Why more clients is not the answer

You do an amazing job for your clients. You’re working harder than you ever have. So you’re pissed that your bank account isn’t the cave of wonders it feels like it should be.

I mean, sure, you have clients. There IS money coming in the door. You might even be making a great income, but you know you COULD be making so much more, which would give you more freedom and security.

That’s how I felt when I was struggling in my business. I was getting by, but for the crazy amount of hours I was working, it just didn’t feel fair. And like many people, I’d find that all the clients and income would roll in at once and then leave me biting my nails, wondering where the next clients were coming from.

The hardest part is that you don’t see a way out of this except to get more clients.

More clients = more money, right?

Here’s why more clients is NOT going to fix your problems.

More clients = mo’ money, but… also mo’ problems

But the idea of adding more clients to your roster makes you want to cry. You already have no extra time in the day, and your family misses you.

So, of course, you feel like you’ll need to add employees to help you deliver the service so you can finally make some profit without killing yourself by working even longer hours.

But then you have to deal with managing employees. Training them takes time you don’t have, and then you have to worry that you’ll hit a dry spell and you won’t be able to pay them.

You’ve never been EXACTLY sure how to get new clients on demand – they always seem to come at random and often all at once – so this freaks you out. Making sure you get clients consistently at a higher volume to keep the employees busy and cover all the new expenses will be a whole new thing to keep you up at night.

Scaling and adding employees might sound like heaven to you, and that’s awesome! But if you’re like me, it’s not ideal. I don’t like managing. Managing employees wasn’t why I started a business. I started this business because I love creating brands. I like building things.

We’re often told that scaling into a big business with many employees is the goal. But it honestly doesn’t have to be. You might be happier continuing to deliver the service yourself, maybe with some targeted support (like I have a part-time design assistant and a part-time VA – both contractors – but no employees that deliver my service for me).

How raising my prices saved my business by the skin of its teeth

I was in the same situation I described above. I, too, thought getting more clients and adding employees was the answer. My business ended up on death’s doorstep due to this thinking.

So what do you do? Especially if scaling your business with employees isn’t your jam?

The answer is not to add more clients.

It’s raise your prices! (and streamline your services, so they take less time).

By raising your prices, you can:

  • Make more
  • Work less… you need fewer clients to make as much or more than you do now, so that takes less time to find them, onboard them, work with them, and then off-board them
  • Make more and work less without having to hire employees and manage a big team

Truthfully, I was just afraid that if I made the jump into premium pricing that no one would pay it.

And that I’d be seen as a greedy a-hole.

But I came to realize it was the only thing that was going to save my business. So I nearly doubled my prices overnight (warning- I recommend going slower than that!)

It’s a hugely pleasant surprise when it turns out that actually, people WILL pay it (happily), and contrary to what you might think, clients who pay more are usually way easier to work with.

You can’t just go and double your prices, though – your brand has to command it

But – be warned: Just going and doubling your prices out of nowhere can also backfire big time.

You need to make sure your brand is backing you up, otherwise, people will not suddenly be happy to pay you fat stacks.

You need to make sure that:

  • Your brand is positioning you as an expert through its design, message, content, and social proof. People pay more to be led by an expert.
  • You thoroughly demonstrate that you’re different than your competitors, which makes you one of a kind. People will pay you more if they feel you understand them better than anyone else and that you can’t easily be substituted for any old schlub they found on Fiverr or Upwork.
  • Your brand design is solid… if it’s janky, dated, or homemade-looking, people won’t trust your service is high quality either and won’t be willing to pay premium prices
  • You’re targeting the right people – aka. people who have money to pay you.

The reason I could successfully double my prices is because I had the first three in place already.

I did need to adjust who I was targeting, though. I used to work with established business owners, as well as business newbies. But business newbies generally don’t have the money that more established business owners do.

Once I had that in place, it was all systems go, and the rest is history.

I was able to take on fewer clients (opening up tons of time) while making more money, let go of the extra employees I had hired, build up my business bank account, and finally get to pay myself again.

It literally saved my business!

Want the free checklist of what you need in place before you can charge more without worrying no one will pay it? Get it:

Tracy Raftl

Tracy’s a small business branding expert who’s been featured in the Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Creative Impact Magazine, and various podcasts. She helps entrepreneurs like you snazz their brands so they can work less, make more, and get clients that don’t suck.

Grab her free comparison guide here and learn 10 reasons she gets you better results than 99% of the brand + web designers out there.

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