You are a freelancer or a consultant and naturally you want to earn more. You get as much work as you can, or even a little bit too much, rarely refusing work that comes your way.
You have learned that by pricing your services based on the value they provide you can earn more from your time.
However, you are still far from the numbers many consultants post on the Internet. You know that you can get and that you deserve more.
Wouldn’t it be nice if
- Your customers looked at you as the ultimate expert to help them.
- People payed more for your service.
- You could refuse work and clients you don’t want and still earn great.
The way to achieve every one of this is surprisingly simple. You have to focus your business.
Instead of taking any work that comes your way, you should focus on solving only few very specific problems.
You should refuse any other kind of work, therefore leaving you more time for clients with the specific problems you solve.
You might think that you will lose opportunities, but instead you will earn more.
It’s all about focusing on the problems that you can solve best, instead of trying to solve everything for everyone.
You will become an expert
As soon as you focus on specific problems, you become the expert on those specific problems in the eyes of your current and potential clients.
When people encounter them they will first come to you, even if you have refused to work with them before on other projects.
They know that you refused because you are an expert, and they will value you for that.
You will increase your expertise
What’s more, not only you will look like an expert, but you will actually become a bigger expert in your domain.
By solving the same or similar problems again and again, you will find better solutions and you will know more than anyone about them.
Your expertise will grow and your current and future customers will appreciate your work even more.
As a result, you can increase your rates.
Increasing your revenue
Experts are better paid and everyone knows that. A surgeon earns much more than a general practitioner.
This will make your clients easier to convince. New clients are easy. You just give them your new rate.
Existing clients are a little bit more tricky. You cannot increase your rate every other week. Instead, you can send an email to all of them, letting them know that to better serve your clients your rates are going up when your existing contracts finish.
You cannot do that everyday, but once a year is acceptable.
Experts are rare and there is a high demand for them
There are an abundance of people in freelancing and consulting who claim that they can do anything.
They probably can, but they do only an average work of it.
At the same time, most clients with money prefer that their problems are solved by experts. This is the only way that they can be sure that the problem stays solved.
This is one of the main reason why you are so valuable.
By solving similar problems project after project you will build an amazing portfolio which will easily back your claims that you are an expert in the domain.
It will be easy for you to prove to future clients that you can deliver the results that you claim.
Therefore, it will be much easier to convince any potential client that you are worth your high rate.
Explaining what you do is easier
Focusing on solving only a specific problem, makes it so much easier to explain what you do to anyone, including friends and potential clients.
This is a huge advantage over other freelancers because almost any freelancer I know or I have heard of is bad at explaining what they actually do. Which prevents them from getting more clients.
It will be easier for others to understand you and it will be also easier for them to refer you, ultimately bringing you more and better clients.
Here are a few examples at people and companies that are focused on solving specific problems.
Us - Terlici
At Terlici, we used to work on any mobile or web project that came our way. Our rates increased but at some point they stalled, even tough we used value based pricing and other best practices.
Then we focused on helping clients who had existing web projects but who were so out of hand they they were difficult to maintain and they could not add new features.
We help them put structure, organize and introduce best practices so that their projects are easy to maintain and easy to add new features.
In the course of a few months, our revenue doubled and we also won some pretty large deals. Then after them we won even more deals and our revenue doubled again.
WPCurve is a business focused on fixing any kind of Wordpress problems that you might have.
It is focused only on Wordpress and only on small jobs. It immediately makes them experts in the domain.
Not only that, but by focusing so tightly it makes it relatively easy for them to scale and take a lot of clients.
Website Rescuers by Kurt Elster
http://websiterescues.com solves a very specific problem of clients who own a Shopify store.
Some of Kurt’s work probably might also apply to other type of online shops, but focusing himself on Shopfiy immediately makes him an expert.
You can see from the many quotes that his expertise is greatly appreciated.
You can also see that he has a flat but premium fee for this service. Something which is easier to ask when you are perceived as an expert.
Restaurant Engine is another great example of a focused business.
In its base restaurant engine is focused on building web sites for restaurants.
This provides them with several great advantages.
First, just as WPCurve it makes it easy for them to scale.
Second, as they are experts in the domain, they can provide additional services that general developers cannot.
Lastly, they can solve this problem faster than general developers.
As you can see in the last few examples when you focus your services might become looking like a product, which is always easier to sell.
Take action, don’t leave things as they are. You can start applying everything I talked about immediately and results will come.
First, have a look at what kind of work you have done most often in the past. This can give you an idea on what you can focus.
You can select the one you do best and that you enjoy the most. By best, I mean which delivers most value to your clients.
After you have identified what you are going to focus on, work on your site so that it is targeted at customers who have the problem that you are solving.
Then refuse any other kind of work.
Finally, let know anyone, past clients, friends, what you are doing now. It will be much easier.
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