Robin was recently featured on It’s Not Rocket Science, a podcast run by business growth expert Stuart Webb for growth-hungry business leaders. The podcast is centred on coffee, chat and delivers ideas that you can put into action to build your business. Here’s all you need to know from the Fearless Business interview.
What’s the biggest challenge you find your ideal client has?
I work with service-client businesses, mainly coaches, consultants, and freelancers. One of the main issues they have in scaling their business is perceiving their struggles to be marketing-based and needing to get more clients, when actually they need to fix some inherent problems in their business. They haven’t got their accounts sorted, sales and marketing processes right, or their internal systems aren’t functioning correctly. There’s a lack of efficiency in general. Yet they see everything as a marketing issue and make it their aim to get more clients, which then leads to everything imploding. What they should have been working on is getting the foundations sorted.
What are the common mistakes people are making?
Often there’s a wrong perception of what marketing is all about.
We have access to all these social media and marketing platforms, and it can feel easy to set up a business presence online and reach people. With the rise of the internet though, it also means you are in an oversaturated market. There are more businesses than ever. You’re also no longer just looking at local businesses, but there is a global marketplace to contend with.
With the abundance of online platforms, you then have the decision of which platform do I use because there is too much choice.
There will be experts for each platform telling you you need to use their platform.
The simplest way around this is to test. Work out where your target audience is present, and show up regularly with consistent content. Then you’ll start to grow an audience.
If you have every platform that exists, you will never be able to focus your energy on one thing and it’s a waste of time. If you double down your energy on two or three platforms, it’s more than likely you will build a successful business.
Marketing can also be expensive. So how do you afford the various marketing activities out there? It comes back to your foundations, restructuring your offering, and focusing on the productisation of your offering. People don’t feel comfortable sharing their results and wins.
When we charge people, it tends to be per hour or per day. What Fearless Business does is get clients to focus on their incredible results and price based on that. This has shown that they should be charging two to three times their current amount.
When you are pricing your services, you have to include the cost of overheads too. You also have to support time spent on networking, sales, and marketing too.
Another area that is overlooked is your intellectual property and knowledge. People aren’t just paying you for the work you can do in a set amount of time. They are paying you for your experience and expertise.
It’s not just your time people pay for. If you triple your prices, you have a third of payment for your time, a third for overheads, and a third for intellectual property.
The thought of increasing prices can lead to stress and lack of confidence to charge that much. Then you need to look at how you can articulate your value, so your audience will be happy to buy from you.
When you charge more, you can afford to have less clients and have more time to develop better quality products. This also improves your life quality and balance.
After all, if you think about the benefit of what your offering brings someone, then you can absolutely raise your prices.
Valuable free resources to introduce you to pricing
There are several resources out there, including many books which are extremely helpful.
Built to Sell by John Warrillow tells the story of an agency which was doing all the different services, but then narrowed down to one offering that became really successful.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is another great book. Although it focuses on bringing software into the market, the main principles can be applied to business in general, marketing, and pricing. One of the main messages is about not focusing on perfection, but rather putting something out into the market and getting feedback.
So how do you increase your pricing?
There’s a simple framework called MVT, which is mindset, validation, and time.
First of all, you need to have the initial idea of putting your prices, and have the confidence to do it.
You then need the data to prove that it is a good idea. Pitch your idea to the next ten or twenty clients, and more often that not, they will say yes if they truly want to work with you.
Each iteration of a price increase takes between four and six weeks. Sometimes you get lucky and the first client is happy with the increase. Clients can be like buses though. The first eight will say no, but the last two will say yes. You’ve got your data that it’s working.
Stuart Webb is kindly offering his marketing improvement service Scientific Marketing Makeover for FREE (worth £297)
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