S2 EP3: How Kaci Ackerman Makes $5,000 per Month Selling a ClickUp Course and Templates

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Today’s guest is Kaci Ackerman. Kaci is a Certified Online Business Manager® (OBM®) and Verified ClickUp Consultant who helps her clients optimize and automate their work in ClickUp, saving them upwards of 10 hours/week.

Kaci started her business in 2020 after the dental office she managed was closed due to the pandemic. In the last 2.5 years, she’s grown her business from $0 to $150k, with half of her revenue coming from her ClickUp course and templates. This focus on creating passive income streams has allowed Kaci to scale back her time and work just 20 hours/week in her business.

In this episode, Kaci shares:

  • How she replaced her dental office manager salary in the first 3 months of her business
  • The mindset everyone needs when starting a business
    How she ended up with 10 leads in a single month (and why this was NOT good thing for her at the time)
  • The habit that saved her sanity when she was booked out with OBM retainer clients
  • Tips for finding a profitable passive income product (which she says is the reason her Facebook ads bring in 3x her ad spend)
  • And so much more!


Episode Transcript (click to expand)

Note: This transcript was automatically generated and may include typos.

[00:00:00] Megan: Hi Casey. Thanks so much for being on the Dollar Sprout podcast today. Thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited about today. Yeah, I’m really excited too. Um, I already told you this, but like your business has been an inspiration for me in starting my own O B M business, so I’m really excited to hear about your story and um, all the things that you’re doing in your business today, and also kind of how, how you got there.

[00:00:25] Um, so.

[00:00:26] Kaci Ackerman: awesome.

[00:00:27] Megan: Cool. So starting out, for everybody listening, would you mind just in your own words, tell us what exactly you do in your business, um, what it is that you sell, any products and services that you offer

[00:00:42] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah, I am a click up expert, um, vetted consultant with click up, and I basically do all things click up. So I have click up templates. I

[00:00:53] Megan: I.

[00:00:53] Kaci Ackerman: a click up course, and then I also have, one-on-one services. So I work with people through v i P days and v i p weeks. Um, where we completely overhaul their business and really optimize and everything in click up.

[00:01:08] Um, mainly my whole goal for every business owner that I work with is that they can start scaling back the amount of time that they work their business roughly around 10 hours a week.

[00:01:18] Megan: Yeah. Oh wow. That sounds awesome. . Um, So can, can you explain what exactly is click up? What does it do?

[00:01:29] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah, of course. Click Up is a project management tool. So if, um, other people are listening, if you know about like Trello or Monday or Asana Base Camp, there’s so many of them. Um, but that’s exactly what click up is. but click up takes it to like another level. Um, because they have things where they have docs, they have, um, forms.

[00:01:53] So you have like fillable forms inside click up. You have the integrations and you also have like automations that you can set and click up as well.

[00:02:01] Megan: Hmm.

[00:02:01] Kaci Ackerman: it kind of takes it to. A project management on steroids. I would say

[00:02:06] Megan: Yeah.

[00:02:07] Kaci Ackerman: a, a higher level project management. Um,

[00:02:10] Megan: Hmm.

[00:02:10] Kaci Ackerman: kind of the difference I see in the other ones that are out there.

[00:02:14] Megan: Yeah. . Awesome. So everything that you do in your business is based around click up. You said you sell templates, you do one-on-one service offerings. V i p days and v i p weeks. But it, all of it is related to click up.

[00:02:30] Kaci Ackerman: Yes, all of it is click up only. So

[00:02:32] Megan: Yeah.

[00:02:32] Kaci Ackerman: work with anyone that, you know, wants Trello or Monday or anything like that. Um, I believe in click up in the power of what it provides, which is, you know, saving people time. Um, even in my own business, I went from working 50 to 60 hours a week to now I work about 20 hours a week, a lot of that with click up.

[00:02:53] And I will also say I. two team members that’s it. it’s not like I have this really large team behind me to support that. click up has kind of became like a second me an additional team member, if you will. So it has been able to take on a lot of um, me and my team members. Like they don’t have to spend time doing things that click up just takes care of for us.

[00:03:18] Megan: Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome that you’ve been able to build, you know, such a, a thriving business around this one tool around click up. Um, and that you, you know, you have a very lean business as well, two team members you said. Um, would you mind to share, um, what. What you’ve been able to build with your business.

[00:03:40] So what does your current revenue look like? Um, what we ask, you know, guests before the podcast to fill out our survey and you said you were comfortable sharing your revenue and profitability. Um, so what does that look like?

[00:03:52] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah. So, this year specifically to date, I’m at around 150, in revenue.

[00:04:00] Megan: Well,

[00:04:00] Kaci Ackerman: I ended last year around 120 or so. Um, so. Things are progressing in a good way. my profitability, since my, my company is really lean, um, I do invest in Facebook ads. Um, so that’s a big chunk of my, my, um, expenses. So my profitability is around 60 to 70% roughly, um, outta my revenue.

[00:04:26] So,

[00:04:27] Megan: Wow, that’s amazing. , that’s very profitable. . Yeah. Yeah. That’s a

[00:04:35] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s a good, I love sharing about this stuff and I love talking about numbers, um, because it goes to show like, you don’t have to have this huge team to have a profitable business, or you don’t have

[00:04:47] Megan: right.

[00:04:48] Kaci Ackerman: offer, you know, all of these different services. I literally offer three services.

[00:04:53] Megan: Yeah.

[00:04:53] Kaci Ackerman: buy a from me, you can buy my. or you can book a v i P day

[00:04:58] Megan: Yeah.

[00:04:59] Kaci Ackerman: week, whichever one, um, and that’s it. And I’ve been able to scale that into a six figure business and all the while only 20 hours a week. And for me, the time is actually far more important than the money. Um, because now I have freedom in my life. Like I can schedule those appointments when I need to. I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t have to worry about, I need to work on Saturday because I didn’t work on Friday. You know? Um, those different things. So that is really a big piece for me. fact that I was able to scale back so much of my. And all of my clients have seen that as well. So every single client, whether they’ve purchased a template or had a V I P day, anywhere from three to 10 to 12 hours a week.

[00:05:45] Megan: Wow. God, that’s amazing. Um, so. . I totally agree, and I see where you’re coming from. Like that’s my ultimate goal in my business is to create more time freedom. Um, and I love talking to people who’ve already done that because you know, just shows me that yes, it is possible and I will get there. But it’s not always the case when, you know, you first started your business, um, and you’re kind of working on building it up, I guess so, or maybe it was, maybe it was for you.

[00:06:15] Um, but would you mind, I guess, take us back to what your life looked like before you started this business? What were you doing for your career and what did your days look?

[00:06:26] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah, so I was a dental office manager for about, um, 10 years. And, my business out of the Covid era, if you will, um,

[00:06:37] Megan: Oh yeah.

[00:06:37] Kaci Ackerman: our office closed. And the reason I started looking into my own business is simply because I did not like somebody having. So much control over my life. So they had control over my time and they also had control over my finances. I, at that point was pretty maxed out on like what a dental office manager kind of makes, um, salary wise. So I didn’t see there wasn’t growth there. I was at the top of the dentist, you know, it was done

[00:07:06] Megan: Yeah.

[00:07:07] Kaci Ackerman: I started looking at different things and you know, when I first started my business, I was not working 20 hours a week.

[00:07:13] I was working, you know, a full nine to five corporate style, but I chose to do that. So I chose to treat my business like it was a full-time job, and that’s kind of where things paid off. Um, so I did, you know, work, I don’t know. I worked all the time. I swear

[00:07:31] Megan: Yeah.

[00:07:31] Kaci Ackerman: just constant. Um, but I definitely worked at least 40 hours, if not more a week. But now we’re looking at, I’m going into two and a half years in business and the only thing on my schedule today is recording this podcast, you know?

[00:07:46] Megan: Yeah. That’s so cool.

[00:07:48] Kaci Ackerman: it has, it has transformed my life.

[00:07:50] Megan: Yeah.

[00:07:51] Kaci Ackerman: and that’s, that’s the important part. So I did put in, it’s lot of work. It’s a hard work to build your business, but when you do it, you know, initially the right way and putting in all of those hours and, you know, getting to the point to where you’re known in your industry for what you do, it starts to kind of turn around and you see the tenfold of the other.

[00:08:12] Megan: Yeah. Yeah. So it sounds like your motivation for starting your business was time freedom, but also you were kind of forced to do something a little differently with, you know, the pandemic and everything. Um, why did you choose this type of business? Was click up like the first thing that you settled on, or was there, uh, anything else that you tried out in your business before?

[00:08:38] Getting to where you’re, yeah. Yeah.

[00:08:42] Kaci Ackerman: I, so my first, my first official, uh, job in my, or like client, um, I was managing her Instagram and it was like 15 bucks an hour.

[00:08:54] Megan: Oh yeah.

[00:08:55] Kaci Ackerman: thing I did. then, so what I did though, I was very, um, I’m very Type A if you haven’t figured that out, Um, but I like had scheduled blocks for like, everything.

[00:09:08] So every single morning I would network in Facebook groups for at least an hour. And I started finding like random one-off projects to do, like anything just to make money,

[00:09:19] Megan: Yeah.

[00:09:19] Kaci Ackerman: And what happened though, because of doing that, um, you get that first client, it’s like things fall into place of like your confidence and you’re like, oh, I really can do this.

[00:09:31] You know, I’m, I’m good at, I, I know that I can do it. now I’ve just proved it cuz someone actually wants to work with me. but in the first three months I replaced my dental office management. um, monthly. And so I wasn’t, I didn’t have to return to because I just like had my head down inside this business of mine, like doing everything possible to not have to go back. Um, and so, but yeah, I mean, my first gig was 15 bucks an hour. You know, it

[00:10:03] Megan: Yeah.

[00:10:04] Kaci Ackerman: Huge, you know, $4,000 retainer or anything like that. Um, and things just build off of that. And of course, you know, I quickly found things that I didn’t like that was more important to me than finding what I did like.

[00:10:17] Megan: Hmm.

[00:10:18] Kaci Ackerman: I like if there are people out there listening to this and you are just starting your business, try everything

[00:10:24] Megan: Yeah.

[00:10:24] Kaci Ackerman: because you’re gonna know what really with you.

[00:10:27] Especially like, so for me, The, uh, the like business management and the systems and stuff, did mix well really well with me because that’s actually what I loved doing in my nine to five. Um, but you don’t enjoy your nine to five, then try different things because I know a lot of like past teachers that are now Pinterest strategists or

[00:10:51] Megan: Oh yeah.

[00:10:51] Kaci Ackerman: managers or designers, you know, and that

[00:10:54] Megan: Mm.

[00:10:54] Kaci Ackerman: to do with cheat.

[00:10:56] Megan: Yeah.

[00:10:57] Kaci Ackerman: so that’s why I just tried everything. I just, I was like, okay, I’m gonna go out there. I redesigned a website, I managed Instagram. did just random VA stuff. the turning point for me was I was getting bored with those things and I was like, this is not serving. Me as a person, like I’m not excited to come to my computer, you know, every day and work and everything. so that’s kind of where the transformation started. So I went to get, my certification in online business management during that time is when I found click up and that’s when things just like White Gates opened and I was like, oh, this is it. This is, this is the thing.

[00:11:37] Megan: Yeah.

[00:11:38] Kaci Ackerman: journey and how I got to click up.

[00:11:41] Megan: Yeah. That’s, that’s awesome. So yeah, what. Okay, so question. You said that you were manager of a dental office, right? Is it, what was it? A dental?

[00:11:55] Kaci Ackerman: Dental

[00:11:56] Megan: Yeah. Okay. Um, and so you immediately, your first day in your business, your first few dollars were from managing somebody’s Instagram account.

[00:12:05] Kaci Ackerman: Mm-hmm.

[00:12:06] Megan: and doing, you know, these random one-off projects.

[00:12:08] Did you have these skills or, um, what I guess gave you the confidence to like reach out and try to land these projects if that’s something you had never done before?

[00:12:20] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah. So, no, I, I did not know what I was doing. Um, but YouTube and Google is your

[00:12:27] Megan: Yeah. Okay.

[00:12:29] Kaci Ackerman: Um, and also, you know, like to remember. So for me, I knew that I could learn things, and that’s what you have to remember, especially like in whatever job you may have right now. Um, you had to learn that job.

[00:12:44] You had to, you know, learn the system that you use or you had to learn. know, the ins and outs of what you do every single day, or what your coworkers do in case they’re sick or something. that, for me, that mindset was really helpful because then I was able to just say like, yeah, I can do that.

[00:13:01] I can learn

[00:13:01] Megan: Yeah.

[00:13:01] Kaci Ackerman: like, you know, and then, Some people use, some people kind of get, like when we’re talking social media management, some people know later and don’t know Plani or something. for me, they’re all the same in my

[00:13:16] Megan: Yeah.

[00:13:16] Kaci Ackerman: So I’m like, yeah, I’ll figure it out. You know, like it will take me five minutes to figure out where I put the scheduled post and versus later.

[00:13:25] Um, so kind of just that. having that mindset of I can do this, I can learn this, I can do hard things. I am smart. know, I had to learn everything I learned from scratch with my dental office. So, Just way backstory when I started as a, the dental field, I started um, just a front office assistant knowing literally nothing.

[00:13:50] Like I learned everything on the job. Um, and then moved, you know, progressed into management. you know, if I could do that, then I was like, oh, I could figure this out.

[00:14:01] Megan: Yeah, I’ve, yeah, I get that. There have been a lot of the, the business journey over here has also been very long and winding. So there were a lot of things that I did in the beginning that I look back on and I’m like, I had no business, you know, trying to like code somebody’s website, , what was I doing? But, uh, but I learned it.

[00:14:20] Yeah. And you learn it kind of on the fly. Um. . Yeah. I love that mindset and I think that that’s a very helpful way of looking at it when you’re just getting started in your business and you’re testing out new things and figuring out what works for you. So you started your business in 2020, is that right?

[00:14:41] With the pandemic. Okay. And then at what point did you go into the, UH, certified O B M or Yeah, the OM certification, and then find, click.

[00:14:53] Kaci Ackerman: Uh, very quickly.

[00:14:55] Megan: Okay.

[00:14:55] Kaci Ackerman: started my business in April and I was enrolled in the certification program by June.

[00:15:00] Megan: Okay.

[00:15:01] Kaci Ackerman: I just knew, I know, know myself and I was like, this is the route I want to go. especially cuz I had management background already and so I was like, oh, I should get certified then I can manage other people’s businesses, you

[00:15:15] Megan: Hmm.

[00:15:15] Kaci Ackerman: just online versus in person.

[00:15:17] Um, and then my accountability partner used click up and that’s how I. I found it and she was like, you need click up. And I was like, what’s that And here we are.

[00:15:26] Megan: Yeah. here we’re, that’s so funny. Yeah. I was also very quick when I learned what an O B M was, um, like last December, less than a year ago now, is when I officially pivoted my business to being an O B M. December is when I learned what an O B M was, and by January I was enrolled in the certification program.

[00:15:48] Um, so yeah, fast action there. Um, so when you learned about click up and you. You know, figured out like, this is the direction I wanna go in my business. I love this tool. I want to build some products and services around it. What were those first steps that you took? What? What was your first offering that you created and sold around your click up services?

[00:16:12] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah, so actually first started with retainer clients still,

[00:16:17] Megan: Hmm.

[00:16:18] Kaci Ackerman: I required them to already use click up, or Be Willing to Use click Up. So that was like my first step of honing in on this click up idea. then in, um, I think it was March or April of 2021, I decided that I wanted to build a template shop.

[00:16:34] So that was my first official like click up offer, which was a template shop. And then I started setting it up for people, um, just of, of one-off projects, not even as a v i P day, just one-off projects. I still had my retainer clients, so it was kind of just like extra little

[00:16:50] Megan: Yes.

[00:16:51] Kaci Ackerman: revenue, you know, here and there when somebody wanted. And then I officially launched my course, um, almost a year ago. It was Black Friday last year. Um, my course launched, so I, um, kind of I feel like, you know, I went through templates and then I started setting things up, and then I was like, you know what? build a course for people to DIY their click up.

[00:17:14] Um, and that’s gone really well. People really like that too, because, you know, not everybody has. The money to invest in one-on-one services. So I wanted to find that middle ground for them, and that’s kind of how the course came about.

[00:17:27] Megan: Awesome. Yeah. So you were very click, so, um, you were very click, you were very quick, um, in like setting up all your, your click up services. Um, I love that you did the retainer clients, you know, that you maintained retainer clients while you were kind of building your experience and click up and kind of refining those offers.

[00:17:49] Um, what. , what does your business look like today in terms of, if you don’t mind sharing in terms of, um, percentage of revenue that comes from your, uh, like template shop versus your one-on-one click up services.

[00:18:08] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah, it’s about 50

[00:18:10] Megan: Okay.

[00:18:11] Kaci Ackerman: Um, so roughly, um, if we wanna get into nitty gritty numbers, um, roughly it’s about six to $7,000 a month between templates and the course. and then I do three v i p days a month, and those are $3,000 each. So those bring in 9,000, so

[00:18:27] Megan: Yeah.

[00:18:27] Kaci Ackerman: about 50. Um, and what’s great about having this passive income is there’s not really much to maintain now that I did all the work, you know, a year and a half ago. It’s all kind of, I just wake up and I’m like, oh, I got a sale. Oh, I got a sale. You know, it’s, it’s nice. I can now just like reap the passive income Um, and obviously, you know, there’s support. I have a Facebook group and there’s support, um, that I provide to them, the most part, it’s now become a very passive thing where I don’t really have to do much outside of run my Facebook.

[00:19:04] Megan: Yeah. Yeah. So that was gonna be my next question sort of is when you started your click up shop and you started building your course and your passive income products, did you already have an audience built in that, you know, you, you knew you were gonna be able to. Sell these products to, um, or how did you build that audience?

[00:19:23] Um, cuz I, I think what a lot of people do, what I’ve definitely done in the past, in the previous iteration of my business is like built products that I thought were gonna be great passive income products, but I didn’t have anybody to sell them to and I didn’t do a great job of finding those people. So these like tools that I built that could have been great for passive income, never made a whole lot of.

[00:19:48] you know? So how did you get that revenue rolling in with those products?

[00:19:54] Kaci Ackerman: so the first thing I did was research and. There aren’t other people making click up templates, like it’s not

[00:20:02] Megan: Mm.

[00:20:03] Kaci Ackerman: Um, I think I have, we’re talking actual templates, I think I only have maybe like two competitors that make templates as well. and point is to maybe like even more than. Half less than theirs. my templates are $47, where my competitors are over a hundred. Um, I focused on a very much low ticket type offer. Um, And then also I pulled my Instagram audience. So I started to move away from Facebook and started to build my Instagram audience. I pulled them a lot,

[00:20:44] Megan: Yeah.

[00:20:45] Kaci Ackerman: like a lot, a lot

[00:20:47] Megan: Hmm.

[00:20:48] Kaci Ackerman: Um, and it was all like no pitch polling, it was just getting market research. It was, you know, I did, I did go a little bit into Facebook of some market research, but mainly it was my actual audience that I, I researched outside of, you know, goo. Click up templates to see if there were other competitors out there. Um, so that was the first thing I did. And then also I went into my passive offer knowing that I didn’t wanna talk about templates every single day or make content around my templates. I went into building this knowing that I was gonna go straight to ads

[00:21:22] Megan: Oh.

[00:21:23] Kaci Ackerman: It was, it was a slow burn. It took about three months before ads started to really take off.

[00:21:30] Um, but once they did, it’s been. Great. Ever since.

[00:21:35] Megan: Yeah.

[00:21:35] Kaci Ackerman: so, and I can, I can even give you guys numbers on that too, of like, ad spend is usually around 2000 to 2,500 and I’m bringing in, know, six, 6,000 to 7,000 a month. So that’s really good return,

[00:21:51] Megan: Yeah, that’s a great roi.

[00:21:53] Kaci Ackerman: I. I think though, it’s because there aren’t, you know, hundreds of people click up templates.

[00:22:01] Megan: Hm.

[00:22:02] Kaci Ackerman: is very low and I think that’s one of the big things about your passive offers. Um, and what you’re gonna create is, Competition like research, figuring out what sets you apart from your competition. also, like I also actually, um, met with experts. So I have my work for service providers that are in a specific industry.

[00:22:25] So for instance, have a podcast management template that they can use and. Manage their clients with this template. I actually met with a podcast manager

[00:22:37] Megan: Hmm.

[00:22:39] Kaci Ackerman: and out what their process was to build this template. So

[00:22:44] Megan: smart

[00:22:44] Kaci Ackerman: just thank you. But I, I didn’t just like, you know, think to think in my head of like, oh, what should they do?

[00:22:52] Megan: Yeah.

[00:22:52] Kaci Ackerman: make these. So I, I put in, um, the. like research and the development part of it. I worked with other experts actually build those templates to make sure that what I was selling was going to provide those clients or those business owners, like actual time saving

[00:23:10] Megan: Yeah. How long did that research process take you? Um, Yeah. From like starting to figure out what you could possibly sell to finding out, there aren’t that many people who do click up templates to like speaking with experts in these industries and actually building the temp. Like how much time did you put into this upfront?

[00:23:31] Kaci Ackerman: Months

[00:23:32] Megan: Yeah.

[00:23:33] Kaci Ackerman: Um, so I would say they launched officially Memorial Weekend, and I started working on them I think in February. So like four, five months? Well, no. Yeah, like five months roughly.

[00:23:49] Megan: Wow.

[00:23:49] Kaci Ackerman: to launch sooner than that, and that didn’t happen.

[00:23:51] Megan: Yeah. Yeah. It is a lot of time. I think that, you know, yeah. The whole like, oh, make a P D F and make passive income or whatever. Uh, it’s just. Not how it works a lot of the time. It, it takes a lot of time and energy to create a passive income product. But like you said, now that you have it and you have your system down, you’re, uh, making a great ROI with your Facebook ads and it’s, you know, pretty hands off it sounds like.

[00:24:23] Kaci Ackerman: It is. Yeah. And I also have, you know, a team member that actually does all the support for me too. that’s one team member. So she’s been able to take on the support stuff, which I did in the beginning. So,

[00:24:35] Megan: Yeah.

[00:24:36] Kaci Ackerman: it’s, it’s interesting, like technically there’s no such thing as a passive product because I am paying someone, you

[00:24:42] Megan: Right.

[00:24:43] Kaci Ackerman: manage the support of it.

[00:24:44] I’m paying Facebook ads, I’m, you know, so I still have, we have a support group that I am active in. Um, so there’s still time and energy that does come out, but is a fraction of what it would be to have a retainer client or be doing, you know, v i p days twice a week. or, know, having. I don’t know, managing huge companies or something.

[00:25:09] Megan: Yeah. Yeah, so I, I wanna kind of switch gears. I love hearing about your template shop, and it’s so much fun for me to talk about these passive products. But I wanna talk about something that you alluded to before we started recording, which was that you hit a really hard time. Last year in 2021, um, where you were in your business because you had a problem that I’m sure so many business owners would love to have, which is that you had a ton of leads coming into your business, um, but it was overwhelming and, and you had no idea how to deal with it.

[00:25:45] So can you, I guess before we even talk about that situation, can you talk about. , how did you get all of these leads? Where did all of these people come from?

[00:25:58] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah, so this happened in January of 2021 and, um, all bus online business owners or any sort of like, um, service providers, January is always gonna be your busiest month, just so you know,

[00:26:15] Megan: Mm-hmm.

[00:26:15] Kaci Ackerman: Um, so happened in January, so before that I officially got certified in October

[00:26:23] Megan: Mm-hmm.

[00:26:23] Kaci Ackerman: I had a lot of just like anxiety and overwhelm around the fact of like, okay, I have the certification, but how do I get the clients now?

[00:26:31] And I was like going through the motions of like the imposter syndrome and all that kind of. But still just stayed consistent. It’s interesting for me personally, when I start to feel those things, it’s almost like a fire lights me and I’m just like, okay, I’m gonna do it. Like I have to, to pay my bills

[00:26:51] Megan: Yeah, right.

[00:26:53] Kaci Ackerman: like almost, even though this isn’t true, it’s almost like if I don’t sign a client, I’m gonna end up like homeless on the street.

[00:27:00] Like even though that’s, that’s like far from the truth. That’s like what happens to me when I to feel that those feelings and the stress and anxiety and so. That’s where I was though in like November or

[00:27:12] Megan: Hmm.

[00:27:13] Kaci Ackerman: 2020 feeling all of that. And so I to jobs on Facebook, so not, um, not like employee jobs, but type of jobs, you know, service provider jobs. applying to them and all of a sudden January hit and had 10. People in my inbox with my contact form filled out with discovery calls set, and I had no idea what to do because half of them like probably couldn’t afford my services, nor did I do the services that they wanted anymore because I didn’t have the changes set up in my business and the system set up to vet people.

[00:27:53] So that’s how the leads came. as I just said, over half of the more even quality leads

[00:27:59] Megan: Yeah. Yeah,

[00:28:02] Kaci Ackerman: So

[00:28:04] Megan: yeah. So when you say you applied to jobs on Facebook, do you mean like people posting in Facebook groups that you were a part of and you were just keeping an eye out and messaging people? Okay.

[00:28:15] Kaci Ackerman: Yep. So not necessarily like in a job on, on Indeed, but would say like, Hey, I’m looking for a project manager, or I’m looking for opm, or I’m looking for, somebody to set up my DSA or click up or whatever. Like, so

[00:28:30] Megan: Hmm.

[00:28:31] Kaci Ackerman: Facebook for all of those

[00:28:33] Megan: Yeah.

[00:28:33] Kaci Ackerman: I was also engaging. you know, and in networking and Facebook every single day. Um, I was still doing all of that. Um, and I think that, you know, one thing that people say is, Typically what happens is all of your efforts that you’re putting in, usually see the return on that roughly three months down the road. And it almost, that’s almost literally what happened to me.

[00:28:55] Like I was putting in all of my efforts in October, nothing happened. November, nothing happened. December, nothing happened, I kept doing it and then all of a sudden, boom,

[00:29:04] Megan: Yeah.

[00:29:05] Kaci Ackerman: And most people I talk to, that’s what happens. It’s like a boom and all of a sudden they’re. I don’t know, overwhelmed with all the people that wanna work with

[00:29:15] Megan: Yeah. Yeah, I think that that makes a lot of sense. And also, um, just goes to show that if things aren’t happening right away in your business, it’s not that they won’t happen, it’s just that it takes a little bit of time for your energy and efforts to pay off. So what did you do with all of those people who were in your inbox, half of which you didn’t even wanna work with?

[00:29:39] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah, so, um, I sent some emails and I just mentioned, you know, I don’t offer these services anymore or, you know, whatever it may be. I, I sent some emails out, but then did the work.

[00:29:52] Megan: Hmm.

[00:29:52] Kaci Ackerman: I put systems in place. I got a, actual lead capture form that vetted people before being able to get on a call with me, just to make sure they. you know, so far a good fit. Um, because the last thing I wanna do is also waste other people’s time, which is why I didn’t even get out on a call with most of them. And I, um, you know, just sent those emails out saying, I don’t think we’d be a good fit. You know, I don’t offer these services, cetera. Um, but then the other ones I met with them. and it went really well. I started gaining retainer clients. I had, um, four retainer clients throughout

[00:30:29] Megan: Wow.

[00:30:31] Kaci Ackerman: Um, and then I actually didn’t, I actually didn’t part ways with all my retainer clients until this year, March. March of this year is when I decided to officially have any retainer clients anymore.

[00:30:42] So you know, started to. a regular type, um, almost nine to five job, if you will, with the retainer clients that I had and the type of work that, that, um, business managers do. And, um, yeah, but what I did specifically was set up like dsto. I had workflows set up, I had click up, set up, um, not, I mean, I did it and. I’ve had the same team member since 2020, so her and I built these things together and made sure that, um, we had systems in place to support what I wanted to do and also to support those clients that were reaching out to me.

[00:31:23] Megan: Yeah. So when you said that you changed your lead capture form, what were those like edits that you made to make sure that people who were coming through were gonna be a good fit?

[00:31:37] Kaci Ackerman: I asked them, um, Things like, why are you wanting to hire O B M right

[00:31:42] Megan: Hmm.

[00:31:43] Kaci Ackerman: Um, why do you wanna work with like what MA sets me apart from the other people that you may have found? Um, I also asked them what their monthly budget was and also what their monthly revenue was. Um, typically for people that are in O B M, The person that you’re working with needs to be a multi six figure business to be able to afford you.

[00:32:03] So that’s a really good indicator of they’re ready or not. Um, and then I also even set up a, um, like. we’re not a good fit. Email with other referrals, so other people that might be a better fit with them. I set that up

[00:32:18] Megan: Hmm.

[00:32:19] Kaci Ackerman: so wasn’t like I was just sending them off into the abyss of like, oh, sorry,

[00:32:24] Megan: Yeah.

[00:32:24] Kaci Ackerman: gave them something that hopefully would, would work well with them as well.

[00:32:29] Megan: Yeah. . I just wanna point out real quick that for retainer clients sounds like so much . I’m always like, I have one current ongoing retainer client that I work with, and I’m very deep in the day-to-day of their business. Um, and even that sometimes I’m like, whew, that’s a lot of work, you know? So, , what did your.

[00:32:55] Life and business look like. When you had four retainer clients, were you working with all of them for like 10 plus hours a week, and how deep in their business were you?

[00:33:07] Kaci Ackerman: I had two of ’em that were, um, 10 to 12 hours a week. then I had two smaller ones, um, where it was roughly about five hours a week.

[00:33:16] Megan: Okay.

[00:33:17] Kaci Ackerman: I, um, so first of all, my team member actually helped quite a bit, with some of the stuff that we did with them. And also she helps with like all of my business. So I was able to really focus on what I needed to do.

[00:33:33] But what was really important was I utilized click up to time block my. Business and also my clients. So Mondays were, or actually Mondays are my c e o day. Now. Back then it was Fridays though, cuz um, usually Mondays with retainer clients, they like wanna start the week,

[00:33:50] Megan: Right. Yeah.

[00:33:51] Kaci Ackerman: so Friday was my c e o day, where I did not work on any client work whatsoever. what was important is Monday through Thursday, I did not work on my business, so I

[00:34:00] Megan: Hmm.

[00:34:01] Kaci Ackerman: stuff for Friday. Um, Thursday was a day where it was kind of like the catch up day, almost like a Friday, if you will, where you’re just making sure that you got those things done of your priorities for the week.

[00:34:11] And then Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were really like work days, and Wednesday was the day that I usually had all of my meetings. So I a very themed schedule, if you

[00:34:23] Megan: Mm-hmm.

[00:34:25] Kaci Ackerman: And it made it to where I could do focused work and unfocused work off of the day. So like Wednesday, I never did any focused work because I was so drained from, you know, seven meetings or whatever I had that day. but Monday and Tuesday were hyper-focused and making sure that were going out and you know, the team was supported and we had new things being built and all of that kind of stuff. And then Thursday was kind of that catch up or also anything that came from the Wednesday meetings. and then Friday was my business, so

[00:34:56] Megan: Yeah,

[00:34:56] Kaci Ackerman: a very, very scheduled

[00:34:59] Megan: yeah, yeah. To,

[00:35:02] Kaci Ackerman: But

[00:35:03] Megan: sorry. Go ahead.

[00:35:05] Kaci Ackerman: Oh, I was just gonna say, that’s just something that you have to do though when you have more than maybe like two clients, like you have to, you have to be scheduled and you have to time clock, or else you’re going to end every single day. not having a clue what you did feeling like you’re super unproductive, um, because you don’t have any structure to it.

[00:35:25] You’re just like waking up in the morning thinking, oh, what am I gonna do today? Um, and that actually hinders you a lot more having that structure.

[00:35:34] Megan: Yeah, that to anybody listening who’s maybe never had a service business before or never, you know, scheduled like this cuz you’re not a quote unquote type A person or whatever. Um, it might sound crazy, but it really is so necessary. I mean, of. , all of the habits and things that I’ve tried to implement in my life and business calendar blocking is probably one of the top three that’s just helped the most in being productive and, and like you said, being able to get to the end of a day and, and not ask what did I do all day?

[00:36:08] Just cuz you’re, you know, putting out fires or answering emails as they come through or whatever. Um, so yeah. Super important habit for me too. . Um, well thank you so much for talking to us about your business today, Casey. Um, I do wanna make sure before we run out of time here that I get a chance to ask you some of our regular rapid fire questions.

[00:36:34] Are you up for that?

[00:36:35] Kaci Ackerman: Yep.

[00:36:36] Megan: Okay. Awesome. So the first question that I have for you is, what is one of the best or most worthwhile investments that you’ve ever made in your business? And it could be an investment of money or time, or energy, or any other resource.

[00:36:53] Kaci Ackerman: I would say it’s probably the four first, um, investment I ever made before I even had my business. It was a course on how to build my

[00:37:02] Megan: Oh yeah. Interesting.

[00:37:03] Kaci Ackerman: Um, yeah, so it got me started and it was, watched this two hour webinar with her and I looked at my, um, husband I was like, I think I need to do this. And he is like, okay.

[00:37:16] Megan: huh?

[00:37:17] Kaci Ackerman: That was like the start of Casey Ackerman, l l c,

[00:37:20] Megan: Yeah. Oh, I’m so curious about this course. Was it like, was it like how to make a business plan and how to come up with your services, or what was, what was the gist of it?

[00:37:31] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah.

[00:37:32] Megan: Oh, okay.

[00:37:32] Kaci Ackerman: of it. So it was literally from start to finish how to start a freelance business. And so she took you through the legal side, the tech side, the service side, literally like every module was a specific area of how to, um, start your business and also get clients.

[00:37:49] Megan: Yeah.

[00:37:50] Kaci Ackerman: had weekly coaching calls.

[00:37:52] Um, it was amazing. And I would not be here that course.

[00:37:57] Megan: Yeah. Yeah. I, I’m also very much like a court course and coaching person. I just love taking courses and I don’t understand when I talk to people who are like, oh, I’ve built my, you know, business and I’ve never paid for a course, and I’m just like, not me. I need the training. I need the structure.

[00:38:17] Kaci Ackerman: it’s, you know, for me too, which is actually another reason why I invested in the certified OPM, because I can learn all of this stuff on my own and I could have DIYed the entire thing, it would’ve taken me years

[00:38:29] Megan: right?

[00:38:30] Kaci Ackerman: at right now. Like multiple years. It would’ve taken me a year just to figure out how to start my business.

[00:38:35] You know where with this, I did it in two weeks. it is a time and money investment. Um, time in the fact of like, takes you less time, you know? And same with the certified O um, course or program. the same thing. I was like, well, I could DIY this, but it’s gonna take me forever to figure out all of this different stuff.

[00:38:57] And then I

[00:38:58] Megan: Yeah.

[00:38:58] Kaci Ackerman: get clients after I do all of that. I might as well just invest in this and see the roi, you know, in three months rather than six to eight.

[00:39:08] Megan: Yeah. . Yeah, I totally agree. And I’ve also bought a lot of courses and paid for coaching. That was not worth it. Um, that just wasn’t the right program for me or, you know, the right coach. Um, so I’m gonna kind of take us off on a tangent from the Rapid Fire questions. Um, but I’m curious, how did you know that that program was the right one for you when you signed up for it?

[00:39:34] Because you were early on in your business. Like you said, it was an investment.

[00:39:38] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah, so my cousin took that same course, so I did have her to kind of say, and she was living proof. She left her teaching job and replaced her salary with, you know, this, this course and this program that she did. But also another thing that I did was, I, when I watched the webinar, I just knew like she was if you will, like she was going to do what I needed to do, uh, or what I needed.

[00:40:06] And also I find a lot of people when they’re first trying to start their business, they are googling like every course out there and every person out there and it starts to get like very granular. So I not to do that and I watched hers and I. and that was it. And so I didn’t, I didn’t go down the rabbit hole of like, oh, well what about this person that has a course?

[00:40:30] Or What about this person that has a course? took what my cousin told me, and then I watched her webinar and I was like, I’m good. You know,

[00:40:37] Megan: Yeah. Yeah. I love that you’re such a quick decision maker. , I’m the same way, but that also means for me personally, I have purchased more courses and programs than I probably should have. But, um, but yeah, I’m the same way. I get just so overwhelmed if I go too deep in the rabbit hole looking at all the options for things.

[00:40:55] So it looks good. If it feels good, if it seems like it’s gonna solve the problem. , I’m gonna sign up for it then. Um, , um, I’m very curious if you don’t mind sharing. I’m curious, and I’m sure people listening are gonna be wondering what was the course that you signed up for?

[00:41:14] Kaci Ackerman: Oh yeah. Um, so it was Mikayla Quinn, um, it’s called Live Free Academy

[00:41:20] Megan: Okay.

[00:41:21] Kaci Ackerman: when I took it, it was called Overwhelmed. Overbooked, but now it’s called Live Free Academy by Mikayla Quinn.

[00:41:26] Megan: Okay, cool. Yeah, thank you for sharing. Um, we’ll have to link to that and the resources, uh, if anybody wants to check it out. Um, so thank you for humoring me on, on our little tangent there. Um, second rapid fire question that I have for you is when you feel overwhelmed or unfocused in your business or you’ve, you know, lost your focus temporarily, what do you.

[00:41:52] Kaci Ackerman: I walk away

[00:41:53] Megan: Mm.

[00:41:54] Kaci Ackerman: from my, I leave my office. Um, I will go watch TV or I will read a book. Um, I’m in a book club, so like I’ll read whatever book we’re reading at that time. Um, I walk away.

[00:42:07] Megan: Yeah.

[00:42:08] Kaci Ackerman: to like feel the feelings, but also like decompress from going on.

[00:42:14] Megan: Yeah. Sometimes easier said than done, but I think walking away is very helpful. . Um, yeah, I’m not always the best at that, but, um, what, what kind of book club are you in? Is it fiction or non-fiction?

[00:42:28] Kaci Ackerman: Uh,

[00:42:29] Megan: Fiction.

[00:42:29] Kaci Ackerman: like a, a women’s Yeah. Book club. Um, I actually started it and it’s other service providers,

[00:42:36] Megan: Oh, cool.

[00:42:37] Kaci Ackerman: of us or 11 of

[00:42:38] Megan: Yeah.

[00:42:39] Kaci Ackerman: And it’s other se service providers. Um, and yeah, so we read a book a month and non-fiction. It’s always, you know, we’ve read I think two or three Colleen Hoover books, so

[00:42:50] Megan: Nice. Yeah, that’s cool. I’ve been, yeah, I’ve been thinking toying with the idea of joining a book club, but I don’t know if there’s anything local in my area. I’ve never seen anything. Um, is yours local or is it virtual?

[00:43:05] Kaci Ackerman: No, we’re all, we’re all over the United States,

[00:43:08] Megan: Oh, cool.

[00:43:09] Kaci Ackerman: um, it’s just like some of my friends that I’ve made through the few years of being in business, so they all

[00:43:15] Megan: Yeah.

[00:43:15] Kaci Ackerman: own business as well. Um, and I just reached out to them and I’m like, Hey, do you guys wanna start a book club?

[00:43:19] Megan: Yeah. . I love that.

[00:43:21] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah.

[00:43:22] Megan: That’s awesome. Um, so last question that I have for you is, what advice do you have for someone who’s just getting started or maybe toying with the idea of starting a business in your industry? An o m business.

[00:43:37] Kaci Ackerman: Yeah. Um, so I have this advice for this question, regardless of this bus, uh, regardless of

[00:43:44] Megan: yeah.

[00:43:44] Kaci Ackerman: just do it.

[00:43:45] Megan: Mm-hmm.

[00:43:46] Kaci Ackerman: thing is just getting started. So the thing, like you can do hard things. You can learn, you know, as you go. You don’t have to know all this stuff before you sign your first client.

[00:43:57] I sure didn’t, I didn’t know half of it. Um, but I learned it and it was fine. And here I am, you know,

[00:44:04] Megan: Yeah.

[00:44:04] Kaci Ackerman: I think that’s important of just getting started, just taking that first step. Whatever that first step is for you, letting it like hold you back and just.

[00:44:13] Megan: Yeah, yeah, just take action. Just get out there and meet people. Network seems to be the theme of the week. I’ve done a couple of episodes this week where like we talk heavily about networking, which is also how you, you know, started to build your business. So, yeah, you don’t, you don’t need the fancy tech stuff.

[00:44:33] You don’t need. , you know, the whole setup. You just need to be legal enough and meet people

[00:44:41] Kaci Ackerman: Yep. Basically

[00:44:43] Megan: which is hard, you know, hard, hard if you’re introverted or whatever. But yeah, it’s, it’s possible. That’s awesome. Um, well thank you so much for being here today, Casey, it was really great talking to you. Um, thank you for sharing everything that you did about your business.

[00:44:59] I loved having you on the.

[00:45:03] Kaci Ackerman: Thank you so much for having me. It was great to chat with you.

[00:45:06] Megan: awesome.