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Small Business Marketing

6 Easy Steps To Content Marketing Without A Blog

Content Marketing Without A Blog

So I got sick. Really sick. The kind of sick where you’re pretty sure that if you lift your arm to move your glasses? Yup, you’re probably going to throw up.

And what do we do when we get that sick?

We read blogs, because books require too much commitment. Even playing Hay Day on one’s phone requires the moving of one’s hands.

Over the last several days I have been reading a lot of new blogs. I have noticed an upsetting trend.

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Awkward Business Conversations: How to Train a Misbehaving Client

Awkward Business Conversations

Welcome back to Awkward Conversations week! As we promised yesterday when we were discussing how to fire a client, today we’re talking about what to do before you fire a client. Let’s talk client training. It’s kind of like dog training, except with clients.

(Actually, that’s not true. It’s nothing like dog training at all.)

Client training is something you’re going to want to do if you have clients who you can’t (or don’t want to) fire, but they’re behaving in a way that makes working with them untenable. Maybe they don’t pay on time. Maybe they email too much. Maybe they call randomly in the middle of Let’s Get It On. Maybe they’re making the work impossible, maybe they have wildly unreasonable expectations, or maybe certain personality elements are making you want to put their head in a lake.

Whatever the situation, they have to change. It’s not you, it’s them.

There are two possible objectives for sending a client training email…

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Awkward Business Conversations: How to Fire a Client

How to Fire a Client

Welcome back to Awkward Conversations Week! As promised yesterday in turning down a potential client, today we’re going to talk about terminating an existing client relationship.

In preparation for writing this article, and to avoid reinventing the wheel, I pulled up my handy dandy search engine and searched for the phrase “how to fire a client”.

I found a lot, but I didn’t find much.

If you search that term – something I don’t recommend, by the way – you will find a lot of why you should fire a client, and you will find a lot of what you should do to avoid having to fire a particular client, and you will find a lot of what you should do to avoid attracting the types of clients you might later want to fire.

(For some reason, this reminds me of that old Rita Rudner quote. “Whenever I date a man, I think… is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?”)

When it comes to the actual firing part, though, support is a little thin on the ground.

In fact, the morality brigade seems to be coming out in full force – basically, you shouldn’t find yourself in this position in the first place. (Oh, and make sure to send them a thousand bucks to take Moths to a Flame TM, their magnetic client attraction class, while we’re talking about it. Then all your clients will be just dreamy.)

Maybe I have entitlement issues, and maybe the world has changed a little now that everyone and their Weimeraner has a coach, but I think that if you can’t stand working with someone, you should feel allowed to fire them. Knowing how to avoid this mess in the future is lovely. It’s particularly lovely in the future. Today, though, you have to fire this person, and you want to know how.

So, let’s go through a little disclaimer, and then we can get to the good stuff…

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Awkward Business Conversations: How To Say No To A Potential Client

Awkward Business Conversations

Welcome back! Previously, on Awkward Conversations Week, we talked about how to tell someone their payment bounced. Mmm. Sticky. Today we’re talking about telling a potential client you don’t want to work with them.

“How to say no” may well be the second most searched term in the history of the internet. (Second only to “how to flip an omelette”. Naturally.) Saying no is darn tough for many, even under the best of circumstances, and even when you’re declining something no reasonable person would agree to.

Saying no to a potential client is an especially weird animal because it is often very difficult for people to imagine anybody turning down paid work. There is a belief that freelancers, small business owners and service professionals would take anybody’s money, much like a bookstore or a cell phone company. But, of which you are undoubtedly aware, there are plenty of reasons an ittybiz owner might want to say no, and it helps to have some language handy.

This one has a few different subtypes with different associated concerns, and we’ll address each of those separately. The template, however – affectionately referred to as Thanks But No Thanks in our templates file – remains the same. We tweak for details, but the boilerplate is pretty solid.

Regardless of the subtype you’re dealing with, the trick to saying no to paid work is in making sure you communicate three specific things. Your communication needs to hit three success metrics, or you’re cruising for drama later:

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Awkward Business Conversations: How to Tell Them Their Payment Bounced

How to Tell Them Their Payment Bounced

So, funny story.

As you may know, the revenue model we have at IttyBiz is significantly made up of people who put our classes on payment plans. If you were around for BIG LAUNCH, you may remember that there was a 12-pay option, where instead of paying the full tuition upfront, students could spread their payments over a full year.

Periodically – and by “periodically” here, I mean “around 50 times a month” – PayPal cancels a payment plan (what PayPal refers to as a subscription). Sometimes this is because a credit card expired, sometimes this is because a payment bounced, and sometimes this is because the moon is in Virgo.

When this happens we get an email notification telling us that the subscription was cancelled. In response to this, we send out a standard email to get the sorting it out party started…

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