How to Sell Your Expertise Over and Over Again|
Author: Donna Gunter
Copyright 2006 Donna Gunter
Putting all of your eggs into one basket in your business is never a good idea. Diversity is key, which means that your revenue should come from a number of clients (not just two or three) and preferably should come from multiple sources other than your primary service. These multiple sources of income are called "multiple profit centers", or MPCs, a term I first heard when I read Barbara Winter's book, Making a Living Without a Job, back in the days when I was trying to determine how to be successfully self-employed.
I've often been asked if your income sources should relate to your primary line of business, or if they can be varied and unrelated, like a writer who does copy editing and ghostwriting for a living but also owns rental property and scouts garage sales for gently worn children's clothing and sells it on eBay. You can do whatever best fits your personality, but I think it will keep you saner to corral your MPC's under your primary business umbrella.
Robert Allen, in his best-selling book, Multiple Streams of Income, discusses the "five rings of riches", which I think of as ever-increasing ways to create multiple profit centers. The rings include:
Ring 1 -- Sell Your Core Expertise: In this innermost ring, you are selling your core expertise as an accountant, attorney, web designer, security system installer, carpet cleaner, etc. To this ring, I want to add selling tools you've purchased to use in your business but you don't use all the time, like a telephone bridge line that you might subcontract out to other users.
Ring 2 --Teach Others Your Core Expertise: You develop ways to teach others your specialized knowledge or guide others in how to enter your industry.
Ring 3 --Teach General Skills: In the process of running your business, you probably developed a set of business management skills that have led to your success, and can pass that learning along to others in your industry.
Ring 4 -- Sell Other People's Products: You have in your arsenal a listing of both tried-and-true products you've used in your field of expertise, as well as a database of loyal customers. Why not introduce your clients (and potential clients) to these wonderful products?
Ring 5 -- Support Other Infopreneurs: By the time you reach this largest and final ring, you will have become an infopreneuring expert. Allen suggests that this is the time to offer services and advice to other infopreneurs.
Think of MPC's in this way: You own a great business and are phenomenal at what you do and everyone who needs your service should have access to your expertise. However, if you're in a time-based business, as many service business professionals are, there are only so many hours in the day that you have to work with clients. There are two ways to change this: to hire more staff or to replicate yourself. Hiring more staff (or even independent contractors) typically pushes up your overhead costs and will probably only increase your profit margin slightly. Replicating yourself is much easier, and I'm not referring to some Star Trek-like device. By replication, I mean having products available that will either bring clients into your marketing funnel and introduce you to them in a lower-cost, non-threatening manner, or better serve your existing clients without necessarily needing you to personally attend to the client.
The primary method of delivering products to your clients 24/7 and selling in your sleep is via a website. Technology exists that permit visitors to come to your website, read about what you do and how you do it, purchase any number of products from you, and have that all happen automatically. Electronic products are wonderful, as the delivery of that type of product can be 100% hands-off. A physical product that has to be shipped does require some human intervention, but that doesn't mean it has to be you! There are a number of fulfillment companies that have spring up over the years that you can pay to do your product fulfillment for you.
So, what kinds of products could you offer via your website? Here are ten ideas:
1. Special Report 2. eBook 3. Tips Booklet 4. eCourse 5. Audio tapes/CD 6. Teleclass/Telecourse 7. Membership Subscription website 8. Consulting/Training 9. Licensing your content to others 10. Selling other people's products
These ten strategies are only the tip of the iceburg. Take your content and what you know and re-purpose and re-package for profit!
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Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps self-employed professionals make more profit in less time online. To sign up for more FREE tips like these and claim your FREE ebook, TurboCharge Your Productivity: 50 + Tools To Help You Automate Your Business and Make More Profit in Less Time Online!, visit her site at www.OnlineBizCoachingCompany.com .