Welcome to The Rachel Kurzyp Show.
I recently did an Ask me Anything on my Instagram Stories.
I get questions daily and weekly in the DMs on the topics of sales, marketing, business, plants and Pacey – I swear that pup needs his own Instagram account with the amount of attention he gets from you all.
So I thought it would be fun to give you the opportunity to ask me questions anonymously and for me to share my answers with you here.
I think I’ll make this a regular thing because I had fun doing it, and many of you said that you never know what questions you can and should be asking marketing coaches like me.
I’m hoping the 12 questions I’m about to share will give you some inspo and affirm that it’s a great practice always to ask yourself and others questions. It’s one of the best ways to learn.
OK, so let’s dive in
Q1: What do you consider as your top 3 must-do’s in your marketing mix?
I’m taking this question to mean what marketing tactics or channels I suggest. That is a great question.
I always suggest to my clients that they invest in
- One owned channel like an email, podcast or blog (this is on top of their website)
- One shared channel is usually social media, so Instagram or LinkedIn
- And one earned channel like a referral program, speaking on podcasts etc.
This follows the PESO model and essentially creates a really simple content marketing strategy. I don’t believe you need to pay for media like Facebook Ads to call in your dream clients and opportunities.
Unfortunately, many of my community only focus on Instagram or social media. And this can let you down later when you want to expand your reach or establish credibility in the industry at large.
Q2: How do you improve the quality of clients you have (e.g. get ones with bigger budgets)?
There’s no short answer. It takes a multi-tiered approach.
I know many business owners online say raise your prices, and this may help, but often it leads to more issues when other things aren’t addressed too.
So if you want to raise your price to call in clients with bigger budgets, you also need to look at how you’re positioning yourself – your messaging and visibility, your product – what level of transformation you create for your clients and the promises you claim and your promotion – how you talk about your product or service and invite people to work with you.
Think of it as an equation. It all needs to flow and come together.
Often it takes time to attract your dream clients because you’re figuring things out as you go, and you need to test and tweak until you get the results you want.
The best place to start is asking yourself: what would my dream clients want to know, think or do before working with me? Make sure everything you do is answering that question.
Q3: Is Pacey available for playdates?
He is! He loves meeting other pooches and people. He’s very fast, though, so if your dog is old or tires easily, we may need to arrange a bitey-face meetup instead.
DM rachel_kurzyp if you’d like to arrange a date.
Q4: Wondering how I’m going to do this for the rest of my life. Does biz ever get easier?
It does! But let’s be honest, if we weren’t challenged, inspired and encouraged to grow as a person on the daily, we’d probably get bored.
Every business goes through stages. After working with thousands of people, I’ve noticed some patterns.
0-1 year is a huge learning curve.
1-3 years, the focus shifts to growth and stability.
3-5 years, many founders focus on expansion and perfecting what they do.
And 5+ years, people find their groove or start all over again with something new.
I’m nearly into my 12th year, and I’m well into the 4th iteration of my business.
The biggest challenge for me now is to stay relevant and continue to enjoy my work.
I know it’s easy to say, but I’d try and enjoy the stage you’re in and don’t rush it.
There’s always something you could be doing in your business, and that ‘must do everything’ feeling doesn’t go away unless you call BS and focus on the present.
Q5: How are you liking your new office space?
It was the change in scenery I needed. Why didn’t I switch rooms sooner?
My old office downstairs in my home was dark and didn’t get much light. I never wanted to go down there, especially in winter when it’s cold.
So I swapped with my partner and took over the top-floor guest bedroom in October last year. Now, I love coming to work. It’s so bright and warm.
And the best bit is that Pacey loves this space, too, so he’s always lying on the bed behind me. My coaching clients love seeing him during our calls too.
Q6: I hate most business books I’ve been recommended. Do you read business books, and what ones have helped you?
Same! I didn’t read any business books last year, and I feel better about it. Most of them are overhyped.
There are four books I’ve been recommending to my clients of late:
- What works by Tara McMullin, which is focused on productivity
- The leading edge by Holly Ransom speaks to leadership
- A company of one by Paul Jarvis focuses on the benefits of remaining small
- Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation by, Anne Helen Petersen speaks to all the feelings that come up for us as we navigate business
Give these a read and let me know if they were supportive for you too.
Q7: What’s the quickest way to start making $ going freelance from corporate (copywriter)?
Many of my clients are in this position. I always recommend creating what I call a bridging job for yourself. I did the same thing when I left corporate and went full-time in my business.
In my case, I was a copywriter and marketing manager in the not-for-profit industry. So six months before I quit my job, I started consulting for agencies and NGOs here in Australia and around the world.
I was essentially hired to do the same work as I was doing in my corporate job. So creating social media strategies, writing website copy, training staff, running campaigns and so on.
This allowed me to make money, build a name for myself, establish my areas of expertise and what I wanted to do in my business and gave me time to create my process, systems and methods for doing things.
Then over time, I started to niche and settle on what I wanted my business to be.
I didn’t put huge expectations on myself or the business over those first few years and focused most of my energy on creating a referral network and steady income.
My clients that follow a similar approach often make and supersede their salary within the first 1-2 years. I was the same.
Q8: How much time do you spend on marketing and sales compared to client work?
Right now, I’ve set aside 8-10 hours of client work per week that covers coaching calls, Voxer support, copy feedback, onboarding/offboarding etc.
And about 5 hours of marketing and sales a week that covers sales calls and DMs, creating social media, email and podcast content and pitching to and speaking on podcasts.
I will increase my marketing and sales hours when I start to do more visibility activities like writing articles or speaking at more events which I plan to do later in the year.
I also spend 1-2.5 hours a week on general admin, like updating my bio on LinkedIn and projects like improving the SEO on my website.
I believe this time breakdown is pretty consistent with my peers too, and those in the community with a similar business model to mine – as this impacts where you focus your time, energy, money and creativity in your business.
Q9: What business model do you recommend if you’re a person with limited capacity (I’m autistic as a reference).
All business models are created equal. They all work, and they can all be adapted by the individual.
So I propose you ask yourself a different series of questions instead.
- How do I like to support my clients?
- How do I want to spend my time?
- What marketing activities do I love and hate?
- How do I prefer to build relationships?
- How often do I want to be paid?
- What tasks make me feel like a boss, and which ones make me feel overwhelmed and flustered
For me, I prefer supporting my clients 1:1 in real-time. I get flustered, juggling multiple tasks with different energy levels. If I plan too far in advance, I get bored, and it loses all creativity.
I love teaching my community, and doing this through writing and speaking comes easily to me, so I always say yes to podcasts and speaking events and creating biz content is my jam. I love big cash injections, but I like the stability of monthly payments.
Knowing all this helped me make the decision to move back to a 1:1 coaching model and retire all my courses and programs. Both business models work for me – they bring me cash, clients and opportunities, but a 1:1 model is where I shine. It feels easy and fun.
There is no right and wrong way to build and run your business. Do what feels right to you and the capacity you have at the moment.
Q10: Thank you for sharing your burnout story. I think I’m burnout, too, I have nothing left in the tank. What should I do, I need to make money.
First off, I just want to say that if you’re feeling this way, too, you’re not alone.
So many business owners reached out to me after the podcast episode on creative burnout aired.
It’s not surprising to me. Running and starting a business these past few years has been so tough.
My first suggestion would be to let your support system know where you’re at and speak with your doctor.
You need to take care of yourself emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually first.
And remember this isn’t a failing on your part. You didn’t do anything wrong. You’ve done the best you can with the resources and information you’ve had.
There is hope, you can get through this.
Now business-wise, I’d figure out the minimum you need to make each month, and then you’ll know what you need to make that happen.
For example, you need 2 clients each month to make $2000, so you can pay your bills.
What sales or marketing do you need to do to get those clients? Use tactics you’ve tried in the past that have worked for you.
Don’t create or try anything new if can avoid it. Most of my clients focus on referrals and working with past clients.
And this strategy works really well because it’s low cost, and you don’t need to establish the know, like and trust factor required to call in new clients. So you can save energy.
Then do the bare minimum and truly rest when you’re not working. I used this approach too, and it allowed me to maintain cash flow while getting the rest I needed.
Q11: Can you help me choose plants for my office?
I sure can. Send me a DM rachel_kurzyp if you’re stuck choosing the right plants for your space.
The most common mistake people make is not choosing a plant to match the space and their plant experience level.
I know Fiddle Figs are pretty, but they are one of the fussiest plants.
They require bright indirect light, and their leaves will drop if you move them to a new spot in your house.
They need regular maintenance, like wiping down their leaves to remove dust and fertilising them regularly.
And they are slow growing, so if you don’t want to get a baby, you need to pay big bucks to get a mature plant.
If that feels like too much effort, stick to easy-going plants like the Jungle Cactus variety – known as Rhipsalis – which still has a jungle feel.
Q12: What are you most looking forward to this year?
I didn’t choose a word or theme for this year, but to sum up, the vibe I’m going for would be creativity and connection.
I’m currently working on my memoir with the hope of having it finished and with a publisher but the end of the year.
Experimenting with writing and style in this way has really informed my creative process for writing my business content.
I think we’re all bored with the traditional sales and marketing emails, so I’m having fun adding fictional writing techniques to my copy.
I’ve had some positive feedback on my emails of late (If you’re not on my list, DM me, and I’ll add you). So it looks like this playful approach is paying off.
I’m also excited to run my first in-person event in years with my good friend Jacqui Maloney.
If you’ve been having out with me for a while, you know I’ve been looking for a way to get more diverse voices on stage to share their business journeys.
I’m so done with the glamourised events and “instant success” stories.
I really value peer-to-peer learning, especially when vulnerable, authentic and constructive conversations take place.
That’s why we founded a new business called Tales of a Founder and decided our first focus would be launching our Melbourne event Stage Unscripted.
Other incredible business owners and I will share how we’re doing things differently in business and overcoming recent challenges. It might not be glamorous, but it’s real talk.
And I know that’s what we need most right now.
If you’re interested in learning more about the event and hopefully joining us, I’ll leave a link in the show notes.
Thanks so much for participating in the AMA and for tuning into today’s episode.
If you’ve found what I’ve shared valuable, please leave a review and hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss when a new episode drops every Wednesday.
Resources and links
Listen to Episode 91 – How to prevent creative burnout
Book your call: Learn how we can work together in my 1:1 Coaching Program