Episode 146: Creating a Strong Inquiry Process for Your Clients with Dolly Delong

February 7, 2023

Chasing Simple Marketing


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I'm  Amanda — simplicity-focused content marketing strategist.  I'm here to help you fit your marketing into your business.

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A client inquiry workflow is an amazing system that you can implement into your business today and improve your overall sales process funnel.

Creating A Client Inquiry Workflow

It’s no secret that I’m a systems person. Batching my content, my weekly and monthly schedules, how I plan my content for the year, and so much … there’s episode after episode in this podcast of my various systems. And since you continue to tune in, I know that you love systems too.

Which is why today, I’m so excited to be joined by Dolly DeLong, who is a fellow two-time business owner. She owns her own photography business, but she also works with entrepreneurs on their systems and workflows, which is exactly what we’re going to talk about today.

Dolly is a Nashville-based family & personal branding photographer. After learning the ins and outs of running her own successful business, she also started sharing her knowledge with other creative entrepreneurs as a systems and workflow educator.

When not taking heartfelt family images or stand-out personal branding photos, you’ll find her teaching other business owners about automating and streamlining their own business. Dolly love showing others how to grow their business with intentional workflows, automations, and with strategic systems. You can find her teaching others via her podcast: The Systems & Workflow Magic Podcast & via her blog too!

Dolly lives in Middle Tennessee with her sweet husband, and two sons where life is pretty hectic and messy but oh so sweet!

During today’s conversation, you’re going to hear why you need a client inquiry workflow, what that process should look like, including what Dolly calls her three puzzle pieces, and exactly how you can either create or improve your own client inquiry workflow and process today.

Now, before we dive in, I did just want to take the time to make a note that client inquiry is the top of the sales process funnel, not the top of the marketing funnel. This gets mentioned in the episode, incorrectly and I wanted to clarify. Marketing processes get people to your sales pages, and sales processes get people into your offers.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

A client inquiry workflow is an amazing system that you can implement into your business today and improve your overall sales process funnel.

I’m a Nashville-based family & personal branding photographer. After learning the ins and outs of running my own successful business, I’ve also started sharing my knowledge with other creative entrepreneurs as a systems and workflow educator.
When I’m not taking heartfelt family images or stand-out personal branding photos, you’ll find me teaching other business owners about automating and streamlining their own business. I love showing others how to grow their business with intentional workflows, automations, and with strategic systems. You can find me teaching others via my podcast: The Systems & Workflow Magic Podcast & via my blog too!
I live in Middle Tennessee with my sweet husband, and I am a boy mom so life is pretty hectic and messy but oh so sweet!

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Rather Read? – Here’s the Transcript!

*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate

Welcome back to Chasing Simple. I’m your host, Amanda Warfield, and you’re listening to episode 146. It’s no secret that I am a systems person batching my content, my weekly monthly schedules, how I plan my content for the year, and so much more. There is episode after episode in this podcast of my various systems, and since you continue to tune in, I know that you love systems.

Two, which is why today I’m so excited for us to be joined by Dolly DeLong, who is a fellow two-time business owner. She owns her own photography business, but she also works with entrepreneurs on their systems and workflows, which is exactly what we’re going to talk about today. Dolly is a Nashville based family and personal branding photographer.

After learning the ins and outs of running her own successful business, she also started sharing her knowledge with other creative entrepreneurs as a systems and workflow educator. When not taking heartfelt family images or standout personal branding photos, you’ll find her teaching other business owners about automating and streamlining their own business.

Dolly loves showing others. how to grow their business with intentional workflows, automations, and with strategic systems. You can find her teaching others via her podcast, the Systems and Workflow Magic podcast, and via her blog too. Dolly lives in Middle Tennessee with her sweet husband and two sons, where life is pretty hectic and messy, but oh, so sweet.

During today’s conversation, you’re going to hear why you need an inquiry system, what that process should look like, including what Dolly calls her three puzzle pieces, and exactly how you can either create or improve your own inquiry process today. Now, before we dive in, I did just wanna take the time to make a note that client inquiry is at the top of the sales process funnel, not the top of the marketing funnel.

This gets mentioned in the episode incorrectly and I just wanna clarify that before it happens. The marketing processes that you have in place, they get people to your sales page. And then those sales processes, including the inquiry system and the sales page itself, they get people into your offers. And with that, let’s dive in. 

[00:01:57] Amanda: Dolly, I am so excited to have you on. It has just been so incredible to get to know you over the last, gosh, I wanna say a few months, but I guess it’s been longer than that now. For anyone listening that didn’t see this when it happened, I was really honored to be on a three-part series over on Dolly’s podcast that I just was so honored.

[00:02:17] Amanda: It was such a great conversation. So, Dolly, tell us a little, About yourself, about your podcast, and about what you do and who you serve so that everyone can get to know you and know how to find you else. 

[00:02:28] Dolly: Yeah, definitely. So, hi everyone. My name is Dolly DeLong. I am a branding photographer based in Nashville, Tennessee.

[00:02:38] Dolly: I am a I love being a wife. I am a boy mom and as mentioned a branding photographer. And I’m also a systems and workflow educator for creatives and that’s where The podcast comes in. I have a podcast called the Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast, and I just love talking to other creative business owners like Amanda, just about systems and workflows within just like how to better.

[00:03:06] Dolly: Optimize and automate your systems and processes for your own creative business. And so that’s what I do week in and week out on the podcast. And I wanted to insert this as well, cuz you do this in your intro, Amanda, I want to be a crazy cat mom, but right now I am a, I’m a crazy boy mom just because of all the boys in the house, but one.

[00:03:29] Dolly: One day I will have a cat. I always tell my husband I want a cat, and he’s like, let’s wait another year, . I’m like, okay, another year I’m, I’m gonna get a cat one of these days. So yeah, that’s a little bit about me. 

[00:03:42] Amanda: I love it. And as we are listening to this live, you are gonna have a three month old ish, depending on when baby boy comes, but you really have your hands full right 

[00:03:53] Dolly: now.

[00:03:54] Dolly: Yes I’m hopefully future projecting my second son will be chill and. Very much like my husband and not like me. And so I yeah, let’s future projecting. It’s gonna be awesome. , hopefully, 

[00:04:11] Amanda: I gotta be honest, Dolly, after working in a early childhood for a long time, that is not normally the case.

[00:04:17] Amanda: The second ones are always the ones where people go, Ooh, if this was our first, 

[00:04:21] Dolly: we would not have had a second 

[00:04:22] Dolly: yeah. Yeah. My, our first one, blaze is very he’s he’s pretty normal. He’s, he has his moments, but he’s a really good first kid. And so d I’m just like worried what? What’s gonna happen in a few months?

[00:04:38] Amanda: Oh, you are going to have the baby that you were meant to have. That’s what’s gonna happen. 

[00:04:43] Dolly: Exactly. . Oh, 

[00:04:45] Amanda: okay. Well, today I’m really excited because obviously Dolly is an expert at systems and workflows, and today we are going to specifically talk about the inquiry process because this, well, I will let you explain this.

[00:04:59] Amanda: Why is it so important that we have a strong inquiry process? 

[00:05:02] Dolly: Yeah, definitely. So I do want to remind everyone I look at the inquiry process, like almost like a top of the funnel because you’re like leading them to your services or offers or products, whatever your inquiry process looks like.

[00:05:20] Dolly: So I’m gonna speak about it from the perspective of. Top of funnel or the top of your pipeline, whatever you wanna call it. And I love breaking this down like this because I personally like to see all the puzzle pieces of what I need to be optimizing slowly over time and to make it chewable. And doable for not just myself, but when I work one-on-one with clients it, it does make it easy and attainable for them to process it and say, oh, , We can like streamline the inquiry process and then we can conquer the middle of the pipeline or funnel later on.

[00:06:00] Dolly: But let’s streamline the top of the process and make it very smooth. Try to make it automated and do a hybrid of both personalization and automation at the same time. 

[00:06:13] Amanda: Absolutely, and just a friendly reminder. I said this in the introduction, but when we’re talking about top of the process here, we’re talking top of the sales process.

[00:06:22] Amanda: Your marketing process and your sales processes are very different. Just a reminder for everyone. Marketing brings people to the top of that sales process funnel. They are not the same thing, so just a friendly reminder there. But Dolly, what? , what does having a strong inquiry process actually do for our business?

[00:06:42] Dolly: Yeah. Well, I wrote this in my notes before we began talking, but I just wanted to remind everyone is no matter where you’re getting your clients from, so like what Amanda had mentioned, like the marketing process, where they’re coming in, where they’re, how they’re finding you, no matter how they’re finding you, just make sure they are being.

[00:07:01] Dolly: Funneled or streamlined or pipeline, whatever you wanna call it consistently in filling out your contact form or filling out your inquiry form, whatever you wanna call it, because this can be a potential bottleneck, whatever word you wanna phrase, a bottleneck for you, because if you are not consistent in your communication at the very, very top of the inquiry process You are gonna be scattered throughout the entire process.

[00:07:30] Dolly: It’s gonna be like a negative domino effect for you. And so this is why I strongly recommend, like the first thing I recommend is no matter where people are finding you, whether it be I’m throwing out some examples like a Facebook Messenger or an Instagram dm, or a LinkedIn message or whatever, or an email, even if they didn’t fill out your contact form instead of getting.

[00:07:55] Dolly: Irritated with that potential lead or client. They’re a person, remember they’re a person and they’re probably meeting you where they see you all the time. Okay? Ask, just ask them for their email address and let them know that you’re gonna just pop in their email address on the contact form, and that would better streamline the process and then word it in a way.

[00:08:17] Dolly: To make sure that they know because you’re serving them and you want them to help them be more organized and a priority. Cuz people want to know that they are important and that they are a priority. So hopefully that helps answer your question like the. One of the main reasons I want a really good inquiry process is because I just like it to be very well planned out and very streamlined, and to make other people a priority and not to make them feel like, oh, I’m gonna answer them in 10 days or five days, or as an afterthought.

[00:08:50] Dolly: Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:08:51] Amanda: And it’s so important to streamline those things because if you don’t, all of a sudden it’s, oh my gosh, like I haven’t responded to this person. A lot of times people are filling out forms from multiple people of the same thing, and they’re not, oh, well, they’re gone.

[00:09:07] Amanda: Because they didn’t, and they’re gonna ghost you. Which I actually saw someone having this entire conversation on Instagram yesterday about how all too often we ghost people after filling out their contact forms in our industry and just don’t do that. Friends, it’s okay to say no. Hey, every business owner is totally open to you being like, no, and here’s why.

[00:09:26] Amanda: And that’s fine. Just let ’em know. Just a, just a side note. Okay. Can you walk us a bit through what an ideal inquiry process system would look like? So we get them in that contact form some way somehow. Then what happens? 

[00:09:41] Dolly: Okay, so once either you fill out the contact form for them or they ideally fill out the contact for you.

[00:09:49] Dolly: I have several puzzle pieces that I like to have in place in order to ensure on my end, I like, I don’t have to mentally keep up with everything. Like in my head, I can just allow my c r M to take care of. And when I’m saying c R M, for those of you who aren’t too familiar, it’s just your customer relationship management tool, like HoneyBook or Dubsado or 17 hats.

[00:10:16] Dolly: So I’m speaking like from the perspective of having a C R M, and so these are the puzzle pieces I like to have in place. So, I just said in the c r m. the first puzzle piece is something that I do within my website. So I’ve created, I’d like to create a thank you page, so a r l redirect page, and once to hit the submit.

[00:10:43] Dolly: Like submission form on my website or on their phone, I like to redirect them to a confirmation page. That’s the word I was looking for. Confirmation page to confirm, Hey, you did the right, you took the right action, you took the right step, you’re in the right place. And on this thank you page, it does a few things.

[00:11:03] Dolly: It lets them know, okay, one, it confirms that they are in the step in the right direction. Two, just what their next steps are. in communications with me cuz this is all automated and I want them to know, like just give them more clarification and more assurance. Three. I also let them know how to find me, follow me how like additional resources to support what they just researched.

[00:11:31] Dolly: So if they like for branding, photography for example, they are redirected to a thank you page and then they have some branding resources to start looking up that’s attached to my brand and it gets them excited about working with me.. And then also I invite them to follow me on Instagram or listen to my podcast so that they can continue to connect with me.

[00:11:56] Dolly: And then another thing I like to do on this thank you page is include a link to my lead magnet, because that helps grow my email list. Now I will pause and say, for those of you who are brand new to building out your email, And also having a crm. Those are two very separate, separate entities. A CRM manages your current clients.

[00:12:21] Dolly: An email service provider helps you grow out your email list. And so those are two very separate things. And so I know that I’m not gonna blast out a newsletter for my C R m, I’m gonna do that in Flow Desk, for example. And so I’d like to give them an opportunity to get additional value on the thank you page.

[00:12:43] Dolly: So that’s, I, I realized I said I have three puzzle pieces, and then in that one puzzle piece, I just like, just laid it all out like a water faucet, whatever. Like I hosed you all down with some information. But that’s something I highly recommend a person doing. Oh, and another thing I like to add on my thank you page is a generalized video of myself.

[00:13:07] Dolly: So I embed a video of myself talking to them, thanking them. Obviously it’s not a personalized video, but it is a general video of me saying, Hey, I’m Dolly. Thank you so much for filling out my contact form. This is what you can expect from me. Scroll on down the page and see some resources I’ve created for you and it helps them see me and hear me and start getting to know me, and it starts planting that seed of.

[00:13:33] Dolly: Dolly is a branding photographer, or Dolly is a systems educator versus like you were saying, Amanda, like they’re most likely filling out 10 different contact forms, so you wanna stand out from the get-go. And so that’s something, an essential key component I found to be very successful for me. And it just helps me stand out just a little bit.

[00:13:59] Dolly: Okay, so the second puzzle piece for me that I’ve set up and it helps immediately is making sure to have an automated email be sent out from your C R M platform once they hit submit. So two things are happening. The first thing is that they’re being redirected to your confirmation page and then, That first automated email is being sent to their inbox.

[00:14:26] Dolly: And in that email, like again, You’re communicating everything that you communicated in that url. Thank you page. But what if they just like, Didn’t watch it or what if they didn’t read it. So make sure you are communicating the same things and just letting them know what the next steps are, what the next process looks like, and again, thanking them.

[00:14:48] Dolly: And then, What if, okay this gets a little more in the weeds and I love, this is where the strategy comes in. So what if on your lead capture form, your contact page, you have, let’s say you’re known for having three services. So what if they self-select a specific type of service so that first you can set it up on the backend of your c r m to, let’s say they self-select.

[00:15:17] Dolly: Amanda, I’m gonna try to use an example for you. So tell me like one of your main services that, I mean, I know what your services are, but I’m gonna let you. share. What are your main services? 

[00:15:27] Amanda: So for this business, I have two one-on-one services. I’ve got my ongoing one-on-one yearly clients where we work all year long together creating their marketing plan for each quarter.

[00:15:38] Amanda: But then I also have v I P days specifically to help plan launch marketing strategy for course creators. 

[00:15:45] Dolly: I love that. Okay, so let’s say they self-select the v i p day. So on the back end, you could potentially, and you’ve probably already done this because you’re incredible business owner, you’re on top of.

[00:15:58] Dolly: In my mind, I’m like, she’s on top of everything. She’s great. But you could potentially write out e, that first hand email. That only speaks to that v i P day. And you can even insert a video talking about a v i P day. You can talk about just like you can use language that only talks about that v i p day in that first confirmation email that they get and then letting them know what their next steps are, how to work with you.

[00:16:26] Dolly: But Another thing they could, I don’t know how you do this, but I would also add maybe a scheduler to book a call with you in that first email. . Again, it’s putting a lot in their court. It’s putting the ball in their court, but it’s also giving them all the information that initially they wanted to learn about and it’s personalizing it in a way.

[00:16:49] Dolly: Okay, so the third puzzle piece to this that automatically goes out for me is I have a task set up as a reminder in Dubsado, and it tells me as soon as a person fills out my contact form, Those two other puzzle pieces are being sent out automatically. And then the third step is it reminds me to send them a personalized video thanking them for filling out my contact form.

[00:17:15] Dolly: And you’re probably like, okay, Dolly, you just told me to create a video for the thank you page and for that first canned email and now you’re creating another thank you video. Okay, well hear me out. This third video is actually you live like. Talking to them with using their first name and personalizing it.

[00:17:34] Dolly: And so obviously if you are a night owl or if you like wake up at three in the morning, you see somebody like filled out your contact form, don’t like, don’t respond at three in the morning. I’m not saying that. I’m saying this task will be for you during your business hours, obviously. But this has been a game changer.

[00:17:57] Dolly: This one step has been a game changer for me, especially for the photography side of my business, because people, they see my face, they see my facial expression, they hear me, and they’re like, okay, we are either building that first connection or they’re like, oh, she sounds weird. 

[00:18:17] Dolly: Or, she looks funny or I don’t know, how do we explain it, but there’s a psychology component to it and people wanna start building that connection early on with trust. And I’m making eye contact in the video. I’m letting them know what their next steps are and that funnels them more into.

[00:18:34] Dolly: Booking with me or not booking with me. So for me, those are the three components I highly recommend a person put in place in their inquiry process from filling out the contact form to pre-booking. So I 

[00:18:50] Amanda: have two questions specifically about that last puzzle piece. First with the video, are you just kind of reiterating the same things that first video said?

[00:19:00] Amanda: What exactly are you saying? I mean, not exactly word for word cause that’s your process, but what are you saying in that video that makes it different enough for them to watch both of them? 

[00:19:09] Dolly: Yeah, definitely. So if this helps, if you’re like, do you use, what kind of software program do you use? I use, what’s my next question?

[00:19:16] Dolly: I use Loom which is a free software program, video recording program screen recording program. I don’t know what to call it, but it’s free. I have the paid versions cuz anything over five minutes you have to pay for and me I can be. Pretty long-winded. I know myself, I can be long-winded. I like to send videos to people and so there’s a free version and there’s a paid version, and so even if you did the free version, you can send up to a five minute recording of yourself thanking them for filling out your contact form.

[00:19:49] Dolly: Personal, I like to personalize. Again, I, I, Said, I personalize it with I say hello. Like let’s say you filled out my contact form, I’d be like, Hey Amanda, I’m so excited. I see that you filled out my contact form and I just want to walk you through this first process, and I will share my screen with them and I’ll show them that first email they should have received from me.

[00:20:12] Dolly: And I’m like, okay, so this is what the first automated email looks like. And let them know. , this first email you got was automated for me, but it just helps give you a rundown of what to expect when working with me, and I let them know. Okay, so now your next step is just to look over the packages or look over when you can book a call with me or schedule the session time with me, just depending upon.

[00:20:38] Dolly: What service they’re wanting. And then we will go from there. And again, if you have like any questions let me know. And then normally they fill out, I’ve been very fortunate to have clients who like let me know a little bit more specifics in the, tell me more portion of the contact form. And so I look over that really fast and they, I’m like, for family session, they’re like, oh, we.

[00:21:03] Dolly: Want to have a one year old milestone session. So I’ll talk about that and I’ll say, congratulations on reaching that milestone. Like I remember when my son reached that milestone. It’s a fun time and so like I’ll try to personalize it even more. So hopefully that helps answer your question. 

[00:21:22] Amanda: Yeah, no, absolutely.

[00:21:24] Amanda: I love, I love that you go over what you’ve already sent them and kind of walk them through because I know. With my other business, I get a lot of inquiries that I don’t hear from again, and I often wonder, am I overwhelming them with too much information? But that video walkthrough would really help that.

[00:21:39] Amanda: So that does answer my question. My second question was, how do you do it and Loom. Okay, that makes sense. Cause I know with Honey Book, and you used D Auto, right? Mm-hmm. with Honey Book, you can’t. embed videos into your brochures. You can’t embed them into your smart files and you can’t embed them into the email.

[00:21:56] Amanda: So that was always something where I was like, how do I do that? But Loom makes total sense. 

[00:22:00] Dolly: Yes. And the great thing about Loom is after you record it the temptation is just to like copy that link and send it. But then when you send it, it, the title is like Loom and then the date and then your Gmail or whatever.

[00:22:15] Dolly: And so make sure you title the video. Hi Amanda. This answers your question, and so that way they’re more likely to click on the link and know that it’s a personalized video for them and. I know it’s weird, like a lot, I’m gonna go into this later on, but a lot of people may feel insecure to send a video or they may be like, oh, I’m introverted.

[00:22:41] Dolly: I, or I’m awkward, or I don’t have any makeup. I don’t know. We make excuses over every single thing, but I’m telling you. This has been so helpful for me in connecting with my clients early on and it just like helps them re build more of a connection and it helps them remember me more versus the other people that they’re reaching out to.

[00:23:07] Amanda: So I have one more logistics question. Yeah. When you go to send the Loom video, , you’ve already got the automated email sent out. Do you just send it as soon as you’re in office and are able to send it? Do you wait until they respond? How does 

[00:23:20] Dolly: that typically work? 

[00:23:21] Dolly: I normally send it out when, as soon as I’m back in the office.

[00:23:25] Dolly: Even if they haven’t responded back, because like they, hopefully they know like that first email is automated. I try to make it very clear like, Hey, this is an automated message. This is when you can. Expect to hear from me in person. And so that loom video is me sending a message to them in person. And then I do that walkthrough with them about that first automated email, and then again, the ball is in their court 

[00:23:53] Amanda: I love that. Okay, so let’s say everyone that’s listening that doesn’t have a process set up, they now are gonna go do. And now we’ve got, they’ve got their process set up and they’ve also got, we’ve also got people listening who already have a process and they’re just gonna tweak it a bit. But do you have any numbers on conversion rates that are quote unquote, average, or what we should be expecting?

[00:24:17] Amanda: Because again, that conversation of ghosting is really, really, really common in our industry for some reason right now, what kind of expectations should we have as far as conversion numbers? Once we’ve set up a strong inquiry process, 

[00:24:32] Dolly: oh man, this is such a good question. Oh man, I should have come with like my own conversions for, from each inquiry to lead.

[00:24:40] Dolly: I will say like, hopefully this helps answer the question in some way. If most likely set yourself up for the expectation, somebody won’t. Respond back right away. Like even if you create those personalized videos, send them out. But the fact is you’re doing it and you are being super informative.

[00:24:59] Dolly: But I like to create some. Canned emails, I call it canned emails in Dubsado that are two, between two to three canned emails. After I send out that first inquiry response, automated response in that automated video or that recorded video, if I don’t hear back from them, then I have this step in Dubsado that reminds me, Hey, follow up with a second follow up, follow up with a third follow up.

[00:25:28] Dolly: And so I have like this. Three step email process of follow ups, and that way I am doing everything on my part in the next span of, let’s say, 10 days of. . I know people might be like, well, that seems annoying, but I wanna do everything on my end as a business owner to make sure to let them know like, Hey, you really will be a priority for me if you work with me.

[00:25:54] Dolly: And I want to show them that I’m organized and I’m, I try to stay on top. I know. Mom had a side, like with my mom hat on, I’m scattered as mom, but for my business I’m very organized. I feel like I’m pretty organized and streamlined, and so I wanna communicate that like they are a priority to me.

[00:26:12] Dolly: So I’ve set up those two to three emails after the initial, automated email go out, and that has been. Again, like very helpful for me cuz they, if they don’t respond back to that first email or that first video, they normally respond back to the second or third. And very rarely do they ever respond back at all.

[00:26:34] Dolly: So if they don’t respond back, I normally like, archive the project or close the project. But man, I really, really wish I had like, come up with the numbers and. Looked at my leads and conversions. So I would say for my photography side of my business, it’s three out of four, so that’s like 75%. Like I get a response.

[00:26:59] Dolly: Okay. At least 

[00:27:00] Amanda: some kind of response, whether it’s a yes or no. Exactly. That’s good to know. I just want everyone to go in knowing that this is a really important process to have, but it’s also. Not going to be the end all be all, and it’s not going to make your business hit six figures overnight. Right. So what’s really interesting, you brought up the fact that sometimes we feel like we’re being annoying.

[00:27:22] Amanda: Following up, I learned a statistic last week where 70% of conversions for one to one incre increase take happen after they’ve been followed up with five. 

[00:27:36] Dolly: Wow. Well, I mean that does make sense because you hear statistics like you need to make an impression 20 times, Before somebody remembers you, so don’t be 

[00:27:48] Amanda: afraid to be annoying guys.

[00:27:50] Amanda: Yeah, because truly, honestly, what’s mostly happening is it’s not about you. It’s they’re not checking their email or they’re checking it in the middle of the night while they’re feeding the baby, and they’re not gonna respond. You know, there’s so many different reasons why people don’t respond, so don’t take it personally and just know that it is very, very, very normal for you to need to follow up 

[00:28:08] Amanda: over and over and over again.

[00:28:09] Amanda: Yes, Dolly, this has been incredible and I know that you have given people. So much to think about and so many action steps to take, but in order to help avoid some overwhelm, if you could give everyone, just one simple action step to get started setting up this process for themselves, what would that be?

[00:28:27] Dolly: Yeah. Okay. Well, I actually have two action steps. Sorry. Like, we’re just, I think over prepared. Yeah. So my first action step for everyone is even if you’re established. If you still feel like your inquiry process is clunky, then I encourage everyone to sit down and to map out the top of this funnel, the top of the inquiry process, and see like what are all the puzzle pieces from start to how you want them to book with you.

[00:28:56] Dolly: Like that top of the funnel piece looks like or pieces look like, and what pieces you should be optimizing and what pieces can be. automated and what pieces can be like personalized, if that makes sense. Yeah. In this portion, not a lot of people like doing, because that involves you sitting down and mapping it out and you all like,

[00:29:19] Dolly: It really helps. It really helps when you sit down and map some stuff out. Yeah, you have to like take out an hour or two hours for this process. I’m not gonna lie, it takes a while. But you, once you do that, you’re taking everything out of your head and you’re putting it on paper. Or wherever and then you’re implementing it.

[00:29:40] Dolly: And that I don’t, I just cannot stress enough how helpful that is for a lot of people. And then the second thing I want to encourage everybody to do is respond back with video. Just send a personalized video of yourself talking to that inquiry and just see how that, I know, I know there’s always gonna be somebody that’s like, well, I didn’t do my hair and makeup.

[00:30:05] Dolly: I didn’t like. I look like crap or I don’t know. We’re our own worst critics, but people need to see like the real person, behind your business. I’m not saying you like show up in like your PJs and like, I dunno, wearing a mask. I don’t know , but it’s like, unless it’s on brand. Yeah. Ex. Exactly, exactly.

[00:30:25] Dolly: Unless your brand is about wearing masks, I don’t know. But. Show your face and like let them know you’re excited about potentially working with them and just like get over that. Like, I don’t know, that fear of showing up on video. And it doesn’t have to be polished, it doesn’t have to be perfect. I work with a lot with moms because I, I do a lot of family photography, so sometimes Blaze makes an appearance in the videos because he’s running around in the background.

[00:30:55] Dolly: I’ve had moms reach out back to me and they’re like, oh, I can, like, they will tell me I relate. I can totally relate to that. And I’m not doing that. Like, I’m not using Blaze in the videos. He just like comes in and he’ll sit down on my lap or I just want them to know like, hey, like I totally get being a mom and it’s crazy and I’m potentially excited about working with you, but just like meet your clients where they are and let them know that you’re excited.

[00:31:22] Dolly: Working with them and let them just let them meet you. Yeah. So 

[00:31:27] Amanda: important. And with anything that’s scary in business, the more you do it, the easier it gets. So definitely encourage you to go out and do that. Now, Dolly, we end every episode with a book recommendation. So if there was one book that you think everyone needs to go out and read, and it can be business, but it can also just be fiction too, if that’s what you’re into, what would it be?.

[00:31:48] Dolly: Okay. I know I’m like breaking on the rules. I have two books, recommendations right now currently that I’m I either finished reading or I’m currently reading the fun book. So I love Amanda. You may know this. I love historical World War II fiction books, especially if they involve like. They’re based on a true female.

[00:32:10] Dolly: Like if it, my husband is always like, oh, is it female? Is it World War ii? Is it like, is it based on a true story? Oh, Dolly is all about that. And so anyways, the most recent read I did was Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn and she, oh, it’s based off of a true. True character from Russia. And she became really good friends with the president’s wife at the time in of America.

[00:32:43] Dolly: And she was a sniper. And it was I don’t know, I just like loved list and I listened to a lot of books right now because I just, the season of parenthood, I can’t like sit down and read. I listen on the go and it was such a good book. I, so I highly recommend it. So Diamond I by Kate Quinn and then the business book, I’m finally getting around to reading cuz I’ve fought it for so long and I’m like, why did I fight reading?

[00:33:09] Dolly: This is Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. It’s just because I heard so many people talk about it for years and my, sometimes my personality is like, don’t tell me what to do. I have to . Are you an eight? No . Interesting. Not I could act like it. I’m supposedly I haven’t really gotten deep into it, but I’m a three.

[00:33:32] Dolly: with a oh four wing, so I but I just, like, sometimes I just don’t like being told what to do. I know. dolly. I 

[00:33:41] Amanda: really, I wonder, okay. Threes and eights are commonly mistyped because there, there are a lot of similarities. You’ve said quite a few things on here. I’m like, she sounds like an eight right now.

[00:33:49] Amanda: So I’m very curious to wonder if you’re mistyped because eight hate, my husband’s an eight, hate being told what to do, and they also. Love to break rules and so your comment about like, I’m breaking all the rules, which I’m totally fine with, but they’re just so funny cuz it, it, it felt very eight 

[00:34:05] Dolly: of you

[00:34:05] Dolly: I dunno, maybe I’m , I didn’t dig into this, but I, and that’s another thing I’m just like, I don’t wanna know my number because you don’t me put in a box and like Yeah, exactly. Maybe, that’s it. But I just like, yeah. So I fought reading this book for the longest time and I’m in a mastermind right now.

[00:34:25] Dolly: And my mastermind leader was like, Dolly, you need to read this book. And I didn’t tell him like, no, I’m not gonna do it. Like, I really respect him. And I’m like, okay. You know, if he, if John is telling me, Dolly, you need to do this. I’m like, okay, well I’ll do it . So I finally read it and you. It’s really good.

[00:34:46] Dolly: It’s really good. I love it so much. I might reread it again. Yeah. I’m getting ready to, it’s on a, I’ve got a stack over 

[00:34:53] Amanda: here of getting ready to reread books. Yeah. That I do at the end 

[00:34:56] Dolly: of every year. Yeah. Yeah. So , those are my two book . Highly recommend both. 

[00:35:02] Amanda: I love it. Thank you so much. I, I’m always down and I haven’t read Diamond Eye yet and I also love historical fiction, so I’m very, I’m gonna go check that out right now, but I know that you need to scoot out of here really quickly. So where is the best place for someone who is like, I need more Dolly and more systems in my life? Where should they find you? 

[00:35:19] Dolly: Yeah, definitely. So you can find me on Instagram at dolly DeLong education for my systems and workflow education side of things.

[00:35:27] Dolly: And then if you’re like, I just wanna see her photography. At Dolly DeLong photo for branding photos and family photos. And then if you wanna listen into my podcast, I’m at the Systems and Workflow Magic podcast and that airs every Monday morning. And again, I am just wanna say thank you so much for having me.

[00:35:47] Dolly: It’s. Always an honor to connect with you, Amanda. I, I really like keeping up with you. I’m really glad we were connected. I don’t even know how we were connected, but I’m so glad we were connected and yeah, I love just watching your business, so, you know, 

[00:35:59] Amanda: I don’t even remember either. Like I said, it feels like it hasn’t been that long, but also when I think about it, it’s like, oh, I feel like I’ve been connected forever and I don’t remember how, but I’m really grateful to know you, and I’m really grateful that you took the time to be here today.

[00:36:12] Amanda: This was just so. Actionable, and I really, really appreciate that and I know the listeners do too. We love some strong action steps, so thank you for being here. We will have all of Dolly’s information and more listed in the show notes, friends, so that you can be sure to follow her and check all of her fun stuff out.

[00:36:27] Amanda: Thank you, Dolly. 

[00:36:29] Dolly: Yeah, thank you. Have a good day.

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