Today’s episode is brought to you by throat lozenges and cough mixture, and you can probably hear why! I’ve come down with a nasty cold, so to spare my voice this episode will be short and sweet.
It’s another behind the scenes episode today, where I’ll be talking about why I went back to custom proposals, when “everyone” says you need to productise and package up your service offerings in order to be successful.
- Get on the waitlist for round two of the Brand it! group programme
- Join in on the biz birthday giveaway (ends Friday the 10th of June)
Before we dive into the main topic, I want to take a moment to celebrate my sixth business birthday! Yes, Petchy is six, and what a journey it’s been so far! I can’t quite believe it, to be honest. It’s been six fun years, but also six challenging years. I’ve laughed, cried, cursed (a lot!), celebrated, despaired – and everything in between. There have been days where I have wanted to pack it in, but they are thankfully outnumbered by the days where I feel deep in my soul that I am forever unemployable after having tasted the freedom of being my own boss. I’m in real danger of sounding like i’ve won an Oscar 🏆 – but I need to thank some people:
My hubby first and foremost: he’s my rock. He’s the one who cheers me on and supports me (sometimes quite literally supports me, financially – like now, as I am getting out of my tax bill pickle) when I feel like I can’t deal with this business rollercoaster anymore. He truly is one in a million, and I love him to bits!
My clients – without them there would be no Petchy – and I have the best clients! Whether you’ve worked with me 1:1 or you were a part of the group that made my group programme dream a reality: you rock!
My business friends also deserve a huge thank you. Without my network of like minded folks, this business life would be lonely – and a lot less fun. I love sharing this journey with you, and I truly appreciate you being in my corner!
If you’re listening to this episode on the day it airs, you still have time to join in on my biz birthday bonanza. In honour of the big day, I thought I’d offer up some goodies. I mean, who doesn’t like free stuff, right?! Let’s see what I can pull out of the hat for you… how about:
- 6 x (digital) copies of my Brand it! strategy framework + workbook, one for each year (no longer sold separately, so grab this chance!)
- 3 x free lifetime access passes to The Lone Brandit – my self-paced strategy course (€200 value)
- 1 x free Brand it! power hour (€297 value)
To be in with a chance of winning, go to my Instagram and leave a comment on the post that I’ll link to in the shownotes, share it with your audience or tag a friend who would love to join in on the birthday shenanigans! I will draw the winners tomorrow, so be quick!
But, on to the actual topic of the day:
Why I decided to ditch the typical fixed price packages for my 1:1 services.
I actually started out offering custom proposals only, but as part of my pivot from being seen as a generalist designer to positioning myself as the go-to person for brand strategy and brand identity design I thought to myself: “Who needs brand identity design? What’s low hanging fruit?” Startups. So because I had many years of experience under my belt, I knew what most startups were asking for – and so I created a package to suit those specific needs. It was a huge success, and it helped me do what I set out to do: I was soon filling up my pipeline with identity design clients. And since it felt like “everyone” was raving about the fixed packages business model, I decided to do the same and I set up a three-tier offering.
And it’s easy to see why “all” the business mentors out there will advise you to package up your services: it takes the guesswork out of the equation for your potential clients. They don’t have to spend time or brain capacity thinking about what exactly it is that they need – they can just pick a package. Easy! Right? However: therein lies the limitations of offering fixed packages. It’s easy for the client, yes. It’s also taking the decision making, and by that the ownership they have to the project, out of their hands. This can be problematic for several reasons.
- It’s discrediting your clients’ ability to make their own business decisions.
- When you do that, you risk ending up with clients who have little interest in being a part of the process – they just want someone to “do the thing” for them and you become a commodity rather than a valued expert and contributor to their business success.
- Your clients get a one size fits all service and they risk ending up with suboptimal results because they haven’t been involved in the process, and they may end up paying for things they don’t really need. Have a guess at how that makes them feel?
I realised after offering three fixed price packages for a while, that it just did not work for me – or my clients. My clients aren’t cookies, so they don’t need a cookie-cutter package! Each and every client of mine is unique, each of their brands are unique, and they deserve more than a one size fits all-approach. They shouldn’t have to fit into a predefined container. Also: choosing to work with me… I don’t want it to be a ‘delegate-and-forget-about-it’ service, as the best results come from my client and I working closely together to define their strategic foundations before any design work happens at all. My clients are a crucial part of the process – it’s co-creation at its finest. I want my clients’ brand design experience to be bespoke – I don’t want to inflate it with lots of extra ‘bonuses’ they don’t need.
So I recently took a step back and decided to ditch the three packages, opting instead for what I guess you can call a hybrid approach. You see, 20 years of experience has taught me that certain elements are essential for a kick-ass brand identity process, and these are my non-negotiables. And then if my client needs more, we’ll add more! So while each client will get a proposal that is put together to suit their situation and their budget, there’s a baseline package that acts as a starting point for my tailored proposals. If someone just wants that baseline package, that’s of course fine too.
So what happens if a client doesn’t know what they need? Then we talk. We sit down with a cuppa and have a good old fashioned human-to-human conversation about their current situation, their budget, and their future business goals. It’s my job to help them figure this out – and it feels awful that I even have to point this out, but: I will never sell you stuff you don’t need ‘just to make the sale’ or push anyone to spend money they haven’t got. If your vision is bigger than your budget, then I’ll help you prioritise so we can focus on what will make the biggest impact for your brand right now. And then in the future, there will be a time and a place (and a budget) for everything else.
I’m not saying that fixed packages are a no-no. I know that this approach works brilliantly for so many businesses. If it works for your business, then great! I’ve found that the packaged services approach can work really well up to a certain level, but not so much when client needs get more complex and require a bespoke service where we identify the challenge before prescribing a solution. I’m not about to tell you what you should do, I don’t believe there is one magic quick fix or that my way is the only way. But I’d like to encourage you to take a step back and ask yourself whether you’re doing things in a certain way because you’ve heard that you “should” – or because it’s truly the best way to run your business and serve your clients. If the answer is “because someone said it’s the best way” – remember that you’re allowed to break the so-called “rules”. It’s your business, after all!
Before I go and rest my croaky voice, I want to remind you that I’m planning a second round of my brand strategy group programme in September. Brand it! is an intimate group experience to guide you as you discover and define your brand’s unique purpose and personality, find the confidence to own your sh*t, and tap into your uniqueness to spark meaningful connections — and attract more of those omg, yes! 🤩 clients.
I want you to imagine for a second what it would feel like to have a steady stream of clients who totally get you, value what you do, and that you have an absolute blast working with? A strong and strategic brand can help you achieve just that. People tend to buy into a brand because it speaks to their emotions and makes them feel like they are part of something bigger, so a pretty logo on its own isn’t gonna cut it. But when you have a clear purpose, and heartfelt brand values that your kind of people can get behind… they are much more likely to be drawn to you. That’s the power of a values-driven brand! And that’s the power we’ll tap into as you dive into the very core of your brand – in a small group setting and with 1:1 guidance from an experienced brand strategist (me). You’ll get video guides for each step of the Brand it! framework, regular group coaching calls with hot seats so you can get help if you’re feeling stuck, and a community of like minded business owners to inspire you and cheer you on!
I’m revamping all of the training videos in the upcoming months, and the waitlist is already open. Joining the waitlist does not obligate you to join, but it does mean you get first dibs and a very generous discount when the doors open for the next round. Visit petchy.co/group to get on the list!
Until next time,
Pssst! If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss the next one! I’d also be super grateful if you’d share my podcast with a biz friend or two, or leave me a review.