How To Experiment With The Service And Product Mix In Your Authority Business 

As a soloist, your first task is to prove your authority business is sustainable. (I tend to define sustainability as consistently earning over $100k, but feel free to use your own metric).

Then once you know—vs. just hope—that your business is here to stay, it’s time to start experimenting with your initial service and product mix.

Just to be clear, very few product and service ladders stay the same forever. As you serve new clients and buyers, you learn what works for you and you recalibrate.

You might shift how you want to work, which work you most want to do, how much you work or who you want to do it with.

Which means experimenting with the best ways to package (and price) your expertise.

To get in the habit of experimenting, ask yourself—at least once a year—during your business reviews:

What do you want to do more?

What do you want to do less?

What is working just fine?

Let’s say you’ve been spending 80% of your time on executing for clients, where they are paying you to implement a specific thing. But the other 20% has been on strategy for that thing.

Turns out, strategy floats your boat—and you’d happily swap a chunk (or all) of those implementation assignments for more strategy work.

I’m gonna hazard a guess that your services are heavily weighted toward implementation—you might even have given away the strategy piece for free (or dramatically underpriced it) to win the implementation work.

In this case, it’s time to rethink how you’re presenting your options.

Experiment #1: Pull out the strategy piece and position it as a stand-alone offer.

That could look like a multi-day all-hands strategy workshop or a short, concise session (where you’ve done the heavy lifting in advance). In either case, you’re positioning this as vastly pricier than any strategy work you’ve done before.

Experiment #2: With a subset of your ideal client in mind, create a strategy offer tightly designed just for them.

Maybe you’ve been doing branding work for hospitality companies but found that new boutique hotels have a highly pivotal need for a strategist at the outset. (Hint: they might just pay more for that than clients in #1).

Experiment #3: Create an advisory retainer where you provide advice and counsel on implementation (without doing it yourself).

Yes, you’ll make less per engagement, but think about all that time you’ll have to serve other clients, ratcheting up your total revenue and enjoying the heck out of your work.

Or you can spend that time doing something you care about more—the choice is yours.

One of the stellar benefits of owning your own business is that you get to design it—and that includes optimizing your revenue, time and flexibility.

Isn’t that worth a little experimenting?

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