Episode 119: Adding Services for Stability with Hailey Dale
Maybe you’ve been thinking about adding a product or program to the mix with your services…but what if services are really what you need for stability? That’s what today’s guest Hailey Dale from Your Content Empire found out. In this episode, we’re going behind-the-scenes of Hailey’s business and talking about her services, lessons from working with clients and more.
One of the questions I continuously answer is about adding products or programs to your business once you’ve got services to a certain point. And while I’m a huge fan of creating sustainability with services and then adding on from there, I wanted to have Hailey Dale on the show to talk about having both products and services as well as to learn more about how she works with clients, her lessons since going full-time in business just over a year ago and more.
Hailey Dale, MA is a certified content strategist and founder of Your Content Empire, where she partners with small business owners who are over the shoulds and are ready to build their content empires — their way. Through her DIY content kits and tell-all weekly newsletter, she helps entrepreneurs create smarter content on a consistent basis that delights them and their customers while growing their bottom lines.
Tell us a little bit about your company and how you make money.
- I run a company called Content Empire, and I have two sides to my business.
- I have a course side of my business, and I have a service-based agency model as well.
How do your services break down? If I was to come to you, what could you do for me?
- I have a pyramid of services. If people are looking for a consult, like a one-off Power Hour, then people can apply that to my signature package, Your Profitable Funnel, where we create turnkey solutions for their sales funnel, from the freebie to the email sequence to the marketing and traffic strategy, FB ads campaign, testing protocol, the whole works.
- After that, we invite our clients into a retainer-based agreement so that we can run their content for them.
- We don’t accept any clients into that unless they have gone through the funnel package. It’s much easier to work with them after having that established relationship.
Have you ever worked with clients without them going through Your Profitable Funnel?
- No, I haven’t. If they’re just interested in the retainer right away, I always speed things back because they usually don’t have a funnel in place.
- They think that a content strategy is going to fix everything for them, but they don’t have the funnel in the backend to really convert that traffic into real leads and real clients or customers.
How did you go from having courses and products to having services? (Usually, it’s the other way around!)
- I went through Marie Forleo’s B-School, and I thought that was the only way to run a business.
- I also had the extreme privilege of starting my business on the side while I had a corporate career.
- I had the freedom to take all of my profits, I didn’t need my money from my business, so I was able to reinvest heavily into my business, instead of needing to make it work.
- On one hand, that gave me the freedom to do that and invest in the resources I needed to make a course model work.
- On the other hand, I had a lack of freedom in terms of time, so I didn’t have the luxury of taking on service-based clients. Since I wanted to be all in with my clients, like I am now, I didn’t have the luxury of that time because of my full-time job.
Now that you’re full-time in your business, how did you decide to add services?
- When I decided to add in services, I really wanted a playground to test all of my theories. I get to sell this and test these things with them.
- Their business doesn’t become my passion projects, so it has been this giant playground to get to play and see really great results — instead of starting a bunch of other businesses.
- We can study all we want, we can learn all we want, but we get to get our hands dirty and actually practice it — there’s no substitute for that.
What do you think is one of the most challenging things about offering services?
- For me, I pride myself on over-delivering and being super generous. That all-in mentality that I take with my clients, it’s been a learning curve over the past year for leaving space for my own business.
- You’ve heard the saying work in your business, work on your business, and I think when I went on the services side, the pendulum swung too far in the other direction. Finding that balance has been important.
How do your clients typically find you, and where do most of your clients come from?
- Most of it, at this point, is referrals.
- I thought that when I wanted to put an emphasis on my signature program, that it was really going to impede me getting clients on the agency side of my business. I found the opposite to be true.
- I went all in promoting the webinar funnel that we have, and I actually got a ton more interest and foot traffic and consult calls.
- Also, when we work our own content calendar, it gains more momentum, and we get more traffic and more consult calls booked and turn those into clients.
Do you think that people associate with you the webinars and visibility activities or do they look at the course and go “I want this done for me”?
- I get a lot of people who want me to do for them what I’ve done for myself.
- Also, that marketing principle, top of mind, of people just seeing you over and over again. If there’s even a seed in their head of that idea, having that consistency with content and visibility will keep you top of mind. Eventually, something will click, and they’ll take action.
If you’re working with someone and they’re offering services, and they want to start working with funnels, what would you recommend?
- Shift your mentality.
- When you’re building a funnel for a service-based business, you are likely building a consult-call funnel.
- We put so much pressure on ourselves with thinking I need to book three consult calls a month to run my business and to meet my goals. If you know your close-rate is 50%, then reframe it by saying you need to book six free consult calls to reach your goals. That’s much more manageable, and that it more actionable.
It takes away the fear of list building. You don’t need a list of thousands for that to happen.
- No, absolutely not — especially if you’re really intentional about building a consult-call funnel where all roads lead there.
- As you do more consult calls, you’ll get better and better, and your close-rate will increase, and you’ll need fewer calls.
- When you’re just starting out, you can’t go wrong by doing consult calls. These consult calls also serve as market research for you.
- Until you are fully booked out, until you have enough clients filling your roster, don’t make people jump through 30-minute applications just to talk to you.
- Also, build-out your model calendar. Put time blocks in where you want to be working with clients, and until those blocks are filled with client work or client meetings, use that time to market their business.
What do you wish you had known sooner about working with clients?
- I wish I had known to put that balance into my own work and make time for my own business.
- Treating myself as a client has been huge.
- Every time you create content, you get to explore more, you get to learn more, you get to apply more, and you get to iterate on your own ideas.
- I think we need client work to practice those things, but we also need that thinking work.
Hailey had so many nuggets to share, but the thing I really want to focus on is the whole balance between products and services.
She was very honest about what that was like, and I think it’s something for you to consider in terms of if you already have services, and you want to add products, it’s definitely challenging to try to find the time to do both. I think that’s a reality for us as business owners.
That is something I’ve encountered running both the agency and Small Business Boss. There are a lot of things to think about before you start layering in products or programs into the mix.