OK, so you make your living by selling your thoughts: your opinion, your advice, your creative ideas, your experience, whatever it may be.
The problem with that kind of industry is that it tends to be driven by trading money for hours, which means that most professional "thinkers" end up in a trap that says: "I have to work as many hours as possible, because when I'm not working I'm not earning". That's not a comfortable place to be. Trust me, I've been there!
So how do we get out of that trap? In this series of seven blog posts I'll be highlighting seven easy-to-implement strategies that will help you escape the time-for-money trap and release you to enjoy the lifestyle you want while being paid the rewards you deserve. Some will fit your business better than others – after all, we all provide different types of support to different types of clients, and I'd be foolish to try to suggest that "one size fits all" in every case
With that in mind, read on…
The first strategy you can use is simpy to get yourself in front of more clients at the same time.
Group programmes are becoming very popular for a number of reasons.
For the client, they get a lot of benefit from interacting with other
people who may have faced the same issues they now face, and can share
how they overcame them, or they can leverage the combined brains of the
group to brainstorm ideas. Experience shows that clients value this as
much as – if not more than – direct interactiuon with an individual
"expert", and in terms of the value delivered, they undoubtedly get more
than they ever could one-to-one.
From the practitioner's point of view, it allows us to leverage our time by letting us work with multiple clients at the same time.
So let's say your usual hourly rate is $300. Which would you rather do, see ten clients at full rate, work ten hours (which with preparation and follow-up time probably means more like 20 hours) and get $3,000, or run two 2-hour group sessions for 10 people each, charge them $150 each to be there, and get the same $3,000 for just four hours work (or 6 with prep and follow-up)?
Now you're probably already coming up with all sorts of reasons why this can't work for you.
But let's look at two industries where you might think this couldn't work. Lawyers and accountants are paid by their clients to provide expert advice, and they're paid very well for it. So how can this apply to them? Well one-to-one advice is their "premium product" (see a later strategy in the series for the significance of that), but they also do work that is valuable to clients, but quite generic, such as briefings on changes to law and regulation, industry reviews, etc. as well as implementation support. All of these are suitable topics for group programmes.
So now in your own practice, be it coaching, therapy, consulting, or whatever, what work do you do that would be suitable for working in groups?