Many consultants and coaches get stuck at one income level and come to me asking how you can increase service business revenue when you only have so many days in any given month for delivering client work. Over the years, I heard so many times the expression “taking your business to the next level”. But what does it mean exactly and how can it be achieved in a consulting or coaching type service business.
It’s always important first to get clear what your specific goals are at any one time. It’s the first thing I ask my clients. Is wanting to increase service business revenue an income goal, an impact goal or a lifestyle goal? Put another way: do you have a bigger vision for how you wish to contribute to the world and how you see your business growing and expanding?
Because if you’re happy doing what you’re doing and just want more or better clients to increase your income, then consider my article 6 Ways to Strengthen Your Business Brand Identity that helps align branding, marketing and pricing strategies. But if you want that next level growth to increase your influence and impact as well as your income, focus on entrepreneurship.
As an expert service provider, you are in a prime position to create educational products based around your expertise and expert system, the approach you use to solve a problem when you’re working with clients. Education is an incredibly powerful strategic tool for business growth and this strategy should resonate very strongly if you want to develop yourself as:
- An educator as well as a consultant or coach;
- A thought leader not just a hired help; and
- An entrepreneur not just a service provider.
Here are three benefits to shifting some or all aspects of your service business revenue model to embrace the educational entrepreneur model:
#1 – It’s fulfilling
I’m confident this will transform both your personal sense of fulfilment and your business revenue.
When you open yourself up to new ideas, it’s not that the world will change – it’s that your perception of it will change.
This may seem a step too far if you’re just venturing out with your own consulting or coaching business or you’re struggling to attract clients or sell a service – problems most of my clients first come to me with. But it’s all part of the continuum of your business strategy.
Very few consultants or coaches offer online educational programmes. We may have the same qualifications as others in our industry and do similar work. But how you work with people is usually very much down to your individual style. Your personal qualities, empathy or methodology creates a way of working, which is unique to you and forms a key part of your brand. It’s incredibly satisfying to know you are using your unique gifts to help people solve the problems they desperately want to solve.
#2 – It makes you unique
The most important thing you need to do is stay focused and create a crystal clear message and offer around what you do, for whom and why.
Once you’re clear on your purpose, profitability and positioning in the marketplace, what you’ll start to notice is that you attract clients to you, rather than having to chase them down. It can take years to build a tribe, but with the right offer, it can take just days even an hour or two to promote it and generate leads.
One of the best ways you can convert “clicks to clients” is to demonstrate your expertise.
Sharing valuable education-rich content allows you to seamlessly engage, educate and enrol more and better clients in a way that feels a natural part of your usual consulting or coaching process. Demonstration is a powerful route to building people’s trust in you and what you can help them with.
Education-driven marketing works so effectively for growing your audience, because good, value-laden content not only creates demand in your prospects, it also generates social currency within your audience base. By this, I mean it encourages the “pass-along” effect.
When you demonstrate an understanding of your target clients’ needs and teach them about the solution you’re offering – it’s 90% about building the relationship with the right people more than it is about selling to an unresponsive audience.
When you base your marketing on educating your audience and providing value, you don’t have to go out and win clients, because they will come to you.
#3 – You create leverage
The operational efficiencies you can achieve with online course platforms, automated marketing and client management systems = sometimes all in one software application – is most definitely a key part of growing the business. But it’s critical to get your audience magnetism working first before scaling anything up.
What’s often left out of books and courses about digital strategy, internet marketing or creating online courses is what is actually needed to achieve success: the foundations, the prerequisite preparation, thinking and planning around your individual business strategy.
Any business nowadays exists in a highly competitive and changing environment, one that requires effective, responsive and well-managed processes and practices both to survive and to thrive. Relying on passion, specialist expertise, one-to-one services is common sense and familiar, but it won’t help you increase service business revenue.
Business owners who have learned how to transform their revenue model tend to develop more attuned marketing acumen. New delivery approaches to suit the modern world we live in and how people want to access consulting and coaching expertise forces us to think more deeply about what we do, why we do it and who we do it for.
A key goal of business strategy is to start thinking ahead about the kind of educational products you can create to increase service business revenue and the benefits to your clientele.
Building an online education platform means working slow and steady to create one solid signature programme and then expand to other kinds of products and services. You can start with a blend of face-to-face and online course or create a wholly e-learning product. It’s a marathon not a sprint – yet momentum can build quite quickly when you match the right message to the right market.
#4 – It clarifies what you do /deliver
Whatever delivery method you use, your educational programme, course, product or service needs to bring about a tangible and highly valued outcome for your target clientele. This clarifies your core concept and brand message as well as your unique approach.
From there, it’s more straightforward to work on building your audience and gaining visibility through educational content marketing and expert status positioning. At the same time, you have to tackle the hard issues where people spend their money, not the softer issues where they spend their thought time.
Digital transformation for consulting and coaching service providers does not mean selling information products or even what’s increasingly termed “knowledge e-commerce”. It’s about enabling people to access your expertise who aren’t yet ready or able to invest in your one-to-one services.
Shifting from one-to-one to a one-to-many model allows you to reach and impact more people than is possible in traditional consulting or coaching practice models. By creating and sharing valuable educational content you can support more people in lots of different ways and increase your influence, income and impact (from left to right in the diagram below).
As an educational entrepreneur, you are way more likely to prosper beyond the ceiling of traditional trading time models of consulting and coaching professionals. With a clear and compelling offer that serves a real need or problem of your target clients, you can increase service business revenue without resorting to pushy or manipulative sales tactics.
If you’d like to discuss how this approach can help you to grow your consulting or coaching business revenue, click the button below to book a free 30-minute strategy session with me.