As new entrepreneurs, we are hungry for clients. It can be tempting to take on a project that doesn’t feel quite right because we need the money and want the experience. But today’s guest argues that a poor fit leads to immense frustration, and she is here to offer strategies that will help you determine whether a client is a good match on the front end so that both parties feel comfortable moving forward.
Liz Thompson earned her undergraduate degree in communication, then pursued master’s degrees in English and literature. She worked in editing and communication in the corporate world for 15 years before taking the leap into entrepreneurship. When Liz got married two years ago, the timing was right to start her own firm so that she would have the flexibility to stay home and raise her new blended family.
Liz is on a mission to help writers find and refine their voice and share their stories with the world. She takes on fiction and non-fiction projects, and she loves to edit cookbooks. Today Liz shares her secrets around building a clientele, online networking, and pricing her services. Listen in and learn how Liz approaches scheduling clients and the process she employs to choose clients who are a good fit.
How Liz built a clientele
- Got connected with entrepreneur groups early on (primarily online)
- Enlisted help of business coach
- Found Facebook groups where ideal clients ‘lived’
- Offered authentic help on platform
- Subsequent clients through referrals
The value of online networking groups like Boss Mom
- Going through similar things (parents building businesses)
- Wide range of experience
- Experts in different areas of need (i.e.: designing websites)
How Liz made the decision to invest in a business coach
- Had already invested in several courses
- 15-minute coaching call with Dana Malstaff led to Liz's first client
- Made sense to invest up front on person who would help grow business
How Liz structures the working relationship with writers
- Phone call to get overview of project, type of editing necessary
- Perform sample edit to determine fit
- Work on front-end helps avoid bad experiences
How Liz prices her editing services
- Rate per word depends on experience of writer, condition of manuscript
- Quote encompasses two rounds (developmental and copy editing)
Liz’s approach to scheduling clients
- Cap out number of projects per month
- Map out how much want to make, how many projects can take on
- Booked two to three months in advance
Why Liz only accepts clients that feel like a good fit
- Early on, took on client who requested partial edit of manuscript
- Many mistakes in portion she hadn’t edited, but name on project
- ‘If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it’
- Refers science fiction, highly technical business projects to other editors (not her interest, strength)
Connect with Elizabeth Thompson
Liz Thompson is the founder and editor at House Style Editing, where she helps writers find and refine their voice so they can share their stories with the world. Whether it is fiction, non-fiction, or a cookbook, Liz can help bring your words to life.
When she is not editing, Liz is home in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and blended family of 5 kiddos, and a one-eyed yorkie--either cooking, doing laundry, or wishing she was editing.