Customer Experience & Systems with Charlotte Isaac
July 1, 2022
I’ll start by saying I think Charlotte Isaac is a genius, and I’m so excited that she agreed to come on the podcast and share some insight into how customer experience systems can completely transform how both you and your clients feel about the overall process of working together.
A bit of backstory here: I joined Charlotte Isaac’s Ease Seekers Society, (affiliate link) a cohort-based program that helps business owners learn how to set up their Dubsado accounts, automate their workflows, provide a stellar customer experience, and build more ease into their business.
I joined at about four and a half years into my business. Four and a half years of struggling as a solopreneur, even though I wouldn’t ever admit that I was struggling. Why? Well, it wasn’t an ego thing as you might imagine. It was simply that I didn’t know better. I didn’t know that project management and customer experience systems could make my life easier in so many ways. You see, I thought I had systems…and I did, if you consider that I was doing the same type of processes over and over in my business. But none of them were automated. None of them were even written down. I was just wasting my time by recreating the wheel over and over again. And let’s not even get into how long I subscribed to Dubsado as a CRM without using 95 percent of its features.
But through Ease Seekers, I learned how to replicate all of my systems into actionable, operational, and best yet, automated processes. Since my efforts went into practice, I’ve seen massive shifts within my own business, and my clients are forever wowed with the experience they get from working with me. Heck, just recently, one client complimented me on how much they admired my automated invoice reminders. And that, my friends, is nothing I ever thought I’d get complimented on before!
On this episode of my copywriting podcast, Charlotte and I tackle customer experience & systems head on. Here’s exactly what we covered:
Why Dubsado (and the importance of choosing a tool that can grow with you)
How our customers come to us thinking they need one thing, but we’re able to provide them with more value than the face-value need or problem they’re experiencing
How people think systems = automation or tech, but words play a vital role when it comes to systems
Some of the many common touch points where words
Erin’s excitement over a compliment one of her client’s shared about Erin’s invoices
The 3 most important project phases and how to wow your clients in each phase (plus, a suggestion on how Erin breaks the third phase into two different sections)
Why systems aren’t sneaky or robotic. Instead, they’re a service for your client.
What goes into a services guide (Hint: Charlotte has a small and very helpful Services guide training in her shop. I’ve taken it and can recommend it!)
What goes into a Welcome Guide and how they can help you set boundaries within your business
Why boundaries are not a bad thing; in fact, boundaries can make your clients feel confident about working with you
Why it’s so much easier to adjust your processes and systems after you’ve put in the strategic effort to set them up correctly at first.
Some quotes on customer experience & systems:
“Use your services guide to pack a punch of value…Use your services guide as a bit of a sales tool to make [your leads] feel really good about booking a call. And almost have them make the decision to hire you before they even jump on a call with you.” Charlotte Isaac
“So when they do finally get on a discovery call with you, especially if you’re a service provider that has higher priced offers. You’re not selling yourself, your business, the types of services you do, you’re selling the experience and the transformation that you can give them.” Erin Ollila
“If you hear boundaries and it makes you nervous, reframe it in the way that…Boundaries or expectations are just there to make a good experience for you and for your client.” Erin Ollila
Who Charlotte would like to be connected with in the online business world:
“I think that there’s so much we can learn from other business owners…I think the more we actually connect with people online, the more we realize that we’re not the only one having the challenges we’re having. You know that sometimes, things are going to be hard. And sometimes, there’s an easier way I just think there’s so much we can learn from each other. So I don’t really mind who I connect with!”
Charlotte Isaac is a Business Operations Consultant who gave up her role as a corporate ops manager inside of a creative agency so that she could serve small business owners who love their people just as much as she does hers. Through her signature program, Ease Seekers Society, and her DIY Dubsado shop, Charlotte helps overwhelmed and overworked entrepreneurs build customized solutions so they can serve their clients better, automate busywork, and feel confident in their business. Blessed with a travel bug herself, Charlotte leads by example, having designed her own business in a way that allows plenty of space to enjoy life with her husband, both in their hometown of Sydney, Australia and around the world.
Connect with Charlotte:
Reach out to Charlotte via her website or on Instagram to learn more about customer experience, systems, and building more ease into your life and business.
Download Charlotte’s 7 Steps to Automation to get started building out your customer experience systems today!
Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.
When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.
Stay connected with your host, website writer Erin Ollila.
Oh, and don’t forget to check out Erin’s Testimonial Toolbox product which we talked about in the episode. As you’re working on improving your overall customer experience by creating systems, you’ll want to factor in testimonial sourcing into that process at the very same time. When your customer experience improves, so will the details in your testimonials — if you’re asking the right questions!
Here’s the transcript for episode 018 in which we discuss customer experience & systems:
NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors. Erin Ollila 00:00
All right. So today on the podcast, we are here with Charlotte, Isaac, and she loves being by the ocean. She could not imagine living any further away from the ocean that she does right now. But she will not swim in the water unless it is perfectly crystal clear. So welcome Charlotte to the podcast. I’m so happy to have you here. Thank you
so much, Erin. That’s really embarrassing hearing that out loud.
Erin Ollila 00:24
No, it is not. It’s not at all. Or I actually started recording This is Charlotte and I were talking about swimming in ponds. And having like, fish actually touched me while I was swimming by the fish. So you don’t have to be embarrassed about that is all because I have been touched by fish and my bathing suit. And I think that is equally embarrassing to discuss on a podcast. So we’re completely even here.
We’re both open about it. Yes.
Erin Ollila 00:48
Okay. Let’s start with a potentially easy question for you. Why dubsado? Why did you start working with dubsado? And what about the systems and the tools that are attached to solder do you think are helpful for business owners?
Yeah, it is. It’s a potentially easy, so much in it, though. Do you have six hours?
Erin Ollila 01:06
I do. Yes, everyone, please put your children to sleep now regardless of what time it is in the day and just sit in a quiet room because we have to give you a whopper of an episode.
The reason I love dubsado over anything else, and I have tried them all is that it’s so customizable. So no matter what kind of service provider you are, it can work really well for you. And you’re not constrained necessarily by how dubsado likes to do things. So whether you’re a photographer or a website designer, like it really doesn’t matter, you can come to live Sado with your own process, and your own client experience and dubsado can work for you. So it’s got a bunch of features, you mentioned a few of them, like scheduling, proposals, contracts, questionnaires, anything really you’d want to send to a client is built into dubsado. But you can make it your own.
Erin Ollila 01:52
Absolutely. And one thing that I loved about your program, so I can say, from my standpoint, the reason I decided to join a program versus hiring someone to do it for me, is that I tend to be the type of entrepreneur who touches things at like all hours of the day and all hours of the night. Not that I’m recommending that to anyone as the best business practice, but I just know, personality wise who I am, as a human, even ADHD wise, like I can tend to be a little impulsive and want to try things. So I thought the best approach for me would be to learn how to do things myself. And then once I got through that, I could hire someone to like, adapt it for me, or I could hire someone within my business to run the actual tech part of the systems. So I think you know, a really valid point is, depending on where you are in business, there are many ways you can use it. And you don’t have to have everything figured out before you start using it.
I think that’s a great point. And I think a lot of the time, particularly in the earlier days of our business, we get really excited about a tool and we start using it and then you realize it can’t really grow with you. And it’s so frustrating because you put so much time and energy in it. And then suddenly you have to pick up and move somewhere else. So it is a great point about dubsado, it can do so many more things than you might start using it for even podcast hosting. So it’s a good one to choose
Erin Ollila 03:10
one question I have for you. And I mean, I don’t I don’t know the answer to this. But do you find that there are a lot of people that come to work with you, whether it’s to learn from you or to hire you to do you know, some dubsado work for them that are coming to you because they think that they need a tool. And not necessarily that they need systems. But then similar to me finding out what they actually needed was the systems and the tool itself was just kind of like, helping to benefit the systems that they created.
Definitely, I think a lot of people, they’re probably either like us, they’ve been using it for a couple years. And, and they know it’s dubsado. And they like okay, this could be doing so much more for me. The other half of people probably like okay, my friend Aaron told me about dubsado I don’t really understand, like, I need dubsado I don’t really know why it couldn’t make my client experience better. But it’s definitely about dubsado It’s not about improving your client experience, which is the natural side effect of a really,
Erin Ollila 04:07
yeah, which is you know, one thing I talk about with my copywriting clients, I actually just had this conversation on Friday was that we have to as business owners think about one what we think our clients need, but two, we also have to think about what they think they need. So in your business, you know, at least from how I came into it, I thought I needed dubsado And I really didn’t I mean honestly, I do love to have satisfied I don’t mean this anything negative about them as a business but like I could have used many different tools to achieve the results that I ended up achieving, working with you. What I needed was the systems and you know, and that’s what I learned and that’s what grew my business and not only from the business back end, but from the client experience back end, right. So like, my clients aren’t like looking at me and they’re like, Oh, thank goodness you use dubsado like my life is right there. They’re looking at me and they’re like, Okay, wow, this is this is a really nice process, I feel like I’m taken care of, you know, like, I feel like everything is flowing together. And that’s what we want to do as business owners, you know, like we want to have the tools that we use, whether they’re project management systems, CRMs, email software, we want them to make our leads, and our clients feel good about where they are in the process of learning about us or working with us.
I couldn’t agree more, it’s almost like you want the tools to become invisible, we want them to be like, Whoa, Aaron’s doing such a good job of looking after me, like I just feel so taken care of, don’t really think about the fact that it’s dubsado, particularly if your clients aren’t other business owners, they might not even know dubsado exists.
Erin Ollila 05:45
Very valid point, you know, and the same client that I had mentioned, just having this conversation with about, like, what we’re selling, and what the person who’s buying from as thinks that they want, what she had said, what you may or may not know, people who are listening is that you can embed some of the forms that you create, and dubsado into other places, like your website, or wherever, you can pretty much embed a form. And so she when we were working through the proposal, and about what we would be doing together, she was like, how can you help me go through the flow that the client goes through? Like I went through with you, like, can you write those emails that, like, confirm that you’re gonna have a schedule? Can you like, write the proposal? Like, what can you do in addition to website copy? So of course, you know, I started to like, explain the ways that we could work together and that way, but what she didn’t even think, was that I had a different program that was like pushing the contract and pushing the proposal and the invoice and all those things to her. She thought it was just reading through my website, because it had been embedded on there. So I think that’s one thing that I find really interesting to talk about, especially on a copywriting podcast like this. When I talk about systems with people, they never ever think about words, right? They think about automating things and technology. But when I went through your program, I mean, the big joke, I think it was honestly still one of my most proudest moments was that I wrote 54 emails in a weekend. And it’s not necessarily even the emails, it’s the like, setting a huge goal, completing it, and then having something that I knew would serve me forever. But what I try to remind people, my clients especially is words are everywhere in your business, you know, copy is not just a, an asset of your marketing copy has to happen everywhere. So what would you say about how people can approach things like that, or if there are any, maybe there’s like things people are thinking about when they’re trying to work on their systems. And you’re like, Okay, you need to have these things written, before you get started,
I think to even take a step back from there, although I’m really, really glad that you brought that up, because I was remembering it is to not forget how it connects with your website, it’s a really strange one, I think your systems are so connected to your website, and a lot of people see them as something completely different. So the first thing that we always want to do with dubsado, or any tool that’s helping you with your client experience, is to really look at the big picture of the process. So think about what all of those emails are, they’re going to get and think about what will make them feel good and what you need to say when and the kinds of things you need to ask your clients for. But think about it right from the moment they land on your website, so that it’s really, really consistent with that flow. So you know this better than I do era, and I’m gonna say this really badly, but like homepage, services page, Contact page, whatever the journey is, what happens after that has to feel connected, because if you’ve got this beautiful web page that takes them through the journey, and then suddenly they get the most terrible automated email and response from you, or they never hear from you for like two weeks. It’s gonna feel really disconnected. So definitely think about it in that context. First.
Erin Ollila 08:53
Yeah, no, that is such a valid point, you know, and one thing I would say that most of my clients are always very surprised about when we walk through the like a full draft that they have, is that the copy itself is not necessarily planned out for storytelling, which I put a big, you know, caveat here, since storytelling is important in marketing, but the copy has actually planned on the customer journey throughout the website. So I mean, that’s like in our conversation, that’s like step like zero, right? You have to move people throughout your website, so that way, they actually do get to the pages that describe your services or nurture the people who need a little bit more nurturing before they reach out to you. But step two, then is before you can start automating your tech, like you’re saying, plan where these words are going in your business, you know, again, it’s it’s this like magic copy that doesn’t exist, but it takes an immense amount of time for business owners to create when it comes to copy. I mean, I’m just kind of repeating what I said, but I’ll drive it home again. We all think social media emails lug content, lead magnets websites. But I would say before anyone start working with processes, they pull back and look at what they’ve created that has words on it. But I mean, I sounds like I’m talking to a kindergartener at this point. And I just want you in the audience to know I value your level of intelligence. But seriously, look at what you have that has words on it, that your clients see. And one thing I loved about you seekers, and I know the bundle that you have now is how you train people for those things as well. Do you want to mention some of those, like hidden assets, but like people will hand out? I mean, I can give you a hint on what I’m thinking, but you’re the one who trained me on these things. So I feel like I should let you lead with them.
And you’re thinking canned emails and things like that, like, little touch points inside of your dubsado? Yeah, perfect. Just checking. I’m on the same page. Yeah, I think people do underestimate for sure how long it will take them. I mean, even you with your 54 emails, you’re a copywriter, it’s a big task. And it really is worth doing, I think there was you would probably write again and again and again and again to your clients like over the last. I can’t remember how many years in business you’ve been. But it’s been quite a while, like you’ve probably written these emails hundreds of times. But when you sit down to write them in one go, when you sit down to create a proposal template, rather than a proposal you’re sending on the fly or the questions, you’re asking your clients inside your questionnaire, which I still think is is very related, you start to think about the easiest way to get them from A to Z and what you really need from them and making it a lot more clear and easy for them to follow the journey. So it is kind of like a mini website exercise. I’m saying this is the non copywriters
Erin Ollila 11:39
now but you’re doing an excellent job. And I think this is really where I had the like hugest lightbulb moment like God walking through your program is I would look, you mentioned questionnaire as an example. And you know, in the in the copywriting industry, the web design industry, branding, we really need questionnaires as a jumping off point. You know, I always tell my clients, I’ll ask them similar questions sometimes when we’re talking face to face, so I can hear them, answer it in their own voice. But there is a lot of information that if we collect, before we start, we can get like a really great starting point. Think about the questions you ask how the heck do you know what to ask? Right? I mean, so many of us have, like looked at other like our competitors forums looked at, like our colleagues forms who might have been in different industries. And we’re asking things we either don’t need to ask, or we’re asking them and not necessarily the most clear way to get the information that we need. So that’s what I mean about these like business words that we don’t think about, you know, so when I walked through the exercises, you know, because one thing that you do really well is that you can like, shoot, you showed us that like, okay, yes, it’s not just your emails that you send when you onboard someone, it’s not just your like, you know, a confirmation email or a thank you for working with me email. It’s the what’s the question, you’re asking a million times, you know, or it’s the like, reminder emails when you’re sending invoices, because I know some of the people that work, you know, in the same cohort as me, we all have these conversations about like, I feel awkward sending an invoice like I want to sound as genuine as I can possibly sound because all of my other emails are, you know, comfy and cozy. And then all of a sudden, it’s like your invoice number 0011572 is due in two days, please pay this or you will combust. I’m not sure. Right. So it’s like, we would have these conversations. But if you think about it, like you had really pointed out to us, all these touch points, like invoice reminders are an opportunity, one for us to pay attention to the words that we use, but to the main point of what we’re talking about today is those are opportunities to Wow, your clients, I actually just got a, like a compliment on my invoice that I had sent out to someone last week. I know I was actually like, I should have told you that when it happened. But I was really excited to see that come in my in my inbox, you know, they had said, you know, this is the nicest reminder, you had humor personality like and I didn’t feel like rushed as a business owner and like I had to sit down and just pay you immediately. I just knew that like, oh, well, thanks for the reminder, I feel good about paying you and I think that’s a huge compliment in business. And it made them feel good. I mean, think like, of course, you want to feel good paying your service providers. But when you’re making investments that aren’t necessarily small, you know, sometimes they there is a little bit of friction that business owners pay. So if you can look at all of these touchpoints that you have with your clients and think how can I improve this, the end result is you’re going to have a lot happier client and your processes will work better.
I think because particularly online service providers we don’t have as many ways that we can make our customers feel really amazing like if you think if you go into a store or you order something online, you know we can be wowed by like a beautifully packed packaged products, and it can have tissue, paper and stickers and we open it. And it’s like that feeling of like, oh my gosh, I just bought this thing. And it’s so exciting. And we have to work a little bit harder as service providers that are working with people over email to make all of these digital touch points feel just as good because we don’t have cool tissue paper. And we’re not necessarily mailing stuff out to our clients, like, I’m sure you don’t print out your copy deck and send it to them. Here’s your website copy. So that wouldn’t be fun. It would be fun, wouldn’t book. I mean, it’s impractical, because they can’t do anything with it. But all of these little things, if we can make them just slightly better outcome is that they’re like, Wow, that was that wasn’t just a good experience, it was a great experience. And that’s when they’re really going to want to rave about you.
Erin Ollila 15:44
Yes, exactly. And that’s when they’re like, especially when it comes to raving, they can become cheerleaders, not just in the precise moment, that they are happy that they’re working with you. But like down the road when they’re giving referrals and you know, writing testimonials and things like that they are going to be the right people to cheer you on as a business owner. Before we get too far ahead. I really want to go backwards for a second because one thing I didn’t understand when I started working on my systems was what are the like most important phases of systems. And I think that’s was really helpful for me to plan out how I would attack each phase. Once I understood that there were particular phases, so can you talk on that a little more,
I like to break them down into three. So the first one is leads, and this is the one that’s really connected to your website. So getting them really from the contact page through to whatever the next step is. And I’d say if you’d like 95%, if not 99% of people, it’s probably getting them on some sort of discovery call. So a nice little process that will take care of them through that and make it really clear that that’s the easiest path to work with you. The next one would be after that discovery call or whatever you’d like to call it proposal and onboarding. And so obviously, we’ve got a proposal contract, we want to get them to pay some sort of deposit invoice, make them feel really good once they’ve done that, and then give them everything they need. So that they can have that transition to working with you be really, really easy. And then the last one is off boarding. And that’s the one I find people miss a lot.
Erin Ollila 17:10
And I found I don’t know if this is helpful to mention, but when I sat down with my own systems, one way that I decided to adjust the the way that we learned everything was to have two off boarding phases. So one was like immediate off boarding. And then the other one was like past Client Onboarding. So yes, I mean, I mean, maybe that’s onboarding is the wrong word. At that point. Maybe it’s just like a past client nurturing, but I thought I was combining too much at once, right, like I was trying to make so much happen that people would stay in my tool dubsado, they would stay there for a long time. And I would keep seeing their name, because I was trying to contact them, let’s say six months, 12 months down the road. That’s good. I’m not suggesting people don’t contact your clients. Absolutely. Your past clients will buy from you much easier than leads will buy from you. So you should always be nurturing them. But I liked when I adjusted my own systems to think of offboarding as what happens immediately after a project or the short term future, but still setting up systems that would remind me to either manually reach out or to have automated systems that checked in with clients over a period of time for a few things, one, remind them I exist to remind them of all the ways we can work together. I think so many business owners have to niche themselves in particular ways, which is not a bad thing. Me for example, I am a website copywriter who does SEO. That doesn’t mean I don’t do other things, though, I just don’t necessarily advertise them because they’re just not the easiest inroad to my business. But I write SEO content for my clients, you know, blog content, things like that. So if someone came to me for a website, and I checked in with them a couple months after their site launch to be like, hey, remember, we talked about blogging? Is that something you’re ready to invest in? Do you want to have a future conversation about it? So it’s remember me remember the services that I have to offer to check in and provide value to them? Right? Because it’s not everyone. Most people are smart enough to know when they’re just being, like, nurtured for the benefit of the service provider. So I think just checking in and being like, hey, what’s been happening since X project is over? Is there anything that I can do to take like a quick peek to help you out? Or do you have any questions since we finished this? So yeah, I mean, that’s a long talk about off boarding. But I found that it was helpful for me to really look at it in two different angles, like the immediate off boarding and the long term nurturing.
I think that’s the perfect example. I think the biggest takeaway out of that example is that off boarding isn’t just that one last email. It’s not like you’ve sent them whatever your end result is with your client and be like, see if you’re never gonna hear from me again. I’m off on the next client.
Erin Ollila 19:56
Well, wait a second, though. I was gonna say most people actually do do that, though. And I can do it because I have in the past, I think we all adjust our business as we go on. But I would, I would absolutely say that that’s how I treated things, not because I didn’t want to work with them just because I was not planning, I didn’t have the systems in place to think, oh, when was the last time I checked in with that person, you know, it was more for me, like, I worked with the loveliest interior designer. Years ago, I remember talking to an interior designer at a networking event and being like, I should check in with my client because I loved her. But it was like an unexpected reminder versus something that was strategic. So that way you can continue to build the relationships, right?
Hands up, I’m the exact same if you’re listening, and you’re like, oh, my gosh, that was me, too. I feel so bad. Like, I would be the same without dubsado. For sure. I think you need to have thought about it. And this is where dubsado as a tool is really helpful. Because it can remind you or actually, you know, prompt you to do these things. I think the more we can make our clients feel like they didn’t just pay us and we never hear from them again, the better because I don’t know whether you’ve ever hired someone, Aaron, but you’re like, Oh, I kind of want to be friends now. Like I really like you. And then all of a sudden they never talk to you again. Yeah, I’m thinking you and I feel like
Erin Ollila 21:13
I’m looking to her at the video screen. And I’m like Charlotte, I practically begged you to be my friend at the end of the program. I was like, I don’t know if you know this, but we’re officially best friends now. Thank you. I’m glad I made that decision for the two of us.
Yeah. And how awkward would it be if I just dropped off the face of the earth? And you’ll be like, Oh, I guess she didn’t like working with me as much as I liked
Erin Ollila 21:35
shooting things like, are you just sticking around to dirt on me as a leech?
No, I’m not. I hope you know that. But you know, like, we’re gonna have some clients that we naturally gel with. And we feel really good about them. And it’s so easy, and you’re one of those people for me, I don’t have to try, I don’t have anything automated to nurture this friendship, it’s just happening. But you know, there are clients that show we like them, they will probably still feel good about that. They might like us more than we like them. They’re gonna feel great about you checking in and saying, Hi, how are you had the website launch go? You know, what’s happening six months later, do you want to help with this? I’d love to work with you again, like they’re gonna feel really good about that. But it needs to be part of something that’s automated or at least thought out, because otherwise you’re moving on to the next client naturally. And I think he’s totally normal.
Erin Ollila 22:25
Yeah, no. And that makes so much sense to you. Because, you know, I’d say most of the good portion of the listeners of this show are service providers themselves, or at least creatives who sell a product that is still very limited, that has an emotional connection to it. So most of the people I talk to genuinely like working with their customers, right? They don’t have to necessarily become best friends with them. But they wouldn’t mind continuing that relationship. And, you know, I don’t know about anyone listening. But in the past few years, we have the amount of burnout that’s going on, I barely even talk to my own friends, sometimes I legitimately need to remind myself to like, I’ll send a reminder at night so that I get a reminder in the morning to be like, check in with this person, because I don’t want to message them at 12 o’clock at night just to say hello, because I realized I hadn’t talked to them in a few weeks. Right? One thing I think is very valid is that to remember that systems don’t necessarily have to be a bad thing in your business. They’re not sneaky. They’re not sleazy. You know, I think you could probably say more about this than I can. But I think that if we look at systems, from a way of service, we’ll realize that’s the best way for both the business owner and the client.
Definitely, I think in an ideal world, we want to almost treat your system like a second version of you. So if you think about like, if I had nothing else going on in my life, if I had, you know, not a dog that needed me or kids that needed me or I didn’t need to go and do whatever I need to do at nighttime and I didn’t have 10 clients and all of these things that we’re looking after, if you just had one client, how would you look off to them? And if you think about it, from that perspective, suddenly systems don’t seem robotic or slimy. It’s really just creating something that’s going to help you do what you’d really want to do anyway. Yeah. Oh,
Erin Ollila 24:08
I love that. So let’s we’re jumping backwards again, for one more second, you mentioned leads onboarding and off boarding being like the three main segues into approaching systems. We talked about off boarding for a little while now. But let’s talk about let’s talk about leads for a second. Because there were a few things I hadn’t quite considered doing that I thought were really nice touches as we adjusted my own personal systems working through your program. One of them being like creating a Services Guide. I struggle I think anyone struggles but I say this as the copywriter writing other people’s websites, I sometimes struggle of like what is too much information and what is the right information to put on services pages and sales pages. We did have a couple episodes about that. So I’ll link to that in the show notes. But even as a copywriter. It’s this constant balance of saying like, I need to say something else because I need to move them through like a decision making process. But there’s already too much copy on the page. Like, you know, your website pages are not meant to be stories. They’re not meant to be blog posts, like you have different approaches to copy and content. And for copy, you want to be as clear as possible. And you want to say what you need to say in the smallest amount of space that you need to say. So I love that having a Services Guide that may be behind like a lead magnet, or maybe even if it’s not, maybe if it’s just someone touches base before scheduling, I think that’s how we have mindset set up. Before scheduling someone has the chance to see your services guide, and learn more about the ways that they can work with you is do you have any recommendations for people on what they put in something like a Services Guide?
Yeah, definitely. It’s such a hard balance, isn’t it. And this is why I adore copywriters with websites because I’m like, I cannot make that decision for myself. So go back and listen to those episodes pretty pleased if you’re listening. In our services guide, I think we just want to give them a little bit more information than the website. And the other thing I would say is don’t be afraid to repeat, some things are on the website as well, too. As a reader of websites, I know that I am often very lazy and a skimmer. And I know you probably factor that into the way you write write websites with headings and stuff like that and making sure it’s digestible. But I know that I’m still a skimmer. So the biggest reminder, I guess is don’t be afraid to repeat yourself, but just take the information a little bit further. So you know, your services page might have a couple of bullets, or it might have a little description about what you offer, you might want to go into a little bit more detail about what all the inclusions are. And also why that’s important. Because if we use maybe my business as an example, people come to me looking for dubsado, like we talked about, but they don’t really think about the benefit to that and how that’s going to impact their business in all sorts of other ways. So you want to use your services guide to really pack a bit of a punch with value. I think it’s the same with websites, people think, oh, I need some website copy, they don’t really think about why they really need to choose the best person for the job. So User Services Guide is a little bit more of a sales tool to make them feel really good about booking the call and almost make them have made the decision to hire you before they even hop on a zoom with you.
Erin Ollila 27:14
Ya know, everything you just said is so perfect, because one thing I forgot I wanted to talk about before was how you mentioned like, if you only have one client, you know, what would you do? Like? How would you act as that like salesperson that just nurtures them throughout the whole time. And what I always tell my clients is you want your websites, if you can imagine like a cute little town that had like storefronts. And when you think of a storefront, you see like a beautifully designed window, like the very clear indicator of the stores name, you open the door and whatever was in the window is like matched right? So it’s not like you see puppies in the window. And all of a sudden, you’re coming to like an iguana store, right, like, so it’s like you’re getting this beautiful design that invites you in. And then once you’re in, you’re getting like the satisfaction of being like this is the place I want to be. Well then what happens, someone who works there guides you through the sale, right? They’ll point out what where things need to be, they may help make decisions for like for you or at least suggest things that would benefit you based on what you’re looking for. And I think it’s easy to imagine that when we think of like a cute little experience walking down on Main Street, being on a vacation, meeting the people in the stores, then when we think of our website, but your website does the exact same thing. And I’m bringing it up now because if we’re thinking about these like hidden touchpoints of words, like a Services Guide, that’s just like a step further to what your website’s doing. So your website as a whole has a message and then the design. The design will be like the storefront that you know people can come they visually see it, maybe they see the name of your business, they see the brand elements that like whether you’re like a calm, cool and collected or bright and spunky that attracts them to take the time to spend looking at the words on your site. And then the words are acting like the salesperson would be which is why you know, smart copywriters conversion copywriters will put all of that effort into directing the customer journey throughout the site, versus just focusing on the messaging, you know, you can really pack a punch with your messaging all over your marketing. It does not have to be your website, your website is a selling tool, even though it doesn’t appear like a selling tool. So again, we’re sticking with this metaphor, the salesperson is helping them on the site as the words they’ve encouraged that potential buyer enough to want to reach out. Well now that they have the Services Guide. It’s kind of like that, like, Oh, here’s a product that you might like, you know, like go into the dressing room and try it on. Right. So when they do finally get on a discovery call with you, especially if you’re a service provider that has higher priced offers. You’re not selling yourself, your business, the types of services you do, you’re selling the experience and the transformation that you can give them. And I don’t mean that to sound sound woowoo I mean that in a very practical way, if you think about being on a discovery call, where it’s not necessarily that there wasn’t a connection, but you felt like you needed to, like educate that person on what copywriting is, as an example, let’s say you’re using me, you know, why hire a copywriter, like you are wasting your time and you are wasting their time. So if you can provide that with things like your website, with eat canned emails that talk about like, what to expect on the Discovery call, with the services guide that talks about, like, what your offers are maybe few extra details, some pricing ways that you can combine offers, maybe so like, you know, it could be that there’s multi tiers, wedding photographer, as an example, might get that Services Guide that says, like, here, hire me for your wedding photography, but you can also buy this package that has your engagement photos, as well as like, you know, like a, like a one year anniversary for us. I don’t know, I’m just totally designing a photography, business. But you know, all of these little things, they’re the seller, they do the selling for you. So your discovery call can really be the point in time where you decide if that person is right for you,
I you explain that much better than I ever could have. I mean, this is why we have people like us to make us sales pages. For a lot of people I know I’m a massive introvert, I hate selling myself, I remember when I started my business, I had this massive crowd of my father in law, and I was like, I’m never gonna be able to do this. Like, I can still vividly remember that conversation. I think a lot of people can relate to that. We kind of hate selling ourselves, even though we have to. So the reason I first started trying to create this Services Guide thing and have it work really hard for me is because I just hate that. So having something that does all of the jobs that you just spoken about, it means you can hop on a discovery call. And it’s just as much about whether we’re a good fit together, and you can listen to them more, and you’re not going through that education piece. Like you mentioned, you don’t have to sell yourself because your website’s done it your services, God’s done it, they know what to expect. They know your prices. They just feel really good about it. And they want to make sure they connect with you before they hire you. Yeah.
Erin Ollila 32:13
Okay, so we talked about what to do when you offer your clients and nurture your old clients, we talked about your leads, let’s talk about the actual client process. Something else that I did not do that is those hidden words we talk about that you need to create for your business. But you had suggested and I just loved was a welcome guide. And there are a billion reasons why welcome guides are so important. But seeing that I just talked for about five minutes, I will let you take take the lead here and talk about welcome guides,
you take a breath, I think it’s our job really as service providers to set boundaries. And this is something you and I have spoken about a lot Aaron, and with other people inside the AEC because community as well. But I think the more we can set boundaries up front and also set the expectation of what the process is going to look like and when to hear from me and you know what I need from you. And when and just it’s almost like giving them a bit of an induction to a new job or your first day of school being like, Okay, here’s your teacher, here’s everyone in your classroom, this is what it’s going to look like on Tuesdays at 10am. We do this. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it’s just really a tool to help your clients feel comfortable and know what the expectations of them are, know how you like to work. And it takes the pressure off you a lot. So I think we think welcome guide, and we’re like, oh my gosh, I’m gonna put so much stuff in there. But it can be as simple as that.
Erin Ollila 33:33
Yeah, no, I think that’s so valid, but it is so important for the client experience. You know, a lot of people know me as a copywriter. But what they may or may not know is that as one of my longest copywriting gigs was working with a company in the Fortune 50, who all we wrote about was client experience. So I am very passionate about like, how to adjust things. Because, you know, I think part of the reason I feel so strongly about this, especially for small business owners is one, this is not something we’re taught, right, too. Small business owners rely on people a lot more than a company like in the Fortune 50 Does to keep their business afloat. Three, if we look at customer experience, if we really look at everything we talked about today, and I’m not trying to devalue the points that either of us mentioned, a lot of it’s very common sense, right? A lot of it is very, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you to think about experience. If you think about what you do to give a good experience. It’s very basic, right? I will tell everyone about how much I loved the person who came in skim coated my walls, because he was I mean it sounds so silly, right? Like it’s a trade, but he responded to me now I’m not saying like immediately but like very quickly, and I think a lot of people in the home construction business are not good for responding, right like there’s A lot of ghosting that happens, there’s a lot of just mismanagement because they’re busy. And that, again, they’re contractors, let’s say they’re not necessarily taught to provide customer service or customer experience, right? So my skim coder was great personality, very responsive, very clear on the process. So I knew exactly what he’d be doing at all times, very clear on what the cost entailed, which was important, because if cost needed to get adjusted, for whatever reason, I felt comfortable being like, absolutely go for it, or No, I don’t think we need that. Because it was also clear. So we are talking about welcome guides from like more of an online business standpoint, but at any type of business, when you’re providing a service. Like think about that, like, you know, my skin quarter didn’t have a process. I know for a fact you did not have like this guide that he walked through for all of his clients. He was just he knew his job. Well, he knew what the clients wanted well, and he just knew to make it clear, so that both people felt good about working together, which is I think, what you mean by boundaries in some ways, right? Like, I think we everyone can interpret that differently. Because boundaries are different in personal relationships and professional relationships. And when I first started thinking about boundaries, I thought of them in business, I should say, I thought of them kind of as like this negative thing, like, oh, I have to keep my boundaries, right. But I think once you work past that, and you actually determine what your boundaries are, you realize it’s not a bad thing, right? If I have a boundary, and I present that to my client, using an example, website, copy, I do two rounds of revision, I will do 200 rounds, but anything after two rounds are going to be charged, like at my hourly rate, which I don’t charge anything else, and not really rate, that’s all that it is. And that’s because I think I tweaked my website every like, you know, a couple months as a copywriter, right. So like, people do need to make tweaks over and over again, it’s totally normal, your website should adjust and grow with you. But But me saying that I’m only going to do two rounds of revision is not, you know, putting this wall up between me and my client. It’s just setting an expectation. So having boundaries and like showing them as you know, professional expectations is also something that can help that client experience. So if a client gets to revision number two, just using this as an example, and they think I’d really like to add something I know I really didn’t talk to Erin about this, like if I didn’t make it clear what the process was like, they might feel uncomfortable being like, Okay, I’ll just take the draft as it is, I won’t even mention this. But knowing one, the pricing of revisions to that I’m available for like, if we want to do this every single month, we can just keep revising away. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend that guys, like let’s just keep your web copy what it is and see the use of data to determine changes. But my point is like, they’re going to feel comfortable coming to me and saying, Hey, I have this great idea. I want to add this page. I know we didn’t talk about it. But is it possible? Or can we adjust the section I’m thinking about doing this instead, because the boundary of the expectation were there. And they’re going to feel comfortable talking to me about those kinds of things. So I really think people should, if you hear boundaries and makes you nervous, reframe it as a way that boundaries or expectations are just there to make a good experience for you. And for your client.
I agree so much. I think we definitely hear the word boundaries. And I mean, we could have a whole episode on boundaries as a separate thing. It’s such a huge shock coming back. Just mad at myself in. But they do give our clients a lot of comfort. And I think my favorite boundary is how you work. Like you imagine your skin coder if he came up to you and said, Hey, how should I do this error? And you’d be like, Well, I don’t know, you’re the you’re the person doing the skip coding, like you tell me you’re the expert. So if we think about boundaries like that, they can give our clients a lot of comfort that we know exactly what we’re doing. We know why we’re doing this. We know how we’re doing this, we know that two rounds of revisions is enough for most people, we know that some people need more than that. And that’s okay. And that looks a little bit different. But it’s still doable. So it can actually make our clients feel really, really great that we know the process. We’re managing it for them. They don’t have to think about it. We can hand over our money and the reins to this person and let them be the experts. So yeah, it feels good to both parties.
Erin Ollila 39:23
The only thing I think we really didn’t talk about even though we kind of mentioned it in the offboarding is and I’m just saying this because it relates back to that last episode that I did about testimonials. But again, think about how we the things we need as business owners and the things our clients need. And remember, remember that there all of those words again, are not necessarily for marketing. So we talk about testimonials as a way if you give a great client experience, they’re going to want to like cheerlead for you they’re going to want to like write a recommendation or just refer you to people in their network. But what happens is people just ask for a testimonial the second of them project ends, they don’t follow up. And then they feel kind of stinky that they don’t have anything good to share because they don’t, they didn’t have a process for it. So I’m bringing this up, because I really want to reiterate the whole point of this that we’re talking about is processes can be helpful for us and for our clients. Because in testimonials, there are many different touch points, that you can ask for testimonial, or ask questions that can build a testimonial for you later. You can ask that during your onboarding questionnaire, some of those questions could very well be like, where are you now? What are you struggling with. So that way, when you get the end result, the transformation, you can build a testimonial that kind of compares where they were to where they are. Now, if you do check ins or like a client needs to approve something throughout the process, that’s another opportunity to get testimonials feedback, again, during onboarding and again during that past nurturing phase. But I really love that you used to talk to us, because like you’d say, there was like an ideal time to ask for a testimonial. So what is it surely,
it’s the moment they’re most excited, and it looks different for everyone. For you, it might be when you’ve just sent them their final copy deck, and they’re like, oh, my gosh, I’ve got my website words, I can give it to my website designer. I think the point is different for everybody, but just have a think maybe when your clients normally send you an email being like, oh my gosh, I love you, this is the best. Like, when you mostly get those emails from your clients, that’s probably the timing you want to ask.
Erin Ollila 41:32
We’ve talked about all of the series of like ways that we can work through these different onboarding off boarding lead phases. But we haven’t really mentioned that processes can change. And I think that is a really good and valuable point. Because you know, even though it was only last year when we work together, and my processes have changed, and instead of freaking out which prior urn would have totally been upset about this, right. Because you know how you mentioned like, you don’t want to just jump on a program and you don’t know what you need from it. And then all of a sudden, you need to recreate the wheel. I think that’s what people worry about when they realize that business has shifted, and in some ways, even if it’s not major ways, right. But that’s once you have a system in place, it’s the complete opposite, it’s so easy to just readjust. And I definitely am not, I am readjusting things. So I am not the person to speak on this. But I think that like that’s something you always made me feel comfortable with. So I’d really like to know if you have any suggestions for people when it comes to that like leaving room for change. Or maybe just like literally the confidence to know that it is okay to adjust and easier to adjust versus get started.
Definitely you can adjust it as much as you want to. I mean, you just admitted you still tweak your website, I still tweak my website, I don’t think your systems and processes are any different. You have the right to change which services you offer to change your process to do something different with one client and see if you like it, and then implement it all of your clients, you can do whatever you like with them. The biggest thing I would say is don’t overthink it. I think a lot of us, when you have set up something like this, we’re like, oh, I have to change it like I want to change it, it’s gonna be so painful, I’m gonna have to go and change all these canned emails. In reality, it’s usually like one or two tiny little things that you have to change. So once you’ve got your system set up for the first time tweaking it, and changing it is the easiest thing in the world. I know you probably don’t believe me right now and you’re listening, but I promise that it is the hardest part is just starting to do it. And then it’s probably like a little half an hour exercise.
Erin Ollila 43:33
You know, if you have multiple services, I would say again, the hardest part is starting because while web copy is my main service, I do things like VIP days or a copy coaching calls. And at first I remember being like, how is it possible that I’m going to make a workflow for all of these things like I could not wrap my brain around it. But I think just giving myself the freedom of starting from the most used package, the most like clearly defined thing, building from there, it was so much easier to automate all of those other things because it just was there, right the system was created. And I could just make a tweaks and adjustments moving forward. And Charlotte, you have been so helpful. I mean, I really could probably keep you here for so much longer. But I’m already trying to rein in the length of these episodes, which is not going to succeed today. But that’s okay. Because we had a lot of important things to share. Testimonial wise, I will say I loved working with Charlotte. It was such a big moment of change in my business. You know, it’ll be it’s six years this year that I’ve been in business and it was five years of trying things really hard and working without ease. And then you know, Charlotte came around and really just freed up a lot of my mental energy in order to do my job better. It’s not that I wasn’t doing a good I was just doing it better for both me and my clients. So yeah, that’s my like, you
know, working doubly You have to do a really, really brilliant job.
Erin Ollila 45:02
Thank you. You said that one way, way better than I did.
For sure, I think we just have to remember sometimes all these things that we’re talking about can be really scary and asking for testimonials can be terrifying. But there is an easy way to do it. Before we
Erin Ollila 45:15
end, I almost forgot my conversation questions. If you could meet anyone right now, in anyone in the business world, whether it’s someone that you could help someone that could help you, who would it be,
is really hard. So I like to ask
Erin Ollila 45:31
you feel like one of the tenants of my business, something I do very naturally is like, I like to connect people.
Can I have a bit of a cop out him? So you might not like it?
Erin Ollila 45:40
That Oh, that’s fine. I’ll give it to you. What’s your confidence?
I honestly, anybody, I think that there, there’s just so much we can learn off other business owners, whether we actually meet them or not listening to podcasts, like soaking up some good Instagram content. I know it’s a bit a few and far between at the moment. But I think the more we actually connect with people online, the more we realize that we’re not the only one having the challenges we’re having, you know that sometimes things are going to be hard. And sometimes there’s an easier way I just think there’s so much we can learn off each other. So I don’t really mind who I connect with. I just enjoy meeting new people who understand what’s going on and some of the challenges I’ll
Erin Ollila 46:21
give you that one I will if that means like millions of people will find you through this podcast episode and want to be your friend now on social media. I’m sorry, I can’t help it. Because that’s just what’s gonna happen at this point in time.
Say hello. I’ll say hello back if you want to say hello to me.
Erin Ollila 46:36
The next and final question is and this might be tricky for you too. But if you could travel anywhere right now, where would
you pay? I know can I give you 10 answers for this one. See last time I shouldn’t give you one this time I’ll give you like 54 Um, I’d have two places one I’m dying to go back to Italy it’s the clear water let’s be honest, we talked about my fear of shocks it’s the fact that there are no shocks so basically a water so I can consume this no shocks and also pasta like
Erin Ollila 47:06
literally imagine pasta in my mind.
No, it’s terrible at the other place. We’ve been kind of stuck in Australia for last two years like we weren’t allowed to leave the place. I’m dying to go back to South Africa. My husband’s family is from there. And I love it. I love having my phone off and not being reachable by anyone in the world. And it’s like one of the few places where I’ve found I’m actually able to properly disconnect and of course it’s best to see family and everything. So those are two places that I am desperate to get back to.
Erin Ollila 47:36
That’s perfect all right so everyone you know if you’re going to context Charlotte make sure she is not in South Africa if you actually want to connect with her at that point. But she might talk to you while eating pasta in Italy so I will there’s no better way we could have ended this episode then to you know, send some shares out to the pasta, the quiet and calm time of South Africa and making friends with internet strangers. So thank you so much, Charlotte for being here. It was an absolute joy talking to you and everything that you said is just I think so helpful for everyone today.
Thank you so much, Erin. I really enjoyed that.
Reviews help other incredible creative entrepreneurs and service providers — just like you — decide if the show they’ve just stumbled upon is one they’ll want to add to their list of must-listen SEO and copywriting podcasts.
It would mean the world to me if you left a quick review of the Talk Copy to Me podcast on your favorite podcast directory.