If you're a consultant, a coach, a software company, or offering professional services, you could potentially benefit from hearing the path we've started down to add more value for our customers. I don't often share stores about how we do things inside Genoo, but this particular story could inspire you. Read on, or watch.
But first, let me ask you this: are you tired of trading time for money? Does having to work more hours in order to increase your revenue wear you out?
It wore me out. Back in the day I was working for a consulting agency. I founded their internet practice, and most of the work we did was with organizations to implement a digital strategy. These were big organizations, and we helped them strategize and implement online strategies in very targeted niche markets - like hog farming, believe it or not. Back in the 90s we created an online community for hog farmers for one of our clients. While the work was invigorating and rewarding (it beat its best business case in the first three years), it was a time-for-money game. Work an hour; bill an hour. Work an hour; bill an hour.
I got very interested in breaking fee from that time-for-money paradigm - and starting Genoo nearly ten years ago was a first step in that direction, since we are a software-as-a-service company, right? As we've grown, I've always wanted to do something more than simply creating terrific, industry-leading software.
My main motivation is to help small businesses and entrepreneurs - not just offering software, but also helping people really get the most out of their marketing investments, not just how to use the features of our software but how to strategize their marketing, and how they use email and automation to actually be more effective and serve their customers and prospects more easily.
It was natural to start up our professional services arm of the business, and it turns out that our clients are relieved to have us navigating the many options and choices for what they could do, providing the rudder to their marketing ship, as it were. Professional services are certainly a great and lucrative way to help our customers get and keep the edge on their competition.
But... that goes right back to time-for-money. There are limits to the number of people you can serve with hourly-billable professional services, and if you're a solopreneur or independent consultant, you only have so much time, so your earning potential is capped.
Hmmm, we thought to ourselves - how can we serve and support a greater number of entrepreneurs and small-to-midsized businesses, without working more hours, hiring more staff? That's when we started looking at the processes and practices we had been fine-tuning for years in our professional services work. (Spoiler alert - that's what I'm going to encourage you to do also.)
We concluded that we had two core things that we've built some killer processes around that we could turn into training courses, and we could teach people how to do things in a way that would work for them.
The first is our content strategy process. We spent over three years, and countless hours, perfecting the methods that allow us to deliver a rock solid, no-kidding, content strategy that carves out your place in the market - and it's straightforward to implement. Content is EVERYTHING in marketing today - the number one issue organizations need to crack the code on. Too many content strategies are too lightweight, too assumptive, and are missing one critical step.
When we deliver a content strategy, without fail, it ends up like the reveal scene in "Fixer Upper" on HGTV. Maybe you've seen it - when they pull back the big banner of what the house used to look like to reveal the "new" house, and you see the homeowners' jaws drop in awe and delight? That's what happens when a great content strategy is delivered - and there's nothing like it.
If you look at your own business, at the practices and processes you've developed for yourself, what could you peel out into something that you use to benefit many clients at one time? Think about that while I share this next bit with you.
The SECOND area we have built a ton of expertise is around Email Marketing and Automation. That likely comes as no surprise. (We have the most comprehensive software and set of tools in that arena in the for small to midsized businesses and for entrepreneurs, comparable to software platforms that target - and are priced for - very large companies).
We started offering email marketing coaching and professional services to help our customers get the most out of their email marketing efforts. Again - we had to develop practices and processes that achieved the engagement â€” taking into account the full capabilities â€” and the CHALLENGES of assembling an email program â€” not the least of which is the time to figure out your CONTENT. (now you see why we have a killer content strategy process, right?!).
We wanted ways to serve MORE people and expand the difference we could make to empower more marketers who don't have the giant marketing budget of the big companies.
So what did we do to start shifting the time-for-money trade? We created TWO courses. We call them ContentZAP Academy and Email Expert Academy. ContentZAP Academy puts everything, our ENTIRE process for creating and delivering a content strategy into full training program. Everything we do to deliver jaw-dropping results â€” is literally now in an online course.
Email Expert Academy is a step-by-step email engagement blueprint and strategy - the same blueprint and strategy that we've been delivering with our professional services, now in an online training program also. It is incredibly in-depth and includes tutorials and downloadable resources so that students can come out of the course with their own email engagement engine completely implemented. Fun!
We launched each one â€” and now have students moving through our training programs.
If you are serving customers one at a time and want to shift your time-for-money reality into a different reality, think about this: identify just ONE process that you go through to deliver your results for your clients today. Make an outline or a list of what you do to deliver those results, and consider whether you could create an online, video-based class to teach others how to get those results for themselves.
Iâ€™ll be sharing some more thoughts - and resources - to help you with your next steps as you think this through â€” but hereâ€™s one last little note on this: You do NOT need to develop and build the class out right away. In fact, what we did was come up with the concept for it - and then assembled the strategy and details for launching the program. You can do just enough to see if anyone will buy your program, and then deliver the program "just-in-time" to your new students. That worked for us - so we knew before we invested the time recording every class that we had people enrolled. Honestly, the great thing about doing the first class like that is that we could learn as we went through and adapt to what we heard from our students - so we knew we were delivering value every step of the way.
Iâ€™m not going to lie â€” itâ€™s work â€” but itâ€™s the work that will allow you to get off of the time-for-money treadmill. So consider it.
Got questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you below.
More to come...