Pricing Your Services for Profitability and Your Dream Clients with Kristin Kaplan

Pricing Your Services for Profitability and Your Dream Clients

Today I’m talking to Kristin Kaplan all about pricing your services and products for profitability and your dream clients. Kristin gets into a lot of really great information to help you price your services to actually make a profit in your business, including why you need to stop depending on what others are doing for pricing and start figuring out your numbers.

We talk about knowing your numbers and why that’s so important, as well as pricing based on the value you bring to your clients instead of just what it is you need to make or what the industry standards are.

I’m really excited for this episode because I think it’s something that so many of us creative entrepreneurs and small business owners struggle with, especially when it seems like we hear from a lot of people that our prices are so high.

As we get into this episode, I want to encourage you to get into your own numbers so that you know exactly how you should be pricing your services and figuring out what value you bring to your clients.

Kristin is an entrepreneur, wife, mother of three, and extreme list maker. A northerner by way of Los Angeles, she is now happily settled in Nashville, Tennessee and loves everything about living in Music City. She founded Stunning Events 10 years ago where she plans fresh, fun, wedding celebrations and manages all business operations. She also teaches, mentors, and coaches creative entrepreneurs to live a life of purpose by building a solid business foundation. She is the writer and creator of The Pricing Workbook, a pricing guide for creative business owners and the co-founder, along with Ginny Krauss, of The Wedding Business Bosses community and The Wedding Business Academy, a 6-month group coaching program for wedding industry creatives. 

Connect with Kristin:

Website

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Topics Discussed:

  • How she started her first business and started working with wedding professionals and creative entrepreneurs
  • The biggest issue small business owners have with pricing
  • Creating a strategy behind your pricing
  • How to calculate your cost of doing business
  • Learning the value of your services or products
  • Transitioning from an hourly mindset to value-based pricing
  • Pricing for the clients you want to work with
  • Packages vs. hourly rates
  • Explaining your pricing to potential clients
  • Why you should get paid, even when you’re just starting out
  • Planning for growth in the future
  • How to raise your prices

Resources Discussed:

Website Platforms and Squarespace Myths

Today I’m going to be talking all about website platforms and covering some Squarespace myths that you might be buying into if you have just been reading blog posts online or getting your information from people who haven’t’ used Squarespace.

The reason I want to cover these topics is because not every website platform is going to be the best option for every business. While I work solely in Squarespace, there are potential clients who come to me who might be better served by a different platform.

I’m going to be going over some of the most popular website platforms, including who each is best for, the average cost, and some pros and cons of each. There are lots of other platforms out there, but I don’t cover all of them.


Popular Website Platforms:

Squarespace

  • Best For: Creatives and small business owners who want a great looking, flexible website that doesn’t require coding knowledge.
  • Cost: $12-$26/month for personal & business websites, $26-$46/month for eCommerce extra benefits
  • Pros: 24/7 customer service, variety of templates included, drag-and-drop builder for easy updates, no coding required, can grow with your business, great security – no plug-ins, no additional monthly costs, one-stop show for domain, hosting, email (G Suite), blog, and eCommerce
  • Cons: less flexible than WordPress in design and functionality, templates focus on imagery

WordPress

  • Best For: Those who want a lot of flexibility in design and larger online retailers
  • Cost: Free to use, with plug-ins and hosting paid separately
  • Pros: flexible in design and development, can easily back-up website, thousands of plug-ins for variety of functionality
  • Cons: coding knowledge may be needed, no security through WordPress, some plug-ins aren’t safe or updated regularly, basic content management system can be hard to use

Wix

  • Best For: business owners who want a pre-made design
  • Cost: free- $25/month
  • Pros: drag-and-drop website builder, collection of professional templates
  • Cons: can’t change templates without completely starting over, limited design updates depending on template

ShowIt

  • Best For: More advanced business owners with lots of images who want control over everything
  • Cost: $19-$34/month
  • Pros: Drag-and-drop platform that requires no code, can customize every part of the design, can be unique to your style – doesn’t look like a template, great customer service,
  • Cons: no blog included - must set up on WordPress, no eCommerce

Squarespace Myths:

Squarespace isn’t good for SEO

Squarespace is simple to use, but it plays well with Google. They make it easy to link with Google Analytics and include an automatic sitemap. You also have control over your image names, URL names, and built-in SEO. They also make it easy for your content to be SEO-friendly through pre-set heading types.

Check out my post about Squarespace SEO tricks you should be using.

You can’t upload more than one image at once

Many photographers stay away from Squarespace because they can’t upload all their images to their blog or gallery at once. While the Image Block does require you to upload images one at a time, there are ways to upload many images at once. You can create a gallery – either in a blog post or as a separate page – and put it on any page of your website.

You are limited to only using Stripe for payment processing

Squarespace originally only offer payments through Stripe, but now supports PayPal.

You don’t own your content

Domain – you can purchase a domain through Squarespace or connect your website to a domain you already own. Either way, you can always transfer it. You can also export your content as an .xml file, but you will lose the CSS that controls how the content is styled. What you don’t own is the template – if you transfer away from Squarespace, you can’t upload your site as-is to another host.

There isn’t a way to back up your website

There is not one simple back-up button, but you can export all your blog content, design style, CSS, and website. It is easy to then add to a new SS website or update a site you want to restore, but to transfer to WordPress, you would have to update the layout.

There are limited or no integrations with the other programs I use in my business

The next episodes is going to be all about Squarespace integrations, including what is already set up through Squarespace and other integrations you can create on your own. Squarespace integrations include G Suite, Xero, MailChimp, Acuity Scheduling, and YouTube. Many of these integrations have their own blocks, making it even easier to place on your website.

You don’t have enough control of ecommerce

You can set shipping rules with flat-rate shipping, depending on weight, or allow shipping to be calculated by FedEx, UPS, or USPS. You can also connect Squarespace to ShipStation to make shipping products easier.

A recent update to the eCommerce side of Squarespace now allows you to create tax rules by county, state/province, and specific Zip Codes.

Resources Discussed:


5 Website Updates to Get Legit

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Getting Started with Wholesale with Carolyn Keating

Today I’m talking with Carolyn Keating of Wholesale 4 Creatives all about getting started with wholesale. Carolyn has a 10 year background in wholesale for other businesses and she has translated that into helping small creative businesses get into retail stores and get their products seen by bigger businesses.

Today we’re covering a lot of information that is mostly aimed at product-based business, but there are some great tips for cultivating relationships and figuring out pricing information if you’re a service-based business.

Some of the topics we cover are what wholesale is and why it’s beneficial, how you can price your products for profitability in the wholesale space, and how you can connect with people in stores and build relationships so you can be seen and stay top of mind whenever they are placingnew orders. We also cover a few of the ways that customer service changes when you are working in the wholesale space.

Carolyn Keating is the owner of Wholesale for Creatives, a resource for product based businesses looking to develop their wholesale and retail strategy. Prior to launching her business, Carolyn spent a decade in sales with a NYC-based women's accessories company where she developed and sold products to retail chains throughout the country. Her mission is to educate small businesses about the industry’s best practices so they can successfully compete in the marketplace and avoid making costly mistakes. 

Connect with Carolyn:

Topics Discussed:

  • What wholesale is and how it can benefit your business
  • Balancing wholesale products and selling on your own platform
  • Pricing for profit in the wholesale space
  • How to reach out to stores when you’re ready to start selling your products wholesale
  • Creating and building relationships with local businesses and buyers
  • How pitching a store is similar to pitching a blog post or podcast
  • The steps that happen when you’re products have been accepted into a store
  • How customer service changes when selling to a buyer instead of direct to the customer
  • The importance of dealing with issues quickly and well
  • How to stay top-of-mind (in a good way)
  • What you need to have in place before considering wholesale
  • The importance of having multiple products and manufacturers you trust
  • Why you need to evaluate if wholesale is right for you and do it yourself before you hire a team

Resources Discussed:

 

How a Website Designer Can Save You Time and Money

Today is a continuation of my website design series and I’m going to be talking about how a website designer can save you time and money. I’m going to go into some really important things to think about when you are considering whether you want to DIY your website or hire someone to help you with the design and development in order to save you time and ultimately save you money so you can spend more time working with your clients and growing your business.

Topics Discussed:

  • Why you can’t do everything in your business as it grows
  • The ultimate goal of running your business and why hiring can help you get there
  • How a website designer can uses your vision and needs to design your website right the first time
  • Why a designer can save you money with their resources and knowledge
  • The back-end things that a designer should put in place that you can grow down the road
  • The importance of having a designer support you before, during, and after your website launch
  • The steps a website designer will follow to design a website that meets your goals
  • How a website designer can save you time by managing your project and keeping everything on track
  • Why having a designer who is familiar with your design and platform helps you post-launch

Resources Discussed:


5 Website Updates to Get Legit

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Building a Team that Supports Your Business Mission with Ashley Cox

Building a Team that Supports Your Business Mission with Ashley Cox

Today I am talking with Ashley Cox of sproutHR all about building a team that supports your business mission. We covered some great topics including how to hire for a small business, how to set up the hiring process including creating a really great job description, and how you can create an interview process that will help you find the right person for the job. We also talk a little bit about the difference between contractors and employees and how you might be able to hire an intern for your business.

Ashley has so much to share and we covered a lot of it today, so I’m really excited for this episode.

Ashley Cox is The HR Partner for Creatives at sproutHR, where she helps you hire, train, and lead your thriving team, all with confidence and heart. She loves to make the scary and overwhelming parts of hiring and leading a team simple, actionable and fun, so you can feel more at ease in your business and get the help you need!

Connect with Ashley:

Topics Discussed:

  • How Ashley moved from corporate HR to running her own business helping creative entrepreneurs
  • How she found a place where she could use her corporate experience and build a business she loves
  • How to create processes and systems to help your business grow
  • The importance of writing your processes down
  • How to create a job description that helps you hire the right person
  • Why you need to outline the interview process before you start accepting applications
  • The things you need to include in a job description
  • How to make sure that the person you’re hiring has the skills needed for the job
  • Why you should hire slowly to avoid hiring the wrong person
  • The difference between a contractor and employee
  • Why you can’t hire an unpaid intern
  • The importance of creating a culture for your business

Resources Discussed:

 

Is Your Website Working for You? Creating a Strategic Website

15-Is-Your-Website-Working-for-You

Today is the second episode all about website design and I am going to be talking about how you can evaluate if your website is working for you. If you haven’t listened to the first episode, I recommend you listen to episode 13.

This episode is useful whether you’re DIYing your website, getting by until you can hire a designer, or if you’re working with a designer now so that you know what to look for and ask for in a strategic website design project. Because that’s what I’m all about – using strategy in your website design so that it doesn’t’ just look good, but it also functions well and helps you grow your business.

I’m going to cover a couple of techniques for evaluating if your website is working for you and I’ve also got a checklist you can download at www.lemonandthesea.com/15download.

Topics Discussed:

  • The importance of having a strategy behind your website design
  • Why you need to test and change your design
  • Creating simple, easy to use navigation and what you should include
  • Why using website standards can help your design
  • Why your content is important to your website visitor’s experience
  • Things to check to make sure your content is working for you
  • The importance of having a call-to-action on each page
  • Creating a contact form that makes it easy for people to use
  • How the design of your website can support your main purpose
  • Why knowing your audience is important for your website
  • The tools I use with clients to test my website designs
  • The importance of testing and changing your design
  • My #1 recommendation for creating a strategic website
  • How strategic design serves your clients and customers

Resources Discussed:

Writing a Book that Serves Your Audience and Your Business with Jodi Brandon

Writing a Book that Serves Your Audience and Your Business

Today I’m talking to Jodi Brandon all about writing a book at serves your business and your business. We got though the process of brainstorming topics for your book, writing that book, getting it published, and even get into some marketing. In addition, we cover the ultimate purpose of your book is and how you can validate your topic before you get started. Jodi also talks about the importance of finding a topic that is going to bring your audience back to your services and how you can serve them well through the topic you choose and the book you write. She also talks a little bit about her own book and how she went through this process herself, as well as the reasons that you should consider self-publishing instead of going with traditional publishing.

Jodi Brandon has more than 20 years' experience in book publishing. After many years working at traditional publishing houses, Jodi and her husband relocated from New York to Philadelphia and she launched her freelance editing business. Jodi's passion these days is working as a book editor and writing/publishing coach for creative entrepreneurs, bloggers, and small business owners who want to level up their business with a book.

Connect with Jodi:

Topics Discussed:

  • How she moved from working in traditional publishing to working one on one with small business owners and creative entrepreneurs
  • Why small business owners should write a book
  • How to find a topic for your book, including validating your idea before you start writing
  • Ways you can reuse the content you’ve already created
  • How she works with clients to help them publish a book
  • The difference between traditional and self- publishing
  • How to launch and market your book
  • How to get book readers back into your business and eventually hire you

Resources Discussed:

How to Work with a Website Designer

This is the first in a series of episodes where I’m going to be taking you through what it looks like to work with a website designer and what a good, strategic, and beautiful website can do for your business.

Today we’re going to start with how to work with a website designer. I’m going to be walking you through the process of website design, what you need to have prepared in advance, some tips, and the answers to some frequently asked questions that I get from clients.

Topics Discussed:

  • Why I love website design
  • The importance of a strategic and beautiful website
  • The process of website design that I use with clients
  • What the consult call involves and why it’s important
  • The types of questions I ask to create a website that fits each business
  • Why a mood board is important in website design
  • What’s included in a website vision guide
  • The importance of a sitemap and how it helps you create content
  • How designers use wire framing and what you should get
  • How I partner with clients in the design process
  • The importance of testing your website before you launch
  • Launching your website
  • Ongoing support, website backups, and tutorials
  • Content your website designer needs from you
  • Website design tips from a designer

Resources Discussed:

 

5 Website Updates to Get Legit

IN THIS GUIDE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • 5 things you can update on your website right now to get legit
  • Resources for each item
  • An easy action step based on your current website

Get the Guide

Offering Services that Others Won't

Offering Services that Others Won't

When you restrict yourself to only offering services in the industry-standard way, you might be missing out on opportunities to grow your business. I have personally found that only offering pre-set packages limits my ability to work with potential clients.

Today, I'm discussing a few ways you can offer services in your business that others will not, while still being profitable and enjoying your work.

Samantha Mabe is the owner and designer at Lemon and the Sea. She loves empowering creative women with a heart to serve to grow their business through brand and website design. Her background is in design and architecture, but she’s been creating since she could hold a pencil. Samantha is a Pittsburgh native now living in Richmond, Virginia where she spends her days designing brands and websites and her evenings watching Netflix with her husband and their dog #gambittheweshi.

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