The feast and famine cycle is one of the biggest reasons people are afraid to start their own business. While there is an element of risk with all businesses, there are definitely things you can do to give yourself the best chance at success.
In this episode we pool our 25+ years of combined experience to dissect the problem, the causes and the solutions, including how we structure retainers and recurring income.
If you would prefer it in video form, we can do that too!
[0:00] Intro [3:31] What causes the feast and famine cycle? [7:42] Do external factors play a role? [11:51] How do we Manage the Feast & Famine cycle? [20:57] How to Build Recurring income [34:10] Wrap-up
This is our first community Spotlight episode where we look at the experiences of our Creating Clients Coaching Community members.
Kaleb has been a part of our community for just over a month and he recently made his first sale so he is here to share some inspiration with you guys!
We talk about how he secured this $2000 project (at the age of 18!), ethical selling and where to look for these clients.
[0:00] Intro [0:40]Who is Kaleb? [2:12] Why did you join the community? [4:03] What are the most valuable lessons you have learned? [4:55] First sale story [11:43] Serving as sales [12:48] Add value first to attract bigger clients [16:07] Closing remarks
We often focus on what it takes to get started but there is a legitimate barrier when you hit the early six-figure territory so this episode is all about how to scale beyond that barrier.
If you are struggling with any of these issues just get in touch, we would be happy to talk with you.
[0:00] Intro [0:38] Why is there a barrier? [2:30] Is it ok to stay there? [7:01]How do you get past it? [9:35]Is there a certain size at which more organisational overheads are necessary? [11:27] At what point should you add staff and what kind should you add first? [17:00] How should you think about the difference between turn over and profit when growing your business? [17:00] What has to change about the way you do business? [20:08] What are the smallest changes that had the biggest results? [22:11] What were the greatest challenges and how do you overcome them? [23:50] Closing remarks
Defining who you are serving allows you to serve them better, it also lets you find more of the right clients. In this episode we talk through the different kinds of niche and how you can pick the best one for you.
I also want to give a shout out to our latest coaching community member Kaleb for asking the question.
[0:00] Intro [0:40] Why choose a niche? [3:05] Vertical Vs. Horizontal Niches [7:30] How to choose your Niche [9:30] How Jonathan niched his business [11:25] Using geography as a niche [9:00] Early client experiences [13:15] What if selecting a niche loses potential clients? [16:25] When you have a niche, then what? [18:46] Closing remarks [19:25] wrap up
In this episode Jonathan shares his story from his first entrepreneurial experience selling Banana bread door to door as a child, through to WordPress development and working with Fortune500 Companies.
In this story you will hear many of the underlying principles that you can apply in your own journey to constantly improve, limit the growing pains and reach your goals.
[0:00] Intro [2:20] Background [3:00] Selling Banana Bread [5:40]First Web Development experience [7:00] First Client [8:45] First Published article [9:00] Early client experiences [12:45] How did you find clients [15:07] Lifting prices [17:15] How to get noticed in a crowded marketplace? [20:11] What were your biggest challenges [22:27] Big Wins: Celebrities, Massive clients and more [24:44] Should Entrepreneurs create product or service businesses? [28:36] What is the difference between a freelancer and an Entrepreneur? [33:53] What are the underlying principles of your success? [36:33] What advice would you give to your 20 year old self? [38:35] How to tell if you are equipped to be an entrepreneur. [40:40] Wrapping up
If you have every wondered why some people close 80% of their sales leads while others only close 20% you will love this episode. Jonathan, and I interview veteran agency owner Chris Swemba and explore his sales process (which we were surprised to find mirrors ours!).
In this episode we talk about how to qualify leads, what questions to ask, how to guarantee the client will love your proposal and more.
So get your note pad, headphones and buckle up for an excellent value-packed conversation.
[00:00] Intro [00:58] About Chris [03:23] High level overview of sales process [05:16] Why is a sales process important/how did you come to this process yourself? [10:45] Why should I qualify leads? [14:22] How do you qualify a clients? [27:23] Discovery Stage [34:07] Take us through the Proposal process [41:12] Closing the sale [53:28] Wrap-up/final thoughts
In this episode we get together to talk about how to get the most out of the new year as well as answer a load of questions from our community. We had a great time recording it and hope you have a great time listening to it!
Make sure you comment below!
0:27 – Our own new-year processes and habits, 7:05 – The Problem with new years resolutions 13:37 – Jonathan almost becomes a stand-up comedian – story 15:13 – How do you think about risk? 20:30 – What would be the number one way to get at least one new client in the next week? 23:29 – How do you start a cold interaction? 30:54 – If you had to start all over again from scratch, what would your primary focus be on (ie. technical WordPress skills, project management, a certain client niche)? 36:34 – What’s the best way to share projects as a team so everyone’s working strong, with integrity, and making good money without burning out individually. How to command a project without being undervalued by the client or potential client, especially on freelance sites. 42:45 – Can you show us or demonstrate how a person with the willingness to learn, a laptop and wifi connection can start a web business with $0 investment? 49:53 – What would be your best advice for someone looking to grow their freelance career this year? Announcing the Creating Clients Coaching Community
The questions of “What should I charge?” is one that seems to show up in my inbox all the time. So in order to answer that very question for you, I invited Tim Bouchard, one of the great thought-leaders in the area of pricing to share his answers to this sometimes thorny question.
Tim runs a successful full service branding agency called Luminus Media and has a truckload of insight that I very much enjoyed exploring. Here are some of the points we covered.
When to ask for your client’s budget
What to do if they won’t give it to you
When to Increase your prices
Who Tim would choose to be on his personal all-star brains-trust.
How Tim broke into the industry and how he would do it now if he had to start from scratch.
We cover all that and more, including Tim’s entrepreneurial debut with hand-drawn comic books in school.
There is nothing that will destroy your entrepreneurial energy, effectiveness and confidence quite like a terrible experience with a client. That is why in this episode we have focussed in on how to identify difficult clients and then what you can do about it, that will serve both you and the client in the best way possible.
We cover several areas including:
How to qualify the client
Resetting the relationship when you can see it going off-course
Dealing with desperation
Both Jonathan and I share stories from our experience to help you navigate these problems in your own experience.
Please listen, enjoy and If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please send us a comment below.
Ps: I want to give a shout out to Cay for asking about these concepts after our last podcast. Your question was the inspiration for this episode!