How Growing Your Offline Business Really Works [Feedback After 2-1/2 Years]

by Jason Kanigan 32 replies
Let's call this the second post for everyone trying to make money (if you missed this link, click it now to open it up in a new window and read it later).

The original version of this post was a response to a question about whether people actually run an offline marketing business from home. I think it got buried there, though a number of people did see and thank me for it (so I know it's valuable). I've added more details to it here.

I see people giving up too soon.

I see people jumping from lilypad to lilypad every month in search of "what's hot".

I see people who have no idea how to get clients.

Each of these errors completely destroys your credibility, and keeps you beginning over and over again from zero. This is why you never get anywhere, and why your business looks the same at six and twelve months (if you survive that long) as it did at the very start.

I am about to share with you everything I wish I had known at the beginning.

First, positioning is everything. If you look and sound like everyone else, you won't command good prices. And you need good pricing to succeed. Commodity pricing will only allow you to tread water...if you can get enough clients. You'll never take off in this state. To start doing well, you need to be able to afford marketing and help you simply cannot at the "barely scraping by, paying the monthly bills" level.

I routinely close mid-4-figure jobs without meeting the client face to face. And I mean 100% payment up front, not split up over a bunch of months. Whether they're in North America, Australia, Singapore or Ireland does not matter.

However, you have to have a certain infrastructure to do this, and newbies miss that. And I mean on the marketing AND fulfillment side. People have to see you're serious and legit. You are not going to be able to attract and get sales from clients in this range or higher if you don't differentiate yourself, and show you know how to solve specific problems.

This infrastructure I'm talking about means collateral on the marketing side, and clear ability to handle the load on the fulfillment side. This is the reason your average web designer cannot get $3000+ clients. Their marketing is poor, so they look like a template site provider lacking any sophistication. They can't talk about complex issues like EDI or getting different software programs like inventory, accounting and customer relationship management to talk to one another, so the prospect knows they don't have the skills to solve their problem. The picture provided is someone without enough "Oomph" to do the job. The prospect sees that right away, and turns the commodity designer away at the door.

When I worked as Business Development Manager for a boutique IT firm, we had to bill $60,000 a MONTH to break even. (Don't forget about taxes. They'll kill you if you aren't careful. Taxes are built into this figure.) This was with a staff of five plus a working owner. Do you think we could do that with $300 template sites?? With $250/month managed services contracts? Of course not. Pursuing projects at that level would have been a total waste of our time. What's interesting is I don't remember ever being called up and asked by a prospect for pricing on one. A typical project was $30,000 and up, lasting four to six months.

Our marketing collateral, which they are still using, was a series of white papers. The owner wrote the first one, and I wrote the rest. Infrastructure, as I said. Well, that's part of the marketing arm.

Working alone from home? There's nothing stopping you from developing collateral like this. It could be a video. It could be a pdf. It could be an audio. Whatever it is, do it once, set and forget. Bring new content out regularly. This is why I have Amazon/Kindle reports. They are NOT to make money (what, 33 cents is gonna change my life?!). And my blog. It's all part of the infrastructure that shows prospects "Wow, this guy knows about sales!" Do my competitors have anything like that? Oh, maybe one Kindle product...and a blog that hasn't been updated this quarter. Or nothing but a templated website.

What kind of an impression do you believe either of those situations gives prospects?

Do you think I have to argue about price?

Whenever people start asking "can I do this?"-type questions, I always respond:

You will find two kinds of people out there.

Type 1 > Those who are OK with hiring others to do work without ever meeting them, and don't care where the sub is located

and

Type 2 > Those who will never do this, because they are looking for world class talent living down the block from their office.

Your job as a marketer is to identify which type you are dealing with, and get rid of Type 2 as fast as possible because they are a waste of your time.

No amount of persuading, cajoling, and convincing will ever make Type 2 hire you. But Type 1 is used to hiring remote workers.

So task #1 of your marketing is to separate Type 2 from Type 1 prospects, and get conversations started with Type 1.

Second, growth does not occur linearly.

Stop thinking linearly. It doesn't work that way. It's exponential. You start small and no one knows you exist. And it appears to stay that way for awhile.

Use more than one marketing method. I've used phone prospecting, emails, Youtube videos, low and high-end IM offers (guess what, the high end worked better--for both me and the clients...maybe you can guess why), Kindle/Amazon books, bids on freelance sites (which can be quite valuable when you don't follow the herd, and sort very carefully so you spend your energy on the right prospects), media interviews, and even made custom membership sites for high-value prospects as knock-'em-over-the-edge presentations. Test. Some will work more effectively than others. Do you see how all this builds up the marketing infrastructure I talked about above? Develop a funnel that works.

As a contractor, your biggest problem (although you probably don't know it yet) is the time required to be both the Sales & Marketing arm AND the Fulfillment arm of your business. When you get work, you will be severely tempted to drop the marketing activities and concentrate fully on fulfillment. This is a mistake. Make sure you are continuing to steadily do marketing activities every day, whether you feel like it or not. You must always be bringing in and processing more leads. If you stop marketing & qualifying, your business will stop. And when you're done doing the job you fought to earn, you will be back to square one. If you had kept marketing, you could have another client all lined up and ready to go--and you'd be much more relaxed while doing the prospecting and qualifying, because you already had work.

The growth is exponential in this business. Nobody knows who you are for a long time. Nearly everyone gives up or leaps to the next lillypad where the next shiny object is waiting. Remember it doesn't work that way. It appears nothing much is happening for a long time, and then suddenly the results leap up!

See this?


Say the vertical axis is your revenue, and the horizontal is time passing.

People don't think exponentially. So they believe business should grow linearly. Only it doesn't. So when the revenue doesn't grow 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. they get confused, discouraged and quit.

That makes the line go back to the beginning. 0,0. No, that's not a text face. That's a screw-up. Every time you quit and start over, you're forcing that graph right back to zero.

Growth actually happens exponentially. Nothing seems to change for a long while. Then suddenly results skyrocket: you pass that critical point. People you've never heard of or talked to before start contacting you. You are known for what you do. But give up too soon and you'll never get there.

You've probably heard of Dan Kennedy. I've been reading his books since 1994 when I found some in my college library. There's a DK quote I remember to this day: "I'm an overnight success--after 30 years"! (This is a headline in one of his books; I just looked it up).

See that gap between the red and green lines? That's the difference between your expectations and reality...no wonder reality falls short, huh? And you give up.

This is the problem with the "What's hot this month?" crowd. They shoot themselves in the foot, resetting their credibility and effectiveness to zero, every month.

I wish more people understood this about running your own business. They give up almost at the beginning. I've been doing this for two and a half years and only over the last six months, during which I have been entirely focused on pricing and finding the right clients, has it really started to take off. And I'm GOOD at what I do. My business is an OBSESSION. If you're unskilled, lazy and unfocused, how do you ever think you're going to make it?

What I am doing now is NOT the same as what I was doing two years ago...or even six months ago. The kind of clients I have now are not the same. The problems I am solving are not the same. Sure, the basics--sales training + copywriting--are there as tools...but the work I'm doing, and who I'm doing it for, has changed all along the journey. If a year goes by and you're still doing the same things for the same people, don't be shocked that your business is stagnating.

I used to think dealing with 40 clients a month was good. I used to think having a calendar booked wall-to-wall was great. I used to think that an ultra-high activity level, working on my business 100% of the time, was the right approach. And I know many of you would (metaphorically) kill to be in this position. But it's a mistake and a trap.

Nowadays I work with 4 or fewer clients a month. Instead of rushing to try and help too many people, I can concentrate on getting stellar results for a few. I'm much more relaxed, because I can pick and choose when I work and when to have downtime. I hadn't realized how valuable downtime is. And the key to all this has been Price.

Do not neglect Pricing now. I mean as a newbie, and as an experienced provider. Pricing is key to your business. It directs everything: who you talk to, what work you will do for them, how much money you will make. Price yourself small, and you'll find yourself with tons of competition, fighting for lousy little projects that have no impact, and dealing with miserly, whining clients who want the moon for nothing.

The right price attracts people who are well-funded. It attracts people who understand commitment. Who already deliver a great product or service, and are earning more money every month than they need to cover expenses. This is who you want.

Very few people understand this, and operate from the scared/scarcity mindset.

"But I'm new! How can I charge what I'm worth?"

Positioning.

And watch this video:


If you price too low, you'll never escape the month-to-month scrounging necessary to meet your bills. You'll never have money for anything else, like paid advertising or a spruced-up marketing piece. You NEED this kind of boost to take your business to the next level. And worst of all, you'll become known (if you stick it out) as the "low budget writer".

I almost got stuck as the "low budget sales trainer". Almost. It took me the better part of a year to wean myself off the kind of clients I knew how to get...the game I knew how to play well. But that game plateaued revenue-wise very early on, and I had to work with so many clients it split my energy up too much. Now I work with only a handful of clients every month, and can concentrate completely upon them. Again, to get there I had to take the scary step of giving up the business model and income stream I understood well. It was a rocky road. Nobody tells you this stuff.

Position & price yourself correctly and you will get interesting projects which can make an impact--and from which you can get case study results--clients who value you and treat you well, and more money than you need--which gives you a feeling of total relief.

Designing websites for $500 won't do that. Training people to sell for $297 won't do that. Writing $5 articles won't do that.

I'll give you a writing example. I do two things for money: copywriting and sales training. I don't talk much about the writing here because sales training is what took off for me in this marketplace. When I moved to the US, I wasn't allowed to work for a long time while going through immigration. When I finally was able to work, I picked up a writing client paying $200 per 600 word technical article. Now the key here, why this was worth so much and why they could afford me, is their product pricing. The equipment they were selling was worth $500+, often many thousands of dollars, so they could easily afford a solid investment in my writing. The key of why I got the work is my technical background: I know a lot about engineering, electronics and how things work, so when I wrote I wasn't copping together BS from other writers that I didn't really understand. I was writing from the authority of knowing exactly what I was talking about.

I wrote several articles a month for them. It wasn't rent money, but it was steady work and a heck of a lot better than scrounging and competing with bottom-of-the-barrel writers for $5 articles. You'd have to write FORTY $5 articles to hit $200. That's crazy. That lead to a full-color spread in a business directory, that got me regional coverage. Eventually the company got bought by another, similar but larger firm, and I could have done all of their writing, too. No questioning about fees. I did that for a short time but was offered a senior management position with an Inc. Top 1000 firm and took that as my full time role. So there wasn't any time left for article writing. And I don't do article writing anymore; just copywriting, because that's where the real money, impact and results I can get are.

Now the critical takeaway I want you to understand here while your eyes are bedazzled by dollar signs is this: you have to have some kind of knowledge that puts you above the herd. Am I the only writer who has the technical know-how to write those articles? Of course not. But I'm the only one who had the knowledge AND could write AND contacted them.

Now that's really not much, is it. But it's more than enough for you to stand out.

These are all things I wish I knew when I started.

Go think about Positioning. Niche down. Focus. How can you demonstrate this focus? Who will you solve problems for, and what problems will you solve for them so that you can get paid at the level you desire? This is how you get paid more. It could be a pdf, it could be a video, it could be a direct mail piece, it could be flying an airplane over their building, it could be a giraffe. Go do it now.

I won an email sequence bid at three times the price of the next bidder's by crafting a response sounding like it was in the voice of the client's BUYER. It took me maybe half an hour, and nobody else would bother to do anything like that. They'd just submit boilerplate garbage. Made my client well into five figures in return over the next month. That lead to a five-figure-priced launch project--yes, that required a signed contract, and that's what scanning and pdfs are for--that netted my client over half a million dollars in one week. And we're doing another launch now. Through a freelance site for the original email sequence job, folks. You have to know how to USE these sites, and spend your energy effectively. Never met my client in person. For the launch project, no competitors.

It doesn't take much to differentiate yourself. Keep in mind that everyone else, almost everyone else, is totally lazy. (This is something to think about, too: raise the bar of your competition. When your competition is striving, you have to strive...and you'll be gunning for better projects, I guarantee it). Your competitors are sitting around doing nothing, slinging the same boring proposals to every prospect...and then not doing a very good job in fulfillment. When I landed that article writing role, I didn't have anything except a free google sites website...and I'm not even sure they ever looked at it. And when it came to the writing, I delivered. My articles got SEO attention, attracted super-specific buyers looking for exactly that piece of equipment, and they bought because the company was able to present itself with my articles as a group of people who knew what they were talking about--before a salesperson ever got on the line with a customer. If they ever even had to.

All your credibility stems from YOU, and how you feel about yourself. Whatever head trash you have saying, "I'm only worth $X," that's what the world will give you. Figure out your focus. Use that differentiation to price yourself higher. Attract better projects and clients that way (Yes, they are out there). Fulfill well, and use these results as case studies for future prospects. Develop and continously run an effective sales & marketing funnel that works while you sleep--whether you feel like it or not.

DO NOT hop from shiny object to shiny object. I stick to two main things and have developed a ton of credibility in those spaces. All hopping does is send you back to zero. And 0,0 is the kiss of death unless your activity level is massive and focused.

Look at that exponential curve again. You have to be relentless. The good news: hardly anybody else is. You are in a world of lazy, lazy competitors who can't do what they say they will. It's easy to stand out.

Take blogging. How many people do you see stay consistent with their blog? Hardly anybody. A guy on Facebook runs a syndication page. Since January, how many people other than myself do you think have consistently stuck with their blog, sharing new content and participating with Liking and sharing articles from other people as they're supposed to for the group? NONE. People come, people go. People put in little dribs and drabs of effort. Are you one of those people? Is it any wonder you haven't seen much in the way of results?

BE CONSISTENT. Be consistent in your focus of products or services, your marketing, and your fulfillment. Start now.

PS. I forgot to mention one important thing. You MUST have mentors. You must reinvest in yourself. I have talked with several members of this forum, and other experts outside, for growing my business. EwenMack is one--I've had a couple calls with him. Dan McCoy is another. Another fellow named Randy Stuppard is someone I've discussed things with regularly. I also talk with current and past clients who are doing well, to find out what they're doing that's working and exchange info. Some are making more money than I am because they have a better business model, or are picking out better clients. It's smart to emulate what people who are performing better than you are doing.

Gulp and spend the $197 for the hour call or whatever it is, when you see someone you know can help you. It's a great investment. Thinking you can figure everything out yourself is an error. You are SO close to your business, it's hard to see the forest for the trees. That's what an outside perspective can give you: perspective. If you're unwilling to find mentors and invest--some of these calls WILL cost you money, but it's an investment and tax-deductible--then you will not make it.
#offline marketing #business #feedback #growing #offline #works #years
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  • Profile picture of the author 9999
    I have been meaning to find a great mentor, thanks for the recommendations!
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  • Profile picture of the author lovakr
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Thanks for the mention Jason.

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        Thanks for the mention Jason.

        Best,
        Ewen
        Credit where it's due, sir. Thinking back, I've done three calls with you and they have been the best advisor calls I've had. You never have any pushy intention to upsell, and are 100% there to help. Incredible clarity is what I've gotten from our conversations and you think about all the other stuff that the principle, whose head is too buried in their own business to see everything, hasn't considered.

        Other calls I've done with consultants have been more of the psychologist "So, what do you think you should do?" variety, or pushing of an agenda, ie. "Buy my program; I don't really care whether it's a fit for you or not." And I really feel disappointed when I discover the "expert" knows less than I do...which has happened several times.

        I do these kinds of calls about once a quarter and they are always helpful for refocusing, though yours are far ahead of any others to date.
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  • Profile picture of the author Talltom1
    Wow, Jason. Decided not to spend the day at the mall today huh?

    Talltom
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  • Profile picture of the author pertick
    This is really very useful stuff for beginers, newbies. Thanks Jason for a wonderful information.

    Pertick
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by pertick View Post

      This is really very useful stuff for beginers, newbies. Thanks Jason for a wonderful information.

      Pertick
      Not just for newbies...people who have been running a consultancy or agency for awhile and don't understand why they're still struggling will learn a lot from this as well. I have run three consulting businesses since 2000 and am still learning. Nobody teaches this stuff.
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      • Profile picture of the author digichik
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        Not just for newbies...people who have been running a consultancy or agency for awhile and don't understand why they're still struggling will learn a lot from this as well. I have run three consulting businesses since 2000 and am still learning. Nobody teaches this stuff.

        Thanks for the great post. It never ceases to amaze me how valuable posts, like this one, get so few views and comments.

        This info isn't taught. Jason, you just saved those, wise enough to learn from you, years of possible hardship.

        I just rated this post a 5-star. I hope others do the same, so it gets the recognition it deserves and continues to help others.
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  • Profile picture of the author MrFume
    Your post is extremely timely Jason, in my part of the universe anyway-I am just re-working a welcome video for my services site and was pondering precisely these issues, it is amazing how important self-perception is in this game, you project your price point in the way you speak, the choice of phrase, the little self effacing laughs-making comments that imply you are not sure-all of this has a big impact. so thank you for taking the time to spell it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin Ford
    Great post. This post really help me to find how to grow offline business. I have had a small business. After some year i see my business are not increasing. I want to use this method now. I hope my business will be great from this method. Hope great. Thanks for reliable and important post.
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  • Profile picture of the author makpeeter
    Also, business is personal. If you like someone, you are more likely to do business with them. And if you don't like someone, you are probably less likely to do business with them. So be likeable, real and genuine. It will not only be easier to do sales that way, but you will also build long-term relationships.
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  • Profile picture of the author MalBryc
    Great post Jason, thanks for sharing. I myself, need to pay attention to the advice in your post.
    Again, thank you for sharing...
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  • Profile picture of the author Harry B
    This was a fantastic read and REALLY got my head on straight. Thank you.
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  • I see people giving up too soon.

    I see people jumping from lilypad to lilypad every month in search of "what's hot".

    I see people who have no idea how to get clients.
    EXACTLY. I see people giving in after two or three cold calls. I see people stopping after they have contacted two or three business. It could take countless tries trying to see what converts into clients before you ever see results. Read this forum. Check it when you want. But get yourself started. Start working. And. Don't. Give Up. Too. Soon.

    Try your best to stick to one thing until it works for you. Yes, it is fine to buy another WSO if you feel like it would be great for entertainment value or if you just want something to supplement your current business (ie: buying a software to help you rank for your keywords.....etc.) But the goal should be to stick to your niche whatever that may be, whether that's offline marketing or something else.

    Again, there are so many ways to land clients. If you just experiment and stop thinking about whether you'll get a no or yes, you'll start landing clients. Read Jason's stuff you guys. I have bought almost everything he has sold, and he shows you what works in the offline biz and what makes people want to start working with you.

    The offline biz is a tough place to be, but only the ones who want to put in the work will see results. Just this thread alone gives such value. Great post.
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  • Profile picture of the author TerryLBD
    Another 5 star from me - I actually stopped lurking and signed up so I could do so.

    I bounced around a lot of different 'shiny things' over the years but until you make a sustained and concerted effort in one main area and own it, you won't get anywhere.

    And often, just when you've about had enough is when you're just about to get that big momentum boulder rollin down the hill.

    Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author Joel
      Don't just look at what Jason says ... look at what he does ... he educates his market (YOU) and provides information of value. He just doesn't talk, he walks the talk. His information is of great value to marketers and he creates authority & confidence to trust & buy from him. Learn from Jason & buy from him to be a more successful salesperson/marketer.
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      "Without data or facts, you are just another person with an opinion"

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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by Joel View Post

        Don't just look at what Jason says ... look at what he does ... he educates his market (YOU) and provides information of value. He just doesn't talk, he walks the talk. His information is of great value to marketers and he creates authority & confidence to trust & buy from him. Learn from Jason & buy from him to be a more successful salesperson/marketer.
        I appreciate this...truth is I feel I'm still not a great marketer.

        I AM good at conversion.

        But like when I was running for public office a decade ago, the mayor recognized I was a very competent administrator who could build relationships quickly...but not great at the politics for vote-getting.

        I work on the marketing arm of my business every day. There are still tons of things I'm not doing that I know I should be, and methods I'm not yet using or using effectively enough.

        There is enough in this business to keep you busy and learning for many years--by which time it would have entirely changed again and you'd have to re-learn what you thought you knew!
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground
    This is a post full of heart and soul and the straight, unvarnished truth of what is required to make it. Epic post. Thank you Jason.
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  • Profile picture of the author clawHAMMER
    Top notch post Jason. Again. Almost every post on this forum where I've spotted your name you've over-delivered.

    Your fingers must really get a work-out when you're on a roll pounding those keys.
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    • Profile picture of the author isaacsmithjones
      Originally Posted by zigzager View Post

      Respect for this post bro
      Ditto...

      Since reading this post, I've been using the line "business growth is exponential" to motivate my clients.

      Saying things along the lines of:

      "You never know how close you are to the tipping point. And just when you feel like giving up, that's usually when you're right on the verge of an exponential explosion".
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    So I want to share an interesting update after 8 months of running my new business model based on all the experiences leading into the OP.

    Initially, the dramatic drop in number of clients having to be served every month going from 20-30 to 1-4 really helped. I had free time to learn new things...and downtime, which is very important. But as the months have gone on, I have found Parkinson's Law unexpectedly kicking in!

    For the past couple months, I've found myself overworked, stressed out and "full" in a bad way. My income is many factors higher than it was last year, and the projects and people are great. But somehow the volume of work has expanded again.

    This is leading to another re-thinking of my numbers and business model.

    Should I outsource? Some of the things I do can't be outsourced. You can't duplicate individual perspective.

    Should I reduce the number of clients again to 1 or 2, and raise the Price requirement to $10K+ each?

    Or will that result in the same expansion of work to fill the space in a few more months?

    I have raised my minimum Price again because the last project I took at the old minimum (4 figures), while it was OK in terms of exchange of expertise for money, it just didn't excite me monetarily.

    I've also spent quite a bit of time over the last two months considering positioning. Definitely related to the work capacity symptom, but I'm not fully clear on how yet.


    I wonder if this is what it's like to move up the exponential growth curve. If these are merely symptoms. I do know the business model is never a static concept; it keeps changing and needing refinement.
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    • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
      To be clear I don't have a ton of perspective on how your business model runs. So I'm just guessing, let me know if I'm widly wrong.

      This is what I would tell you if you were my client. 1-4 clients isn't a sustainable model. You're too tied into some large clients that your income will suffer dramatically if one of them drops off for whatever reason. SH&T happens after all. I have run my business like that before where I had one client who accounted for 40% of my income, and then one day they closed up shop with no notice. Oh yeah, and owed me close to $12k.

      I would say if you really, really look at your work load. Much of what you're doing is probably not $200 an hour work. I would say based on what little I know of what you do, you're probably worth $100-200/hr depending on how you position yourself. So if you're not currently filling your time with work that pays you that, and pulling in between $200-400k a year you've got a leak in your model somewhere. Who can you hire to take care of some of the $10-40/hr work? Have you thought of interns, assistants, junior account executives, etc? Even if you don't want a large staff, or an office or anything like that. Just a small 400-600sf office that will cost you $500-1000 a month and some staff to take care of the details you shouldn't be bothered with. Hire a stay at home mom to come run your office for 5 hours a day, etc.

      If you're going to work with a small load of clientele, what does your pipeline look like? I'd be concerned about what happens when people eventually leave. That's a good choice for staff to take care of. How can you design a pipeline so that you have people waiting for any breaks in your projects? Can you supplement your project work with products that you can sell to fill your pipeline. I.e. if you're going to charge $10k to work with you(I think low), then what can you sell them for $1k that will provide value and keep them interested in being in your pipeline.

      I would tell you to leverage the work with clients you've already completed. I think you should niche. See when you're working with clients that are in differing industries you have a major problem, each time you take on a client you have a lot of work to do to learn the new industry, how it works, what their customers needs, desires and aggravations are. If you can become the expert in Plumbers or whatever niche, then your workload will actually go down. You can leverage the work you've already done for new clients. I would take my one Plumber client and go deep in that niche. I'd do one locally, then I'd go 100mi out, then statewide, then nationwide, and then global if you can swing it. You might take what normally takes you 100 hours of work for a client and condense it to a few hours, and even better have staff provide some of the services for you. So again, specialize and niche down.

      And again back to products. If you've just completed some work for a plumber, can you package up the things that you have learned into a product for the plumbing niche? That's one way to leverage your time, you create products so that your time is more leveraged and you can make money without actually doing any further work. It's all about leverage.

      I would explore other revenue models. You're probably on the edge of being able to start to do some baseline type deals. I.e. work with clients that will pay you a percentage of their profit growth. If you're only going to work with a limited number of clients, how can you make these clients $100k a year clients versus $10k a year clients? If you are the bomb in funnel creation, sales generation, what have you of plumbers, and you have a track record of multiple six figure increases then asking for 10-20% of the profits for the techniques you've developed seems perfectly reasonable. And if they are not interested then quote them a fee that is probably double or triple what you're currently getting and make it a choice. When you're only doing a handful of deals you should be handsomely rewarded.

      Which brings me to my next point, go for larger clients. You should be moving up the scale now. If you're charging less than $10k per client you're probably in that $800k-3M gross revenue range. What would it take you to move up to $10M-50M revenue clients that can afford to pay you $50k-100k a year? If the value and positioning is there, there is no reason why you can't ask for and receive those types of rates.

      I'd also say take a look at your time management skills. There are plenty of really good time management programs out there. I like Tony Robbins- Time of Your Life, David Allen- GTD, Dan Kennedy's No B.S. Time Management Program, and even some of the ideas of Chet Holmes. I keep it pretty simple, I just use the Pomodoro method. It works for me. But I've read and studied about everything. My guess is with only 4 clients, you might be spending some time on the wrong things- just guessing though.

      Let me tell you about a client I worked with. It was a house painter, one of my first clients. I did some work for him. I did websites and SEO and PPC, and helped him generate referrals and testimonials. Things were going well. And as I got to know more about his business I started to realize some things. It's all about the sprayer. The only person on a painting team that has to be any good is the person running the sprayer. That's $18-22/hr work. The rest is $8-10/hr work. But, the income for the sprayer usually runs around $100-150 an hour while the other work is charged at $20-30/hr. (don't quote me, this was 5-6 years ago and the numbers are a little fuzzy but I think I'm close). We completely redesigned the model of the company so that everything was focused on making sure we could keep the sprayer working all day. We hired more auxilary staff to go and do all the prep work, and the clean up work. Basically we transformed a business that was generating maybe $200k a year in gross, and making the owner $50-60k. To making around $750k, and the owner making around $250k. So what I'm telling you Jason is how do you keep your sprayer-a-spraying? How can you build your business model so that you only do work that brings you in $100,200,1,000/hr or more?

      TLDR; To recap-Niche into larger customers, and hire staff to help you fullfill. Then I'd work on pipeline management.

      HTH- this was fun.
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      We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up ... discovering we have the strength to stare it down. - Eleanor Roosevelt

      Your opinion of yourself becomes your reality. If you have all these doubts, then no one will believe in you and everything will go wrong. If you think the opposite, the opposite will happen. It’s that simple.-Curtis Jackson- 50 Cent
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  • Profile picture of the author Noctilus
    Learned tons here guys. Thanks for taking the time to enlighten us in the offline marketing space.
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  • Profile picture of the author sunoy14
    Thanks for the post. I was thinking of raising the prices vs selling at low prices. I found that selling at low prices comes first to the mind. But selling at higher prices (though counter intuitive), is a very solid strategy too (sometimes I think it might be a better strategy).
    When you look at profits and clients, it's around the same for both strategies. If you sell at low prices, you might get 100 customers who purchase at $10 which equals to $1000 total gross income. But if you sell for higher prices, you might get 10 customers who purchase at $100 which is also $1000 gross income. So in the grand scheme, it is around the same.
    Now looking at expenditures, for 100 customers, you might need 10 workers as an example. 10 workers at $10 salary is $100 total salary expense. But for 10 customers, you might only need 1 worker which means only $10 total salary expense. So if this salary expenditure is included, the higher pricing strategy is far more profitable. You save $90 in this example. And you can use some percent of that $90 to give better services which is good enough to convince customers looking for quality
    What say?
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  • Profile picture of the author klutzon
    I can really appreciate now the reality of the "flywheel", persistence breeds profits. Everything I've learned today will undoubtedly help me close the sales I need this coming week to get the ball rolling and get that flywheel turning.

    Thank you all for being so awesome.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by klutzon View Post

      I can really appreciate now the reality of the "flywheel", persistence breeds profits. Everything I've learned today will undoubtedly help me close the sales I need this coming week to get the ball rolling and get that flywheel turning.

      Thank you all for being so awesome.
      "This week"?? It's gonna be a lot longer than this one week.

      Are you prepared to COMMIT?

      Are you ready to act as if your life depends on the outcome of your efforts?

      If you just started a new sales role, and that includes your own business, it can take up to around three months to establish yourself as the Go-To person for what it is you're offering.

      And that's with you showing up everywhere. Consistently.

      Are you ready to do that?

      You might make sales this week. You might not. Can I give you the right mindset? That should be irrelevant. You are solid, unmovable. This is your path. You will succeed at it whether it takes three days, three months, or three years of effort. No one can stop you.

      If you don't have this mindset, my prediction is you will fly off after the next shiny object in a short while.
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      • Profile picture of the author klutzon
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        "This week"?? It's gonna be a lot longer than this one week.

        Are you prepared to COMMIT?

        Are you ready to act as if your life depends on the outcome of your efforts?

        If you just started a new sales role, and that includes your own business, it can take up to around three months to establish yourself as the Go-To person for what it is you're offering.

        And that's with you showing up everywhere. Consistently.

        Are you ready to do that?

        You might make sales this week. You might not. Can I give you the right mindset? That should be irrelevant. You are solid, unmovable. This is your path. You will succeed at it whether it takes three days, three months, or three years of effort. No one can stop you.

        If you don't have this mindset, my prediction is you will fly off after the next shiny object in a short while.
        As someone who highly respects and admires your work, I'm honored to get your feedback to my statement.

        When I meant to get the flywheel turning, I didn't mean to have it spinning by the end of this week. I meant rather to actually start doing the "pulling", to "loosen" it so to speak, so it can eventually start spinning when the right time comes. (There's some cash I need in the next few days and I've now got the training and confidence to get it, that's what I was referring to.^^)

        I understand that nothing's overnight, every seed needs its time to sprout. But if anything you've taught me in all your posts in the "Offline Marketing" forum, it's that the right attitude and the right approach when talking to your prospective clients can be the difference between the sprout dying off early or quickly thriving to become a humongous glorious tree.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kiwigal
    Thank you Jason, valuable information. It's threads like this that keep me coming back to this forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    I've found myself overworked, stressed out and "full" in a bad way. My income is many factors higher than it was last year, and the projects and people are great. But somehow the volume of work has expanded again.
    Jason, This is usually the signal that you need to - and can - raise your prices. Yes, again.

    Good luck,
    Marcia Yudkin
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    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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