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Ultimate Guide to Dealing with Difficult Client Conversations by

Hello Beautiful!

February is here and I’ve been in full on creation mode since January began. I’m hoping you’ve been nourishing your own creative inner self too!

I’ve just finished an intensive weekend course called Pattern Camp by Jessica Swift. I loved every second of learning new things. Being a student again took me back to thinking about when I was a teacher myself. I educated young minds here in Nova Scotia for ten years. I loved every second of it.

I’m certain that’s why I’m so excited about a new e-course I’ve developed with my very good friend and colleague Jac McNeil. I’m creating curriculum again and figuring out the best ways to meet our outcomes. PLUS, I doing this for my favorite students — you!


This is a free e-course we created to showcase our new collaboration, THE COMMUNICATION KIT.

A couple of weeks ago I emailed the kit to a couple of people to beta test it. The response was overwhelming.

We wish (and hope) that all our clients and business relationships are perfect…but the reality is, difficult conversations come up more than we expect. Dealing with awkward conversations is the most stressful part of working for myself and it often makes me want to just throw in the towel.

The Communication Kit changes that. Instead of having to stress about how to fire a client (because yes, as much as I hate it, sometimes it needs to happen!) or feeling obligated to say yes to every demand that comes my way…I now feel like I can just flip open this kit, check out the examples and send off an email without losing a night’s sleep. And trust me, in the past I have lost many nights’ sleep. This guide makes even the most awkward situations seem simple to navigate, with incredibly helpful scripts, and the ‘why’ behind it all for extra reassurance. It gives me the piece of mind knowing what I say won’t be taken the wrong way, make me look bad, or make the situation worse.

Setting boundaries is hard enough, finding a way to stick to them when things get complicated is even harder. The Communication Kit makes it easy and in my opinion, is a must-have resource for any solopreneur.

– Leah Kalamakis


This is not your basic how-to. Krista and Jac give us the full story, the bird’s eye view, the evolution of each conversation, the what-ifs, why it works and how to work it. Nothing is left unsaid.

What I love most are the scripts – actual illustrations of how to put the best practices into words and emails – with enough guidance to make them your own. There is an immense amount of thought put into this guide: it’s clear, kind, encouraging, and indispensible!

– Kate Bonnycastle

I’d LOVE to share our free e-course with each of you too.

If you clickety-click-click on the image below, you’ll be taken to our signup page! It’s starting on Wednesday. If you happen to have any other amazing women entrepreneurs in your life who you think could also benefit, I’d be super appreciative if you’d share it with them too. We want to reach as many women as possible — to show them it IS possible to learn how to face the hard-to-have conversations in your business with honesty and grace.

Sign up for The Ultimate Guide to Dealing with Difficult Client Conversations - A FREE ECOURSE by Krista Smith and Jac McNeil via TheCommunicationKit.comWon’t you join me?

Oh, and just in case you’ve already signed up to receive early updates from The Communication Kit, you’ll already be on the list and can expect the FREE e-course to land in your inbox on Wednesday :)


It’s a time of new beginnings. New ideas. Dreams. Plans.

As we enter into 2015, I’m so excited for what’s possible. I had amazing feedback from you last month with the wallpaper screensavers I created for you!

I was inspired this morning to create three more choices for you for January. Here’s my favorite on my iPad:

January 2015 Wallpaper by

Enjoy & please share with your friends!

All you need to do is click on the one you’d like to download (it’ll open in a new window), then simply right click, save as, and then download to your device. Once it’s saved, go into your screen saver settings to upload your choice! If you need instructions on how to install and resize it to fit your device you can watch the how to video in my December post HERE.



January 2015 Wallpaper for your Mobile Device created by

This will be my Year, mobile device.

January 2015 Wallpaper for your Laptop or Desktop Computer created by

This will be my Year, laptop or desktop computer.

Trust Yourself Beautiful, You've Got This Wallpaper for your Mobile Device by

Trust Yourself Beautiful, You’ve Got This, mobile device.

Trust Yourself Beautiful, You've Got This Wallpaper for your Laptop or Desktop Computer by

Trust Yourself Beautiful, You’ve Got This, laptop or desktop computer.

You are Worth it ALL screensaver wallpaper by

You are worth it all, mobile device.

You are Worth it ALL screensaver wallpaper for laptop or desktop computer by

You are worth it all, laptop or desktop computer.

Five Things You May Be Missing on Your Contact Page (& How They Can Improve Your Client On-boarding Process & Bottom Line)One of the pages on a newly designed or redesigned website that often isn’t given as much thought as the essential about, services, or portfolio page is your contact page. The page that people land when they’re ready to reach out to you. Some web visitors will land here after spending time getting to know you either on your website or through social media or even in person. I believe there are five things that most online entrepreneurs miss out on when creating this page that can impact how you bring new clients into your process and can impact your bottom line in a positive way.

1. Starting your page with an invitation to your ideal client

I believe it’s important to include an introductory paragraph on the page that gets right to the heart of your ideal client’s struggle and how you help them solve it. Invite your web visitor into a mini experience of what it’s like working with you. It’s possible (gasp!) they didn’t spend time savouring each page of your website (yet). You may need to spell out for them how you best help your ideal clients. Are you unsure how you can accomplish this? No problem. You can do this by answering these three questions.

  • What comes easy to you that seems hard or confusing to other people?
  • How do you use that superpower you have to help the people you work best with?
  • What do your most loved clients tell you time and time again about what it’s like working with you?

Weave the answers to those questions into a paragraph introducing yourself and your work. Would you like to see an example? Click through to my contact page right here to see how I introduced myself.

2. Opportunity to bottom line your investment

Tire kickers. The web visitors that don’t spend a whole lot of time reading your service/products. These are the contacts that come in and you spend more time than you ever imagined emailing back and forth regarding the opportunities that are available in working with you. You may even find yourself negotiating with them. I know, I know, this is an total energy drain and leaves you feeling undervalued. What you can do to prevent this is to bottom line the ways people can currently work with you. On your contact page, include a checkbox list with the services you provide and a corresponding ‘investment starting at $’. By ensuring that this a is required question to answer, you’ll guarantee that they have read over your options and will know in advance if they are comfortable with your rates.

3. Fact collecting

Get as much information up front as you can. If you take the time to develop a series of 3-5 open ended and powerful questions, you’ll be able to gather the facts you need that may be the deal breakers in helping you decide if this potential client is a definite yes, a yes with boundaries, or a kind yet confident no. The opportunity you have here is to use these questions and her answers to help you better understand the needs of this client and to decide if you are the BEST person to help her.

Think about the questions you normally ask after a client reaches out to you in that first (second, and third!) email. How can you add those to your contact form (and thus save you valuable time)?

4. Your Personality (in the form of your brand voice)

When people meet you in person, what do they experience? Are you friendly, playful, warm, elegant, rebelesque, inspiring, professional, honest, direct, savvy, engaging, or maybe easy-to-understand? Something else? Whenever you have the opportunity to interact with your ideal clients, think of it as a opportunity to highlight who you are and how your clients can expect to interact with you. You can use your personality to inform your clients what it’ll be like communicating with you.  It’s possible accomplish this through the tone of your copy, questions, and choice of images. All these things create an overall impression of what the experience is like when partnering with you. In the past you may have tried this by attempting to write like someone you admire in the online world (I mean, it clearly works for her, yes?) I know what your intentions are, but by assuming their brand voice, you’re actually undermining your own credibility. You’re not her. You’re you. It’s time to highlight you. Be intentional with your words (even on your contact page) and know that there are copywriters who can help you nail your brand voice if you find yourself in unfamiliar territory.  My best advice when getting to the heart of your personality is a quote by Steve Martin. “Be so you they can’t ignore you.”

5. Opportunity to be heard

I think it’s important to be mindful that even though part of your intention may be qualifying clients with your strategic and well planned contact form, there are two people who make a successful business relationship. Create the opportunity for your client to be heard as well. Give them space on your contact form to ask their own questions and allow them to give you extra information that may be a factor in deciding whether to work together. This is really about honouring the relationship you may be building before you connect for the first time.

As an example, last year I had a client reach out through my own contact form. In it, I initially didn’t get that intuitive feeling in my belly, that “wow, we will be able to create magic together” feeling. UNTIL, I got to to the place where I gave her the opportunity to have her own say. She had me at hello. Because she was able to be free with her own communication, she made a connection with me that endeared me to her. I reached out right away. And now, over a year past when we completed our work together, we still connect. Because we now have a friendship.  How lucky is that?

I believe if you finesse your contact page and incorporate these five suggestions, you’ll find yourself with better quality contacts, more of the information you need to decide if you want to pursue a working relationship with this potential client, and more time to serve your clients in the way you want and they deserve. What a great way to help your bottom line. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments :) If you have an example of a stellar contact page you’ve come across, please mention that too!

December Treats for You – Screen Savers for your computer and mobile devices

It's December and for me this is a time of quiet reflection. When I pause to think about the amazing people who've come into my life in the past year. This year I’m grateful for the incredible women who chose me to design their online home. It’s a time of year for me to be grateful Read the full post here...

A Digital DNA Design for Insightful Gail Gaspar

Gail is a co-active coach who helps her clients create the lifestyle they crave in the "next-stage" of their lives. Through her own eye-opening transformation, she designed a process of Leading True that enables her clients to navigate business building and career changes with a fulfilling lifestyle outcome in mind. Gail fully believes it is Read the full post here...


Every day. Without worrying that she will hurt someone’s feelings. Without fear of disappointing someone. Without thinking about how the tone of her email might be misconstrued. Without thinking that a no might effect further referrals. Without worrying about the implications of a relationship that isn’t working for her with a client who is really well Read the full post here...