One of the regular things that happen in the life of freelancing is cash flow. There are seasons where you have many clients and the cash is rolling in, but there are also times where you may not be working, and your money is low. How do you fix it so that you can have a consistent income that will allow you to anticipate what you’re going to earn more easily?
The key to consistent income is building a Product Spectrum. Regina Anaejionu calls it a product pyramid, Sean McCabe refers to it as The Trifecta no matter how you describe it it’s the process of building multiple streams of income. I like the way Sacha Greif describes this on his medium article The Product Spectrum
When I first started freelancing, I offered web design. Of course, there were a few other services built into the web design process. However, that was my only offer it was web design, and the price was, for the most part, a custom quote I will give the clients. Because this was the only thing, I offered what it came down to the client making a yes or no decision.
Yes, the client was going to work with me and pay me a certain amount or no they were not, and they would move on and try to find someone else. In freelance jumpstart TV on the episode called How I made 375 an hour I break down how I introduced choice to a customer that when giving a customer a quote you should definitely give them multiple options to help them make a decision between choosing you and it transitions from will I work with Nathan yes or no to which option I would select. This same logic works with the services that you offer.
Brennan Dunn states a ladder of projects that will help lead your potential clients towards higher offerings for you. What if you had a comprehensive service that did not cost a client that much and did not take much of your time. This type of service can act as a preview of your work process. You can build into the product/service next steps of the client choosing a higher offering with you.
As an example, I’ll share what I’ve been thinking about and building my Product Spectrum to offer to clients. In the past the first thing I do is offer web design services that is my main offering and more than likely my most expensive offering, so we’re going to put that on the far end of the spectrum.
What can I do as an entry point for a client who has never worked with me?
A quick win is I could write a guide describing how to optimize or build your website. This could be a do-it-yourself option if someone is willing to pay $10 to $50 they read an online guide and at the end of the guide he or she’ll have a website or basic understanding of how to build his or her own website. Taking it a step higher from there I can get into productize Consulting:
Productized consulting is a term for selling consulting services as a fixed-price, value-based offering with a predefined process.
To setup productize consulting normally selling a “piece” of your creative process is enough to craft a product offering. This step falls in line with the other items of the full product spectrum:
Free education (Teach What You Know)
Freelancing: web design
Productized Consulting: strategy call, coaching, road mapping
Info product: books, courses
Business 2 Business Software as a Service
Business 2 Customer Software as a Service
Secure Podcast Sponsor
Become a Paid Speaker
You do not have to offer everything in the spectrum but if you add multiple tiers to your product spectrum this can solve your cash flow problem.