Your client base is going to change

Sent by Jonathan Stark on March 23rd, 2017

List member (and presentation guru) Matt Krause wrote in with a great point about adopting value pricing and its related tactics.

Here’s what Matt had to say:

Humans (and most freelancers are human ;-) ) tend to focus on themselves. So you can talk until you’re blue in the face about “why conversations” and “value pricing,” and your audience might hear very well that they need to change, but they generally won’t realize that their client base is going to change too as a result, and that means they’re going to have to learn how to live in a different ecosystem. The people they succeed with in the new era will not be the same people they are used to succeeding with -- it’s not just that they need to change the wording they use in their conversations (changing one’s outbound communication is not enough -- the inbound communication will be different, too).

Yes! 100% correct. 

Matt’s point - that the type of client you work with will change as you migrate to selling your head, not your hands - might be obvious but it’s so important that it bears repeating. 

Here’s the thing:

It is hard to convert clients who are used to being billed by the hour for your time to any other financial arrangement.

Why?

Because selling your hours positions you as a subordinate who is paid to do more or less as instructed. To convert them to a non-hourly relationship means changing they way they think of you, and this is not something that can be done with ease.

Yes, exceptions abound, but in general this is the case. First impressions are lasting. 

In most cases, I recommend focusing your efforts on attracting new clients whose opinion of you has not been polluted by an unfavorable first impression, rather than laboring to change the way existing clients perceive your contributions. 

So...

As you slowly decouple your time from your income, expect your existing client base to be replaced by a new type of client. 

Thanks Matt!

Yours, 

—J

P.S. Does it feel like your business is stuck in neutral? I’m available for a limited number of 1-on-1 coaching calls each month -> Book a call and I’ll get you unstuck 

NOTE: My coaching call price is going up soon - don’t say I didn’t warn you 😀


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