aug 2015

5 ways to make an emotional connection with your target market

I have one word for you... BRANDING! I cannot stress how important branding is when it comes to your business. Your brand is what people think of when they hear your brand name, what people feel when they think of you, visit your website or hire you.  What I've learnt overtime of having my own business is we have to make an emotional connection through our brands and our website presence. Learn 5 simple steps of connecting with your audience by clicking on this pin now! #Target Market #Design #Business #Freelance #Marketing

Branding.

That word is thrown around the blogsphere a lot these days, but many people misunderstand what it means. Some people think branding is just a visual brand identity made up of a logo, color palette and type combinations. But that's only a part of what your brand truly is.

'Branding demands commitment... Striking chords with people to stir their emotions.' - Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin.
'Your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room.' - Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.

There are so many ways to define branding, but I like to think of it like this: your brand is what people think of when they hear your brand name. It's how people feel when they think of you, visit your website, hire you, learn from you or walk into your shop.

How your brand makes someone feel can often be the difference between booking a client or losing them to a competitor. {Click to tweet}

Clients and consumers are almost always willing to pay more to the brand that makes them feel something, and that should always be your brand. {Click to tweet}

Story time

Last year I went shopping for a leather jacket. I looked in standard high street shops like Topshop and found decent jackets for £40-80. These jackets were perfectly adequate. Even though they weren't real leather, they looked great!

But then I walked into Allsaints. Ah, Allsaints. The shop front is distressed and rustic, and the inside of the shop has vintage mannequins everywhere, red-brick walls, copper and steel furnishings and the coolest-looking staff you will ever see. You feel sexy when you walk into Allsaints. You don't care that their leather jackets cost £300+ because they make you feel like a badass that just walked right out of a Fast & Furious movie when you're wearing one.

My point?

I splashed £300 on a leather jacket when I could have purchased a similar jacket, albeit fake leather, for 1/5 of the price. I purchased from Allsaints because of the way they made me feel. I wasn't shopping for a leather jacket that day, I was shopping for a feeling. Allsaints gave that to me.

Nowadays we're bombarded with brands all the time; so many that our brains can't handle it! In order to stand out and get our potential clients to listen to us, we have to make an emotional connection through our brands and our website presence. But that's easier said than done, right?

5 ways to connect with your target market

1. Brand style. As you read about my experience with Allsaints, their brand style played a big part in why I chose to purchase from them instead of Topshop. Allsaints had a brand aesthetic that immediately made me feel cool and sexy. Their brand has a unique style that stirs certain emotions within their customers.

When you're trying to emotionally connect with your target market, you'll never form a true connection if your brand style isn't cohesive or isn't an authentic representation of you. 

Ask yourself- how do you want people to feel when they come into contact with your brand? What emotions do you want to stir within your ideal clients? Does your current brand identity convey these emotions, or is it failing to connect with your target market in some way? Maybe you need to invest in a rebrand, or maybe you can make some small tweaks to connect with your audience more?

If you need help creating a cohesive brand experience that will make sure your ideal clients fall in love with your brand, check out the free bonus at the end of this article!

Related post: How to build a strong brand on a small budget

2. Brand voice. Your brand voice goes hand in hand with your brand aesthetic. Your brand voice is how you talk and write; how your words make your target market feel. Small businesses that write in a friendly and 'human' voice usually connect easier with their target market because they seem real! People don't want to do business with someone who talks to like a robot and has no sense of personality, they want to do business with a real person. 

3. Use of words. When you research what your target market wants from you (usually within a survey), it's important that you use the words and phrases they use. It will make a much better emotional connection when they come to read about your services! For example, this year I wanted to buy a book on money mindset. I found a woman who specialized in this field but her product page used robotic 'professional' phrases that I would have never used to describe what I was looking for. Then I found another website that described my struggles and my desires exactly how I would describe them, in a casual and understandable way. Because this website used words and phrases I'd use- phrases I understood and completely resonated with- I didn't hesitate to purchase from them and not the other woman.

Related post: 10 tools and apps I use for freelancing

4. Brand consistency. Is your brand cohesive and consistent across all areas of your web and print presence? It's important that your brand style stretches across all areas of your brand, not just your website. The look and feel of your website needs to be the same on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, your business cards, your shop front, your client documents and more. When your brand is perfectly consistent, your target market sees you as a strong brand that really knows what they're doing.

5. Keep your business simple and streamlined. Even if you build an emotional connection through all of the points listed above, that connection can be broken instantly if your business processes are not simple and easy for your customers/clients. What exactly do I mean? Well, a potential client may look at your website and feel totally connected to you; eager to start working with you. But if they contact you and your processes are sloppy, your reply times are slow and your system isn't clear then that connection will immediately break. Keep your customer connected by streamlining your systems. Make doing business with you feel like a guilty pleasure!

I recently enrolled in Leah's course, Stress Less & Impress, and it totally transformed my business systems and processes! I was already doing a lot of what she suggested, but her tips and videos helped me refine my process even more. I highly recommend checking it out if you need help streamlining your business!


If you're interested in rebranding your business, I'm now booking clients from November 2015 onward! Just check out my services and get in touch if you'd like to set up a time to discuss your needs. 


Free bonus!

To help you create a stronger emotional connection with your target market, I've created a freebie for you: 10 ways to create a cohesive brand experience. This free PDF guide will help you tighten your brand style across all business areas, making a professional impression on your target clients and forming a stronger connection with them. I hope you it helpful!

How To Stop Feeling Like A Fraud

 
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I sometimes feel like a fraud even though I'm not.

When I start feeling that way, I can literally feel my business halt in its tracks. I start rethinking every system I have in place and every goal I've set for the year. I can't bring myself to publish a blog post because I imagine someone will jump out from behind a digital curtain and yell 'You don't know what you're talking about!'

This fraudulent feeling is often known as imposter syndrome.

Feeling like a fraud is an icky feeling.

It usually stems from situations like...

  • Screwing up with a client and feeling guilty, disappointed and stupid because of it.
  • Being self-taught.
  • Seeing other designers doing the same amount of work but earning x3 what you earn.

Have YOU ever felt like a fraud?

Research shows that women feel like frauds more often than men because we internalize things and blame ourselves for every mistake that happens in our businesses.

Sound familiar? Sadly, I bet it does.

Over the years I've been in business, I've learned a few ways to deal with imposter syndrome. Sure, I still feel like a fraud from time to time. But I know now that I can ride the Fraud Wave and confidently come out the other side! Want to do the same?


15 ways to conquer imposter syndrome


1. Accept who you are

You are beautiful and unique. You're also imperfect. You're going to make mistakes from time to time and they're going to make you feel like you're a fraud. Just because you feel that way doesn't mean it's true.

2. Talk to others who feel the same way

I wouldn't rush into a Facebook group of 10,000 potential clients and announce that you feel a fraud because that could cause some leads to think you lack in confidence, and it could stop people hiring you.

Instead, join a group of other designers and share your feelings with them! When you talk to others who feel or have felt the same way, you hand some of the burden over to them and you instantly feel better. A problem shared is a problem halved!

You're welcome to join my Facebook group, The Designer Collective.

3. Successful people feel like frauds too

If you think you're the only creative entrepreneur who feels like a fraud, think again. Even famous creatives feel like frauds!

Cath Kidston, a famous fashion and accessories designer who turns over £70 million per annum and has 61 shops in the UK, writes about her experience as a self-taught designer in her latest book. She wrote, 'When you're self taught you always feel like you will be found out.'

See?

Even a wildly successful designer like her suffers from imposter syndrome sometimes.

4. Keep a success log

Even though you're imperfect and you sometimes make mistakes in your business, you also do a lot of things right. Own them. Be proud of your successes.

It's all too easy to forget about our successes, but we shouldn't.

Our successes are keeping us in business.

I like to keep a notebook in Evernote called My Success Log. Every time I reach a milestone or do something amazing for my business, I log it down. Then when I'm feeling bad about myself or my business, I look at the notes in my success log. Works every time!

5. Start a happy folder

This is similar to a success log. In your email inbox, create a folder called Happy Mail. Then when you receive a happy note from one of your readers or clients, store it in the happy folder. 

When you're having a bad day its helpful to read through all the wonderful things people have written to your over time. It pushes you to overcome your fraudulent feelings and continue growing your business!

6. Delete hate mail

Haters are gonna hate (try and read that without bursting into Taylor Swift's Shake It Off, I dare you.) Some people just like being spiteful. Some people despise your success and will look for any mistake they can call you out on. 

Try not to let it get to you.

If you let a hater spoil your happiness, they've pretty much won. So here's the thing: don't dignify hate mail with a response. Simply delete it and get on with your awesome day, because if you don't, hate mail can start causing you to feel like a fraud. Like someone who doesn't deserve all the great things you've worked so hard to have!

7. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Imposter syndrome often begins with comparing yourself to others. I've done this myself! When I see Income Reports from people in my industry who are having $8000 months, I feel totally jealous. And that leads to me feeling like a fraud because I'm not making the same amount of money as them, so I feel like I'm doing something wrong.

It is sometimes healthy to compare yourself to others because it can push you to achieve more.

But try not to focus on others. There's no point in focusing on someone who is at a different stage to you. They may have been in business for 5 years and you may have only been in business for 1. You can't possibly expect to play in their league in just a 1/5 of the time it took them to get there.

Focus on self improvement. It doesn't matter what other people in your niche are doing, the only thing that matters is you and your progress.

8. Give yourself a break

You're a human being who makes mistakes! You're imperfect! Deal with it. We are all imperfect. That doesn't make us all frauds.

9. Take a real break

If you can't shake your imposter syndrome, step away from your screen and take a break. Whether it's just an afternoon coffee break at a local cafe, a whole day spent in front of the TV, or a week away in a peaceful village. It doesn't matter. Just get away from your business and give yourself time to calm down and accept that you're not a fraud. Often, a little break is all that is needed to help you feel better about yourself and your business.

10. Boost your confidence

Feeling like a fraud has a lot to do with your self-confidence. If you doubt your capabilities or expertise, imposter syndrome with undoubtedly kick in. Try boosting your confidence and self-esteem by hopping on Skype with a business friend, providing valuable advice to people who need it (people ask for advice in Facebook groups ALL the time and YOU could help them!) or writing a blog post about how you feel and listing steps you can take to overcome your feelings.\

Related post: 

11. Recognize that making mistakes doesn't make you a fraud

I've already said this but I'm going to say it again: you're an imperfect human being. You're going to make mistakes. You should recognize and accept this, and so should your blog readers and your clients. 

Making mistakes doesn't mean you're a fraud. It simply means you have a issue to fix and opportunities to grow.

Embrace your mistakes. When you do, you'll no longer feel like a fraud.

12. Acknowledge that everyone is faking it

You've heard of the saying 'fake it till you make it' right? Here's a little secret: everyone is faking it. No one has everything figured out and nothing else to learn. If someone thinks they do, they're the one who is the fraud.

Everyone is faking it. No one has everything figured out and nothing else to learn. - Tweet this

13. Recognize that you're stopping your loyal followers from learning from you

When you feel like a fraud, you usually stop creating stuff because you feel like the stuff you create isn't perfect or viable. That's not true. Even if you feel like you're creating content that is already out there and written by someone else who is ten times better than you, you have to remember that there are lots of people who love your point of view. They want to read what you write because of the unique spin you give it. Don't deny people that. 

14. Treat your business/blog as one big experiment

Sometimes you'll get things right. Other things will totally fail (like course launches... Ugh). That's OK! Your business is one big experiment and some experiments go better than others. The main thing to remember is to never give up experimenting. That would be like giving up on finding love because you boyfriend dumped you. Everyone knows it's an unwise thing to do, because that one failure just opens the door for a success later down the line.

15. Embrace your inner expert

List all the things you're good at within your business. Maybe it's client communication? Writing awesome newsletters and blog posts? Cultivating a creative community? Helping people? Whatever it is, embrace it. Write it all down. You're an expert at all of these things. A unique expert. Don't forget that.

Still feel like a fraud?

That's OK. Some feelings are deeply engrained within us and they take a bit more work to eliminate. Go through the 15 steps above and try a few. If they work, come back here and leave me a comment telling me all about it! Share your feelings. I want to hear them!



 

9 podcasts solopreneurs will love

Click on this pin to see my top 9 recommendation of podcasts that you will love if you are a creative entrepreneur who wants to work smarter, not harder, so you can grow a profitable and fun business. #Business #Podcast #Solopreneurs #Design #Freelance

I have become a podcast addict. 

Before going on my recent vacation I decided to download a few podcasts that vowed they would help me improve my business, life and travels. 

I was not let down. 

I know I may be going a little over the top here, but podcasts are the future, I swear. I love reading blogs and writing blog posts, but nothing beats being able to go on a long walk while listening to your favorite podcast. 

What is a podcast?

I'm sure most of you know the answer to this, but if not, a podcast is .........
You can make the best use of you time by listening to podcasts on the go! That's the beauty of them. You could listen...

  • While on long drives
  • On walks or hikes
  • While you're working (although I personally find it too hard to concentrate on my work if I'm listening intently to a podcast.)
  • Before you go to sleep
  • On your lunch break
  • While you're doing your chores or cooking!

Here are just a few reasons why podcasts are freakin' awesome:

  • Podcasts allow you to multi-task while learning. You can work and listen, walk and listen, even breastfeed and listen! You don't have to take time out of your daily routine to sit down and learn.
  • Podcasts allow you to become closer to the people talking. This week, I listened to about 10 episodes of a certain podcast. Before I knew it, I had become addicted to the host's personality even though I had come across her site dozens of times before and had never really been interested. By hearing her talk and listening to her tips and opinions, I grew to trust and admire her as a leader in her industry. I went straight to her website, subscribed AND purchased her latest book. Basically, podcasts are relationship builders!
  • If you want to grow your readership, get featured in a podcast! Almost every time I'm introduced to a new entrepreneur through a podcast interview, I head to her site and sign up for whatever she can give me. Again, it's relationship building.
  • Podcasts help you learn ten times as much stuff in half the time it would usually take you to read a blog post, magazine or eBook.
  • Podcasts help solopreneurs feel less alone. When you work from home it can be a little lonely. You don't have the office chatter, the workplace friendships or the general buzz of your peers like a typical corporate job. When you listen to a podcast and hear the voices of entrepreneurs you admire, you don't feel so alone.


While you probably won't catch me doing my own podcast any time soon (my voice is too weird and I say ummmm way too many times in conversation), I have a few recommendations that you will love if you are a creative entrepreneur who wants to work smarter, not harder, so you can grow a profitable and fun business.

9 podcasts solopreneurs will love

1. The Suitcase Entrepreneur. Natalie Sisson of The Suitcase Entrepreneur hosts a really helpful podcast that discusses travel AND business. She runs a 6 figure business while travelling the world and living out of a suitcase. If you're a keen traveller then you'll love her podcast.

2. Being Boss. This podcast is specifically for creative entrepreneurs. The Being Boss hosts, Emily and Kathleen, both run successful branding & web design businesses and they discuss business tactics and tips in their podcast. I listened to about 10 episodes of this on my recent break. Their fun and insightful girls who will have you addicted to their podcast in no time!

3. The Chalene Show. After listening to Chalene on Being Boss, I knew I had to hop over to her site and check out everything she's ever made. She's really strong and confident and discusses confidence, goal-setting and business on The Chalene Show.

4. How They Blog. If you're interested in starting a blog or you want to take your blog to the next level, this podcast will help you. Kat Lee interviews bloggers and gets them to share their tips and strategies with the listeners on her podcast, How They Blog.

5. The Travel Freedom Podcast. I love travelling, so when I heard Tommy and Megsy of The Travel Freedom Podcast being interviewed on The Suitcase Entrepreneur, I was immediately interested. This couple decided to use the money they'd saved for a house on travelling the world, and they also run an online business together. If you want to work for yourself AND travel, you'll love this.

6. Smart Passive Income. Pat Flynn answers questions from readers on his podcast, and it's alllll about creating smart passive income.  

7. The Lively Show. Hosted by Jess Lively, The Lively Show is really conversational and upbeat. Jess interviews small business owners and bloggers and discusses lots of topics on the minds of female entrepreneurs and everyday women. 

8. After The Jump. Hosted by Grace Bonney, founder of Design*Sponge, After The Jump is one of my very faves. Grace gives amazing, strategic advice on how to run a successful business. She gets into the real cost of business, how to market your brand, how to handle the emotional side of working for yourself and much more. This podcast is PACKED with little gems, so I suggested you subscribe ASAP.

9. Adventures in Design. If you're creative then you're sure to love this. Adventures in Design is hosted by Mark & Beth Brickey. iTunes describes this podcast as “Graphic design gossip and artistic growing pains through the eyes of two handsome DIY poster designers and their friends.” Seriously, does that podcast sound fun or what?


You're probably thinking 'I get it, Nesha. Podcasts are the future. But does that mean I should start one?'

I'm a firm believer in only doing things that bring you joy, whether that's in business or in life. Just because podcasts are getting huge now does not mean you have to start one of your own.  It's totally OK to be a fan of them without starting one yourself.  

Just like it's OK to admire pretty Instagram accounts but not have one yourself. 

Or read amazing blogs but not own a blog.

Podcasting is not the only way to get your voice heard and connect with your tribe. Don't do anything in business just because it's the 'in' thing to do.

You're the boss of your business, and you can do whatever the hell you want! {tweet this}

But what if you DO want to start a podcast?

What if it feels like the perfect thing for you, your personality and your business? Well, as an avid podcast listener I have a few tips to help you craft a drool-worthy podcast. One that will actually get subscribers and build your audience of loyal fans. 

5 things that make a brilliant podcast

I'm no expert on CREATING podcasts but I reeeeally love listening to them. And since I've listened to about a million, here's what I think makes the perfect podcast.

1. Personality. The main thing that makes me subscribe to a podcast is a host with a big personality. Someone who has a captivating voice and a sense of humor. You don't have to be a chatter box or the life of the party, you just need to be someone I would hang out with in real life. Someone who isn't boring, but isn't stuck up. The best podcast hosts are just themselves.

2. Motivating content & honest opinions. Podcasts aren't just for having fun conversations with your cohost or your guests. Podcasts work like blog posts- they have to provide actionable advice to the listeners, and motivate or inspire listeners in some way. My favorite business podcasts are brimming with advice that help me improve my biz. My favorite travel podcasts are full of tips on where to go and what to do. Make sure your podcast offers your listeners something valuable, not just chatter.

3. Freebies. The best way to get podcast listeners onto your list is by creating  related freebie and requiring people to sign up to get it. For example, Being Boss did an amazing episode on pushing goals with Chalene. It was that amazing that I wanted more. And they gave me that! They offered their listeners a related worksheet if they signed up. Of course, I HAD to have that worksheet so I signed up. 

4. Special guests. I love finding a new creative entrepreneur to inspire me- everyone does! Podcasts can get a little boring if you're always listening to the same person, so it's nice to feature special guests with specific talents. 

5. Fun! If you're not having fun with your podcast, your listeners won't have fun either. I love podcasts that involve the hosts have a laugh and joke with each other. I love hearing giggles and 'inside jokes'. I love when a host says something they probably shouldn't have. I love the fun and real aspect of podcasts, because it draws me closer to the hosts! It makes me feel like I really know them. And of course, the closer you feel to a host, the more of their stuff you want to buy!


Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. If you think you have something valuable to share in your very own podcast, step up and go for it! Don't be afraid to take chances when it feels right. If it doesn't? Don't worry. You can make your voice heard in other ways- it's just a case of finding the right way. 


21 Things You Can Automate In Your Freelance Business

 
21 ways to automate your design business by Nesha Woolery. Is your business stressing you out? Does it feel like you never get through your to-do list? Like there's not enough time in the year? Here's a list of 21 things you can automate your design business RIGHT NOW! Click through to learn more + sign up for the free course!

Freelancers and other creative business owners only have so many hours in the day, yet we expect ourselves to complete so many tasks.

Have you ever felt frustrated because you haven't crossed off every task on your to-do list?

Have you felt hopelessly unproductive because you only completed half of the things you needed to do?

Do small tasks suddenly turn into long, hard tasks that take hours? That's hours of time that could be spent finding new clients or creating passive income streams!

It's difficult NOT to be hard on ourselves. A lot of pressure comes with running a one-person creative business. But we don't have to do All The Things. If we can automate some of the small tasks that pile up, we can save ourselves time and bucket-loads of stress!

What is automating?

Automation is your new best friend. It's when you use an app or software to complete a task for you. It eliminates the need for you to be involved with the task at all, freeing up your time so it can be spent on more important things, like...

  • Filling your client docket.

  • Spending more time with your husband and kids!

  • Creating and selling a digital product so you don't just make money from your services anymore.

  • Setting up a sales funnel that turns more website visitors into paying clients. *ka-chinggg*

Sounds like bliss, right? Think of all the TIME you'll have to grow your freelance business and live a fuller life. All you have to do is invest a little time right now in automating your business.

Here are 21 ways you can do that...


21 Ways To Automate Your
freelance Business


1. Set up an email autoresponder

You can create an autoresponder from most, if not all, email accounts. An autoresponder is an email that automatically sends to everyone who emails you. You can use it to tell people when they can expect to hear back from you, when they WON'T hear from you, when your soonest availability is and more.

This is the easiest way to cut down on the number of follow-up emails you get from people who expected to hear back from you straight away. It's also the simplest way to set clear boundaries and expectations in your business!

There's a lesson on creating the perfect autoresponder in Organize & Automate, plus a copy & paste script you can use!

2. Use the same schedule with every client

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I recommend creating a reusable project schedule you can use with every client.

A project schedule like the one above outlines the timeline of the project. It shows the days and weeks in calendar format and the tasks you're going to complete on each day. It also includes the days your clients feedback is due.

To put this kind of schedule in place, just commit to starting each project on the same day (eg. Monday's.) Then follow the schedule for every project you have!

With a project schedule in place, you'll always know when to expect your projects to end. And with that level of organization, most projects will actually end earlier than expected. (Can I get a high five? 😉)

3. Automatically send feedback reminders to your clients

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My clients never used to provide feedback on time. Ever. It would usually result in their project going weeks over its deadline, and I'd be pulling my hair out with stress.

Not anymore.

I use a free project management tool called Asana to manage my projects instead of emailing my clients back and forth. Inside Asana, you can have conversations, share files, feedback, calendars and more with your clients! The best thing about it? Everything is organized on one page.

Asana also allows you to set  a 'due date' for every task you create. This means you can create a task, call it 'Feedback Is Due', assign it to your client and set a due date. Then, a day before their feedback is due, Asana sends them a reminder. Awesome, right?!

If you're not sure what Asana is or how to use it, I have a FREE course that will teach you how to use it with your clients. Sign up below!

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4. Automatically send follow up emails to past clients

Some freelancers never speak to their clients again after they're done working with them. They just... hand the files over and stop communicating.

Does this sound like you?

If so, I hate to break it to you but you're leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

If these clients are happy with the work you did, they will most likely want to work with you again! But if you don't keep in touch, they'll probably forget about you.

If you use an app like Dubsado* to manage your business, it's really easy to keep in touch with past clients automatically. Simply use Dubsado's 'Workflow' feature to automatically send follow up emails to your clients after their project is complete. (If you're interested in learning exactly how to do this, I teach it in my course, Dubsado In A Day!)

In my course, we add these emails to the sequence:

1. The 3 week follow up. In this email, you check in and see if they are happy with the work you provided, need any more work or have any questions. 

2. The 6 month follow up. Check in and keep it more general- talk about how well they are doing and mention great things you've seen them do over the last six months. Then remind them you're there if they need to hire you again!

3. The 1 year follow up. You keep this email really short and simple. Just check in, wish them a happy year and ask if they'd like to work together again.

5. Automatically add clients to your mailing list

Stay in touch with your clients by automatically adding them to your mailing list so they can hear about future deals or new services you launch.

Just remember to get the client's permission first. (You can do this by adding a checkbox to your contact form, asking them to agree to being added to your mailing list!)  

To automatically add a client to your mailing list, you'll need to sign up for a free Zapier account. Zapier allows you to connect apps and trigger automations.

You can create this zap or something similar:

1. Trigger: A client completes their payment via the invoice you send them.

2. Action: Zapier adds the client to your mailing list!

Here's an example of how you'd set this zap up in Zapier using two common tools: Freshbooks* for invoicing and Convertkit* for your mailing list.

 
 

6. Use email scripts

Do you send the same emails over and over again? If so, create copy & paste email scripts to use for milestones within your projects!

I have an entire lesson on email scripts in my course, Organize & Automate. There's even a workbook of 11 copy and paste scripts you can start using straight away!

7. Create an FAQ Page

Create an FAQ page where you answer common questions that your clients ask. I link to my FAQ page on my contact page so inquirers can see if their question is answered before contacting me. It saves the inquirer time writing a message and it saves me time answering it.

I also link to my FAQ page in my email autoresponder, reminding people to head there if they haven't already to get a quick answer to their question. 

8. Set up invoice reminders

Emailing clients to remind them their payment is due is one heck of an awkward task!

Most invoicing systems (like Dubsado* and Freshbooks*, two of my favorites), allow you to set up invoice reminders so you don't have to feel uncomfortable asking for overdue money anymore. The app does it for you!

9. Automatically provide guidelines & policies to your clients

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Do you find yourself giving your clients the same instructions and guidelines all the time?

Instructions like:

  • How to provide you with helpful feedback.

  • How important timelines and deadlines are.

  • How your payment policy works.

  • What files they need to give you before the project starts.

I was always sending my clients PDFs that included these instructions or manually writing it out for each new client, so I added these instructions as tasks inside the Asana project my client and I share! (You can learn more about this in my free Project Management For Freelancers course.)

10. Create a client portal

Do your clients email you lots of questions after you've finished working with them? I'm sure you're happy to help them, but it takes up a lot of time. To stop receiving so many questions, create a client portal (or page) on your website.

Your client portal could include all the common questions clients ask you, plus tutorials and videos.

Since I created my client portal, I've received a LOT less questions from my clients, saving me a lot of time.

11. Create a reusable project template in Asana

As I mentioned earlier, I use Asana to manage my projects. Within Asana you can create a project page for each client. Instead of creating a new page from scratch every time you book a new client, create a project template and duplicate it for every client you take on!

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Join my free course, Project Management For Designers, to learn how to create a project template!

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12. Use a bookkeeping tool

If you still do your bookkeeping in spreadsheets then maybe it's time to switch to using a system like Freshbooks* or Wave. These apps automatically import your sales and expenses. All you'll need to do is categorize them!

13. Organize your business receipts

It's time to stop pulling your hair out as you try and organize a year's worth of expenses from a shoebox of receipts. If you use Wave (it's free!) as your bookkeeping tool, it comes with a free app for your phone called Wave Receipts. Every time you buy something for your business, use the app to take a photo of the receipt and it will store it in Wave!

Obviously, logging our receipts can't be entirely automated but this is as close as it gets!

14. Allow your clients to schedule calls with one click

Do you and your clients send dozens of emails back and forth, discussing the best time for you to call each other? It's hard - especially if you live in different timezones!

Use a scheduling app like Calendly or Acuity Scheduling*. These apps show your client the times and dates you're available and display those dates in the clients own timezone.

15. Set up automatic appointment reminders

Scheduling apps like Calendly or Acuity Scheduling* send automatic confirmation emails and reminders. You no longer need to manually email your client to remind them of your appointment!

16. Automatically follow-up with potential clients who ghosted on you

If you're a Dubsado user, you can use their Workflows feature to automatically follow up with potential clients who ghosted on you. (Dubsado's Workflows are the ultimate form of automation for freelancers. Learn more about them in my course, Dubsado In A Day!)

17. Automatically train your clients to use your project management tool

Scared your clients won't want to use your project management tool to communicate about their project? They will if you train them how to use it! To do this, create a two minute tutorial about why you're using a PM tool and how to use it. No need to train your clients one on one. You can send the same tutorial to them all!

Want to learn more about using a project management tool with your clients? Sign up for my free course below!

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18. Automatically pay your bills and team members

To make sure you never forget to pay a business expense, set up a standing order in your bank account. A standing order is an instruction to your bank account to make regular fixed payments to a particular person or company. Set these up and forget about your bills! You have better things to spend your time on.

19. Send your contracts electronically

Stop making your clients print, sign, scan and send your contract.

I use Hellosign to automate this process. Hellosign let's you upload your contract and create editable fields for the client's name, address, payment schedule and other details. 

Each time you need to send a contract to your clients, just fill in the editable sections of your contract inside Hellosign and it will send the contract to your client for their electronic signature!

20. Automate your file-saving process

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If you use Illustrator CC, there's a really quick and easy way to export all your assets into multiple file types with just a few clicks. It's called the Asset Export window! Learn how to use it inside my course, Organize & Automate.

21. Create moodboard / style guide templates

Here's another one for the freelance designers reading this! Stop manually creating moodboards, style guides and website wireframes for every project. If you spend a little time creating templates for these things once, you'll be able to reuse them for years!


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Do you and your clients communicate through hundreds of emails in dozens of threads?

Are your clients constantly late providing files, feedback and payment?

Do they want to add more work to the project - without paying more? *Sigh*

YOU need to start using a project management tool with your clients.

Using a (free!) project management tool to communicate with clients, share files, create to do lists and set up automatic reminders can eliminate these problems.

Not sure which PM tool to use and how to use it? Sign up for my FREE project management course below to learn how to use my favourite tool (Asana) with your clients.