How I Made 500 000 $ in 3 Years as a Branding Strategist

 

Today, I want to share with you three principles that are needed to make at least 500k in three years running your consulting business.

The first principle is breaking the time barrier.

That means selling value and not your time.

The second one is the law of the category & picking your niche.

And the third one is my favorite, it’s building a recurring revenue model.

It could be a yearly, monthly, daily model.

Doesn’t matter in this case.

Then, the thing that matters the most is how you build on top of at least of those principles. And that’s how you sustain your growth. At least, that’s how I did it.

So what does this mean ”applied”?

The first principles breaking design barrier means that you need to stop selling your time by the hour and you need to start selling value associated to a product (say, a 3 weeks project on Defining your target client for exemple). The cost. could be 25 hours, but if you figure out your client is willing to pay 5000$ for the ”process” that’s how you start to become really profitable, fast.

This is where you’ll see growth and more profitability because if you sell your time that means you’re worth basically the cost of your work and that’s not a way to sustain and grow a business.

So, the first thing I did is I switched from selling my time to selling a product which is currently our 6 months branding coaching program. What that did is that I got to spread the cost of the program on a monthly payment basis at first.

Now, it’s six months because I’ve optimized the teaching process and condensed a lot knowledge in six months. Also, the product ”the program” is purchasable as a one-time fee of 7500$ or as a monthly recurring fee of 1250$ per month for 6 months. (see what I did there? Implemented the 3rd principle already)

About 85% of my sales from the last 3 years came from this product recurring revenue model.

So, the second principle I wanted to share with you is the law of category.

To me it means, looking for an opportunity in the market that your skills fit the opportunity. What I found is if you go super narrow on your niche and you go hyper specific on what you want to sell to your clients you’ll find that you won’t have much competition. Peter Thiel has a saying for that and I love it: “that competition is for losers”.

I love this saying because if you aim at the pool of clients the same way everyone is aiming at them, then it’ll be difficult to separate yourself from the masses.

That’s the second principle.

If you want a more thorough definition here’s a summary of it from the book ”22 Immutable laws of marketing”.  

The law of category is super important.

Find something where there’s an opportunity in a large market where you can be different and go all in on that.

The third principle is building a recurring model.

Let’s say you’re a graphic designer or any professional that can sell their knowledge and are able to package it into a ”product”. And you want to offer a recurring model of some sort and you want to work with startups.

For exemple, think first: how can you build an offering that you know your client will need?

You ask yourself, what does a startup need?

Usually, they’ll need a logo.

They’ll need a website.

They’ll need some graphic assets to promote their brand on social media.

They’ll need maybe like prints, like packaging, business cards, etc.

Say you see this opportunity in the market and you decide to package all of the above. Then you simply figure out what you would be willing to sell it for and what your startup client would be willing to pay for.

Let’s say 4500$ or 397$ a month for 12 months.

What’s next? You set the deliverables:

Month one:

You deliver the branding assets (logo, colors, typography, etc).

Month three:

You deliver the website.

Month 5, you have another deliverable. Etc.

So, you get the idea? You wanna be spreading what you deliver on a decent enough timeframe what your customer will ”consume” that value and ideally at the same pace that you’re getting paid for your work.

Those are the 3 principles I’ve applied to go from 0 to half a million $ in revenue in 3 years.

Cheers,
Simon