Case Study: Collegiate Keys

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Becoming a “Real” Business Owner

Collegiate Keys logo
Berry Shults, owner of Collegiate Keys

Berry Shults is a college counselor, helping high school juniors and seniors navigate the college admissions process.

When we first started working with her, Berry was beginning her second career. With two almost-grown children, she had decided to leave teaching and was working on her college counseling certification.

Berry was super excited about her work. Having gone through the college admissions process with her own child, she knew how stressful it could be for both students and parents – and she knew she could change that for her clients. But she didn’t have a plan to sell her services. A newly single mom, as her graduation loomed she was near panic-stricken over how she was going to earn a living. She knew that if she couldn’t make it work, she would have to continue teaching – but she had already turned in her notice for the following school year.

The first time we met to discuss her company, Berry said, “There is no way I will ever post about my company on Facebook. I’m not going to spam my friends like some pushy salesman!” It was the only way she had seen other people promote their services, but she had no idea how else to get her name in front of potential clients. It was causing her so much stress that she hesitated to move forward: she almost gave up before she even started.

Part of our process is helping clients see a path to their goals. After we developed an outline of her offer and priced it, Berry found that she only needed five clients a month to reach her financial goals. “Oh, I can do that!” she said excitedly, her panic receding.

That was just the beginning. Going through the process of developing her marketing gave her the foundation she needed, and confidence as a new business owner.

A favorite part of working with Berry was her first experience as what she called a ‘real’ business owner. We helped her find 15 people who matched the ideal client profile that we had developed, and had her reach out to them for research. Once she started making the calls, she was astounded. Not only were people willing to talk to her, but by using the script we gave her, they opened up and shared. (We later used these conversations to develop her messaging.)

One afternoon she called. “I landed TWO clients today, just from my research calls!” she yelled excitedly into the phone. She didn’t pitch her services (on a research call that’s bad form) – but just in talking to the people who matched her ideal client profile, they asked to work with her. Definitely a win!

Collegiate Keys website
Case Study: Collegiate Keys
Case Study: Collegiate Keys