Starting over … again

🗓 April 4, 2023

✍️ Written by: Karmen Kendrick

📌 TL; DR: This edition of Tips and Tacos features advice on handling discovery call no-shows, selling digital products as a service provider, and the future of your business on TikTok.
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It’s been a while since I sent out a Tips and Tacos Newsletter, and that’s mainly because I’ve been working on shifting from a personal brand ( to an agency model (

With that being said, let’s shift to the new style of Tips and Tacos. Once a month, on the first Tuesday of every month, I’ll send out a new edition of Tips and Tacos. I’ll share a roundup of marketing tips for service-based businesses and give away a $40 UberEats gift card to buy tacos at your favorite Taco spot (I can also send cash if preferred).

Now let’s dig into this month’s marketing tips.

Avoid Discovery Call No-Shows & Time Wasters

I used to offer discovery calls for free, but of course, I had people that didn’t show up or weren’t ready to work together until next year.

So the free method was definitely a no-go.  Then I decided to offer paid discovery call for $25. It DID eliminate the no-shows, but I still ran into the people who weren’t ready to move forward. Trust me, I love that I was getting paid for my time, but I preferred a project instead.

So that’s when I decided to create an application process plus up the discovery call price to $100.  The application process allowed me to vet my leads before we even talked over the phone. And what’s even sweeter is that the leads that make it through my application process closed 100% of the time. I’ve even had clients tell me how excited they were just to get on the phone with me.
When I tell other service providers about this, they usually have some apprehension, especially when it comes to charging $100 just for the first introductory call.

The thing is, it’s a win/win scenario. You get paid for your time, plus you know the person on the other end is at least ready to commit. I mean, most people aren’t throwing away $100. And for that potential client, they’re getting valuable expertise just from talking to you. 

And if it makes you feel better, you can even let them know that you’ll credit the fee for the call to their project if they decide to move forward. Another thing that helped me tremendously was creating a Services & Pricing Guide.

I would provide a copy on my service pages in exchange for the website visitor’s email address. A potential client could easily scan my services and prices without having to get on Discovery Call with me to see if I was within their budget.

I also got their email address, so even if they weren’t ready to work with me, I’d stay top of mind when they received my newsletter. Everything mentioned here is a great strategy for avoiding no-shows to protecting your time from time-wasters.

Selling Digital Products as a Service Provider

Earlier this year Gumroad announced that they would be increasing their platform fees to 10%. That means if you sell a product for $100 from your Gumroad account, then they’ll take $10. 

It doesn’t sound like a terrible deal until your sales begin to grow to, say $100,000, and you’re giving them $10k. I get that they provide a decent service and an easy way to sell your digital products, but there are better ways to sell online and pay less fees.

If you missed my article a few weeks back, I talked about how you can avoid the feast-and-famine cycle of service work and diversify your income with digital products. If you’re not already in the digital product space, then that article could convince you otherwise.

Be sure to check out the recording of this Twitter Space where I rounded up other service-based business owners with digital products to discuss their experiences.

The Future of Your Business on TikTok

I probably should be the last person speaking on TikTok since I haven’t made a post since last year around this time, but I can’t help but notice all of the recent talk about it in the news.

If you didn’t know, US lawmakers are basically forcing TikTok to sell or be banned. Talk about an ultimatum. The problem is that TikTok is owned by China, and US lawmakers are concerned about American data being used by China.

I’m not trying to get too political here, but they do have a point. However, with over 150 million+ US-based users on the platform each month, and the rise of the influencers from the platform, it will be fallout whichever way this goes.

That’s why I want you to be prepared if TikTok is one of your main channels for finding new leads for your services. If I found myself in the situation, then I’d make sure of a few things.

  1. Funnel my followers to my email list. Everything I’d post from this point forward would be a CTA (call-to-action) to join my email list.
  2. Start building on a new platform. Your followers are on multiple platforms. Start polling them to see where else they hang out besides TikTok and start building for yourself there.

The bottom line is … we don’t own any of these platforms, and anything can happen. If your main income source comes from anything you don’t own, then you need to find ways to diversify it and focus some of your time building in places you own and have full control over.

Wrapping Up

I hope you enjoyed this first edition back of Tips and Tacos. And don’t worry. I’m already writing for May and beyond, so I can stay on track. Don’t forget to check out this month’s Tips and Tacos sponsor.

Did someone say free tacos?

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