5 Guides to Help You Refresh Your Brand + Business


This post has been sitting in my drafts for too long now. And I know there’s a lot going on right now, but I’m hoping this will help you figure things out when you’re ready to get back to business. 

If you’re a service provider + want to update your sales and marketing or if you’re new to freelancing and not sure how to get started or want to skip the info overload, I’m sharing 5+ guides (with actionable advice and tips) that will help you focus on the important things. 

Use these guides to implement simple marketing strategies that will attract visitors and turn them into customers.

(Also, if you’re like me and lost main clients during this time + you’re worried about what’s going to happen next, read this first when you have a chance – Freelancing During a Recession.) 

This post contains affiliate links, this means I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase using one of my links. Thanks for your support!

Create Your Audit Plan

Before you start, you should do some pre-work. Make sure you go over your marketing, sales, and back-office operations (admin, systems, processes).

Write down your current process. Review what’s working and what needs improvement. Write down your current stats – number of followers, email subscribers, and go over Google Analytics report to see what’s popular and what pages + posts need work.

List your goals and how you’ll accomplish those goals. Some example goals could be – “I want to gain 250 subscribers by April 30” or “I want to add 3 retainer clients by April 30”. Use this as your guide: My goal is __. To be done by __. The steps I need to take are __.

Create a checklist on Trello or Asana. Break down what needs to be done to reach your goals every quarter, month, week, and day. 

You can also create a separate to-do list for each – web pages, posts, social media, tech, etc. This will help you stay organized so all you’ll have to do is add your notes from the guides below.

Client Ready Toolkit for Service Providers

Grab your full list of free to low-cost tools and resources to help you increase traffic, grow audience, book and manage clients.

How to Know When It’s Time to Refresh?

Not sure if you need a refresher? Here’s what these guides cover:

how to build a strong online presence so you can stand out and increase brand awareness

how to improve service offerings so you can simplify your process and focus on benefits

how to come up with content ideas to educate + grow your audience

how to create lead magnets and digital products to increase sales

how to automate your email marketing, nurture new leads, and book clients

Guides to Refresh Your Brand + Biz

Pro-tip: Whichever book you read, make sure to follow through with the tips and don’t procrastinate. First time, read it and highlight/screenshot/bookmark the most important things. Take a break. Read it again + follow the steps to implement it ASAP! 

Sales and marketing blueprint1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib (1PMP)
When you’re all over the place or doing too much, read this to get back to the basics.

It’s a step-by-step guide that will help you map out your marketing so you can skip the guesswork and turn your visitors to customers. You’ll learn how to stand out, get clients, and close deals.

Resources 
The Creativity Checklist: The 11 Step System
How to Use SMART Goals to Improve Your Marketing


Connect with audience Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller (SB)
When you want to clarify your message so ideal buyers can stick around. This book will definitely help if you’re coming from a corporate background and you’re still using your professional voice all throughout your site. 

After 1PMP, use the StoryBrand framework to help you organize your thoughts and focus on what makes you unique so you can connect with your audience. You’ll be able to apply the framework to your main pages – home, about, sales/services, and landing pages.

Resources
StoryBrand Tips – ClearBrand, StoryBrand – Donald Miller


Simplify servicesCreate your Productized Service (PS)
When you want to rewrite/revamp your services. After reading SB, use this guide to create a fixed offering. Benefits of having a productized service: no more customizing every project for every client, no more sending proposals, AND no more charging by the hour.

This means you can speed up the onboarding process, finish the project faster (if your workflow is streamlined), and then move on to the next thing.

Resources
7-day Email Course by Jonathan Stark 
Your Productized Consulting Guide by UI Breakfast 
Examples of Productized Services – Richard Patey and Coveted Consultant  
Grow your web design business with new services in 2020 by Flywheel


Share expertise1-Hour Content Plan by Meera Kothand (1HCP)
When you want to show off your expertise but have no idea what to write about. After you create your productized services, you’ll need to create useful content that’s linked to your services.

This guide comes with a list of blog post ideas, plus you’ll learn how to create lead magnets and digital products. You can also use this for social media posts by posting tips or snippets from your blog posts. 

Resources
Answer the Public
How to Produce Content That Doubles Your Sales Funnel Conversion Rate by Entrepreneur


Improve email marketingInvisible Selling Machine by Ryan Deiss (ISM)
When you want to automatically turn your visitors to subscribers to clients. You’re posting dope content thanks to 1HCP and now it’s time to get those readers on your email list.

You’ll learn how to automate your sales and marketing with the email templates included in this book. You can revamp the templates to match your brand then add it to your email service provider. 

Resources
Creating an Inbound Strategy by HubSpot
25 Email Marketing Best Practices for Content Creators


Client Ready Toolkit for Service Providers

Grab your full list of free to low-cost tools and resources to help you increase traffic, grow audience, book and manage clients.

Tools + Resources

Find clients – Crunchbase, Craigslist, Upwork, Freelancer, LinkedIn, LocalSolo, RemotePanda, Guru, Angel Startups

Manage clients + projects – HubSpot, Zoho CRM, Bonsai, AND.CO, Dubsado, Honeybook, 17Hats, Salesforce, Streak CRM

Email Marketing – ConvertKit, Mailchimp, Mailerlite, HubSpot

Manage behind the scenes – Guide to Improving Your Customer Experience, Get Client Ready: Improve WordPress Website

Learn from experts – Help Scout, Trello, Zapier, HubSpot, The Balance Small Business, Millo

Level up skills – Skillshare, Pluralsight, LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Alison, Freecodecamp, Aquent

Get Certified – Hootsuite, Hubspot, Google Digital Garage, Salesforce, AWS Cloud

Things to help you change your mindset and clear your mind – Spotify playlists: meditate, focus, sleep meditation, NPR playlist: Isle Of Calm: Stream 6 Hours Of Soothing Music

Follow these folks on Twitter to learn how to make yourself marketable on social:
Pinterest tips – @realchasecurtis and @RichPointofView, Instagram tips – @theashleyfrance, Twitter – @joserosado, Email marketing tips – @NerdNomadMom, Improve your brand – @iamkarmenk  YouTube – @robertoblake, LinkedIn – @Latesha_Byrd, Freelancing – @CMillerTalks


If this post was helpful, make sure to leave a comment below. Don’t forget to share this on Pinterest!

Photo Credit: Alexa Williams on Unsplash

Guide to Improving Customer Experience


As a business owner, reading the right books can help take you from struggling to thriving. There are books about everything to help your business grow, including marketing, biz development, and self-help.

And if you’ve read a book about personal development where you can apply it to your professional life, you’ve hit the jackpot!

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is that book. In case you’ve never read it…

In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

If you’re wondering how this will improve your customer experience (CX), that’s what I’m here to tell you!

This post contains affiliate links, this means I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase using one of my links. Thanks for your support!




2020 Client Ready Toolkit for Service Providers

Grab your full list of free to low-cost tools and resources to help you increase traffic, grow audience, book and manage clients.



Customer experience is every interaction your ideal buyer goes through when working with your brand and business. If you want your business to succeed, your #1 priority is to provide a positive customer experience (CX).

By using The Four Agreements as your roadmap or guide (with your user-friendly website and workflow), you’ll be able to turn a visitor into a subscriber and then customer/client and brand advocate. This means repeat customers and non-stop referrals for your growing business.

Use the following tips to help you create and implement a great end-to-end CX.

Be Impeccable With Your Word + Don’t Take Anything Personally

Do what you say you will and when you say you will.

Provide great service from beginning to post-purchase.

Be transparent. Honesty is the best policy.

Listen to your audience. Learn how to handle good and bad reviews.

Be consistent. Be on time.

Learn how to handle complaints – step back, listen, learn, thank them for feedback, find a solution, take action, and follow up.

Always say thanks!

Always keep it friendly and professional – remember potential customers are watching.

Show up and add value to everything you do.

Don’t Make Assumptions

Make it easy for them with the right tools and resources. No reason to mess up in 2020 with all the resources available, like live chat and help desk software.

Don’t rely on OPP as your main source. Think about what happens if that platform changes or shuts down.

Make sure your website is user-friendly and has all the info they need to get in touch – email, number, hours available and when you’ll reach out. Add your footer and contact page. Add a link to your contact page in the menu.

Create a FAQ page or a knowledge base/help center. Add video with Loom. (Keep it simple and say no to tech jargon.)

Help them be great. Schedule time to walk them through your proposal or contract so there won’t be any surprises.

Ask the right questions to get a clear understanding of their needs/wants and likes/dislikes.

Know how they feel about their experience with your product or service. Use surveys and emails to learn more.

If you have a service-based business, create an intro packet/page to explain your onboarding process. You can also create a welcome packet so they’ll know what to expect and when.



2020 Client Ready Toolkit for Service Providers

Grab your full list of free to low-cost tools and resources to help you increase traffic, grow audience, book and manage clients.



Always Do Your Best

Go through the buying process as a customer. Test on mobile and on another browser. Pay attention to roadblocks. Simplify where you can and create a customer-focused process. Improve it as you go.

Set up email autoresponders – don’t keep them waiting.

Engage with your audience – from social media and email.

Research and learn the basics from the pros about marketing, sales, customer service. Plenty of resources on HubSpot, Linkedin Learning, Google Digital, and Help Scout.

Create a strategy. Set goals and track results daily/weekly/monthly.

Get organized. Start using a CRM like HubSpot, Salesforce, Honeybook, 17Hats. Create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), templates, and scripts. This will make it easier for your new employee to get on board.

Don’t do it all. Get the help you need by hiring a team, virtual assistant or specialist. Treat them with respect. Train and teach them the ropes.

Last but not least, make sure you take care of yourself!

More Resources to Improve Your CX

Don’t Overlook Standard Operating Procedures: Use These Apps to Put Them in Place

Customer Support Process Checklist

5 Steps to Conduct a Customer Experience Audit

How to conduct a customer experience audit

Developing a Customer Experience Strategy that’ll Never Fail You!

How to Measure Customer Experience

Five questions brands need to answer to be customer first in the digital age

How to effectively respond to customer complaints

Popular books on customer relations

How to Write a Compelling Customer Support Email

What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Get Right About the Customer Experience

7 Ways to Create a Great Customer Experience Strategy

New Research: The ROI of Customer Experience

How Amazing Customer Service Can Help You Double Your Revenue

16 Customer Service Skills That Drive Every Business




2020 Client Ready Toolkit for Service Providers

Grab your full list of free to low-cost tools and resources to help you increase traffic, grow audience, book and manage clients.



If you found this post helpful, let me know below. Don’t forget to pin this on Pinterest.

Want to see how this applies to your business? Let’s chat and figure that out together!

Photo credit: CreateHER Stock

How to Improve Your WordPress Website + Get it Client-Ready


Ever thought about switching up your style and adding a little “je ne sais quoi” to freshen up your site?

Maybe you’re promoting the hell out of your content but you’re still not getting any love.

You could be just starting out and have no clue what to add to your pages and posts to attract the right folks.

Instead of having you in these biz streets wondering what to do or where’s the love, keep reading to find out how you can improve your customer experience on your WordPress website. Then you can start swimming in Scrooge McDuck money. (Maybe not that much but anything is possible, yeah?)

Make sure to download your freebie and Treelo board below to get started tout de suite.


Thinking of a Master Plan: Your goals for your blog and business

Better Copy + Content: What to write on your essential pages

Beauty and The Brains: Your website – design and recommended plugins to use

What’s Next: What to do after your relaunch

Recap: TL;DR version


This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase or sign up using one of my links. Thanks so much for your support!

Not sure how to improve your WordPress website and get clients running to your virtual arms? In this post, I'm sharing tips on what to write on your posts and pages, plus what tools to use to help you revamp your website. Copy the done for you Trello board and download your Better WordPress checklist to get started. Photo Credit: #wocintechchat

How to Improve Your WordPress Website + Get it Client-ready - What are the top 3 main goals for your website? Photo Credit: CreateHer Stock | @msguery
Photo Credit: CreateHER Stock

Thinking of a Master Plan

Ask yourself a few questions before you get started:

What are the top 3 main goals for your website?
Do you want visitors to view your sales page and schedule a call? Show off your portfolio so visitors can see what kind of work you’ve done? Want your audience to sign up and download a lead magnet that gives them a taste test of what you have to offer? Donate to your non-profit organization? Or maybe you want to sell info products or courses that teach folks how to DIY what you do?

What problems are you solving and who should stick around?
Who are you helping? And how can you help them go from point A to Z? What’s in it for them when they call/buy/sign up? Is it related to your products and services? Will your blog, brand, and business help them do/make/achieve better things for their biz?

After you answer those questions, you’ll pick one goal and add it to each page on your website. Let’s get started!

Better Copy + Content

Know what to write on your essential page and all you’ll have to do is add your voice to it. Whether it’s class clown, corporate-y, or cussing, be yourself!

Home
What do you love to do? Who do you want to work with? Why should they work with you? How can you help them achieve their goals? What’s the next step they should take?

“I’m [name] and I help [audience] with [their goals or struggles] by [your solutions]. Read more about how I can help you achieve your goals [linking them to your about page, services page, or portfolio].”

About
Same as the Home page but also tell them about the person behind the brand.

Who are you? Where you’re from? What’s your struggle story? How you got started in your field? What are your skills and experience? What do you love about what you do? Who do you want to help? What are your beliefs/values/passions?

Add a picture of your gorgeous face and workspace. Add some fun facts about you and then tell them what to do next (aka your CTA – call-to-action).

Related Posts: Here’s 11 resources to help you write your about page. Read 30 Tips on How to Build Your Personal Brand and How to Stand Out When Everybody is Doing the Same Damn Thing

Blog
Make sure your posts are useful + relevant to your audience.

Did you answer the most frequently asked questions on that topic you’re writing about? Are you using graphics (screenshots, GIFs, stock photos) to break up your content? How about adding bold or emphasis tags to highlight the important deets? Can you make it Google-ready and SEO-friendly by adding important keywords in your post, URL, and alt text for your graphics? What content upgrade can you add to make it an even better blog post? Can you add click to tweet quotes to make it shareable? Did you add opt-in forms throughout the post? (Don’t forget to test the forms!)

Tip: Become an opt-in beast: add one to your home page, about page, footer, end of every blog post, and sidebar. Add a link to the Subscribe page on your menu or use Hellobar to add one to your header. You can even add a checkbox on your contact form like I did on my 17 Hats contact form:

How to Improve Your WordPress Website + Get it Client-ready - Add an option to your contact form to grow your email list. | @msguery

Related Posts: Find out how to get more people to read your content with these 17 simple edits and tweaks. Here are 50 Blog Topics for Creatives

Services
What do you enjoy doing? What problems do you solve? Who do you want to work with? What’s your process like? How do you take them from point A to B then C? How long does it take? What are the benefits of working with you? What do they get after working with you? Did you add “starting at..” prices? How can they get started? Did you answer the FAQ? Any myths/assumptions people have about your industry?

Sprinkle some results-focused testimonials. Add a link to your portfolio. Make it easy to contact you by adding a link to your “Hire Me” form or add it to the bottom of the page.

On your hire me form, ask for their name, email, link to your website, budget. Leave a text area so they can ask questions or give you details about their project.

Related Posts: Read 26 Questions to Answer on Your Services Page. Get to booking, good-looking, with these daily to-dos. Create dope work and then get some Powerful Client Testimonials after the project is done. Recommended: As of 2019, I’ve switched to Productized Services and you should too. Use this Productized Guide to level up.

Contact
Tell folks who you are, what you do, and who you want to work with. How long does it take to respond to their message? What are your business hours?

Add a link to the FAQ page (or add FAQ on the same page). Add a link to “Hire Me” form. Add your business email and links to active social media accounts. Add a quick form to fill out (first name, email address, message). Make sure your form works by sending a test email.

Portfolio
Add the work you love and want to do more of. You can keep it simple by adding a screenshot or mockup with a link to the project. Or you can keep it fancy and use a method mostly used for job interviews: STAR method. You can also use it for your next blog post, proposal, or your portfolio:

Situation: details about the project – who’s the client, what they do, what goals and struggles they had before working with you
Task: what was your job, what’s the solution/service you provided
Action: how you handled it – your process to solve their problem (no tech talk, speak their language)
Result: what was the result – link to demo site or project, show the finished product (before and after screenshots or mockups – Smartmockups or take a screenshot on Am I Responsive)

How to Improve Your WordPress Website + Get it Client-ready - Use mockups (smartmockups.com) in your portfolio to showcase your best work | @msguery

Don’t forget to add their testimonial. And then end with a call to action – “Now accepting clients for March 2019. Get Started on Your Project” or “Let’s Work Together” linking to your services page or Hire Me form.

Tip: If you’re just starting out and don’t have anything to add to your portfolio, get started with these projects:

your very first client is you, so any work you did for yourself, add it!
rebrand/refresh/redesign your favorite shop’s logo/website/design
create a sample project for your dream client (and turn that into a blog post – “Behind the Scenes: My Web Design Workflow” or “Beginner’s Guide: What I Need From You Before We Work Together”)

Related Links: Find out How to Get Clients When You’re Just Starting Out. Get inspiration from Briefbox (for designers) or Uplabs (for developers). Work with non-profit organizations from Taproot to grow your portfolio.

Subscribe
Who should sign up for your email list and why? What will they get for signing up? How many times will you be in their inbox? (Monthly or weekly.)

Add an opt-in form and give them a preview of what you’ll send – maybe a link or screenshot of the last email you sent to your subscribers.

Related Link: Learn 3 proven ways to use email marketing for services businesses and the 5 Steps for a Winning Email Marketing Strategy

FAQ
Answer the who, what, when, where, and whys. How can they get in touch for more questions? Add the same questions from sales page and a contact form on the bottom. Make sure you answer these 4 questions on your FAQ page.

404
Add links to popular posts, a search bar, and an opt-in form. You can also add a general freebie where no signup is required. (Like a list of your favorite tools.)

Start Here
If you’ve done this for a while, round-up your popular posts. You can find out from Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/source/yoursite.com, Google Analytics, or your WordPress dashboard. Share your latest posts and what topics you’ll talk about. Add a mini-bio with a link to your about page and how to get in touch with you.

Privacy Policy and Terms + Conditions pages
Make sure you add those 2 pages to your site. Use free generators like Terms Feed and Iubenda.

How to Improve Your WordPress Website + Get it Client-ready - Use mobile-friendly theme. Update themes and plugins. Delete unused plugins and themes. Compress all images. | @msguery

Your Website: Beauty and The Brains

Freshen up your website and keep it updated and secure with a few recommended plugins.

Design
Make sure your site is distraction-free by adding more whitespace and fewer ads/badges. If you want to keep the ads, create some graphics to match your brand. Choose between 1-2 font styles and make sure they’re easy to read. Stick to 2-3 colors that aren’t too bright. Add some images or icons to stand out. Make sure your navbar is easy to find and has a path leading them to your main goal (Home -> About -> Blog -> Services -> Contact/Hire Me Form)

Use a mobile-friendly theme. Most themes are viewed on mobile devices, but if your site is a bit outdated, it’s about that time to upgrade since most of your visitors are will be using their phone or tablet to view your site.

Related Posts: Use MailChimp’s Content Style Guide for tips and writing great content. Learn how to Design For People With Accessibility Needs. Graphics looking tired? Try Canva to freshen up your brand or grab some free stock photos from The Stocks

Tech
Now you don’t want all that hard work to go to waste so make sure you do the following to speed it up and keep it up to date:

First, backup your site. If your username is “admin”, “test”, or the name of your site, it’s time to change it. Update your theme and plugins. Delete any unused + outdated plugins. Delete any graphics, drafts, or files you’re not using. Use tools like LastPass to create stronger passwords or use a password-free login like Google Authenticator – Two Factor Authentication.

Update WordPress core as soon as possible or find a great web host to keep your site up and running with the latest version of WordPress. Or skip the boring tech stuff and get a developer to handle it for you.

Related Posts: Learn How to Make Your Site Mobile-friendly. Site always down? Time to choose a better host. Find out How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site and Why it Matters.

Tips: Check grammar and spelling, fix broken links, disable pop ups for mobile devices to avoid penalties that can lower your ranking (+ annoy your readers).

How to Improve Your WordPress Website + Get it Client-ready - Use mobile-friendly theme. Update themes and plugins. Delete unused plugins and themes. Compress all images. | @msguery

Recommended Plugins
Download Jetpack – “The one plugin you need for stats, related posts, search engine optimization, social sharing, protection, backups, speed, and email list management.” And then try one of these plugins to make your site better:

How to Improve Your WordPress Website + Get it Client-ready - Promote your business on all social media profiles. | @msguery

What’s Next

Social Media
Time to update your social media accounts. Add info about what you do and who you work with, plus a link to your freebie, subscribe or sales page on all of your profiles.

Pinterest – edit your showcase and highlight your boards (latest blog posts, your portfolio, group board)
Twitter – pin your latest post or subscribe page, share your posts and follow-up by posting it the next day, next week, and month
Facebook – add your business page to your personal profile (when you’re connecting and engaging in Facebook groups, folks can check out your page), pin your latest post to your business page, and use the button to link to your subscribe or services page

Linkedin – You have a lot more space on Linkedin so you can add that same formula on your home page here. Don’t forget to add a call to action.

Related Posts: 8 Ways You Can Grow Your Blog and Business, How to Use Instagram for Business, How to Crush Social Media Campaign Planning

Workflow
After your website and social media revamp, it’s now time to organize your process. You’ve made changes to your website (and maybe your offerings), so it may be time to refresh your process also.

Before your clients start rolling in, think about ways to make your workflow easier for you and your clients. It doesn’t have to be a perfect system since you’ll make some changes as you grow, but planning your process will save you time and headaches so you don’t have to do all the things at the last-minute. The first step is to learn how to onboard new clients faster with 6 free tools.

Related Posts: keep them coming back for more. Learn how to manage client expectations and how to get referrals from your clients. Check out Shopify for tips on working with clients.

Let’s Recap

For my TL;DR peeps, following these tips can help you grow your audience and your business:

Download your checklist, copy the Trello board that comes with it, and use them as your launch guide to revamp your WordPress site.

Figure out your main goal for your site and point your visitors in that direction.
Opt-in here. Opt-in there. Opt-in everywhere!
All social media roads lead to your website.
Create dope and valuable/helpful/relevant content and share with your followers on social media
Do the same for your email list and remember to educate and share what you have to offer
Keep up the good work and then bada bing.. bada boom – notifications from PayPal singing “Just Got Paid“.


Have some tips you want to add? Tell me in the comments below. And don’t forget to share this post with your folks.

Photo credit: WOC in Tech

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