For anyone selling their services as a small or solo business, you know the perils and pitfalls of cash flow. From the time you make your initial contact with a prospect, to the time you get paid can be weeks, even months. It's amazing how few employers understand what it's like for the self-employed and as a result, they tend to make assumptions about what is reasonable to ask of us before we get paid.
So, while you may have plenty of business in the pipeline, it's not generating the cash you need to keep going. You need to establish a steady flow of income.
So how do we generate quick cash? The quickest way to generate cash is to hold an open course. While off-the-shelf products are wonderful passive income generators and are income producing in the long run, they take production and creation time. Open courses basically take one day AND you're getting paid up front.
A very important realization in this process is to stop selling your time hour by hour to one client. That is going to restrict your cash flow. You need to sell your expertise, not your time. Your time is too limited; it's not going to generate enough income and cash flow. Your expertise is another matter altogether.
Now, your first open course may not start off fully booked. Direct response marketing takes time to figure out. Back when I first started out, it took a little time to find out what marketing worked for me. I was getting 16 people coming to a course and charging £250 a day per person. One open course that took one day of my time was generating over £3,000 of revenue. Since then, I've topped those figures over and over! But this will give you an idea of the results you can achieve, even when you're first starting out.
Of course, you're going to have some associated expenses such as the marketing material and the hotel bill. I ended up pocketing £1,500 to £2,000 for a day's work in which I was paid up front. Compare this to your pay for a session with a client where you may need to wait weeks for payment.
If you plan one open course per month, you're not just generating revenue; you're establishing a regular cash flow. Now you have something to count on so you can withstand the longer sales cycle of the typical sale. But even better, you've given yourself an alternative. You've made it easier to walk away if a client isn't willing to pay your going rate. If you have that alternative waiting in the wings, it shows in your attitude and mindset.
You're going to be amazed at the transformation having this choice offers. There's going to be additional benefits besides establishing a steady cash flow, you've also increased your value. You've created a mindset in which you have a choice and this choice also helps put you in the power position when you're negotiating a sales contract. It's also going to be a factor when you're setting your prices.
That's what being a Client Magnet is about -- it's about taking matters into your own hands. It's about creating alternatives and putting yourself in a position where you can pick and choose your clients. It's about maneuvering yourself into a situation where you're not desperate because of the slow or no cash flow. It's about selling your knowledge and expertise, not your limited time. Now that you've determined that there are alternatives, you've taken the matter of getting paid into your own hands and as a result, you've taken a giant step towards becoming a true Client Magnet.
Bernadette Doyle may be contacted at http://www.clientmagnets.com
Bernadette Doyle publishes her weekly Client Magnets newsletter for trainers, coaches, consultants, complementary therapists and solo professionals. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, then get your free tips now at http://www.clientmagnets.com.