This article is the continuation of a series. Make sure you read the article before this one.
Several articles ago, I outlined three different critical weaknesses. These will cripple me if I don’t master them:
- My psychological weaknesses
- Scalable business processes
I’ve already touched on my psychological weaknesses, as well as my branding. In this article, I’m going to explain how I’m scaling.
How I Started
So, for the first four years, I was taking direct contracts. This both brought in money and served my long-term branding.
I started with small single jobs. One at a time.
Then, I started taking larger contracts. Some of them corporate.
Those contracts served my long-term branding. This is because once you get a 5-star review, it’s yours forever.
People see it; it makes it much easier for them to trust you. And when they trust you, they buy from you.
It doesn’t matter what it is that they buy. In this case, it would be my skills as a marketing strategist.
But, the same pattern could apply to any conceivable product or service.
The problem I’ve faced up until this point, though, has been how many clients I can take at one time. I touched a bit on why I need to be the face of my marketing firm.
Why Scaling Is Critical
There are only so many hours in the day. And because most clients demand that it’s me who works on their businesses, I can only delegate but so much.
The client is speaking to me because of my branding. They may know that I have a team, sure.
But, it’s me they trust. It’s me that caught their attention enough for them to offer the contract.
And if it’s me they think they’re contracting with, I can’t delegate everything off. If I delegate all the work, then it’s not really me that’s serving the contract.
I would have taken the contract under false pretenses. It’s a form of false advertising.
So, this means that, no matter what, I have to be hands-on with the work myself. To some degree or another.
Some clients allow me full use of my team while contracted with them. Some don’t.
Thus, no matter what I do at this business stage, there is always a cap of how much revenue I can bring in at any one time. It’s based on how many hours I can devote to each client per week.
And each have their own respective needs.
Reaching The Next Level
For four years I considered different ways of reaching the million-dollar mark. No matter how I did the math, there was just no way I was going to be able to take on enough singular contracts.
Even if I jacked up my rates, I would be able to make over six figures per year. But, I wouldn’t make millions per year.
In theory, I could just promote my Upwork profile. I already receive about 15 or more job invites per week.
So, whether I’m able to get the conversions isn’t the problem. It’s how many can I handle at one time before I implode from the stress?
I knew that it was possible. But, it’s a puzzle, and a damned difficult one.
I realized that I had to change my perspective.
First, I had to let go of the fact that I could only work on but so many clients at one time. Even if I had jacked up my rates.
I am not scalable. A business is scalable, but I am not.
Thus, it’s natural to have a salary cap while working in this manner, trading my personal time for money.
So, there’s that.
But, there are other means of pulling in passive income with the same branding.
Not everyone can afford me at $60+ per hour to work on their individual contracts. Yet, they do indeed desire my skills.
They need my skills.
Considering Price Points
So, what about those people? Do I just blow them off?
Or, can I make them a different offer respective to their price point? By “price point,” I mean what they can afford.
Only a small percentage of the population can afford a $100 per hour marketing strategist.
Only a little larger percentage can afford a $60.
More can afford a $20. But, would you really want a strategist that only charges $20 per hour?
I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you can tell that they’re new but with impressive ideas.
Though, always keep in mind that ideas are one thing; experience is another.
You get what you pay for in the marketing industry, most times.
Think about that for a second. A good marketing strategist can make a business untold amounts of money.
If you are an experienced strategist, you’re not going to settle for anything under $40.
Why? Because there are far more startups than marketing strategists in the world.
Dreamy-eyed entrepreneurs with big egos are a dime a dozen. Good marketing strategists are not.
How I’m Scaling
So, here are the ways that I’ve thought to scale:
- Writing books
- Creating mastermind groups for different niches
- Constructing online courses
- Creating marketing software
- Affiliate endorsements for a percentage of sales
Do you notice what they have in common?
None of them require my full presence.
I can dump a ton of knowledge and experience into a $14.99 book.
A $199 to $2,000 course is just as scalable.
These can reach people at varying budgets. I am not scalable, but different slices of my experience are.
You can also make countless dollars with creating your own marketing software. This would require building an R&D team for my marketing firm, but it can and has been done before by others.
Mastermind groups for different niches don’t need much of my time. Yet, they can hold thousands of members for a much lower monthly price than hiring me full time.
In mastermind groups, entrepreneurs can speak to me directly, but in a scalable way. It’s a class in which I can give advice to multiple people at once.
We can brainstorm ideas. What I say to one person can benefit another.
And everything’s personalized because people are paying for it in a controlled environment.
As the audience I build over time grows, I can then recommend to them the courses, books, etc. of other marketers. I can give my endorsement to my following, for a percentage of proceeds.
That’s affiliate marketing. Something I can make money with, continually, by just a single tweet or Facebook post. Much in the same way that people like Elon Musk make tons of money by just tweeting about a flamethrower.
The Obstacles I Have To Overcome To Scale
There will be many obstacles I’ll meet along the way. I’ll write about them in the next post.
But, in the meantime, do you see any holes in my logic? Do you have any ideas that I might have left out?
Let me know in a comment below.
If you liked this article, read the next one for more. Follow updates on the story of my goals to do so. Leave a comment with your thoughts, and I’ll respond.
Mike Norton is an American award-winning Internet marketing strategist with a BA in Internet marketing from Full Sail University.
He’s also a writer, entrepreneur, and a quantum physicist studying part-time at the University of York. He is the bestselling independent author of Fighting for Redemption, and a veteran of the United States military who is a 7-time winner of the USS Dwight Eisenhower award for essays of world peace and respect.
As a mostly self-educated vagabond, he gains inspiration from a myriad of experiences wrought from the adventures of his nomadic lifestyle. He prolifically writes and journals where ever he goes in the world, from one country to the next.