Meet Courtney and Abbey AKA Duo Collective, a boutique organic marketing agency specializing in social media marketing, branding, and SEO for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs.
The Duo started working for a large agency with household names and million-dollar budgets but found themselves burnt out and uninspired. They were tired of helping big businesses get bigger and wanted the freedom to fully jump into the creative process.
So after the opportunity arose for them to work together on a freelance project outside their agency, Courtney and Abbey decided to give it a try and see if they could start their own business doing what they really loved.
When they started their business, they were still both working full-time in the corporate world. To keep up with the demand their business created, they were working nights, weekends, and any spare moment they had and still weren’t even paying themselves. Their work was starting to take over their life, and when Abbey eventually quit her job after having her second baby, they realized they needed some serious help if they were going to both be able to work for their business full time and actually pay themselves.
“I was feeling very overwhelmed and not in control of our business or what our next steps should even be. It was hard to see the future, how our business should be evolving, and what our goals should look like. There was a while there where I thought I’d never be able to quit my full-time job because I was uncertain about how our business was going to be able to support both of us on our own,” Abbey says.
This fear is SO common for us creative entrepreneurs. We fear failure. We fear having to quit and go back to the 9 to 5 we couldn’t wait to leave.
Hear me say this, friend…the first step to overcoming fear is realizing and choosing to believe that there is another way!
When I first started working with Courtney and Abbey, I was excited because they were clearly SO talented at what they do and even more importantly, totally willing to put in the hard work to create a business that would work FOR them. The process wasn’t easy, but it was completely worth it… (you’ll have to keep reading to find out why hehe!)
Specific Actions We Took
One of the first things we did was start creating workflows, templates, and systems to organize everything that needed to get done within their business. Again, this took a whole lot of TIME and EFFORT but once we had everything written out and delegated, Abbey and Courtney could spend less time worrying about the details of their business and more time letting their creativity flow and setting bigger business goals. We found so many ways to streamline their client experience while keeping the quality of the experience top priority. Each part of this process was very intentionally focused on making the experience super high quality for the client while keeping it as efficient as possible for the Duo. Win-win, right?!
Next, we focused on their finances. I know, the big scary word for any creative who would rather redesign their entire website than even look at their bank account. Finances are the source of so much of our fear and stress as creatives, which means creating a strong financial foundation for your business is essential to its success.
Part of this step was creating quarterly and yearly goals that would make sure both Abbey and Courtney could rely solely on their business for their income while having money to invest back into their business.
Lastly, we set boundaries. If you know me, you know I’m a BIG fan of boundaries. They protect both ends of any relationship and provide sanity in the craziness of life. For example, we defined their niche and got really specific, so they were only saying ‘yes’ to their ideal clients. This helped them build a client base full of people they really wanted to work with who would refer them to others in those same circles! We also created work-life boundaries to protect their time outside of work as well as inside their business.
Hear what the Duo themselves had to say about our time working together:
“When we first started working with Val we thought we needed help scaling our business. What we didn’t understand was so much of our business was completely unorganized behind the scenes. These problems were actually affecting our growth. So together we worked on simplifying our client workflows. Building processes and systems that were efficient for everyone that helped save our time and in turn allowed us to work with more clients. Things like email templates, scheduling tools and easy client feedback tools were all things we integrated into our business and still use daily almost 2 years later! We also completely overhauled our finances. Val has incredible spreadsheets that allow us to manage our business like a true CFO and best understand when we can quit our 9-5s and still pay ourselves for a set amount of time. This took the nerves away and gave us permission to pursue our dreams.”
What This Led To…
After months of honest conversations over Zoom, putting in the extra work, and sticking with it, both Abbey AND Courtney now work exclusively for Duo Collective with the confidence that they can pay themselves every month while growing their business.
Coaching led to improved communication within their team and helped them delegate tasks more efficiently to save time and frustration. They now are taking more and more jobs from their ideal clients and growing an audience that fits right into their niche.
Abbey comments, “I was slightly hesitant about a business coach – only because I had no idea what to expect, and being a small business, it’s hard to spend money on something you aren’t totally sure about. But after the program, I immediately knew that it was something we needed, and it felt SO GOOD afterward to be set up for better success. We would have never gotten there without you – or it would have been really sloppy and not nearly as quick. You were a small biz lifesaver!”
You will NEVER have balance and stability within your business if you are not intentional about making it happen. Courtney and Abbey saw how they were overwhelmed and overworked, and they decided to do something about it. They committed to investing the time and energy into creating systems that will work for them for years to come.
Is This Your Story, Friend?
Do you find yourself afraid of failure and overwhelmed by a business that once brought you joy? You are so not alone, my friend. And you don’t have to be stuck there. I want to come alongside you and show you it doesn’t have to be that way. My 1:1 coaching program is something Abbey, Courtney, and many other of my students found priceless, and I know you will too.
Love the idea of coaching, but also craving community? Try my group coaching program. Even as a solopreneur, you don’t have to be alone. Join a community of like-minded women and grow your dream into a business that supports your LIFE.
I'm Val! Coach for creatives like you who are ready to be healthier, happier and more empowered women who love the business you run, the people you serve and the life you live!
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