Krystle Church joins us for the 271st episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. A former Accelerator member, Krystle is a business mentor and runs a boutique copywriting studio. Krystle is a borderless entrepreneur who runs her business on the island of Mauritius. This episode is a must-listen if you’re curious about running a business abroad and balancing business endeavors all while keeping your mindset in check.
We chat about:
- Transitioning from traveling elementary school teacher to borderless entrepreneur.
- Creating a healthy working atmosphere and getting to choose who you work with.
- Retiring your partner and defining freedom in your own terms.
- The illusion of choice and how it can impact business decisions.
- Utilizing the freedom you have to make CEO decisions. (because you are the boss, afterall.)
- How to unbox the narrative and stories we constantly tell ourselves.
- Overcoming cycles of burnout and soaking up the big milestones you reach before jumping into the next thing.
- Rewiring your mindset and figuring out what you want from your business.
- The biggest mindset blocks for copywriters and navigating them.
- How to work as a “workaholic.”
- Mindset and journaling practices for both business and personal growth.
- How to manage two aspects of business: mentorship + copy studio.
- Managing multiple team members who support the growth of your brand.
- How to train your team to provide the same white-glove experience you provide your DFY clients.
- Is it time to hire contractors or full time employees in your business?
- What processes need to be in place before making your first hire.
- How to raise your prices – Which marks should we be hitting?
- How to structure a high-ticket day rate.
- Copy chiefing and how to work with a junior copywriter.
- Hiring for your business from a financial perspective and stacking revenue.
- The secret to creating demand in your business.
- The struggles of a 6-figure business – Does it get easier?
- The impact of community and leaning on others for support.
Grab your headphones or check out the transcript below.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:Kira’s website
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Kira: Mindset and pricing go hand in hand when you want to raise your prices. Getting over the fear of charging what we’re worth is something so many copywriters struggle with in their businesses. In the 271st episode of the Copywriter Club Podcast, we’re joined by Accelerator alumni member Krystle Church, who is an elementary school teacher turned business coach who also owns a boutique copywriting studio. Krystle walks us through how she’s been able to raise her prices, build her team and increase her confidence over the last few years.
Before we jump in, I have some introductions to make, because in this interview, I was actually joined by a co-host, I kicked Rob out of this show completely and Erin Pennings joined me. Erin is a Think Tank member and a B2B copywriter who focuses on brand messaging, website copy and visibility strategies. Erin also has an awesome program called Womp Womp to Wow, which is my favorite title for any program. And it’s a 21-day web copy intensive. So Erin actually join me for the initial interview. You’ll hear her asking questions. And I have another special guest today, Aly Goulet, who is also a Think Tank member. And Aly, thanks for being here with me today. Can you introduce yourself?
Aly: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks so much for having me. I’m Aly Goulet. I’m a B2B SaaS and IT copywriter, and I also create resource for freelancers, including Genius Portfolio for WordPress.
Kira: Very cool. And before we dive into this interview, you know we love to have some sponsor action. And our sponsor today is the Think Tank, our mastermind. I know it’s shocking that the Think Tank is our sponsor today. So Aly, as a member of the Think Tank, you are in your second year in the Think Tank. Can you share a little bit about your experience in this mastermind and maybe just how it’s helped you the most?
Aly: Yeah. I think what really makes the Think Tank special when I compare it to even other offerings that I’ve been a part of in the past is that the community that you and Rob have created there is so special and it’s really about learning and listening and reflecting off of each other so that we’re all encouraged to move in the directions that we really want to lean into as opposed to doing things one right way or following the same program. We’re all doing so many different things, we’re all accomplishing so much. And it’s just nice to be in a room with other people and really bouncing those ideas off of each other instead of operating in your own business vacuum.
Kira: Yeah. And you are such a great example of a writer who has done your own thing entirely and created your own plugin. Can you just talk a little bit about that because I do think you’re such a great example of writer who’s building a business your way?
Aly: Well, thank you. Yeah. The plugin, it wouldn’t exist without the Think Tank, right? So I have to give it that. And really it came out of a concept that we talk about a lot in the Think Tank that’s come up in a lot of conversations where the scraps of what we create are really things that we can repurpose and used to take our business in a different direction. Maybe that’s creating a course, maybe it’s co-creating a plugin like I did, maybe it’s something else, but it’s going beyond what we can offer in terms of copy deliverables, and really looking at where else our skills lie and what else we have to offer to the world.
Kira: All right. Cool. And if you want to hear more from Aly, you are in episode 249 of the podcast. I had to look that up, but check out and listen to Aly’s interview 249 of the podcast. So let’s jump into the interview with Krystle Church. Krystle, let’s kick it off with story. How did you end up as a copywriter and a course creator and a mentor?
Krystle: Well, it is a long winding story as I feel like most guests on your podcast have. I in a past life was an elementary school teacher and I loved it. I thought it was my calling. I took international school jobs in various countries around the world. And I had a lot of fun for about eight years, I traveled and hopped around to a different country every year or two, taught third, fourth, fifth grade, and just enjoyed life and travel and that sort of access that gave me to the rest of the world. But there was this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that at the end of every holiday, every school break, I had to go back to work. And while I loved teaching, the work environments in most of these places always had a catch. It was either really toxic or the policies were absurd or you didn’t actually have enough time to teach the curriculum. There was always something that caused an extreme amount of stress and pressure on educators.
And over the course of these eight years, I felt this thing building up. In the background of my mind, something was percolating, something was bubbling to the surface until I landed my last job where I was at my “nine-to-five”. And there, it was kind of like the needle on the haystack, you had to sift through some things to find what was wrong. From the surface, it looked wonderful and it looked like I was traveling every holiday, I had a great salary, I had all sorts of choice or the illusion of choice, I might say.
But really when you dug down deeper into the work environment and the culture, and specifically the team that I was assigned to, there was an extreme issue with a boys club atmosphere. And there was a lot of toxicity. And it broke me. I got to the point where I was like, “Why am I here? And what does the rest of my career look like?” Every job I’ve gone to has had some sort of big, negative impact that takes away from the joy of education and having your class and your kids. And I felt like I couldn’t see doing that for the rest of my life as much as I love teaching.
And it’s so funny because I literally Googled, I loved writing in my spare time. So I Googled like, how to get paid to be a writer. And I found a blog that talked all about copywriting. And I was like, “Wow, what is this interesting and weird, strange niche area?” And I dug into it and I started learning and practicing. And I just decided, you know what? I’m going to quit my job. And I’m going to figure this out and make this my dream and build an entire business that operates how I want in a healthy work environment where I get to choose the team members that I’m surrounded with and really gives me just the flexibility, the freedom of time, finances, choice to do what I want in both my business and my life.
And so I did put in my notice and that was with the goal of then retiring my partner from his teaching job. And I was able to do that within 14 months of starting my business and launching this copywriting coaching courses business. And here I am today about year and a half in just loving life. And currently living in an island in the tropics, have retired my guy, and we are just figuring out what freedom really means to us.
Erin Pennings: So that’s amazing, Krystle. And I’ve been following you. I’ve been following a lot about where you’ve landed and some of your travels, but something you just said, the illusion of choice is something I think is really powerful. And I think how has not having a choice, how does that impact the way you run your business and the people you choose to work with?
Krystle: Oh, that’s such a great point to talk on because I think we can keep ourselves inside of these boxes and sometimes not even realize that we don’t have choice, which is where this whole illusion comes from. And as a business owner, wow, if you don’t have choice, you are really just pigeonholing yourself, pigeonholing the type of atmosphere you’re going to create, the type of day-to-day you personally are going to have and the bigger vision that you’re going to take the business in.
So I really think that this illusion of choice is something that we often have not always, but often in our nine-to-fives or in the corporate world. And it’s something we can carry with us into our own entrepreneurial journey without even realizing it. And I did in so many different ways carry that around with me. And it’s only through trial and error and really digging into some nitty-gritty internal things that you start to realize that you can actually unbox yourself. Like if you’re living in a box, you can peel off that layer and realize, oh wait a second. I actually could do this, or I could do that, or I could build something completely different than I’ve seen anybody else do it. And it’s up to me to decide and to make the choice if I actually want to do it that way. And I don’t actually have to follow a set path that I’ve seen anybody else do before.
Kira: So I want to dig into unboxing yourself. But first, I like to have some context here with timing. Roughly when did you leave your job in education and start your own copywriting business?
Krystle: Oh yeah. So I left my teaching job in June of 2019. And I knew then, okay, I’m going to dig into copywriting and figure out what that is and what I want to do exactly. And then in August, I joined the Copywriter Club Accelerator. And that opened my mind to so many different things in terms of like what that meant as starting a copywriting career or business. And then I fiddled around with a lot of travel copywriting, wanting to do case studies. I was looking for my thing, what I really enjoyed copy wise. And I didn’t actually officially do anything for clients. I looked, but I decided to switch niches and I started the current business that I have in March of 2020, coincidentally with the pandemic.
Kira: Okay. All right. Cool. That helps. And let’s talk about unboxing yourself and what you mean by that. And can you share some examples of how you’ve done that specifically?
Krystle: Absolutely. I think one of the most obvious examples for my own journey has been unboxing this idea of what I “had to do”. And as I started my business, I think I was in a position that most entrepreneurs find themselves in where you are full to the brim, you were busy, stressed, you’re wearing all of the hats, you’re doing all of the things and you just want to get this thing off the ground. And while that’s a necessary phase to go through, I found it personally really difficult to come out of it. And it’s something I’ve seen a lot of my clients struggle with as well. And I tended to lean into being busy, lean into doing more to not saying no. And I felt like, well, I’m doing all these things. Why aren’t I doing X yet? Or why aren’t I here yet? Even though growth and momentum was happening, I felt like I couldn’t step off of that treadmill or ever everything was going to crumble.
In reality, nothing was going to crumble. But in my mind, I had built up this story that I had to keep going. And I put myself in this box of, this is a situation that I’m in, can’t take time off, you can’t rest. If you see somebody else doing something, chances are you’re late to the party, you should have already been doing it yourself. All of those stories that we can build up in our minds, especially when you’re working solo at home and you’re just watching on social media what other entrepreneurs are doing. You can tell yourself the story that it’s not enough and that you have to continue to hustle harder, harder, harder.
So for me, I got to a point where I went through these cycles of burnout. I’d be working really hard toward a goal for three months. I’d get that goal. And instead of giving myself some reprieve, I would just start the next runway toward the next big thing. And then I would do that again and again and again. And I got to the point where I was completely and totally burnt out.
It was only then that I had to really dig deep into some mindset around not working, around it being okay to take time off and start to unbox or peel back those layers of what are the limiting beliefs that are keeping me where I am, that are keeping me within my own issues, the issues that I’m defining, like I’m working too hard, I’m exhausted. How am I keeping myself in this position? Because I have all the expertise and the tools and the support from others to go forth and change it. But yet I’m not. So the last sort of piece of that puzzle for myself and for a lot of other entrepreneurs I see is your own mindset and breaking free of that and redefining what you want things to look like.
Erin Pennings: What are some of the biggest mindset blocks you see for other copywriters and other online businesses?
Krystle: Oh, definitely, a lot of the questions I get from clients tend to be around pricing and having mindset blocks around feeling like it’s not either their time to raise their prices yet, or it’s not the norm to do that, or they’re worried about what clients are going to say. So money mindset is a huge one. And I think that it can hold copywriters back for so long from being able to create something that’s more sustainable and can keep them in this box of continuing to do the work and do the hustle all the time when chances are they have the expertise and the skillset under their belt to be able to charge what their time is actually worth, but they just aren’t able mentally to take that step yet.
So money mindset, for sure. And also just the mindset around stepping away from the desk, taking time off and being able to say the business will be okay, I can come back to it and the sky is not going to fall on top of me. In fact, I’m going to come back stronger, better, more capable to serve my clients wholeheartedly if I take time and fill my own cup up first.
Erin Pennings: That’s really interesting. And I’ve seen it in a lot of people. So what can you say that you have done concretely to unpeel, peel back the layers of that box?
Krystle: The only way I found success in doing this specifically with breaking free of being a workaholic was by putting really strict boundaries on myself. So one of the things I love to do is set a timer on my phone, I have a recurring one every single day at 5:45. My timer goes off, no matter what I am working on, I am done for the day, I close the laptop, I step away from the desk and that’s so I can prioritize not only myself, but my partner and enjoy our time together because no matter what, I love what I do. So I’ll just spend forever continuing to write or do other sides of the business.
So having that boundary is really key. Also, just having boundaries around what are the actual calendar weeks you’re going to be working in the year. And I find that if I don’t schedule time off, I’m not going to have it. So looking ahead and saying, okay. Well, you know what? I don’t know what’s going to happen at this period in time over the year, but I am going to take three weeks off in August. And just making sure that that happens. So I think action is really the most important way to start to find shifts within yourself and unbox because you can dive in mentally and internally and you can journal on all these things, which I recommend as well. But the only way I found true change in my own habits was by forcing myself to take a leap and trust that it would all be okay if I stepped away.
Kira: What are some other mindset shifts you’ve experienced? You mentioned feeling like you, not that you weren’t enough, but you weren’t doing enough. These are some big struggles that we all have. How did you make that shift? And are there any other shifts?
Krystle: Yeah, I think that, especially if you’re an entrepreneur who markets yourself on social media, like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, there can be this huge game of comparisonitis and looking at others in their businesses and thinking, oh wow, they’re launching X or they’re promoting this or they’ve got this great new thing going, I should be doing, I should be, I should be. And that word should is such a dangerous one, right? We shouldn’t be shoulding anything. We should just be doing what we want to be doing, what’s going to take our business further, what’s going to take our personal goals further. And maybe that’s not related to the business at all. So I find that it’s really important to focus on what you really want and instead of looking at others.
So one of these big shifts that I personally had was just stopping consuming so much content and choosing only select people that I trusted in the online space to learn from, collaborate with and just let into my world. So just putting the blinders up essentially. And that’s the biggest one that I think we overlook because you pick up your phone. And before you even realize it, you’re opening up social media and you’re scrolling and then 30 minutes late, you’re like, “What am I even doing?” So putting these blinders up and really being intentional about what you’re consuming and what you’re letting into your world, whether that is this comparisonitis game and looking at what other people are doing, or just generally in your business and just putting blinders up and saying, I’m going to just focus on what’s going to move me closer to my goals and staying really intentional about that.
Erin Pennings: So do you have any advice for what other people could do to choose what those things are you’re going to focus on and what you’re going to tune out as well as what you’re going to let in through the vision that you’re creating?
Krystle: Absolutely. I always start by asking clients to envision their life in one year, three years and five years. And I like to have this be an in-depth journal exercise. So take 30 minutes, light a candle, put on some nice music in the background and really journal, like what happens when you wake up in the morning? What do you do as soon as you get out of bed? What are you eating for breakfast? What car are you driving? What house are you living in? How do you feel most importantly? There’s a great book called The Desire Map. And that book is so, so key in helping you create something that you are not basing around what you’re consuming, what you’re seeing around you. Create a life that is based on your ultimate desire. So starting with feelings is so key and thinking about how do I actually want to feel in a year when I wake up in the morning and what kind of projects do I want to work on?
And once you journal on those pieces, put them front and center. I stick them up on sticky notes around my desk. And I make sure that that vision is ultra clear. So when anything comes across either my desk for the business or my life personally, I run them through those visions, goals as a filter and say, “Okay, is this aligned with what I really want in life? Or is this aligned with where I want to take the business, the team, et cetera?” And if it is, wonderful. And if it’s not, even if it’s a great opportunity, if it’s not aligned with what I really want, then I’m going to say politely no and pass it on.
Kira: Because I am nosy, I want to know what is on your vision board. Krystle, can you share examples of what’s currently on your vision board?
Krystle: Oh, I love that question. Okay. So what’s currently on my vision board for this year that’s about to come to a close is pretty remarkable. I looked at it yesterday in fact, and this vision board has a villa on the beach with a hammock and white sand and turquoise water, which if you’ve been following along the journey, you know that this year, my man and I came and we moved to Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean. And we’re currently living that, which is just blows my mind that that vision is now here in the present. But beyond that, it is a lot of personal pieces around health and fitness and general mental wellbeing. I have pictures of my family up there, making sure that I prioritize visits to see them and time off to see them.
So for me, there’s actually nothing related to my business up there. And that’s so intentional because I want to make sure that I build a business that revolves around my life instead of the other way around. So everything is just, what’s going to fill me up and what’s going to make me happy, like yoga and a dog, which is probably TBD in the next few years, but it’s still, it’s going to remain up there. I’m pretty obsessed with this idea of having a dog, if you don’t know.
Erin Pennings: So looking back then, you have these concrete goals for your life that then your business has to fill in the holes for, but what does that business that you’ve recreated in the last 18 months, what does that look like?
Krystle: Yes. So the business now has grown so much. When I first started it, I just wanted to do a freelance copywriting thing. So I called it. And I quickly realized that taking it seriously as a business was so, so important to the success of what I was doing. So I got really intentional about building up a business that had a strategic product suite. So I was able to serve clients both with done for you services, which I do now, like website, email sales page copy, and then have some passive pieces as well. So you’re not always caught in this ultimatum of giving your time for dollars. So that’s where the business started.
And then as things really took off in the first six months of the business and I started getting questions from other copywriters and other service providers who wanted a little bit of coaching or mentorship around it. And to be honest, I was totally against this idea, it wasn’t on my radar whatsoever, but as time went on, I started missing teaching a little bit. So that led me to take on my first coaching client and then launched some coaching programs as well. So now today, currently, you see the business as two sides. We have the copywriting studio with junior copywriter helping to support that side of the business.
And then on the other side, we have the business education platform. So some programs and courses to help both copywriters and other service providers really elevate their brand and scale their businesses to find their own freedom as well. And moving on from this point in time, the vision really is to continue to deliver exceptional services on both sides of the business. And in five years, I’m not quite sure what that looks like. I have played around with several different models of it being the same and elevated.
I like to do a lot of in-person events, I’d like to do a lot of mentorship that’s more in-depth than what I’ve seen a lot of people do in terms of specifically with copywriting and mentoring copywriters, but I’m not sure what that would look like in terms of those skill sets and really just every year analyzing how do I feel about where the business is in relation to my life? And do I want to dive into the business even more, or would I like to step back and have a team be managing most of the things and me be able to step into some more speaking and doing some corporate consulting and things like that around brand message and story, which is another piece that I’ve been diving into as well? So we will see where it ends up there. But for me, it a consistent reassessment of what we want about every 12 months.
Kira: Let’s dive into your team. And because you’re essentially running two different businesses under one umbrella and it takes a lot of structure and team support to do that, what does your team currently look like? And where are you spending most of your within that business?
Krystle: Yeah. So the team has been growing across both sides of the business. So we’ve got on the copywriting side a junior copywriter, in the midst of hiring another junior copywriter. And so that side will continue to grow out over the next 12 months as well, but we’re going to keep it quite intimate. So the projects that come through our doors, I’m able to still give the crystal touch and finish on to make sure that just the highest level of work is being produced.
So then within both aspects of the business, I’ve got my OBM, Nicole, who is wonderful, and she helps manage everything from both a project management perspective, but she also takes on the role of client concierge and is really just the touch point of everything a client might interact with in the business. So they go to her for all sorts of things and she helps plan out strategic launches, et cetera, from a bird’s eye view perspective. Then I also have a content writer as well, who helps not with copywriting clients, but just with our own internal content and repurposing and strategizing and pieces like that. We are also currently hiring a marketing assistant. So then that is going to be a role that collaborates closely with our content writer, as well as social media manager and a couple of smaller roles that we have contracted, like podcast editing and things like that that aren’t in the nitty-gritty of the business all the time, but do support the growth of the brand.
Erin Pennings: So this represents a really huge shift from where you started to where you are now. How did you, and maybe this wasn’t a roadblock for you, but if letting go enough to farm some of these client concierge tasks out to your OBM was tough, how did you overcome that? And how did you get Nicole on board with everything that you are doing so that you had the trust to let that piece of your business go?
Krystle: Providing white glove service is such a key part of my business. So it was quite a struggle in the beginning to pass the torch over to her. And it would’ve been if I was passing the torch over to anyone. And that was really because I was afraid of a ball being dropped. And part of me trying to provide this white glove service is about really anticipating problems before they arise and supporting clients in every way that they don’t even know they need. So in order to make that a successful transition, it really started with a lot of training. And before I had Nicole do anything in the business, we had intensive trainings every day and for several weeks. And then we continued to, I would say layer on new pieces of her role over about a three month period so that she could really master every piece before being completely independent within it.
Kira: Yeah. Let’s break that down even more because we have a lot of copywriters who are in the process of hiring someone like Nicole or they’d like to get there eventually. Can you just share what Nicole does in detail? Share everything Nicole does. And then what your role is, your key role in relation to Nicole. Just let’s break it down.
Krystle: This is when I wish Nicole was here to tell you.
Kira: Yeah. Let’s get Nicole in here.
Krystle: Yeah. Nicole, come on. And you know what? That’s when you know that somebody has just mastered their role when it would be better for them to tell you what they do than for me, but I will do my best shot for you. 100% Nicole keeps me on track. So we live in ClickUp. If you don’t know ClickUp, it’s like Asana or Trello. That’s where we host our project management and the business in pretty much its entirety in digital form. And so Nicole basically uses our platform to keep tabs on everything from a bird’s-eye view happening in the business. And that includes things that I should be doing and maybe I haven’t done and her bringing them top of mind.
So if she like once a week, she’ll go through all of the overdue notifications in ClickUp and she’ll send me reminders and say, “Hey, where are we at with this? Do you need support? Is there another way I can help you? Do you want me to move it, change the deadline, et cetera?” So that’s one of the things that I absolutely love her for because she keeps me responsible with what I need to be doing. But what she also does, and one of the best pieces of hiring advice for those that are out there thinking they need to hire their first VA or next OBM, whatever that is, is really encourage a lot of autonomy.
Krystle: So Nicole, if she sees something within the business, let’s say a workflow, one of the things she’ll do is create a workflow for clients like a client project, for example. If a new client is onboarded, then she will go in and create a workflow depending on the type of project that we have with them, nail down the nitty-gritty pieces, scheduling, asking them for any homework pieces, marketing materials we need, et cetera. And then if there’s an issue with that or another piece of the business that she thinks there could be a better way or a whole new system we need, she will go and create it. And she is really in charge of making sure that the business runs as efficiently as possible. So whenever we come up against even the smallest little snag in an operation or a system, we always ask like, could we be doing this better? How could we make this more efficient and a better use of both of our time and energy? So that’s a big thing that Nicole does that changes from week to week depending on what it is, but she’s always optimizing what we currently have.
She also does a lot of things currently that will be passed off to our marketing assistant, like reaching out and doing PR pitches and things like that, organizing interviews for our own podcast, collaborating with fellow contractors and being the liaison between me and say our podcast editor, for example. So she really steps into both the client side of the business and supporting clients if somebody needs something. And then also to my executive assistant role where she is helping organize things that I don’t have time to do and managing my calendar. And then from a bird’s-eye view from the business, looking at how systems are functioning and project management as a whole.
So to get even nittier-grittier for you, we have a launch upcoming in the business. We run down all of the things that need to be to on in the launch. And Nicole breaks them down even further into subtasks, makes workflows for them, assigns them to the appropriate team member and then continues to check in and see, are we on task? Are we behind? Is there anything we’ve forgotten, et cetera? She’s basically my all time hero.
Kira: She sounds amazing. We all wanted Nicole. So just, again, to get, let’s just get deeper and deeper into this because we have so many questions about it. Is Nicole full-time? And are your other team members, are they full-time? Are they contractors? Can you just…
Krystle: Oh, I love this question. And I love this question because this is one of the unboxings that I actually had to have earlier on this year. So none of my team members are full time. And to build on the unboxing, I was so focused on this idea when I hired Nicole that, okay, she’ll start off as a contractor. And then within six months, I projected she would be full time. And I felt like that was the next thing to do because you see a lot of people hiring full-time employees. And that must be like when you’ve “gotten there”.
So as time went on and as we were working together and had Nicole in the business, it became very apparent that she didn’t need to be full-time yet. So she isn’t. And we’ve earmarked that she probably will be at some point next year, but still at the moment in time, she’s covering all her bases in about 20 hours or less a week, same with other team members. So everybody, like let’s say content writers around like 10 to 20 depending on what we’re doing if we’re launching or we’re just like maintaining our status quo, it does fluctuate a bit. But generally everybody is at that part-time mark there. So as you’re looking to hire for whoever’s listening, know that you don’t have to hire somebody full-time, you can start, I think my first VA started out at five hours a week or less, which was really manageable as well with expenses. So you can let them grow into the role as you develop it together.
So if someone’s in the process of building a similar business model to either side of your business, what would you recommend their first hire be? And how would you go about finding this person?
Krystle: Oh, well, first I would recommend that this person, this entrepreneur sit down and make a list of all the things that they are doing in the business and then for a week, start to track it because what we think we’re doing and what we’re actually doing can be two completely different things. And that can also build onto this idea around time and keeping busy and do we actually need to be doing it? But the idea here then is at the end of the week to start to look for commonalities, I would just take a highlighter and I would highlight what you might count as like marketing, if you’re wearing a marketer hat in your business or what you might count as being the service provider and doing your copywriting for clients, what are you doing on an admin side of your business? And highlighting that.
And I would look at which pieces of the business have the most of your time, like what is handcuffing you to it the most that if you were able to take that off of your plate right now, it would free you up to either, A, spend more free time or B, spend more time in another area of your business that you would like to? So that might look like hiring a VA. That’s a very typical first hire looking at getting assistance with the general admin staff, talking to clients, arranging things that maybe you don’t need to be in the nitty-gritty of all the time, but it might also be something like hiring a social media manager. If you’re getting a lot of leads from Instagram, for example, and you’re spending a ton of time in the DMs, maybe that’d be a great first hire. That was actually my first hire with the social media manager to take that off my plate. And that was a great choice.
And then my second hire was a VA. But it really just depends on who it is. I also have a lot of clients who their first hire and only hire still is a junior copywriter. So you can certainly start to outsource some of those pieces without even having a team behind you if you just want to create a smaller, more like niche business.
Kira: Okay. Let’s cut in here and talk about what stood out to both of us in this part of the conversation. Aly, what stood out to you?
Aly: Yeah. So I think the first thing that stood out to me about what Krystle was saying is evaluating what we actually have to do in our businesses. I think that we all get stuck in like, oh, I have to do this, I have to make this business decision to move forward. And most of the time, we don’t have to do the things we’re actually putting pressure on ourselves to do. I love that she talked about just her focus on doing the things that actually make her happy.
Kira: Do you have an example of that because you are someone who has done a great job of unboxing yourself and not following a set path? What have you done specifically?
Aly: I think for me, and this has happened really more so recently, but it’s just narrowing down the services that I offer to clients so that I have more time to focus on other parts of my business. There are copy deliverables that I just don’t like doing, but because I typically work on a retainer structure and I’m super involved in my client’s businesses, I was the yes girl. Sometimes clients would just be like, “Oh, can you also do this random thing because you’re a copywriter, right? So that means you can write all the things.” And I would just say yes, because I wanted to be as helpful as I could be to my clients, but I didn’t need to do that and I didn’t need to continue to do that for my clients to like me and want to continue to work with me. I didn’t have to say yes to everything all the time if it’s not where my zone of genius is.
Kira: And what clicked for you, Aly? What helped you start saying no?
Aly: Yeah, that’s a good question. I think it was realizing, and this ties back to something that Krystle was saying too, we have to take care of ourselves first, we have to do what makes us happy first, otherwise, we can’t do the best work that we can possibly do. And so I realized like saying yes to everything, it was bleeding over into the way that I was approaching my personal life, I didn’t think that I was showing up in the way that I wanted to for my clients all the time. And so by narrowing things down, I could actually show up better for everyone.
Kira: Yeah. And let’s talk more about that because Krystle also mentions how important it is to break free from being a workaholic. And she shared how she did that. This is something that, I mean, gosh, how do you, who doesn’t struggle with? I know there are people who don’t struggle with this and we can learn from them. But I know I’ve struggled with that, many copywriters on our podcast have struggled with that. And so I’d love to hear, Aly, what’s worked for you to help you break free from really feeling and operating like someone who prioritizes work over everything else?
Aly: Yeah. So I have to be really honest and say that I feel like I have really good days with this and really bad days with this. I actually loved something that Krystle said about setting boundaries. And she said that I think it was like 5:45 that she has an alarm. And no matter what she’s doing, she shuts down. Some days, I’m really good at that. I tell myself 5:30, the laptop is closing, but I’m beginning to think that I need to set an alarm because last night, I am ashamed to say that I was on Pinterest of all things doing work things at 11:00 PM.
Kira: What? 11:00 PM. Oh my goodness.
Aly: Too much.
Kira: I am in bed by 11:00 PM. This is something that I have been working on over the last however many years. What has helped me stop being such a workaholic is really just prioritizing life. I think it’s so easy for us to prioritize business. And you know what? When you’re getting started, in some ways, it does need to be the priority because it’s difficult your first few years or however many years, it really starts to until you get that traction, but you can choose to keep it a priority for as long as you want, or you can also pull in other priorities.
And so for me, it helps when I start to set priorities that are outside of the business world and outside of the professional world because it’s easy, I can make business goals all day long, professional goals all day long, work towards those. But it’s harder to just say, well, actually there’s something else really important here. And I’m not just saying like family or having enjoying life and freedom, but getting really specific about this is something I’m going to do in my personal life and it’s a priority and it’s on the calendar and it’s going to take a lot of effort to get there. And so the more I do that, the more I’m able to shift and not just focus on work.
And just to provide that example, I’ve already mentioned on the podcast, because I’m so excited, but I’m throwing a party. So I’m excited about it because I’m going to hang out with people in my home and we haven’t had a party in my new house yet. And so anyway, we’re throwing this for my husband’s big birthday, his 50th birthday. And it’s one of those things, it sounds like it’s small, but for me, I have high expectations for parties. And so I want it to be good.
And so having that priority, that is definitely part of my personal life and takes a lot of effort, it helps me keep everything in balance and just in perspective. It’s like I’m not going to work until crazy hours because I got stuff to do to entertain and prepare for all these people who are going to show up at my house in a week. So that’s one example. But I think for me, it just helps to get those really clear, specific goals that are solely personal and make those really important on my to-do list too.
Aly: Yeah, absolutely. And something else that Krystle said too, she was talking about being intentional about what you’re doing and what you’re consuming. And lately, the consuming piece has been so huge for me, because for me, I just find that overconsuming makes me really anxious, but as copywriters and especially if you’re an independent business owner, it’s so easy to overconsume on all the information to take in and all the things to learn, but we have to be intentional with our time in that way, because it’s taking away from what we could create and the things that we could do to move our business forward. So that’s something that I’ve noticed that I’m really trying to be aware of in my business today is what I’m consuming. And if I am spending time consuming something, what am I getting out of that? What is my intention for consuming whatever I’m consuming at the time?
Kira: Yeah. I wonder if we even realize all the time if we are consuming. I think that’s the problem is like, I may not realize when I’m just consuming and soaking it all up and until I feel some trigger or I feel frustrated or the anxiety picks up and then I can feel it, but it’s almost just too easy to fall into that trap without realizing it. So Aly, what do you do to, other than just knowing I should consume less, I will be a happier person with less anxiety, what do you do to actually shift your behavior?
Aly: Yeah. So recently, I started using a new app that was recommended to me that’s actually really cool because it will nudge you when you are doing something that you’re not supposed to be doing when you’re having focus time. So I was working yesterday and using this app and someone Slacked me, I was trying to do a Pomodoro session and I had forgotten to close Slack. And this app was like, is Slack bothering you? Please, please tell us and we’ll keep nudging you. And it will start queuing you more and more and more, if you keep opening that app after you told it, like, yes, this is bothering me, it will nicely bully you into stopping. So that’s what I’m doing currently because I would like to say I have the willpower to just not, but I don’t. So using the app.
Kira: Doesn’t the app become the distraction because now the app is nudging you and poking you and bothering you? Doesn’t the app become the issue?
Aly: As long as you’re not doing something you’re not supposed to be doing, all the app does is nicely play music and it’s a timer for you and stuff like that. So it doesn’t actually start bothering until you’re doing stuff you’re not supposed to do.
Kira: Got it. And then it’s like, stop, you need to stop. What app is that?
Aly: It’s called Centered.
Kira: Centered. Okay. Need to get that app. Okay. What else? So I know we talked about vision boards in this episode, we’ve talked about vision boards before on the podcast. I always like to ask Rob Marsh what’s on his vision board. Pretty sure it’s his bicycle is like a fancy bicycle that I can’t wait till he gets it. So Aly, I’m just curious what’s on your vision board if you have a vision board?
Aly: Oh, for me, I’m not a super crafty person. I need to create a digital vision board.
Kira: Yeah. That’s what I would expect from you.
Aly: But if I’m thinking about what would be on my vision board, it’s all just like vacation. I just want to travel, I want to be on a cruise, I just want to not be in my house. So the next big goal I’m working towards is some ridiculous vacation where I’m in the middle of the ocean and unplugging.
Kira: In the middle of ocean. I like that. Okay. Cool. Very cool. I think I’m still working on my vision board. I ripped it all apart and because I felt like I hit a lot of the visions and they happened. And so it’s like, well, what do you do once they happen? You burn the vision board and start over. So I’m working on the new vision board for the next decade of my life. And so playing around with that. What else, Aly, stood out to you as we wrapped up this first portion of the interview?
Aly: I think for me over overall, it was just Krystle’s just like approach to business. I feel like the theme, especially in this first part of the episode, like even jumping back a little bit where she first started talking about how she felt like her job as a teacher wasn’t working for her and she just felt like that wasn’t her calling. And I think a lot of people in that same position would almost just like suffer through that because they felt like it was the thing that they needed to do, they didn’t know how to shift, whatever the case may be. And it just seems like every step she takes in her business, she’s really focused on, again, making herself happy. And I don’t think that that is at all a selfish move. I know that sometimes it can feel that way, but when we’re really focusing on ourselves, we can show up better for everyone.
But it is really hard to as you face those things in your life, okay, I’m in a job that I don’t like, what do I do now? Now I’m trying to start this business, what do I do when I have a client conflict? Navigating your way through all of that is really hard, but if you can keep it in perspective of what it means for your life and how you move through your life in the way that you want to, I think you can have success with it like she did.
Kira: Yeah. She clearly, I agree, she definitely has built her business in intentional way, so intentional. So she’s been so careful about it and reflective along the way. And she really, she mentioned she pivoted to her new niche, I think March 2020. So it hasn’t been that long and she’s built it pretty fast. And so I think the last part that stood out to me is we talked about her team and it was cool that we were able to drill down into her team and even talk about how the structure and if they’re full-time or part-time. And so it was just good to talk about the fact that you can grow a team and it does not have to happen overnight. You can bring on someone like a VA first and for a couple hours a week. And so we don’t have to jump to having full-time contractors or employees, which can feel daunting. That feels daunting to me, but you can make some gradual moves and test it out and see how it goes before you get to the Krystle stage where she has multiple people on her team supporting her.
Aly: Okay. Let’s get back into the episode and deep dive into how Krystle navigates mindset and pricing.
Kira: Let’s talk about money if you’re cool talking about money.
Kira: I would love to hear more about how you’re currently pricing the different sides of your business. So I know you have the copywriting studio and then you have your courses and coaching. Can you share roughly where you are pricing wise and even just like how you got there, because we’ve been talking a lot about mindset if you struggled to get there, or if you have any tips around how to approach pricing based off what you’ve done in your business?
Krystle: Sure. Okay. This is going to be so interesting because I definitely did have some of those mindset struggles and shifts as I grew my business. And those are specifically with day rates. So I’ll start by diving into that with you a little bit. When I started my business, I had seen other copywriters, big names in the space that we all hear and know, and I looked at them being like, oh my gosh, they are doing day rates. That sounds like the dream. I want to get to the point where I do day rates, but I just didn’t feel like it was my time yet. Part of that was in truth, I needed to build my expertise.
And then the other part was definitely a mindset holding me back a little bit. So in time, I got over that and I was like, “You know what? I’m just going to do it. I’m going to launch day rates.” And I think the first day rate I launched was, gosh, I think $1,200 for a first day rate. And that was crazy to me. I was so nervous, I was so worried nobody would want it. And I thought this is an insane amount of money to do a day rate. And I did somebody’s welcome email sequence for that. And at that point in time, I knew that there was a lot of possibility for growth, but I wasn’t quite ready to jump that amount straight up.
So what I did is I created a tiered pricing structure and I went from charging $1,200 for the first couple projects to $2,000 to 2,800 to 32. And now currently, the business sits around 4k for done for you day rate where we do email sequence or sales page copy in a day. And then website projects for us, it grew in a very similar way where I created a tiered pricing system that as my skills and my confidence grew in time, then my price would increase. So I wasn’t just jumping from charging really low rates to really high rates that I didn’t necessarily feel reflected what I was offering. I made sure that I had that to back me. And now those sit around 7k to start, but it really depends on the type of project that we’re doing and the in-depth nature of the research phase and the number of pages that we’re drafting out.
And then on the coaching side of the business, that tends to vary because of the deliverables within programs and services, but between 1,200 and 2k a month-ish depending on what we’re doing within the program and the duration, and of course, transformation that we are gearing towards.
Erin Pennings: So I want to ask you, I want to dig into the benchmarks for how did you decide that it was time to raise your price and what were the criteria, whether they were specific or more just this global picture? How did you make that decision and what helped you get there in terms of raising your price?
Krystle: For me, a lot of it was rooted in feedback and results that I got from clients. And my confidence was a piece of that pie as well, but my confidence stemmed from the other two. So after each project, going through the testimonial process was huge for me and making sure that clients were really satisfied with not only the deliverables that they had, but the experience they had as well, and that it all contributed to the transformation that they were expecting. And then following up a few months later, depending on what type of copy I had produced for them, if it was an email sequence or website copy, I would give a certain amount of time and set a reminder on my project management platform to reach back out to that past client and say, hey, want to know I’m thinking about you, hope you’re doing well, and wondering what the stats were, the results were from your new website copy and asking some specific questions around like increases in inquiries or email list signups or results from sales sequences, whatever that’s been.
And that was really huge for me to see, oh, okay, wait, the copy that I’ve written has actually produced results. It’s actually brought in more revenue, increased their bottom line, all of those things. And I think that was the most influential factor for me because at the end of the day, that’s what we all want as copywriters is to actually be able to help our clients with what they’re wanting to achieve. So when I started to see those results come and that’s when I really was like, okay, I can do this, built my confidence and then raised my price in that tiered structure.
Kira: Let’s talk about your day rate, the 4k day rate. We’ve talked a lot about day rates on the show. And what I love about day rates is you can make it your own. Everyone has their own unique way of doing it. And so can we run through your day rate and what you do? I know you mentioned it’s either, it sounds like a sales page or emails. How do you structure it? What’s working for you with day rates?
Krystle: Yes. I love day rates and I really feel like I built the success of my business off of day rates because I wasn’t constantly in the grind of project, project, project for weeks on end. It was really nice to be able to dip in and out of things with clients and then be able to work on my own business the rest of the time. So the way that I structured day rates to allow me to do that was to be able to have the day in a silo of sorts, but also do a beginning and an end that formed a sandwich around that silo.
So the way that I structure them personally is let’s say client is signed, onboarded, we’ve got their day rate scheduled. What I like to do is first ask them to fill out a really in-depth questionnaire. So I can dive more into their offer, brand depending on what the project is, some specific questions and then share any market research that they have. That’s a prerequisite for me because as you know, voice of customer data is so, so important and also just be being able to look at where past current clients have been depending on who you’re writing copy for. But if you’re in like the online entrepreneur space, that’s so, so key. So that’s a prerequisite. If clients don’t have that, then we’re not going to be able to do a day rate in the same way we might add on a research day or something like that for them. But most of the time clients can provide us with the market research that we’re looking for.
And then once we have that, I schedule a kickoff call. So I tend to make it Monday kickoff call. We dive even deeper into questions around their offer business, what the goals of this project are, brand voice personality. Then on Wednesday or Thursday, I jump into the day rate myself, and I keep it flexible because that’s the way I like to run my business. If I am waking up on Wednesday and I’m not feeling it, then I jump into the day rate on Thursday and jump in there. Now I have my junior copywriter doing that instead of myself, but they’re jumping in there and then I’m reviewing copy the following day before sending it off to the client. So it’s a Monday to Friday all in piece that is really intensive in one day and just a little sprinkling of project work throughout the other days.
Erin Pennings: That’s that fascinating because a lot of the places that I see positioning it are as either a single day or with very set benchmarks. But I like the way that you’ve given yourself space there. What has having that space and having the flexibility to say, you know what? This morning, I’m not feeling it. What has that done for you mindset wise and business wise?
Krystle: Oh, that was so key for me when I started out doing day rates and it was something I thought that I might eventually drop and I might just do the day and the day only, but I kept it at that structure in the beginning because I thought, well, you know what? If I can’t deliver this sequence in a day, I don’t want to charge the client more. I’m going to work a second day so that they can have that. So I wanted there to be flexibility as I learned myself how I would work in that kind of fast-paced structure. And then I just loved the flexibility of it so much that I thought, you know what? This works way better than if I jumped into it the morning of. I feel like for me personally, I need time for the ideas to percolate.
And going into that call on the Monday, being able to comb through their research, look at the nitty-gritty pieces and let that sit for a few days, which is why I do the day rate near the end of the week was so key. And that’s helped not only in making me less stressed in doing day rates, because I know there are a ton of copywriters out there that are like, “I would never do a day rate because I don’t want the pressure of ‘performing’ in that day.” That’s a lot. And if you were thinking that listening to this episode, I would encourage you to consider a different structure, something more flexible like mine that allows you to continue to extend the day if you need it or give yourself like the next day if you’re not feeling like on top of the world or the ideas are flowing.
And the second thing that really did for me was provide better deliverables. I’m able to now use research in a day rate, which not many people are able to do if you jump in that day, because that’s going to take away time from actually drafting and creating the copy and make sure that I’m using the pieces that I feel confident will produce better end result for the client. So it’s twofold and it’s just the perfect combo for me. I’d highly recommend it.
Kira: Now that you have this team, Krystle, and you’re managing contractors and paying team members month to month, how do you manage your cash flow? And do you have advice for copywriters who want to hire, they want to build a team, maybe it’s a small team, but they’re really feeling stressed about cash flow and making sure everyone’s taken care of and paid and just juggling those pieces?
Krystle: Absolutely. One of the things that I love doing is stacking revenue so that you know that you’re covered for a few months in advance. So what I mean by stacking revenue is instead of while it can be nice to take like a lump sum, for example, of a new project that comes your way, offering extended payment plan options for clients so that you are able to, whether you’re doing the project for them now or next quarter, you’re able to have payments coming in every single month for that. So that’s one way I do it. We stack a lot of revenue in the business.
We tend to do things from a launch perspective. So launching either one of the coaching programs or one of the copywriting services and saying, hey, this quarter we have five of these kinds of projects available. And then booking those out. And that’s our big cash infusion at that moment. And then letting that over those following months then trickle into the business is really helpful, not only from the financial standpoint side, but also just from a peace of mind standpoint. It just feels better when you know what money is coming in and you don’t see zeros in the months afterward, for example.
So that’s the first thing, create a system where you can stack some revenue, create some passive income for yourself if you haven’t set up a strategic product suite. That’s one of the things that I did very early on in my business, made my email course Ignite Your Inbox to Create Your Welcome Sequence and create an additional revenue stream for yourself. And then also be able to build in flexibility and say, okay, if I’m going to plan out what my expenses are going to be, something might come up in the business that you feel like you really need to invest in, like create a kind of security net, safety net for yourself within the business where you do have income there that isn’t allocated to your salary or something else, but it’s your safety net.
Kira: Yeah. And to have that type of cash flow, you need those that wait list, the leads, the clients you can book, you need that demand for your business and your offers. How do you create that demand in your business? What does your marketing look like today?
Krystle: Well, so much of this has been built on my signature trio, which is luxe client experience, building your brand authority, and nailing your email marketing. We also within the business use Instagram and email side by side. But the main three that helped me build so much momentum in like lead gen and bringing in more revenue into the business was focusing first and foremost on our personal brand and what the KC brand stood for, looked like delivered our reputation and how we showed up in different ways. So that was really key. And then building this momentum from our client experience. And that’s where you can get this piece that is providing so much repeat and referral business. So if you’re able to provide a white glove service to your clients, they’re going to want to come back to work with you, because I know you’re already offering wonderful deliverables and then you’ve got this great experience to go along with it and they’re going to start inviting other people.
So that’s been a huge revenue source for us as well is repeat and referral business. And then combining that with just really strategic marketing and looking at what’s upcoming in the business, we always have a launch calendar going on and saying, “Okay, well, if in the next quarter we’re going to be promoting Ignite Your Inbox or Elevated Brand Accelerator, what do we need to do now to bring our audience from their current state to point buyer essentially and creating that nurturing strategic content that we all know and love as copywriters and really just providing lots of value to our audience that way and making sure that we’re giving more than we are asking for?”
Kira: And can you share some struggles that you’ve had because it’s really easy to listen to the conversation and it’s like, well, Krystle’s, she’s a superstar, you’ve got it figured out? So many things are working in your business today?
Krystle: Oh my gosh. No, no, I don’t have it figured out.
Kira: Yeah. Let’s talk about the dark side before we start to wrap. Let’s talk about what’s not working, what you’re struggling with today.
Krystle: Let me just say there is no made it point for all of you out there listening to this episode. Every new level, you have the same issues because you’re the same person, or in fact, you have even more issues because new situations are presented to you as the business continues to grow. So I think there’s this misconception that we carry around earlier on in our entrepreneurial journey that all I need to do is hit six figures and that’s it. And I’m going to be golden and I’m going to be happy and the business is going to be amazing and it’s all just going to be wonderful.
But let me tell you, hitting six figures, you are the same person. You’ve got the same problem still. What you need to first focus on is like what that first question we initially talked about, which is what do you really want? What do you want your life to look like? What do you want the business to look like? So that’s really so key in developing something that allows you to break out of that mindset and get to that point where it’s not necessarily about what you are building in terms of hitting these big milestone goals. And instead, it’s about what you internally want to feel on a day-to day basis.
First, to reiterate, you’ve never really made it. There are always struggles. And at every level that you get to, you’re going to either continue to have some of the same problems you previously had or an entirely new host of problems. So for me, it’s constantly realizing that I am holding myself back from whatever new thing I think I want, but I can’t yet get. And this comes back to the initial thing we talked about in terms of that box that we can put ourself in.
And I feel like a big as an entrepreneur is always feeling like you need to be doing something or you need to grow the business in a certain way. And the only thing you need to do is whatever’s going to truly make you happy. So even though there is no made it point, you can “make it” when you sit in peace every day with what you’re creating, you know that you’re right where you need to be. There’s no more should or needs to. It’s just happening in the time that it’s happening within.
And also know that those copywriters that you see out there that are booming and growing, they are still experiencing the same ups and the same downs that you are. And personally, for me, it is always a roller coaster. There are huge wins as you’re growing your business and there are also days where you’re sitting there crying at your keyboard being like, why am I doing this thing? And having to come back to those ultimate goals and drivers and desires that you originally set out for and say, “How can I realign pieces?” So just know that just like life, it’s all a journey and it’s not about getting to an end goal, but just saying, how can I enjoy the process of having this business versus wanting to build the business to a certain point? Like, what can we do now to make the business fun, enjoyable and successful?
Kira: Yeah. I relate to a lot of that, especially the tiers. All the tiers. So because you mentioned Accelerator earlier and we were so happy and excited to work with you in the Accelerator program, can you just share a little bit for anyone who’s not familiar with it and could benefit from it? Can you just share a little bit about your experience inside the Copywriter Accelerator program?
Krystle: Absolutely. The Copywriter Accelerator, gosh, it really helped me. It was like a 101 intro to everything that you need to know when you’re starting a copywriting business or if you’ve been doing it for a while and you just don’t really know where, excuse me, or you just don’t really know where to go from there. So what I loved about the Copywriter Club Accelerator is first and foremost community. In every stage of my business, community has been such an integral part of growing into the next phase and where I want to be. And actually my junior copywriter is somebody I met in the Copywriter Club Accelerator. So these connections, they just continue to grow and blossom in different ways.
And so community was such a wonderful part of that program, but also just being able to ask somebody who has been there, done that, and maybe has a different perspective to you. And I think you and Rob, Kira, balance each other out so nicely because you are such different people and have different backgrounds and copywriting experiences, business experiences, yet you can come together and provide both of your expertise in a way that allows then those in the Accelerator to take and learn from what they need to, if that makes sense. And yeah, it really, it took me, I knew nothing when I started it and it took me to the point at the end where I was like, “Okay, now I have these basics in place, I’m able to go out and start working on creating this as a business.”
Erin Pennings: That’s awesome. And I relate a lot to what you said there, Krystle, as well about mindset and the Accelerator, which is where you and I met. So I think that the next question I really want to cover is how can people work with you if they’re listening?
Krystle: Yes. As you know, I’ve got two sides to the business and whether you are looking for copywriting support, you can inquire for website sales page, email sequence support, and we are all things go to personality-driven copy. And we love to just dive in deep and bring your brand to life in that way. And if you’re looking for business support to help elevate your brand, my signature program Elevated Brand Accelerator is a 12-week program to help copywriters and other service providers really take what they have now and grow their business to consistent five to 10k months. And we’ve run the cohort several times now. And it’s just so wonderful to see people be able to step into that business that they truly love and growing it beyond a point of maybe plateau or where you feel like you’re doing things all the time.
So those are your main ways that you can work with me. But also you can just come and hang out with me on Instagram @krystle.church. And I’m there all the time with both business and copywriting tips and support, and you can always find me on Stories. So shoot me a DM and say hi.
Kira: All right, Krystle. Well, thank you for joining us today and sharing so much about what you’ve done and what’s worked for you. We really appreciate your time.
Krystle: Oh, thank you so much for having me. It has been such a wonderful, wonderful conversation with you both.
Kira: That’s the end of our interview with Krystle Church. Before we head out, Aly, let’s dig into this final portion of the conversation. So what stood out to you in this portion?
Aly: Yeah, the first thing that stood out to me in this half was Krystle really talking about how she goes back and gets feedback and testimonials from her clients. And not only that, but going back to see the results that you’ve helped produce. I think a lot of us get caught up in the next project, the next thing we’re signing, the next sales call. And often if you wait too long to go back to clients, you might not even know the results that you ended up getting or how you impacted their business. So I think the fact that she’s built that into her process and she knows when she follows up and how she follows up, I think that’s really important.
Kira: Yeah. I’m glad that she mentioned that, just those results. Yes, if you create those testimonials that speak to results, that will attract the right dream clients who are like, “Okay, this person’s legit, they got these results, I feel confident I can work with this person.” So it helps with prospects, but it also helps you as the service provider feel confident. And that’s what Krystle highlighted. And that’s what I’ve experienced too. It’s like as soon as you do feel that win and you really get the value you’re providing for someone because you have those numbers in hand, that’s when you’re like, okay, I’m not just going to talk about raising my rates because it seems like the cool thing that all the copywriters are doing and that’s the trend is like, just bump it up, but I’m going to raise my rates because I know I’m providing that value and I know I’m doing a great job. And so that confidence is huge. And if it takes a debrief call or following up with a client to get some type of result, it’s just that can change your whole business.
Aly: Yeah, absolutely. And another thing that really, I feel like this one spoke to me personally, when she was talking about day rates, she touched on this concept of working when it suits you and making it work for you. And I relate to this so much because I don’t know, I feel like I work weird hours, sometimes I try to stick to nine-to-five-ish, but me doing heavy writing work at like 9:00 AM, that just does not work for my brain. And despite me trying to make it work, it doesn’t. So I think that the idea of like, you don’t have to do it the way that everyone else is doing it. And not only that, but you can really tune into what’s happening with you, how you feel throughout the day and structure your day based on that so that you’re productive and happy and not miserable.
Kira: Yeah. I feel like a lot of the conversations we have just in general around creativity or around, like you just, you see it down, you do the work and that’s when the inspiration comes from doing the work. You don’t wait until the inspiration hits you. So that’s almost like what we’ve been told is the right way. And Krystle is like, “No, no, no, no, that’s not the right way for me. I want to, I’m building flexibility into my offers so that I can wait, whether it’s waiting for inspiration or just waiting until there’s more energy throughout the week, whatever it is.” It’s really cool that Krystle is doing it her own way and isn’t just following advice from all the business coaches out there or creativity coaches. So that stood out to me too.
And I have tried day rates. We’ve talked a lot about day rates on this show. My approach to day rates is it’s not about the day and it’s more like Krystle’s approach, it’s more flexible. And so I would never even call it a day. I would really focus on a week and give myself seven days, even though technically, it’s probably work I could do in a day, I like to spread it out too. I like that flexibility, I like sitting with the project and having some wiggle room so I can focus on other things too during that day. So there’s no right or wrong way to do that. And clearly Krystle is figuring out the right way for her.
Aly: Absolutely. And I love what you were saying too. I think having the discipline to just sit down sometimes and do the thing, it is important to flex that muscle and figure that out. But there also comes a point where it’s like, if you try to do something over and over and over again, me 9:00 AM trying to dig into a blog post, there’s only so many times I’m going to do that to myself before I’m like, “You know what? Maybe there’s some other task that we can do during this window of time.”
Kira: Right. It’s just good to know. It’s like, I am not lazy or a slacker. It’s not about that. And I’m saying that as you, Aly, because I know you are not those things. It’s like, it just may not work well for me. And so I also wanted to get back to pricing because we talked a lot about that throughout the episode. And Aly, I know you’ve shifted your pricing, you’ve dealt with that too. What else has helped you as you’ve increased your prices?
Aly: Yeah, I think the primary thing that’s really made a difference for me, especially over this past year is realizing that there’s this concept of being an order taker in the business, where you just get an assignment and you do the thing. But so many of us are actually doing so much more than that. We’re doing a lot of the strategy or we’re conducting interviews.
We have all these other things that we know need to be part of a solid process to produce this deliverable. And we have to be really conscious of that as we’re thinking about our prices and also make our clients aware of the value that we’re providing to them as well I think, not in a way that feels unprofessional or like you’re complaining, but when you send a deliverable off to a client, I like to remind them of all the work that went into this. I actually just started for every piece that I do doing small Loom videos that I send along with the deliverable to show the different pieces of strategy and all the steps that were walked through, just so that that’s super clear to the client so that when there comes a time that I want to raise my rates, I can do that. And they’re super clear on the value that I’m providing to them.
Kira: Yeah. And that’s a totally different client experience. That to me is white glove when I hire someone and they not only are handing over the deliverable, but they’re sharing their entire thought process and their strategic mind and sharing that video with me. So I don’t just get the deliverable, but I learn something and I understand something new. I may even look at my own business differently. And so I love that you’re doing that, Aly. And I think that’s something that we could all do, especially if you’re struggling with your own pricing or feel like your value maybe is overlooked. That could be one small change you make to increase your pricing.
Aly: Yeah. And on the topic of finances. The other thing that I really loved that Krystle talked about was really stacking revenue in your business and creating different income streams and also just watching your cash flow so that you have the opportunity to invest in your business when you really want to invest. I think it’s really scary out here if you’re a freelancer and the sort of feast and famine thing, we have to keep an eye on our cash flow and save if we can and just do what we can to be educated with our own finances.
Kira: Yeah. I start that in my notes too, the whole concept of stacking that stood up to me too, because we can do it in so many different ways and you can, that’s why retainers can be really good because it’s already a model where you’re stacking your revenue and you know you can depend on 3k every month for the next six months. And I was someone who was anti-retainer for a while, but now I’m on team retainer because of the fact that you can stack it and it gives you something dependable. But even if you don’t have a retainer model, if you have project-based work, you can still stack the revenue and break up the big price tag and break it up into like three months. So even six months.
I know that’s something that Sage Polaris shared with us in episode 191 of the podcast. That stood out to me when I talked to her about it because she has similar projects around launching and she was breaking up the payments into monthly payments over, I think, it was like over maybe even six month span of time because she wanted to stack her revenue and have that reliable revenue every single month. So you can do it with services, you can do it with projects, retainers, you can also do it with other offers that you create, subscriptions, memberships, group programs. There’s so many other ways that you can start to stack with multiple revenue stream and create a little bit more stability.
Aly: Yeah, absolutely. Because I think as much as those big cash infusions that we can have in our businesses are really awesome sometimes.
Kira: They’re fun. Those are fun.
Aly: They also can create a lot of stress, because if you put in a lot of work leading up to that cash infusion and then you’re looking at your bank accounts and you’re like, “Okay, now we’ve got crickets in here. Nothing is happening.” It can create a lot of unnecessary stress that we can avoid if we’re just creating those other revenue streams and working towards that.
Kira: Yes. And one other note I wrote down, I’d love your thoughts on this, Aly. Krystle mentioned, there really isn’t a made it moment for her where you’re just like, “Okay, got it all figured out. I’ve officially made it.” How do you think about those made it moments or have you had a made it moment in your business? How do you view that on your own growth?
Aly: Yeah, this one is a tricky one for me because I definitely have had moments where I hit milestones that I set for myself and I look back and I’m like, “Wow, I can’t believe I actually accomplished that.” And then I’m reflecting on all of the actions that I took to be able to get to that point. But then I do agree with Krystle that there is never a moment where you’re just like, I’m good now kind of that, like sitting on the beach with your laptop, like cliche thing that we all still sort of-
Kira: That we all do all the time, all the time.
Aly: Yeah. Yeah. But everybody thinks is like the lifestyle. I think it comes from once we’re aware we can achieve more, we want to achieve more. And then that turns into a, we have to achieve more. And so yeah, I’ve had moments where I have been happy with the progress that I’ve made, but I certainly don’t feel like I have made it in my business.
Kira: Aly, I think that’s a really good note to end on. Let’s end there.
Aly: 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. And if you liked what you heard, be sure to head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review.
Kira: If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out episode 207 with Jordan Gill about her systems and processes for setting up a VIP day and episode 245 with Eman Ismail about how she sets up intensives so she can work less and earn more. And if you have any interest in the Think Tank, which we talked a little bit about earlier, you can apply on our website copywriterclub.com/thinktank. Thank you Aly for being here with me today and co-hosting. Can you share, Aly, where our listeners could go to find out more about you and everything that you offer?
Aly: Sure. Thanks again for having me. If people want to hear more about my thoughts living in this crazy freelance space, they can go over to freelancingflow.com where I share all of that information. And if you’re interested in creating a WordPress plugin that helps you win more client work without giving you a headache, you can go to getgeniusportfolio.com
Kira: And don’t you also have a podcast coming out?
Aly: I do. Chris Collins and I, another former Think Tank member, we have a podcast coming out soon. It’s called Freelanceology. So you can keep an eye out for that wherever you listen to podcasts.
Kira: And also shout out to Erin Pennings for co-hosting the interview with me. I appreciate it. Thanks for listening. And we’ll see you next week. (singing).