July 2017 recap: Doubling prices, sharing yourself in your business & digital nomading
So gal, I’m test driving something new! Monthly recaps in business and life you could call them really.
Here’s what led to this new idea.
I’ve been dealing for some time with trying to find the proper solution to the question; ‘How much of myself should I share in my business?’
I love getting to peek behind-the-scenes at my fav fellow entrepreneur gals and bloggers lives. I feel like I know them so much better, and want to work with them so much more because I feel like I truly know them as people.
(Know, like & trust factor, we’ve all heard it before!)
Not to mention, I like seeing what other people are up to in business, both their successes and struggles.
(To clarify: not that I like it when other people struggle, but you know, it makes us all feel less alone in what we go through when we see peers going through hard times as well.)
But at the same time, I’ve always been advised when it comes to blogging to ‘blog for your ideal reader’ and only them.
Picking a niche and sticking to it has been hands down, the reason this blog and therefore this business have grown consistently month over month. (Business secret numero uno for yeh there!)
I often go on photographers blogs and see a portfolio piece of a wedding followed by photos of their child taking their first steps.
To be honest, if I’m going to hire you as my wedding photographer, as proud as I am of little Jimmy, Jimmy’s first steps is really not all that relevant to my photographer choice, it’s just fluff filling up your business blog. (Brutal honesty - you’ll soon learn it’s my thing). Maybe this comes from the fact I don’t have kids that these things just don’t excite me? I’m not sure.
Granted, my studio is not a corporation, far from it, it’s a one-woman show, and I’m a real person, just like the rest of y’all.
Jenna Kutcher’s podcast has really been speaking to me lately. If there’s anyone who’s showing no signs of holding back online, and her followers are loving it, it’s Jenna. Gal got honest online recently about miscarriage in a way that was unbelievably brave.
Plus, Jenna dropped a few knowledge bombs in her podcast on the decision to or not to mix life and business into your brand, which have been on my mind a lot lately.
In her recent ‘You need a brand, not a business’ podcast episode she explained,
‘How else could a wedding photographer from small town Wisconsin teach courses, launch a podcast, sell watercolor prints, partner with brands, and heck, even book out a Hawaiian condo. People care about ME and not just what I’m selling,’
and that really resonated with this gal over here. Darn right Jenna!
I followed up that episode by listening to ‘6 things I learned growing a 6-figure photography business’ where Jenna explained why ‘you are your biggest selling point’.
‘I truly believe that YOU, the person, need to be the connection point. When people love YOU, they will love an appreciate your art even more. Stop hiding behind your work, stop telling other peoples stories and not your own, don’t be afraid to share what makes you different.’
Well, as with most things in my business, this is an experiment. We’ll see how it goes, how much it resonates with you, and if it provides value to my ideal clients, even if it’s not a ‘how to XYZ on Squarespace’ post.
Business in numbers:
Monthly page views: 16,892
Average session duration: 2:35
Website audits launched:
I have said for, get this, 6 months(!) that I was going to launch my website audit service.
I know there’s so many of you out there who have a DIY’ed site already that you’re just not so sure about, and are maybe struggling with ‘I just can’t make it look right’ or ‘my site isn’t helping my business grow and I don’t know why’.
I have to say, I’ve done these website audits in the past for friends, and they’re one of my fav things to help others with!
I had two bonus downloads I wanted to launch with this (Design Best Practices Cheat Sheet, and a Client Conversion Machine Workbook), and the thought of having to create them made me push back launching this service for half a year. (Not cool.)
So the other day I bit the bullet, mapped out the process, set up the booking and payment system with Acuity, wrote up the sales page, and launched it.
Yep, I launched it without the bonuses being completed, but I’m not worried. I already have the content ready, it's just a matter of sitting down with InDesign to create the documents.
I had a decision between push this service back for months or ‘launch before you’re ready’ and I choose to go with the ‘launch before you’re ready’ route.
Doubled my prices:
Oh yes, and of course the most wild news of July, I doubled the prices of my 2 Week Website and 2 Week Website and Brand.
A chat with a fellow business friend made it clear to me that for the value I was providing, I was completely off for pricing within my industry.
I find upping prices comes slowly alongside building confidence in your business, and so I knew they would raise again at some point.
(After-all I am holding down a perfect 5 star review score, client after client is raving about how simple and wonderful going though my 2 week website process is, and clients are always telling me how much they enjoyed working together! Wahoo!)
But the price change came a lot sooner than I expected. After the chat with my friend, I mulled over the idea for an hour, and off I went to change my prices.
In that hour I considered a price change a month or two down the road, and I came to the realization that I was just stalling because the change was a bit outside my comfort zone.
Just when I was starting my business I heard Tim Ferris say the following, which made me stop in my tracks:
(I’ll go ahead and put uncomfortable situations in there as well.)
I was uncomfortable at the thought of doubling prices, but the success of my business and personal growth is far more important to me than some temporary discomfort, so I knew doubling prices was something I had to do. Within an hour, my prices changed.
Oh, and for those of you who are considering upping prices, I’ll have you know I booked a new client at my new prices 3 days after the switch. 😉
I know a common fear when business owners are considering changes in pricing is ‘what if my customers notice the change and get upset?’
I offered everyone on my email list (prime reason to join it, my email list gets perks like that - just saying’) and any past inquiries who hadn’t booked yet the chance to book in at my old prices for a few days after the price change took place. And anyone new to my site wouldn’t have known the difference.
So, if you’re also considering changing prices, and this bit is stressing you, let it go gal, you don’t need to worry. 😊
This month I was quoted in Snapfluence's How To Get Paid On Time, According to Industry Professionals.
Digital nomad news:
This part of my life has been taking up a lot of thought space in the past couple days.
The decision to share more of me and the behind-the-scenes of my business was extra confusing because of the digital nomad aspect of my life.
While other online entrepreneurs in my field share their life with the followers of their business, it's mostly road trips to Florida, BBQ'ing in the backyard with the husband and kids or a look at their Fourth of July celebrations. My day-to-day life doesn't look like that, and I don't live in the States anymore.
The last thing I want is for clients to think ‘oh she’s too busy traveling around Europe to focus on my website,’ or ‘I don’t know about working with her because she’s in a different timezone.’
Maybe these fears are completely irrational (most of our fears usually are), but there’s no question this was on my mind for a long time.
I do want to make clear to your dear reader, and potential client 😉, that my clients projects are my top priority, and I never let living abroad affect that.
I’m not wandering around narrow streets with a laptop searching for Wifi to work constantly. I live a normal life, work out of my home office or a coworking space, and travel on weekends or weeks I book myself off.
I have taken calls happily at 1 AM because my work allows me to live abroad, and I could not be more thankful for that. Regardless of the time zone difference, I’m still holding down a perfect 5 star review rating, so I know it’s not a problem for my job, but there’s no doubt I was fearful that potential clients would maybe see it as an issue.
Anyways, even while I’m living abroad at the moment (Germany is the place I call home right now), I’m still restless to get moving. I live a very normal life here, except with you know, access to Europe right at my doorstep so I take weekend trips more than most people, I’ve been here for a year now.
My city isn’t a hub for expats and internationals, and I definitely feel like I’m missing out on the networking opportunities, and connecting with more online entrepreneurs like myself.
This resulted in me constantly saying ‘I want to go to Thailand, or Bali!’
(Well-known digital nomad hubs, where you can live like a Queen for pennies, enjoy amazing weather, and lots and lots of yoga and meditation! Basically my perfect paradise.)
Legitimately, I’ve been saying I want to go to Bali for a year, maybe longer.
The other day I came to the realization,
‘Why am I not in Bali? There’s nothing stopping me! The only thing holding me back is myself!’
(Over the last little while of analyzing the lives of myself, friends and family, I’ve come to the conclusion that most often, we are the ones in our own way. Our minds often limit us to what society deems acceptable.
‘I live a normal life, I have an apartment, and a daily routine, I can’t just pick up and go to Bali’ I told myself.)
My own mind and limitations I placed on myself are the only things keeping me here.
I have money and a job I can take on the road.
So what the hell am I still doing here when I really want to be working from a cool coworking space in Indonesia, overlooking a pool and rice paddies!?
Anyways, this studio is headed to Southeast Asia!
At the moment I’m planning 2 months in Bali (the longest you can stay without having to apply for a visa ahead of time). I’m planning on going in Jan/Feb, and will purely pick my exact dates based off of flight prices (benefits of not having to book plan your vacations around when your boss gives you vacation days).
Instead of going to the effort to search flight deals daily myself, I signed up for 3 months of ScottsCheapFlights, so Scott can do the searching for me, and I’ll just book when a stellar deal comes my way. 😊 (I’m waiting for $500 or less, return trip!)
In digital nomad news from this past month, I took a long weekend to Barcelona and fully 100% cut myself off from work.
In June I headed to Croatia for a week, but honestly still had work on the brain and completely rewrote my site copy while there, so it really wasn’t a proper vacation. I knew I wanted to do better with the work-life boundary when I went to Barcelona, and am so proud of myself that I managed it.
(Ridiculous that stopping myself from working is an issue, right?!)
My must-do Barcelona recommendation? The Sailing Experience! We got to hop out of the boat, grab onto a rope and be pulled through the water just off the coast of Barcelona! A much better way to get to experience the water than on the over-crowded beaches.
Books I’m reading:
The Universe Has Your Back by Gabbie Bernstein
This is Gabby’s second book I’ve read, and while I love her videos online, for some reason her books I find don’t get to the point quickly enough for me to fully learn from them and appreciate them. I can’t give this one my full recommendation unfortunately.
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris
I’m only part way through this monster of a book so I’ll have to let you know next month if this is worth piking up.
Here’s a peek at whats up on my master ’To Do List’. I of course have daily to do lists of client work, blogging, finance tracking, etc., but this list is some of the bigger, higher level items I want to get to work on.
I’m hoping that by sharing it here with you, it’ll keep me accountable! I’ll report back next month how far I got on these.
Launch 1 more services, Squarespace website tweaks, and then revamp my ‘Work With Me’ page to lead y’all to the different services, at different price points that I offer
Write an auto-responder, Welcome series for my email list (this has been on my to do list also for an embarrassingly long time)
Add TryInteract quizzes to my website, to help build my email list
Reach out to other business owners in complimentary fields (copywriting, business coaching, brand design, etc.) to build up partnerships and increase my number of new clients gained through referrals
*I like making money. (Who doesn't?) You bet your bottom dollar there's affiliate links sprinkled throughout this post! If you make a purchase through some of the links in this site, I make a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks gal!