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Surface Pattern Design

What are you working on this last full week of May? What will make this week meaningful for you?

It’s worth taking the time to pause and consider what you’re meant to bring into this world — instead of rushing from project to project, client to client, activity to activity.

I’m playing with pattern before jumping into a day of web designing. And — I’m grateful for friends who speak truth and tell me that patterns are important and meaningful.

Is a standing desk fun to use?

Is the standing desk HYPE real?

You’ve seen the articles, read the blog posts — standing desks are supposedly great for your health. This is my second week with a sit/stand desk from Ikea and I wanted to share the real life experience of how it’s going. But first let’s back up a bit…

Has there been a time in your life when you felt vital, alive, healthy, strong and happy?

That life was a reality for me when I spent a summer as a camp counselor during college. Everyday I was outside, walking, hiking, running, jumping, swimming, and playing. I spent hours standing up as I cared for campers and watched them on the climbing wall, archery range, and playing capture the flag. Each night I’d fall asleep happily exhausted, smelling of sun block and bug spray.

One of the reasons I felt wonderful?

Because I was moving and standing up everyday.

Then came graduation and full-time work. Folded up in an office chair, half pretzel half sloth was my go-to body shape, for the past 10 years. One knee tucked up under my booty, torso slouched to the right hovering over the mouse. Holding my breath. Slowly transforming my frame into a weak blob. Yes, I’d take stretch breaks, go for jogs, and workout but still felt lackluster.

I’ve been looking into a standing desks for a year and a half. Many were wildly expensive… touch screen remotes and all. I pinned a few ‘Build Your Own’ wall-mounted standing desk options but wasn’t quite sold on those ideas. Spring hit and purchasing a standing desk was a top priority.

Ikea Standing Desk Review | Passage Hill Studio | Graphic & Web Designer

This adjustable sit/stand desk from Ikea was the gem I’d been envisioning. If you’re considering purchasing a standing desk, do your research and find one that fits your space, needs, and life.

Real Life Standing Desk Benefits after a Week and a Half.

I was excited to try the standing desk but didn’t know if the internet-hype of the standing desk was real. Here’s what I’ve noticed over the past week and a half of slowly easing into working at my standing desk a few hours a day.

  • Muscles throughout my body quiver — finally being more adequately used after years of sitting.
  • No longer holding my breath as I work.
  • Feel muscle groups activated throughout the remainder of my day.
  • Physically more worn out at the end of the day (instead of simply receiving a mental workout).
  • Mind and body feel much more integrated.
  • More focus + creativity because my body can fidget and move while I work.
  • Easier to be mindful of holding good posture.
  • Effortless to move about my studio office and grab things I need.
  • Calves burning.
  • Energy feels like it’s flowing more freely in my body, it’s no longer stunted.

All that in just a week and a half; I’m amazed.

When my legs tire, I simply lean back and prop myself on the edge of my “gumdrop stool” (as my husband so hilariously calls it).

What I like about this desk is the sit/stand capability. It has a sturdy crank for lowering and raising the desk for optimal working height. And if I need to sit for a short session – the desk lowers down in a matter of seconds. Versatility is great, isn’t it?

Yes, for me, the standing desk hype is real.

Here’s a peek at the other areas I’m revamping in my home studio office.

Using Pinterest, I created vision boards for the visual look and feel I wanted my studio office exude. Minimalist with a cozy, artistic flair. Space to read hordes of business books, paint, sketch, design.

Graphic Designer's Office Mood Board

Warm yet grounded. Fuchsias, oranges, reds, and purples combined with emerald greens, soft blue, and minty accents. I adore handmade and hand painted goodies and want them tucked around the room.

Office Mood Board for Graphic Designer, Graphic Designer West Michigan

Here’s my reading, thinking, brainstorming nook and recently built closet. My uncle did the painting; I think it’s what started the warm cheery inspiration for the whole room.

Reading Nook in Home Studio

Wrapping Up

The standing desk hype is real for me. You might love one too.

What’s one positive change you could make to your workspace TODAY in order to increase your flow, happiness, functionality and enjoyment of the space? Let me know in the comments below.

ebook for copywriter

You often see my polished-up finished designs but rarely see behind the scenes. In this series on the blog called, “Behind the Design“, I give you a peek at my process of crafting fun and memorable branding pieces and designs for my world-changing clients.

Optin Freebie Designer | Passage Hill Studio

In this post I’ll share my most recent design project — an optin e-book for Nikki Groom, who’s an inspiring copywriter and boss storyteller. She’ll be sharing this freebie on her website with people who subscribe to her email list.

Mood Board | Passage Hill Studio
Nikki and I started her project with a conversation in order for me to get to know her and understand the vision for the optin e-book, ‘The Story Effect: How to Craft and Unforgettable Story that Influences, Inspires, and Converts’. Using her brand mood board as inspiration for the optin was key.

Colors and Fonts | Passage Hill Studio

Since Nikki’s brand is already established it was important that I use her existing color palette and fonts to develop the optin piece. This helps keep her visuals consistent with one another to reinforce her brand and work in this world.

hand drawn and hand painted elements for freebie optin cover | Passage Hill Studio

Nikki’s mood board was full of hand drawn elements. I love to paint and draw so I scribbled and brushed several unique marks that I could use to give the optin e-book a one-of-a-kind flair.

Optin Cover Design, Freebie Design, Passage Hill Studio

Here’s how some of those painted brushstrokes and crayon marks look when they’re combined for the optin cover. Nikki worked with an illustrator named Amber (you can find her on IG: @heyinstigator) for the edgy lettering on her website. She wanted to carry over the same look for the optin piece and had Amber letter ‘The Story Effect’ title in a rad hot pink.

Awesome Freebie Cover Designs | Passage Hill Studio

For several interior pages of the optin e-book I carried over the bold black brush strokes as a border for the layout.

Optin Freebie Ideas | Passage Hill Studio

I also used a green border and varied scribbled marks on several interior pages that showcased stories and Nikki’s many writing tips. I was sure to incorporate a fair amount of white space in the layout so the text felt fresh and easily readable.

Nikki Groom's Optin

So what does it look like when we put it all together? Check out Nikki’s optin e-book over on her website right here. It’s nine pages of killer tips to help you write an incredible story that influences, inspires, and converts.

If you’re a world changer with daring dreams and you’re looking to make them a reality… I’m here to help with design. My schedule is filling up quickly for these next two months (May/June) but I’d love to save a spot for your project! Click below to contact me.


Set Yourself Up to Live Well & Do Meaningful Work | Passage Hill Studio #worklifebalance #entrepreneur #socialimpact

Are you prepared to live well and do your best work today?

If you think about it… it’s all about the setup! Ensuring that you’re ready to press into the day before you. Daily rhythms are smoother when you have all you need in place for a meaningful day.

Make Your List

What would make today great? What moments of work and play lay before you? Is there anything you can do to setup those moments so there’s less resistance to dig into them? Make a list of what you’d like to accomplish for fun and work today, this week, and even this month.

Once you have your list, begin devising your plan of setup and preparation. Here are some areas that I consider on a regular basis:


What do you do for work? What areas could use preparation?

Do you need write down a description of your ideal client/project and post it near your desk as a reminder of the work you’ll agree to? What about taking note of the impact you want to have, and change you want to make in this world? Is your “why” visible as you work?

Could you keep a file of blog post ideas next to your computer? What supplies for your next project can you set up in your office? Are there templates (Word, Photoshop, Blog Image, Podcast) you could create that would make workflow easier?

What systems could you put in place to make client acquisition, client projects, invoicing, accounting, managing your members site, selling your ebook, writing, stocking your Etsy shop easier?

What processes can you weave into your daily work schedule so you’re not recreating the wheel every time you begin?

Reflection & Reading & Writing

Do you enjoy reading, journaling, or reflecting? What would make it easier to dive into that activity? Set your book, notebook, and pen on a side table near the couch/chair you like to read in. Schedule in time for reading, scribbling notes on what you read, and reflecting on the wisdom you uncover.

If you’re searching the house for your book/pen/notebook your reading session might be cut short. Or, you’ll be interrupted mid-sentence when you realize you’d like to write a quote down but you forgot your pen on your desk.


Want to make it out for a bike ride? Set your gear in one place. Fill your water bottle the night before your ride. Want to stick to your yoga practice? Set up an area with your yoga mat where you can spend time each day. Hitting the trails for a run? Gather your shoes and clothes and put them by the door.

Eat Well

Set yourself up to eat well by finding healthy recipes (pin them on Pinterest if you need to), make a grocery list full of healthy items and stick to it as you shop. Allot time each day (or on a weekend if you’re cooking in batches) to prep and cook your meals. This will save you from making last minute ‘fast-food’ decisions.


What do you love doing after your daily work has ended? Is it nature photography? Painting? Landscaping? Baking?

What can you do to set up your materials, tools, and supplies so that you’re ready the moment you want to play?

Do you need to make ready a small painting table in a nook of your home? Organize your recipes, cook books, and ingredients? Charging your camera battery? Set out your rake, shovel, and vegetable seed packets?

Eliminate Your Roadblocks

You won’t face as many roadblocks to doing what you love when you setup your days and prepare all you need for the tasks at hand.


Remember that setups, preparation, and systems can be flexible. Try it one way for a while. If you don’t like a certain preparation, change it up and make it more you. Do what works!

What area of your work or life needs setup?

What’s one area of your work or life that you’d like to be more prepared in? Share with me in the comments below.

This awesome stock photo came from ieTishana. She has a free photo-set for you!

Meaningful 'Asks' to Help You Find Your Next Client | Passage Hill Studio

Make meaningful asks to find clients.

As we wrap up the week of client-finding tips let’s cover the meaningful asks you can make to bring clients your way. [Here's Day 1 of the Series] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4]

Ask current clients for testimonials and referrals.

When you wrap up a project or interaction with a current client or customer thank them and ask if they’d write you a short testimonial of your work together. Place these testimonials on your website or share them on social media.

Kindly tell them that you often grow your business through referrals and word of mouth. “Since you’ve enjoyed working with me and are highly satisfied with the outcome of the project, please pass my name along to anyone you think could benefit from working with me.” It doesn’t have to sound tight laced as this, this is simply a starting place.

If you want to take it a step further you could ask for email or in person introductions to the folks they have in mind.

Ask for feedback on a project or product.

Start in on a project, then put it out on social media and ask for feedback. Developing a new $10 recipe ebook for your food blog? Let folks into the process. “I’m sharing two veggie-packed recipes that’ll be featured in my upcoming ebook. I want to be sure I have the flavors just right. Test them out and let me know what you think! What adjustments could I make?”

Have an Etsy shop for your painted creations? Try asking, “I’m not sure which frame to put this painting in. Black or white? Which one really helps the painting stand out?”

People will have a tendency to get involved and remember you and what you offer because you gave them the opportunity to provided insight. Ask for input regularly and your potential client/customer base will feel they have vested interest in what you create for them.

Be vulnerable. Ask for support and help.

Let people know who you are. No, you don’t have to be overly nitty gritty online — but take off your superhero-professional-businessperson mask every now and then. What this does is gives people common ground and makes you relatable because they face struggles too.

Call out for help online, “Not feeling like doing my accounting today. It’s super draining. Anyone have any tips to make it more fun?” Or, “I’m going to print a batch of my paintings but I’m looking for a high quality online print shop. Who would you recommend?” “I’m hosting an online workshop on ____. What broadcasting programs are your favorites?”

It’s refreshing when a business person doesn’t have all the answers. It shows their human side, and at least for me, makes me like and trust them all the more.

Let people know you’re booking clients.

If you’re taking on new customers or clients, let people know every month or two, depending on your client cycle. Your announcements don’t have to be obtrusive. Make a nice graphic or photo to use as your header photo on Facebook, on your website, and other social media accounts. “Now booking photography sessions for April & May.” It’ll reminds folks what you offer and how you can help.

Also considered including your “now booking statement” in your email signature with a reminder of your services. Keep it short and sweet! “Now Booking Spring 2016: Family Portrait Sessions, Easter Photos, Infant Sessions.”

Prayer and positivity.

I know not everyone follows a spiritual path, or the same path I do. Please do what works for you. What I’ve found though, is great encouragement from prayer and surrounding myself with positivity. Something I often pray in terms of life and business is, “Establish what you desire in my life, God.” And he does. The more I pray and surrender, the more my business grows.

Place positive mantras and uplifting words in your workspace. One of my favorites is Psalm 44:3, “Is was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.” This reminds me that everything I have and do is from God and the gifts he pours out on me.

Today’s ‘finding new clients’ challenge!

Pick one tip from the list above and put it to work in your business. Which one will you commit to work on today? Let me know in the comments below. And remember… sometimes all you need to do to find your next client is make a meaningful ask.

If you could use more encouraging ideas like these to grow your business, sign up below! I’ll also send you my Brand Decoder Toolkit for free.

Using Groups to Find Your Next Client | Passage Hill Studio

Are you ready for new clients to come your way?

Today’s tips for finding new clients begin with joining groups and making the most of them. [Here's Day 1 of the Series] [Day 2] [Day 3]

Find a Mastermind Group

If you’ve been looking for support, encouragement, and friendship to propel your life and business forward — a Mastermind group might be exactly what you’re looking for. My Mastermind group created this video with practical tips to help you find a group.

Several great clients have been passed to me through my group. It’s because the ladies in my group know me. We have meaningful relationships. They know what kind of work I do, how I help, the kind of people I work well with and vice versa. People love recommending people they know, like, and trust.

Join Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are pretty popular these days. The key is finding a group that’s a good fit for you, your personality, and the services you offer. Join several groups that have a mission and purpose you can stand behind. Hang out, decipher people’s motives. Are they helpful? Kind? Uplifting? Do they provide great feedback and genuinely want mutually beneficial business connections?

Get involved in the groups you join and be helpful. Introduce yourself and give a short explanation of what you do for a living. Most groups have a rule against blatantly posting salesy type info (some have certain days set up for self-promotion). Ask questions, ask for feedback, pipe up when you can help with your area of expertise. As folks get to know you and your services they’ll want to hire you or recommend you to others. Give the group a try for a few weeks to get the feel of it and the people in it.

Don’t get discouraged if a group isn’t a good fit. Leave the group and move on. Every group won’t be for you. I prefer joining smaller groups (50-200 people) where people can really get to know you. Yes, the groups with thousands of people can be helpful but don’t get overly consumed trying to keep up with everything that goes on in them. Pop in now and again to offer something helpful.

Community Groups, Workshops, Conferences

Are there organizations in your town you can be part of? Chamber of Commerce? Young Entrepreneurs? Monthly workshops for tech gurus? Participate in live workshops, events, and conferences in your town or around the globe.

When you attend — arrive with a heart and mind that’s ready to know others well. Have meaningful conversations with those in attendance. Don’t swap business cards and leave it at that, go in depth with people. Open up about your success and struggles in business. (No you don’t need to dish everything, but someone may be facing a similar challenge in their own business and you two could find common ground in that conversation. Folks might even offer helpful advice.) Before you share that side of your business test the waters to be sure that vulnerability is appreciated in that setting.

Every group/conference/organization won’t be for you. Try multiple outlets. Stick with the ones that feel genuine and have an atmosphere of camaraderie and helping one another flourish. I try to shy away from groups that have a sleazy feeling standard of “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”.

LinkedIn Groups

Try connecting with folks within LinkedIn groups. Can you join your college alumni group, a city based group, a global entrepreneurs group on LinkedIn?

While it’s great to join groups that are in your field (fitness trainers, music teachers, graphic designers) for support and to stay up on trends and such, try diversifying your group experience. Look for groups that are multi-disciplinary. You’ll have better luck finding clients who need your services when you’re not always grouped in with folks who offer the same services as you.

Today’s ‘finding new clients’ challenge!

Pick one tip from the list above and put it to work in your business. Which one will you commit to work on today? Let me know in the comments below. And remember… not every group will be for you. Find the ones that work.

If you could use more encouraging ideas like these to grow your business, sign up below! I’ll also send you my Brand Decoder Toolkit for free.

Where to find new clients | Build Your Business | Passage Hill Studio

Are you ready for new clients to come your way?

Today’s tips for finding your next awesome clients begin with worthwhile steps you can take while you wait. [Here's Day 1 of the Series] [Day 2]

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” – Abraham Lincoln

Do good work even when you don’t have clients.

When you’re looking for new clients — keep working. Keep practicing your craft and sharing it with others. Austin Kleon has tried and true tips for sharing your work.

If you’re a singer looking for your next gig… don’t simply look for your next gig. Sing! Share that singing online. Break out your guitar and share that singing in a park. Offer to sing at a friend’s backyard garden party.

You never know who might hear and hire you or pass your name along. Keep building your body of work and sharing it with others. Love what you do and show it in process.

Be Ready!

Know what kind of clients and customers you’re looking for. When you’re out and about or connecting with others online you might be asked, “What type of clients can I send your way?” Be prepared with an answer.

Have business cards on you at all times.

You’re walking your dog in the park and run into another dog lover. You strike up a conversation with them on the park bench. The chit chat turns to work. Guess what?

He needs the service you offer! “Hey! I’m looking for an event planner for my dad’s 60th.” The last thing you want is to fumble as you try and scribble your name and email on a crumpled gum wrapper. Keep your purse or wallet stocked with business cards.

There’ve been multiple times when I’m out and about, hardly thinking of on-boarding clients. But before you know it I’m in the produce aisle handing my business card to someone at their request.

Know what you’ve been up to!

When folks ask what you’ve been up to don’t say, “Oh busy. You know.” Share something genuine. Have a meaningful answer that’s 90% life and 10% business. “Life. Life. Life. Oh! I’m also working on this project, ____ is what’s making it fun, and I think it’ll have lasting impact because ____.”

Sharing a tidbit about what you’ve been up to (and why you’re loving it) places your work in front of folks. It introduces (or reminds) them what you do, what makes you tick, and plants a seed for potential clients to come your way.

Try a different medium!

If your main medium is blog posting, try showcasing yourself to your audience in a different way. Do you need more visuals? What about charts? Why not give the broadcasting tools Periscope or Blab a try? Tweet. Youtube. Hang out in your community if you mostly seek clients online.

By creating content in a variety of forms you’ll be meeting potential customers in the way they absorb information best, and on a variety of platforms they use.

Make freebies for your blog posts.

Create a one page, helpful, pdf to compliment your blog posts. Checklists, note pages, actionable steps. In these downloadable freebies, link to your contact info. When people use your resource they’ll be reminded of who you are, how you help, and your website address. This is also a great way to up your email subscriber list.

Are you ready to handle new clients?

I know that may sound silly, but are you prepared to put in the work? To handle a slew of new clients coming your way? Are you putting off finding new clients because you don’t have systems in place to handle them once you acquire them?

Are you stressed when you find clients because there’s a lot to organize, keep track of, work on, and deadlines to meet? Get set up so you can dive in. This is especially helpful if multiple clients come your way at one time.

Today’s ‘finding new clients’ challenge!

Pick one tip from the list above and put it to work in your business. Which one will you commit to work on today? Let me know in the comments below. And remember… do everything you can to be prepared before potential clients come your way.

If you could use more encouraging ideas like these to grow your business, sign up below! I’ll also send you my Brand Decoder Toolkit for free.

Where to find new clients | Grow your business | Passage Hill Studio #startup #entrepreneur #solopreneur

Relationships are key.

Today’s ideas for finding new clients begin with being kind and helpful, and fostering meaningful connections and relationships. [Here's Day 1 of the Series]

Allison Fallon likes to say, “People will tell you to ‘position yourself as an expert’ to be an author, but honestly, I’d rather position myself as a friend.”

Let that sink in as you seek your next awesome clients, no matter your business, and ponder these 9 tips.

Help people!

My largest branding job came after I purchased an online course. The payment page-redirects and emails that were sent after the monetary transactions happened were goofed up. I kindly emailed the creator of the course, and helped her sort through the back end of the problem.

Three years later (you never know what a little help will turn into!) she approached me to become her graphic designer. It led to 8 months of gloriously awesome projects. At the time I wasn’t thinking, ‘If I help her now, I’ll get a client out of her later.’ Help to help, to know others better. Let people know you’re on their side and have their back.

Comment on blogs with a twist!

Interacting with other bloggers and commenters online is an excellent way to get your name out there and begin building relationships. Here’s an idea to take it a step further. In the ‘website’ box of the comment section try linking to a blog post of yours that relates to the topic at hand. Use this tip sparingly.

For example, if you come across a post on mindfulness in the workplace, leave a meaningful comment for the author and then link back to your post on “10 ways to be more mindful at work today!” instead of your homepage. If anyone happens to click over to your site from your comment — they’ll see your post on a topic they’re already interested in.

Answer questions on the interwebs.

I read a blog post about an entrepreneur who was taken advantage of by a web designer. Their work together went down in flames. In the comment section I empathized with the poster and shared helpful tips to have a better relationship with a future designer.

A year later a potential client contact me, out of the blue, because he saw my response to that post. He said he loved my work and perspective. It’s amazing what can happen when you intentionally leave a trail of helpful breadcrumbs online that lead people back to your work. The best part? I wasn’t in it to “find all the awesome customers”. My intention was to help and in turn customers came my way.

Collaborate for fun.

Nothing starts the friendship ball rolling like collaborating with people you admire. Know a photographer you’d love to work with? Ask if you can pair up to create a fun ebook. Following a singer’s work? Ask if they’d like to record a song for the opening credits of your movie.

Making connections through collaboration will introduce both of you to each other’s larger friend/customer/business base. More introductions = more great clients. A friend is easier to recommend than a stranger.

Host a free workshop.

What are you great at? Take your greatness, develop content, and host a free workshop online or in person. Generously share the knowledge you have and befriend those who attend. The level of connection that happens in workshop settings tends to be deeper than getting to know others over short tweets and Facebook posts.

These days I find that “free workshops” mean 30 minutes of content, a teaser about one more vital piece of information coming at the end of the workshop (stick it out to the end folks!), and 30 minutes of a hard sell of the presenter’s products: “OH MY GOSH, BUY MY STUFF!” Then a mediocre tip at the end. It feels yucky.

Here’s how to host a workshop well: A few years ago Jeff Goins co-hosted a workshop with Jonathan Mead. The session was jampacked with helpful, actionable tips and lasted for about 58 minutes (yours can be shorter if you’d like). In that first hour they offered immense value and shared so many success stories that I trusted them almost instantly. Heart centered people, genuine, kind, kindred entrepreneurs. In the last two minutes Jonathan very gently and casually mentioned his online class. I was sold because I wasn’t sold to. Bought the course on the spot. I’d also been following Jeff for about a year online at that point so I knew his character. Knew he was a good guy, and if he trusted Jonathan, I could too.

Build relationships and rapport.

Follow the people you’d like to work with online for a while. Interact with them multiple times. Leave fun comments. Ask meaningful questions. Tweet them out. Share their work online. Be genuinely interested in their life — not just as a potential client but as a whole person, and even a friend!

Yes, there are times when folks buy an item or service from you the first time they find you online. Other times potential clients need to become comfortable with you before they commit to working with you.

Hop on video calls to get to know people!

If you see someone creating great work and you want to get to know them — reach out to them. “I see you’re a furniture restorer. I’d love to get to know more about what you do!”

Ask if they’d be interested in hopping on a video Skype call or Google Hangout with you. Learn about them, get to know them. Ask about their background, what’s bringing joy to their life and work, ask what kind of clients you can send their way. This generosity and conversation might be the start of a meaningful friendship.

Follow up with folks.

If someone mentioned that a post or info was helpful, follow up with them in a few weeks to see if they implemented the information and how you can help again.

After a potential client contacts you for assistance with their photography, but hasn’t yet made the decision to hire you, follow up with them. Several times over the course of weeks or months. Be courteous and kind. If you haven’t heard back from them, perhaps it’s not because they don’t want to work with you. Maybe they’re busy and lost track of your email in the daily blur.

Keep in regular contact with your email list.

If you have an email list — use it as a key connection point. If people have signed up for your email list, it means they’re already interested in what you have to offer. Inviting folks to pass over from ‘email reader’ to ‘customer’ is easier when you’re regularly interacting with them.

Share what you’ve been up to, deliver the content you promised to give them, offer value and freebies. Have a footer in your email that mentions you’re booking clients.

Today’s ‘finding new clients’ challenge!

Pick one tip from the list above and put it to work in your business. Which one will you commit to work on today? Let me know in the comments below. And remember… it’s about relationships.

If you could use more encouraging ideas like these to grow your business, sign up below! I’ll also send you my Brand Decoder Toolkit for free.

How to Find New Clients | Passage Hill Studio

This week I’m sharing 5 days of tips to help you find new clients.

I’d like to preface the series with an analogy.

Finding awesome new clients is a lot like planting grass seed in your front yard.

You prep the yard by removing the sticks and leaves, leveling the ground, and spreading quality topsoil. But, when it comes time to plant grass seed you fling one solitary seed of grass into the soil, hoping your yard grows. We all know that’s not the way to a beautiful, green yard.

Strangely though, that’s often the approach people take when finding new clients. They pitch a seed or two into the interwebs and cross their fingers for growth.

Tossing a seed in the soil is a lot like having a slick website and hoping it’ll bring in a slew of new clients. Yes, having a well-designed website that showcases your business offerings is a good starting point but there’s much more you can do to find the clients you long to work with.

Instead you need to scatter as many seeds as possible. You need to be prolific in a meaningful way if you hope to have a lush, yard full of wonderful clients.

It’s time to Check Your Motives

Today’s client finding tips are all about motives! Your potential customers will more than likely be able to see your motives in action when you communicate with them. Let’s ensure they see what’s genuine.

Check Your Motives | Find Awesome New Clients | Passage Hill Studio

Don’t be salesy all the time.

Have you heard of the ABC sales slogan? It means “always be closing”. Always sell, always close those sales. That slogan feels rather icky-telemarketing-esque to me. In order to find clients, yes, they need to know you’re offering something but you don’t have to be frantic. The key is to broaden your scope of conversation and interaction with people so it’s not salesy a hundred percent of the time.

If the only thing you communicate online and in the real world about your business is, “Hey, I sell this killer product… let me tell you about it…”, or “Hey, I’m offering blah, blah, blah, this week…” people will be turned off!

There isn’t a hard and fast rule for this but consider 10-20% sales talk (aka – gently and kindly talking about your offerings) and the remaining 80-90% helping others, doing meaningful work, taking on fun projects and collaborating, making a difference in the world, etc. Let your work speak for itself. That method is more attractive than shoving products in front of folks, especially in this marketing saturated culture.

Drop the one-sided motive.

If potential customers or clients can sense an underlying motive that’s purely one sided they’ll run the other way. As in, “I want to sell a zillion copies of this ebook so I can be location independent and sun my buns on the Caribbean shore.” Yes, your motives may not be that one-sided but examine them.

Are you communicating, firstly, that your products or services truly help others? If not, try an make that sift. Potential customers want to know what’s in it for them, how your offering will transform their lives.

Know others well.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received a cold email from a person who’s trying to sell me something or shove a product in my face. They start out saying, “I love your blog.” Great. That’s generic as heck and they could (and do) say that to anyone.

Before you reach out to people to gently pitch your services or offerings to them, study their business, work, projects. Get invested by reading through their website, several blog posts, and diving deep into their offerings. Know what they’re about. When you reach out to folks be genuine and specific with your comments. “I read your post on choosing a perfect paint color and it helped me x,y,z. Thanks!” Don’t follow up with a sales pitch of what you offer. Leave it at that for now. They might reply with words of thanks and ask you what you do or what you’re working on. Perfect opening.

Swap services.

If you’re looking to grow your client base consider hiring someone or swapping services with another professional. Ensure they’re services or products that’ll enhance your business before your purchase. Hire an expert to edit your about page on your website. When they work with you to tweak your content, they’ll see the genuine person you are and might hire you for severals sessions of life coaching.

Trade photography for fitness coaching. Professional organizing for non profit consulting. Event planning for nutrition guidance. Purchase someone else’s ebook or mini-course. By trading — or paying for someone else’s service you’re introduced to more people. Entrepreneurs who will begin to know, like, and trust you. People who will want to refer others your way.

Share what others are doing.

In our businesses it’s easy to think we need to talk about ourselves. What we’re working on, offering, developing. While that’s true, make it a priority to tweet, Facebook share, Instagram shout out, or blog about other people.

Create a blog post of product or service round ups of entrepreneurs you admire. Interview a solopreneur on your podcast or during a Twitter chat. When you share other’s work you create an atmosphere of camaraderie, one that will likely get others to share about your work. Testimonials and shares from your admirers will bring in more clients than if you were solely singing your own praises.

Today’s ‘finding new clients’ challenge!

Pick one tip from the list above and put it to work in your business. Which one will you commit to work on today? Let me know in the comments below. And remember… be prolific.

If you could use more encouraging ideas like these to grow your business, sign up below! I’ll also send you my Brand Decoder Toolkit for free.

How to Find New Clients

Finding new clients can be a mystery process…

but it doesn’t have to be!

If you’re struggling to find clients, are waiting for them to come your way, you’ve hit a client ‘dry spell’, or are starting out on your entrepreneurial journey — next week is YOUR week! 

I’ll be sharing 5 days of tips, here on the blog, to help you move through the world authentically, generously offer your gifts, and find awesome clients!

I have 30 non-salesy, unconventional, relational-based ideas

to help you find clients that make your heart sing and your business grow. I’ve put all the tips to the test so I know they work!

In order for each tip sink in and to give you time to take action, I’ll share a few ideas each day next week (March 14-18), Monday through Friday.

If you could use more clients, ones that align with your values and appreciate your talents, sign up below so you don’t miss a single tip!