Are you too busy working with clients to scale your business? I mean, after all, you’re the secret sauce that people hire you for, right? What you know, what you do, no one else can replicate.
Annnnd you’re trapped.
Getting stuck trading your time for money is a hard loop to break out of, especially if you’re missing a way to leverage your time. But, there is hope and it’s a lot more profitable than you can imagine.
Identify and organise Your IP
The reason people hire you and you’re capped out of time is that you’re good at what you do. You’ve done the work, you’ve developed the skills and expertise, and the clients you’ve worked with are seeing great results. Whether you’re a coach, consultant or a done-for-you service provider, everyone falls in the same boat eventually.
So what you need to do now is breakdown your intellectual property into a meaningful, clear system or process. When clients and projects all differ so widely, it can be overwhelming trying to synthesise your expertise, but keep reading and I’ll take you through just how to approach this.
Get clear on what you actually do for clients.
The first step is simple, what do you actually help your clients with? If you’re a website developer working exclusively in done-for-you projects, it’s pretty clear – your clients get a fully functioning website. But what function does that website serve in the client’s business? Is it to build authority, is it primarily a blog to grow an audience, is it a website to act as a sales funnel to help them secure new business?
If you’re thinking, “But I do all types of websites for so many different clients in countless industries”, then you need to pick one. Pick your favourite type of client, in only one niche, helping them with the thing you know best. If it’s building sales funnels for plumbers, then stick with that. If it’s building beautiful blogs for mummy bloggers, stick with that.
By getting clear on what you actually do for clients, you’ve established the first building block of your new leveraged business model.
How do you do what you do?
Think back to when you first retain a new client. What is the very first thing you do after the sales process? Where do you begin and how do you get started? If you’re going to create a leveraged model based on your services, you’ll need to define the exact process you go through when you’re working with clients.
Write out all the steps you take, make a note of the tools and resources you use, and include any physical or mental checklists you’ve made as well. Map these steps out from start to finish. From how you collaborate with the client, to how you both deliver feedback, and most importantly what your process of working is.
What you’ll begin to find, is there’s actually a subconscious, repeated pattern that you follow each and every time (regardless of who the client is that you’re working with). You’re able to get the results you do because you follow the same process every time.
What makes you different from your competitors?
I know we all like to be told how special and unique we are, but in this case, I want you to own it as if your business depends on it – because it does! What makes you so different from your competitors? If you think you’re the only person in the world who can do what you can do, you’re wrong. So you can’t use that as a cop-out to skip this step.
Think about your style, your approach, your personality, your unique perspective on the work you do. Do you follow a non-traditional path? Have you developed a framework of your own? Really squeeze out the secret sauce here because this will be the defining factor when it comes to successfully scaling your leveraged offer. If no one can buy your time anymore, at the very least we sell them your essence. And that is as unique as it comes.
Package Your IP Into An Offer
So you’ve done the groundwork and you’re clear on who you help, how you help them and what makes your unique process different from your competitors. This is all part of the process of unravelling your IP, and now we need to package that up into a scalable offer. If you want time and financial freedom, this is where the money is at.
Pick one core result or transformation and focus in on that.
I’ve said this before, but people buy programs and courses for three reasons: 1. They don’t know how to do it on their own, 2. They know how to do it, they just want results faster, 3. They want to follow a proven process or formula.
So going back to our original example of the website developer, they can code literally any website they want, but once they’ve focused down on who they’re helping and exactly what they’re helping with, the answer becomes clear – stay in the lane.
Focus on what the end result is going to be for your clients and keep it simple. What are the steps someone needs to take to get them the results or transformation they want? Those steps are obviously going to be framed around the exact process you follow too. See how this all works now? Map the steps out while using the foundation of your own process to build out the offer.
Set yourself up to scale your offer while still achieving transformational client results.
People don’t need 1:1 support to get transformational results. If you’ve mapped out the steps in your process, identified a very clear objective and have created a cohesive approach to get there, your clients will succeed at scale.
Online courses and group programs sometimes get a bad rap. And rightfully so. Some course creators are straight up stealing money from customers. They promise the world with their fancy marketing, their exquisite sales funnels, their impeccable ads strategy, but when you get into the content, it’s a dodgy whiteboard session filled with ramble and inconsequential nonsense that leaves the students with more questions than answers.
In your case, your business and brand reputation depends on you delivering a product that actually works. For that to happen, you need to be able to support your students at scale. I highly recommend creating a private group or community to run alongside your enrolled students. This allows you to support everyone simultaneously when they have questions or hit a roadblock. You can create the best course content in the world, but people will still have questions – that’s the nature of the learning process.
Build out your tech stack to keep students engaged and progressing.
As you inevitably grow your education business model, you’ll be managing more and more students. My biggest piece of advice for you here is to set up your tech and automation to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to engaging with and reminding students to continue with their progress.
It’s helpful for students to be given a little nudge if they haven’t logged in in a while. This can easily be set up with tools like Thinkific <> Zapier <> Activecampaign. Additionally to this, you want to celebrate when students are actually progressing and again, this can be an automated email fired off after each module.
You don’t want to leave your students feeling like they’re out on their own. In most cases, people don’t finish online courses. They give up, lose interest or find something more important to do. If you’re building a successful online courses business, you’ve got to keep your students engaged.
Transition Your Business Model Progressively
For many of you reading this, moving to a leveraged B2C model might feel a little overwhelming. With so many unknowns and leaping into quite a new business dynamic, there are going to be some mental hurdles to cross along the way.
Ultimately though, I want to show you a path that is risk-averse and empowers you to move the transition along as quickly and effectively as possible.
Map out your product suite before you launch your first course or program.
When I work with clients, the focus across every education business is to maximise the Lifetime Student Value. For that to happen, you need to create an ecosystem of products and services that serve your ideal students every step of the way.
It is pointless to spend time and energy pursuing a course sale when there aren’t any progressional steps within your business for students to continue working with you.
A basic formula to follow when you’re mapping out your products could be 1. Self-paced course, 2. Comprehensive group program, and 3. 1:1 consulting or services. By layering each of these products on the next, a student can follow a clear pathway as they continue to grow and succeed.
Focus on “The first 10” and forget about everything else.
If this is your first course or your first time trying to switch into a model where you’re escaping the time-for-money trap, it’s important to validate a proof of concept before you go and try to scale up this new revenue stream in your business.
All I want you to focus on is getting your first 10 paying students enrolled and through your course successfully. 10 may seem like an insignificantly small number to you, but I promise that what you’ll learn in converting 10 people, can be applied to converting 10,000 people.
Once you’ve crossed that milestone, then it’s time to consider your pathway to scale. Whether it’s paid traffic or organic, whether you use webinars or affiliates. It doesn’t matter because you know you have a proof of concept and the only way is up from here.
Handoff as many tasks as possible to team members.
The whole purpose of this new venture of yours is to escape the time for money trap. So you can’t be the only person doing all the work anymore. Once you have a proof of concept, you have paying customers, it’s time to start outsourcing the load to team members.
If you don’t have anyone on the payroll just yet, that’s fine. Delegate the responsibilities that will get you the most bang for buck first (copywriting, funnel builder, designer, automation specialist). Taking those tasks off your plate is going to free up so much more of your free time to create content, grow your audience and work on your next offer.
Next Steps From Here
If you’re thinking about making the transition (or currently in the process) of escaping the time-for-money trap, I’d love to help you.
I’m looking for 5 business owners who want to replace their current revenue with a completely automated online education business.
If you’re making at least $10k a month, have a small audience or email list already and are willing to take massive action, let’s work together.
Find a time the suits you here: https://paulthomson.as.me/strategysession and I’ll map out an entire gameplan for you so that you know exactly what steps to take next.
If you’re not sure or have any questions, just send me a message anytime → m.me/thepaulthomson