Taking the “ack” Out of Creating Packages: A Review of Rebecca Tracey’s Hey, Nice Package!

Hey, Nice Package! review

Hey, Nice Package! review

Hey, Nice Package! is a multimedia course by Rebecca Tracey from The Uncaged Life. It’s designed to take the guesswork out of creating packages for your service-based business. By the end of the course, you'll have offerings your community needs and be able to communicate the value of those offerings to the right people. One of the best things about HNP is you can apply the process to one-to-one packages, group services, and even live courses.

I purchased HNP early on in its existence, and still use the system when planning new packages and offerings. In this review, I’ll share who will find HNP useful, who it might not be such a great fit for, and what to expect if you purchase it yourself.

Full disclosure: Rebecca is known for her no-nonsense approach to online business and Hey, Nice Package! is no exception. Expect down-to-earth guidance and advice mixed with a healthy dose of straight talk. If you’re looking for touchy-feely hand-holding, this probably isn’t for you. If, on the other hand, you prefer cutting through the fluff, getting down to business, and you’re a fan of Rebecca’s blog, chances are you’ll love this course.

What to expect from Hey, Nice Package!

Hey, Nice Package! comes as a self-paced, 113-page workbook, with external links to worksheets and videos that take you through certain parts of the process in more detail. You’ll also get access to a private Facebook group for questions and feedback. The course is divided into nine sections that cover:

  • Doing the foundation work (identifying your ideal client, figuring out where you fit into their journey, explaining exactly how you help and knowing your strengths and how you like to work)
  • Choosing what to offer (problem-based packages vs. niche-based packages, developing a signature program, repeat clients)
  • Structuring packages
  • Beta testing packages (including getting feedback and testimonials)
  • Pricing
  • Writing a sales page
  • Creating next level programs
  • System and technology (automating the process, making delivery as smooth as possible)
  • Marketing

This course isn’t something you’ll be able to complete overnight, especially as a couple of the modules involve surveying and beta testing packages. The first time I worked through this course, it took about a month from start to launch. That might sound like a long time (and it might very well be possible to do it quicker), but it’s well worth the investment for the level of clarity you get at the end.

Who will love HNP?

The short answer: Anyone who offers services, no matter what field you’re in. Think: coaches of all descriptions, holistic practitioners, fitness instructors, yoga teachers, copywriters, and pretty much anyone else who has a service-based business.

The longer answer: One of HNP’s best features is that you can apply it to any industry with the same outcomes. It’s useful for new business owners who don’t yet have a community, as well as those who are more established.

HNP is perfect for you if you’re a business owner who wants clarity on who your ideal customer is/are, and where those customers’ needs intersect with that your expertise. It’s especially useful if you’ve been offering a general service up to this point (like copywriting or life coaching). A focus of the course is shifting away from offering general services for everyone to creating specific packages for specific types of people.

Sold? Find out more about Hey, Nice Package! here. Need more? Keep reading!

Who is Hey, Nice Package! not right for?

HNP is designed with service-based businesses in mind. If you run a product-based business, you will still find aspects of the course helpful. However, there will probably be other courses out there that will be a better fit for you and your business overall.

It’s also not going to be right for you if you’re not open to changing or tweaking your current services. Having worked with people who have service-based businesses, and gone through the same process myself, I know it can feel challenging—even scary—to narrow down what you do and who you do it for. HNP is a great practical guide that covers how to do that and why it’s necessary. As with any course, though, you also need to be willing to actually implement the system in your own business (remember, the whole process takes about a month from start to finish).

Finally, you might want to look elsewhere if you know that you’re going to want personalised advice and attention when crafting your packages. The course comes with an engaged Facebook group with 275+ members (and where Rebecca is very responsive to questions). If you know that you’re someone who will need some one-on-one hand-holding through this process though, you might want to consider hiring a business coach instead.

How Hey, Nice Package! has helped my business

Hey, Nice Package! has been eye-openingly helpful in a number of ways. Here are a few things it’s taught me:

  1. What not to do. There’s a great section in the first few pages of HNP called “The Shit We’ve All Done Wrong” which is about how not to create packages (for example, offering vague, mushy or intangible results, which is a common challenge for life coaches!). As I read through the list, it dawned on me that I was doing all of those things! Within the first few minutes of reading, I could identify several things I could do differently when it came to marketing my coaching practice.
  2. Stop offering open-ended packages. Another big takeaway from HNP is that it has encouraged me to step away from open-ended coaching packages. Now, when my clients reach the end of a coaching package, they can renew it if they want, but they know exactly what they’re committing to (and for how long) from day one.
  3. How I talk about my services. Like many coaches, I found it hard to describe my clients’ results in tangible terms. I’d used fluffy and vague language to describe my services that left me sounding like practically every other coach out there (which I’m not). HNP has helped me get clearer on explaining exactly what I offer by helping me identify exactly how I help my ideal clients and basing my packages around their specific needs, rather than vague guesswork. The sales page module also offers a helpful template I’ve now adapted for products and courses, too.

How HNP is different than similar courses on the market

Hey, Nice Package! works on several levels. It’s a way to create specific packages that combine your expertise with your audience’s biggest needs. At the same time, it’s also a useful way to generate ideas for future services, products and content based on your audience’s key problems and questions.

A lot of other products cover sections of the HNP process (for example, writing a sales page), but HNP takes you through the entire process of creating valuable packages from scratch. Rebecca is a great teacher, explaining each step in easy-to-understand detail throughout the course and offering feedback and advice in the Facebook group. While she provides a done-for-you framework, she still leaves a lot of room for you to put your own stamp on your packages.

Finally, it’s a reusable system: You can use it again whenever you create a new package or service-based offering.

What are HNP’s limitations?

Some people might view the structure as a limitation. If you want to get the full benefit, you need to work through the whole course in order, rather than cherry-picking sections. You also need to be willing to devote enough time to the exercises (especially the questionnaire and beta testing processes), so it’s important to be aware this isn’t something you’ll be able to complete in an evening. It’s an entire process rather than a “dip in, dip out” course.

Ready to take the “ack” out of packages?

Hey, Nice Package! is one of the most useful courses I’ve completed. Not only has it helped me get clearer on how I serve my ideal clients, but it’s also something I’ve used over the last couple of years as my business has evolved (as I write this, I’m currently working through the course again to re-tool my coaching packages). Using the HNP process, I’ve been able to hone my identity as a coach and create a set of packages and products based around the sweet spot where my strengths and skills meet my community’s biggest needs.

We are affiliates of and may receive commission from sales of Hey, Nice Package! As always, we only promote products and services that we love and/or think you might benefit from!

Streamline Your Systems + Set Up Processes with Stress Less & Impress (Review)

Stress Less Impress ecourse review

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)!

Is ConvertKit right for your business?

Is ConvertKit right for your business?

Yet another email provider to choose from? Before you get overwhelmed, let me start this post by sharing where I was at when I switched to ConvertKit for my business. I am a one woman shop (hello, fellow ladies!) and was spending more time prepping weekly emails and automation than I really had time for.

Each week, after writing a blog post, I had a series of things to do in order to prep that blog post for a pretty email for my subscribers in MailChimp. I had to take the image I created for my blog, upload it to MailChimp, sometimes resize the image, copy and paste the content into MailChimp, format it, add additional styling (headers, subheaders), and a few other steps that are too boring to mention. And setting up automated email sequences -- a huge part of my marketing plan -- was a time suck, as well.

I wanted something simple that could grow with me as I grow my business. I started hearing a lot about ConvertKit, and decided to make the switch because my number of subscribers had not yet reached a point where it would be a big headache to move to a new platform.

Having used ConvertKit for a while now, here’s the lowdown on why I think it’s great, reasons why it might be a good email service provider for your business, and ways it can be improved.

If this is you, it might be a good idea to switch to ConvertKit...

If your list is on the smaller side now, but you have lofty goals for growing your list. I have big plans for my lists. I’m talking sales funnels, email courses, Twitter ads to bring people in, opt-in forms and landing pages – the works. Each platform may have a different opt-in incentive, meaning that in MailChimp, I would need to make a different list with a different “Welcome email” for each incentive. A few months down the line, list building could get very messy and complicated, especially if I want to merge lists and do some clean up.

ConvertKit has proved to be a stellar option for that, because rather than individual lists, I can tag email addresses for certain categories.

Say a subscriber signs up via an opt-in incentive regarding WordPress design. I can set it up in ConvertKit so that they’re added under the tags “wordpress” and “design” and then when I want to send an email regarding either of those topics, I can pull all subscribers with those tags and send to them, rather than having to send to separate lists (and possibly send duplicate emails).

No more trying to merge lists together or keep track of them – there’s no need. Here’s how I would set that up in ConvertKit:

ConvertKit Triggers

If you crave automation with your email lists. The gist of ConvertKit is that automated email is way better than individual email “broadcasts.”

Example: You create killer content in June, but Mary doesn’t sign up until August. Instead of missing out on the June content, Mary gets it right from the beginning.

With ConvertKit, if you create an email sequence (aka a funnel), it doesn’t matter when a person signs up - they’ll get emails from months prior, and going forward. No need to set up a specific series, just add in emails as you please, and new subscribers will get all of them in a drip sequence that you determine.

I realize this sounds a lot like Automation in MailChimp, and they are fairly similar, except the set up is much easier in ConvertKit. You stay on the same screen for every email in the sequence, rather than having to click in and out of emails, which can be time-consuming and confusing (“did I include that link in Email 1 or Email 3? I have to click in and out on multiple screens to find out”).

In ConvertKit, it’s all in one place, so you seamlessly move from one email to the next, AND you can rearrange an email sequence via drag and drop -- so easy! Here’s what one of my sequences looks like:

Course_sales funnel in ConvertKit

If you plan to create email courses/sales funnels. This is essentially ConvertKit’s bread and butter. In ConvertKit, courses and funnels each fall under the umbrella of "Sequences." Personally, I have a few email courses going -- set up as a Sequence -- and the main purpose of most of these courses is to get people to purchase a product.

In MailChimp, I had something similar, but had to manually remove a person if they bought the product I was promoting. In ConvertKit, if Lisa is in Course A, and she buys the product I’m promoting, the instant she purchases the product, she’ll be switched to Course B, which no longer pushes her to buy the thing she just bought. It makes for a much better user experience, and less work for you.

If you want a very simple opt-in form plugin for your WordPress page. Various email platforms have opt-in forms that you can customize and put on your site, but ConvertKit makes it so dang easy. (And I’m a developer, friends.)

If you have WordPress, they have a plugin where you can insert individual forms at the bottom of blog posts or pages. All of the customization is done in ConvertKit, so there isn’t any need for CSS tweaking on your actual WordPress site to make things look the way you want. (Editor's note: View an example of a form at the bottom of this blog post.)

If you want a nice landing page for sign ups/want to avoid paying for Leadpages. ConvertKit has a few modern and clean landing page designs for opt-in forms. If you want a landing page to entice people to sign up for your email list, ConvertKit makes it really easy to do so. Here’s an example of a landing page for one of my email courses.

Also, prior to switching over to ConvertKit, I purchased Leadpages because I loved the way their forms looked and worked. ConvertKit does integrate with Leadpages, but their landing pages and opt-in forms are so simple and sleek that you can skip Leadpages, and save a hefty buck as well. I think the only thing one would miss from Leadpages is their cool opt-in forms, but it’s worth saving a few hundred buckaroos.

If you’re paying extra money for duplicate subscribers.
Since ConvertKit lets users tag subscribers, rather than place them in lists, it’s impossible to pay for one email address that may be in multiple lists. This happens a lot with Mailchimp, and it can get expensive paying for one person to exist in multiple lists. Here’s a great graphic of how it works, and how it saves you money:

ConvertKit counts as one subscriber

source

Where ConvertKit excels

Integrates with WordPress, Leadpages, Gumroad (digital product seller), Teachable (online course provider), and so much more. These integrations are what will make your business as seamless as possible for your buyers and clients. And will save you a ton of time because it’s all automated.

Sequences are easy to set up. ConvertKit has a very simple email template -- there isn’t any drag and drop; there’s click and type, and insert an image if you’d like. Because of this, setting up a sequence is pretty dang easy. Bottom line is, if you can use a Word document, you can set up an email in ConvertKit.

Automation rules. You can set up all kinds of rules that work like magic without you doing a thing. Just set it up once, and it’s done. For example, you can set it up so that when someone clicks a specific link, they get subscribed to a sequence, then when they purchase a digital product from that sequence, they’re taken off the list and moved to a different one.

Blog posts to broadcasts. If your WordPress blog is integrated with your ConvertKit account, it automatically creates an email template when you publish a post, and sends you an email notification so you can edit and send. Now, when I want to email a blog post to my list, it’s a two-step process, rather than seven steps (detailed somewhat painfully above!).

Where ConvertKit needs improvement

Clicked links are not tracked in emails individually. I’ve been told this will be changed eventually. At the moment, I can see that people clicked a link in an email, but not specifically which link they clicked on. That’s a bit annoying, but I have faith they’ll change that soon, because they are constantly working to build up their platform integrations and make it more business-friendly.

Sometimes the WYSIWYG editor is buggy. HTML editors can be annoying as it is, but when little bugs pop up while you’re editing an email, it can be even more frustrating. An example would be that recently, the Subscriber Name field that I entered into an email course kept getting wiped out every time I saved.

So instead of “Hi, Stephanie!” at the beginning of an email, if it went out, it would say, “Hi, !” When I get an email with that totally obvious gap between the comma and the exclamation point, it’s like a mini slap in the face. We don’t want that for our subscribers.

ConvertKit is good for your business if:

You’re limited on time. Like anything worthwhile, there is work to be done in the beginning. But once you’ve got your sequences set up, your automation rules in place, and your subscribers tagged, it really is pretty passive and time saving.

You want a very simple email format. The simple format initially made me feel limited, but I like that the focus is on the content of the email, and it looks much more personalized than mass produced, which I’m sure subscribers appreciate as well.

Email is a big part of your marketing plan. Because of the automation and integration, ConvertKit is a huge help in growing a list without a huge headache.

ConvertKit is not good for your business if:

Email is not a big part of your marketing plan. If you’re more into social media or local networking, or really don’t have a marketing plan yet, ConvertKit isn’t for you. It’s $29/month at a minimum (for 1,000 subscribers) and the next level hops to $49/month, so it needs to be a business investment that will be properly utilized.

You like sending emails with a pre-made template or lots of images. Because of the simple WYSIWYG editor, this is not the kind of email provider where you can pick a template and drag and drop images. ConvertKit’s platform is set up to create emails that consist mostly of text, so if your emails tend to be image heavy, this might not be a good fit for you (at least for now). You can create templates that include your logo at the top, and other graphics or design elements, but that requires coding work, so beware.

Easy-to-manage email marketing: Ready to make the switch?

The biggest selling point for ConvertKit is how easy it makes managing email marketing. As business owners, there are a million ways we could spend our time every day.

Switching to ConvertKit has allowed me to spend less time setting up emails and automation, and more time actually working on projects for clients and beefing up other aspects of my business. It keeps things simple and automated, just like our businesses should be!

We are affiliates of and may receive commission from sales of ConvertKit. As always, we only promote products and services that we love and/or think you might benefit from!