON your business, only IN
If you spend every day focused solely on getting new clients in the door and working with them then you’ve got a day job. You need to sort out your client load to free up room to be strategic and intentional about where your business is going. The way forward: invest in setting up your marketing for being booked out. Your business will thank you.
Be Booked Out is an 8 week LIVE program that takes you through my proven method of getting you clients booked months in advance.
Here are the BIGGEST mistakes you can make with your clients that lead to money lost, frustration, and angst.
10 Mistakes You Can’t be Making with Your Clients
You don’t establish value
If your clients are reluctant to give you their money or say you’re TOO expensive then you haven’t established your value with them. Thus begins the uphill battle of trying to prove your worth. Not fun or easy.
2. You don’t explain your intake process
It’s not up to the client to take charge of setting the steps of how you two work together. They’re the Sugar Parent, and it’s up to you to dictate how the process works for the best results. Not knowing makes them feel confused and aggravated.
3. You don’t set deadlines
People suck at setting deadlines. Instead of waiting for the client to set them, you could provide the deadlines to make sure you finish on time with your project. Clients appreciate that structure and allowance to relax into your expertise.
4. You miss deadlines
It doesn’t matter if the client didn’t provide the content or hasn’t answered your emails. You are in charge of hitting your deadlines, no one else, so if clients are missing deadlines then it’s time to take a look at your client intake and change it up.
5. You communicate too late
Did you invoice your clients at the new price point without emailing them? Have you gone on vacation without emailing them? This is an ugly look that shows you don’t value the relationship. Maybe you missed it in all the change but clients don’t. It affects their trust of you and if they don’t trust you, they become unhappy.
6. You don’t know your client
Are they not feeling well? Is it their birthday tomorrow? Do they love Barenaked Ladies? Having a close relationship with your clients generates more word-of-mouth because you show you care plus it makes it easier to figure out what gifts to send.
7. You don’t set boundaries
Those inappropes 2:19am calls, the 5 emails every hour, the meetings every day? Those need to be outlined on day one. Same goes in reverse, you can’t be emailing on the day of deadline saying you didn’t get the information needed, or calling outside of their working hours, or not showing up for calls on time.
8. You don’t go the extra step
This doesn’t mean you give them your kidney or first born, but rather helping them go one more step towards the end result they’re trying to accomplish. Simple things like sending them a mock-up for their new sales page or gifting them your favorite social media formula make a big difference.
9. You don’t follow up
A final email highlighting the wins and way forward can go a long, long way to re-signing them on for more work. The next step is to touch base with a hello a few weeks later to remind them of the good times and see how you can help.
10. You don’t send gifts
Everyone loves a bit of bling bling and if you haven’t sent the tiniest gift (a postcard or pencil or lock of hair – oh god don’t) then you’re missing out on the fun. Having something tangible is a nice way to level up the relationship.
Okay, so that’s a lot of negative in your face, take a swig, and let’s fix it. Be Booked Out is an 8 week LIVE program that takes you through my proven method of getting you clients booked months in advance.