[Coaching: Maia #23] Vacation Planning Win and New Client Acquisition Model + Reflecting on Business Growth

By Zach Swinehart

Coaching series: Can Zach get this beginner freelancer (Maia) to a 6-figure income ($8,333/mo) within 6 months?

Follow their journey through the ups and downs and watch them grow!

Milestones from today’s episode:

  • Planning a vacation and being able to take time away from work
  • Maia reflects on the growth of her business, from initially having zero leads to now managing an overflow of leads
  • Considering a new client interaction model involving applications rather than sales calls

Coaching highlights from today’s episode:

  • Structure offerings in a way that emphasizes limited availability, similar to cohort-based courses with specific enrollment periods
  • Set limits on concurrent projects to avoid feeling overwhelmed and ensure that quality is maintained
  • Streamline processes like discovery calls and move towards a more direct approach as authority and reputation grow

Original coaching call recording date: 12/01/2023

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AI-Generated Summary:

  • 00:00 – 04:00 — Zach introduces the “Six Months to Six Figure” series with Maia, focusing on her journey to earning a six-figure annual income through freelancing. They discuss the format and offer coaching opportunities for listeners.
  • 00:04 – 06:00 — Maia discusses her workload with five design clients and her surprisingly positive feelings about it. She attributes her confidence and efficiency to clear project briefings and streamlined processes.
  • 00:06 – 08:00 — Maia plans to stagger project bookings every two months to maintain a cyclical workflow, allowing for intense periods of focus followed by slower periods for personal projects.
  • 00:08 – 10:00 — Zach and Maia explore the benefits of intense work phases versus ongoing project management, considering their individual work styles and preferences. They also briefly discuss potential challenges with cash flow if transitioning to salaried staff.
  • 10:00 – 12:00 — Zach and Maia discuss Maia’s desire for flexibility in her business, aiming to have breaks between client sprints to focus on strategy and personal projects.
  • 12:00 – 14:00 — They explore the financial implications of Maia’s approach, considering how to manage cash flow and maintain consistency.
  • 14:00 – 16:00 — Zach suggests marketing strategies for Maia to maintain urgency and scarcity while booking projects, aiming for two blocks ahead but allowing flexibility for unexpected changes.
  • 16:00 – 18:00 — They delve into the details of Maia’s booking strategy, discussing messaging and the cyclical nature of her business approach.
  • 18:00 – 20:00 — Zach and Maia recalibrate their understanding of Maia’s booking plan, clarifying the timeline and revenue implications, aligning on a strategy for both marketing and operations.
  • 20:00 – 22:00 — Zach suggests Maia could onboard clients ahead of project start dates, utilizing the interim period for prep tasks, ensuring projects start smoothly.
  • 22:00 – 24:00 — Maia appreciates the idea, drawing parallels to her current approach in design projects, suggesting pre-recorded videos and resources to engage clients pre-onboarding.
  • 24:00 – 26:00 — Zach proposes setting a specific monthly client limit, creating scarcity and urgency by announcing open slots on a rolling three-month basis.
  • 26:00 – 28:00 — Zach outlines a plan for Maia to schedule kickoff sprints every two months, aligning with client onboarding and marketing communication cycles.
  • 28:00 – 30:00 — Maia agrees with the strategy, considering offering bonus resources like pre-recorded tutorials and notion templates to enhance client value.
  • 30:00 – 32:00 — Zach discusses leveraging urgency and scarcity in client onboarding, drawing parallels to cohort-based courses to create a sense of exclusivity and prompt action.
  • 32:00 – 34:00 — Zach proposes a reverse-engineered availability system, suggesting clients book projects months in advance based on Maia’s vacation schedule.
  • 34:00 – 36:00 — Maia confirms her plan to take a vacation in March, adjusting project timelines accordingly and considering a package design course for scalability.
  • 36:00 – 38:00 — Zach illustrates a system where Maia opens slots every month for project starts and onboards clients every two months, ensuring a steady flow of projects.
  • 38:00 – 40:00 — Zach advises starting with a simple system, tracking client start dates in a notion database, and adjusting workload if concurrent projects become overwhelming.
  • 40:00 – 42:00 — Maia reflects on the growth of her business from zero leads to managing an overflow, expressing gratitude for Zach’s support.
  • 42:00 – 44:00 — Zach suggests emphasizing scarcity in Maia’s email communication to drive urgency in booking slots, encouraging a clear call-to-action.
  • 44:00 – 47:13 — Zach discusses the evolution of Maia’s sales process, recommending a shift away from discovery calls toward more authoritative client interactions.