One of the biggest challenges most of my clients deal with day to day is the sense of not having enough time.
Between networking, writing proposals, providing value to their existing clients, administration and invoicing, they’re already into overtime. So when it comes to marketing and business development, it’s hard for them to see where they could possibly carve out the time.
When I bring up standardizing some of their processes to streamline operations, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard any one of the following responses:
“That simply isn’t possible in my business.”
“This is just the way it is in my industry.”
“Every client is different. Every project is unique. There is no way I could shoehorn them into one process.”
I’m not here to tell you that all of your clients are a homogenous mass. I completely agree that every single client you work with will have a unique set of needs, a unique problem for you to solve.
But here’s the thing. As long as you treat every client, every proposal and every project as unique, you will never truly be able to shift away from trading time for money.
You risk being a me-too freelancer forever at the whim of whatever project comes along - changing your process with the wind. To compound your problems, you will eventually be overtaken by those who have a defined offering and are able to get really good at that one thing by doing it over and over again.
So what’s the alternative? I’m so glad you asked!
First, let me say that I don’t recommend refining your service offering until you have taken the time to understand your audiences and their pain points.
For more on this, check out my post: What is an audience persona and why do I need one?
Since you are now starting to get a true sense of what your audience segments are looking for, where the gaps are in the market and what’s stopping them from buying, you can create streamlined service packages that speak to them, address the unmet needs created by other options on the market and eliminate the sense of risk in trying something new.
Creating a set and repeatable service process will also help you realize the benefits of repeating the same process over and over until you can truly say you’re an expert.