Charlotte Davis is our guest for the 284th episode of The Copywriter Club podcast. Charlotte is a Dubsado Strategist and Business Operations Consultant, and in this episode she breaks down the best way copywriters can use systems in their businesses to create a high-level client experience and maximize their time and energy.
Here’s how the episode goes down:
- How Charlotte transitioned from OBM to Dubsado wizard.
- The difference between OBM (Online Business Manager) and VA (Virtual Assistant), PLUS when you’re ready for each.
- Are you ready for a Systems Strategist?
- Why you need to pull your processes out of your head and into a system.
- What can be automated in Dubsado?
- The one thing business owners forget or feel awkward doing.
- Honeybook vs. Dubsado – what’s the dif?
- Should you set up your own Dubsado or hire an expert?
- The process of hiring a professional in your business.
- Best practices for client management while using automation – is it possible?
- The 3 system standards service providers need to implement into their business ASAP.
- How automation helps copywriters get out of their own way.
- The 5 part process to making high-converting proposals.
- Managing productivity and managing boundaries… Can the two coexist?
- The method to a better discovery call.
- How Charlotte manages her team and what she outsources in her business.
- The mindset that comes with being afraid to do something.
- Self care practices that keep Charlotte loving what she does and help her manage her energy.
- The future of the online marketing space means no more cowboys.
- How Harry Potter and business are the same.
If you need clarity around creating systems and processes, be sure to hit the play button or check out the transcript below.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:
The Copywriter Think Tank
Charlotte Isaac’s website
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Kira Hug: We’ve noticed a growing trend in the copywriting space. More and more copywriters are up-leveling their systems and creating automated client experiences that far surpass the somewhat sloppy back and forth that typically takes place in the inbox. Today’s guest for The Copywriter Club podcast is system specialist, Charlotte Isaac, and she lets us look under the hood of her business. We nerd out on automations, Dubsado, and client management. So if you’re trying to automate the processes in your business and maybe, just maybe you’d like to hear Charlotte’s number one business lesson from Harry Potter, you won’t want to miss this episode.
Rob Marsh: I’m feeling attacked Kira, based off that intro. I’m the guy with the sloppy back and forth in the inbox. If you’re listening to this podcast on the day that it was released, that means that we are currently in Nashville at The Copywriter Club In Real Life, hanging out IRL with some of the best copywriters in the world. And we’re sharing with them some of the changes that we’re making to The Copywriter Think Tank here in the very near future to make it better than ever, like introducing two new coaches to the group. So that members don’t just depend on us, but have access to specialists and things like systems and mindset.
The Think Tank is our mastermind coaching program that helps copywriters take their business to the next level, whatever that means for you, that might be a larger income number, it could be creating a new program or a new offer for your clients, it could be launching a podcast or writing a book to grow your authority, whatever you are ready to accomplish next, we’ll help you do it in The Copywriter Think Tank. Go to copywriterthinktank.com to learn more. And let’s get to our interview with Charlotte Isaac.
Kira Hug: All right Charlotte, let’s kick this off. How did you end up as a business operations consultant? What is your story?
Charlotte Isaac: It’s a bit of a roundabout one. Probably like a lot of people in this online space, I worked in creative agencies in my traditional offline job. And when I started my own business, I thought I would do a very similar thing. So I started working as an OBM, I really loved it, but I realized after a while that a lot of people in that space don’t really need an OBM, what they need is a really, really solid system to look after them and look after their clients. And once they have that in place, their business can kind of run on autopilot. So I kind of got dragged into it by my clients, I guess.
Rob Marsh: So what were you doing before that? What was the thing that you were working on with clients before you started doing the automations?
Charlotte Isaac: So, I was kind of helping them look after their clients and look after their team members and basically hold everything together in their business. Kind of like an operations manager.
Kira Hug: Okay. So can you just talk through all the differences? Because I think, especially if someone hasn’t worked with an OBM, can you differentiate between a VA, an OBM, business operations, developer, all the terms that are thrown out there, can you talk through them?
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I think that’s the question I meant to ask. You said it so much better than I did, Kira.
Kira Hug: I always do, Rob.
Charlotte Isaac: Girl power! It’s really confusing. Everyone kind of uses a different name and it would be so helpful if there was a bit of a standardization out there, but a VA essentially helps you with tasks and an OBM can manage your VA and manage other team members and basically hold all your business together. So in some ways, they hold all of the people below you together.
Rob Marsh: Knowing that then let’s talk about, as copywriters, as business owners if we’re thinking, “Okay, I need help in my business.” Help us do the decision tree. When should it be the VA, when should it be an OBM, and when should it be a system specialist specifically doing the kind of work that you’re doing today?
Charlotte Isaac: I think it depends where you’re spending a lot of your time. It’s super old school, but I often recommend when people are trying to figure it out, to walk away from their computer, grab a notebook and a pen and start writing out all of the things that frustrate them, that take them a lot of time, and that they feel like they drop balls on. So if it’s a lot of things like chasing out my clients for homework, sending out invoices, sending proposals, all of that kind of stuff, that can be really easily systemized. If it’s stuff like scheduling social media posts and things like that, a VA or somebody could be good. If it’s a little bit of everything, sometimes an OBM is a great fit to help you kind of guide, do you need a system specialist or do you need to plug in a VA eventually. There are so many things it could be.
Kira Hug: But again, you’re not an OBM at this point, right? You’re in your own category?
Charlotte Isaac: Yeah. I would fall into the system specialist category, I guess.
Kira Hug: Okay.
Charlotte Isaac: The very loose categories we have.
Kira Hug: Okay. All right. So then let’s say we’re working with you. Let’s say I’m a copywriter and I’m working with you for the first time to set up systems. Where do I start with my system development? If I’m not a systems-minded person, and I’m not, Rob knows this, I like to use my paper and notepad and stay away from systems, but I also understand the value of them. Where would you start with someone like me who’s just not systems friendly?
Charlotte Isaac: So firstly, again, I’d walk away from the computer and we would have a chat around what things look like right now. So what do you do to look after your clients, what your process is, what’s working and what’s not working? And we kind of come up with this giant list of things that need to happen from the very beginning of a client relationship when they reach out to you or someone kind of refers them to you or however that looks like right through to when the work is done and you need to off-board them and maybe invite them to come back to you as a client in the future. So we get all of that out on paper before we start looking at systems. And I find that even the people that are most shy of systems, once we do that, they realize that they probably really need a system because there is so much that happens in that entire process.
Rob Marsh: So, can we go just even a little deeper in that? I know we’ve sort of got this topical idea of what you’re going to be asking about, but again, I’m almost saying, let’s do this exercise with me or with Kira and me.
Kira Hug: Just with you, Rob. Just with you.
Rob Marsh: As we sit down, it’s like, are you going into every single piece of the business? Are there general categories? How many bullet points end up on that list of things that you want to systematize?
Charlotte Isaac: It’s a little bit never ending. So with my own clients, I tend to focus on the client management side of things. We do dip into other things and kind of touch on other systems that they might need to employ, but my focus is really on the client management side of things. So the first question I ask, because you’re in the guinea pig group, is how people find you and what happens when they find you?
Rob Marsh: Okay. So mostly it’s going to be through referrals or maybe it’s through something I’ve put out on LinkedIn or social media or something like that.
Charlotte Isaac: Awesome. And then do you have a chat with them once they’ve been connected with you? Some kind of discovery call?
Rob Marsh: Yes. For sure. There may be some communication and email before that, but we definitely have a discovery call before we book anything.
Charlotte Isaac: Amazing. And if someone connects to you and you’ve gone back to them and said, “Hey, great. Let’s chat.” And they don’t book a call with you. I’m assuming you use Calendly, maybe. I think I’ve seen you use Calendly.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. Calendly or TidyCal is the tool that I’ve been using lately.
Charlotte Isaac: Perfect. So if they don’t book a call, do you have some kind of follow up system in place that prompts you to go back to them and check-in again?
Rob Marsh: Other than me just having it in my email or the fact that we didn’t get that booked, no. I don’t have something automated.
Charlotte Isaac: That does not count, Rob.
Rob Marsh: It counts. It’s just not really a great system. It’s a bad system.
Charlotte Isaac: It’s the system in your head. That’s where I find that the systems I use with clients, that’s kind of the first place that they usually start to help a lot. So for people that aren’t using something like Calendly or TidyCal or Dubsado, which is the main system I use, has a scheduler. And it can also help going back and following up with people and saying, “Hey, you didn’t book a call. Do you still want to chat? Do you have a question before we chat?” Basically so we can pull this part of the process out of your head and get somebody else, a little robot to deal with it for you.
Rob Marsh: That makes sense. And then let’s say we get that first thing fixed. I’m assuming you’re going to take me all the way through the entire client relationship. So we’re going to be talking about onboarding or we’re going to be talking about writing processes, all of that stuff as well?
Charlotte Isaac: Absolutely. So the next logical step is some sort of proposal that you might send your client. We get right into the onboarding process. What do your contracts look like? How do they sign the proposal and contract and make that first payment to you? What happens next? Do they schedule a call? What kind of welcome emails do they get? All of the nitty gritty into that onboarding process.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. Let’s keep going. Writing process is probably not something that gets automated with a tool like Dubsado, but are there check-ins throughout that process that you automate into it?
Charlotte Isaac: Absolutely. We can kind of automate a bit of a feedback loop. I find, particularly with people that have clients that haven’t worked with copywriters before, they don’t really know how to give good feedback. So something that we could automate is have some kind of thing that is sent to the client that guides them through giving feedback and nudges them after they haven’t given feedback after a certain amount of time. So maybe your timeline allows the client three or four days to look through everything, leave any comments in a Google Doc or whatever you end up using. Maybe the system nudges them after two days and says, “Hey, you’ve got a couple of days left to do this. If you have any questions, let me know, blah, blah, blah.”
Rob Marsh: Okay. Then as far as off-boarding goes, what are some of those pieces that you would walk me through?
Charlotte Isaac: So the first thing that I find a lot of people forget to do is ask for referrals or testimonials, all that kind of stuff. The things that kind of feel awkward to do, but we all know we probably should do. So in an off-boarding process we make sure that we always have something to do that, whether it’s asking for a Google review, or getting people to fill out a feedback form. I find it kind of depends on where you are in your business and what’s actually going to be helpful to you. Making sure that we are tidying up the relationship with a nice little bow and kind of closing the door so that you don’t have a client come back to you months and months later saying, “Hey, we’re just going to tweak this one little page.” They’re probably the two big things that go in there.
Kira Hug: And when you’re talking about the system, we’re talking about the system and these magic fairies that do all this for us and it sounds amazing, but are you just talking about Dubsado?
Charlotte Isaac: Dubsado is the primary system I use and it can do it all really and that’s the reason I like it so much.
Kira Hug: Okay. So can you talk about Dubsado versus other systems that we may be familiar with. Why is Dubsado better? Why should we consider Dubsado?
Charlotte Isaac: So Dubsado and HoneyBook are probably the two that most people have heard about. They’re kind of the big two out there. Anybody that’s met or has a friend that uses one of them probably knows us a little bit like a cult. People get really, really excited about it. The reason I really, really like Dubsado is because of the automation that it can handle. So all of these little touch points that we’ve spoken about Dubsado can automate. It has proposals built in, contracts built in, emails, a scheduler, questionnaires, all of that kind of good stuff, but the magic cover really is that we can create these things in Dubsado called workflows, which are the automation backbone behind it. And we can take your entire process and automate it as much as we want to whereas other systems like HoneyBook, we can start to automate little parts of it, but not necessarily the whole thing.
Rob Marsh: Okay. So this is maybe where the magic starts to happen, where I start to get a little bit excited because one of the struggles that I have with systems is that even if I build my systems and my business, I’ve still got to jump in at every step and make sure that something is happening. So let’s go back to that booking a client system. I’ve got the tools, I’ve got a document signing tool, and I’ve got a proposal tool and all of that, but they’re disconnected. And what you’re saying is Dubsado puts them all together or HoneyBook puts them all together and basically what you’re saying is I don’t even have to talk to a client until they show up on the booking call. And I may not have to do anything with the client until I send them my work after that, am I oversimplifying this?
Charlotte Isaac: Not at all. You’re spot on. That’s exactly right.
Rob Marsh: Okay. Now I’m like, it’s really hard for me to wrap my brain around and if that’s true, why am I not using Dubsado today?
Charlotte Isaac: A lot of people find it really scary. They’re kind of like, “Oh, this is going to be a lot of work.” And admittedly, Dubsado can be a lot of work to set it up. That’s why people like me have a job, I guess, but it is one of those things that once it’s set up for you, it truly is these magical little fairies, like you said.
Kira Hug: So is it something that I can do on my own if I’m like, “Okay, Dubsado is a way to go. I’m going to set it up.” Is that something you recommend? I mean, you also do it for people, but can I do this on my own?
Charlotte Isaac: Yes. You can, for sure. So I do it for people. I also have a group program where I help people do it, but there’s also people that do it on their own. It probably comes down to how much time you have, how techy you are, how willing you are to kind of get into the trenches of it, I guess, and just figure it out. But definitely both of you would be more than capable and I’m sure everyone listening as well would be.
Kira Hug: I don’t know about that. I don’t know.
Rob Marsh: That’s a bigger question than we have time to answer for sure.
Charlotte Isaac: I’m sure that’s not true.
Rob Marsh: So Charlotte, again, assuming I’m a copywriter, which of course I am, our listeners are, they’re thinking, “Okay, this sounds like something that I want to do.” Walk us through the differences in price and involvement for engaging in the different ways. So hiring somebody to set all of this up obviously is going to require some of our time, but it’s mostly going to be someone like you versus a DIY. Help us just get a sense of the costs in both time and money of the different options?
Charlotte Isaac: When you hire someone, you do need to put a little bit of time in. The person that you hire will ask you what you do at the moment, which is really, really important. Whoever comes into your business shouldn’t probably be tell you to completely overhaul everything you do. I always say that you know your business better than anybody else. So we want to look at taking what you’re already doing and just tweaking it and streamlining it to make it better. So your big involvement is handing over what you do now, maybe any templates that you already currently use, you’ve already got a contract template, I’m sure you kind of know how long your process takes, all that kind of stuff. So once the person gets all of that info out of you, they should be able to take it and run with it and build out your Dubsado for you and all of the automations that come with it as well.
Charlotte Isaac: I charge in Australian dollars, which makes us a little bit tricky, but my project pricing is kind of 6500 Aussie dollars, which I think is around about 4500 US. It changes of course. There’s definitely people who do it with a bit of a less investment, people on the higher side as with anything. So that’s kind of what it looks like to get it done for you. To do it yourself, I would start with the exact same process that somebody doing it for you would start. So walk away from Dubsado or whatever tool you end up using right at your process, kind of make sure that’s all streamlined before you start touching a system.
Then you would spend a bit of time making sure you’ve got all your templates together. So if you need to redo your proposal template, you need to write extra canned emails. That’s one of the big things I find people need to spend time on coming up with all of the emails that they write one by one, the whole way through a client process. So come up with all of the content, I call it, and then spend some time sitting down in Dubsado and doing it. When I work through that process with people in my group program, it’s a six week process and people usually spend like three to six hours a week.
Kira Hug: Now, can we talk through just best practices around client management? I mean, Charlotte, you’ve looked under the hood of many different businesses and you’ve set up the automation so that everything works seamlessly. But what do you feel is really critical for creating an excellent, not just good, but excellent client experience? What works and what do you stand behind when you’re working with your clients?
Charlotte Isaac: Absolutely. I think the first big one is communication. I think at times we tend to get caught up by the new clients that are being onboarded and we kind of forget about the clients that are midway through the project or the clients that have just finished with us. So I think it’s important to remember that there’s not really such thing as over-communicating. I mean, of course there is, but none of us are going to ever accidentally do it. So being really, really proactive with our clients about what’s happening, what we might need from them. A tool I like to use is a Services Guide. Do either of you use a services guide or an investment guide or anything like that?
Rob Marsh: Like a lookbook or something that just sort of walks you through the services that we offer?
Charlotte Isaac: Absolutely. That kind of thing. So something you’d maybe send to your clients before they’ve even worked with you or your potential clients at that point,.that’s kind of the first stage that I like to start giving my clients a lot of information before they’ve worked with me before they’ve signed on. And I’m really clear about what the process looks like, what I need from them, what the timing looks like, all of that kind of thing. So I guess the first step is we want to be really, really proactive with what we’re communicating with clients and when.
Rob Marsh: That makes sense. And then what about limits? Because this sounds, the magical fairy thing, very intriguing. What doesn’t it do or where do people get hung up when they try to implement and things aren’t going to work the way that they’re supposed to?
Charlotte Isaac: I mean, it can’t do your copywriting sadly. It wouldn’t do a very good job if it did, I suppose. The biggest limit, I guess it can come up with, is it can’t listen back from your clients. So if your clients, maybe you’ve sent them an email kind of saying, “Hey, we’re getting started next week. Don’t forget. I need you to fill out this questionnaire or something like that.” What Dubsado can’t do is take that they’ve replied and said, “Hey, my cat is sick. Could we push this back to next week?” That involves a little bit of manual interruption, I guess, to keep things moving.
Kira Hug: Is that easy to do because I have my processes in place, but sometimes I do like to change things. I’m always tinkering and trying to improve, hopefully improving. So how does that work with a system like Dubsado that’s in place? Is it easy to adapt?
Charlotte Isaac: Absolutely. So in that example, all we would do is go to what we have told Dubsado is the project start date and we would shift it back a week or shift it back two weeks or whatever that looks like. And then all of the emails and communication that’s built in Dubsado can kind of remap to the right dates based on that start date. Definitely a lot of things are easy to change. There is a magic checkbox in Dubsado that requires approval that we can build into your workflows, which basically says, yes, I want you to automate this, but before you send it out, I want to check it.
So that’s great if you have any emails that need to be a little bit personalized or maybe you work really intensively with your clients and it’s not appropriate at the end of that offboarding sequence to send them an email that feels really, really generic. So there are kind of mechanisms in there that Dubsado can check with you before it sends it out. It’s not just going to be flying out emails left right center and you have no idea what’s going on.
Rob Marsh: This is probably a dumb question, but it’s mostly because I’ve never used Dubsado, but I have used tools like Client Portal, some of the other tools provided by 47 Signals and those kinds of things. What is the client experience with Dubsado? Is there something that they log into or does it all happen inside their inbox?
Charlotte Isaac: It depends on how people want to set it up. Dubsado definitely has a client portal feature. Some people choose to use it. Some people are like, “Do you know what? My clients don’t need that. It’s too much. We’ll just kind of ignore it and pretend it doesn’t happen.” It does connect into your inbox. So all of the emails that it’s sending out go straight from Google, if you use Google or whatever you use. So from the client’s experience, it could look exactly the same as if you were just sending it to them from Gmail or you could choose to use the client portal in which case your clients get those emails, but they can also log into the client portal and see all of their invoices and see all of their questionnaires and things like that.
Rob Marsh: And would you recommend using that as part of making the service better and added value? Or would you say actually that stuff is extra. You don’t have to worry about it? What’s the recommendation there?
Charlotte Isaac: It really depends on how you work with your clients. So the copywriter I work with uses the client portal and I love that because I’ve probably done about 10 projects with them. So I know everything they’ve ever sent me is in the one place and I can go and find stuff, which is so, so helpful. On the flip side of that, I have clients who maybe their clients are in the SaaS industry or something like that and they’re just going to find a client portal kind of annoying. They just want the bare basics of things. They want a really, really easy process that doesn’t have extra bells and whistles and they just choose to roll with the email so that everything is in one place. And they’re kind of working with the clients the way their clients expect them to be working with.
Kira Hug: As we work with tools like this one, Dubsado and HoneyBook, and we have so many great tools we can use as service providers to elevate the experience, what do you think will no longer be acceptable as a service provider working in this space, this online space? What do you feel like we should be aware of that it’s not going to look professional moving forward because there’s so many tools we could use to improve our services and the client experience?
Charlotte Isaac: There’s a couple that jumps out at me. The first one is I really, really hope that under communicating or ghosting kind of becomes a thing of the past. It is so easy now to set up automations that make it easy to look after your clients so that they never feel like you’ve just dropped off the face of the earth. That’s a little bit of a selfish answer. The one that I think people are going to kind of realize there’s a bit of a problem not to have is kind of a whiz-bang proposal that looks really beautiful and professional or looks similar to your website, has great images, has great testimonials, has your contract and your invoice attached. I think that’s something that’s becoming the norm in the industry and it’s quite obvious when you work with people that don’t use that, that maybe they need to systemize a little bit.
Kira Hug: All right. Let’s cut in here and talk about what stood out from the first half of the conversation with Charlotte. So Rob, for me we’ve talked a lot about OBMs, virtual assistants on the podcast, but hearing Charlotte talk about the differences between an OBM and a VA and a specialist helped me understand it even more. She described the OBM as someone who manages people and the VA as someone who really manages the tasks in a business and the system specialist is someone like Charlotte who will come in for a project to build the thing and then leave. And so that did help me clear it up a little bit more in my mind because we do get asked that question repeatedly. So I’m glad that she clarified that for us.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. That’s definitely helpful. And I think this is where a lot of us get tripped up when we’re ready to have that first hire in our business, figuring out, who is it that I need to bring in? And we’ve talked with people who say, VA is not always the best place to start. You sometimes want to bring in that OBM because you need somebody who can help you figure out your systems and figure out what software you want to use. And so whether it’s an OBM or system specialist that actually could be a better first hire than a VA and then you bring in a VA to help when all of that stuff is running smoothly.
Kira Hug: Yes. So what else stood out to you about this part of the conversation?
Rob Marsh: So I think first of all, we should maybe even back up a little bit and just note that what Charlotte is sharing is applicable to all kinds of tools. She’s specifically talking about Dubsado, but a lot of the stuff that she’s talking about can be done in ClickUp or Trello or HoneyBook or Monday, there’s a dozen other software systems that help do parts and or all of the same stuff. And so while Charlotte is knee deep in Dubsado, maybe even deeper than that, because that’s the system that she uses, the tool that she uses, what she’s sharing in particular about processes systems and the way you run your business can be applied to a whole host of other tools. And so if you’ve been listening and you think, “Ah, I’m not going to use Dubsado.” There’s still a lot here that’s worth listening to.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And just knowing, I mean, tools will change, but just knowing that this is available to us and a lot of copywriters are opting in and creating these systems, whether they DIY it or they hire someone like Charlotte to create these professional automations so that they can save time. I mean, there’s so many benefits and I feel like Charlotte covered them pretty well, but having a system like this set up from the beginning when a client or a prospect reaches out to you and having it all dialed in is really impressive. And so I think that builds confidence in someone that may want to work with you and may even help them make a decision to work with you and even pay a higher fee because they’re impressed. They trust your system. They can tell that you’ve done this before.
And so I think we’re just seeing more and more copywriters understand the value of a system like this, even though it can be a really big investment to set it up time wise or just financially. I know Charlotte mentioned she charges around 4500 US dollars, so it’s not cheap, but I mean, as she talked through it, this was almost like a training on Dubsado for me listening and I was sold on it. I mean, I think this is something I would definitely consider, especially if I was working with three to four clients at a time, having this in place makes so much sense and could really save you money on hiring a VA or project manager to manage your projects. If you can get this dialed in, you could actually end up saving some money.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. Charlotte kind of called me out when we were talking about all the various systems and how we might set them up in a tool like Dubsado, when she pointed out really that the systems are all in my head and her job as a system specialist or somebody who might be working as an OBM would be to get those systems out of my head and into a tool that can then just have them be automated. And I think a lot of copywriters, maybe even most copywriters have our systems in our head.
We know what has to happen in each step or we experiment with it a little bit, making a change here or there, but it’s generally the same flow every time. But because it’s in our head, sometimes we miss a step or sometimes it takes a couple of days to get to a step. And that, I think is really where software like this can help because it gives you that prompt, it sends out that automated message, it serves up the proposal or whatever the next step is, it all just happens automatically and you don’t have to rely on your memory to bring it back into the foreground.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And there are cool ways you can leverage it, like with the feedback loop. I really like that she shared the feedback loop where you can start to nudge your clients if they haven’t provided copy feedback within a few days. And that’s something that you just don’t have to think about. I like that you can have prompts and emails going out to ask for referrals and testimonials. I mean, let’s just be honest here, so many of us do not ask for the referral or the testimonial when we wrap up a project and I am guilty of that too. And wouldn’t it be nice if we just had an automated email that went out so we didn’t have to worry about it and we got those referrals, we got those testimonials. So to me, that is actually the biggest benefit is that you can have a system doing what we don’t actually want to do ourselves.
And even she mentioned if you set all this up, you don’t even really have to talk to your client until you have a kickoff call because everything is automated. And I think for many of us introverts that’s appealing. It’s not because we’re a jerk. It’s like, I just don’t want to talk to the person until I really need to jump on an in depth call and have a deep conversation, but until then, I don’t really want to talk to anybody. So this is a great way, especially for introverts to allow us to do our thing and have some space, but also not leave the client hanging.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. I appreciate how Charlotte made it very clear that this is not something that’s necessarily easy to set up. You can’t just buy a product like Dubsado and it’s going to work. It does take time to figure out what the processes are, to set them up step by step, to put in the templates or the automated messaging, the emails, the contracts, all of that stuff. It does take time and so it may be worthwhile paying a specialist to do it for you, but as you were asking her, it’s something we can do on our own. And the time that will save over the course of 5, 10, 20 clients year to year to year is massive. And instead of doing that work over and over and over or even paying a VA to do that work over and over and over, the system can do it for you.
The other thing that I really appreciated is that, she didn’t say it in these words, but it’s clear that Dubsado is not artificial intelligence. It can’t answer emails back, it can’t predict things that need to happen. And so it’s not like a human being or a human VA who can maybe do some of that stuff or an OBM who maybe can jump into a process if something’s going wrong. But as long as that’s clear and you’re not expecting too much out of a system like that, something like Dubsado or HoneyBook, whatever can be a big benefit for your business.
Kira Hug: Let’s jump back into the interview with Charlotte to hear about the standard of systems for service providers.
Rob Marsh: So Charlotte, as you’ve worked with copywriters and I guess, other freelancers as well and you’ve seen the systems that they’ve built, what would you say is kind of the standard, the systems that we ought to be implementing into our business to make sure that from the beginning to the end we’re taking care of our clients, what are those?
Charlotte Isaac: So these three things, I think are really, really helpful. The first one is a client management system like Dubsado or HoneyBook, whichever one feels good to you and feels like the best way to kind of go in terms of getting it set up. So something to look after all of your client communication, your proposals, your contracts, all of that kind of stuff, of course, invoicing as well.
The second one is a scheduling tool. So most people are already using a scheduling tool. Like I mentioned, Dubsado and HoneyBook now have one built in. So if you’re going to use that client relationship management software, you could shift over your scheduling to that. You could use a separate one, if that feels good, but having something so that your clients don’t need to go back and forward over email with you to choose a time for something.
And then the third one is a project management tool. So Asana, Trello ClickUp, Monday, so many options out there. Pick one that you like, but something to help you keep your client work on track and make sure you don’t miss anything in terms of actually delivering the work.
Kira Hug: And maybe you can share the impact of all this? I mean, why does this all matter? I guess we want to make our clients happy, but if you are able to share any specific examples, whether it’s naming a client or not naming them, just how this can transform a business, especially for a copywriter?
Charlotte Isaac: Yeah, absolutely. I think the first one you touched on, keeping a client happy is really, really important. There’s a quote from the book, Paul Jarvis, the Company of One, and it’s, customer happiness is the new marketing. And I think that couldn’t be more true. I know Rob, you already said you get a ton of referrals. Kira, I’m sure you are the exact same. In fact, I know people that have referred you.
Kira Hug: I get less than Rob.
Charlotte Isaac: Oh, interesting.
Kira Hug: Less referrals than Rob, yeah.
Rob Marsh: That can’t possibly be true, but I just keep my clients happy, I guess, is what it comes down to.
Charlotte Isaac: Yeah, absolutely. And the thing is, Rob, you’re probably working really hard to do that because you can keep your clients happy without systems. It’s just that you’re working really hard to do it. So the next thing that a system gives you is it takes all of that stuff out of your head and moves it into something that just deals with it for you. So you’re kind of programming your own VA when you use a system like Dubsado or HoneyBook you’re saying, “Look, this is what I expect from you. This is the process that I want to take my clients through. You go and manage that, I’m going to dip in with the copywriting and the high level client care, but you just take care of that basic stuff for me.”
So a lot of time back is the big thing, a lot of space-in-your-head back. And one of the examples and this is from one of my copywriter clients, but I won’t name her. She mentioned that it used to take her kind of four or five hours to onboard a new client and it takes her less than 10 minutes for each client now.
Rob Marsh: Okay. That’s significant. That’s definitely worth considering.
Charlotte Isaac: Definitely.
Rob Marsh: So I’m curious about your business, Charlotte, how do you use systems in the work that you do in helping others set up their systems?
Charlotte Isaac: Yeah. So I, of course. I like to walk the walk. I’ve got all of these things set up for myself and I’m such a nerd that I had them set up on day one of my business. Maybe not the right decision, but it felt good and exciting to me. I have a lot of other systems as well around keeping myself and my team on time. That’s probably the other one. I usually recommend people start with something like Dubsado or HoneyBook to at least automate the communication side of things. The next step, another one that I’ve been really focusing on for the last year is working on my ClickUp, which I really, really love.
Kira Hug: Can you share more about your team? So how many team members, how do you all work together and what does that structure look like so that you aren’t overwhelmed by managing a team?
Charlotte Isaac: Yeah. It’s going through a little bit of a change at the moment. So it’s influx at the moment. I have one person who works with me. She is still a contractor, but works kind of as a part-time employee. So I’m about to move her into an account manager role and then hire a new person to work through some of the implementation in my business. So, at the moment, she has just kind of, for the last 18 months, been working on inputting things into Dubsado and doing a lot of that kind of technical stuff behind the scenes. That can be quite repetitive once you’ve done this for a while. I’ve been doing it for four years now. So things like putting in canned emails, I don’t need to be doing that. So I have someone to kind of handle all of that kind of stuff and the person I’m looking for now as an account manager, which is kind of exciting.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. I’m curious more on team systems, because as I think about our business and what Kira and I do together often, a lot of our time is spent with teams as opposed to clients. How do those differ and what are you implementing in your business around those kinds of things?
Charlotte Isaac: Yeah. So I have kind of a central hub for all of my team communication. So with the main contractors I mentioned that work on the client side of my business and then I also work with some of my contractors like copywriting contractors and things like that outside of it. All of that communication I try and put into two places, one primarily, so ClickUp. So we chat in there about specific tasks that need to get done, questions are answered, all of that kind of stuff. Keeping that in one place is really, really helpful for me. I know that there’s only one place I really need to go and check in on. I can see what’s happening, I can see who needs help from me, all of that kind of stuff. The other thing I use a lot is Voxer. I don’t know whether either of you use that?
Kira Hug: I do use it. I use Voxer and WhatsApp and then I send Rob a lot of text messages just because.
Rob Marsh: I have Voxer. I don’t use it very often unless somebody Voxers me first.
Charlotte Isaac: Got you. I love Voxer because you can get pretty quickly to the problem and you can understand, kind of, the nuances. I’ve mentioned my copywriter a few times. I am the person that does not enjoy writing. So writing out answers to questions and things like that, I kind of struggle with it. It takes me a little bit of time. The people listening might be very different to me because writing is kind of your natural thing. For me, speaking is a lot easier so that’s why I lean on Voxer quite a lot.
Rob Marsh: I want to maybe change the conversation just a little bit, Charlotte, let’s say somebody is listening and they’ve been copywriting or whatever, but for some reason systems just really ring their bell. Maybe as opposed to being a copywriter, they think, maybe I should be focusing in on systems. If somebody were to do that, what advice would you give them as they start to build a business in helping people actually set up systems like this?
Charlotte Isaac: I think choose which system you’re going to help people with first and foremost. Try a few things. Probably if you’re making that decision, you’ve already got something in mind, but I would go all in on it once you know. So Dubsado, once I went all in on that and I was really, really reluctant too. I had some advice from a business coach at the time that was kind of like, “This is too narrow.” And I was like, “It’s niching.” And I think it’s scary going all in on something, but it really does make a huge difference. That’s been my experience anyway. It’s so much easier to be known as the person that specializes in one system.
So choose your system and then get really good at it. Do a ton of setups, do them for your friends. When I started charging real money for it, I made sure that I had done it with a lot of people first. I had great testimonials and asked my clients to go through case study interviews and things like that so I could find out what they really loved about working with me and where I maybe needed to get better.
Kira Hug: And Charlotte, you mentioned proposals earlier and I know you have some advice around conversions and how to improve your proposals. What have you seen work well for your business or for your clients when it comes to proposals?
Charlotte Isaac: I think there’s five things that we need to put in proposals. I can kind of walk those through in a second, but I guess the summary of it is, all of the right stuff with no fluff. I think with proposals, a lot of us tend to make them either really, really short where we’re not really giving much information. We’re like, “Okay, it’s 10 grand to do this project.” Or we tend to have all of this information and none of it is really relevant to the client. It’s just box checking stuff that we have in there.
So all the right stuff with no fluff, creating some kind of urgency and this is something that a system can really help you with. Have some sort of, kind of expiry date on there, following up your clients to make sure that they’re getting back to you within that expiry date, giving your clients start dates to create some urgency and then a really streamlined process. So that’s kind of the big picture I think, around what makes a great proposal. Would you like me to dip into the things I think need to go into this?
Kira Hug: Yes.
Charlotte Isaac: Cool. So an introduction is really important. Something that, I guess lays the foundation of why you’re sending the proposal and also references something that clients have said. So I, of course love a good template, but I think a proposal is somewhere where we really do need to personalize a little bit for our clients and show that we’ve listened to them and that we know what they’re trying to achieve and the big picture. So the introduction is the first one.
Having a look at the process is the second thing that I would really include in a proposal. So walk your clients through what working with you actually looks like and be specific without drowning them in detail. I think it’s important to remember too, that our clients don’t always talk in the same language that we talk in. So I know with copywriting a lot of people are confused as anything around why they need a brand voice guide. So if that’s something that you’re proposing to your clients, walk them through why it’s important, what it looks like to make that, how it fits in with moving on to a web copy project or something like that. And just kind of show them what it looks like and show them that you are the expert and that they’re not going to have to manage you. You’re actually going to walk them through the process.
The next thing is having some kind of testimonial or case study in there. And again, we’re just trying to remind them what’s possible. This is probably moving into your territory, Rob and Kira, as copywriters compared to mine, the value of a good testimonial. And I think a lot of people don’t put them in proposals, but they make a huge difference.
Next, we want to have your pricing and we want to make it a bit of a no brainer. So I guess think about it as if you are writing pricing almost for a website or a sales page. So I like to show inclusions and benefits in my pricing and be really clear. And similar to what we were talking about with the process, make sure that they know why something is important if you’re maybe proposing something that’s a little bit different than what they originally expected in coming to you.
And then the last bit that people miss a lot is having some sort of next steps. So what do they actually need to do to move forward with you? So to say yes in Dubsado, they probably need to hit the submit and next button. They go through to your contract, they sign your contract, they pay a deposit, maybe it’s 50%, maybe it’s something different. That’s what they need to do and tell them what happens next. So really just guiding them through the process and helping them see that it’s really easy for them to fly through that onboarding process with you.
Rob Marsh: And as you go through that process, Charlotte, do you cover all of this on your discovery call as well? How much of it shows up for the first time in the proposal versus the call? And are there other things that you’re talking about on the call that maybe don’t show up in the proposal?
Charlotte Isaac: Definitely. So I don’t cover it so much on the discovery calls. I think that people would probably have a fried brain if they hopped off that call with me. I tend to do it once I’ve signed on with a client and we start to dig into their process. This is the kind of things we cover. So what does your website look like? Most people when they work with me either have a website up already or they’re in the process of upleveling it. So we look at what information you are already communicating with your clients there. Then we go through to that next stage. So when people reach out to you, are you sending them that lookbook or a services guide or something like that? Where are we communicating there? What do we still need to communicate before they say yes? So what goes into the proposal? There’s so much stuff we send our clients and it’s a really good question, Rob. We need to make sure that all the pieces fit together really nicely.
Kira Hug: Because you manage the client management so well, I’m sure you’re thinking about boundaries and how to maintain those client boundaries. How do you approach client boundaries and where do you set yours?
Charlotte Isaac: So I always try to remember the term clear is kind and again, that you can’t over communicate things. So my boundaries are set up very first in my services guide. So there I talk about the typical wait time that people have to go through to work with me. So usually I’m booked out about 12 weeks or more in advance and that’s kind of the first boundary I set, that people can’t reach out to me and expect to start tomorrow. In that kind of format, you could also set the boundary on how long your projects take, what your pricing is, all of the things that are not really negotiable in working with you.
And then through the onboarding process, I try and reinforce that a lot too, so people know how to communicate with me. I only check my emails a couple of times a week. That’s another boundary I set. I don’t give out my phone number. That feels like a very important one. I think boundaries can be very personal and they can be whatever you like them to be as long as you communicate that with your clients.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. We were going to ask for your phone number, but I guess that’s not happening.
Charlotte Isaac: Oh. Sorry, Rob.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. How much time do you spend in your business every day or every week? What does that look like? And how do you make sure that you’re getting the right things done?
Charlotte Isaac: So I work four days a week. I work Tuesday to Friday. Monday is kind of a free day for me and I don’t usually work unless I’m launching something. Occasionally I can’t stop myself from working that day. So from my four day work week, I typically spend two days a week on client work and two days a week working on my business and the programs that I run as well. So the two client days usually look like a morning’s worth of calls. I only do calls on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings. So from about 6:00 till 10:00 because a lot of my clients are in the States. I’m based in Australia. And then my afternoon is spent actually doing things, responding to emails, all that kind of stuff. The other two days are completely clear days. So I might be working on updating one of my programs or working on some of the marketing, leading up to a launch, kind of whatever is the business project I need to be focusing on then.
Kira Hug: How do you manage your own productivity and just getting all this stuff done, because to me, you’re a superhero at this point, you have systems in place, you’ve got everything well organized. What do you do when you actually sit down to do the work? What works for you?
Charlotte Isaac: I am really, really strange in this perspective, in that I don’t really like being told what to do, including if I’m telling myself. I know a lot of people like time blocking and they kind of map out exactly what they have to do on all of these days. Personally, I find that really, really restrictive and weirdly it makes me less productive. So what I like to do is have those two free days a week. I have a list in my ClickUp. I don’t try to systematize myself too much.
I have kind of a good timeline for client work and when that happens and all of that kind of thing happens like clockwork. But when it comes to the work that I do in my own business, I try to give myself an overall list and I cherry pick from each week. I don’t usually miss things. I mean, of course there’s things I always put off, but I find that giving myself the freedom to work on what feels exciting to me on that day means that I get through things a lot quicker and I do a better job of them as well.
Rob Marsh: So I think you mentioned that you have a team, how much of the work gets done by your team and how do you make that whole process work?
Charlotte Isaac: Yeah. Templates. So a lot of my implementation, in fact, almost all of my implementation these days is done by my team. I work very much in the strategy realm at the moment. So going through the process that we started to talk about those questions beforehand, how do people find you? What does it look like to work with you? What does the timeline look like? What do we need to communicate with them about this? That’s kind of where I sit with my clients and I help them work out the overall process and streamline it and then my team helps translate that into Dubsado land. So things like setting up proposals, putting hand emails into Dubsado, working through all of the settings, and basically setting Dubsado up the way we had planned it when we’d gone through the process. So that’s where my team mostly works and then I have people that help me with non-client stuff as well.
Kira Hug: What type of marketing systems have you created for yourself?
Charlotte Isaac: Marketing is the least favorite part of my business. Outsourcing, does that count as a system? I’m probably a representative of a lot of clients of copywriters. I have a marketing degree and I don’t really like marketing. I struggle to talk about myself. So I have people I lean on to get my marketing done. So I have a copywriter, I have a social media manager. I work with someone on a few other little bits and pieces as well. And my VA kind of pulls it all together and plugs in my emails into ActiveCampaign and all of that kind of stuff. My strategy there is to make sure that I get better people than me to do it because I know otherwise I’ll avoid it.
Rob Marsh: Charlotte, if you could go back in time to when you were just starting out your business, what advice would you give you that might help you make progress faster as a business owner?
Charlotte Isaac: I think go with your gut and I think it’s important to listen to people and get their advice, but I think deep down, we all probably know what we should be doing and focusing on in business. So that’s the first thing and the second thing is probably to do things that scare me. In hindsight, my business would’ve grown a lot quicker if I would suck it up and talk about myself. I was really lucky that referrals have always been a big part of my business and they really helped me grow but I’m sure that I did it the slow way because I was so reluctant to talk about myself, be on social media, put myself out there.
Kira Hug: Well, what advice would you offer to copywriters who are listening and also feel that fear? I mean, we feel it, even though we help our clients with their own marketing, we struggle to show up and share our voice and viewpoints too. So what advice would you give to them if they’re struggling?
Charlotte Isaac: I’m so happy to hear that both of you still feel this. It’s something that doesn’t really go away, is it? Something that I try and remember is that everything felt hard once and it doesn’t anymore. So the thing that feels hard to me now probably won’t feel hard to me in six months. I was having a conversation with someone that was in one of my programs last week and she had her first discovery call and she was absolutely terrified. And I still vividly remember the moment I had my first discovery call and where I was sitting and what I was wearing and I just remember feeling sick to my stomach about it. And now I think about having discovery calls and they’re easy and fun and I enjoy them and I love connecting with new people and it’s probably one of my favorite parts of my business. So that’s what I always try and keep in mind. It’s terrifying to start with, but you won’t know if it’s something you’ll enjoy until you actually do it.
Rob Marsh: As you talk about that kind of growth and the practice, I’m curious, what kinds of investments or big steps that you’ve taken as you’ve grown your business that have helped you to basically make that change from, I don’t enjoy doing it or I’m even afraid to do it to, this actually feels really easy now?
Charlotte Isaac: I think it’s surrounding yourself with the right people. So if I had my time, again, the things I would invest in are the things that have some sort of community element. I know you both, I’m going to plug the Think Tank, if that’s okay. As someone who’s not in the Think Tank, I know people that have gone through the Think Tank and have absolutely adored it. Obviously I am not the right fit for that program, but the kind of things that I’ve invested in that I’ve got a lot out of are the things that I have surrounded myself with people that get the challenges that I’m going through, have maybe been there before or are going through it at the moment. And I just find you get so much out of surrounding yourself with the right people, instead of just doing a course or I think there’s a place for coaches, for sure, but I think that there’s something about community that is very, very transformative.
Kira Hug: And I’m curious, we work with so many copywriters who are just feeling fatigued right now, exhausted as we’re kicking off this new year. How do you take care of yourself and what are your self care practices, if you have them, that help you stay feeling energized, excited about what you do, and focused?
Charlotte Isaac: That is such a mood for this year, isn’t it? So many people have told me that they feel the same way and it’s so real. The first thing I try and do is have my Mondays off. I know that’s not directly self care, but giving myself less time in my business really, really helps me keep my energy high throughout the whole year. I find that when I work five days a week, I can do that for a while and then I need a holiday and then I can do it again and then I need a holiday. So I’m always trying to make sure that from a business point of view, I do less than I could do to make sure that I don’t get burnt out is kind of the best place to start.
Once you’re already there, it’s a little bit hard to wheel back, but kind of outside of that practice of taking Mondays off, I always try and do things. This year I’m going to try and come up with some more creative hobbies to help me switch my brain off. I did a little bit of pottery last year which was kind of fun. I’d like to learn Italian. We’ll see.
Kira Hug: I love that.
Rob Marsh: Wait, pottery? Tell me, you’re spinning the pottery on the wheel or what are you doing there?
Charlotte Isaac: Don’t be too impressed. I’m definitely not an expert, but I’ve done a few little classes where you have the wheel thing. It’s very messy and it’s very therapeutic. You can’t think about work when you’re doing it and I guess that’s more of what I’m trying to bring into my life this year.
Rob Marsh: Okay. So I like that you mentioned that because one of the things this year that I feel like I have been missing and maybe it’s because of the weirdness of the last two years, but it’s creativity or exposure to more things. So one of the things I’m trying to do is draw more, sketching, that kind of thing. So maybe there’s something in the air that’s making us look for these kinds of hobbies. I don’t know.
Charlotte Isaac: I think so. I’m impressed that you are going to get into drawing. Please share them.
Rob Marsh: Don’t be impressed until you see how poor my drawings are. They’re terrible.
Charlotte Isaac: You send me your drawings, I’ll send you a photo of whatever I make. We’ll be embarrassed together.
Rob Marsh: There you go.
Kira Hug: I would like to see these drawings as well. Please send them my way. Okay. So we ask this question frequently on the show and interpret it however you’d like, but Charlotte, what do you think the future of online marketing in this space that we’re in, what does it look like to you?
Charlotte Isaac: It’s a really, really interesting thing to think about, isn’t it? I think that the level of professionalism is going to be dialed up. And when I say professionalism, I don’t mean putting on a suit and kind of stripping yourself of personality. But I think that we’ve all dealt with a lot of Cowboys in this industry and I hope that they are going to go away. And I think that we’re going to start to demand more out of the people we work with and the choices we’re making and take our businesses a little bit more like a business rather than a hobby.
Rob Marsh: I like that. I think it’s great advice.
Kira Hug: Yeah. I agree. Final question. I believe you’re a Harry Potter fan?
Charlotte Isaac: I am.
Kira Hug: What is a business lesson you’ve taken from Harry Potter?
Charlotte Isaac: Oh, that is really cool. Because-
Rob Marsh: This should be a question we always ask, Kira. This is-
Charlotte Isaac: It’s really hard. I don’t know. I think this is going to sound really, really lame. I have recently reread it. In fact, I’ve reread it a couple of times through the lockdowns and watched them with my husband this year, because what else have we been doing in the last couple of years? And I am always really impressed about the details that have gone into creating Harry Potter and the world. And the more times you read it, the more times you realize there’s lots of little nuances there. And I think that probably the lesson is that you can create something pretty magical – that’s super lame. I’m cringing.
Kira Hug: No. It’s not lame at all. I love that. Especially, I think that ties together our conversation around automation and Dubsado and everything that you can automate so that it works like magic. I like that.
Charlotte Isaac: Thank you for pulling that together for me, Kira.
Rob Marsh: Well done. Well done Kira. So Charlotte, if somebody has been listening to us talk and like me are thinking, wait a second, I definitely need more magic in my systems or I need systems to actually get me out of my business, what should they do? Where should they reach out to start that conversation with you?
Charlotte Isaac: Yeah. If you want to chat with me, reach out on Instagram, I am @charlotteisaachq or you can hop over to my website, charlotteisaac.com. I have a free mini course called, Seven Steps to Automation that walks you through. Some of the things that we’ve spoken about today. So is Dubsado or HoneyBook the right system for you? What kind of things can you automate in your business? What would it look like if you started to automate it, all of that kind of stuff. So Seven Steps to Automation is the tool.
Rob Marsh: That’s the end of our interview with Charlotte Isaac. Before we wrap Kira, what stood out to you from the last half of this interview?
Kira Hug: Well, so much from this latter part. We really jumped into customer experience and Charlotte shared a quote from Paul Jarvis, customer happiness is the new marketing. And that was a really great quote to share because this is just all of us upleveling, right? As copywriters, as freelancers, it’s really taking our businesses seriously and helping us stand out from other copywriters in the space who maybe are not upleveling in our processes. And so this is really what makes people feel happy.
And I recently hired a contractor and once I started to receive the automations and the setup, I just felt taken care of. It was like there was nothing left hanging. I just felt like I was being taken care of and I felt more confident and excited about the process and excited about paying for something. And so if this is something pretty easy we can do to get our clients excited about working with us, it just seems like a no-brainer. And then again, we can get referrals from the great work we do and for making our clients happy.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. That Paul Jarvis quote reminded me of something that we heard from John Jantsch. He did a training for us in the Think Tank at one point. And he said, the first step to getting more referrals is to make your business more referable. And this is the kind of system that leads to that client happiness, that satisfaction, or even beyond satisfaction, clients who are thrilled with the service, the communication, the work that you’re doing and then that makes you more referable and helps you attract additional clients. So similar thoughts there.
I also really appreciated what Charlotte was talking about as far as the proposal goes and some of the things that she talked about specifically that you want to include in a proposal. We have a proposal training that we have in the underground, we call it the perfect proposal. And we talk about some of these same elements, plus a couple of others, and how you want to structure your proposal in order to make it really easy for your clients to say yes and of course, you want to introduce the project, you want to include your process, possibly even a framework that explains how you work.
You want to pepper it with testimonials and case studies, so that you’re proving that you can do the work and gaining the trust of the client that you’re talking to. There’s pricing. You always want to have a call to action. Empathy, you want to add. So lots of things that we’ve built into our training and hearing Charlotte echo all of that stuff, just reminded me that, that training is spot on when it comes to creating a proposal that clients want to say yes to.
Kira Hug: And I think an opportunity for those proposals is to go deep into the testimonial section and provide a variety of testimonials. So it’s not just one page with testimonials, but really kind of sprinkling your social proof throughout the proposal. So maybe you do drop in one or two case studies that can be really in depth. And then maybe you have a couple testimonials that are just a sentence or two about how amazing it is or how amazing you are. And then you could have a variety of testimonials, maybe on a separate page throughout the proposal where you talk about the benefits of working with you.
And so just making sure you drip it throughout the entire proposal and use your testimonials and social proof really strategically so that whatever your client is reading throughout the proposal, depending on how you have it set up, there is always social proof on that page reminding them about why you are worth the investment. And so I know we’ve talked a lot about Better Proposals and that’s the tool that I use for my proposals. And it allows me to really create beautiful graphics to show off the testimonials too, and add some design elements so that people actually want to read them and they don’t just skim over them.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. I like Better Proposals too. In fact, we’ll include a link to Better Proposals in the show notes so that people can check that out. Before we leave off on talking about proposals, this isn’t necessarily something that Charlotte was talking about, but a proposal is a sales tool, just like your website is a sales tool. And so thinking about your proposal almost as if it’s a sales letter, you can even use sales tools like the PAS writing structure to help make sure that you’re including everything that you want to emphasize in the problem, helping people understand how impactful that problem is in their business, and then offering you as a solution or your product, your service as a solution can be also a really good approach to proposals. In addition to the way that we would use that on a sales page, on our website or in a sales sequence through email, they’re all sales tools and they all call for that kind of approach to selling.
Kira Hug: Charlotte also shared that, we talked about her day and how she spends her time and I enjoy talking about the schedule, especially from someone like Charlotte who’s clearly well organized and understands systems. So just hearing how she actually appreciates having more freedom in her day and she doesn’t like doing time blocking and necessarily blocking every moment of the day, that just was good to hear because that’s how I like to work as well. And it just is a great reminder that there’s no one right way to do your work throughout the week, that we all have different preferences and different working styles. And so I think this is just great to listen to a podcast like this and hear different styles to figure out what works best for you.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. I think if I’m not mistaken, Charlotte is the second person in not too long who’s mentioned working a four day work week. And I’m choosing to take this as a sign from the universe that we need to be working a four day work week, whether that’s-
Kira Hug: Well, we were.
Rob Marsh: … Monday off or Fridays off or whatever. More of that.
Kira Hug: Yeah. I think we were doing a better job of that until TCCIRL came.
Rob Marsh: The event is a lot of work.
Kira Hug: The event, yes. The event is a lot of work. I mean, it’s also cool that Charlotte just knows that she needs to take Mondays off. And I think she said, I do less than I could do to make sure I don’t get burnt out. And that quote stood out to me because we can always do more. I can always do more. I mean, there is a limit where you tap out for the day, but I think there’s just this frustration of being an entrepreneur today, just to always do one more thing before you end the day.
And sometimes it’s just a good reminder that you could do one more thing or you can end the day early or at a decent time so that you can rest and just live your life and not get burnt out. And clearly she has experienced some burnout, so she’s protecting herself against that. And that’s why she’s taking Mondays off. And that’s just something that I know after our event is over, that will be really important to me to have those just kind of self care practices in place again.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. And when we were talking about self care we mentioned some, well, I mentioned that I am trying to do more drawing. Last week when we were talking about some of the stuff that we were doing, meditation, you’re like, “Wait a second. I was doing a tonne of it and now I’m not.” I’m listening to this one. I’m the same way. I’m like, “Oh crap. I need to draw more.” Again, because of IRL, we’ve been so busy. I’ve let that slide a little bit and so it was a reminder to me to pick that up.
One other thing that I have been doing though, very consistently, because it shows up in my emails is reading more poetry and I’m not sure that’s necessarily self-care as much as it’s just trying to open myself up to different ways of seeing things, but having it show up in my inbox every day makes a difference. And maybe I just need a reminder to show up in my inbox to say, “Okay, Rob, take five minutes and draw a picture or do some kind of a sketch or something like that.” So anyway, I am feeling a little chastised just like you were last week.
Kira Hug: Yeah. I think it’s just prioritizing life outside of business and that allows you to avoid getting trapped inside the business. So whether it’s drawing for you or for me, even last night, there was a ton of stuff to do on a Monday, but I just wanted to shut off and cook a meal for my family, which I don’t always do. But to me, that’s the whole point of creating this business is that we are able to do these things and enjoy it and enjoy the leisure of our lives too. And so I think Charlotte seems to have a good handle on that and is pursuing these hobbies that allow her to have that daily reminder.
Rob Marsh: Your last question to Charlotte was about Harry Potter. I know you asked that because she’s a fan. And I thought it was actually kind of a really nice way to wrap up this episode because what we’ve been talking about this entire episode is how do you install a little extra magic into your process or into your systems or help your clients see something just a little bit different from you? And we teach a lot of this in the Accelerator and encourage people to see things differently, especially when it comes to systems and processes to figure out where there can be a little surprise for your client? Where can there be some kind of a magic thing that happens? And so I like that as a way to end this podcast is thinking about what can we do to make the process or the experience of working with us more magical for our clients?
Kira Hug: Yeah. I could tell I impressed you with that question.
Rob Marsh: Very, even though I’m not much of a Harry Potter fan.
Kira Hug: The people pleaser in me is always excited when I do impress you and so that was a moment for me, because I’d actually done my homework prior to the interview.
Rob Marsh: There you go.
Kira Hug: That’s the end of this episode of The Copywriter Club podcast, the intro music was composed by copywriter and songwriter, Addison Rice. The outro was composed by copywriter and songwriter, David Muntner. If you liked what you’ve heard today, if you really liked it, or if you just kind of liked it, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts or share the episode with someone you think would like it or may need some systems help.
Rob Marsh: And if you want to listen to a couple of other episodes where we talk about systems in depth, be sure to check out episode 44. We interviewed Abbey Woodcock and going back, just thinking about this, that was a really good interview about systems and the systems you need in your business and she’s a specialist at that. And then also episode number 207 with Jordan Gill about the systems that you need in your business and what she’s done to literally have the system save her business. They’re both great interviews and you may want to check them out. And then just a reminder to check out The Copywriter Think Tank, the link is in the show notes. Again, that’s our mastermind. We’ve added a couple of new coaches and some other changes that are coming in the future. We’d love to have you be part of that. Thanks for listening and see you next week.