The Best Investment I Ever Made for my Business
When I first took Casi Long Design full-time, I quickly realized how much went into running a business. There were so many moving parts—from client work to marketing and business development—that I quickly became overwhelmed by it all.
I was wandering aimlessly and I needed help.
But the problem when you first start out on your own, is you have no money. You’re struggling just to make ends meat and every paying client is just so darn valuable. I, like a lot of entrepreneurs, fell into the trap of thinking, “I can’t spend any money on my business when I’m barely making enough to get by!”
So I would spend hours scouring Pinterest and different blogs trying to piece together a plan for my business. Trying to come up with a way to quit treading water and actually start gaining momentum. But honestly, I was guessing and had no clue where to even start.
I knew something had to change.
I had been following along with Lauren of Elle & Company Design, and found all her blog posts and emails super helpful. She had become one of my go-to resources for all things business.
Lauren had just announced she was coming out with a brand new online course called Freelance Academy designed specifically for creative entrepreneurs. It would address every area of business I had been struggling with.
That’s when I decided to make an investment in my business and my future. I knew the purchase would be a little tough, since I wasn’t making much at the time, but I was certain it would be worth it. I couldn’t continue with my current system—or lack thereof—any longer.
So I enrolled in Freelance Academy.
Fast forward 3 months and my business had drastically changed. My attitude had changed. My productivity and day-to-day plan had changed.
Before I began Freelance Academy...
I had no real direction for my business.
I was offering too many services.
I had no idea how to price my services.
I didn’t have a plan for getting new clients.
The course itself was such a fantastic experience, I can’t recommend it enough!
A few of my favorite things about the course…
It’s self-paced with 6 lessons released every 2 weeks. This meant I could do the entire lesson in one day, or spread it out over two weeks. It worked perfectly for me and the not-so-consistent client work I had coming in.
It includes a schedule. And I love schedules. I loved how I could put the lesson's release dates on my calendar and I looked forward to each upcoming date—It was like Christmas morning!
There’s a workbook. If you’re a nerd like me, who loves making to-do lists and calendars, you will love the workbook. It guides you through the course and helps you to achieve each and every action item… another great part of the course—all the action items! (I’m a do-er and loved, loved these.)
I learned too much from the course to go into every little detail. However, there were two major takeaways that completely transformed my mindset and business model.
Note: If you’re considering taking the course and want to know all the tiny details of what I learned, shoot me an email. I would be happy to tell you all about it!
Huge takeaway 1: I streamlined my workflow and client process.
In the course, Lauren had us map out our entire client process from start to finish. Including time for research, sending emails, and client meetings. Then we went back through the process and created every shortcut we could think of. We created email templates for every step, planned out when we would send client gifts, and setup design templates to make our process as smooth and seamless as possible.
Now I can honestly say when I receive a new client inquiry, I don’t freak out. I know exactly what to do and in what order. Because of this, my clients have an enjoyable, organized experience when working with me.
Huge Takeaway 2: I created educated service packages and pricing.
Once we had mapped out our client process, we were asked to estimate how much time each task would take—down to the minute. We even noted the 5 or 10 minutes it takes to send an email. You don’t realize how much those small tasks can add up!
After helping us to truly understand our work, our clients and our entire process, she then helped us to set our prices. We learned to think about the big picture and work backward from our larger goals.
If you know how long your client process takes, you can determine how many clients you can take on per year. And if you know your prices and have a legitimate plan for raising them in the future, you can recognize your income potential.
It honestly took all the guesswork out of creating services and pricing. For the first time, I felt confident in what I was offering and how much I was charging. I could defend my price by listing every benefit my clients would receive in the package. It helped me to change the focus from costs to results. And I finally began making educated decisions.
I know my business is in a better position for success because of Freelance Academy.
I don’t freak out when I get a new client inquiry. I know exactly what to do.
I can be sure my clients will have the best experience possible because I have a plan.
I am confident in my pricing and feel justified in what I charge.
I have a detailed plan of action for how to grow my business and increase my revenue.
Check out the course info here and let me know if you have any questions or want to chat more! You're business is worth investing in. You are worth investing in.
And if you’re wondering if this course is worth the investment... I can guarantee you—it is.