Kory here! I’m so excited about this episode because I love pulling back the curtain and sharing more about my business with you guys.
If you’re an avid listened, you may know that I stopped taking 1:1 design clients last year because I needed a break and wanted to take my other business full-time. This past summer I decided to start taking clients again only something completely different.
I thought it would be fun to share my experience of pivoting my business to show you that it’s okay to pivot and the steps that I took to do that.
Deciding to take a break / pivot
Like I mentioned before, last year I decided to take a break from client work. This was a really hard decision, but looking back I couldn’t be happier that I chose to do it.
I’ve had some really amazing clients that I’ve been able to create some beautiful work for, but not all of my clients have been great to work with. I’ve had some real duds just what you guys deal with from time to time, and they’ve inspired a lot of the episodes I’ve lead here at GBTD.
So when Krista decided to leave Coded Creative to pursue another business idea, I did some hard thinking about what I wanted with work and my schedule. I finished up with my last client and didn’t feel excited about going through all of the marketing mayhem, and I keep my daughter home with me so I’m limited on time to work anyway. Fortunately, my husband makes a majority of our income to cover our bills and such. All of those things together (plus a LOT of thinking and talking to people around me), I ultimately decided to take a break from client work.
What I did after that decision
It’s one thing to say you won’t take on more clients, but it’s another story to actually do something to stop getting inquiries. Again, I was thinking a lot about this decision, but ultimately I reverted my personal website back to being essentially just a blog and redirected traffic going to my services and other relevant blog posts over to Coded Creative.
The decision to take on clients again + pivot
This past summer, during our Accelerator, one of the ladies in the group was talking about the rough time she was having with her virtual assistant. At the time my husband was on a deployment, I didn’t have a lot going on in my own business, and it sounded fun to help her. So I offered to step into that role.
Very quickly after that another client signed on, and I knew I had a decision to make: do I go all in and tell people this is what I do now? Or do I just keep doing this on the side for my friends?
I really loved what I was doing for those two clients and I liked the idea of bringing in more income again, so I went for it!
Should you pivot your business?
If you’re reading this and you’re thinking that this sounds like something you might want to do, I want you to ask yourself these questions:
- Is the work you’re doing bringing you fulfillment still?
- Are you consistently booked out?
- Do you need that client work?
- Is there something else you can do to bring money in?
Pivoting your business is honestly a big, scary decision, but it’s important to remember that you can always come back to your original services. I knew when I stopped taking design clients that if I needed / wanted to, I could start marketing myself again and take on more work.
How to pivot your business
I know that most people probably don’t find themselves in a situation where they’re thinking about completely changing the services that they offer, but I wanted to share some concrete steps with you in case you are thinking about this type of pivot.
What to offer
The first thing you have to decide on is what you’re going to offer to clients or do to bring in money.
If you already have passive income products, you could really just tell your audience that you’re no longer accepting clients and instead point them to your products (as long as they’re relevant to your services).
If you’re thinking about offering something completely different, this is where it gets a bit tricker. You have to think about what you really enjoy doing and what you can do well for your clients. I really loved running my business and the admin side of things, plus I felt confident about being able to handle admin and small design tasks for my clients, which is why I decided to go for it with virtual and creative assistant services.
Pricing services you’ve never offered before is difficult, too. If you’ve never done that type of work before, then it’s absolutely expected that you’d have a much lower hourly rate than what you may have in your current business.
It’s a great idea to do market research to see what other people are charging, think about how much experience you have, the amount of money you need to cover your business expenses and personal bills when deciding on your pricing.
This is one place I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t have figured out right away when I started telling people about my new services. Yes, you may have a contract and onboarding process for your current services, but likely things will change for your new services.
Think about what you need to take on a new client:
- When will you send invoices
- Onboarding material like Intro packet
- Updating workflows in your CRM
Create new services page(s) on your website
Only once you have all of the stuff above figured out should you start really thinking about your services page. This will help inform you of what to say on the page, and you’ll sound a lot more confident when it comes to inviting potential clients to inquire with you.
Getting clients for your new services
This is where you have to start putting yourself out there and telling people that you’re offering completely new services.
I was really nervous to do this, mostly because I was scared of what other people would think. Ultimately, though, I just decided to go for it. What’s the worst that could happen?
When you’re getting ready to tell people about your new services you could:
- Post on Instagram
- Send an email to your list
- Write a blog post
- Post in your favorite community (Facebook, Slack, etc)
Also, think about directly reaching out to people who you know need that service. This can be just as scary as telling people that you’ve pivoted but you have to actually let people know. I got a few clients after directly reaching out to them when they mentioned on Instagram that they were looking for a new virtual assistant, and they had no clue that I’d pivoted my business despite the fact that I had posted about it (and they follow me).
- Episode 009 with The Crown Fox on pivoting your design business
- If you’re feeling burnt out and like you need a change, start brainstorming what a break from clients or pivoting would look like for you