Value Pricing is a proven method to get paid what you’re worth instead of trading hours for dollars. Below is an excerpt from an Elusive Moose expert video interview with mobile strategy consultant and coach Jonathan Stark. Check out the full video (with an Elusive Moose membership) to learn more about Stark’s success with value pricing versus fixed price or hourly billing, including: How to determine the value of a project to a client. How value pricing is good for the consultant and the client. Methods for experimenting with value pricing for the first time or switching to value pricing from existing hourly or fixed rates. Jonathan will be speaking at the Find Your Moose 2016 conference on September 7 & 8 in Chicago. One of the benefits of an Elusive Moose membership (less than $17/month) is exclusive access to our Expert Interviews video series where we tap into our vast network of colleagues and experts to learn from their experience through personal stories, tips, and techniques. These interviews are informative and inspiring as our guests have faced and overcome many of the same challenges you face each day. Along with Expert Interviews, Elusive Moose members can experience the best sessions from our Find Your Moose conferences through our […]
Molly and Jason discuss his recent Facebook purge, the lessons he learned from his experience, and why he's active on social media once again. Molly shares a personal story about how Facebook literally helped her build a family. The episode wraps up with a discussion around the Elusive Moose experience with various social media platforms.
It has been about 9 months since my big social media purge, where I unfriended 1,400 people on Facebook in 48 hours. Yes, it was extreme, but at the time I felt like I needed extreme. I had hit a wall with my capacity and was looking for any way that I could to reclaim some of the precious time that I needed to get things done. I was addicted to Facebook and I dealt with it. My problem was my desire to share useless things about myself with all of the people I was connected with. It wasn’t really about me consuming everybody else’s stuff, although I did spend plenty of wasted hours scrolling the feed. Even when I wasn’t actually on Facebook I was thinking about Facebook and what I thought would be a great post, or something that would get me that little burst of attention I needed to feed my ego. I purged my friend list to remove my own incentive to share, and as a result, to eliminate my obsession with the response. In the few weeks that followed, my desire subsided and I was definitely able to get more done. I felt a lot more […]
How can I sell my client a service contract? Hi Molly, I just listened to your recent podcast and you touched on the “service contract”. I have a client who has asked me to become a part time employee—but I know that won’t work because it’s just not my thing. I think the suggestion was sincere—they need to reduce overall expenses but also want to retain me so that I don’t get too busy to get things done. To keep things “status quo” with this client, they would likely reduce my weekly on-site time to one or two days, forcing me to take on other projects that could impose on my schedule. But, if I could present a “maintenance” agreement, then it would just be a set number of hours at some reduced rate. This would still keep me retained and I wouldn’t lose focus. Should I bill at a lower rate or should I keep my rate the same and add a line item discount (preventing the client from forgetting my real rate)? If they need more hours than they pre-paid for, what should my rate be? Sincerely, Thinking Out Loud Hey Thinking, What I’m hearing in this scenario […]
This podcast episode explores the topic of repeat business—a profitable but not necessarily glamorous aspect of freelancing and consulting. Above all, you have to do good work in the first place in order to get repeat clients. Join Jason and Molly as they explore other strategies to foster repeat business, including positive work habits; recurring revenue streams as relationship touchpoints; and ways to invite your clients to learn about everything you have to offer.
In my early days of proposal writing, it was all about the what. I figured my prospective clients wanted to know what I was going to be doing in exchange for their hard-earned cash. So I detailed all of the tasks that I would be performing while executing the proposed projects. As a software developer those details included a lot of technical mumbo jumbo that did nothing but make the reader’s eyes glaze over. Over time, I learned that my prospective clients had zero interest in what I was specifically going to be doing day-to-day. They were actually interested in my understanding of their problem, my confidence in providing a solution to that problem, and the benefits and return on their investment after it was solved. There are other elements of a proposal that I recommend including, such as samples of past work and solid business references, but at the very least, I believe that you should always include those three key elements. What is the problem? After your discovery and needs analysis with a prospective client, you should have a firm grasp on the problem. If you’re only making a list of tasks to perform, you’re likely missing the […]
How do I get started working as a consultant? Dear Molly, I am a 23-year-old college student with two years of tax preparation and photography experience. I’d like to find my first paying client. What advice would you give to a young person who is trying to become a consultant? Sincerely, Luis Hey Luis, I am thrilled to hear that you are a college student who is already thinking about building your portfolio. As a creative writer and database developer, I love hearing your combination of interests (tax prep and photography). I think my article “Getting Started in Subcontracting” will give you some ideas about initial sales and how to make contacts. Since you’re still in school, I have a few other suggestions to get you pointed in the right direction. Don’t be afraid of “grunt work” Your goal right now is to get experience. You want to meet people, do great work for them, and have something to put on your resume and someone to give you a positive referral. Nobody down the line is going to know if you were actually preparing the tax return or making photocopies of the return, but you will have a reference and […]
In podcast episode number seven, Molly and Jason share their thoughts on selling with confidence. Tune in for a discussion about setting honest, realistic, and clear expectations; when to bring up project costs; and how to use business references to your advantage. Jason and Molly also review their sales processes and what their respective client proposals look like.
Nothing beats a great business reference when you’re trying to convince a prospective client that you’re the best candidate for the job. According to Nielsen’s 2015 Global Trust in Advertising report, 83% of respondents said they completely or somewhat trust recommendations from people they know. The bottom line is that when deciding to make a purchase, people want to be sure that other people have had a good experience with the product or service. That’s where a solid business reference comes in. Finding the opportunity for an initial sales conversation with a prospect is only one small piece of the puzzle. Eventually, you have to provide a proposal and then convince the prospect that you’re the right fit for the job. While your work will bring a tremendous amount of value for your clients, it can also be a significant investment. If a prospect has never worked with a consultant before, the cost can be shocking. Even after making a great case for a return on that investment and showing similar past work, your prospect has only your word to base their decision on. Offering a few good business references can help seal the deal. Build your list It’s no […]
What’s the best way to get started in subcontracting? Dear Molly, I have programming skills and I’m just getting started as an independent consultant. I have one small client of my own and I love the work so much I just know I would rather do independent consulting over pursuing a full-time job. Do you have any advice to help me jumpstart my career as an independent developer? Sincerely, Hoping To Go Solo Dear Independent, Congratulations! I can tell you already have a taste of how gratifying it can be to work for yourself. Since I don’t know your particular skill set or industry, I’m going to give you a few pieces of advice that I throw out to people who are just getting started. If you’re new to the industry or new to working independently, I highly encourage you to focus your initial efforts on subcontracting. On our member site we have articles and videos about pursuing direct client sales, but since you mentioned you need some work right away and you’re new to independent consulting, I think subcontracting is a great route for you. Subcontracting rates are not as high as if you gain the client yourself, but […]