“Woohoo! I’ve doubled my income!” said seemingly every online entrepreneur ever.
I would slam my laptop in a sulk and go meditate… lying down… until I fell asleep. AKA nap.
I didn’t want to see it said again. So of course, instead of getting on with my work when I woke back up from napping, I’d jump straight back on Facebook and get sucked right back in.
Why does it have to be so haaaaard?
I wanted it to be easy, like they made it look. But of course, there’s two kinds of easy. There’s easy in a fell-in-my-lap-without-trying kinda way. And then there’s easy in the I’m-making-this-more-difficult-than-it-needs-to-be kinda way.
When I realised I had no control over the first kind of easy (which I’d been aiming for) and saw it was a myth, I took charge of the second kind of easy and simplified my business in so many ways. Guess how easy business became when I narrowed my focus.
I’ve been waiting four years to say this…
In the year just completed, 2015, I doubled the revenue I made in my business and the number of clients I worked with compared to the year before. Without even realising. Talk about easy.
(I want to make clear that I’m talking about gross income, revenue, or sales, however you prefer to phrase it.)
In a nutshell, here are the 4 ways I made it happen:
- Price rises
- Popular packages
Gently increasing my prices in a feel-good way
For me, it’s not about doubling my prices to double my income. In 2014, I had learned an extraordinary amount more about my craft and had my first author become a bestseller, so I knew the value of what I was providing had gone up. Despite this improvement in client results, I hadn’t increased my prices in around 16 months, so I felt well-justified in raising them by 30-40% in May 2015.
Note: Arbitrarily plucking prices out of thin air, not researching the market, and doubling prices without providing anything better for your clients equals a huge no-no.
The fact that the price increase felt aligned meant I was still comfortable selling. I didn’t feel like an imposter. I could own that value. In fact, the very first client I signed at the new rate said I was ‘very reasonable’.
I get all sorts of reactions to my price. From “I can’t believe how good value you are” and “I thought it would be a lot more” to “that’s double all my other quotes”. The simple answer is you must convey the value of the results the client will get from working with you. If you work with me, you see with your own eyes the extent of my commitment and attention to editing your book.
Simplifying my offerings to focus on what’s popular
Sounds obvious, but I resisted hard!
Rather than just ‘editing’, I made clear that my services addressed a particular problem for my clients. It might be an about page, a sales page, a whole website, or an ebook; but it was always specific.
Likewise, I created one product that solves one problem and launched it once, namely Web Words & Wanderlust, which is a programme that helps entrepreneurs to regain their enthusiasm for writing and actually write something.
The beauty of having specific packages is being able to compare like for like and see what’s working. I put this off for a long time, because I struggled to apply it to my industry, where the standard is charging per word or per hour. That simply doesn’t work for entrepreneurs though. They want to know what they get in what timeframe. Bam! Let’s do it. None of this mucking around with word count.
That’s why my Ebook Editing Intensive and Website Editing Intensive are so popular. Up to 25,000 words for a fixed price of £895 turned around in a week. There. Simple.
For 2016, I’ve looked back over what did well and what didn’t, and have discontinued a couple of services, simplifying even further. The Intensives continue. The single pages are gone. And Web Words & Wanderlust is back, live and ready for action!
Creating a richer client communication experience
Despite getting my face ‘out there’ and sharing my expertise, by far my best source of interest is the good ol’ referral. I introduced systems around making sure my clients get plenty of resources and information before the edit starts, so they know what to expect. They also get a good amount of nurturing before even signing up, with samples of my work, frequently asked questions, testimonials, my portfolio and a thorough explanation of the process. (These are all available on my Editing Resources page.)
Having learnt the lessons around communicating each and every step, the year gone by was all about implementation and making sure clients were fully in-the-know at all times. Hello happy clients.
And being totally transparent, this has also helped reduce client complaints from 2 in 2014 to 0 (zero) in 2015.
Joining forces to create mutually awesome partnerships
Forming alliances with some top-of-their-game business coaches, creatives and communications professionals hasn’t been all about ‘getting in front of new audiences’. It’s been about genuinely adding heaps of value to the experiences people are already getting in these environments and letting the work I do speak for itself.
In most of the relationships I created in 2015, I play the ‘communications’ or ‘publishing’ expert role in their programmes. Not everybody is ready to work with an editor the second they hear about me. They might be ready to start writing. Often, they’ll keep me in the wings for a later date. And that’s just fine. But every business needs communications, so I can always bring in that angle.
I like to work with people who wouldn’t ordinarily or automatically think, “Oh yes, an editor is what I need”. I like to plant the seed of how powerful editing can be, demonstrating what it is and how it can help.
If you’re looking for a communications player to interview for your course, programme or community, get in touch. I’m always open to discussing how we can create something jointly to serve your audience.