Booked Out, Ideal Client

Generate Consistent Leads and Create a High End Client Experience

You’re working your tail off in your creative service-based business.

Your life is all about clients: finding them (where ARE they??), landing them (and competing on price makes your feel like you’re charging so much less than you need to if you want this biz to be sustainable), making the ones you DO find happy (so much so that you find yourself delivering WAY more than you originally agreed to)...

And maybe you’ve convinced yourself that this is just how life has to be if you’re going to do what you love for a living.

You’ve put a limit on your own possibilities. You’ve stopped short of your potential.You have a limited view of what you are capable of, but we know you were made for more. You need to close the loop and maximize the success of your business.

Believe it or not, this isn’t the top, you’ve just reached a glass ceiling and it’s time to break through.

You are ready for more and it’s time to think bigger. Does that scare you? I mean, you’re putting EVERYTHING you have into what you’re doing now - how could you possibly do MORE?!?

We’re gonna give you a mindset shift today, friend. Because you are THISCLOSE to having infinite possibilities for this biz of yours at your fingertips.

But here’s the thing: We don’t just want your business operating past the average failure point. We want it thriving, we want it growing. We want you to be living with more freedom than you thought possible.

You’re working your tail off in your creative service-based business. Your life is all about clients: finding them, landing them, making the ones you DO find happy. And maybe you’ve convinced yourself that this is just how life has to be if you’re going to do what you love for a living.  |  BossProject.com

Without a growing business, you will struggle to create the lifestyle or impact that you desire.

You need clarity, connections, cash and clients to create movement. Without a growing business, you will simply be stuck, going around and around on the Merry-Go-Round, which will reinforce your negative beliefs that you will fail and what you want isn’t really possible.

What if instead you believed your purpose is important. And you went after it with a full heart.

Let’s establish the obvious:

In order for you business to grow you need profit.

In order for you to get profit you need clients.

But what if you didn’t necessarily need to be constantly finding MORE clients?

Instead of having to reinvent the wheel every time you wrap up one client wouldn’t it be great to have a system built in to automatically generate you new (qualified) leads?

Guys, once you create a system to do this business will look entirely different.

You will no longer feel distracted or overwhelmed with what needs to happen next. You won’t stress about where your next client is going to come from. Reaching your revenue goals will be easy. Heck, business will just feel easy.

But how does that happen?

First, we need to lay the groundwork for providing your service in a way that not only attracts incredible clients who are excited to pay your prices, but who come back for repeat business and send incredible referrals your way.

An Experience > Years of Experience

The key to this strategy and all those fabulous results we just went over is right here: you need to create a VIP Experience.

Notice I didn’t say: you need to rack up years and years of experience doing your job. I didn’t say you had to work for free for a long time and build the perfect portfolio. I never mentioned that you had to have already clocked your 10,000 hours or else you can forget about making a living.

The reality is that in today’s world, people aren’t necessarily making their buying decisions solely based on how many decades the service-provider has under her belt.

And yet, I see SO many creative service business owners holding themselves back because they don’t have decades of learning, practice and mastery yet.

So let’s try this: Think about how you make choices in your everyday life:

  • Do you only consider the family doctor who’s been practicing 40 years or do you feel drawn to the one who gets your life and understands your desire to mix traditional and natural medicine?

  • Do you go to the hair stylist that’s been doing this so long she does more perms on people your grandma’s age than bobs? Or do you go to that salon downtown that pours you a glass of champagne as soon as you walk in the door?

  • Do you hire the nanny who watched you as a kid or are you looking at non-traditional day-cares that include Montessori activities daily in their facility?

  • Do you choose the professionally trained interior decorator who loves formal wallpaper and heavy curtains or do you like that mom-blogger who does this on the side, but she totally gets your Scandinavian vibe and has a sweet process she walks you through every step of the way?

Let’s be honest: unless someone is operating on your body, the number of years of experience they have isn’t the only crucial deciding factor in if you want to hire them.

But the experience they create - the one that makes you feel welcome, heard and understood. That’s what makes the difference.

You would pick An Experience vs. Years of Experience all day long.

How to Stand Out

You know you have to focus on strategies that work for your business.

You know you have to attract more quality leads.

You know you need sales, hell, that might have been the most obvious.

But how do you stand out and create an amazing experience for our dream customers, right?

By now, you may have convinced yourself you need to make something, over the top, Disney-level greatness to even be considered stand out quality. The truth is, it’s so much simpler than that. You simply have to make people feel welcome, heard and understood. Everything above and beyond that is sprinkles on top.

When you are on that discovery call - it could be so small. Child comes blaring into the room. “Excuse me, let me go into a quiet room real quick so I can give you my undivided attention.”

When you are in a potential client meeting repeat their own words back to them. Show them you listened. Ask them additional questions so you are both super clear what is expected of one another.

When it’s time to move forward with a contract, walk them step-by-step through what will happen next and how to project will be accomplished. Be clear on timelines and when you will be in touch next.

Think of small ways to be polite, show some hospitality, fully listen and ultimately communicate well.

These small things add up and make a massive impact.

Surprise & Delight

We mentioned sprinkles...well there is always room for those.

It’s time to surprise and delight your customers. It could be as simple as a handwritten thank you card when they first become your client, or a more elaborate surprise somewhere throughout your process of working together.

Some fun ideas that don’t cost a fortune (or you could build into your price):

  • Welcome or Thank You Gift (truly consider what they would love)

  • Cheeseboard or Bottle of Wine at a meeting

  • Extra deliverables that weren’t originally included in their contract, but will make them swoon - i.e. free business card, free 8x10 for grandma, free social media prompts/copy

  • Delivering ahead of schedule

  • Sharing your progress with a client on your social media and tagging them

  • Including sneak peaks even when you aren’t quite ready to show them the whole thing

Little things like this take a project from. “Uh, are they even working on it? Idk if I picked the right person for this.” to “Holy moly, look what they did for me! I’m so impressed, you should check them out.”

Referrals & Recommendations

Communicating well, making people feel heard and maybe even surprising them a bit along the way is going to make all the difference in the world. Not only will they love what you created, because you were both clear on what was expected. But they will be so pumped about the experience they are ready to share with their friends.

Take your clients that are hot out of your experience and ask them for referrals and recommendations. And by golly follow up on them while they are hot.


OK, but now what?

Now, that we’re clear on how to create this experience for our clients, what happens next? You might be thinking it’s time to add on another service. Or maybe even a digital product. Or perhaps exploring serving a wider audience.

Do not make this critical mistake.

You have a business that hasn’t fully realized all the opportunities right in front of you. It is your responsibility to nurture it and give it what it needs in order for it to grow.

Remember, we’re here for the long game, not the flash in the pan results.

So how do we make sure we’re staying focused on the right things?

The Infinity Loop

You have infinite ∞ possibility.

When you unleash the power of the infinite loop - your business grows sustainably by utilizing the 4 key areas in your business.

You will have a new provided freedom knowing you have an endless supply of potential clients. In the next 12-months you can simplify your business into one continuous lead generation and sales machine that is generating consistent sales revenue. You will have more clarity than ever in your day-to-day operations.

And this will allow you to live with a greater sense of calm, even as your business grows. You are completely booked out and ready for a new set of challenges.

But how do you untap that dream lifestyle / business / workday? By relying on The Infinity Loop.

I’m going to let you in on a secret: most small business owners aren't using what they've already built to its fullest advantage. You get distracted by all the flashy strategies hoping something will stick. You are moving on when you’ve barely started. You are ignoring what is already working. And you are leaving so much on the table.

ALL I want you to do right now are these 4 steps...and see the incredible possibilities that open when you do...

Focus

With focus you remove distraction, gain clarity and simplify how your business operates. You quit wasting resources pouring yourself into strategies that were never really getting you anywhere. You avoid shiny objects and know exactly how you should be executing.

Attract

You save time by only attracting the right people. Bringing in qualified leads by the handful. You have an established referral engine that allows you more time to focus on your craft and less time on hunting down your next client.  

Sell

You effortlessly close deals and make more sales. You create cash flow to generate momentum in your business. And even treat yourself to a few well deserved things - like that vacation you’ve needed for forever, or the new countertops you’ve been eyeing.

Experience

You create unforgettable experiences for your clients. You receive more social proof - because let’s be honest, all your clients LOVE you. You have deeper, more meaningful relationships, the kind where you feel the impact in your bones.

In case you’re new here, this article you’ve been reading is actually the last in a four part series (you can find links to the other posts in this series at the end. And when you string together the pieces from this series: finding your focus, attracting clients, effortless sales, and now crafting and experience, you’re doing more than just having a “better business.”

You’re creating simplicity, abundance, freedom and clarity both in your business and in your life.

And so much of this is being completely overlooked by online marketers today.

Which is unfortunate because these variables when put together in this order allows for faster, more sustainable growth… one that doesn’t rely on social media, an email list or blog traffic.

And the beauty of it is that it doesn’t stop there, you can continuously go through the Infinity Loop and continue to see more and more results. You won’t be spinning in circles anymore, you will be seeing geometric growth.

This uncharted potential is only possible if you continue to go through the loop in the same order. The order is crucial, and it must always start with focus.

I’ve never seen a system that works so fluidly and allows you to see results so quickly.

Resolve and commit to this system. Utilize this guide to strengthen the work you do.

We want to help you take it further.

If you are ready to Start with Services and be a booked out creative than we’d love to see you join our exclusive community. This application only Facebook group was designed to help you see results and untap your hidden potential. Our hope is to guide you through this journey - from here to there - we’d love to see you join us.





Ideal Client, Profitability, Booked Out

How to Get Clients Even if You Hate Selling and Pitching

Do you ever find yourself on the word vomit train when attempting to sell anything? You know the one that makes zero stops and is stationed in Awkward Townsville? The one where you’re chatting with a potential client and you find yourself having the out of body experience where you hear yourself doing things like…

  • Overly explaining what it is that you do to justify your service

  • Adding on additional promises because you don’t think they’re convinced of the value

  • Filling silences with discounts or amendments to the process just so they say something

  • Feeling like you’re a fraud because what you offer isn’t all that special when you say it outloud

Yeah, been there.

If you find yourself doing any (or all) of that, there’s a huge disconnect in your selling process. You know it and your client knows it.

So you convince yourself that you’re just not good at selling.

Or that your market can’t afford to pay you what you need in order to run your business.

Or that you’ll never be able to convince your prospects why they need to hire you.

If you had a tried and true approach to “selling” your service you wouldn’t have to be in this position. No more Conductor status of the Word Vomit Train.

No more feeling icky or slimy or like you’re tricking your clients into hiring you.

Without a reliable selling strategy you're likely leaving thousands of dollars on the table. But more importantly it’s leaving you feeling inadequate about your service and it will 100% be the reason why you end up quitting.

So how do you fix it?

  1. Understand your results

  2. Use the PITCH formula to close the deal

Before you can even begin to serve you need to know the exact role your service plays in your client’s life. Most people sell their service like a product. When in reality it needs to be sold as a result.  |  BossProject.com

UNDERSTAND YOUR RESULTS

Before you can even begin to serve you need to know the exact role your service plays in your client’s life. Most people sell their service like a product. When in reality it needs to be sold as a result.

Most service based business owners will hype up the features of what their service provides. For example, a web designer might spend more time talking about how many pages they offer in the package, the optimization of those pages, etc. Basically, what your client gets out of it all.

Successful business owners tap into the emotional results of their service. What will life look like after your client experiences your service? What will change? What will be better? What will they have?

As soon as you can create an emotional relationship for your client with your service you’re off to the races.

PITCH

Now that we’re armed with the true purpose of our service it’s time to PITCH. We’ve already taught you how to get in front of warm and qualified leads.

If you haven’t spent time doing that piece yet, go back. We want you knocking this out of the ballpark and it works best on leads that already know, like and trust you.

P.I.T.C.H.

This method, when used on warm and qualified leads, will be your secret weapon to closing clients faster and confidently. Just imagine a world where you don’t have to send another awkward follow-up email asking if someone wants to actually work with you or not. *Dream*.

These steps within this method are all played out in a single conversation, ideally in this order. Before sitting down in this meeting you need to be prepared. If we’re wanting to avoid those awkward follow-up emails you need to come ready to close the deal in this meeting. Be sure to print out and bring a copy of your contract and proposal.

Most service based business owners make a crucial mistake by only relying on follow-up conversations to close the deal. The PITCH method shifts this way of doing business so you can close more deals on the spot (and get paid faster).

Step One: Prove That What You Have Is What They Need

This is where your skills of talking about your service as a result instead of a product truly comes in. You don’t need decades of experience, a beefy portfolio, or to even be the expert at what you offer.

You simply need to believe in the power of your service.

Try framing this conversation using phrases that assume you’ll be hired. Let them know how their life is going to be different once they start working with you. Try using a phrase like this:

“...After working together you’ll have…”

This is called “The Assumptive Close” and it’s a tactic that works time and time again. If you’ve played your part well up to this point this specific piece will play a huge part in you landing this client.

Step Two: Iterate Their Words Back to Them

What you’ll want to weave in next is the fact that you understand and hear their needs. This not only helps you understand where you’re role in serving them truly is, but it secures confidence from your client early on.

Try using phrases like:

“...So what I’m hearing you say is…”

“...Based on what you told me…”

After working with many clients ourselves, we know that great communication is one of (if not the) biggest factor in the relationship. Showing them that you understand their desire and need for hiring you on Day 1 is crucial.

This isn’t just a “sales tactic”, guys. Letting your potential client feel heard and understood goes and incredibly long way in starting out your work together on the right foot, and set the stage for a more connected and long-term relationship.

Step Three: Talk Them Through Your Process

At this point you’ve established that you’re the woman for the job and made it clear you understand what they need and why. Now, it’s time to walk them through how this all works.

This is, personally, one of my favorite parts of the PITCH process. It enables you to get in your zone of genius, geeking out on your process. This is another crucial place to use assumption wording. Remember, they’re going to absolutely decide to work with you, so talk like it! Try using phrases like

“Once we get started next week this will be our first step…”

“After you get your proofs back we’ll be able to move on to this part of the process…”

You’re accomplishing two very important things at this step:

  1. Get the client in a world where they’ve already said yes to working with you

  2. Get the client total understanding of every step of the process

At this point your client should be grinning ear to ear, nodding along and agreeing with your statements - clearly excited and ready to get started. If this is happening your final two steps of this process will be a breeze.

Step Four: Clarify The Contract and Next Steps

You think you might be heading into boring or uncomfortable territory, but trust me, this part is just as crucial as the rest. Outlining clear parts of your contract not only protect your client, but it protects you. Both of you need to be on the same page from the start.

We suggest having an actual contract with you that’s ready to sign (we prefer physical, but you can bring it along digitally). Once you’ve outlined your terms it’s important for you to cover the very next step for you client. Even though you outlined the entire process above it’s time to take it back to the beginning. It’s important to use clear language here, like:

“These are the important details of the contract I wanted to point out and here’s what they mean. Once you sign, I can take your deposit today, and here’s how the rest of your payments will process. With that deposit in hand we can get started right away, so let’s look at the calendar to schedule our first meeting.”

Step Five: Here’s The Price

Let me say a quick word about pricing before I outline this step. We believe in pricing transparency every time. That means, no client should get this far into the process without having some idea of a range of what it’s going to cost to work with you.

It does a disservice to your client to not share expectations early on and it can be a huge waste of your time if you don’t. This could look differently depending on your business, but we’ve added a single sentence to our inquiry page and it’s done the trick.

“Client should expect to spend between $XXX and $X,XXX when working with [Name of Business]”

Dealing with sticker shock is a killer to closing client deals for both you and the client. It’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable and it makes both people feel inadequate.

Ok, I’ll rest my case for pricing transparency (for now).

Alright, so you’re at this part of the process. And it’s one where, in the past, you might have been Major of Awkward Townsville. It’s okay. We’re going to fix that.

However long you think this conversation should be...cut it in half. Seriously.

Your only role at this step is to state the price and hush it.

The desire to keep talking after stating the price is because you’re uncomfortable, which I totally get. However, your client deserves this time to process and go through her own mental checklist before you chime in.

Funny story: before I perfected the PITCH method I was trying to land a photography client. I said the price and felt the need to fill the silence with word vomit. I ended up offering her a discount before she even had a chance to open her mouth and say anything about the price simply because I was uncomfortable.


An improvement in your PITCH will drastically increase the amount of clients you land and your confidence in the process. This, like so many things in business, takes a bit of practice to perfect. But by following this method you’ll have a step-by-step system to rely on the next time you’re sitting in front of a client.

By utilizing the previous two steps, Focus and Attract, you’ll be able to craft an amazing experience for you and your client. Remember, at the end of the day, you’re here to serve. We know that’s at the heart of why you do what you do.

If you would like more assistance in getting booked out we’d love to help you in your journey over inside our private community, The Booked Out Creative. Hit the button below to apply to join.

Ideal Client, Marketing, Booked Out

How to Magnetically Attract Clients You Love (without the Use of Social Media)

Many small businesses are basically “doomed” from the start.

Although done unknowingly, many entrepreneurs design their business in a way that keeps them stuck in the Merry-Go-Round trap.

They’ve designed their business in a circle. Doing the same things over and over again. Answering the same questions. Dealing with the same problems. And they aren’t growing.

I bet you know the feeling: you’re working and working and working, but you just aren’t seeing any progress. And where the heck are all those clients you desperately want to be working with?

You are doing what all the people are telling you to do.

And yet nothing seems to be moving the needle when it comes to bringing in those clients.

You’re so close to the situation you don’t even realize you are spinning in circles. You’re too dizzy to see your potential clients are hiding in plain sight.

The Science

Small business owners aren’t the only ones who do this, guys.

A group of scientists in Germany studied this phenomenon. They sent two groups of hikers, one set into a flat forest and the other into the Sahara desert. When the hikers had no landmarks to go by and the sun or moon was blocked from sight the volunteers repeatedly went in circles, sometimes as often as every 10 minutes.

When your business lacks direction (a step-by-step plan) and you don’t know what work to do or how it’s moving you forward you are just going to keep spinning in circles and keep your business stuck.

And this is where I’ve seen so many talented business owners quit before they see real success: The work they are doing is time intensive and the money seems few and far between.

Who wouldn’t want to quit when work feels like that all the time?

Would you rather work crazy hard, do the same thing over and over again and see no results? Or go forward with clear direction and attract people to you like flies at a summer picnic (gross, but you get the picture).

At the root of it your business needs money to grow. And you need clients to get that money.

… and without an automated, predictable way to generate new business, you will never get off the Merry-Go-Round.

It’s time to get unstuck.

Before we can get those clients, we need more leads. And the more pre-qualified they are (as in, ideal to work with you and are ready to pay), the faster this process will go.

When I started my business I didn’t have time to wait on long term strategies to show results. Three months after changing jobs and working with an up and coming startup - they laid off the ENTIRE marketing department at once.

I had 30 days to find new employment before I was officially laid off - without severance mind you.

The money wasn’t optional. My income until now was what my family relied on. My husband had barely started a new job himself after being out of work for over a year.

I had to make something work. Sound familiar?  

And in under 30 days I used this equation to complete replace my cushy corporate salary. I had an endless supply of pre-qualified leads. And had more work than I knew what to do with.

And none of that success was dependent on endless hours of posting online, growing an email list, or using social media. None of that!

I want to introduce a game-changing methodology, that’s so simple you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself.

… it’s what jump started my results. And what I’ve gone on to teach thousands of others to do in their own business.
It’s a powerful combination - when used in the right way will accelerate your growth and get you off that dreaded Merry-Go-Round that’s keeping you stuck.

The basics come down to Key Results + Personal Connections = Infinite Opportunity

Or for short - the K.P.I. Equation.

You are doing what all the people are telling you to do.  And yet nothing seems to be moving the needle when it comes to bringing in those clients.  |  Boss Project

The K.P.I. Equation

The K.P.I. Equation is not a new approach to marketing. In fact it’s pretty old school, but that’s what makes it so effective.

It works with every generation, regardless of changes in technology or even the service you are offering.

The basics of it make it very clear what you do, who and how you can help and get you in front of an infinite number of new leads…

… without spending a minute online.

This approach is not manipulative, or scarcity-driven marketing.

The K.P.I. Equation allows you more time to focus on what you do best and puts your marketing on autopilot. It will attract the right people to you and keep you focused rather than distracted with the day to day.

Forget feeling salesy or fake. There is no convincing anyone of anything. You simply serve, and help people in the way you always intended.

And the sales flow naturally. And all the people said AMEN!

I’m going to walk you through exactly how this works…

Stay with me… this is going to blow your mind.

What is the K.P.I. Equation

The K.P.I. Equation is Key Results + Personal Connections = Infinite Opportunity

This methodology will kickstart your marketing and will get you an endless supply of pre-qualified leads. Let’s break it down.

KEY RESULTS

In order to effectively attract the right people you have to get really clear on what it is that you offer. No, I don’t mean the difference between logo design and a website - I mean the results that you get for clients.

Let’s do a quick exercise to get you thinking about what these might be.

Answer these questions as honestly and as specifically as you can.

  1. Who is your ideal client?

  2. What is the most incredible result you could ever deliver?

Now, herein lies the issue. You probably spent way too long describing demographics about your ideal client - how old they are, what they do for a living, how much money they make.

What if instead you focused on their mentality:

  • What is their personality like?

  • What are their roadblocks?

  • Where do they feel pain?

  • What sort of solution are they searching for?

And that result, I bet it is way too vague or too unrealistic in their eyes. Instead of “they had clearer messaging” - what if the result could be “open rates increased 20% and click through rates doubled.” Now that’s a copywriter I would hire.

People market the end result and forget that most clients can’t even imagine themselves there. What is a reality your ideal client can imagine, that you can create?

Now, I should warn you - results may vary. I, by no means, want you to craft this “optimal” result that you go onto use as some scheme to get new clients. In every given situation and with every client, I want you to focus on the results you can provide.

While it’s awesome to have a focus, every client is a little different. And that may mean listening to what your people need and want and crafting a solution for them as you go.

PERSONAL CONNECTIONS

Now that you understand the key results you can provide, you need new leads you can offer these results. But, before you run off to post on social media I want you to try this method first.

By now you know you can’t rely on strategies that weren’t built for your business. Your focus has been off and you’ve been looking in all the wrong places. You’ve been too busy implementing all sorts of tactics that are just keeping you stuck. And maybe feeling a tad bit inadequate.

You are forgetting the people that are right in front of you. Your inner circle is made up of a very powerful group of people. They may just be regular people, but they have an incredible tool you are overlooking. They know people you don’t.

When I sat my family down to tell them about the business I wanted to run, I expected nothing from them, other than maybe a hug and some support. But what I got was an endless stream of the perfect clients who were ready to pay me. Hear me out on this…

For this part of the equation - we are going to use the Mean Girls Method. Yes, I said it.

You remember this cinematic masterpiece, I know you do. In the movie there was a hard core clique - referred to as the Plastics. They stuck together like glue, and bitchy demeanor aside they were basically family. Now their secret to popularity wasn’t their charming good looks, it was there tenacity to stick together. They were stronger together.

You have a group of people in your life that are there for you no matter what. They love you fiercely and want you to succeed. They are your inner circle. Even if you don’t all wear pink on Wednesdays.

Your inner circle is made up of no more than 10 people. It’s the people you are in communication with daily - calls, texting, telepathy. It’s the people in your life you can be your truest self with. It may be your mom, sister, BFF, biz besties. How you are connected is honestly not important. Your belief in how connected they are to your potential customer, also not important.

Step 1: Who is in your inner circle? Remember: if you have to think about it more than 5-seconds they aren’t on the list.

Step 2: In the next 24 hours you are going to contact your inner circle and let them know you are ready to see growth in your business. Share with them the desires you have for the kind of clients you want to work with and the results you can deliver. Ask them for connections to both potential clients and those that might be connected to some.

When I used the Mean Girls Method one conversation with my mother-in-law created a chain reaction. The person she connected me with instantly trusted what I could offer. That warm intro popped up in lunch conversation with Kelly who basically was doing what I wanted to be doing and was overworked and ready for help.

Because Kelly was clear on what I could do and how I could help, she didn’t necessarily give me a job, but she gave me leads. And lots of them!

I was able to secure a relationship with Kelly in which I paid for qualified leads (only after they became my client). And she no longer felt so guilty about turning down paying work.

Sounds simple right? Don’t let that fool you: it’s highly effective.

This is EXACTLY how I was able to replace my cushy corporate salary.

I repeated the system again with my next ring of contacts and landed relationships that got me deals designing for Coca-Cola, 7-Eleven, Dominos, Massage Envy and more.

INFINITE OPPORTUNITY

The magic isn’t in knowing what you do or even effectively talking to your inner circle. It’s what you do with the connections and introductions that can make or break this equation.

Because let’s be real, how many times has a warm introduction been made for you and you did nothing? It’s the one awkward handshake and you never speak again.

The secret to making this go from “yay! I have supportive parents” to “OMG I have more clients than I know what to do with” - is in making this a referral engine. One with a process. One that is easy to implement. And one that will give you an endless supply of new leads.

This shouldn’t be any referral engine, it needs to be the Double Whammy Referral Engine.

Engine #1 - Existing Business

Prospecting can be crazy time consuming: get new leads, waste a bunch of time in meetings, still have no clients. What if instead we cut out this phase all together and just acquired pre-qualified leads. Leads that were ready to start their project and pull out their pocket book.

You need to utilize your inner circle to find and connect with busy business owners and create one of two referral systems.

Option A: Qualified leads contact the busy business. They decide they don’t have time/bandwidth to take on the project. They offer you the project. In exchange you pay them a small finders fee when the client books and pays for the project. The busy business feels less guilty about saying no to paying clients and you build your client roster FAST. Win-win.

Option B: Qualified leads contact the busy business. The busy business takes on the project despite being out of time/bandwidth for the project. The client pays and interacts only with the busy business. You do the work and operate under the business umbrella for this particular job or set of jobs. You have the right to refuse work based on your schedule and remain the boss, while skipping the micromanaging of clients. You focus on doing what you love and get paid. The busy business is able to take on more work, without the liability of growing their team permanently and not always having that much work available. Win-win.

With either option you are becoming a trusted partner. And in both all parties are paid. Who doesn’t love this?!

Engine #2 - Current Clients

Once you have your own set of clients you can create Engine #2. This referral system is internal to your own business. It simply requires that you ask for and reward referrals.

I want you to think back on your most recent clients. Who was your most dreamy? Who paid on time, was easy to please, and raved about you?

Because here’s a top secret: a dreamy client knows more dreamy clients. If you want a flood of like minded clients that make your job super enjoyable you just have to go to the source.

Once you identify who this past client is I want you to check in with them. Literally just be a human and see how they’re doing. Let them know that you have availabilities opening up and you’d like to work with people they know. Chances are they’re more than willing to do this for you - they’re dreamy clients remember!

To sweeten the deal we’ve offered rewards for our clients that refer us to more dreamy clients. There are countless ways to set this up, but the key is to not overthink it. What do your past clients need more of from you that you can set up as a reward for their referral?

In the past, we’ve used everything from free business card designs to free mini session to a discount on their next order. Play around with a few ideas so see which one sticks!

When you combine the powers of knowing your key results, connecting with the right people in your circle, following up on leads to create a referral engine - the options become endless.

This puts your business in motion in a way you’ve only dreamt of growing.

More About the K.P.I. Equation

We want you to start harnessing this right away inside your business. We are ready to help you break it down and make it work for your business. Join us inside The Booked Out Creative, an application only Facebook Group designed to help you see results in less than 30 days.

Business, Ideal Client, Services, Booked Out

You're Building The Wrong Business (And It's Making You Broke)

Many service based business owners look in the mirror and feel like they’re not enough.

You know what I’m talking about…

It feels like you’re still playing “pretend business” and you’re wondering if you’re even smart enough to figure this all out like it seems like everyone else has.

This convinces you that the only way to get clients is to do what works for everyone else - posting 3x a day on Instagram, blogging “value add” content, showing up in Facebook groups where you *think* your client might be and so on…

You’re listening to countless other business owners tell you that doing all that ^ is what’s going to work for you...so why isn’t it?

Here’s the truth: it’s not you. It is the strategies you’re using. They aren’t right for YOUR business.

And when you rely on strategies that weren’t built for your business, you are tricked into thinking that you are inadequate.

You start using these tactics as your guiding light; judging yourself on how well you’re implementing them or getting results from them...even when they aren’t working for you.

Here’s the truth: it’s not you. It is the strategies you’re using. They aren’t right for YOUR business.  |  Boss Project

The Big Mistake: You’re Missing The Real Problem

The reason you and SO many talented service-providers fall into this try-all-the-tactics trap, is that you need clients.

Right?

Every new tactic that pops up in front of you seems like something that could work to get that next client in the door, to get you paid, to make it so you can actually make your business work.

So the REAL problem at the foundation of everything is this: You don’t have a predictable and proven way to get clients.

And when you’re constantly concerned about where your next client is going to come from, it’s nearly impossible to grow your business with abundance.

Scarcity takes over…

...and that’s when you make the crucial, but oh-so-common mistake: you continue to add on layers and layers of “shiny objects” to your business (think about when you’ve added on a digital product, started talking to a larger audience, decided you suddenly need to start a membership…). These decisions cost you money and are absolutely putting the potential of your business at risk.

Your drive is there, but your clarity is missing.

Your focus is in the wrong place.

You’re trying to make tactics work, rather than just going back to the foundation and simplifying: first get clients, get booked out, THEN work on growth from there.

You just need a system that focuses on getting that foundation strong.

One that’s actually designed for how your service based business operates.

Without it, you will continue to feel like you aren’t cut out for this.

We were there and we were sick of it.

That’s when we clearly saw that to create a sustainable service we had to focus on getting consistent clients. Period.

No more chasing down “everyone else is doing this” tactics. No more distractions that look good from the outside but don’t fill up a client roster.

Because there are countless service based business who are just getting started or are trying to get more clients that fall victim to this lack of focus. Let me show you.

Lesson 1 - The Tale of the Two Businesses

Especially when it comes to the creative service based industry many business owners come online (hello, you’re here) to learn how they should go about growing their business.

You’re promised “freedom”. And endless clients. And the ability to “make six figures without ever leaving your house”.

You’re inundated with strategies to help you… grow online.

“Get 10,000 blog readers in 30 days!”

“Get your first 1k Instagram followers!”

“Design your opt-in to get your next 100 subscribers!”

The problem is, those strategies aren’t designed for your business. They were designed for businesses that don’t have a 1:1 client model. Ones that NEED high numbers of blog readers, Instagram followers, and subscribers. Think about online education companies, like ours.

Remember, we don’t have 1:1 clients.

So our tactic to fill our courses and podcast listenership is going to look SO different from how we’re showing you to book out your service-based business.

But that distinction is SO easy to forget in today’s shiny online world!

So here’s what happens: You spend your nights and weekends totally crushing it learning strategies for a business you’re not running.

And so weeks and months and *gasp* years go by and when you’re still struggling to build your client base. You’re left wondering what’s wrong with you.

Because you did everything right. Truly.

You were simply deploying the wrong strategies for your business.

Those strategies, in and of themselves, aren’t wrong. We love them.

But they’re Long Term Strategies. With a capital L.

And you’re expecting them (heck, needing them) to work right now.

If you continue down the path of learning these sexy and fun strategies you will probably get some clients. I can’t say that you won’t.

However, what I can say is that it will feel like you’re constantly hustling for that next client. That you’re always having to refine who you’re talking to, how you’re getting content out, and who you’re getting in front of. It’ll be extremely difficult to track exactly what’s working (aka landing you clients).

You will feel like you have your mind in 17 different places. Your brain will never shut off.

You’ll begin to lack confidence that what you offer is any good and that maybe you aren’t cut out for this.

Are you beginning to feel any of that coming?

Compare all that ick to the small business owner that no longer thinks about where her next client is coming from (or if they’re the right fit, or if they’ll pay). When that business owner goes about her work she’s literally freed up an entire part of her brain that no longer has to worry about where the next paycheck is coming from.

She gets to think about fun things like…

“What can I add to this experience to make my client happier?”

“What can I improve in my process to speed up the project?”

“What do I want to watch on Netflix tonight?”

When that brain space is freed up you get to work on your business instead of just in it. And that’s the secret sauce, my friend.

The advantages of ignoring online (for a while) and focusing on perfecting your client acquisition process first is crucial for the success and sustainability of your entire business. But how do you do that when you don’t have any more time in your day?

Lesson 2 - Identify Your Tasks

Right now it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ve monopolized your time with tasks that aren’t actually revenue generating. You’ve convinced yourself that they’re worth it for the growth of your business, but your business needs money to grow, not an audience.

Before we can teach you strategies to land clients quickly you’ve got to clear up your schedule first. Here’s what I want you to do…

I want you to look back at your last week or so of work and right down the tasks you did. For every single day. If you’re memory won’t go that far back (#guilty) then just start today. From the time you stepped into your office to the time you stopped work, what were you doing?

Once you have all of those items listed I want you to run them through an evaluation filter. Ask yourself these three questions: (Put a check mark next to each task for every time you answer “yes”.)

  1. “Do I enjoy this task?”

  2. “Am I efficient at this task?”

  3. “Is this task effective in landing me (or keeping my) clients?” i.e. there is a direct return (yes, $$) OR it is required/vital/necessary to keep your business running

quote_evaluation triangle.jpg

Now we’re going to categorize these tasks so you know what to do with them.

2 CHECK MARKS OR MORE

For everything that got 2 check marks or more I want you to make a decision:

You either need to:

  1. Do

  2. Decide

  3. Delegate

There are some things that you won’t be able to delegate (just yet), but I bet there’s more than you think.

BTW: When we talk about delegating here we’re not always talking about hiring it out to a VA or a contractor. There are plenty of systems and tools you can utilize to take something off your plate (like invoicing, email reminders, project management tools, etc).

quote_eisenhower chart.jpg

1 OR 2 CHECK MARKS

For any tasks that only got one checkmark you need to make a decision:

  1. Do

  2. Decide

  3. Delegate

  4. Delete

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the majority of those tasks just need to be deleted. Without pause.

However, there are going to be some that your business might still need to have done to function (like bookkeeping). That’s one that you can easily delegate to a person or a software or just work on getting more efficient at.

Spend some time really evaluating each individual task. Repeat this process for every task you run into in an average week.

By the end of this exercise I want you to have taken tasks off of your plate so you can create time to focus.

This exercise will be tough. You’ll need to be able to defend everything that’s on your plate, especially if you just “enjoy it”. Trust me, I get it.

You might even trick yourself into thinking all those tasks are effective in landing you clients. When that happens, you need to find the receipts. I want you to trace back where your last few inquiries and clients came from. If they DM’d you on Instagram, how did they originally find you? If they filled out the form on your website, how did they originally find you?

Take it back to the source so you can begin to work with true data instead of what you think is happening. This is where the magic and ease happens.

You are going to be shocked at how FEW activities you actually need to be doing to actually get clients.

When you have this new focus and you are spending your time on fewer things the more effective you become.

What Life Looks Like Now

Once you’ve gone through this process, you should have a good idea of exactly what’s working to get clients and you can seriously focus on those areas.

A word of warning: it's going to seem too easy. In a word that’s telling you to do all. the. things. to market your business online, I want you to resist the temptation to keep adding tactics back in. Remember, the goal is to create a process personalized to YOUR business so YOU can rock it.

And to FOCUS on what will actually get you clients and get you paid.

We’d love to have you share what you’re deleting off your plate. We want to cheer you on as you work through this exercise and begin to shift your mindset on how you get clients.

We’re happy to welcome you to our exclusive Facebook community, The Booked Out Creative. You can apply to join by hitting the button below.

Blog, Marketing

How Blogging 5x A Week Got Me Zero Clients + The Secret Tool I Used Instead to Get Booked

I admit it seems a little odd to be talking about the ineffectiveness of a blog in a blog. But it’s true - I blogged 5x a week for over a year and landed all of zero design clients. Now that’s not to say I wasn’t running a successful business, in fact I was fully booked out in less than 30-days. Blogging however was never the tool that gave me consistent clients. Don’t worry, before this blog is over you will know what was.

Not only will I tell you what booked me out in 30-days, but I will tell you exactly how I replaced my corporate income. And it wasn’t as complicated as you might think. In fact it involved zero social media and a few cups of coffee.

My writing became a passion. As much as I convinced myself it was to gain customers, ultimately it was a self-serving practice. I thought I was building a marketing mechanism for my business and in fact I was building an entirely new audience, one who had no interest in my services. And while it ultimately helped me do other things it was a massive distraction. One that kept me up at night (3am most nights), tired all day and constantly worried about what to write next.

Blogging is a long game strategy - meaning it’s effects are best measured months and years after a blog is posted. It can be a fantastic way to add valuable keywords to your website and to up your search rankings through the power of SEO (search engine optimization).   But here’s a secret about blogs that no one is talking about. Blogs are likely not reaching your potential clients. Blogs are reaching people who want solutions to a problem (think how to type content), not people looking to hire.   |  Boss Project

Blogging has been long sought after as a marketing tool. A way to spread your message far and wide. But used inappropriately it won’t attract the people you need now to make money sooner.

Blogging is a long game strategy - meaning it’s effects are best measured months and years after a blog is posted. It can be a fantastic way to add valuable keywords to your website and to up your search rankings through the power of SEO (search engine optimization).

Your Blog is Reaching the Wrong People

But here’s a secret about blogs that no one is talking about. Blogs are likely not reaching your potential clients. Blogs are reaching people who want solutions to a problem (think how to type content), not people looking to hire.

Think about it this way: when you go to hire anyone what do you do first? Is it frantically google, land on this awesome blog post, figure out how to contact the person and then hire them. OR is it - First ask someone you know who they would recommend? Trust me if you were to make a list of how you looked for someone to:

  • Put a roof on your house

  • Watch your kids

  • Trim your trees

  • Care for your dogs on vacation

  • Insert basically any service ever

You first asked a friend - whether that was a generic post on Facebook, texting your mom, or your neighbor.

But I Google Everything

Ok, I hear the pushback. You use Google everyday to find things, me too. But when you did, what ultimately helped you make your decision? Reviews. Yelp, Google Reviews, Amazon customer feedback...that’s what you trust when you’re looking to buy or try something new. The trust is transferred from the other customers to you, making you feel comfortable in your purchase decision. You are more likely to trust other humans than a companies self serving blog post.

The lesson here: purchase decisions are made when TRUST is established. And the fastest way to get people to trust you? Getting OTHER people to talk about how awesome you are.

The Shortcut to Booking Fast

A blog while potentially valuable is unlikely to build trust immediately. There may be some interest there, someone may hop on an email list, someone may want to learn from you - but booking a service is off in the distant future.

The key to booking fast is those coveted recommendations. And no, I’m not suggesting you go out and spend all this time on a Yelp profile. For most of you reading this you are in the creative field, you offer a creative service like: photography, design or copywriting.

People aren’t looking on Yelp for those services. They honestly might not even be asking anyone for help finding someone. They might not be looking at all.

But with the right warm recommendation you could be the solution they didn’t even know they needed yet.

What You Gotta Do (And What You Don’t)

So we’ve established that blog posts can be valuable for you business eventually.

But I want you to get hot leads, faster than you can handle them.

Because here’s the deal, business isn’t slow because you lack talent. In fact I’d be willing to bet you could run laps around me with what you do… and I want to show you how to get your solution in front of more of the right people faster.

Here’s what you’re not going to have to do though:

  • magically become extroverted overnight

  • cold call people (my personal nightmare)

  • go to a bunch of crazy boring networking events, only to hand out your business card to people who are going to throw it away on the walk to their car.

  • put on pants. (I mean you CAN. But you don’t have to for the method I’m about to share with you)

Here’s what you ARE going to do:

You have to sit your people down (and by your people I mean those closest to you). And tell them what you want, your true ambitions, seriously, what do you want your business to do for you. Because honestly, hiding isn’t getting you anywhere.

You can totally do this. I’ll explain how.

The Mean Girls Method

You remember this cinematic masterpiece, I know you do. In the movie there was a hard core clique - referred to as the Plastics. They stuck together like glue, and bitchy demeanor aside they were basically family. Now their secret to popularity wasn’t their charming good looks, it was there tenacity to stick together. They were stronger together.

You have a group of people in your life that are there for you no matter what. They love you fiercely and want you to succeed. They are your inner circle. Even if you don’t all wear pink on Wednesdays.

Your inner circle is made up of no more than 10 people. It’s the people you are in communication with daily - calls, texting, telepathy. It’s the people in your life you can be your truest self with. It may be your mom, sister, BFF, biz besties. How you are connected is honestly not important. Your belief in how connected they are to your potential customer, also not important.

Step 1: Who is in your inner circle? Remember: if you have to think about it more than 5-seconds they aren’t on the list.

Step 2: In the next 24 hours you are going to contact your inner circle and let them know you are ready to see growth in your business. Share with them the desires you have for the kind of clients you want to work with. Ask them for connections.

Step 3: Use this script if you need it!

Not sure what to say? We got you:

Hey, NAME. I’m sure you’ve seen me post things about _________ and ________. I’m at the point now where I’m getting really focused on landing more clients for __________ and I need your help. Here’s what I know I can provide: ________, _______ and ______. Does anyone come to mind that you could introduce me to - either someone who’s a perfect client fit or someone who knows someone who might be? I’m ready to work with them, can you send 5 messages today and copy me on it?

Sounds simple right? Don’t let that fool you: it’s highly effective.

This is EXACTLY how I was able to replace my cushy corporate salary: One of these conversations led to one intro, which led to a consistent stream of clients. Hear more about how I took the conversation further in this podcast episode.

I repeated the system again with my next ring of contacts and landed relationships that got me deals designing for Coca-Cola, 7-Eleven, Dominos, Massage Envy and more.

So guys, to recap:

While blogging may help long term, I want you to find clients right away to get your business profitable. Try this strategy and then share your results in our secret FB community built just for you. It’s application only and free to anyone in the Photography, Design and Copywriting space. Apply here.