I hopped on Instagram the other day to chat about 3 tips for setting boundaries with your clients within your business. The truth is, I used to struggle with boundaries. I have spent years in my business being “on” all the time. Holidays? On. Vacations? On. Weekends? Always on. I never knew how to set boundaries for my life and therefore I was always working!
Sadly, this is just something that comes with being a business owner. Our businesses are our babies and we typically feel the need to constantly be pushing it forward.
Something finally clicked for me about 3 months ago. I needed space. My business was infiltrating my life and I was feeling a bit burnt out. So I set out to make space for my own time. No one needs to be ON all the time. Your clients aren’t going to care if you don’t respond at 9:30pm and instead wait until the following morning to get back to them. Of course, as with anything, be prompt, but prompt doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be emailing clients back at 10:00pm while you’re brushing your teeth for bed.
Here’s 3 tips for setting boundaries with your clients within your creative business so you no longer feel like you have to be “on” all the time.
Did you know you can set up Downtime on your iPhone? I don’t know about Android phones, but on an iPhone you can turn particular apps off for a designated time that you set. For example, I have my downtime set to turn off all social media (except texting), all business apps, all shopping apps, and email from 7:30pm to 7:30am. This is a physical reminder that I’m “unavailable”. Of course, if I want to, I can override the setting, but it’s helped me be more aware of when I’m spending time working during the time that I could be spending with my family with no distractions. It has helped A TON.
As you can see above, first you’ll set your “downtime” timer. Then you’ll select which apps you want to always be accessible. Easy peezy!
Are you accidentally putting yourself in the “friend zone” with your clients without realizing it? Are you available in 5,678 different ways for your clients to contact you? Text, email, Instagram DM, phone calls, Twitter, FB Messenger, snail mail, etc.? I GET IT. I used to be accessible in every possible way until I finally set my own limits. When you text your clients from the very beginning, they’re going to think it’s ok for them to text you. When you choose 1-2 different ways to communicate with your clients, they’ll likely stick to those 1-2 ways in communicating with you!
It really doesn’t have to be complicated. When you’re only available by email or phone call or texting (whichever works best for you!) then you don’t open 5 million different channels for people to access you. Stick with 1-2 methods that work best for you. For me, it’s email and in a pinch a text message (but only at times when it’s necessary, like we’re coming up on their engagement session or wedding day). Otherwise, email works best for me with my clients.
This was a HUGE game changer for me! After spending years going back and forth in emails with incoming inquiries and current clients, talking about everyone’s availability, I was TIRED. The last thing you want to do is make this complicated for the people who want to hire you OR have already hired you. So it finally clicked for me. Set up your calendar on Calendly and let your people figure out what works best for them offline. I set my available time for incoming clients and current clients to hop on a zoom call (because that’s the time we live in now) and they get to figure out what works best for them! It’s a win-win in my book.
I no longer have to spend 2-3 emails trying to nail down a time to hop on a call – I simply send them the link and BOOM – they’re on my calendar!
Thanks for checking this out! For more business inspiration head on over to my blog!