12.12.2014

Happy Friday + Weekly Links

Weekly Links :: 12-12-14 (Image via Lara Casey Shop)

I’m sure you’ve seen it —

“Sign up here to make 2015 your best year yet!”

“Get ready for 2015 by clicking here”

and so on…

This is one of my favorite topics – planning – but when there’s so many people coming at you with their way, it’s hard to figure out which to follow.

In the past, I’ve shared a couple of my favorite planning tools here + here. I also talked about how I get more done in a week here. This week I thought I’d dedicate an entire Weekly Links post to my other recommended planning resources.

MY FAVORITE PLANNERS

:: Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner

:: Day Designer — Sadly, the shop only opens at certain points of the year, but someone on Facebook might have one they are selling and you should check with their retailers! I ended up buying this one, because that cover! Try it out by downloading a blank page here.

:: Kikki K weekly and monthly planning pads

:: Bliss Inventive’s Daily Dream Creator — I’ve never used this one personally, but it looks amazing.

:: The Passion Planner — Again, never used this one personally, but love the look of it, and you can try it out for free here.

MY FAVORITE 2015 CALENDARS

:: Emma Kate Creative + The Strategy Lab collaboration

:: Paper Source Paint Chip calendar

:: Paper Source Great Big Wall Calendar — I love that this one is big enough to cover in sticky notes :) I got the Sugar Paper for Target one similar to this, but sadly they are all sold out!

MY FAVORITE PLANNING WORKSHEETS

:: Lara Casey’s Powersheets

:: Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Year Workbook

:: Amber McCue’s Fresh Start 2015 Workbook

MY FAVORITE PLANNING COURSES + POSTS

:: Jenny Shih’s Business-Building Action Plan

:: The Fired Up + Focused Challenge with The Yogipreneur

:: How to plan an extraordinary 2015 by Courtney from The Rule Breaker’s Club

:: Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever free 3-part video series

SOME OTHER FUN STUFF TO HELP YOU PLAN 2015

:: the Lucky Bitch Christmas bundle helps you clear your money blocks and manifest the business of your dreams (and it’s only available for a limited time)

:: Say YES to your dreams in 2015 and join me and an amazing group of women who can help you accomplish them in The Conquer Club. Before you sign up, make sure to check out the bonuses that Kathryn and Courtney are offering if you sign up through their link.

 

I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in 2015!

(image via Lara Casey Shop)

POSTED IN: Weekly Links
12.08.2014

12 Days of Systems Challenge ::
How to get more done this week
(+ a free download)

This post is part of the 12 Days of Systems Challenge hosted by Val Geisler of aspire&grow. If you’re ready to get a handle on your systems and processes in 2015, get signed up for Systems Finishing School. Val is awesome and you’ll love this program. If you want to catch up on the posts you may have missed in this series, sign up here.

How to get more done this week + a free download!

When Val asked me to share one of my favorite systems that has helped streamline my business, I had a hard time picking just one, because systems are SO important and I love them. But, I have to say that next to my design process (which I’ll be sharing all about here), the number one system I use in my business is definitely my planning process.

During my first year in business, I was all over the place. I would wake up in the morning and have no clue what to work on. Because of this, project timelines got extended, products never got launched, blog posts never got written and I was a stressed out mess. NO FUN!

Enter the lovely new time management system I use now that has allowed me the ability to work with over 40 clients over the past 2 years, write and sell 2 eBooks, create and launch 1 course, and then turn that course into a self-study program, along with a few other fun collaborations and projects. And now that I have a baby at home, having this system in place is even more important in order for me to have a productive week.

Okay, so let’s get to it. Here’s how I do my planning each month.

MONTHLY PLANNING

I set aside the first Monday of each month to sit down and revisit my goals and priorities for the month. The monthly plan is meant to be a larger overview and shouldn’t focus so much on the individual tasks. Using a calendar or planner, here’s what I do:

  1. Mark down all of your appointments for the month
  2. Jot down the blog posts you want to publish this month
  3. Write down your goals for this month
  4. Decide what you’ll focus on each week to reach those goals
    Don’t worry about focusing on the individual tasks for each week, but instead more of the larger priorities for each week. Once you reach that specific week, you’ll be able to break it down into individual tasks.
WEEKLY PLANNING

Then, each week on Friday afternoon, Sunday night or Monday morning, set aside time to do your weekly planning.

  1. Do a “braindump” of everything that needs to get done this week
    I call it a braindump for a reason — list everything. Appointments, tasks, etc. Start by reviewing what you didn’t get done last week so that it can be moved over to this week’s list. Then, go through your project management software and jot down all of the tasks that are due this week for clients and for your own projects. And don’t forget to include those individual tasks that move you towards reaching your monthly goals.
  2. Using a weekly calendar or your daily planner, jot down your scheduled appointments for the week
  3. For each day this week, choose the Top Three things from your braindump list you want to get done
    These three things might change, but for now it’s important to have an idea of what you’ll be working on each day. I also recommend creating what I like to call “My Ideal Week” plan, so that you know what kinds of tasks you want to do on certain days (i.e. I write my weekly links post every Thursday morning, and only have client calls scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday afternoons). This makes choosing your daily priorities that much easier. I include a template for creating your Ideal Week in my program, Creative Biz Kickstart, if that’s something you’re interested in using.
  4. Keep a running list of smaller tasks separate from your Top Three list
    If there are other smaller tasks that you think you might be able to get to, or ones that pop up during the day, I like to jot those down on another running to-do list on that day’s page. I use the Day Designer by Whitney English as my monthly/daily planner and use the “Other To-Dos” section for this.
DAILY PLANNING

Each night before you sign off for the day, review your Top Three tasks for the following day. If anything needs to be edited, do that now so you’re ready to begin your work day as soon as you sit down. Typically, if I didn’t get something done that day, it gets moved over to the next day as the highest priority.

And always remember to be realistic with how much you can get done each day. It’s the worst feeling when you feel like you didn’t really accomplish a lot for the day, because you overbooked yourself to begin with.

 

DOWNLOAD THE FREE PLANNING TEMPLATE

Download my free monthly goals planning and weekly braindump templates

To help you out with the monthly and weekly planning, I put together a template of my monthly goals planner sheet and my weekly braindump sheet. I usually just use my notebook, but this template is much prettier, so I’m going to start using these. I recommend printing out enough of these to last a couple months and popping them in a binder. That way, you have a place where you can always check back on your monthly and weekly goals to make sure that what you’re doing each day is inching you closer and closer to reaching those goals.

To download the free template, just enter your name and email address here and you’ll get it sent straight to you:

 

TOOLS + RESOURCES I USE AND LOVE:

Kikki K Weekly Planner – This is what I’m currently using to map out my weeks until my Whitney English Day Designer takes it’s place on January 1st!

Whitney English’s Day Designer (the shop is now closed, but I also recommend Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner) – This is what I use to organize my daily priorities, AKA – the Top Three.

Staedtler Pens – My favorite pens to use. They don’t bleed through your paper and they make planning much more fun!

 

TIP: Using this system without a bigger plan in place for your year will get you through the day, but I highly recommend having a 12-Month Action Plan in place, because you’ll be able to achieve so much more each day/week/month/year. For help with creating your 2015 goals and plan, check out these resources:

Lara Casey’s PowerSheets

Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Year Workbook

 

YOUR TURN

What’s the #1 system you’ve set up in your business that keeps your head on straight? What system could you not live without? I geek out over this stuff, so let’s hear it!

WANT TO SHARE?

Here are some done-for-you tweets ready to go.

 

WANT MORE?

For more help on time management and goal setting, check out Creative Biz Kickstart. There is an entire week dedicated just to this topic. Also included with your purchase of CBK is an Ideal Week template and a 12-Month Action Calendar. Want to take CBK for a test drive? Start by downloading a free segment here

12.05.2014

Happy Friday + Weekly Links

Welcome to another Friday!

Here’s what we’re up to this weekend:

We’ve got family coming into town tomorrow to watch Logan while I take a photography workshop on Saturday and Sunday (so I can finally learn how to use the camera I bought 2 years ago).

I’ve also got a whole list of projects I need to get into my portfolio to share with you guys (oh, and actually publish my portfolio on the new site. ha!). Priorites? What are those. ;) I’m not sure this will happen over the weekend, but a girl can dream!

And I need to write my December goal’s, because I promised I’d start doing this monthly. I’m a little disappointed in what I was able to get done on the business list, but the house is all decorated for Christmas. Again… priorities. What are those? You’ll see what I mean when I post it. Hopefully next week.

Alright, let’s get to this week’s links!

weeklylinks-12-5-14

:: Looking to get your business organized before the new year? My friend, Val, is hosting the 12 Days of Systems where 12 biz ladies share one of their favorite systems they have set up in their business that keeps everything running smoothly. My post will be going live on Monday, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, sign up over here so you don’t miss any of the posts or fun prizes she’s giving away!

:: Ready to start planning for 2015? My favorites so far are: Lara Casey’s Powersheets, Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Year Workbook and Amber McCue’s Fresh Start 2015 Workbook (which I got to design last year!).

:: Dreaming of starting a membership program in 2015? April from Entreleverage is sharing three things you should do if you want to keep those members happy and re-subscribing!

:: Did you see the December wallpapers I posted this week? It was a collaboration with Laura from Paper & Honey, and everyone’s been loving them. I’m hoping to do this each month, so if you’d be interested in collaborating on a future wallpaper design, email me!

:: If I could make one wish for Christmas, it would be that I could work up the courage to sign up for this mastermind. It looks amazing, I know so many of the people who have gone through it and it seems to be just the thing that I need in my business (and life) right now. Now, I’ve just gotta push through those money blocks and comfort barriers… Anyone signing up for this mastermind?

:: Have lots of ideas for 2015? Natalie shares her 4-step process for staying focused and getting things done.

:: And if you missed this interview with Marie Forleo and Tony Robbins, watch it. You’ll thank me later.

PS. I’ve got 1 spot open for an In-House Designer client starting in January. If you are planning on amping up your brand in the new year and need a designer in your back pocket, this is perfect for you. Tasks that can be done through this service include: small ebook designs (think: new opt-in ebooks), social media or blog post graphics (to make everything look consistent), website graphics (for new pages you’re publishing), and so much more. Note: it’s important that you already have an established brand created. If you don’t and are ready to, we should talk about that, too!

Have a great weekend!

POSTED IN: Weekly Links
12.02.2014

December Wallpaper

merry-and-bright-2-preview

Welcome to December!

To combat the shock that it’s almost 2015, I’ve teamed up with Laura from Paper & Honey to create some fun desktop wallpapers for you.

Laura did the amazing hand lettering and I put together the designs.

You get to choose from two variations of a holiday wallpaper or an inspiring wallpaper using one of my favorite quotes.

merry-and-bright-1-download

merry-and-bright-2-download

december-quote-1-preview2

december-quote-1-download

december-quote-2-download

HERE’S HOW TO DOWNLOAD:

  1. Choose your favorite (or maybe all of them!)
  2. Click on the wallpaper image
  3. Once the lightbox pops up, right-click on the image
  4. Click “Save Image As” or “Download Image” to save the image to your computer

Enjoy!

POSTED IN: Tech Downloads
11.21.2014

Happy Friday + Weekly Links

This week flew by! I got our Christmas decorations up + we are headed out for date night tomorrow (didn’t get to go last week due to sickness. blah!). I also interviewed a new babysitter, and I think she may be the one. Yay! Lots of things to cross off my November goals list.

And on to this week’s links…

weeklylinks-11-21-14

Have you heard of the Conquer Summit before? Natalie from She Takes on the World hosts this 9-week online course and right now it’s FREE. Like 100% totally free. It’s been running since the beginning of October, but if you sign up today you can get access to all of the past sessions.

“You’re never going to lose business by giving away things for free.” A great podcast episode with Allie and David, the master minds behind Death to Stock Photo.

Thinking about rebranding but scared to death of how to handle the tech side of things? That Super Girl (aka Nikole) has got you covered! She breaks down the most common questions clients have about rebranding into DFY (done-for-you) and DIY (do-it-yourself) options.

Have some PITA clients who won’t pay their invoice? First, Just Tell Julie. She’ll handle it for you. Then, drop them once you get them to pay and note why they aren’t your ideal customer so you can spot the red flag next time.

A yummy idea for client holiday gifts. I know I would LOVE to get this in the mail (hint, hint).

Some fun ideas for client holiday gifts: for the lettering lover, the yogithe happy-go-lucky fashionista + the idea maker (<< love this one). All wrapped up in a pretty package and delivered right to their door. A sweet biz friend was nice enough to gift us with a Sesame gift for little Logan and it was so much fun just opening!

Oh, and you could buy anything off of this site for your clients and they would love it. Warning: this site is bad for productivity and you will lose hours upon hours searching through all the cute products.

And last, but not least. Somebody please make this and send it to me. Pretty please. There is seriously nothing better than hot soup on these super cold days.

I hope you have an awesome weekend + stay warm!

Oh, and before I forget – I am now booking new clients for full rebrands starting in January. If you’re ready for a new look to support those big 2015 goals you have, let’s connect.

Happy Friday,

POSTED IN: Weekly Links
11.18.2014

Review : 17hats

review-17hats-2

I promised you a review of 17hats, so here we go!

I started testing out 17hats around the middle of October. I went ahead and took the plunge and signed up for the full year subscription so I could really dive in and use it for all it’s worth.

Their features looked promising, and I was really expecting a lot out of this system that claimed to be an all-in-one solution.

After using the software for a couple weeks, I came to a final verdict and wanted to share my thoughts with you.

PRICE: $19/month if you sign up for the annual plan. They were running a special to get an entire year’s subscription for $137. Keep an eye out for another deal like this.

PROS:

  1. Everything in one place – Invoices, estimates, contracts, client details and client projects all in one spot can be really useful.
  2. Price – Much cheaper than the combo of my other software (Freshbooks, Echosign, Basecamp, Bidsketch, Outright).
  3. Timely – They are super quick to respond to support questions.
  4. In beta + constantly thinking about what to add next – They seem to be very on top of adding new features and getting feedback from current users. I was able to provide feedback and suggestions for their new time tracking app.

CONS:

  1. No ability to assign to-do’s – This one should be an obvious and easy fix.
  2. No client access – One of the main reasons I pay for Basecamp is so that my clients can login to their projects and see all outstanding to-do’s, view files and discuss revisions. If I can’t give my clients access to their project in 17hats, then it’s pretty much useless for project management.
  3. No ability to have discussions within projects or share files – Since you can’t add any additional users or your clients, the ability to have discussions within projects doesn’t exist. This is one of the biggest uses of Basecamp for me, to keep all discussions within a client’s project, rather than in my inbox, especially when discussing a particular file – like a design mockup.
  4. No ability to add custom colors or backgrounds – As a designer, it looks a little amateur sending clients to a invoice, contract or questionnaire with an off-brand background color.
  5. 17hats branding on all paid plans – I think that if I’m paying a yearly subscription for something that I should have the option to remove their branding. And if I choose to keep their branding, I should get some sort of referral credit when people sign up from my link.
  6. The script font – I hate the Jenna Sue font. It’s overused + it looks cheap. They just need to get rid of it and go with a premium font. I know, silly con, but that alone would make me not want to log in everyday. #fontsnob
  7. Glitches – I was creating a contract within a client’s project, clicked “save as template” and once I had saved everything I couldn’t find the contract template, which meant I had to recreate from the beginning. The text editor is also very glitchy – you’ll notice that certain lines disappear until you scroll down, and small things like that.

THE FINAL VERDICT: 

Personally, 17Hats is a NO for me at the moment. They are missing some vital features in order for me to replace them with my current systems. Once they add the time tracking, ability to add clients to their projects and have discussions, they could be a serious contender for me.

If you’re not as particular about custom colors and don’t need to give your clients access to their projects, then this might be a good option for you. The fact that invoices, estimates, contracts + questionnaires are all in one spot is AWESOME.

I ended up requesting a refund, because they just aren’t quite where I need them to be yet. Once they get the time tracking feature added, they could start by replacing my Freshbooks and EchoSign account. I’ll be waiting patiently.

If you’re looking for more reviews on 17hats and a comparison review to a similar piece of software, check out Morgan’s review of 17hats and the Motiv App. She listed some really great points.

Have you tried 17hats yet? Have any additional pros or cons to add to the list for everyone considering using it? Tell me in the comments below!

Photo from Shay Cochrane

POSTED IN: Reviews
11.14.2014

Happy Friday + Weekly Links

weeklylinks-11-14-14

Happy… umm, November? No, that can’t be right. Let me check my calendar. Yep, 2 weeks into November already!

I’m pretty sure I say this each week, but seriously… where has the time gone? How are we already half way through November? There are exactly 40 more sleeps till Christmas. Scary! But that also means I’m not totally looney tunes for putting the tree up the other day. Don’t worry… I haven’t even put the ornaments on yet. Baby steps.

Oh, and I’ll admit that I did watch a couple Christmas movies this week, but you can blame that on HBO for airing them. I’m weak.

And you’re probably wondering what happened to last week’s links. Yea, about that.

Well… I got really sick, thought I had the flu, freaked out because Logan hasn’t had his flu shot yet, went to immediate care so I could wear a horrid face mask and they could stick a cotton swab up my nose only to tell me that I don’t have the flu, and then spent the next 5 days in bed with a fever of 102, chills like nobody’s business and hot flashes that made me feel like I was going through menopause at the ripe age of 25. Not. Fun.

In other news, my in-law’s are headed into town this weekend so the hubby and I can enjoy a date night. Seriously so thankful for them, because we desperately need date nights these days. That alone lights a fire under my ass to finally find a babysitter in this area.

But enough about that, let’s get to the good stuff…

Looking for a new 2015 planner? The Day Designer and The Simplified Planner are at the top of my list this year. I used The Day Designer last year, but now that I’m on a weird schedule I find myself not using the daily pages as much, and that seems like a waste. So instead, I’m thinking about either trying out the Mini Day Designer (because it’s undated, so I can use when I want without feeling like I’m left with a lot of unused space at the end of the year) or the Weekly Simplified Planner (because I don’t need the large daily pages the regular Day Designer offers with this funky schedule I’ve got going, so the smaller daily sections on two pages will be sufficient to fit all my tasks in). But… this limited edition collab cover design is melting me. So, I might just end up with the full planner again. Design does matter, friends.

I canceled my ScheduleOnce account and signed up for a Calendly account. My top three favorite features, you ask? Here you go: 1) It’s got a clean interface (meaning it’s really pretty), 2) you can remove the Calendly branding (meaning it looks even more pro and 3) It’s only $8/mo. when you pay annually ($11/mo. cheaper than what I was paying for something that practically does the same thing). It’s everything you need if you’re looking for an easy and efficient (and pretty) way to schedule calls with clients.

I’ve been devouring all of Tiffany’s podcast episodes lately. I resonated a lot with this one where she talks with Caroline about how much one evolves in their business, and how you need to just let it happen.

One of my long-time clients and friends, Kate from Betty Means Business, just launched her brand new shiny website this week. It’s been over 5 months in the making and we’re not even done yet! More coming soon, but in the meantime, go check it out :)

Looking for a sweet Christmas gift for a new mom? These necklaces are adorable, and super affordable with the GMA deal. I just ordered one for myself and added on a birthstone charm.

For my fellow web designers and developers : this should waste 30 minutes of your life. Can you relate?

Okay, something useful : Ready to finally host that webinar you’ve been putting off (no, of course I’m not talking to myselffff)? Val’s got 3 tips to make sure you’re delivering excellent customer service before, during + after the webinar.

I hope you guys have an awesome weekend (and may it not be snowing where you are, because it most certainly will be here!).

To finishing Friday strong and then curling up with some hot chocolate to catch up on #htgawm,

Amanda

PS. I’ve got 1 spot open for a new In-House Designer client in January. Time to stop fighting with Photoshop and hand off those design tasks to someone who can create something you’re proud to show off. Get in touch to snag the last spot.

POSTED IN: Weekly Links
11.05.2014

November 2014 Goals

monthly-goals-november-2014

GOALS ARE BACK!

And for good reason – I need the accountability. With not as much time to get things done and a good dose of “baby brain” (I swear it’s even worse than “pregnancy brain”), I’m all over the place and things have been hanging on my to-do list for quite a while now.

My goal lists are a nice mix of personal and business, because that’s just how my life is. A nice blend that I don’t want to separate at the moment.

But before we jump in, I wanted to let you guys know that I’m working with Laura from Paper & Honey on a new handwritten logo for the site. I’ve been eyeing her work for a while and finally reached out and asked if she could help a girl out. It should be debuting this month, and I can’t wait to show you the final design.

Okay, let’s get into the good stuff.

NOVEMBER GOALS

BUSINESS

Start writing CrushWorthy so you guys can finally get your hands on it (My original plan was to launch it this month, but that’s obviously not going to happen. New plan = launch by March 2015. Ha!)

Edit Work With Me page to reflect new services This happened earlier today!!

Launch Mentor Mini Sessions (and complete first group of them). Sign up here if you want to be on the list that gets first dibs at the limited spots each month.

Sign on 2 new In-House Designer retainer clients for January 2015 (anybody looking for someone to help with ongoing design work? Shoot me an email!)

Finish writing my Resources page and publish for ya’ll to benefit from (yes, I just said “ya’ll” and yes, I do live in the midwest)

Clean out Dropbox and organize folders (seriously, this is a disaster at the moment)

Update my blog editorial calendar

Batch write 2 weeks worth of posts and keep up with it (this one is SO hard for me. I’m a “write in the moment” kind of gal, but I need to get better at getting some things done ahead of time)

Start brainstorming a month-long challenge I’d like to host on the blog in the new year

Design 1 Brand Kit for the new design shop I’m opening in the new year (more info on this coming soon!)

PERSONAL

Finish hanging the curtains in our living room

Decorate for Christmas (yes, you heard that right)

Figure out our daycare/nanny situation

Paint 1 room in the house

Order & send holiday cards (we get our holiday pics taken this weekend. eeek!)

Get the majority of Christmas shopping done (I know… reeaaallll specific, Amanda. I’m just not sure what to expect for my first holiday shopping season with a baby on board!)

Okay, I think that’s enough to conquer in one month, don’t you?

Got a special goal you’re working on this month? Tell me in the comments so we can cheer each other on!

Photo above is from Shay Cochrane. Sign up to her newsletter and you’ll get a free monthly photo. 

Cheers,

POSTED IN: Monthly Goals
10.31.2014

Happy (Halloween) Friday + Weekly Links

Friday’s here! Halloween’s here! So much to celebrate – the weekend AND candy. Two of my favorite things.

We’re doing a fun theme this year now that there are three humans in the family (I’m still trying to figure out how to work the dog into this theme). Make sure you’re following me on Instagram if you want to see what we end up doing.

Okay, on to today’s fun finds around the internet. There were so many good ones, so I didn’t even limit myself. Happy perusing!

Two of my favorite kid brands have joined forces to create some freaking adorable clothes. Sadly, they don’t have any baby clothes, but I think I might stock up on some toddler clothes.

Finally, a “polite” popup that can help you multiply your email list in no time. I’ve loved everything Nathalie Lussier has created, so it was a no-brainer when I found out she had created an email list popup tool. Is it me or are all the other options out there just really unattractive? I’m trying it out now, and you can see it in play right below this post and in the sidebar. The real winner for me was the ability to easily use my own custom fonts.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who didn’t know software to organize your fonts and sync them across all your devices existed. Life. Saver. I’m testing out Suitcase Fusion’s free 30-day trial now.

These are currently my favorite candles (besides the ever-so-popular Bath and Body Works candles). The Vanilla Maple and Salted Caramel ones smell amaaaazing. I just try their mini masons so I can always be switching out the scents around our house.

A few of my favorite lady biz owners have teamed up to give you a bunch of Halloween treats for your business. And they’re all FREE (both calories and dollar bills)!

Let’s hope this little trick actually works, because I’m always down for a deeper sleep.

You know how you spend all this time writing an awesome blog post, only to feel like maybe five people have seen it (including your mom)?? Yea, that’s no good. This is the best breakdown I’ve seen on how to share your blog post with the world. I’ll definitely be adding this to my own blog post sharing process, stat!

Do you ever feel guilty about not always loving your business? Here’s a post that will make you feel a little more human about the fact that you won’t always be “doing what you love.”

 

Hope everyone has an awesome Halloween + weekend.

POSTED IN: Weekly Links
10.29.2014

3 scripts for dealing with past clients

bossy-mug-how-to-say-no-to-past-clients

Photo source :: I’ve been eyeing this mug for a while.

First, let’s talk about the importance of saying ‘no’.

When you’re first starting your business, I believe that saying ‘yes’ is how you build your business. However, once you get to a certain point — maybe you’re booked solid, you’re reaching your income goals each month, or whatever it may be that makes you feel like your business is killing it — you get the choice of saying ‘no’ to some clients or projects that don’t get you super excited.

If you fill your client roster with a bunch of clients you aren’t really excited to work with or aren’t paying you well, you’re not leaving any room for those clients and projects that make you love what you do AND pay you top dollar for it.

But then, you start to struggle with whether or not you should say ‘no’ and how to say it without burning any bridges. I know… the struggle is real, folks.

This question landed in my inbox from Amy F., a new email subscriber, so I figured I’d answer it for everyone. Just in case you’re going through the same thing right now.

Amy asked:

One issue I struggle with is how to say ‘no’ to people whose requests don’t fit with what I do. Some of them might even be past clients. For example, I struggle with whether I should do their cheap spring break trip (I tend to focus more on destinations more far afield, such as Europe, South America, Australia) just because I’ve previously planned their custom 10 year anniversary trip to Italy. It feels mean, or like I’m not taking care of my past clients…. Suggestions?

I’ve put together 3 different situations where you may need to say ‘no’, and what to say in each situation.

Script #1 :: To past clients asking for a service you no longer offer:

Hi (name),

It’s so great to hear from you again. Hope you’re doing well.

Unfortunately, I’m no longer offering (insert service they’re asking for).

I absolutely loved working with you, though, and would love to work with you again. Here’s how I can help you in the future:

Insert list of things you do now

Let me know if you need my help with any of the above. I’d love to whip up a quote for you. 

Hope to hear from you soon!

(your signature)

Script #2 :: To past clients asking for a service at a price you no longer offer:

Hi (name),

It’s so great to hear from you again. Hope you’re doing well.

I would absolutely love to work with you again. Just so we’re both on the same page, I wanted to make sure you knew my updated rates. Attached is a 1 page pdf describing my services and new rates.

I absolutely loved working with you and hope we can work together again.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Talk soon,

(your signature)

Script #3 :: To past clients you no longer wish to work with (for various reasons):

Hi (name),

It’s so great to hear from you again. Hope you’re doing well.

Thanks for reaching back out to me to work together. Unfortunately, I’ve got a packed client roster at the moment, with no wiggle room for new clients.

I don’t want to leave you stranded, so I’ve rounded up 3 potential people that I know and love that may be able to help. 

Person 1 (with link to their site/portfolio)

Person 2 (with link to their site/portfolio)

Person 3 (with link to their site/portfolio)

I hope you can find someone out of those 3 that can help.  

Let me know if you have any questions.

Talk soon,

(your signature)

Well, there you have it.

3 ways to say NO to past clients for a few reasons. Whatever the reason may be, just remember that you DON’T have to work with a client just because you have in the past. If they’re asking for something you don’t offer, not wanting to pay your new rates, or were a PITA client in the client before, politely decline their request and offer something in return.

TELL ME

What’s a sticky situation you’ve been in (or are in) and you weren’t sure how to respond? Or got another question for me? Send me an email or leave a comment below. These make the best blog posts.

POSTED IN: Business, Clients