Do you want more clients or more revenue? I'm guessing it's 'more revenue', and you might think that the only way to get more revenue is to bring on more clients. What if there was a way to find more revenue in your existing clients? Or, create even more value in what you offer, so that new clients who come on board will experience even more value than previous clients? That way, they'll be happy to pay you more.
Most people think that growing their business can only be done by getting more new clients, but that's not entirely true. Because you might think you need more clients to bring in more revenue, when actually you just need to offer more value to less clients.
There are only three ways to increase revenue in any b2b services business. You can get more clients and fill more of your time (or a team member's time) working IN the business; get your existing clients to buy more, or more frequently from you (again, putting you back IN the business) or; you can increase the value of your service per client, enabling you to increase the return on your clients' investment and therefore charge more for your services by working ON your business.
Let's take a look at each of these strategies, so you can decide the ones that's right for you.
1. Get More Clients
If you want to add more clients to your base, then marketing combined with great selling skills is the way to do this.
Marketing will make your business more 'findable' to prospective clients and creating a system to give your business a frequent and consistent presence in the places your prospects frequent will ensure they can find you when they are ready to engage you, not only when you feel like marketing to them.
Many times I hear the story of the business owner who was so busy serving the clients they already have that they forgot to work on finding new ones. Once their work was done with existing clients, they had no clients in their pipeline. Is this you?
2. Get Existing Clients to Buy More, More Often
Do you sell a service that clients need more volume of, or more frequently? If you do, then this could be a great strategy for you to increase your overall revenue. After all, it’s much easier to sell more to existing clients who already know you can get them results than to bring on new clients who don’t yet know for sure that you can get them results. If not, then this isn't going to be the right strategy for increasing your revenue.
If you can sell more of your services, more often to your existing clients, then an ongoing client engagement strategy (marketing to existing clients) to keep your business at the top of their mind is a good approach.
This can have an opposite effect too though. Are you the business that sucks its clients dry because they only ever try to get more business out of the same clients and never engage new ones? Eventually, you'll most likely need to also work on client acquisition (see point 1!).
3. Increase The Value (ROI & Price) Of Your Services
If you want your business to be sustainable, you need to be results-driven and those results need to provide your client with a return on their investment (ROI) with you. Without that, you not only won't retain clients or turn them into advocates who help you bring in more new clients, but you won't be able to charge enough for your services to create a sustainable and effective business for yourself.
Just recently, I had a client run a marketing campaign we had worked on together. The publication we worked with wanted us to create a certain type of content, I suggested something else that I knew would not only be more cost effective for my client, but would also be more effective in pulling in leads. My client, trusting me, pushed back with the publication who eventually agreed to run the suggested type of content. The marketing qualified leads from his campaign were DOUBLE what the publication usually sees for that kind of campaign with the usual type of content they run. DOUBLE.
How did I do that? Well, in addition to my existing experience and expertise, I spend more time ON innovating and improving my business' biggest asset - me - than IN my business working with clients.
I am constantly working on upskilling, being up to speed on the latest marketing trends, spending thousands on self-development and being completely and utterly results-driven in the way I approach my clients' needs.
That way, my clients get even more value from the time they spend with me because I can give them so much more than if I'm stretched out in all directions with too many individual clients; and what I give them comes from a perspective of getting them results.
When you operate on quality of client engagement, not quantity of clients or projects; YOU become better at what you do. YOU become more available and more amenable, which means your impact to each client has a higher value, which they are willing to pay for. Quality not Quantity.
If you still think of your services business in terms of the number of hours and cost per hour, then I urge you to review this thinking. No one is paying you for the time you spend, they are only ever paying you for the results you provide. If you're really experienced in what you do, then the time it takes you is FASTER than the client would take to get it done. Your clients pay you for SPEED and EXPERIENCE. The more experienced you are, the shorter time it takes you to do something. So, if you're charging for your hours only, then you're selling yourself short. You have to charge for your expertise and the results that expertise brings to the client's business.
A good way to think about this is to ask yourself; What impact do the results I get for my clients have on their life or business? What's that impact worth to them?
If someone told you they charge $1,000 per hour, you might be shocked. Some people are shocked by someone charging $100 per hour, or even $80 per hour. What if they told you that if you pay out $1,000, you will make $2,000 back, or $5,000, or $10,000? What if they told you they could change the entire direction of your business, or your life for just $10,000?
Money is relative. We all see it differently. How do you see it? How do your prospective clients see it?
The one thing I know for sure is that I used to think of myself as a commodity - fee for service, time for money. When I started unlocking the true value of the impact I have on my client's mindset, marketing and business effectiveness, I realised just how much more I was worth (to them). And when I realised that, I also realised how much more other people were worth to me. My sales coach charges nearly $2,000 AUD per session, I know that sounds like a lot to many people. She gives me absolute gold and as a result of working with her and I have made thousands more than I would have done without her, so $2k is nothing compared to the results I receive.
So if you're reading this and thinking it all sounds too scary and you're not sure you could take this strategy on, let me tell you that you can. Because you're worth more too, much more than you probably realise right now. Consider your impact, turn that impact into the valuable gold you sell, and no longer hear the question 'what's your hourly rate?' because from this moment on, you don't have one. :-)
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Stevie V Brown coaches small business owners’ to increase their marketing know-how, build their confidence and create and implement a growth marketing strategy that attracts and nurtures more of their ideal clients and gets them paid what they're truly worth. Apply for a FREE Marketing Accelerator with Stevie and get crystal clear on the next 3 actions you can take to grow your business today.