When I first started Jess Creatives, I was naive about freelancing. I didn't think that people my age were actually quitting their jobs and making a living as full-time freelancers, and I was learning the ropes as my business slowly grew. This resulted in major chaos within my business – forgetting to send contracts and invoices, a disorganized inbox, and a complete lack of project workflow.
Luckily, in my second year of business, Stress Less & Impress came into my life. It was the first big (and it wasn't even that big) investment I made as a solopreneur.
What Stress Less & Impress is all about
In Stress Less & Impress, creator Leah Kalamakis covers the entire client workflow for service-based entrepreneurs. She goes in-depth on what she uses and how she handles clients while working with them. Even if you don't want to use all the same tools that Leah does, you will learn the strategy and the "why" behind her practices, and be able to apply those principles to your own business.
After implementing what I learned from Stress Less & Impress, my whole business was changed around. (Seriously.) Streamlining the systems in my business helped me be less overwhelmed, but also greatly improved the experience for my clients. I've recommended Stress Less and Impress to dozens of people because it's had a huge impact on my business.
How Stress Less & Impress specifically helped my business:
Fewer emails: Like all people, I had a contact form on my website. But, the problem with most contact forms is that they don't collect much information. I typically got emails with a name, email address, and a vague message that said something along the lines of, "I need a brochure. Maybe a business card."
In SL&I, one of the very first things Leah teaches you to implement is a "Hire Me" form, where you can collect more details about the potential client and project. In one email, I know the client's name and business, what services they need, budget and timeline, and some other miscellaneous details about the project. No more back and forth as I remember questions I need answered.
Client process: Before SL&I, I fumbled through projects with clients. After a dozen back-and-forth emails, we would finally agree to start the project. I didn't have much in place in terms of a contract, there were no set expectations that were communicated, and the project workflow itself was chaotic.
In SL&I, Leah walks you through choosing a project management system, setting up client boundaries, and creating a welcome and goodbye package to send your clients. Everyone has a different process, but this helped me set up a solid foundation for my client workflow. Once I put my system in place, the questions from clients on “what’s next?” were few and far between. Having a system in place for my workflow helped me to really wow clients and improve the overall client experience.
These aren’t the only two things that are covered in Stress Less & Impress. Leah also goes over:
- Scheduling consult calls
- Contracts and invoicing
- Client questionnaires
- Getting feedback from clients
- Streamlining your website
- Processes for blogging and social media
Each module has a video that walks through what Leah is talking about, as well as downloadable PDFs for reference. This was the first ever business course that I signed up for, and the course’s format made it incredibly easy to implement the strategies that Leah taught us.
And because I did, I’ve gained a better grasp on how to communicate with clients before and during projects, and how to handle a project from inquiry to launch.
Is this a good fit for me?
This course is great for those who are new to solopreneurship, and are looking for a streamlined process to incorporate into their business. One caveat: you will have to actually take time to implement the forms and workflows into your business – setting up new accounts, possibly buying software, and more. Plan on setting aside 1-2 hours each week to watch the videos, and take action on the tasks Leah outlines in each module. Of course, you can always sit and do the entire course at once, but I’ve found that implementing new systems is easier to adjust to when done one piece at a time.
This course could also be helpful to those who have been in business for a few years, but haven’t officially implemented any sound systems yet. As solopreneurs, our businesses evolve, and while maybe we didn’t need systems at the beginning – now we do. When I took Stress Less & Impress, my business was still young, but things were starting to build up. Having the systems in place that Leah taught us really helped me stay on track and scale sustainably.
Who isn’t this course for? This course probably isn’t great for those who have been in business for many years and have a few systems in place. Because of its foundational nature, SL&I most likely isn’t going to help you refine existing systems, unless you want to start from scratch. Also, as I mentioned: if you’re not willing to (or don’t have the time to) set aside a few hours to implement new practices into your business, this is not the course for you.
It’s all in the name
Stress Less & Impress is an investment in your business at the start leads to smoother sailing down the line -- streamlining your systems for better client relationships and workflow. The more you are able to showcase your professionalism through your workflow, the faster you’ll turn clients into raving fans (which, appropriately, is the tagline of Stress Less & Impress)!