How to generate consistent income as a service based entrepreneur
One of our biggest concerns as service based entrepreneurs is generating consistent income.
We don’t want to be stuck in the feast or famine cycle, spending hours and hours each month searching desperately for new clients before our current client finishes their month with us.
We want to feel secure in the knowledge that money is coming in each and every month.
But how do we generate consistent income?
Step 1: How much do you need?
Before we do anything, we need to get super duper clear on how much we actually need to earn in order to survive. Spend some time adding up your expenses, your living costs and how much tax you need to set aside.
When we pluck a random figure from the air like £5k (cuz that’s what everyone else is making), we don’t feel attached to it.
We need to imagine where the money we’re gonna earn is going to be spent.
If we know we’re selling our services in order to pay bills, put food on the table and start saving towards our future, selling no longer feels sleazy - it’s necessary.
From my own experience, setting a £10k income goal as a newbie entrepreneur made me feel uncomfortable. I didn’t feel like I deserved to earn that much just so I could buy a pair of designer shoes or go on a weeks holiday.
But when I broke down the amount I needed to earn to support myself, I didn’t feel guilty about earning money and therefore promoting my offers felt a damn sight easier.
Step 2: How many do you want?
If your income goal is £3k a month and you price your services at £300 a month you’re gonna need to work with 10 clients.
Is that manageable?
In most cases the answer is no.
Once you’ve figured out how much you need to earn, the next step is to ask yourself how many clients you want to work with and how many clients you can realistically work with at any one time.
I limit my number of coaching clients to just 4 per month as the way I’ve designed the package, means my clients have unlimited access to me Monday to Friday. I want to be able to show up the best I can for each and every one of my clients - if I take on any more than 4, I won’t be able to do that.
So ask yourself, how many clients do I want to work with in order to deliver the best possible service?
Step 3: Add in the value
When I first started my business as a social media manager, I created my packages and then put a price on them (often undervaluing myself). I always found this way of pricing my services incredibly difficult and would spend hours staring at my packages thinking “But is it really worth that?”
Since joining a 12 month mastermind and having a masterclass on income planning with the wonderful Daire Paddy, I’ve started doing things differently.
Once you’ve worked out your income goal and divided it by the number of clients you want to work with, you’ll have the amount you need to charge for each package you promote.
Now, you work from the price you need to charge in order to reach your income goal and you create a package full of value that reflects that price.
Did a lightbulb just go off inside your head? Is this way of pricing getting you excited? Let’s go deeper with this - click here to book a 1:1 Pricing Power Hour with me.
Step 4: Keep the money coming
So you have a package at a price that’ll see you achieving the income you need but how do you generate consistent income from that?
You turn it into a retainer service.
For example, if you’re a social media manager, you set your terms at a minimum of a 3 month contract with a 30 day notice period which enables you to find a new client if this one backs out.
But Rebecca, I’m a web designer/graphic designer/copywriter/I offer one off projects.
That’s no problem my dear. Here’s what you can do:
Option 1 - You offer them the service across 3 months and they pay in 3 monthly installments instead of a one off fee. So whilst you’ll need more clients each month, the work’ll be spread out across 3 months allowing you more time to complete their project.
Option 2 - As part of your package, they pay a one off fee upfront and can opt for a monthly maintenance fee that allows them access to you if they want something added/changed. That way they know they have you on hand if they need more help (which they inevitably will) and you can feel confident knowing you have that amount coming in each month. Make sure you set boundaries though i.e. they can have 1 call a month with you or 1 amendment a month.
Option 3 - Offer a payment plan. So whilst you may deliver the work in the first month, they can pay over 3-6 months. The risk with this option is that they won’t pay. Setting up a recurring payment and having a contract signed can help minimise this risk.
Step 5: Have them queueing up
Now you’ve signed your new clients on the retainer package, you can sit back and chill for the next 3 months until a week before their contract is up when you desperately start trying to find a replacement on social media.
Nope, not gonna work is it?
You can still generate new leads when you’re fully booked with clients.
My advice would be to set up an evergreen funnel that keeps the leads coming in so you constantly have a warm audience who are interested in your services.
A month before your current clients are due to finish with you, put it out there that your books are open again and secure a new client in advance.
Be consistent on social media, keep sharing value, keep building relationships and keep talking about what you offer even if you can’t offer it right at that time.
You want people to know exactly who you are and what you do so don’t stop talking about it just because you’re fully booked.
Keep your audience interested so as soon as you have space to take on a new client, you have someone ready to fill it.
Don’t forget to book your 1:1 Pricing Power Hour with me.
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