Masterclass Execution Plan

 
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What is a 'Masterclass Execution Plan'?

I know how difficult it is to implement the things you learn online. You probably read blog posts, watch webinars, make notes and then... never act on the things you learn. It's not your fault - you live a busy life and it isn't easy to make time for implementation!

Well, these Masterclass Execution Plans are here to save the day. If you don't have time to watch this month's masterclass, you can read the execution plan and find two things:

01. Masterclass Summary.
Below, you'll find a written summary of the main points from this month's masterclass. It's perfect for busy designers or people who simply don't like video!

02. Three Execution Plans (Aka. Your Masterclass Homework)
I don't just want you to read or watch the masterclass. I want you to take ACTION, and these execution plans make it easy. Simply watch the masterclass/read the summary, then use the three execution plans at the bottom of this page to take action.

Masterclass Summary

What is the masterclass about?

This month’s masterclass is called '5 Ways To Find Your Next Design Client' and it's taught by me and my special guest, Morgan Rapp from October Ink.

Click here to watch it!

Morgan has been a full-time freelance designer for eight years and she designs for amazing clients like Caitlin Bacher. 

She's a pro at generating referrals to keep her schedule fully booked, and she's here in this month's masterclass to teach you how to do the same.

Now, on to the masterclass summary!

Why do so many freelance designers dislike marketing? (6:06)

Freelance designers are creative, so we're good at the visual side but not the marketing side. It doesn't come easy to us. Stuff that doesn't come easy to us feels annoying to do.

Most freelance designers are introverted and don't like to brag or talk about themselves. That's okay! There are ways to promote your services even if you hate talking about yourself and we'll show you what they are in this masterclass.

Does Morgan have a marketing plan? (9:27)

Morgan doesn't have a solid plan, it's flexible. But here's the important thing to remember: just because Morgan doesn't have a plan written out DOESN'T mean she doesn't actively market her business. 

She constantly keeps track of where her clients are coming from so she can focus on marketing in those places.

She focuses on the MAIN places her clients come from, and only expands her marketing tactics to try new things IF she has the time.

Morgan's favourite marketing strategies (13:02)

Morgan's favourite marketing strategy is referrals! 

Referrals =  when past clients, friends or other designers recommend you to someone. 

Over 50% of Morgan's clients come from referrals.

To make sure you get referrals from your clients, make sure you give them an incredible design experience. Your designs AND process need to blow them away! When you provide them with an amazing experience, you'll become more memorable.

(Want help streamlining your design process? Start with my free course!)

Also, strive to never burn bridges with your clients. Even if a client hasn't been a delight to work with, remain professional. These clients may still refer you to others!

How to generate referrals (17:00)

Actively ask your clients for referrals at different points in the design process.

At the start of the design project, add a question to your questionnaire form asking if your client knows anyone who is in need of a designer. 

When the project ends, remind them to send other people your way!

If you don't actively try to generate referrals, they'll eventually dry up and your business will be left in a slow, dry stage. 

How to convert website visitors to paying clients (24:41)

1. Make sure your tagline is clear and above the fold.
You need to make sure potential clients understand what you do as soon as they land on your website.

2. Add a photo of yourself to your website.
Most people won't hire you if they can't see you. Photos build trust! If you don't add a photo of yourself to your site, it seems like you have something to hide.

3. Offer free consultation calls.
I converted about 50% more clients when I started offering free consultation calls. Clients LOVE them! It helps them get their questions answered and it helps them put trust in you.

4. Create a free email course.
If you have a slow stage in your business, create a free email course to convert website visitors into email subscribers. You can convert email subscribers into clients a lot easier than you can convert website visitors because email subscribers hear from you every week and they know, like and trust you. 

How to curate a portfolio that wins clients (30:06)

Make up your own projects! It's not 'wrong', it's the easiest way to build a portfolio of work you love.

Most website visitors only stay on October Ink's website for 1.5 minutes. It's similar for most portfolio sites. You haven't got much time to make a killer first impression so ONLY show your best work in your portfolio. 9 - 12 portfolio pieces is enough. 

Blogging to attract clients (33:08)

Make sure you're blogging about topics future clients are interested in. Don't blog for your peers, blog for your clients. 

Keep your goals in mind every time you write a blog post.

Need some blog post ideas to attract design clients? Here are 100 ideas you can steal!

There are clients at every price point (24:10)

Danielle does factor in time when working out her prices, but she also factors in how much her clients value her service. 

There are clients at every price point. 

Some freelancers charge $100 and others charge $10,000 for the same service. What matters is the clients you're targeting and how much they value your service.


Your Execution Plan

1. Go through your blog and turn off posts that won't attract design clients. 
You heard me. If you have blog posts about social media, turn them off. If you have blog posts about your daily lifestyle, turn them off. If you have posts about ANYTHING that doesn't interest your ideal clients, turn them off. 

2. Start an email list!
I recommend using Convertkit because it's easy to use and very powerful. Sign up, then get started on creating a free 5-day email course. (Convertkit shows you how here.) 

Your email course can be about anything your clients are interested in! So, think of questions they ask you before hiring you, or concerns they have about investing in design. Then build your course around those questions and concerns. 

By the end of your course, your subscribers should understand exactly why they need to invest in design, and they should trust that you're the lady for the job.

3. Generate more referrals. 
One way to do this is by providing your clients with such an amazing experience, they go away and recommend you to everyone they know. If you need help creating a great design experience for your clients, I have a free course for you!

 

Important Announcement: Club Closing

 

Let me start by saying how wonderful it has been to run The Shelancers Club. The club was the first ‘product’ I ever launched and it has given me such beautiful opportunities and blessings. It has allowed me to get to know my community + collaborate with badass designers and friends!

However, my community is telling me they want courses, not a membership. And if I’m being honest, my heart is in courses too.

I was all set up to relaunch the membership, but something didn’t feel right.

That’s why The Shelancers Club is closing on September 30th.

We still have one month of content left, so here’s what you’ll get throughout September:

  • ‘5 Ways To Find Your Next Design Client’ 1-hour masterclass with Morgan of October Ink.

  • Execution Plan, so you can create a plan to implement Morgan’s amazing marketing tips!

  • A live Shelancer coaching call inside our Facebook group. (Details coming at the end of the month.)

We’ve discontinued all memberships so you will NOT be billed any longer.

However, as a complimentary gift, you’ll still have access to the Shelancer content library for 6 months after it closes! Just visit this page and use the password shelancer17 to get in.

What will happen to the Shelancer Facebook group?

Don’t worry, it’s not closing. At the start of October, the Facebook group will be opened to my full community and renamed 'The Designer Collective.'

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If you have any questions, please email us at hi@shelancer.co and our club manager, Danielle, will help you.

Again, thank you SO much for being such an amazing part of this group. I have lots of exciting content planned for my entire community and I can’t wait to share it with you.

With gratitude and love,

Nesha XO

 

Masterclass Execution Plan

What is a 'Masterclass Execution Plan'?

I know how difficult it is to implement the things you learn online. You probably read blog posts, watch webinars, make notes and then... never act on the things you learn. It's not your fault - you live a busy life and it isn't easy to make time for implementation!

Well, these Masterclass Execution Plans are here to save the day. If you don't have time to watch this month's masterclass, you can read the execution plan and find two things:

01. Masterclass Summary.
Below, you'll find a written summary of the main points from this month's masterclass. It's perfect for busy designers or people who simply don't like video!

02. Three Execution Plans (Aka. Your Masterclass Homework)
I don't just want you to read or watch the masterclass. I want you to take ACTION, and these execution plans make it easy. Simply watch the masterclass/read the summary, then use the three execution plans at the bottom of this page to take action.

Masterclass Summary

What is the masterclass about?

This month’s masterclass is called 'Pricing Strategy For Freelancers' and it's taught by me and my special guest, Danielle Joseph.

Click here to watch it!

Danielle Joseph is the freelance brand and web designer behind Function Creative Co. Danielle works with amazing clients like Screw The Nine To Five, and had lots of insight to share on how to find higher paying clients, when to raise your rates and when NOT to. She's the perfect designer to teach you about pricing strategy!

Now, on to the masterclass summary!


What was Danielle's pricing like when she started out as a designer? (1:10)

When Danielle started out, her pricing was all over the place. She was very 'willy nilly' and her pricing was low.

Danielle realized she couldn't 'wing' her quotes anymore because it wouldn't look fair or professional to clients who knew that other clients had been charged less. She needed a system to manage her pricing, so she wrote her prices in a basic Word document so she could refer to it each time she quoted a project. 

Nesha's pricing when she started out as a designer (3:30)

My first real 'client project' was a $150 blog design. I then went on to book five extra clients by offering a special $50 blog design deal on Twitter.

Yes, these prices are ridiculously low. But they were just right for the level I was at. 

Lesson: It's OK to charge low when you start out. You're not entitled to 'big money' because you feel that's what you're worth. 

Do you believe in the charge-what-you're-worth idea? (4:40)

Danielle believes in charging what you're worth but it comes with experience and confidence. 

When you're just starting out, it's OK to work for free or for a lower price if you're doing it to build your portfolio and build your clientele. If you feel you're getting high value from it, do it!

For example, Danielle did free work for a Yoga business when she first started out. It gave her something to put in her portfolio and they became a paying client!

How often do you raise your prices? How do you know if it's the right time to raise your prices? (7:33)

When Danielle starts to feel like she's getting plenty of client inquiries coming in and people are really excited to work with her, she takes it as a sign that she can up-level her pricing. 

She also gets a gut feeling when the time is right to raise her prices.

When your intuition is telling you that you work hard and deserve to be paid more for it, it's the right time for a price raise. 

Trust your gut. 

How to add more 'perceived value' to your packages (10:25)

One way to boost your prices is by adding small services to them.

Danielle noticed her clients didn't just want logos and websites, they wanted brand collateral items like social media graphics or business cards. 

Danielle added collateral pieces to her packages to increase the price and provide her clients with more value. 

She also added Style Guide's to her packages to boost the perceived value.

Big tip: If you already provide your clients with a Style Guide but you don't state it as a deliverable in your packages, add it to boost the perceived value of your service in your client's eyes. 

When potential clients see you offering 'more' in your package, they will be more willing to pay a higher price. 

The easiest way to boost the value (and price) of your packages is to add an ebook, training or workshop to the package! You only have to create it once and it gives you reason to boost your package prices. 

When you raise your prices, what are your fears? (15:25)

Danielle's biggest fear is that no one will want to hire her. But she doesn't only feel this way when she raises her rates - she felt this way when she initially listed her prices on her website.

However, listing her prices on her website was a total game changer for Danielle. 

Listing your pricing on your website...

  • Stops people from getting in touch with you if they can't afford you.
  • Cuts down of hours of communication with people who can't afford you.
  • Keeps things transparent and honest with potential clients.

Most clients will reach out to freelancers who LIST THEIR PRICES ON THEIR WEBSITE before reaching out to ones who don't.

Why you should ALWAYS list your prices on your website (16:22)

Why would a client want to reach out and invest time in having a conversation with you if they don't know if they can afford you?

When clients don't see prices, they sometimes assume it's going to be super expensive.

Transparency is the key when pricing your services! Don't hide your pricing from your potential clients. 

There are clients at every price point (24:10)

Danielle does factor in time when working out her prices, but she also factors in how much her clients value her service. 

There are clients at every price point. 

Some freelancers charge $100 and others charge $10,000 for the same service. What matters is the clients you're targeting and how much they value your service.

Improving your client experience before you charge more (25:38)

If you're going to charge higher prices, it usually involves adding more steps to your process, more technicality, more quality and a much better client experience. 

For example, a bride buying a $30,000 wedding dress from a high-end designer shop would probably not only get the dress but a glass of champagne, amazing customer service, a complimentary gift with purchase, and a gift on her wedding day.

The bride wouldn't expect this from a standard bridal shop charging $500 per dress, but she would definitely expect this kind of client experience for $30,000.

Remember: Your clients expect a better quality experience if they're paying higher prices. 

If you're not sure how to improve your client experience, you can learn how in my course, Organize & Automate.

How to work with amazing clients making big changes in the world (28:10)

Danielle has worked with amazing clients like Screw The Nine To Five.

How does she do it?

She makes herself a part of communities like the Screw The Nine To Five community. When you join smaller communities, especially paid ones, there is more opportunity for you to make yourself and your expertise known.


Your Execution Plan

01. List your prices on your website.
Stop making it hard for potential clients to get in touch with you. If they see they can afford you, they'll be shooting right into your inbox! If not, they'll leave your site and you will have saved yourself hours of communicating with someone who isn't going to work with you.

02. Add to the perceived value of your packages so you can boost the price!
Spend one day creating a product you can add to your packages to boost the value and the price. Think of what your clients need to do after working with you and create a product they can use to help!

For example, if you design websites, create an ebook on SEO, writing high-quality blog content or using Wordpress! 

If your product will help them on the next step of their journey, it will add a lot of value to your service in their eyes. It will also put your packages well ahead of your competitors!

03. Join a paid community.
One of the best ways to find high-quality clients is inside a premium membership.

No, that isn't a free Facebook group.

It's a paid membership where all members pay a monthly fee to learn something. Since everyone is paying, it means they instantly value their businesses more than the average business owner. They're high-quality clients-in-waiting!

Try these:

Masterclass: Pricing Strategy For Freelance Designers

 
 
 
 

In this month’s masterclass,  I talked with special guest, Danielle Joseph, the freelance brand and web designer behind Function Creative Co. Danielle works with amazing clients like Screw The Nine To Five, and had lots of insight to share on how to find higher paying clients, when to raise your rates and when NOT to. She's the perfect designer to teach you about pricing strategy!

Topics discussed:

  • What was Danielle's pricing like when she started out as a designer? (1:10)
  • Nesha's pricing when she started out as a designer (3:30)
  • Do you believe in the charge-what-you're-worth idea? (4:40)
  • How often do you raise your prices? How do you know if it's the right time to raise your prices? (7:33)
  • How to add more 'perceived value' to your packages (10:25)
  • When you raise your prices, what are your fears? (15:25)
  • Why you should ALWAYS list your prices on your website (16:22)
  • What is the value of your package to your client? (23:17)
  • There are clients at every price point (24:10)
  • Improving your client experience before you charge more (25:38)
  • How to work with amazing clients making big changes in the world (28:10)

Who is Danielle Joseph?

 

"I’m the face and creative behind Function Creative Co. – a one-woman creative design company. Function Creative Co was born in April 2014 and has been picking up speed ever since. It took me two full years to build up my business to a point where I felt comfortable diving in full time. But it really started even well before that.

I’ve always been a creator. Since I could hold a pencil in my hand, I was a maker of things. I wanted to be an artist, then a cartoonist. Now, after over 7 years of post-secondary education in marketing, communications + design, I’ve landed in the realm of creative designer, artist + maker.

I love to make things look beautiful, but it’s also important to me that every design decision has a purpose. Practicality is the name of my game. "

Visit Danielle's website

Follow Danielle on Instagram

 

Making Passive Income With A Digital Design Shop, With Lindsay Humes

 
 
 
 

About This Interview

Lindsay Humes is a Wordpress web developer and also runs a Wordpress template shop, White Oak Creative. In this interview, Lindsay shares how to get started as a web developer, how to make passive income with a digital design shop, and how to make good passive income without doing a big launch. 

Interview Breakdown

Learning web development on the job (5:40)

Self-teaching web development vs studying web development in school (6:56)

What etiquette should designers follow when using premade themes to create websites for their clients? (8:30)

What to do if you don’t want to code (11:32)

Customer support boundaries to put in place when starting a digital design shop (12:52)

The hardest thing about running a digital shop (16:38)

The best things about running a digital shop (18:23)

You don’t have to do a crazy big launch to make good passive income (19:53)

About Lindsay

 

Lindsay Humes is an art director and front-end developer, who crafts beautiful and dynamic brands for professional bloggers. Through her design shop, she sells affordable pre-made design solutions, including WordPress themes, blog post templates, logos and media kits. Lindsay fuses personal elements of her life as a female business owner with essays, videos, and tutorials in her blog.

Visit Lindsay's Website

Follow Lindsay On Instagram