TT#001 - How to 10x your hourly rates...Mar 18, 2022
The most common way to start billing clients as an executive freelancer and solopreneur is by the hour.
But there are 2 disadvantages to this:
- As you get better and faster at delivering results for clients, you make less money. That means taking on more clients and doing more work to generate the same amount of revenue.
- There's a pretty obvious constraint in that we all only have 24 hours in a day. You can charge more per hour to generate more revenue, but there's typically a ceiling there for most people, too.
So, how can you generate 10x the revenue while working the same number of hours?
By productizing your services.
What do I mean when I'm talking about productizing services?
I don’t mean everything you do has to be cookie cutter.
I mean creating a process for delivering a specific result for clients and packaging the process in such a way that you can market it like a product.
This has 4 significant benefits:
- You can create demand. When you have a product that delivers a specific result, you can market it to your audience with clarity about what “it” is, who it’s for, and what it delivers. If everything is customized, it’s hard to create any predictable demand.
- You can eliminate time-wasting proposals. Without a productized service, you may find yourself wasting a bunch of time on custom proposals, with custom pricing, and custom deliverables. Having a product makes it easy to convey what someone’s getting.
- You (and clients) benefit from you getting better & faster. You’ll inevitably get better at executing your productized service. Unlike hourly billing, though, you benefit from needing less time to execute, and your clients benefit from you doing better work in that time.
- You can start getting help in performing the work. If all the work you do is entirely customized, it’s hard to hire people to help you perform the work. When there’s a process to follow and clearly defined outcome, it creates opportunities to change that.
Our first productized service was the 360° Sales Audit, and it’s driven more than $200,000 in sales for us in the past 18 months.
The first audit I completed generated about $62.50/hour in revenue.
The most recent audit I completed generated over $750/hour in revenue.
Talk about an improvement.
Here’s what’s behind those 2 numbers:
As I executed more audits, I got better and faster at them.
Since clients were getting better work, we were able to increase prices.
And since I was getting faster at executing them, the time invested decreased.
More money in less time.
Considering productizing a service for your business? Here are 5 guidelines to help you get started:
- Start small. Pick a single deliverable or transformation that clients really want and you can deliver consistently. It can be just part of a broader engagement that you build on as time goes on. You don’t need to productize the entire business.
- Document the process. List the steps you’ll go through to deliver your product starting with the biggest steps “at a 30k foot level.” Then continue breaking each of those steps down more granularly until you have a fully documented process to follow.
Here’s a snapshot of the first couple of steps in our 360° Sales Audit.
- Clarify results. Clients want clarity about what they’ll get. A productized service can help provide that if you define the current state and exactly what the future state is going to be after you’ve delivered the service.
In our audit, our deliverable is a playbook of objective, prioritized recommendations they can take to anyone to implement.
- Keep it simple. We tend to want to make the productized service scalable from day one. Don’t overcomplicate things worrying about automation, delegation, and a bunch of tech tools to execute.
Our 360° Sales Audit is managed in our project management program, but almost all of it is still done manually with Google Docs, Forms, and Sheets.
- Get feedback. You can optimize the impact of your productized service for clients with a strong feedback loop that invites both complementary and constructive feedback. The goal is each delivery is better than the last delivery.
We implemented a 2 call follow-up for our sales audit, which is one call immediately after delivery and a follow-up call 60-90 days later.
And that's how you 10x your rates, while delivering increasingly better work.
I’m on a mission to help 10,000 Solopreneurs & Executive Freelancers discover and enjoy a new lifestyle by creating income they deserve from wherever they choose doing work they love.
For a limited time, I'm offering a free audit of your client acquisition system and will personally help you clarify what’s working, what isn’t, and what to focus on right now to start winning your best clients - on demand.