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Why getting more clients is not the answer

You’re struggling, my friend. I mean, sure, you have clients… most of the time. There IS money coming in the door. But it never sticks around and there never seems to be enough of it. It always walks right back out the door on its stubby little legs.

You’re working harder than you ever have. You’re pissed off that your bank account isn’t reflecting that.

How is this fair? You’re SO good at what you do! Surely when you work hard and get results for your clients, you’re supposed to be rolling in success and freedom… right?

It’s not like you want to buy a yacht or go for a trip with SpaceX… you just want to pay yourself more than peanuts and maybe even put a coin or two in your long-term piggy bank. Take a vacation or spoil your family a little.

The hardest part is that you don’t see a way out of this except to get more clients.

More clients = more money, right?

More clients = mo’ money, but… also mo’ problems

But the idea of adding more clients to your roster makes you want to cry. You already have no extra time in the day and your family misses you.

So of course, you feel like you’ll need to add employees to help you deliver the service so you can finally make some profit without killing yourself by working even longer hours.

But then you have to deal with managing employees. To train them it takes time you don’t have, and then you have to worry that you’ll hit a dry spell and you won’t be able to pay them.

The thing is you’ve never been EXACTLY sure how to get new clients on demand – they always seem to come at random and often all at once – so this freaks you out. Making sure you get clients consistently at a higher volume to keep the employees busy and cover all the new expenses will be a whole new thing to keep you up at night.

Scaling and adding employees might sound like heaven to you, and that’s awesome! But if you’re like me, it’s not ideal. Managing employees wasn’t why I started a business. I started this business because I love creating brands. I like building things. I don’t like managing.

We’re often told that scaling into a big business with a lot of employees is the goal. But it honestly doesn’t have to be. You might be happier continuing to deliver the service yourself, maybe with some targeted support (like I have part-time design assistant and a part-time VA – both contractors – but no employees that deliver my service for me).

How raising my prices saved my business by the skin of its teeth

I was in the exact same situation I described above. I too thought getting more clients and adding employees was the answer. My business ended up on death’s doorstep due to this thinking.

So what do you do? Especially if scaling your business with employees isn’t your jam?

The answer is not add more clients.

It’s raise your prices!

By raising your prices, you can:

  • Make more
  • Work less… you need fewer clients to make as much or more than you do now, so that takes less time to find them, onboard them, work with them, and then off-board them
  • Make more and work less without having to hire employees and manage a big team

Truthfully, I was just afraid that I made the jump into premium pricing that no one would pay it. Can you relate?

But I came to realize it was the only thing that was going to save my business. So I pretty much doubled my prices overnight.

It’s a hugely pleasant surprise when it turns out that actually people WILL pay it (happily), and contrary to what you might think clients who pay more are usually way easier to work with.

You can’t just go and double your prices though – your brand has to command it

BUT – be warned: Just going and doubling your prices out of nowhere can also backfire big time.

You need to make sure your brand is backing you up, otherwise people will not just suddenly be happy to pay you fat stacks.

You need to make sure that:

  • Your brand is positioning you as an expert through its design, message, content, and social proof. People pay more to be led by an expert.
  • You thoroughly demonstrate that you’re different than your competitors, which makes you one of a kind. People will pay you more if they feel like you understand them better than anyone else and that you can’t easily be substituted for just any old schlub they found on Fiverr or Upwork.
  • Your brand design is solid… if it’s janky, dated, or homemade looking, people won’t trust your service is high quality either and won’t be willing to pay premium prices
  • You’re targeting the right people – aka. people who have money to pay you.

The reason I could successfully double my prices is because I had the first three in place already.

I did need to adjust who I was targeting though. I used to work with established business owners as well as people who were just starting out in business. But business newbies generally don’t have the money that more established business owners do.

Once I had that in place, it was all systems go and the rest is history.

I was able to take on fewer clients (opening up tons of time) while making more money, let go of the extra employees I had hired to service a bunch of low priced clients, build up my business bank account as a result, and finally get to pay myself again.

It literally saved my business.

Want my help to get your brand ready for premium pricing? Read my How It Works page and then book a fit call. Looking forward to it!

Tracy Raftl

Tracy’s a small business branding expert who’s has been featured in the Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Creative Impact Magazine, and various podcasts. She helps entrepreneurs like you snazz their brands so they can work less, make more, and get clients that don’t suck.

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