Nfinite’s Small Business Consultancy service helps a freelance copywriter increase income and improve productivity.
Laura Sands is a freelance copywriter with a focus on leadership, management and HR-related topics and has a base of regular clients. Laura has been working freelance since 2015. Prior to going freelance, Laura worked in various commercial marketing roles for over ten years.
A challenge with workload
Although Laura’s business was growing, she was finding it increasingly difficult to manage her workload with periods of time that were either too quiet or too busy. Working freelance alongside parenting two school-age children sometimes felt overwhelming. Laura frequently felt conflicted between client work and spending time with her family – it wasn’t the balance she’d aimed for when she left corporate employment. Keen to reclaim a sense of balance, she wanted to build a more predictable workload and a better visibility of her income stream. All too often, her monthly takings felt like more of a surprise than she would have liked!
Having met Louise and found out about her small business consultancy through networking events, Laura was drawn to Louise’s friendly, straight-talking and results-focused approach to sales. The lack of fluff was similarly appealing! As they both had a corporate background, she knew they’d be able to communicate on a similar level and that Louise would understand the background behind some of her thinking. Reassured that her time with Louise wouldn’t be wasted on jargon and sales-based theory, Laura chose to have a business development review and coaching with Louise. The small business consultancy review suggested ideas that Laura had never considered (such as increasing existing client loyalty) or been putting off implementing herself (such as setting up retainer clients). Laura felt confident that Louise had hit the nail on the head and was excited to put these plans into action.
More streamlined, more focused, more profitable
Streamlining with focus
Laura’s immediate priority was to streamline the way she worked. She would frequently find herself too deep in work to look after her business. For this reason she knew that some investment in processes would help. Louise supported Laura in finding new and more cost-effective accounting software. She also helped her establish a more streamlined client onboarding process.
Improving client focus
With this in place, Louise helped Laura understand the benefits of developing closer relationships with her clients. Being clear that successful sales is about strong relationships, Louise encouraged Laura to set up status calls with her clients. Despite feeling uncomfortable about these calls, Laura had known from the start that to grow she would need to come out of her comfort zone in order to grow individually and as a business.
Having set up these initial calls, Laura now has monthly calls with most of her regular clients. This is creating a stronger working relationship and better customer service which supports longer term business relationships. Laura nows has an approach to take to her existing clients and a way to ask for referrals which she feels comfortable with. These calls have also given her a way to establish where her ideal clients present themselves, knowing that all planned marketing is in the right place to repeat these types of ideal clients.
A new approach for prospects
Laura also asked for help for dealing with new prospects as she admitted she was never sure how to deal with enquiries and was nervous about disclosing details such as pricing. This often meant that Laura would offer a lower price than necessary to secure new business. To help with this, Louise showed Laura how to qualify clients more easily. This would not only show her whether a client was right for her and her business but would also save time in creating proposals for prospects not ready to proceed and where their requirements were not a good match against Laura’s services
Working as a freelancer meant Laura’s earnings were limited by the number of hours she was able to work. Louise’s small business consultancy advice helped Laura think about her services more strategically. Instead of simply selling time for money, Laura is developing a plan which will enable her to sell on a one to few or one to many basis, helping free up time and increase her earnings. In addition to increasing her income, this approach would allow Laura even greater control over her monthly income. It can be managed around seasonal peaks and troughs in sales. It also allows Laura to keep a good work-life balance with an extended break over summer and Christmas.
Improving confidence levels
Louise also helped Laura with her money mindset. She encouraged her to raise her pricing and start charging for all the work she was doing for clients. This included researching, emailing and phone calls. Laura had only previously moved her pricing in small increments to that point. Louise helped Laura lose her fear of raising her prices resulting in a staggering 35% increase to her daily rate!
Being more accountable
Finally, Louise’s small business consultancy service helped Laura with improved accountability. Knowing how easy it was to procrastinate on things that felt difficult or overwhelming, Louise would coach Laura through difficult conversations and push her out of her comfort zone to get things done. Fortnightly sessions meant Laura stayed on track with access to Louise’s wisdom if she needed advice or a sense check between sessions. Louise even suggested an informal G&T catch-up as an alternative to any other social engagements during lockdown. It was a welcome opportunity to get to know each other better and have a giggle!
A more predictable business model
Louise’s advice has helped Laura establish retainer agreements with four new clients. This means she has increased her retainer clients by an incredible 300%. She has also successfully raised her new client pricing by 35%. This means her work is more profitable and more accurately reflects the high-quality work she consistently delivers. She’s delivered a series of record months, regularly achieving more than twice the income she would previously have seen!
Louise has been incredible to work with. Her combination of focus, humour and experience mean I have felt in the safest of hands. She pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I’ve seen excellent results in the way my business and confidence have grown with her help. I’d recommend her help to anyone!Laura
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