Questions

I want to be able to give value to the clients and earn more than $2000 per website.

Good question. Hard question. Complex. I'll group some ideas for you to consider this way:

Choose a Structure - Start with the end in mind. Building up an agency full of people is like bundling sticks. And this type of model (without platform/foundation) has a lot of entropy in it. Things naturally fall apart when others leave and start their own. That's why most agencies only get to 20-30 people. Most don't build in the technologies, platforms, proprietary intel, depth of talents, and layers of opportunity to allow people to enter and thrive and stay - and then not leave and take others and compete effectively with you. So first I would say understand what you want to end up with. If you want to grow into a larger firm, better start thinking about processes, procedures, platforms, tech, scale, talents, etc.

Know Who You Are - You've got to come to terms with who you are inside. Are you comfortable going wide and general or do you really enjoy going deep and technical. Are you the technician or consultant that thrives on working on a problem and delivering a solution? Or are you at your best delegating to others, prioritizing their work, and building up moral so others can achieve success (which ultimately serves the company and you as well). The sooner you come to terms with which you are the better and easier it will be.

If you want to be an owner/operator, then decide which parts (of which their are many) you need to succeed and build and grow toward that. It might make sense to get experience in a large firm so you have "memory muscle" for building up into large consultancies. Maybe you have enough experience to figure it out without. Either way, decide what you need, begin to put it in place, and see that future "true north" as your goal. Then work toward your goal and bring others around you, lock down processes, think about scale as you consider tech, etc.

Going From One Person to More - If you are your own one person consultancy now and might want to either add people or increase billings and rate to make more money, here's some ideas:

(1) Take 30 minutes to draft a personal doc and outline the problems you want to solve for others and then your answer (services, solutions) to those set of problems. Include the problems you can actually solve, explain specifically to yourself what you do to help others, and rethink your approach to delivering value and capturing marketshare and money.

(2) With your problems to solve clearly articulated and in mind, begin to visualize your ideal prospect or client persona. Start to reach out to them and blog about how you can help them with specific problems - their problems. If you are aren't sure, reach out and meet with a few dozen of your ideal prospects and ask them what their problems are. Point here is to lock in on the right prospects and their real problems - not your ideas about who they are and what they struggle with. Get real laser focused. Know who it is, what it is, and then speak to them clearly with insights that are relevant and useful. This will build up your credibility and begin to position you as expert-level.

Which brings me to money. On your next website do something different. Use Asana + Harvest to understand clearly how much time you invest in building up a website. Give yourself a rate - and if your websites are good then you should be between $100/hr and $175/hr or more. Then add up the hours invested and multiply by your rate. I bet you are charging way too low. If you are at $25-50 per hour you should immediately go to $100 or more. Push the fear aside. Just do it.

When you are are focused on a specific type of prospect, and clearly understand their problem to solve, and have aligned your solution/answer to solving that problem, then you become worth whatever money the prospect believes is required to solve that problem.

After you solve those issues above, begin to focus on the work that fits your bill rate. This means you will need to go from $2000 websites to $20,000+ websites. You might need to value your creativity and brand/marketing abilities. Or you might decide to focus efforts around helping companies use websites to generate more leads. Or you might leverage tech and help them integrate tech into websites. All three will move you away from building standard brochure-type websites. Also, if you prospect for larger deals, talk and write about larger problems to solve, and start to say no to smaller deals - then you will find yourself going from $2000 websites to deals that are 2-3-4x larger in short order.

Trust the process. Start at the beginning and set one month to work through the above. You won't regret it. The reason you are doing $2000 deals is because that is what you are getting. Nothing wrong with that. But if you want to "earn more than $2000 per website" you will need to be the change. You started your question correctly with "I want to be able to give value to the clients...". You will back into the right answer if you take the time to connect a few dots.

Right Prospect + Right Problem + Right Structure + Right Deal

When you focus on the right kind of prospect, understand their real problems, focus on the larger problems (which often mean more time/resources required to solve them), align your answer to their larger problems, speak to your target prospects (in person and blog) about how to solve their larger problems, value your time and correctly, bill at the right rate for all your time,...when you do that, you will start to earn more.

Doing this will also give you the focus and credibility and visibility to open yourself to others bringing you into their deals.

Hope that helps. - cm


Answered a year ago

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