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A podcast where you join me (Colie) as I chat about what it takes to grow a sustainable + profitable business.
CRM Guru, Family Filmmaker, and Host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. I help creative service providers grow and streamline their businesses using Dubsado.
The Business-First Creatives Podcast is usually brought to you by CRM and Dubsado expert Colie James. But THIS week she is in the hotseat while Erin Ollila, host of the Talk Copy to Me podcast interviews her.
If you’ve tried setting up your Dubsado account, yet aren’t actually utilizing all of the features it offers, I want to invite you to check out The CRM Blueprint. My course includes templates for all of the forms, emails, and workflows that you need to get paid in one easy step. Ready to maximize your use of Dubsado, enroll in The CRM Blueprint today! Use the code PODCAST for 10% off.
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Guest Host Bio:
Conversion copywriter. Copy Coach.Wing Woman. Word slinger. No matter what you call her, Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform—and even transform—its intended audience.
When she’s not working with big brands and small businesses to marry strategy, storytelling, and SEO, you can find her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast or exploring southeastern MA with her family and friends. Erin graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and then co-founded Spry Literary Journal, which celebrates undiscovered and established writers’ concise, experimental, hybrid, modern, vintage or just-plain-vulnerable writing.
Here are the highlights…
[01:41] Get to Know Colie
[03:37] How did the photography mentoring start?
[10:00] Introducing Systems into her business
[15:29] Why Colie chooses to work specifically with photographers
[20:44] How do you choose between a Done-for-You setup and the CRM Blueprint
[25:01] What makes Colie cuss her students out?
[34:08] What is the first thing Colie recommends to choose a CRM?
[38:49] Why should you pay for a CRM?
[45:20] Chicken or the Egg: website or CRM first?
[52:40] Why offer confidence is so important when you are outsourcing
[55:18] What is Colie’s back pocket offer?
[01:00:25] A twist on the biggest fuckup
Mentioned in this Episode:
CRM Blueprint – Dubsado Implementation Course for Photographers
Connect with Erin:
Review the Transcript:
Erin: Hello, hello, and welcome to the Business-First Creatives podcast. This voice does not sound familiar to you because I am not Colie James. I am actually Erin Ollila. I am the host of the Talk Copy to me podcast, and I have taken over today to interview Colie herself about her business because I know she gives a ton of great behind the scenes in her business, a ton of great information on the things she’s learned in her business, but it’s very different to actually be the interviewee on your own podcast.
I know that because Colie has interviewed me from my show, so I think this is gonna be a lot of fun for you today. And Colie, you are on the hot seat, so welcome everyone, and welcome Colie to the Business First Creatives podcast.
Colie: Erin, thank you for coming on the Business First Creatives podcast as the host. This is gonna be amazing.
Erin: For allowing Yeah. So we’re here today kind of to talk about your transition in your business and what you offer in your business. But before we do that, cuz I’m pretty sure most people now know what it is you do, but let’s just do a really quick overview. How did you start this business and what meaning, what were you doing and how has it kind of transitioned into what you’re doing now?
Colie: All right, so way back in 2012, uh, I did my photography business first and I was at a point where I was photographing families for free for one solid year. And I did that for a few reasons. I did it so that I could get my processes down, I could learn how to photograph in many different, you know, locations, light, all that good jazz.
And I was basically waiting for James to tell me where we were going next because we came to Colorado. For what I thought was a time limited spot. He was doing a postdoc for two years funded, and then he renewed for another two years. But I highly anticipated that at, at the end of this four year, um, period that we were moving somewhere else.
And then one day James is like, okay, so I got an interview for a job in Boulder and then he got the job and I was like, oh my God, we’re actually staying in Colorado. So that night I went on to the State Department website and filled out my DBA A for Colie James Photography. And that is how this business was built?
Erin: I love that you are such an action taker that just seems like knowing you, I love that you found out that information and you went on and just made that business that night versus like, you know, me, I’d be sitting at home being like, okay, should we do this? Should we not do this? Nope. You’re an action taker, which kind of leads into your business changes.
Right? You know, because as a photographer, like your job was to show up and, and provide a service, but you are a teacher originally, so it’s, you can’t just now become a service provider because you still have that in you to want to help other people learn things. So how did that kind of interrupt what you were currently doing as a photographer?
Colie: Okay, Erin, so I don’t think you know this, but in less than a year, I actually created my first online course for photographers. And it is not the one that you know about. It is not the Dubsado implementation course. Way back in 2013, I offered a course called The Business of Telling Stories, and it was a course to help photographers offer the kind of service that I was doing at that point, which was in-home family sessions.
I know you see pictures of in-home sessions, like all the time now it has become like something that people look for. But back in 2013, there were not a lot of people who were doing it and most of the people who offered this service, it wasn’t for family sessions, it was for newborn sessions because nobody wants to like pack their baby up and take ’em to a studio.
Right? And so at that point, After I was offering my sessions, I was getting a lot of photographers in my dms being like, okay, co, but like how did you start offering this? And I was like, oh, but no, I never did out outdoor portraits. Like that was not me. So I did indoor photography the entire time. And so when multiple people were coming to me and being like, I really wanna do that, I was like, you know what?
I can make a course no big thing. Now, most of the time I would never recommend that a service provider create a course in less than one year of offering the service. But I heavily leaned on like my course curriculum skills in order to make the course. And so that’s how I justified it. That’s how I justified actually asking people to pay me money to teach them how to do something that I had been doing for less than a year.
Erin: Yeah. No, I love that you. Just couldn’t hold back like it was like, you are like a year in, you’re like, yeah, I’m never gonna teach again. Nope. Okay, well, here I am 12 months later telling you how to do everything that I do. But, but I don’t know, I kind of think that’s kind of something like when you have the ability to teach and, and take information that someone else doesn’t have and, and share it with them in a way that they can, you know, conceptualize it and move forward, that’s a skill that not everyone has.
So I think that it’s fine to not be a college professor anymore, but it’s, that’s in you, right? So like, that’s kind of how, um, you’re always going to be. And, and it proved true because besides that one course, which I didn’t know about, thank you for sharing that with me. Um, you ha you, you did it again, right?
So how did you go from photographer with a course on that to photographer with a course on something vastly different?
Colie: I tell everyone, in case you haven’t heard me say it as like a guest on someone else’s podcast, it was Annemie Tonken of the, This Can’t Be That Hard podcast. It was her birthday gift to me. She invited me onto her podcast to talk about CRMs because at this point I was not doing Dubsado setups as a service.
I was not, um, teaching people how to do it in any large capacity. I did have coaching students at that point. I did have photographers that I was mentoring, and so naturally they would ask me questions about setting up their CRM, and so I was helping them. But it wasn’t really a paid service. But Anami knew that I loved talking about systems.
I mean, I was obsessed with systems forever. So she was like, Hey, I wanna do two podcasts, one where I interview you, and then I wanna do a round table with like someone who uses all of the different CRMs that photographers think about so that we can have like a round table discussion. And she’s like, would you mind hosting that?
I was like, sure. So we did the first episode and she aired it on my birthday. She was like, well, you know, I can put it on this. And I was like, actually, can we just push it one week and make it come out on my birthday as a birthday gift to me? And I mean, it turned out that that led to a six figure business.
Like I still like pinch myself when I think about it. But that’s how I got started in like systems. I was on her podcast and then of course there was a huge influx of people that were like, okay, Colie so I, I, you know, I’m listening to everything that you’re saying, but like, how do I get started? And I was like, okay, this could be a course.
This could be a course. So then I enrolled in Amy Porterfield’s Digital Course Academy, and by November I had launched the beta version of the course, like Black Friday. I don’t believe in Black Friday sales. Everybody will tell you this, but that year I did a beta sale for my course, and then it actually debuted January 5th, I think, of the next year.
Like I had the whole course ready for them to dive in. But that’s how I transitioned from like photographer to mentoring photographers to then teaching a course on how to set up your systems inside Dubsado as a photographer.
Erin: Yeah, that’s incredible. And I, you know, let’s just pause for one second so I can have a little quick monologue on how I feel about systems in general. I am constantly amazed when people have like a systems related brain because mine brain doesn’t work like that, but it needs systems. So I have ADHD and one thing I’ve learned about myself and people with d, adhd and not all people, cuz it’s def it’s definitely a, a spectrum of different things, but, thing I cannot do is I can’t always conceptualize a system.
I have to be able to see the system and then I can see how to do it. Meaning like there I can see all of the steps, but to build steps to create the system is like the opposite of how I function. So when I meet people who can do that, I am like so impressed. I think it’s the coolest thing ever. And I know that about you, that you can, obviously you have a course about it, but like I can see it in so many different ways throughout your business, like how you do your workflows in your podcast, how you share your podcast on social media.
So one, let’s just get right out here and say that I’m so impressed with you and I think it is so cool that you do this, but I think that systems are so huge for any small business owner. And yes, your course on Dubsado and like creating it for photographers is one thing, but you don’t just do. Systems just in Dubsado, like that’s what I think is very fancy about you is that like you are, you understand systems as a whole.
So let me ask one quick question because we know you have the course and you know, obviously it’s, it’s something that people can work through on their own, but you also provide the systems set up as a service as well.
Colie: I do
Erin: Talk about it, how, how did you develop both the course and now you are a photographer who does this specific service for people?
Colie: So I know from you that you started with your services and then you built your product suite around it. I actually did the opposite. I, you know, like I said, I got the idea to do the course. I don’t think I would’ve thought about it as a service. And actually it took me months. It took me months to realize that, holy shit, this could be a service too.
Like, and the funny thing is the revelation came to me the week I launched the course. So back up November of, I guess it was 2021, does that sound right? Or November of 2020, I’m sorry, pandemic years. Let’s just blame it. On that Black Friday, I decide to put the beta offer out. I launched my course, I made all of the materials live the second week of January, and someone asked me, can I just pay you to do it?
Literally until that moment, it had been seven months since the podcast interview at that point, never did I think, oh, I could just do this as a service. So almost simultaneously, when I launched the course, I then launched my Dubsado setups as a VIP week. Now, I will say it went through a lot of iterations, like over the last two and a half years that I’ve offered it, because it started as a week and then almost immediately after I booked my first client to do it as a week, that was when I discovered the magic of VIP days, and then I was like, okay. Well, I already promised to do this in a week. I wonder if I could do it in a day. So literally I went back to the people that had hired me for the week and I was like, listen, I wanna do an experiment. I wanna see how much of your setup I can get done in one day.
And I promise if I don’t finish your setup, I’m happy to, you know, do it whatever. But I am gonna slightly change the format of what I promised you. Cuz what I told them was that I was gonna work on it a little bit every day and like send them what I had finished at the end of the day for feedback and then start again the next day.
That’s how I pitched my week. But in a day, yeah, you can’t be lackadaisical about that. Like, I need you to gimme my feedback. So I was like, what one day in this week can you promise to be available for any quick questions that I have? And so my first person was like, okay, Thursday. I was like, great. So Tuesday and Wednesday I kind of prepped and then Thursday I sat down first thing in the morning.
I think I started at like 6:00 AM and I’m going through the whole thing and by 10:00 AM I had built her proposal. Cuz you know I make those fancy CSS coded proposals. I had done some other work, but I finished the proposal and I sent that along to her and I’m like, while I work on other things, you know, go through this proposal, give me any feedback.
She came back and she was like, holy shit, that’s beautiful. I have nothing to say. I was like, really? I mean, colors, spacing, picture choice. She’s like, it’s perfect. I’m like, so I did think that all of them were gonna be that easy and they’re not. But anyways, that’s how my VIP day offer for Dubsado got launched and then eventually I have now started adding like other tools like I did this really rad Dubsado Airtable combination for a dog trainer in Los Angeles, which, I mean, I know that sounds so outta box for me, but the way that,
Colie: the way that she was selling her services, we weren’t just gonna do it in Dubsado. She was gonna have a membership in Circle and like, so I gave her Airtable as the back half.
That’s the most interesting system set up that I’ve done thus far. But I mean, yeah, that’s how I almost simultaneously offered two different setup versions, the course and the VIP day, like in the same month.
Erin: Oh my gosh, I have so much to say here. I’m like, should I just say like my five questions and then let you continue? Or do we, do we or are we organized here? Okay, we’re gonna be organized. So my first thing that I wanna say is I love that in the beginning of this conversation I said that you were a quick action taker because to me, like that is the perfect example of it.
Like no joke, we’re so different in this regard because I have had this business thing looming over my head, like of a change that I’m gonna make in my own business for the entire year. And I still haven’t really like jumped in head first, but I admire like fast action takers so much because look at how you said that.
Like yeah, okay. Maybe the idea. Didn’t come in your mind, but the second you get that idea, you’re like, let’s do it. And then the second that you get the idea about like making it into a VIP day, you were like, let’s do it. Right. And you know, one thing that we talked about when you were originally on my show was the idea of customer experience and like how to build out a good customer experience.
And I just wanna highlight one thing that you did that I think is so important for people. To give them like faith in themselves, but also provide an excellent customer experience is you went to your client who hired you for a week and you were just honest about what you’d like to do and you made it good for them.
Right? So like you mentioned, obviously if you couldn’t do it a day, you weren’t gonna punish them for this, but you brought it to them and said like, I wanna do this. Like this is how I’d like to structure this. Can I try it on you? Like I’ll make sure you’re completely satisfied. And communicating with clients is the first thing people don’t do when they have any sort of indecision and anxiety, like adjustments.
And that is where everything goes wrong, is the fact that they’re not communicating. So, Thank you for proving my point that you’re a quick action taker. Um, but what I really think is so interesting you brought up at the end was the fact that you just built out, um, this Airtable Dubsado Circle combination for the dog trainer.
Because I was thinking that maybe you only provided this services, this service to photographers. So do you only provide it to photographers or are you working with dog trainers? Only let, let me know who you working with these days.
Colie: So, um, the funny thing is I think I mostly work with photographers, so. At at the core, it’s because I’m lazy. I feel like I’m a photographer and I know from running my own photography business successfully for the last 11 years. I know what works. I even know what works for people who offer services that I don’t offer, like weddings.
I have never shot a wedding, but I know enough about how wedding photography works and the additional steps that it takes versus a family session to where I feel confident that I can help you no matter how many different services you offer and what kinds of things you want to do for your client experience.
Now, at one point in the last year, I was like, well, maybe there aren’t gonna be enough photographers that want to pay my price. I thought this, especially when I doubled my price. I was like, family photographers are not gonna pay me that much money to do their systems. They’re just not. So I was like, I need to expand.
And work with other creative entrepreneurs. Now, I also thought that not just from a scarcity perspective, but from a challenge, like I feel like doing the photography setups, I don’t wanna say that it’s easy because I mean, everybody’s business works slightly different, so there is different strategy for everyone.
But like the dog trainer, I mean, when I had to have her strategy call, nothing that came out of her mouth was what I expected. Do you know what I mean? Like her offers were very different from anything that I had worked with. And I will say that the dog trainer was a referral from one of my previous clients who was also not a photographer. She is a website designer. And so I finally came to the conclusion that I didn’t need to push my messaging towards all creative entrepreneurs because if you love me, if you listen to this podcast and you are not a photographer and you wanna hire me, you are still gonna do it.
Even if all I do is talk about the services that I do for photographers, you’re gonna do what everybody else has done, which is DM me and be like, Hey Colie, I’m not a photographer, but I need help with my Dubsado, blah, blah, blah. Can you help me? And depending on what your services is, I’m gonna be like, sure, let’s hop on a quick consultation cost that I can learn more about your business.
But. So the truth is the course is only for photographers, and that is because I do not want to dilute the experience that the students have inside the private group. Like, I don’t want people bringing in questions that would perhaps confuse, um, the people that are in there or like make me give them an answer that I would never give a photographer.
I don’t wanna have to like, you know, say, no, no, I’m giving them this. But like you photographers in the group do not do this ever. Like, I don’t wanna do that. So the course, at least for now, is just photographers. But the VIP days, no, I’m willing to help anybody set up their systems. But when it comes to my messaging, I am always talking to photographers because that is what I did in the beginning.
And I do feel like in the last year it gives me more authority, it gives me more visibility because I’m like, I am a photographer and that is why I am uniquely qualified to solve any systems question or problem that you have.
Erin: Yeah, I think that is so interesting. And you, you’re right, you totally set yourself apart in that manner. But one thing I love so much about the name of your podcast, um, because of course, you know, as the copywriter marketer, I’m always making judgements on things of what I see other people’s branding and copywriting.
But what I love about yours is like creatives are a big world within this online business world that we have, right? Their, their own ecosystem, event planners, you know, wedding, uh, professionals, like all the different kinds of wedding vendors. It could be all of these things like they’re still in that same ecosystem, but you are trusted most by the people who live in the world that you, you do, which is photography, but you are still speaking to these people who live in the creative industry, right?
So, It’s creatives who are running businesses. That’s what I loved about your podcast name. But even in just talking about this service, that’s the same thing, right? It’s like, like, can you work with anyone? Sure. If you find that after meeting with them and learning about their business, you’re able to communicate with them on their systems because you know how to create the system.
But you also have this unique intelligence that non photographers don’t have about what the photography industry is like. And that’s why it probably really attracts photographers to you and gets that trust, you know, know, like, and trust factor built immediately because they’re confident in your skills.
They know you’ve kind of been there and done that with them and you know, it makes them feel a lot more, um, at ease about hiring you or taking the course. And I love how you described why the course is only for photographers, cuz one of the questions I was gonna ask you about, um, You know, the course and the service is like, how does someone choose?
Like I find that I have that problem in my business a lot cuz I offer copy coaching. People will be like, well, I don’t know. Should I hire you or should I just do it? Um, so how does pe, how do people choose? Obviously if you’re a photographer, you’re gonna take the course, but how does someone choose about the service?
Like whether they should do the course or hire you to do it for them?
Colie: So I think people make an assumption that it’s all about money, because the course at the time of this recording is $997, and my full VIP experience is $5k. I mean, that’s quite a big difference, but it doesn’t just go down to price because I have had quite a few people who could afford to pay me to set it up, and they still didn’t.
And so of course, I conducted that customer research to ask why. And it turns out that quite a few of them had had really bad experiences. Paying someone to do something in the past, and then they didn’t understand how to maintain it. Like whatever it was. I mean, I had one person in particular that had hired someone to set up their previous CRM, and then she never used it because she didn’t know how to make changes.
But what she said she loved about my course was that, you know, after she went through the course, she felt confident and she felt like she had enough knowledge to make any change that she needed to make in the future. And that if she couldn’t, that I would still be there available through the course support.
So the funny thing is I like asked somebody, okay, well first of all, like what’s your goal? Like how much, what’s your goal and what’s your timeline like, is D I Y with my help? Really what you should be doing? Because if you are starving for time right now, You probably don’t have the time to commit to the course, even if you do it in like, you know, portions.
Even if you do like the inquiry stage and then you do the booking stage, like, you know, months apart or whatever, you probably can’t commit to the time that it takes to set up your systems fully or you don’t, you have so many clients that you are not someone that can afford to do it in like micro steps.
Like, let’s set this up and wait a few weeks and then let’s set this up. Um, wholeheartedly. The people who tend to choose like the VIP experience right off the bat is I have quite a few people that are like, I don’t care to know. I don’t care to learn about the systems. I mean, I want you to tell me how the system works.
I want you to tell me the most basic changes that I will probably need to make in the future. Like if you, if anybody in the audience is wondering, it’s like pricing. Everybody raises their prices. So when I set your systems up, bare minimum, you need to know how to change your prices. Everywhere that it needs to be changed going forward.
But like, I feel like it’s a different kind of mindset. The people who buy the course are really DIYers at heart. They want to learn how things work. Um, you know, they just want some guidance, like they want my system, but they wanna be able to set it up themselves. They have the time and the capacity to do it.
Versus the VIP day clients, they’re like, no, here’s all my money. I don’t care how you do it. Just tell me when it’s done, and make it the most efficient that you can make it.
Erin: Yeah. And if we’re gonna bring it back to me at all, which of course we’re going to now, um, some feedback I can share for both you and the listeners who are trying to possibly make this decision themself is I’ve, I went through this a couple years ago and I chose the d i Y option, and I’m glad that I did because I am the type of person who really wants to know how things work.
It bugs me when I don’t know how things work, though I’m extremely happy to. Hire out like the work. Now that tends to be how I make my buying decisions, but maybe it’s based on that whole A D H D thing, like I mentioned. So do you have to have a D H D to hire someone? Absolutely. Not having done a D I Y course.
The one thing I will say though is the whole time I constantly kept asking questions about systems. Like I don’t even know how to do this system. Like it’s great that you wanna teach me how to build these things, but before you can build within a platform, you need to understand what the system’s goal is.
So I would say if you don’t feel like you’re a natural systems person, maybe that’s a really good sign that that a build out for you. Regardless of whether you wanna know if something, like how something works is the better idea. Because there are definitely many times when I was setting this up that I was like, I still like what do I do?
Like why? Why would I do this? Right? And then once I was very fortunate to like work with someone that I liked who was training me and then took the time just like you do with your photography students to understand these things. But if you don’t have that though, like having access to someone or understanding why you would build out systems in a specific way is like immeasurable when it comes to like price.
Like I, it is priceless. Like I would, having someone who knows what they’re doing within the platform and knows systems is worth every penny that someone would pay you as a service
Colie: So I will say, you asked why the course was just for photographers. I think I needed to mention something else and you just like hit the nail on the head, if you
Erin: to tell.
Colie: The other reason that the course is just for photographers is because everything inside is written from a photography perspective. So like what you just said, like I don’t know what systems to build.
No. Any photographer on the planet can take what’s in the course and use it as is. After you’ve like copied my forms into your account, you’ve modified it. Like if you offer senior sessions, please take family off and put senior. But like the base workflows that I’ve given you, will work for any photographer and I actually have like a really strict rule, Erin, and sometimes my students don’t believe me and then they get cussed out on a call.
I probably shouldn’t admit that on a podcast, but.
Erin: okay. You cuss us out on the podcast too.
Colie: I do, but like, I don’t know. It sounds a little brutal to say I cussed my students out, but what I have found is the number one thing that ends up leading to errors when people are setting up my system is that they try to customize while they’re doing it.
And so my number one rule is you are not allowed to question the system at all. I need you to set up every single workflow as is. The moment that you are done, I am happy to hop on one of the q and a calls and help you strategize extra touch points, all those things. But one of the reasons that I’m so strict about telling people no, you have to set up the systems, the workflows as I’ve given them to you, is because I know if you take the steps as they are, that your workflows will not be broken.
What ends up happening when people try to customize in the middle is that they don’t quite understand yet. They haven’t seen the system work yet. I argue you don’t really know what you should change until you see the system once, like you test it and then you’re like, okay, well I don’t like that going out of five days.
Let’s change that to four days. Fine, go change that to four days. But when I’ve had people try to interject like different forms or different emails or different touch points, they end up breaking one of the workflow triggers that was originally set up. And I mean, I have a lot of information in the course, like after you do your main system for your main offer, after everything is set up, I have lots of additional resources in module five, which helps you with, okay, if you do weddings, do this.
If you do seniors, do this. If you are a simple sales user, this is what you should do instead. But until you set the system up, I feel like a lot of people come to me and if they were a DIYer before they came into my course, they were never using workflows properly because they didn’t have the confidence that things would trigger as they should.
And so I try to tell them, I’m really trying to help you because if you set up all my workflows, like I’ve given them to you and you test it, and every single step works like it should, it is gonna give you so much more confidence when we customize it specifically for the ways that you run your business that are different than mine.
Erin: Oh my gosh. Yeah. And I, and, and saying this from someone who doesn’t naturally Id ideate systems on her own and someone who has done a Dips Ado setup and uses Dips Ado very regularly, that’s the key. You do not understand how things work until you see them work. But when you see them work, you’re like, it’s like a light bulb.
Be like, oh, okay. You
Colie: it was supposed to do.
Erin: It’s funny cuz as soon as I set up my Dubsado for my business, for my writing and marketing business, the second it was done and I could see how it worked, I was like, okay, how else can we use this? And now I use it for my podcast because I’m like, oh my gosh, like this makes so much sense now.
And I did not understand that before and I did not understand it during, it was once I saw things taking place that I could customize. So, I mean, I think it’s very valid you cus people out for those. I think it’s a very, if you tell them the rules and they don’t follow the rules, there has to be some kind of like repercussion, right.
Colie: and I also say you have to do one offer. Cuz I think the other thing where people get stuck is they have decision fatigue. Like in one particular instance, there was someone in the course and uh, she was the last person that I cussed out. I will just admit that, uh, she came to a call and she’s like, well, I don’t know what to do because I have all of these different newborn offers.
Like I have a studio offer and I have a new, a lifestyle offer in their home. And I was like, stop. Which one do you book the most? Or which one do you want to book the most? And when she said it, I said, you’re not allowed to think about the other one until you’re completely done. I was like, because you are getting stuck in making decisions and all of your, all of your brain space needs to go towards the first offer.
Because what a lot of people don’t understand is even though you think your offers are vastly different, they are not different. Every time someone’s like, oh, but I have to send a different form. Guys, that takes three seconds to swap. What else? Like, oh no, this email needs to be different. Okay, two seconds to swap.
I spend on a VIP day on average, I spend. Like now I do it differently. I only do one offer on the VIP day, and then everything else gets moved to like a duplication week where I will duplicate it for your other offers. But originally, when I was doing like multiple offers in a day, it would take me, no lie, 85% of the day to do the first offer.
And it only took 15% of the rest of the day to make their second offer fully tested and validated. Why? Because I did all the work for the first offer, and then all I had to do was duplicate every single form, every single workflow, swap some images, swap some copy, choose a different form, and then test it.
And testing is key of course, but I mean, if you stick to one thing and you see it the whole way through again, you see the big picture and then you are so much, you are so ready to like hop in and do your second offer, your third offer. And of course, in the future, if you have to customize or you change your offers, you will hop right in there and make the changes that need to be done.
Erin: Because you know it, it really is that simple. You’re just pressing, duplicate, and then it creates
another one for you and then you edit. Like if you haven’t really been in there and touched things and played around yet, like that’s what happens. And. It just seems so much scarier than it is before you’ve used it.
But I think one big thing I wanna talk about though is platform. Cuz you and I both used Dips Ado, but I think that before someone decides to make the choice of like what to use, they have to kind of evaluate their choices. So how does one go about doing that? Like how do, how do you help people decide if Dito is the right platform for them, or if a different platform is better, like HoneyBook or something else?
Colie: So the funny thing is I have a comparison guide, guys. If you need to look at like a visual chart, you can go to Colie james.com/compare and that is gonna get you to the comparison guide. Now, it says, for photographers, but the honest truth, any entrepreneur can look at this list and compare and contrast.
But I’ve got a general rule. If you’re a visual artist, I don’t want you using anything except for HoneyBook or Dubsado. Like I’m pretty strict. And the reason that I’m strict is because of the proposal and the brochure. Those two things allow visual artists like us to have pictures at the same time, pictures and and video in my case at the same time that you’re asking for the sale.
And I think that that’s so important and it really helps you to convert more of your leads into paying clients. Otherwise, if you’re just giving them an invoice. On your website, they saw all your beautiful images. All you did was talk about the experience and then you give them an invoice. There’s a disconnect between why they, why they initiated the conversation in the first place, and then when you’re asking them in most cases, to pay thousands of dollars.
So that’s my number one rule. However, when we think about the tools, I mean, some photographers have teams. If you have a team, in most cases, I actually do not think Dubsado as a good fit for you, just. Point blank. Now I ask some additional questions like, does your team need scheduling? Do you need to send these things from different emails?
I mean, there’s a lot of nuances, but in general, Dubsado as it is right now, does not play well for people who have teams. And so that is when I will be like, okay, let’s think about another tool for you. And I am happy, I mean, there has been more than one time where someone hopped on a consultation call with me and when I found out that they had a team or maybe some other tiny things and I’m like, Nope.
Mm-hmm. Dubsado is not the answer for you. I said, but I would love to give you a recommendation of a CRM that would work better. Um, let me ask you a few other questions and then I’ll try to help you figure out where you should go next, because I really don’t want you spinning your wheels using a CRM that is really not best for your business.
Erin: No, I think that’s the key because that’s why people aren’t using them. You know, you talked about one of your, I don’t remember if you said your client or your student, but who, one of the people who have hired you and worked with you said that they had a whole system set up that they didn’t even use. So I think just knowing that the system is the right one is step one.
Then it’s step two is like, do you feel confident within that system? And then it’s like, go big, go home. Build those workflows. Everybody. Make your business as easy as it can be.
Colie: And one of the things that I wanna say in the comparison guide, it’s not just a chart, it also talks about how I think you should approach choosing your CRM besides just looking at my chart. And so first, you should not choose a cm. If you haven’t done a trial, you should be doing a trial of any CRM that you want to use because there are some people that just don’t like the interface.
It’s like us, us photographers. Like when you’re choosing between Cannon and Nikon and Sony and I guess even Fuji, like all of them produce beautiful images. All of them are pretty capable when it comes to videos. But if you pick up a camera and it doesn’t feel good in your hand, That’s not the camera that you should use.
And I feel the same way about CRMs. Like if you get into the backend and no matter how many videos, no matter how many walkthroughs you use, you’re still confused looking at the backend and you feel like things are not where you would expect them to be. That is probably not the CRM for you. Beyond doing a trial, and I don’t know if it’s just photographers, I would suspect not, but often when people ask for CRM recommendations inside a Facebook group, someone will inevitably hop in and say, oh, my CRM is so easy to use here.
Here’s my discount link. Or you know, whatever it is. And I have to really like push down the urge to jump in and say, no. Number one, there’s a reason it’s so cheap. And number two, there’s a reason it’s so easy to use. Everyone should think about their CRM as something that they should grow into. And so I don’t want you buying A CRM that’s $20 a month now.
Because the moment that you get more clients, you are gonna get bottlenecks. You are gonna realize that the functionality for automations and workflows and all of these things that you didn’t think you needed five months ago, oh no, you need them now. Now, not only do you have to switch CRMs, but like you have to take all your clients that are in the middle of a project and move them over.
I mean, as someone who has shot professionally on four different systems of cameras, I am not adverse to switching systems on anything if it’s helpful, if it’s useful for my business. But CRMs is worse. I mean, I think the only thing worse than that is switching your financial software. Like I would never wanna go from like QuickBooks to wave or FreshBooks to QuickBooks.
I mean, that just sounds horrible. But so you know, do your research, but also know that even if you don’t feel like you need some of the features that are more advanced now, you should be looking into the future. Like, okay, when you’re shooting more clients and you have more leads, do you really wanna be answering all of them individually with the emails?
Or do you want a system that’s gonna send those communications out for you automatically? That’s definitely something to look into.
Erin: Yeah, I’ve just been like nodding my head aggressively. If you, if you don’t see this like part in the video, it’s just like aggressive head banging on this side. I’ve learned that myself in error in many ways and I’ve also like seen that with my clients who have struggled before coming to work with me, and I think it’s a really key business lesson, like point blank.
It’s. What do you want to grow into? Do that? You know, a lot of the times I, when with copywriting people will be like, well, what should I put on my website? Cuz this is what I’d like to do, but this is what I’m currently doing and I’m a little transition. And I always tell people, like, your clients want to see that aspiration as well, right?
So it’s like, if you are growing, if they want to grow, like how can we get to that place? Like you don’t, you could go in, dip Saada, work through Colie’s programs, set all these things up, even pause it. Let’s say like if you’re doing like the d i Y version, or you could hire Colie to set up this big grand system and only use what you need until, but agreed CRMs and financial software are, are those things that you want to have the most capabilities, even if you’re not using them right away.
I am legitimately at this very second changing my financial platform. And I’m dying because I’ve been in business for like, almost over seven years now, and it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done. Um, but when I first got Dub Cito myself, I used it a hundred percent manually for maybe, I mean, I hate, this is nothing to brag about for maybe almost three years because I didn’t know what I was doing, but I still knew that it had everything I needed.
And then once things were picking up so much that I needed automations, like p point blank, it wasn’t anything else. It was the automated factor. That’s when I was ready to make the investment to build it out. So I think that’s a really key decision making factor. It’s just knowing that this is not something you wanna mess around with because you have to pull in historical data and you have to make a lot of decisions.
So it’s like testing it and then investing in it is, is probably a really, really smart thing I hadn’t even thought of before this conversation.
Colie: I mean, and one of the other things with having your CRM and making it, you know, work for the future or whatever is you don’t have to build all of your systems at once. I actually say the biggest bang for your money, and it’s what I hope everyone listening does. Regardless of what CRM you have, you need to have a way for someone to automatically book and pay you.
Point blank. I want you to use the proposal, contract invoice system in whatever C RM you are currently using. And all of them have that. There used to be a few where it was iffy, you couldn’t save templates. I won’t name that name cuz I feel bad when I talk badly about other cms. But now all of them have this and so you should have your offer laid out that automatically goes to the contract and automatically goes to the invoice.
Because if you can automate your sales process, if you will, in that part, it does leave you more space and opportunity to do the marketing. Which, I mean, I’ve said this previously, but marketing I think is what we all come into entrepreneurship. Not knowing that it’s probably the biggest part of our job.
And so when it comes to like selling to your clients, onboarding your clients, doing the service, if you can automate that sales process and that onboarding process, that gives you more time to do the marketing, which you know, inevitably will get you more clients, will help your business grow and all of that good jazz.
And so as much as you can save with the automation, it’s good. But Erin, you also brought up a really good point. CRMs are not just to automate CRMs also centralize and organize your client data. And so if you think about it in that way, I think that there is tons of value in using A CRM. Even if you are not automating, you know your entire client experience to the best of your ability because at least when you need to find out something about your client, you’ve got one place to go.
You are not looking in Gmail to see what email you sent them. You are not looking in PayPal to see if they paid your invoice. You’re going to one spot. You are opening their project and you are seeing where they are in the process, which is so valuable when it comes to time because us trying to find shit in our businesses is where so many of us lose hours, hours.
Erin: Yeah, agreed. A hundred percent. I have lost a lot of time in business, so I’m glad that I’m, I’m, I’m in better shape now. Uh, let me shift slightly kind of same topic, but be, because I am systems curious and systems obsessed, tell me what is the most important system that someone needs in their business. I mean, maybe it’s kind of what we’ve talked about, but if not, oh, okay.
Colie: the proposal, contract, invoice. If you are not setting up, because here’s the thing, all of us experience someone in some capacity who comes up to you and is just like, oh, I wanna hire you. What do I do? I mean, I don’t care if it’s like
Erin: Those are my
Colie: service, right? They’re like, I don’t need the sales part.
Like, I don’t need to talk to you like I am ready. Just tell me how to pay you if you don’t have a way to tell them how to pay you. You are wasting time in doing that. And then the truth is, if you don’t have that set up as a system, you’re wasting that same amount of time. Every time someone asks you, how do I pay you?
And then like, again, that’s a bottleneck. You gotta take that time to create the proposal, you know, fill in the blanks on the contract, which, oh my gosh. Yeah. Anyways, uh, the second thing that I would say for a system is just if you don’t have an automatic email that goes out after someone inquires with you to let them know timeline next steps when you’ll get back to them, all that good jazz, you should have that set up like yesterday.
But biggest bang for your buck is definitely automating the actual sales process.
Erin: Yeah, that’s huge. Are there any myths? Like you hear people say these things about systems and you’re like, yeah, that’s not actually true, that you like wanna clear up right now. So, so people are prepared and like ready before they like, jump off the podcast episode and go straight to your sales page and book a VIP day with
Colie: So I feel like the biggest myth is that you don’t need systems until you have a bunch of clients. I tell lots of people, and the thing is, guys, I’m not even talking about taking my course or hiring me. I’m talking about you yourself, investing in a C RM and doing some of those basic systems, even if it’s a D I Y.
You need those things before you have a ton of clients. I know most of us don’t think about it until we have tons of clients, but like right now, if you’re still in like the growing stage and you don’t have that many clients, and what you do have though is a shit ton of time. Like you have the time right now to get a CRM to do the Google route, to watch the YouTube videos, all of that stuff to set up, again, the most basic system of how someone can immediately pay you when they are ready.
If you do that, when you work on your traffic with something like SEO or you know, social media, marketing, all that good jazz, when you have the traffic, you are not gonna be wasting your time then, trying to figure out how to book them, how to onboard them. You have the all those systems set up and then you can just work on getting more clients.
So you don’t need a lot of clients in order to get systems. Everybody needs systems from day one of your business. I think I would say myth number two is that those systems are static. I feel like a lot of people are like, oh, you know, I wanna set up my systems. Okay, they’re done. There is nothing one and done about systems.
As your business grows, as your price point changes, as your offer changes, you need to constantly check in on your systems and make sure that they are still working for you as the business owner, and also make sure that they are working from the client experience perspective.
Erin: Yeah, both of those are extremely so important. I love the first thing you had said, cuz it kind of reminded me of the whole, like the chicken and the egg conundrum. Right? Which is it, I talk about that a lot in the like copy and SEO marketing world is like what comes first? Traffic or conversion? What comes first?
Sales or marketing. And in a sense, you just said that, what comes first, like systems or selling, right? So like do you have any like hard and fast rules when it comes to this? Obviously you just did systems and sellings, but when it comes to like traffic and conversion and marketing and sales, like what, what’s your opinion there?
Colie: So when this conversation usually comes up for me is like, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but when I get clients, especially for my Done for You offer, those people are changing everything in their business. They’re getting a new website, they’re hiring a copywriter, they’re investing in seo, they’re getting a new website, they’re getting their branding redone, and.
They’re hiring me to do their systems. And so when those people are doing like a complete rebrand, a complete refresh of their business, sometimes it’s a question of, but what do I do first? Or even if you’re a baby person and you’re like, well, I don’t have a website and I don’t have a CRM, which one should I do first?
And my answer is always, do you have a traffic problem or do you have a conversion problem? If you have a conversion problem, you need the crm because that is what is gonna help you get the people who are already coming to you, the people that are already raising their hand to work with you. That’s what’s gonna help you get them in the door faster.
But if you are not getting traffic, if your business is not known to anyone, that’s a website problem, that’s a marketing problem. You probably need to start on a website like yesterday so that you can start bringing in traffic. But it’s not that you don’t need both, it’s which one should you tackle first.
And so, I mean, if you’re coming to me, cuz. Not that I don’t think that people get tons of people off of Instagram. I never have, 90% of my business came from Google in the first few years I was a photographer, but now
Erin: so happy
Colie: know Now
Erin: such a beautiful thing to hear.
Colie: it is an awesome statistic, but so many photographers now are growing up, or I shouldn’t say growing up, they are building their business in an era where some of them are really getting all of their traffic and all of their leads from Instagram.
So then maybe you don’t need a website to send them to. You already nurtured them with the photography on Instagram. You just need to give them a way to pay you, and in that case, that’s the crm. So, I mean, that’s my, that’s my usual answer of the chicken or the egg. And I usually get asked in terms of the website and the CRM, I mean, I’m sure there’s lots of other things that we could consider, but that’s a big one that I get like often.
Erin: Yeah. And being on the flip side of this is, I hear this all the time because I’ll be talking to people. You know, like one thing at fyi, if you’re listening and you’re thinking about your website, is everyone comes to the website thinking that like what’s the, like pretty words I can use yet, they may not know their actual offers or they may not like really know like their end goals and there’s no shame in that.
It is a very normal thing. It is. I, I mean, I’ve experienced it myself too when I was doing a bit of a refresh. I think sometimes we just kind of know that we need the change, but we haven’t quite thought through the change. But what I’m about to say here is like, Having the end goal in mind can help you make these decisions.
Cuz when I work with people and we talk about these things like, well, what do you want someone to do when they come to your site? What’s the main action of this specific page? What’s the goal? They come to things like they need to contact you. They need to like, you know, like go and drop into an automated sequence because maybe sometimes you repel on your site.
And a, a system like that Coli setting up can help you repel with an automated sequence that says like, thanks for reaching out. Like here’s how I work with clients and. Obviously it’s not how they wanna work with you, but you need like knowing that can help you determine, well maybe it is the CRM you do first or maybe you do work on the website.
But for, I see it all the time, just echoing what you say on the opposite perspective is I’ll talk to people and then I’ll be like, you really should probably get something like dip set up before we go too much further. Because like when you say like, what goes on a contact page and you’re like, just gimme all the questions and I’m like, oh, those questions are very important.
Like, you know, to, to help you determine whether you’re the right fit for the client, what type of information you give to them. Do they drop into an automated sequence like so maybe they come concurrently, but if you have to make a choice, then I think the way that Colie described it is spot on. Like what are you suffering from more?
What, what need do you have more? And then jump into that bucket first.
Colie: Yeah, I mean, honestly I had brunch with one of my clients here. She happens to be local and Boulder. Um, I was doing her brand new Dubsado. She was switching from family photography into branding photography. I was doing her Dubsado setup. Another local person was writing her copy and then another local person was doing her website.
All three of them simultaneously. And so I will say what happened was, In, in my case, I set up like 90% of her Dubsado, and then when she got her new branding and she got her new words, I plopped it in where it was appropriate, but like I could still do 90% of her work while I was waiting for the other little bits.
But I mean, hired all three professionals all at the same time. And so I think it was like a span of like, I mean, mine didn’t take a month, but I mean in the span of a month, I mean, she broke out with a brand new business and I mean, that was the end of it.
Erin: And you’re right with how you started this. That’s what I see most of the time too, from my higher, my higher. Priced services is people are doing a, like a, like a redo of things. You know, they’ve grown into their business and as they have grown into their business, they’ve realized where they’ve grown up and what they can let go of as well.
And it comes with the design on a website, the copy on the website, the images, like the brand design on the website, the systems that run the behind the scenes or the side parts. So, um, I think that people don’t know that. I think that’s one of those things I wish people knew better is when you are really growing up and growing into a new website, it is not just one thing that you need.
You have to kind of financially prepare yourself to do a a multi-step thing. And that’s okay though cuz you can make these little changes as it happens, right? Maybe you just have one new page on your website with whatever that offer is that you’re growing into or whatever. But it is a bigger process than just simply saying, I’m gonna add a couple new brand colors and call myself something different.
Colie: I mean, so you mentioned the offer. The other thing that I will say, and I was actually talking to my client, Ashlee at lunch about it. Sometimes when you come to one of the professionals that’s doing one of those things for you, copywriting, web, website, uh, you know, systems. I will say most of my clients come to me with their offers and as part of my process, we are refining.
Clarifying your offer, because the truth is, and I’m not gonna say that I’m like a special unicorn. I know many other people, including Erin, where when you’re telling someone what you do, if it doesn’t make sense to us, we can’t perform our service. Like, I can’t build you systems if I don’t understand what you’re offering.
I don’t understand your price points. Like everything has to make sense for me. Everything has to be clear and then I can help you. And so one of the other things that I feel like people do is they’re like, oh, but you know, I wanna do this offer, but like I don’t have it laid out yet. But in the process of working with other professionals to rebrand and refresh your business, most of those professionals are gonna help you get that clarity, even if that’s not what they advertise, even if that’s not like a standalone service that they offer.
Because in the process of refreshing and rebranding any part of your business, that new person has to understand what it is that you want to offer. The copy that Erin writes you is gonna be so much better if she understands what your service is like, what your client experience is like, and basically what your clients are coming to you for.
So I also think that’s an important piece of the puzzle.
Erin: Yeah, and I think, you know, it’s important we’re talking about like how to know who to work with e even in, in the sense of like who to hire for a, a system setup like with you today. But one thing is that the people you work with are also making decisions on whether they should work with you as well. Um, and, and I say that cuz I just wanna kind of preface for me, like, one of the things I know that’s a red flag is how well people know their own business and, and their offers are usually the key thing.
Does that mean that I don’t work with people if they are wishy-washy? Not at all. But I think that there is this certain level and I actually am sure this is exactly what you experience, even though this is kind of the question that’s built into my long explanation here is. If I feel like you’re going somewhere with an offer, I can help you refine that.
Cuz that’s part of mar marketing, right? Is like, what are the psychographics of your clients? What do they need? What are they looking for? Um, but when it comes to systems, you very clearly need to know the offers so you can know how to build the workflows and the automations. So don’t be shy to work with someone if your offers are wishy-washy, but just know that that’s a prep, like a preparation work that you do kind of have to do before you can get the best out of your service providers.
Because the only, I’ve been very fortunate, again, I, I love what I do, so I put a lot of effort into it, and I know you do too. But the only time I have ever had any trouble with a client was when they did not know what they wanted. That made the project difficult and then they weren’t happy with the end result because they never knew what they wanted.
And it took me a little growing into my own business to recognize that that wasn’t on me like I did as best as I could to move them forward. Right. And I think maybe that’s why it’s something I pay such careful attention to now, but I, I can imagine that in your world it’s the same thing. Like you need your clients to have an idea of what it is that they do and how their processes and systems work, and you can help them make it so much better.
But they need to know that before they work with you.
Colie: Yeah, there was, it’s one in particular, and I’m pretty sure, uh, it’s Kati of Xilo Photography guys. Uh, she did a bonus podcast episode with me. I will link it in the show notes, but Katie came to me with this idea of like a repeat client day. And when she explained it to me, I was like, I have no idea why you would do it that way.
How about we try it this way? And I laid out this whole thing and like, oh my God, that sounds amazing. I set up her scheduler, I set up her proposal, I set up her emails. She sold that thing out in two days.
Erin: I love
Colie: And I was like, that’s amazing. Can I put that on my website? So it is somewhere on my website. But I mean, you know, she had an idea, but the, the implementation of it, I was mm-hmm.
We’re, we’re not doing that. We’re, we’re gonna do this instead.
Erin: So I’m gonna completely put you on the spot right now, cuz before I was gonna ask you a question that I was like, maybe I shouldn’t ask this, cuz this could complicate our conversation. But like, fuck it, we’re doing it now. Um, I had an idea for you when you were talking about how you work with your clients and I was like, I wonder if as people’s business changes, it would make sense for them to come back to you for another VIP day because I am a hundred percent on the same team as you.
When it comes to like systems change, websites change, and that’s a really, really good thing. Like if you build them well, they will change, right? So do you have repeat clients? And if you don’t, maybe the re the clients who have worked with you that are listening should think about becoming a repeat client.
Colie: So the funny thing is, okay, what, I started doing setups in January of 2021, and then in November, so. Of 2022. So what is that? Almost two full years later. That is when I realized I had no bo no back pocket offers for my previous clients. I immediately, on a Saturday, sat on my couch. I don’t know what show I was binging something.
I did an entire page. For backend offers. And so now I have what I call an audit and half day VIP experience. So I don’t believe unless you are coming up with an entirely new offer or new business that you need my entire service again. I mean we do so much strategy that really it’s just if you need tweaks, if something is not working, you know, we schedule this half day, we spend the first part of the day talking about how things are going, what is not working, you know, are you changing your prices?
Cuz guys, everyone should be changing their prices periodically. But, so I ask all these kinds of questions and then for the rest of the morning I get in there and I actually implement all the changes that they want. I’m able to do that because their systems are so well set up. Like last time, um, and it’s funny cuz I just booked one of those yesterday.
Colie: came back and said that I was like, yes.
Erin: Here’s a follow up question then, cuz I actually like how you described, it’s like a multi-part thing, like the audit and the updates, right? They’re two different things. Would you audit someone’s system if you didn’t build the system?
Colie: I would,
Erin: Yeah. Maybe I’m gonna call you after this conversation.
Colie: I have strategy hours and what I tell people is, if you are unsure about working with me, and cuz like I get this, I mean, you know, you know Erin, when we are spending a lot of money and we’re not sure that we need the big service that someone is offering. Like for example, if you did a DIY course or you actually hired someone before and you’re like, no, you’re saying some really good things, but like, I don’t need this full setup, I mean, I do like hire me for a strategy hour and while I’m poking around, that is something that I would do if you hired me anyways.
So then I tell the people, I mean like it’s not a sales call. It’s not like, and would you like to hire me to do the rest? It’s just like, okay, you know, these are the things that I recommend that you should change, and if you want help with that, holler at me. But like I have often poked around someone’s account just for five or 10 minutes and been like, yeah, you don’t need to hire me.
Like, you need some minor changes, but you don’t need my full setup. If you wanna hire me for one or two strategy hours, we could do this for you. I mean, there’s somebody else in the industry that’s like, there are no partial setups. I’m like, Hmm, that’s not actually true. Like I can go in many people’s accounts that I’m like, I like 80% of what you’ve got going in here, but like you are really missing the ball on like this other 20% and I could probably solve that for you in an hour.
So, I mean, that’s my sales pitch for, you know, let me audit your site and see what I can find.
Erin: I think it’s so valuable, right? Cause like, I mean, just, we’re just taking me, we’re having this conversation together. I did the DIY course, I did some follow up work with the person giving the course. I then built out more. Serve like more offers within it on my own after that was all finished and then I lived with it for a little while.
But you know, the funny thing is if you wanna know some like top secret information audience, when Colie was first on my show, I pride myself on my podcast. Workflows pride myself, I get compliments for them all the time. So I invite Ms. Colie James onto the show to talk to my audience about, um, customer experience and like a lot of what we kind of discussed today and the first email I send her had a mistake in it because of my automations and.
We all know Colie. Call me out on it. Let’s just be honest here. But think about that though, right? Like we don’t see what’s right in front of us sometimes. So like, you know, with talking to you, like it’s great you have a, um, a course for photographers. I’m not a photographer and I’ve already been through a course.
It’s great. You have a full setup. Well, I already have a full setup, but like the idea of calling you when I just wanna like, tweak something for a, like a strategy call or having you do a full audit for me is like, wow. It’s really valuable to me. So friends, take her course, hire her for her services, do a strategy call, get an audit.
Am I missing anything
Colie: You are not.
Erin: been talking for a while. Am I missing anything?
Colie: No, you’re not. I love you, Erin. I did not pay her to do that.
Erin: No, she didn’t. I mean, I can’t help myself. Um, I cannot help myself from telling people about things that I get excited about, but all right, so we’re gonna end this episode, but before we do, you always ask everyone what is the biggest business fuck up that they’ve experienced?
And you asked me when I was on your show, but I wanna ask you, and I wanna ask you slightly differently, cuz you did an episode kind of about this before, so you don’t have to repeat yourself. We are all about new things here when it comes to the Business First Creatives podcast. So let’s just think about your biggest business, fuck up and switch it to what is one of the best things that you’ve done in your business, or smartest decisions that you’ve made in your business.
Colie: Okay. So guys, when it comes to hiring someone to do anything, uh, mostly business coaches, mostly for like masterminds, but in general, when you’re hiring someone for a service, I feel like sometimes we don’t know what to ask until it’s too late. And something that I have learned this year is that when it comes to the way that I run my business and my service, I really want to hire myself.
So if you’re not one of my clients, you may not know this, but like I have a support ticketing system for the course. Uh, most people when they ask a question, they get an answer in less than three hours. Like, if I’m awake and I see your question, I answer it. You do not have to wait for a weekly q and a call if you don’t want to.
Like, if I don’t have to see your, your, you know, Dubsado to in order to answer the question, happy to do it. When it comes to my VIP day clients, they also have a support ticketing system and I answer them even faster. So when it comes to looking for like a business coach, I didn’t realize that is what I should have been asking people.
And so I just wrapped up, uh, Q2 strategy, save me with Jordan Gill, which you guys have heard me talk about her before she’s been on the podcast. I love her. I love everything about her. But what I didn’t realize until I joined her mastermind is that. She thinks like me, like, and she actually said some of those exact things on the podcast, which is why I ended up joining.
Um, but when it comes to the way that like, your brain works, and if you think about the Enneagram episode that I did with Katelyn Dekle like hire someone that works with the way that you like to work yourself. I feel like you will have a better experience. And like, you know, Erin, you said a million times on this episode that I’m a fast action taker.
When you join someone’s program and they are not as fast as you are. I mean, it slows you down and then you don’t end up implementing the things that you wanna implement. So, I mean, you know, hire slow. I really think that if you’re looking at a mastermind, a business coach, any of those things, like you should ask questions and then you should take a few days to make sure that you are, you know, hiring the person that is right for you. That is the best fit that you can get. But the questions like I have found for myself, I want to hire someone that thinks like me. I want to hire someone that runs their business like me, and she just happened to be the perfect fit. So that’s what I learned this year. Another, another, uh, shout out for Jordan Gill.
Erin: Woo, woo. All right, friends, so you may not know this about me if you haven’t listened to my show, but at the end of every episode, I give a homework assignment. Colie and I did not talk about this at all, but it’s the past teacher in me. I cannot stop. So here’s your homework assignment. Regardless of where you are in business, I want you to just either ruminate or take a look at your systems and think about like what needs a little bit of attention.
And then if you determine that it is something that you, you need to like move forward with, with your CRM or other systems, Colie has so many good episodes, like you could just start for free by listening to some of her episodes or just go check out her website and work with her because like I, I know co.
I trust her. There’s your social proof from Erin. Like, I trust her and you should trust her because you’re listening. But that’s it, friends. You have a great rest of your week and next week I will not be here with you, but you will have your trusted Colie back. Thank you for your time today.