No Course Required: Scaling Inspiration for Service Providers

by Erin Kelly September 3, 2019

Join me and Sarah Masci in jamming out on how she broke out of the service provider hamster wheel, no course required, and doubled her revenue while cutting her work hours in half. #Goosebumps If you’re wanting to free yourself from retainer work, this is a GREAT episode to listen to.

You can learn more about Sarah here, book her for a day here or peek at her gorgeous MemberVault marketplace here. You can also get on the waitlist for her Book Me for a Day program if you want to learn from Sarah and do the same in your business.

And if you want to steal the Daily Hive Mind podcast system AND get signed up for weekly (or daily) episodes in your inbox, go to membervault.co/dailyhivemind!

The episode, if you’d prefer to read.

ERIN KELLY ASKS:

Yeah, generally when you’re thinking about scaling the thought process is, okay, I need to have something that is going to remove my one to one time that is going to be like a course or a membership or a low cost offer. And so I’m going to take the time to create it and then it’s gonna scale beyond my wildest dreams. Which is possible.

I mean, if you listen to Allie’s interview where she has made over $300,000 with like a $27 low cost offer, I mean, it is possible for that to happen. Obviously she putting a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes in terms of running ads and, you know, I see. She’s, she’s really she’s so good about responding to the comments on our ads and everything. And I think that that’s probably one of the big confusions around, you know, really scalable offers.

There’s still a lot of, of your personal time it’s going to go into it. And you know, we’ve talked about how it is good to have something that can earn income for you that doesn’t require one-to-one time, doesn’t require you to be glued to your phone or your computer in cases in emergency.

But if you’re thinking about like your overall business model, I think that they’re, you know, there’s a tendency to feel like, okay, everything needs to be scalable.

And so I really wanted to talk to Sarah mercy because I love, love, love, love an offer that she came up with. I think that it’s very outside of the box thinking and it is actually super customer or client centric. We actually booked her for this offer because it was so, it was so perfect for what we were looking at that we needed for member vault.

And so, you know, it was one of those things where I saw her mention it. I think Sarah, I think that was maybe the first time you even like put it out there, at least it was the first time I saw it on Facebook where you’re like, hey, this is something that I’m doing. You know, is anyone interested in like the comments like blew up. And to me that’s always a sign of an irresistible offer that is perfectly aligned with what your audience is really, really wanting. And I was get goosebumps when I see those cause I’m just like, oh my gosh. Like that’s exactly what people are looking for. I got actually got goosebumps recently. Hello fresh which we we occasionally use around here. They now do these boxes and for anyone that’s using little fresh, you already know what I’m talking about, but they have like specialty boxes that you can add on beyond just like your weekly HelloFresh order.

And so they did a date night box and I was like, that is so freaking genius. And then they had they had a summertime grilling box, they had a mother’s Day box. I’m like, this is so smart. It’s exactly what your audience wants and you’re just giving them more of that. But that’s totally going off on a tangent here. But these are the things that get me really excited because it makes things easier to sell. People are excited to buy them. It creates a more fun conversation on both sides, which is gonna make your business more fun to not feel like you’re having to like pull teeth to get cash flow in. And so I really want to talk about, you know, the offer itself. You know, your one day intensive, how you came up with it, any mindset hurdles that you had to sort of push through to be able to start offering this things that you’ve learned you know, and what has changed in your life and whether you consider it to be a scalable offer.

Sarah, I would love for you to just give us kind of the behind the scenes of this process and what it has changed for you.

SARAH MASCI ANSWERS:

Hey Erin, thank you so much for having me on the show. I’m super excited to chat with you about my Book Me For a Day offer and I have been talking about this like all summer long.

I could literally talk all day about how about this offer and how much has changed for my life and for my business. So I’m super excited to be here and talk to you about it today.

So as you know, maybe your listeners don’t know, but I’ve been a designer for over a decade now and I’ve worked on all kinds of different design projects ranging from doing just to logo back in the day to marketing collateral, complex branding projects, websites, courses, sales pages, all of that. And I absolutely love doing design work. So when people would talk to me about scaling my business, I was always kind of resistant. I knew that I didn’t want to start an agency because I didn’t really want to manage people.

I wanted to do the design work myself and I didn’t want to have to deal with other people. So then I had also considered creating a course. But quite honestly, the reason I didn’t do that was because I never had the time to create a course. And I was always working on client work.

So like I would, you know, I felt like I was just in this hamster wheel. I was always, I always had a client that I was working on, I would send proofs to one client and then while waiting to hear back from them, I’d get to work on another client. And I always seem to have like five or six projects going all at once. And there was never any downtime. But the thing was like with these projects, they were supposed to last for like six, eight or 12 weeks and somehow ended up taking months longer than they were supposed to.

Always seem to be waiting for content or feedback. And on my end I felt like I was always just struggling to keep up with the revision requests and the Organization of the project. And I was just on this never ending hamster wheel and feeling kind of chaotic with my life. I was overworked, I felt overworked, underpaid, and I was burnt out. And I remember thinking there’s gotta be a better way. So my home life was separating, my kids were separating, my marriage was suffering, all of it because I felt like I was working all the time. So one day I got a lead for a new web design client. She wanted a simple website, she wanted it quickly and she was happy to pay in full just to get it done. So I managed to shift my schedule around a little bit so that I could get right to work on her project.

What I found was that with a little upfront pre-work on her part, I could actually get the website done in a day. And so I did just that. Aside from a little bit of back and forth to the following day for a few small changes, we truly got it all done in one day. It was the best experience she paid me on fo. I did her site in a day and then we were done. There was nothing left hanging over my head. And I thought to myself, if only every project could be simple, it only making money could be this easy. So fast forward a few weeks later and I get an email from an old client who is looking for about five or six different things, changes that she wanted done on her existing website that I had already created. And the email she asked me how much each thing would cost and how long it would take.

And it always bothered me to have to create an itemized proposal for like punch lists like this. And I felt funny charging someone my minimum hourly fee for something that was only going to take me 20 or 30 minutes. But I hated time tracking. I hated the time it took to like create the proposal and send it off. And it’s just, I don’t know, it was frustrating. So what I did was I took an overall look at what she wanted and I proposed to her that I could do everything over the course of 10 hours and then I would do five hours per day for two days. And this was how much it was gonna cost. And she was like immediately responded, Yep, let’s do it. So we scheduled it, she paid me and we got it done and then it was like literally done.

She was happy, I was happy and there was no more unfinished work that I had to even think. About. A week later I got an email from another former client who needed some website work done. I offered her a one day option, she accepted and paid and we got it done. And then this happened again a couple of weeks later with another website client. So after these three clients, this was when I knew I was onto something. So I crafted a Facebook post, which you have already mentioned and I put it on my personal profile. And then I watched the comments below up. Literally within days, I don’t know, maybe it was like four or five days. I had three people book me for one day intensive. And this service has been growing ever since. As of December, 2018 I completely stopped taking longterm projects. I only do one day intensives and I have been consistently booked out and I’ve doubled my revenue based based on just one day intensives.

So it has not been without challenges on lessons. So, and once I realized I was consistently booked six to seven weeks out, I was like, oh, I can totally increase my rates here. So that was the first thing I did and I’ve done that now five times. I’ve also learned that setting client expectations and providing an incredible client experience is key to making this work. I’ve had to overcome unresponsive clients, unprepared clients, unhappy clients, indecisive clients, clients who have canceled. I’ve overcome all of those over the past year and a half. But now that I’ve gone through that, I’m excited that I actually have like a complete blueprint in place, which helps to avoid all of these sticky. So this blueprint that I have like it has a full onboarding process. The whole thing is automated, so I don’t even really have to do much other than show up on the discovery call if they want to talk to me before they book me.

And half the time people just book me without even getting on the phone. But then everything else is automated. They have their pre-work, they have all of these fun things that they get as bonuses and things that they get to work on before our day together. So anyway, so as I mentioned, I was working the old way. So when I was working like the old way, I knew I wanted to scale and I was really interested in putting together a course for some passive income. But the problem was that I was working all the time and I had no time to work on creating a course, much less figuring out how to sell it. But once I started doing the one day intensives, I was only working like five to seven days a month. So I had suddenly, I had all this extra free time and it being the multi-passionate entrepreneur as you can probably relate, I set out to create a course and then I was able to successfully launch it within just a few months.

And then I’ve gone on to improve that course and relaunch it several times in the past year, which has provided a great supplemental income for me. So I really truly can decide how many days a month I want to work based on how much, how well the course is selling. So if the course sells well, then I don’t have to work as many days. So it’s been a really great balance for me. But the whole point of this was so that I could work less, make more, and have the freedom to do what I want in my life and in my business. And for me that means spending more time with my kids and traveling more. So early on this year, I set the intention that I was going to try and take most of the summer off because I only offer one day intensives. I was able to plan ahead and then I like packed more intensives into April, May, and June so that I didn’t have to do that many during July and August and I could be with the kids.

But again, as you know, being an entrepreneur, it’s kind of hard to like just not work. So we still did the traveling. I still have all the kids. I still did all that fun stuff, but there were a lot of days to summer that the kids were home and I just found myself working. So with this free time that I had, because I didn’t have any clients to summer, I decided to create a new course to teach other designers exactly how to create their own one day intensive offer. I had been getting so many questions from other designers about it that I just felt like I needed to share this with other designers who were in the same situation that I was in. So it was very ambitious of me. But I launched the course at the end of July and I created the course with my students’ input along the way.

During the month of August, we wrapped up the sixth and final module last week. And then this week I hosted a live virtual, get it done day with those students where they had the whole day to implement everything I taught them and I was available to them on zoom all day as they worked through it. So yes, it was a little bit of pressure and it was very ambitious, but it was such a rewarding experience to be able to teach other designers. And now I’m so excited about the potential that this is going to hold for them. And for me now I know that I, now that I’ve giving myself the confidence, I know I can teach this to others. So switching to the one day intensive model has been huge for me. You know, I’ve had more time with my family. I’ve been able to do the things I love.

The summer when we did go away, I was able to go away without my laptop, which was a huge milestone. And I’ve been able to earn more, give back more and I’m so grateful for the whole experience. So many designers and other junk for you service providers have asked me about the service, which is why I created the course. But I’m going to opening the doors again later this year, probably sooner rather than later. Because I love doing it. And your listeners can hop on the wait list@brackenhousebranding.com for re slash get booked to get on the wait list for that course. And the great thing about it is it’s not just for designers, any done for you service provider can learn from it because it’s the course sal about my tools, systems, tech marketing, the client experience, all of that kind of stuff.

So I actually don’t teach a single thing about design in the course. That’s what my other courses and my membership are for, which we’ll have to save for another call. But for those of your listeners who are interested in learning more about my book, me for a day offer, they can go to bracket house branding.com for re slash day or go straight to my calendar and booked me for a day that come. So I hope this was helpful. Thank you so much for having me on the show and I will talk to you soon. Thanks, Aaron.