If you’ve ever been a consultant, you know the pitfalls of providing Done For You Services. It’s the same old song and dance where you work so hard to get a potential client on the phone with you. On that discovery call, you pitch them your services. They counter, telling you how their business is different. Instead of choosing one of your program options, they ask for you to build them a custom program. And, wham. You’re sucked into custom work. Something that will never scale.
You cannot build a successful consulting practice as a jack of all trades, master of none. You must develop your own intellectual property with a process that is founded upon generating results.
To learn more about solving this dilemma, I signed up for Frank Bria’s High-Ticket Program Masterclass. It was a game changer for me and showed me areas where I could up the ante for clients and hone what I offer as a social media marketing consultant.
I especially enjoyed getting behind-the-scenes with Josh Turner of LinkedSelling on running a successful Done For You Services business. The insights he shared revealed many of my own misconceptions about working with clients. Here are my top ten takeaways.
1. Paint a clear value proposition for your Done For You Services business.
When you are good at painting the value proposition for well-matched clients, it’s a no brainer for clients to purchase your services. You explain that you have a proven system that will get them X results by Y. Do they want to do it themselves? No. Then, you’ll take it off their hands.
Takeaway: You must define your value proposition in terms your client understands and values.
2. Creating a proprietary model for what you do is filled with trial-and-error.
Every consultant starts out with creating a blueprint they think will work. Pilot that idea with a few clients to identify what is actually delivering value. Systematize the things you can do for multiple people. The process will evolve over time, as you will need to innovate to stay ahead of the curve.
Takeaway: Design a program that fits the majority of your target audience. Don’t worry about outliers.
3. You must make choices about what to say “no” to.
Clients often ask for help with programs outside your zone(s) of genius. Wheeling and dealing with these clients to give them a custom program will give you that short-term income boost, but it is counterproductive long-term.
You will not be able to hand off that work to your team because they are not trained in how to run those programs. You will be more attached to the deliverables because you still need to figure out how to craft an effective program.
Takeaway: The best clients are those who say “just do your thing.”
4. The owner does too much of the actual work.
Because there are so many boutique agencies and niche consultants, the owner often has trouble finding the right people who can operate at a high enough level to do the work the owner does. Because the owner feels they need to oversee everything, they struggle to grow past a few people on the team.
Takeaway: Finding and hiring the right people can make all the difference if you want to scale your business.
5. Hiring is a lot like matchmaking.
With a scalable Done For You Services business, your client work is built on systems. The people you hire must be able to follow the process. Hiring people who have a great resume, good personality and are nice to hang out with can cause problems long-term when they discover the work itself is not a good fit.
For example, LinkedSelling is a company of introverts. (I can relate!) Their best account managers may not have been the most flashy on paper and seemed nervous during the interview process. But, they were the best people for the role because of the work required of them. They could do the heavy lifting—sitting behind the computer and executing the process.
Takeaway: You must match the skill sets required to the people you hire for that role.
6. When you figure out how to hire the right people, it’s the best.
The people who work for you should be carrying the lion share of the workload. You must be prepared to give them time (at least a few months) to morph into the role and become successful. You can then begin focusing on growing the company and doing what you really want to do.
Takeaway: The investment in hiring the right people will pay huge dividends. Spend the time and resources necessary.
7. Find an integrator for your business.
It is rare to find a blend of operations and entrepreneurialism in the same person. You might need to get by with weak systems, on boarding and training at the beginning. As soon as you are able, you should hire an integrator (COO) to develop strong processes and infrastructure for the business. This ensures that new hires know exactly what to do and can become a valued member of the team more quickly.
Takeaway: Establish strong processes to hire and retain top talent.
8. Training should not be a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing investment.
Too many companies view training as something they must do to get people up-and-running. They often have the mentality that they should not invest in a lot of training for employees because what if they leave. That’s a poor mentality to have.
Takeaway: Training your people should be non-negotiable.
9. Your sales team must have a systematized process.
By the time you decide to hire a sales team, you must stop the wheeling and dealing with clients. Sales teams that feel like they must be wheeling and dealing with clients will not thrive. They must have a systematized sales process for pitching clients and a capable sales manager to coach the team.
Takeaway: If you struggle with sales process, so will your team. Nail it down.
10. Being in a Done For You Services business is the best type of business.
When you do finally figure it all out, the value proposition is incredible for your clients. You can tell your clients there’s this great thing you do for their business, but it takes a lot of time and energy. You then ask them if they’re going to do it. They say, “Probably not.” You then tell them that you can take that off the table for them and deliver X, Y, Z results for them. How does that sound? It’s a no-brainer.
Takeaway: If you want to be in the business of helping people, Done For You Services could be your best option.
Your Turn: Which of these takeaways resonated most with you? Are there additional tips you would share with other Done For You Services owners or consultants? Let’s discuss.