Like so many online entrepreneurs, my business absolutely popped off when the pandemic hit.
While the world was crashing and burning around me - my business had never been better.
Because the need to have an amazing online presence had suddenly become more important than ever before.
And as someone who was running a social media agency, I was completely floored by the sudden demand for my expertise.
🤩 It was AMAZING. 🤩
I had ended up with my dream business, yet somehow I was MISERABLE.
I couldn’t believe it.
I’d spent so much time wishing for a full calendar and a massive roster of clients.
But once that dream came true - I realized that it was completely unsustainable.
And it was actually about a year ago that I finally said, “I just can’t do this anymore.”
I started to pivot and I never looked back. ✅
So today I want to talk about the changes I made to make my business model more sustainable.
I share this in the hopes that you’ll see an example of change in your business being a GOOD thing. 🧡
As business owners, when something is sticking and we’re finally booked and busy we often feel the need to cling to it.
Even if it’s not serving us as human beings.
But I hope that by sharing the story of my business journey over the past year, you’ll realize that change in business is something to embrace.
Is it easy?
🙅🏻♀️ Absolutely not 🙅🏻♀️
But I don’t have a single regret about the changes I’ve made in my business…because my life has transformed for the better.
I have more energy for my clients, my loved ones, and MYSELF. 🧡
If you’re thinking,
“Amber, I definitely need to make some serious changes in my business, but what do I do about my current clients?!”
Stick around! ✅
In pivoting my business I had to break up with some seriously wonderful clients. 💔 💔 💔
So I know the tips and tricks on how to handle your transition with care and kindness.
First, I’ll start off by explaining what I changed in my own business. Then, you’ll get some tips for communicating your transition to your existing clients – if that’s something you’re looking to do!
Let’s get into it. 💪
So what exactly did I change when I decided to pivot my business a year ago? It came down to three core areas.
As I mentioned, I started off as a social media agency owner.
I was managing all kinds of accounts, creating content, and working one-on-one with clients to help them with their social strategies.
On top of that, I was constantly pumping out educational content of my own to establish my expertise online.
And that’s how I found my passion. ⚡ ⚡ ⚡
The one-on-one work was the draining part. But educating my passionate and loyal online community was the thing that was feeding my soul. 🧡
So when I realized I needed to make some changes in my business, I decided to lean into the education side of my business. 📚
This is how I transitioned from a service provider to (and tbh I hate this word 😬) a “thought leader”.
My new focus is on educating the masses on what I've learned through service-based work.
Whether it’s through a speaking engagement or a digital product - I’ve made the shift into education.
And I L🧡VE it.
Yeah, I do a bit of consultation or strategy here or there, but this is my new happy place and I couldn’t be more excited. 💃🏻 🎉
Back when I was still doing service-based work I launched this little thing called…
🎉 The Creative Content Lab 🎉
(maybe you’ve heard of it…? 😉 😉)
It is a membership-based product that teaches business owners step by step how to run a social media agency. More on that here.
Launching this product was my first foray into the DIY model.
And it was a game-changer for me. ⚡ ⚡ ⚡
I realized at that moment that the “done-for-you” model was wearing down on me.
It had been almost 10 years of doing other people’s content for them.
And as soon as I realized I could use my expertise to empower people to run their own social strategy - I couldn’t go back. 🙅🏻♀️ 🙅🏻♀️
I was no longer trading my time for dollars.
And THAT made all the difference.
Making the switch from the ‘done-for-you’ model to the DIY model gave me my time back while still serving my community. ✅
One of the places I realized I was spending a lot of energy back in my service provider days was in my sales strategy.
I would plan out these amazing courses, workshops, or products.
Spend all this energy promoting and launching them.
Giving away freebies to entice people.
And after alllllllll that work - get only a handful of sales. 😫
The days of leaking all that energy are over.
Why? 👇🏻 👇🏻
Because I am basing my new products and services on rock-solid market research.
Now, before I go through all the effort of carefully crafting a product or service that I think people want…I take it for a test drive.
I offer low-ticket workshops to gather information before I invest my time and energy into a fully formed offer.
Running these paid workshops helps me:
✅ Gauge interest in particular topics
✅ Shape curriculum around my clients' actual needs
✅ Collect social proof
And more often than not, the folks who sign up for these low ticket offers L🧡VE the sneak peek and come back and purchase the high-ticket offer to go more in-depth.
I could no longer afford to spend my energy on products that I had NO PROOF my clients wanted.
Making the switch to test driving my concepts as low-ticket offers FIRST has helped me conserve my energy AND serve my clients even better. 💃🏻 💃🏻 💃🏻
Because I’m far more tapped into what they want and need, rather than just getting excited about my own ideas.
So maybe after reading how pivoting my business you’re feeling like you might need to shift things in your own life.
We love to see it! 🎉 🎉
The more people I can help run their business in a way that is both profitable AND sustainable, the better!
But naturally, if you decide to make some changes to your business, that might mean some changes for your clients.
So how do you tell current clients that you are making major shifts in your business and you need to break up with them? 💔 💔 💔
Here’s my foolproof strategy to end a client relationship with clarity and kindness.
I want you to start with a little precursor warning.
Whether it’s by email or Slack, just send them a note to say…
“Hey there, I just wanted to give you a heads up that I am going to pivot my business in the next few months/weeks and I would love to hop on a call to discuss what that means for our work together.”
The key thing to remember here is to ask them to chat on the phone or by video call.
No one wants a message saying:
“Hey thanks for believing in me and my work, but I’ve decided to make some changes so I’m breaking up with you at the end of the month byeeeeee ✌🏻 ✌🏻 ✌🏻”
🙅🏻♀️ Not cool. 🙅🏻♀️
Make it a priority to have that human-to-human connection and candidly explain the shifts you're making in your business.
Although it might be the truth - telling your client that you don’t like what you’re doing anymore is not fair to them.
Instead, frame it like this:
“I can no longer serve you in the capacity that I believe you need.”
Because that’s the truth!
But it’s also not making them feel like you’ve secretly hated the work you’ve been doing with them for the past few months.
The next step is to give your beloved client a transition plan.
Reassure them that you will serve them until a certain date, that all their assets will be delivered, and clarify the terms of the service ending.
You can even offer to help them find someone else to take over from you!
They’ll appreciate the support in finding another great service provider on your recommendation. 🧡
When I started to pivot my services, I used this strategy to end some really wonderful client relationships…and it made it so much easier.
I was able to close the important relationships without any bad blood, with an honest and easy transition.
I still cheer on all my past clients! 🎉 🎉 🎉
I keep up with their content, shout them out, and leave a supportive comment here or there - I love to see their growth.
Just remember to be intentional and respectful through this kind of transition and that kindness will be reciprocated no problem. ✅
Change is never easy.
ESPECIALLY in your precious business that you’ve spent so much time trying to build and nurture.
But just know that all of us entrepreneurs can relate to this fear of change. 🌎
In fact, I recently hopped on Michelle Wintersteen’s podcast “Kiss My Aesthetic” and chatted all about pivoting in the online business space.
And lemme tell you - we both had SO much to say about change and how rewarding it has been for both of our businesses. ⚡ ⚡ ⚡
You can check out part one of the episode on my Youtube channel and follow the lovely Michelle on Instagram here.
And if you have any questions about this post or anything we discuss on the podcast be sure to send me a DM or leave a comment over on 🎥 Youtube 🎥
I’m an educator now, remember? All I wanna do is help you find answers to your social media questions!
Chat soon! 👋🏻 👋🏻