Don’t forget the homework!

client processes Aug 14, 2020

When I work with clients, I love the homework – let me explain.

Sabrina Brown was doing everything right; she had a strong market niche and clear target customer profile; she was committed to customer success and she provided high professional standards.

Over time she built up her bricks and mortar salon into a very strong business and started some digital growth through voucher websites which increased her take up of her training offerings.

At the same time she was building up her email list (although she had no plans to do anything with it as she didn’t know where to start). Sabrina also used social media and was a dab hand at Facebook engagement.

Sabrina was busy and she was happy.

Then on 23rd March 2020 (coincidentally my eldest daughter's birthday), her business unravelled - literally right before her eyes. Her bookings that were solid for 6 months and beyond evaporated, cancelled, gone.

She went from a full book to an empty one in a couple of weeks. Horrible.

She was left with nothing but bills for a salon, for equipment storage space and had to lay off her staff, with no light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the Covid-19 lockdown.

It was around this time that Sabrina and I were introduced through a mutual friend (Hi Lorrie!).

Having had a few zooms so that I could understand the full current position (Sabrina had never zoomed before – she found she was having to learn new stuff fast!) and knowing that she had a proposition that would work well through email marketing, I suggested that we should get her on to an email marketing platform – in this case ActiveCampaign.

Sabrina could see the potential in this and she started getting more positive than she had felt since lockdown. I said I’d import her existing contacts and we would put them through a re-consent automation to make sure that she was squeaky clean with GDPR. She sent me the list (on several spreadsheets) and I was amazed to find there was around 2,500 contacts there!

What a gold mine!

We agreed to have weekly zoom calls (she’s in Manchester and I’m in Glasgow) and we set to work on setting up ActiveCampaign. We planned customer journey and customer experience – we wanted to make sure the whole email strategy would be around meaning connection with those on her list. We also set up a clear and consistent brand.

And we did that through homework.

At the end of each zoom I’d ask Sabrina to prepare something herself for our next call. Things like, write your own draft email campaign; get a bit of paper and write down an automation with a if/else split; put that into ActiveCampaign; write down the customer journey; plan forms and tags.

It was great – Sabrina got hold of these tasks and worked on them, bringing questions/issues to the next zoom. We worked together on integrating with her Squarespace website which now had a shop and training courses.

She now has a highly efficient eco-system between different platforms that provides a seamless and frictionless experience for her customers. During this time her energy and positivity started to soar – she would come up with great ideas, sending out highly engaging emails to her target audience - or ICA (Ideal Customer Avatar).

All because she did her homework – she can now use what she has learned, match it with her strategic intent and create great connection with prospects through email (oh and through her FB group page which has an ActiveCampaign form there).

In the space of 5 months, she has turned it round and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.

She had the business rug pulled from under her feet but she has pivoted successfully through her amazing determination, commitment and energy – and her astute business strategy.

So, when working with clients – give them homework; it’s not just about what can be achieved when together in a meeting. Customers can make great progress when not with you.

And if you ask Sabrina, she will tell you that her favourite part of us working together was... the homework.

You can visit Sabrina's website here –


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