On paper, you have all you need to make your business soar:
- A website with a clear message in terms of who it’s for and what you offer
- Something you’re selling that will lead to money in your pocket
- Active social media accounts that connect back to your business
- The start of a newsletter list
- Various systems to make the onboarding or sales process easier for you and your clients or customers
And yet, you’re choosing to spend the majority of your limited time, energy and on:
- researching, choosing and setting up your online scheduler. Ooh, and a payment processor! And a CRM platform! And something to have clients e-sign contracts! And the best newsletter provider! And how to package my product in the prettiest way possible!
- which accent color to use on your site. Is peach not bright enough? Is gold overplayed? Would green lead to making people think about money?
- courses like Be A Pinterest (or Instagram or webinar) Rockstar. Which one will be the magic bullet? Do I have to be everywhere? This is so overwhelming but I guess I need to learn it!
What does this all lead to? Few to no clients coming in the door, and a sinking feeling of dread that you’ll never get this business off the ground.
Know what’ll feel better? Getting clients in the door and making consistent sales.
It’s time to come out of hiding and make your business visible.
I know you’re overwhelmed. I know you’re trying. I know that you’re tired, frustrated, and a bit (or a lot) panicky.
I also know that your accent color will not make or break your business, that focusing on onboarding a client before you have one is not a good use of your precious time, and that social media rarely brings in a client tomorrow unless you’ve been actively engaged with it for months (or years!) at a time.
I’m here to help you get used to working in your business instead of on it.
Can you imagine that – before it’s time to hit the beach next summer – you could:
- Have worked with clients or sold your product, with more in the hopper
- Have a streamlined and focused marketing plan that works best for you and your ideal client or customer based on real experience
- Know how to craft a new offer or product based on what your audience is looking for
- Have a monthly habit of reviewing and planning your business, which allows you to move forward with your business tasks and goals with purpose, focus and intention
- Comfortably talk to others about what you do, since you have more knowledge (and confidence!) on what your value is
- Know the feeling of being part of a group of likeminded women who you can go to with questions, challenges and support
- Not break out in hives when it comes to pitching yourself to a publication, conference or podcast – because you’ve been there, done that and gotten the Yes’ to prove it
- Feel way more comfortable with being uncomfortable, since you’ve practiced vulnerability around your business and thrived!
What’s going to help you get there? Build Your Client Base, of course!
Build Your Client Base is a 6-month mastermind that will lead you to learn, practice and execute the skills you need to actively and consistently bring clients in the door – and there’s only 1 spot left.
There’s so much to learn and experiment with when you’re a newbie entrepreneur, it can feel super overwhelming. Having the support of this group along with Michelle’s guidance and knowledge was a game-changer in the first few months of being the boss. Before our program started I spent hours and days trying to figure out marketing, newsletters, pricing, how to kick off and wrap up projects, etc. Now, my seventh month in business and 5th month as part of this program, I’ve made more than what I was making monthly at my corporate/agency job! I look forward to continuing working with Michelle to keep developing and evolving my business and make work I believe in for the companies I believe in. “I’ve made more than what I was making monthly at my corporate/agency job!”
I joined Build Your Client Base because I knew that the next step in building my business was learning how to incorporate a solid, sustainable marketing plan. I now have a regular, growing newsletter campaign (plus other fun ways I can regularly get my name out there), a regular roster of clients, and the confidence to know that I’m finally at the place where I can quit my day job! I’ve loved working not only with Michelle, but also with a supportive, honest group of like-minded women. It has been a tremendous benefit to the growth of my business. “A tremendous benefit to the growth of my business”
Working with Michelle opened my eyes to how I actually could make my dream business a reality. Because of Build Your Client Base, I have been putting myself out there like never before. Now that I am solid with my goals, I am even more enthusiastic about getting myself out there (even if it does still make me nervous). Michelle has offered clarity to me in ways that I’ve never received in terms of business/careers and it’s truly appreciated. “Putting myself out there like never before”
I felt like I was doing “all the things”, yet I had no clients. In the first few months of the program, Michelle and I narrowed my niche to what I’d been tiptoeing around for a year, which led me to immediately revamp my website, create a new opt-in that dialed up my subscribers from 1-2/mo to 20-25/mo, and book my first consultation calls. After that, we put together a small group program, which I launched and sold that attracted my ideal clients! And while that’s all ah-mazing, Build Your Client Base has given me not only confidence in myself, but a deep belief that all of this is entirely possible! On top of all of this…she’s so freaking fun to work with!! “I launched and sold my first ever group program”
Instead of spending days researching and setting up online schedulers for clients that don’t exist, you’ll be doing the work that will land you clients first – and then have the resources and support to build your onboarding process.
You’ll be sending your newsletter at least once a month. You’ll be pitching media outlets regularly. You’ll know what marketing tactics you need to engage with because you know how your customers or clients are showing up.
Every week, you’ll consult your Sacred Business Binder and plan out your to dos. You’ll know how to prioritize and exactly what to work on when it comes time to get your hustle on. Every month, you’ll review what worked (and what didn’t!) and set goals for the next month – together.
You’ll be working on your next offer, knowing what your clients want because you’ve been working with and listening to them.
No more working on the bullhonkey.
Build Your Client Base runs from January 6th-June 26th, and you’ll get:
A personalized experience and a full library of exclusive content ($500 value)
With me and a tight-knit group of up to 20 like-minded, creative women and new business owners, you’ll never get lost in the crowd. We’ll have a private Mighty Network group (yup, no Facebook nonsense here!) for 24/7 access and support, which will also house my full library of prior challenges, worksheets, resources and more. Whenever you need help with pitching, collecting testimonials, making videos, creating content, launching and more, it’ll be at your fingertips.
Three 1-hour group calls each month ($1000 value)
These will take place on the first, second, and last Wednesdays (with one holiday-based change: 1/15 instead of 1/1) from 11:30am-12:30pm ET. Here’s what we’ll do on each call:
1st Wed: a Challenge & Do call. Each month, you’ll not only learn a new client-getting technique, but you’ll actually do it as your main focus that month. Think: sending personal email pitches, actually writing and sending your newsletter, list building, running promotions, etc.
2nd Wed: round robin “hot seat” + Q&A. Want our eyes and brains on something? Post it in the Mighty Network group prior, and we’ll give you our feedback on your copy, marketing plan, pitch, etc. Have a question you wanna talk about outside the community site? This is where to ask and get answers.
Last Wed: a monthly Plan & Review call. This is honestly the most important tool I use in my biz, and by doing this together for six months, you’ll see the magic that happens from it, too. It’s time to build this integral habit so you can intentionally set (and reach!) your business goals.
Two one-on-one 45-min sessions ($1600 value)
You’ll be able to schedule the first in January and the other in June. This time is yours, and I’ll happily put on my coaching and consulting hats to answer your questions, offer suggestions, make action plans, create or tweak offers, and more.
BONUS! ($250 value)
We’re going to have a private, virtual Pajama Planning Day on Saturday, December 14th from 11a-4p Eastern for no additional cost. You’ll get an exclusive digital copy of my 2020 Sacred Business Binder, and we’ll work together as a group in real time over a 5-hour period. We’ll review 2019, set our big 2020 goals, and leave you with your action plan for the 1st quarter of 2020. I’ve sold this for $197, but you get it fo’ free, ’cause #special, and if you can’t make it live you’ll get the recording.
With Build Your Client Base, I’ve started getting clients and making money – and my goal of quitting my day job ACTUALLY feels real! I’ve become so much more confident in my abilities as a coach and so much more excited to live my life. Working through the ups and downs of learning how to build a business with this group always ends up sunny somehow, even when stuff feels super icky and hard. “Started getting clients and making money”
Since Build Your Client Base I’ve doubled my client roster because Michelle is the most effective cheerleader ever! Nudging and pushing for progress while acknowledging all the wins (big AND small). This program helped me to create such a good foundation that no matter what challenges I face as my business grows, I know that I’m on solid footing. “I’ve doubled my client roster”
Lela Roher Stetch
Since joining Build Your Client Base, I’ve written my first newsletter and opened my online shop. The best part, though, is that these women have become such an amazingly supportive group. We can share our vulnerabilities that relate to our biz and know it’s safe… and the encouragement, guidance and advice we receive gives us the boost to keep moving forward. “The boost to keep moving forward”
I worked with Michelle on her Discover Your Dream Business and 90 Day Business Launch programs, and as those helped me jumpstart my business, Build Your Client Base was a natural way to move on. Immediately, I knew that I am not alone on this building journey. This mastermind has helped a lot to see that there are others that are devoted on getting their message out there too. Also, I can now tell strangers what I do without feeling weird. I can tell them about successes of my clients and see them smile instantly. Thank you, Michelle! “I am not alone on this building journey”
I’m Michelle Ward, and I’ve been helping creative women discover, launch and build their dream businesses as The When I Grow Up Coach since 2008.
When I decided to become a career coach for creative people (of all silly things for a grown-up to want to do as a job!) back in 2007, I put the wheels in motion to transition out of my job as an Account Manager with a verbally abusive boss who made me psychosomatic. My breaking point was having to run off a rush hour train to dry heave into a trash can at one of the busiest NYC subway platforms…and feeling fine when I was heading home and knew I didn’t have to go into work that day. Talk about a wake-up call!
Soon after, I got a “bridge job” as an Executive Assistant for a financial consultancy company so I could take back my nights, weekends, and personal energy to devote to my coaching certification and business. It took me two years and seven months to get certified and build my business up enough to be comfortable making the leap, but I was able to give notice in March 2010 to become The When I Grow Up Coach full-time.
Since then I’ve been featured in New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, USA Today, AOL Jobs, Newsweek and 150+ other media outlets. I’ve spoken at Etsy, SXSW, Freelancers Union, Holstee, CUNY Macauley Honors College and more. I co-wrote The Declaration of You, which was published by North Light Books, and taught Create Your Dream Career and Ditch Your Day Job, which were watched by tens of thousands of people live on CreativeLive.
I’ve created and sold out online programs. I’ve worked one-on-one with hundreds of clients. I’ve been on the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career List. But what I’m most proud of is what my clients have done in the 11 years since I’ve been The When I Grow Up Coach: quitting their jobs, building multi-six-figure businesses, selling out their own programs, publishing books, keynoting conferences, hosting Top 200 podcasts, and more.
On a personal note, I’m also a boob cancer survivor times two, a Judge Judy contest winner, a pink ukulele player and an NYU alum with my BFA in theater who lives just outside NYC with my husband and little girl. I take business growth seriously, but everyone who works with me says I infuse our sessions with energy, optimism, and playfulness. It’s my superpower!
Isn’t it time to give your business a real chance?
In their own words, the women who have been in this mastermind have gotten:
Michelle’s transparency in her business is what had me sign up for Build Your Client Base. She is always honest in the feedback she gives us, a gentle guide that brings us back to our greatness. She helped me to gain the confidence I needed in myself to turn my business into something that is uniquely me. And eventually the confidence to quit my day job (!!!) that was no longer serving me or the growth of my entrepreneurship. Build Your Client Base immediately opened doors that I could have only dreamed of becoming reality. “The confidence to quit my day job (!!!)”
Build Your Client Base helped me learn that you just have to do the work, even if it’s only in small chunks here and there. It’s so easy to stay in a perpetual state of research/thinking/planning and feel like you’re making progress… but you have to be able to recognize that those things aren’t necessarily moving you forward and are really just smartly veiled forms of procrastination. I was finally able to flesh out what I want to offer (thanks to the crazy amount of insight from Michelle!). “Crazy amount of insight”
I love knowing I’m not alone in building this business and that not only Michelle has my back but that I have a community of strong women beside me! There is so much to learn when you are building a business and it makes it so much easier to have steps laid out for you to follow, like Michelle does. I finally feel like my business has the clarity I’ve been looking for, and I feel re-energized about it while finally getting clients AND getting paid! “Re-energized AND getting paid!”
Build Your Client Base was an incredible experience. There was so much valuable content with such a fabulous group of women, and it was a joy to be part of it. Michelle brings oodles of wisdom and enthusiasm and cheerleading to her work – she’s a marvel. I now have the structure and tools to put my business out there! “The structure and tools to put my business out there!”
Is one of these questions in your head right now? Click on it for an answer:
Let’s put your business to work. Your no-obligation application is below.
Here’s the app! Fill it out ASAP to get your early bird savings and ensure this doesn’t sell out before you’ve claimed your spot. Acceptances (and registration) happens on a rolling basis, and only
20 15 10 5 1 spot s are is available.
I knew launching my business was just the beginning. Now I had to continue to get the word out, promote the business, figure out which new packages to offer and how to bring in new customers. Build Your Client Base has saved me so much time. I’ve added a business gift ideas service, and am gearing up to do a pre-sale for my holiday gift package. I also had the opportunity to promote my business to a large nationwide organization of independent business women. Building a new business can feel overwhelming, but Michelle makes it feel more manageable. The accountability, momentum, support and input I’ve gotten from this group of women is priceless for me. “The accountability, momentum, support and input is priceless”
Build Your Client Base gave me the confidence to keep sleuthing my way through my business journey! When I look back on how much has changed I can’t believe it. I’m proud of my business. I enjoy my business. I enjoy my life and feel more to be alive. All of this is true because it’s authentic to me. Michelle is the brilliant star in the sky reminding me that with some planning, I can manifest my dreams (even though they often evolve in ways I could never have imagined.) From deep down in my toes, thank you, Michelle! “I’m proud of my business”
Peg Hall Williams
Build Your Client Base has helped me prove I can do hard things. I believe Michelle’s authentic and constructive style helped me create my biggest breakthrough to date. I am super excited about the direction my business is taking! “My biggest breakthrough to date”
I know you’ll get your first clients from your network, and pitching them personally works almost every time.
I know social media and list building is a long game, and while it’s worth doing, it shouldn’t be your highest priority right now.
I know it’s a waste of your limited time and energy to be perfecting the onboarding process before the clients are in the door.
I know reviewing and planning regularly will make a huge difference in your focus and reaching your goals.
I know the more social proof you have, the more you can charge.
Let’s aim for Imperfect and Done together, over and over again.
Let me show up for you as both a coach and a consultant, so I can help you clarify your own path while also being an open book in terms of my own experiences and results.
Together, we’ll work on monthly challenges that are based on how I get (and have gotten!) clients, and how I know my clients are bringing in money now.
Together, we’ll handle all your questions, challenges and freak-outs for 6 whole months.
Together, we’ll work alongside other multi-passionate, highly creative and super smart woman who have the same challenges and goals that you do.
Together, we’ll have you prioritize your To Dos based on what’s impactful for your business in this moment.
Together, we’ll stop overthinking and hiding and start showing up and doing.
Together, we’ll keep our Nancy Drew hat on while reviewing and planning our business goals on the regular.
You don’t have to tackle this alone.
Click below to get back to the no-obligation app
And let me know more about your business, goals and challenges. Together, we so got this.
“Build Your Client Base gave me an instant community and expert guide to help me take my business to the next level. So many of my issues were based around getting caught up in my negative thoughts and my efforts in my business coming to a standstill. I felt instantly connected to that community and had some structure for growing my business which was SO helpful in moving me forward. In just 5 months I’ve launched and executed my first group program successfully , had my biggest cash and sales month EVER in my business, got crazy visible on social media and other avenues, been featured in 3 podcasts, and am going into the end of the year with a massive visibility goal and the energy to meet it. Michelle is a fantastic cheerleader, not afraid to hold back on pushing me (or any of us) when needed, and I GREATLY appreciate her attention to detail and thorough, thoughtful planning and execution in all your programs. Her mix of giving us the perfect, solid but flexible structure to grow our businesses alongside her positive and encouraging nature is a perfect mix!” “Had my biggest cash and sales month EVER in my business”
It was time for me to start bridging the gap from side hustle to full-time Coaching and Consulting. Build Your Client Base was the step I needed to launch my website, develop and implement critical processes for my business. Michelle truly wants to see me succeed, and I love how she challenges me to push myself in my business in an inspirational way. This program has been critical in ensuring progress for my business, helping me evolve to maintain a competitive edge. What I’ve learned here has been helpful in creating a steady flow of business. “A steady flow of business”
I like the camaraderie of being in a small group like the Build Your Client Base mastermind. It makes the entrepreneurial journey seem less lonely. Michelle is able to really give each person specific and helpful feedback on their issues and challenges, too. Build Your Client Base helps me stay on track with the important tasks that I need to work on to grow my business. “Helps me stay on track with the important tasks I need to grow my business”
Build Your Client Base gave me a sense of relief! I was no longer on my own, fretting and overthinking, but could hand over a little of my perfectionism to someone else to help me see what ACTUALLY mattered and what didn’t. And immediately, I rebranded; hah! I’d been feeling unhappy with the business focus but couldn’t see the steps to take, which bits were not working. I was too close and Michelle helped me step back. I feel like my business actually encompasses a lot more of what I want it to – in 4 months I have more clarity than 2 years of working on the old brand gave me. “Helped me see what ACTUALLY mattered and what didn’t”
“I love how Michelle keeps me on track with my priorities and always meet me where I’m at. What sets her apart is that she doesn’t teach a formula or blueprint. I appreciate how she encourages me to experiment and discover for myself what will work in my business! I’m now attracting exciting partnerships and clients who want to work with me. I’ve deepened into a niche that I’m excited about and that’s full of new potential. My business feels more authentic and aligned with how I want to serve my clients.” “I’m now attracting exciting partnerships and clients who want to work with me”
“Because of Build Your Client Base, I’m more confident and empowered to say I’m an End of Life Planner. I have a better understanding of “Why” I’m doing this, which helps fuel my passion when self-doubt comes. Michelle has given me so many tools to grow my business, shift my mindset and inspire me to keep going. Building a business is a long road and everything I’m doing is laying the foundation for the future success of my business. Putting in the time and work truly makes a difference.” “So many tools to grow my business, shift my mindset and inspire me to keep going”