From Lessons Come Lemonade (+ Contracts)

Lemonade | Badass'D Biz+InkIt’s 3am, I must be lonely (you just sang that, didn't you?). It’s 3am and you’re FINALLY finishing up your project. Your brain's dead and your eyes are crossed. You finished it days ago, but the client kept coming at you for revisions, until your work was no longer recognizable.

It’s okay, though, because you’ve NAILED his request this time. Push send. Go to bed. Happy.

But said client isn’t digging it and says the stars are no longer aligned in your favor so he wants a refund. WHAT?


You double check your emails, Skype notes, and invoices, no mention of “nonrefundable” anywhere.

Damn it (headdesk).

Had you used a contract, instead of email, you’d have that deposit still in your hands. Had you not let his charm make you feel at home, you’d have put that “nonrefundable” clause in there. Had you not been in a hurry, you wouldn't have forgotten the most important word in your invoice terms.

Expensive Lesson Learned

It happens. I know. And it's all good. You know why? Had I not learned an expensive lesson just like this yesterday, I'd not invested in amazing resource that's going to save me thousands of dollars this year. Yep. Thousands. 

So the lesson I learned that I want YOU to learn without losing hundreds of dollars?

Protect yourself. Protect your business. Protect your profits.

Email vs. Contracts

Up until yesterday, I was using email as contracts. They are binding. But, here’s the thing. If you forget to put something in or in a moment of weakness, choose not to, you could get burned.

Just like I did. (I'm aware canned emails are an option, but you run the risk of leaving out a lot of important points that smart people like lawyers (I’m looking at you, Mitch Jackson! Thank you for your help!) remember to cover). Besides, Ash Ambirge over at The Middle Finger Project says this about not using email as contracts, "Because you'll get sued up the ass." Not kidding. Exactly what she said. (And also why she created the Small Business Bodyguard...we're coming to that part, hang on).

But dealing with clients and contracts can be touchy.

Email feels more relaxed. It’s easier to deal with. You give people the benefit of the doubt. So you choose not to sound snotty and leave out the non-refundable clause in your email. Or you choose not to risk losing them by excluding it from the deposit invoice. Or you choose not to bring it up at all in your initial talks.

Now you're playing with your money. You cannot risk losing profits at the whim of a client deciding to nix a project, for whatever reason.

Set Up a System to Help You Deal with the Dirty Word

When you’re contacted about your service, get the request out of email ASAP. In a friendly, relaxed tone, get them to agree to a Skype meeting and talk face-to-face, where you’ll happily talk all about how great their project is. But don’t be a wuss  when it comes to talking contract details. Put it all out on the table – in a very nonchalant way.

"Contract"'s a dirty word. It’s big and intimidating and makes them feel like  they might risk some cash if they’re not happy. You can’t worry about how it looks to them, but you can make them feel good about it. Address those fears and sway them – in the contract – and in the meeting. Ship over the details of the call in an email with the contract, as soon as you're done.

Cover Your Ass

You are an entrepreneur.

You are running a business.

You have to protect your profits.

Do not play games because you think contracts and legal mumbo jumbo are too scary for them. If they are, those clients don’t belong on your project calendar anyway.

The Lesson

Because of the little lesson I learned, I invested in the Small Business Bodyguard yesterday (yep, that's an affiliate link because I ADORE mine!). Contracts and disclosures are Badass’D Biz because profits are as badass as it gets.

Don’t sweat the details, SBB does it for you. You’ll get $5000 worth of legal advice and templates for a measly $275. Even saw in the testimonials how SBB saved one user $20,000 in taxes. Can’t wait to find out how that works!

Get your biz together. Get these lawyer contracts in your corner. Protect your profits.

Tell me what you use to bind clients? Email or contracts?

Three Ways to Magnetize Your Ideal Client

Plan for success | Tania Dakka“I need bios for my social media. Are you available? Go ahead and invoice me.” “I need a post. Are you available?”

“I need my site copy overhauled with some of your flair. Can you do it now?”

It’s that easy.

When you work with your ideal clients, they come to you waiting for the invoice so they can go ahead and pay you to get started on their project. Sounds unrealistic, doesn’t it?

It’s not.

When you work with people who love you and your style, they come to you ready to work, not ready to haggle and waste time. That’s just what happens when they want to hire you! And when you deliver, it’s roses and caviar, baby!

If you don’t have coaching clients lined up or projects in the waiting, then you haven’t attracted your ideal clients yet. No worries, though! You can.

And you will.

There are three things you need to know to magnetize them.

Your Style

I’m a hard hitter, not a “woo-woo” writer. So people that dig on me are not people that are easily taken in by “mystical love language”. Hey, I ADORE you, but I believe in tough love ;).

So what’s your style? Who’s going to love you? Who already loves you? How do your styles jive? What do they love about you?

Your Offering

You have to know your product inside and out. Yes, I know you know your craft, silly. But you need to know all the solutions your craft offers your clients.

Is it a better life? A better career? A better way to communicate with their own clients? No holding back when you nail these because you need to dig up all the benefits that your offering represents to all your potential clients.

Your Ideal Client: Wants, Desires, and Fears

Your ideal client needs you. It’s your job to make their dreams come true. Before we jump off the deep end, let’s not get crazy! Luckily the dreams they want you to realize for them aren’t dreams of grandeur. They’re dreams of a better way to communicate. Of a better way to run a business. Of a life less complicated. Whatever you can give them.

But you can’t fulfill those desires if you aren’t acutely aware of what they are.

So if you’re not planning on joining us at my party on Friday, then you’ll miss some easy to use tools that’ll help you identify those desires (among other things) and satisfy them.

Don’t know your ideal client yet? Or you do, but you don’t know how to uncover their needs?

Join me, Jon Mehlman of Hubspot, Shameer Shah of Business Banter, and Kristy Oustalet of The Creative Coach for a rockin’ time learning about your ideal client and how to play spy games to win :) Party starts at 10am EST on Google+!

Be sure to register through Eventbrite because even if you can’t make it live, I’ll still send you the tools to your inbox when the light’s have gone out. And, you’re going to LOVE these tools!

Thanks for reading! See you there!

T <3

PS Here’s the full lowdown of what registrants for the party walk away with:

  • 6 categories of shoppers
  • Their characteristics so you can identify your ideal’s best one and start offering him goodies that align with his goals
  • Where and how to find said characteristics so you don’t have to rely solely on awkward interviews
  • A tool to help you collect and organize your ideal’s mental info
  • A checklist to help keep your products stay in line with ideal’s goals so they actually want to buy them (the Product Architect)

Get over to Eventbrite to register and start making your life easier by dealing only with clients that love and adore you!

Showing Up Does NOT Guarantee Success

Glengarry Glen Ross Tania DakkaCheck Twitter. RT some goodies. Check Facebook. Get lost in everyone’s banter.Run over to Google+ and share some excitement there. Check email. Respond to a scant few that need responses.

Write a post. Share it.

That’s it. That’s showing up. That’s what I did for the last three weeks. And I got ZERO out of those weeks. In my defense, that’s all I needed and wanted to do – survive. But, as soon as inspiration struck (in the form of a foul-mouthed Alec Baldwin speech from Glengarry Glen Ross), I switched gears. (That bit's here.)

If you’re not familiar with Glengarry Glen Ross, you should be. Every entrepreneur should be. By the time the speech was over, I was packing to sign some real estate clients, then I realized I’m not even in real estate! That’s how powerful his speech was.

Baldwin basically said, in no uncertain terms, if you’re not closing, you’re not shit. Well, I can’t have people stepping on me like that, can you?? We've got to push to prove to people like Blake (Baldwin) that we are THE shit. Not shit.

And the lesson learned? We have to prepare to do that.

Prepare for Success

Baldwin closed deals because he knew his stuff. He was prepared to handle anything a “sit” would throw at him. And that’s what you have to do.

You have to know who you are sitting with (i.e. the client or prospect), what they need, what their perceived problems are, what their real problems are, and how you are the only solution they need.

Sounds easy peasy, right? :)

It’s not. It takes work. Baldwin said in his speech that he could go out on a sit that night and earn $15,000 in two hours. He couldn’t do that with only his charm or good looks (even if we’re talking 90’s Baldwin :D). He could earn that because he knew how to listen, how to talk and how to address concerns.

Now you have to learn how to do those things.

Where and How?

You spend time researching your clients. Talk to them. Get to know them. But not just on a superficial level, on an intimate level. Not like THAT - geez! Learn how to read their minds, how to interpret their feelings. ;) Tweet it?

For example, I can sell to my husband because I know how he thinks. He thrives on respect and success. I talk to him and those terms and I can “sell” him on most of my hair-brained ideas (someone say Harley?). My brother is a big goofball and I can sell him with a little humor. Get him laughing and he’ll say yes. One of my best friends just wants to be understood and felt cared for because she’s always caring for others. So, I’d talk to her in words that let her know that she is supported if I wanted to sell her something.

What About Your Client?

Now, if you have access to that kind of info on a regular basis - you know, like your best friend is your ideal client and you know how to deal with her, then you have a leg up on your competition right there.

But, if you don’t have that access, then you’ve got to be a little scrappy.

It’s time to start stalking! Wait, don’t be creepy. This is only for observation and learning purposes, get me? :)

Follow your ideal client all over social media and read up on what’s going on in her head. Then, put yourself in her shoes. Walk that walk. Then, next time she asks you a question, or asks a question on social media, or the next time you need to create a piece of content (which is, like, right now and all the time!), you can answer with her pain and emotions in mind.

Your preparation’ll show her you understand her and can help her solve that irritating problem because you built a connection, a bond, with her. Because you took the time to listen, learn, and relate.

That’s the key to closing deals. That’s the key to giving clients what they need. And that’s how you prepare for success.

Any questions? ;) Get out there and get busy. You have clients to study and deals to close.