Purpose To Service: An Interview With Caileigh Kyle of Odds and Ends Creative & Photography by Caileigh

As a little background, the purpose of this series is to highlight incredible women who have turned their purpose into incredible service based businesses. It is also a chance for you to see how creatives in wide ranges of industries are able to offer services related to their specific niches, manage clients and run their based businesses! Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have a chance to read the stories of women who are professional hand-letterers, interior designers, brand stylist and more! I hope you enjoy!


In today's Purpose To Service interview, I have Caileigh Kyle of Odds & Ends Creative AND Photography by Caileigh. In this interview we're of course digging into the myths of running a service based business, how she keeps clients happy and more!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I'm a brand designer and small business strategist for Odds + Ends Creative. I work with creative biz owners to develop more unique and intentional brands, as well as incorporate customized systems to ensure their businesses run smoothy (without hair being pulled out on a regular basis). I also am a fine art film photographer, shooting weddings and lifestyle portraiture all over the globe. I'm currently 21 years old and I started my first creative business at 16.

What is your favorite part about running a service based business?

When working with other small businesses, I love that I can directly see a result and transformation after my services are complete. It makes me feel like I'm really helping people make the money they deserve and have more organized, stress-free businesses. As a photographer, I love that I document a moment in time that would otherwise be lost to our fleeting memories. Hanging out with people on the happiest days of their lives isn't to shabby either!

There are a lot of misconceptions about running a service based business, like lack of freedom & the ability to grow your income. What's the biggest myth you've learned to be untrue?

I think the myth of the "starving artist" has always stood out to me as annoyingly enabling. It tells people that it's cool to not have much of a business plan as long as you're creating art. This is just not within the realm of reality! All service businesses, including artistic ones, should have a targeted business plan and awareness of how it can be scalable.

Creating a great client experience is the perfect way to keep clients coming back. What do you do to ensure your clients are really getting the most out of your time together?

Client management is everything! If you can't manage their expectations, they will either have to fill in the gaps themselves with unrealistic expectations, or they will feel lost in the process. Find ways to under-promise and over-deliver on your service offerings. Create systems that give your clients the information they need to feel comfortable throughout the process.

What tools or systems are a must-have to help you run your business smoothly?

For client management, Asana is where it's at. It's free and really has all of the delegation and scheduling tools I need to use with clients. Squarespace makes my website content management super straightforward; I use it for all of my websites! Buffer makes my social media scheduling something that I don't get lost in (SM can be such a time-suck), however it doesn't have Instagram scheduling, which I use Later for. I've recently switched to ConvertKit for my email marketing and I am absolutely loving it. It's forced me to really consider the value of my opt-ins and content upgrades. For client management, I use Tavé for my photography business and 17Hats for Odds + Ends. I feel like Tavé really excels for wedding or event professionals, particularly photographers, whereas 17Hats has straightforward functionality for designers, consultants, or other client service providers.

In order for a service based business to thrive, you have to have new clients! What marketing strategies have helped you to attract and find new clients?

The biggest thing I've done for either of my business is blogging, and making sure that blog is rich with content that my target audience wants to see. I also make sure that I only post my best work, for photography that follows the "share what you want to shoot" rule. Finding a solid referral group has been great to get a few extra inquiries a month. I use Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram as my main social media marketing tools. The key with each is to understand what kind of content people want to see on that particular medium. For example, with Pinterest, I'm extra careful that I pin vertical images with very descriptive captions, as most of the time people use Pinterest as a search engine. I've also invested a lot of time on SEO and it's really paid off as over 50% of my inquiries come from Google search. Ps. I have a free email course on SEO called "SEO Spring Cleaning" if you want to make this happen for yourself.

What advice would you give another creative wanting to create a service around their purpose?

It's easy to figure out what you like to do or create. It's a lot harder to figure out what people are actually going to buy and what your target market will be. A service is useless to an audience of one, so whatever you do, do it with a target in mind and craft all of your sales and marketing efforts around that target market.

KEEP UP WITH CAILEIGH

INSTAGRAM: oddsendscreativephotosbycaileigh

FACEBOOK | PINTEREST

TWITTER | PERISCOPE


Interested in learning more about creating and launching your signature service? The Purpose To Service course is OFFICIALLY open for enrollment!

Purpose To Service: An Interview With Brittany Russell of Letter Lane Design Studio

As a little background, the purpose of this series is to highlight incredible women who have turned their purpose into incredible service based businesses. It is also a chance for you to see how creatives in wide ranges of industries are able to offer services related to their specific niches, manage clients and run their based businesses! Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have a chance to read the stories of women who are professional handletters, interior designers, brand stylist and more! I hope you enjoy!


For today's Purpose To Service interview, I'm introducing you to Brittany of Letter Lane Design Studio! I have always admired women who were able to create something so beautiful simply with their hands so Im excited to dig more into Brittany's craft and her business!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I am a hand lettering artist, calligrapher and stationery designer currently residing in Omaha, NE. I started my business in April of 2015, and I offer a wide variety of services including: custom hand lettering, calligraphy, signage, hand lettered logo design, wedding invitation suites and greeting cards. I also love taking on custom projects! Some personal tidbits: I spend my evenings and weekends with my sweet husband, Matt, and our two tuxedo kitties, Sebastian and Bella. When I'm not working on projects for my business, I enjoy getting lost in an amazing book, watching movies, getting together with friends and family, and also spending time outside (when it's warm! I HATE winter).

What is your favorite part about running a service based business?

I have always absolutely loved helping people, and combining that with my love of hand lettering, calligraphy and design makes running my business so amazing. Whether it's creating a wedding invitation suite, designing a logo or hand lettering a decorative sign, I feel so grateful to be able to create something unique and special for each client I work with.

There are a lot of misconceptions about running a service based business, like lack of freedom & the ability to grow your income. What's the biggest myth you've learned to be untrue?

The biggest myth I've heard is the inability to grow your income. In a 9-5 corporate job, you have a set salary or per-hour income, which may or may not offer the opportunity for a raise. Your income is completely dictated by your boss at that company. Running your own service-based business, YOU are the boss, so you are the one dictating how much you make. No, you can't charge super high prices in the beginning, but once you improve your skills and hone in on your niche, you can start charging higher prices. There are many other ways to make money too, such as offering coaching or creating other streams of income that are more passive. I really feel that it's impossible to argue that you can't grow your income in a service-based business, because you are ultimately the one deciding how much you make by how much work you put into it.

Creating a great client experience is the perfect way to keep clients coming back. What do you do to ensure your clients are really getting the most out of your time together?

The key to keeping clients happy is good communication. I've found that the best way to do this is to lay everything out for them from the beginning so they know exactly how your process works and what they can expect to get in the end. You also need to know what exactly the client is expecting from you from the get-go, so I like to send questionnaires that are tailored to the specific project, and once they book with me, I will give them a full timeline for the project and answer any additional questions they might have before I start working.

What tools or systems are a must-have to help you run your business smoothly?

My #1 tool is 17Hats. Before I had this amazing tool, I was always scrambling with all the to-do's when I took on a new client. With 17Hats, I can set up all of my processes, quote/invoice/questionnaire templates, automated emails, and so much more. I absolutely love it, and would be totally lost without it. I also love Wave, which makes it so easy to track my income and expenses, and it's free! Another of my favorite tools is definitely Squarespace. Squarespace makes setting up and running a website SO EASY. Anytime I create new work, I can easily update my portfolio in just a few minutes. It also makes it so easy to write and schedule blog posts. These tools are definitely my top three for running my business. :)

In order for a service based business to thrive, you have to have new clients! What marketing strategies have helped you to attract and find new clients?

Participating in Facebook groups and posting my work on Instagram and my other social media outlets have definitely helped me find and attract new clients. When I first started, I definitely struggled, and really had no idea how to go about finding those first few clients. I've found that being active on social media has been an immense help. Posting on my personal Facebook feed has been great, as I am able to reach family and friends, who then ask me to create something for them, which in turn leads to word-of-mouth referrals. Having business cards on you at all times is also extremely important! You never know when you'll run into someone looking for exactly what you do :)

What advice would you give another creative wanting to create a service around their purpose?

My biggest advice would be to figure out what you absolutely love to do and what you are good at, and then find a way to get people to pay you for it. Don't make your end goal all about money. You need to start your business with a passion for what you are offering, not with the goal of making lots of money, otherwise you will just burn out extremely fast. The money does not come easy, and you're have to work really, really hard -- know that going in. You also need to find other business owners that you can go to for support, some doing similar things as you and some in completely different industries. Since starting my business, I've found it difficult to explain the goings-on in my business to family and friends, that they just don't understand. You need to be able to have someone you can go to when you have questions, are stressed or just need someone to talk to about your business that really "gets it."

Keep up with Brittany

WEBSITE | SHOP | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

FACEBOOK | PINTEREST


Ready to launch your service based business or revamp your current offerings? Enrollment opens for my Purpose To Service ecourse in just a couple of weeks! Click the picture below to be the first to know when the course launches PLUS receive an exclusive $60 discount and a free copy of the Perfect Service checklist!

Purpose To Service: An Interview With Heather Freeman of The Decor Fix

Hello friend! Welcome to the first interview in the Purpose To Service interview series! As a little background, the purpose of this series is to highlight incredible women who have turned their purpose into incredible service based businesses. It is also a chance for you to see how creatives in wide ranges of industries are able to offer services related to their specific niches, manage clients and run their service based businesses! Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have a chance to read the stories of women who are professional handletters, interior designers, brand stylist and more! I hope you enjoy!


Today I am extremely excited to share with you Heather Freeman, decor coach and founder of The Decor Fix. As I was in the house buying process and completely overwhelmed with all things interior design, I stumbled across Heather's site and quickly fell in "awe" with her great content! I was also really intrigued to see that she was also a design coach who helps others decorate their homes with style and intention. In this interview Heather talks about her growing brand, her favorite part of running a service based business, setting client expectations and more!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I'm a designer and Decor Coach. I started offering local interior styling and e-design services to clients, but then shifted my approach about two years ago to something I call "decor coaching", a hybrid of design and teaching. While I love to pull together a gorgeous room, my true love is teaching others how to decorate their own home with confidence and intention. It's like my drug of choice :) Also I have a styling e-course The Bookshelf Styling Class.

What is your favorite part about running a service based business?

I work with women from all over the world, so over the last few years I've developed this kind of global perspective on things...Even though all these women have geographic differences, the desire for a home that reflects us (and the struggle to make it happen) are universally the same. We all want to feel inspired in our surroundings. It's such a fascinating process to be a part of helping women create a home they love. And one that works for a busy family too. Seeing how this plays out to boost their willingness to open up their doors, to finding new confidence at work, and even a better sex life has been the most surprising thing for me to witness and have played a part in.

There are a lot of misconceptions about running a service based business, like lack of freedom & the ability to grow your income. What's the biggest myth you've learned to be untrue?

I think a myth that new business owners tell themselves is that they must have a presence everywhere and offer lots of options. They need coaching packages, and an e-book, and you have to be on social media every day and blog three times a week...It's just not true. No single person can do all of that and STILL offer clients a top-notch experience that leads to lasting change. There is value in choosing to be or do only a select few things. And do them the best damn way you can. My biggest limitation over the years has been a lack of focus at times. At different points (like most business owners) I have wanted to "Do All The Things". But you just can't. You can't conquer everything at the same time.


"you can't conquer everything at the same time."


Creating a great client experience is the perfect way to keep clients coming back. What do you do to ensure your clients are really getting the most out of your time together?

I send a detailed "Style Survey" and request specific pictures from clients before we ever meet for a session. I spend at least one hour preparing for any meeting by looking over all the information and their Pinterest boards. I try to get a really good sense of who they are and where they are coming from before we ever hop on a call. While my sessions are 60 or 90 minutes depending on what is needed, I always allow enough space in my schedule to go over by 15 minutes. Usually this extra time is to make sure there are no lingering questions on their end or we can expand on any topic that needs it. I always want to leave my clients with more value than they prepared for.

What tools or systems are a must-have to help you run your business smoothly?

My whole life is on Google. No lie. I use Google forms for everything. Google drive to house client info and pictures as well as share client deliverables. It's such a time saver to have it all there. I'm also obsessed with the Boomerang mail app with lets you schedule emails or notify you if an important email has not been replied to. It's like my personal assistant only a lot cheaper. I also use Canva for Work and Olioboard to create graphics and client mood boards. Oh, and Convert Kit, the best email service in my opinion. (And I've tried two others.)

In order for a service based business to thrive, you have to have new clients! What marketing strategies have helped you to attract and find new clients?

Instagram radically changed my business. It's where my international clients started finding me. Also, my blog brings in a healthy stream of clients. Now I blog to my ideal clients. (While I used to try and just be stylish-I realized that was not getting me far in my business.) I stopped blogging about things that were just design focused and started blogging about the feeling of being stuck when it comes to decorating. I write a lot about the mental and emotional process of creating a space you love. Soon prospective clients began emailing me saying they felt like I was reading their minds. That's when the "magic" started to happen.

What advice would you give another creative wanting to create a service around their purpose?

Don't be scared to go through several iterations of your service...You may not hit a home run the first time you put packages or your client workflow together. It may take a little time to find your "secret sauce". And that's ok.

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH HEATHER

The Decor Fix | Instagram | Pinterest | The Bookshelf Styling Class


Interested in revamping or creating your next profitable service offering? My upcoming Purpose To Service e-course is a step-by-step guide to creating better service packages and attracting your dream clients. Click the picture below to be the first to know when the course launches! You'll also receive a FREE checklist to help you get started NOW plus as a V.I.P you'll receive an exclusive $60 off discount when the course launches!

Your Questions Answered: What Does It Take To Create & Launch A Profitable Service

Each month I set out to host a FREE live workshop/Q&A with you called Monthly Office Hours! These office hours sessions are geared towards a specific topic and not only allows you to gain actionable AND free advice but it also gives you a chance to pick my brain for an entire hour. Whatever you ask related to the topic, I answer.

As I gear up to launch my Purpose To Service e-course, May's office hours session was all about creating and launching your next service package. I shared my tips for getting started and the attendees asked some incredible questions that even made me stop and think for a moment! Today I wanted to share the office hours session with you and also answer a few questions that didn't get answered during the live session. Check out the video below for the full session!

unanswered questions:

SHOULD I START BUILDING MY BRAND & ONLINE PRESENCE BEFORE OFFERING A SERVICE?

YES! Your brand is the anatomy of your business and you need to be very clear on your "why", what you stand for and who you want to help before you can begin creating anything! The last thing you want to do is begin creating services too early just to scrap them later because it doesn't align with where you want to take your business. While you're at it, begin making yourself known online. Get into creating content around your specific niche, get active on social media and actually join in on the conversation instead of posting a bunch of links, collaborate with others in your industry on things like workshops, webinars and guest posts. You don't need a large audience for your business to be profitable but you do need someone.

If you need help branding, check out the Branding For Creatives Masterclass

HOW DO I PROPERLY PACKAGE UP WHAT I DO?

You need to first get clear on what you have to offer and what will best help your audience through their biggest pain points. If you create a service based solely on what you want to provide and not what they actually need, you'll have a hard time marketing your services. Then you need to focus on the benefits of working with you, a full explanation of details and a list of features to be included in your package.

ALSO READ: WHAT MAKES A GREAT SERVICE OFFERING

WILL PEOPLE PAY THE PRICE OF WHAT I'M OFFERING?

Yes, If you can clearly show them the value in what you have to offer, the benefits in working with you and show them exactly how it will help them through their biggest pain points. Potential clients need details, they need proof and they need to be comfortable in knowing that you can deliver that to them. I promise you, if you can solve someone's problem, they wont mind paying. We'll chat about pricing your services in the Purpose To Service course! 

PEOPLE SEEM INTERESTED IN MY SERVICES, BUT THEY ARE NOT BOOKING. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If someone reaches out to you about your service but are not following through, there can be a few reasons why. First, look at what they are asking you and then take a look at your sales page to see if it is causing any confusing or missing any major details. If you are getting a ton of emails from potential clients asking you if your service is right for them, you may need to tweak your description on your sales page to make it more specific. If someone has to leave your sales page to email you and wait for a response, most of the time they wont go back to book you (this goes for physical/digital products as well). Or it could be that you don't follow up. After you email a potential client back and you don't hear from them for a few days are you letting it go or emailing them to follow up? Id say about 80% of the time I'm able to book a potential client just because I follow up. People are busy and often miss emails. A simple follow up asking if they have any more questions or concerns can go a long way.

Again you also may not be giving enough value. You cant just tell someone you can help them design their brand. You need to let them know that you will take the stress away from them having to do it themselves, you will make sure their purpose and voice is being portrayed in all of their visuals and that they wont have to worry about settling on a brand that they will quickly grow out of. Dig deep, ask the potential client what they are currently struggling with and if you are actually able to, tell them how you can help them over their hurdles.

ALSO READ: HOW TO TURN INQUIRIES INTO NEW CLIENTS

Have a questions about creating and launching your services? Ask me below in the comments!

Join the Weekly Little Notes and be the first to know about the next Monthly Office Hours Session!

What Makes A Great Service Offering?

When I first started coaching, if I can be real with you for a second, I had no clue what I was doing. The only business coaches I had found online were into helping large corporations and used big terms that I didn't even bother to Google. They were stuffy and nothing about their brand connected with what I wanted to do. So I attempted to create a service of my own that catered to the fun creatives that I adored working with. The only problem was, I had no clue what was actually supposed to go into a service offering let alone what would make people want to buy it. 

My first service was just a basic 60-minute session over Skype. There were no bells & whistles and not many details. And the poor description read, "Get one hour of coaching with me to get your biz in check". That's it.

Needless to say it took a lot of trial and error and time to figure out exactly what makes a great offer that your audience can't refuse. I've seen so many creatives make the same mistake of creating a service that lacked details, structure and purpose. Believe it or not, there is an art to crafting your service offer, no matter what industry you may be in. And as simple as an awesome sales page may look, there is a lot of thought and strategy that goes into putting your service together. (It took me nearly a week to get my service the way I wanted it). You not only want to create a service that is purposeful but you NEED to create a service that your audience will actually be willing to pay for!

Let's dig into some of the factors that make a great offering!

A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR AUDIENCE

If you go back through any of my blog posts, workshops or pretty much anything I've ever created, then you know it is an absolute MUST to get clear on who you want to create for. More importantly, you need to get clear on their biggest pain points! The purpose of your service, again no matter the industry, is to help your client through an issue that they feel like they can not go at alone. This could mean designing their brand so that they don't have to feel the frustration of doing it themselves. It can be offering a dog walking service for busy pet owners who are unable to get home during the day. Or helping a client finally get their business off the ground!

Create a service that your audience actually needs and not what you THINK they may want. Figure out their issue and build your service around it.

CLEAR BENEFITS

Now that you understand their pain points, it's up to you to clearly explain the benefits of working with you! To be honest, clear benefits are what's really going to sell your package. What transformation will take place after your time together? How will they feel after working with you? Will they have a beautiful new brand that clearly portrays their personality and purpose? Will they have a clear understanding of the direction to take their business in? The dictionary states that a "benefit" is an advantage or profit gained from something. What advantage does your client get from working directly with you?

A FULL EXPLANATION OF DETAILS

We chatted in a previous post before about setting client expectations. Well a major part of that is to tell your clients up front exactly what they will learn or receive from you. My coaching packages are built like a class curriculum (which I'll show you how to do during the Purpose To Service course!). My clients know up front before they even sign up exactly what we will go over and what they will learn during each of our sessions! This eliminates any confusion and makes your client a little more comfortable in making the investment. Let's say you offer a service that helps clients clean out their closest and build a new wardrobe. You'll list exactly what will take place during your sessions. Maybe that would include deciding which pieces are worth keeping and which to throw away, how to keep your closet organized and then how to purchase new pieces to fit your style.

Giving it to your audience straight is also a great way to influence purchases. The last thing you want is for a potential client to lose interest because they have to keep emailing you back and forth for more details.

A LIST OF FEATURES

Other than what they will learn and what transformation will take place, what features come with your service package? The features are also apart of the structure of your package. This could be how many video or phone sessions you will have together and exactly how long they will be? Will they have email contact with you in between sessions? Will you provide them with a proof or mock-ups before the project is complete? Will their be follow-ups after you've completed your time together? 

Before you can begin marketing what you do and booking new clients, you have to have a great package to present first! This is one of the main points I'll be teaching in the upcoming Purpose To Service e-course! We'll chat all about creating your irresistible offer, crafting your process and so much more! Click the picture below to be the first to know when the course launches, grab your FREE Perfect Service checklist and also receive an exclusive $60 off discount when the course goes live!