Selling services + dealing with a clients is a tough gig!
However, there ARE some things you can do to make it a whole lot easier. In fact, most of the headaches, heartaches + ulcer aches experienced by creative entrepreneurs boil down to 5 simple fixes that you can implement into your operations. Your medicine cabinet will miss you.
NICE PACKAGE, BOSS
Most of the time, when people hire you for a service, they’ve experienced some kind of “screw this” moment where they decided they wanted someone else to handle a pain-point for them.
They want a solution. They don’t want more problems.
When people buy your services, it is because they don’t want to have the problems they are currently facing + they are coming to you for a solution. Package that solution for them!
Your job as a service provider is to know exactly what the cause for their “screw this” moment is + package that solution accordingly.
This means no more à la carte options, this means no more “inquire within” buttons. When someone is looking for a solution, they already have enough struggle to deal with on their own; they don’t want to jump through hoops to find out if you can help them. And they’ll throw their money to the person whose package actually solves their issue.
Good packaging means fewer back-and-forth email conversations about options (that are seldom – if ever! – bought!), it means better positioning as an expert with more referrals because you’re hella clear about what solution you provide, and it means there are less hurdles for people to get to the BUY NOW button ASAP.
NO CREEPS ALLOWED
While you’re packaging that solution, go ahead + package the boundaries surrounding your offer.
People will ask for + want + expect more than they paid for – not because they’re evil (well, maybe some are, but that’s what we’re avoiding here!) – but because it’s human nature to push boundaries. In fact, it’s such a commonplace thing that is has its own name. “Scope creep” is what happens when something or someone causes a project to exceed what was originally agreed upon.
For instance, a graphic designer who designs a logo for a client may encounter scope creep when the client asks for another version of the logo in black and white, or perhaps inversed colors, or maybe even a new favicon, or social media icon, or all of the above + suddenly you see the importance of setting boundaries because they’ll likely keep asking for more + more.
After all, you’re cool like that.
Umm, no, you aren’t “cool like that”! Nix out this problem from ever really becoming one by setting those boundaries ahead of time.
Translation :: You should bullet-point exactly what is included – what it is your client is paying for – in your quote/proposal/welcome package, on your contract + in your invoice. If you have frequently asked add-ons, be sure to include links to your price list as often as it is appropriate.
And when – not if, but when – someone attempts to scope creep you, simply refer to that document, saying “No problem, the link to my price list for add-ons was included on your last invoice”. Having an existing form or document that they’ve already completed + re-iterates what is included from what is extra means you’re simply reminding them of what they’ve actually paid for.
GET OUT OF YOUR OWN HEAD
If we could crack open your brain to see how your thoughts are jumbling around in there, what would it look like?
There’s a lot going on in there. In fact, there’s probably more happening in your brain than is actually happening on paper!
So here’s an idea :: put it all on paper.
Specifically? Map out each step that goes into your client journey for the services you offer. This is what is called your workflow. By establishing one, you will free yourself of having to make those connections in your mind for each + every client.
Not sure where to get started with this? I totally get that. Setting up a workflow can seem a little intimidating, which is why I have put together some templates. Use these FREE babies to get out of your own head + start establishing a standard client process.
WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY
Once you have a workflow, you can start implementing the tools that will have you screaming “look ma! no hands!”. You have a lot of choices when it comes to using software that can help you do that; when you’re selling services, you’ll likely look into using a CRM. (This stands for Client Relationship Managers or Customer Response Managers, depending on who you talk to). Some popular options for creative service sellers include Dubsado, 17hats, Streak for Gmail and SatoriApp, among others. Which one you choose will depend on your needs, your budget, your industry + your personal preferences.
Furthermore, many creatives will use a CRM to track + manage their clients, while using a separate Project Management tool to track their own actual project work. For instance, your CRM can track all the admin, paperwork + deadlines reminders while you track your own workload using programs like Trello or Asana.
It is a lot like a relationship where finding “the perfect fit” seems intimidating at first… until you figure out what can work (hella hard!) for you + suddenly, you can’t remember how you ever managed without having it in your life.
Need help figuring out what would work best for you? Scroll to the bottom of this post + click the banner to get the help you need to make that decision like snap!
EXPECT THE WORST, DELIVER THE BEST
Contrary to popular thought, the worst thing to happen to your business isn’t that nobody buys your services.
The worst that can happen is that EVERYBODY BOOKS YOUR SERVICES.
It sounds like one of those “good problems” to have when you think of having more demand than you can actually meet.
Until, of course, you have to meet it. You may as well do a shot of holy fuck + I’m so screwed. You can chase those with a big gulp of total and complete burn out. Oooh, fun!
Let’s #realtalk here :: if 12 people emailed you – right meow! – saying, “Oh, puh-lease let me give you all my money right now to start working with you”, would you be able to say “sure thing!” and set those adoring fans on a client onboarding process that you just had to initiate while the rest of it all fell in place like freaking dominoes?
…Or would still be working in a clusterfuck of scanned contracts + manually creating payment schedules + going back-and-forth to schedule sessions + copying-and-pasting individual client questionnaires, among a plethora (yeah, I said it – a plethora!) of other details that – since we’re being honest! – you often forget because you’re freaking human, yo!
Meanwhile, you know what isn’t human? Technology!