S5E6 How to charge $25,000 per customer with Mike Killen

S5E6 –  How to charge $25,000 per customer with Mike Killen
How to charge $25000 per customer with Mike Killen. Is it possible to charge $25,000 per customer? Ever wondered how to unlock the secret to charging more for your services? Well, buckle up, because that’s exactly what Payback Time podcast host Sean Tepper and Mike Killen are going to explore in this episode!. Whether you’re running an agency, bootstrapping a SaaS, or forging ahead with your tech startup, this episode is tailor-made for you. Get ready to discover the keys to commanding $25,000 per customer and revolutionizing your business model. It’s time to elevate your pricing game and unleash your full potential.  In the world of entrepreneurship and business, one key concept that often gets overlooked but can make a significant impact on your bottom line is recurring revenue. Recurring revenue is the consistent stream of income that comes in regularly from customers who pay for your products or services on a recurring basis. This model not only provides financial stability but also opens up opportunities for growth and scalability. When it comes to building and scaling your business, having a steady stream of recurring revenue can be a game-changer. By offering services or products that customers pay for on a monthly or subscription basis, you create a predictable income stream that allows you to plan and invest in the future of your business. Whether you’re running an agency, a SaaS company, or any other type of business, incorporating recurring revenue into your business model can help you achieve long-term success.

Importance of Customer Retention

In today’s competitive business landscape, customer retention is just as important as customer acquisition. Recurring revenue models inherently focus on retaining and nurturing existing customers, which can lead to higher customer lifetime value and increased profitability. By delivering consistent value and maintaining strong relationships with your customers, you can foster loyalty and trust that keeps them coming back for more, leading to sustainable growth and success for your business.

How to Charge More

The episode dives into a discussion on how to charge more, particularly focusing on agencies and how to charge $25,000 per customer. Mike Killen, the guest, shares insights on bootstrapping SaaS or tech companies and building successful agencies. Mike explains the $25,000 pricing model, breaking it down into an onboarding fee and monthly charges. He emphasizes how this pricing strategy can lead to a profitable agency with just a few clients.

How to balance Pricing and Services

The discussion delves into the importance of setting pricing goals per project and how it can be a solid foundation for a successful agency. Mike highlights the significance of pricing per client and the freedom it can provide in terms of workload and profitability.

Focus on Tech and SaaS

The episode emphasizes the importance of building an agency as a way to bootstrap a SaaS or tech business. It explores how structuring sales and service offerings can help entrepreneurs maximize revenue and find time to focus on building their core business.

The Importance of Qualifying Clients for Recurring Revenue

Mike emphasizes the importance of qualifying clients for recurring revenue models, highlighting how understanding the value proposition and transforming services into recurring revenue streams can lead to sustainable growth and profitability. Identifying clients who can benefit from ongoing services and demonstrating clear value propositions is crucial for building sustainable agency models.

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The importance of having a Simplified Service Offerings

The discussion emphasizes simplifying service offerings and focusing on tangible value propositions. Mike advocates for a sales approach centered on quantifiable results and clear value propositions, aligning services with client ROI to attract and retain clients effectively.

Creative Revenue Strategies

Mike encourages entrepreneurs to think creatively about revenue strategies, such as offering monthly services that address specific client needs. By aligning services with client pain points and value propositions, entrepreneurs can attract and retain clients effectively.

The Benefits of Recurring Revenue

One of the primary benefits of recurring revenue is the financial stability it provides to your business. Instead of relying on one-time sales or sporadic projects, recurring revenue ensures a steady cash flow that can cover your operational expenses, investments in growth, and even unexpected challenges. This financial predictability allows you to make strategic decisions and focus on building your business without constantly worrying about where the next paycheck will come from. Moreover, recurring revenue creates a foundation for sustainable growth. By cultivating long-term relationships with customers who value your services and are willing to pay for them regularly, you can build a loyal customer base that acts as a solid foundation for your business expansion. This loyal customer base not only provides consistent revenue but also serves as a source of referrals and testimonials that can attract new customers to your business.

Key Takeaways and Action Steps for SaaS Founders

The episode concludes with key takeaways, encouraging entrepreneurs to focus on recurring revenue, simplify service offerings, and prioritize client qualification. By implementing these strategies, agencies can maximize revenue potential, drive client satisfaction, and build a sustainable business model. Overall, the episode offers valuable insights into charging more for agency services, leveraging recurring revenue models, and optimizing service delivery to drive business success and profitability. Viewers are encouraged to explore these strategies and apply them to their entrepreneurial endeavors for enhanced growth and sustainability.

Key Timecodes

  • (00:37) – Show intro and background history
  • (04:05) – How to build a SaaS or tech business
  • (07:29) – Understanding his agency SaaS marketing strategies
  • (13:02) – How this type of agencies make money
  • (23:01) – Deeper into his business tactics
  • (31:04) – Some real life practical examples
  • (39:13) – Understanding his sales strategies
  • (43:34) – Guest contacts


[00:00:00.000] – Intro
Introducing Payback Time, the podcast for entrepreneurs looking to build and scale their startups, gain access to actionable tips, proven strategies, and valuable data that can help you avoid mistakes, skyrocket sales, and optimize profits. Your business breakthrough may just be an episode away.
[00:00:17.750] – Show Intro
In this episode, I’m Mike Killen, and we’ll be talking about how to charge more. If you have an agency, he specifically talks about how to charge $25,000 per customer. So if you’re somebody who is bootstrap bootstrapping a SaaS or bootstrapping a tech company, or if you’re trying to build your own agency, you’re going to love this episode. All right, let’s dive in.
[00:00:37.970] – Sean
Mike, welcome back to the show. Hey, man.
[00:00:39.970] – Mike
I’m glad to be here. Good to see you again.
[00:00:41.740] – Sean
Thanks for joining me. So there may be some people listening to who are watching this episode on YouTube, and if they don’t know who you are, can you give us a little bit of your background, then we’ll dive right in into the good stuff on building an agency.
[00:00:54.840] – Mike
Yeah. I predominantly help agencies sell their services and work for around $25,000. We’ll get into that in a little bit, I guess. But I started an agency, ran it, did a pretty good job in 2016. I exited that. And then the number one question that anyone asked me was, how could you possibly sell a website or some marketing services for $25,000? And I was like, that’s the easy bit. I’ll show you how to do that. So I just did it to a whiteboard, turned into a Facebook group, and now it’s book and courses and software and coaching programs and a YouTube channel. So now I spend 99% of my time trying to come up with creative ways to trick the YouTube algorithm into showing my stuff to the audience. And we mainly help agencies charge 25 grand. That’s our sweet spot.
[00:01:42.590] – Sean
Per project, right?
[00:01:44.430] – Mike
Is that the goal? Per project, yeah. It’s a good question because ideally, it’s a real starting block, right? It’s not the be all and end all. But if you can start doing… $25,000, in my opinion, is a $3,000 onboarding fee and then $2,000 a month, and if you can get four clients on board, and we’ll talk about what does $2,000 a month get you? But if you can get four or five clients on board, that’s a $120,000 business. That’s $10,000 a month. Working with five clients and the work isn’t even that stressful, that to me is the start of a really solid good agency. There are levels after that. There are loads of steps after that. But that often gives people the freedom to start going, Oh, my God, I don’t have to do this for 40, 50, 60 hours a week. That’s why we’ve done that. It’s really per client. Of course, and as I’ll share, we’ve had clients who have done way more per client. There’s something about that $25,000 price At this point, when the agency owner accepts that and understands what the model is, other things start becoming unlocked. So it’s a real powerful first step, I think.
[00:02:56.080] – Sean
We’re going to dive into this in a second. To the audience out there, I just want to We’ll take a step back and give context on the why behind this episode. So Payback Time, the new theme is really focused on tech and SaaS, building that business. Now, there are a lot of SaaS and tech business owners that are not able to raise capital. In fact, about 1 % of tech businesses raise capital. So in other words, it’s very hard. So how do you raise money? Now, a guy out there that I have a lot of respect for is Nathan Latka. He’s got a great podcast on building SaaS businesses. And a lot of the people he interviews talk about creating an agency. And you can optimize your pricing. You can optimize your schedule so you can make decent money and still have plenty of time to work on your SaaS, your tech business, because your alternative to that is to go work in corporate America. You’re going to be working 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 hours a day. And then where do you find time to build your SaaS? So one of the best, in my opinion, one of the The best ways to bootstrap your SaaS or your tech business is building an agency.
[00:04:05.950] – Sean
So that’s why I’m bringing you on, Mike. You’re a great fit for this. And how do people structure the sale? How do they structure the service offering? Make it so valuable to a customer to say, oh, I get all of that for just $2,000 a month? Let’s rock and roll. Let’s do this. So, yeah, let’s go ahead. Dive in.
[00:04:27.180] – Mike
Yeah, cool. So I didn’t know it was only one %. That’s a really interesting. I think you’ve mentioned it on the other call, but that’s really interesting. To me, I don’t see the agency and SaaS, and maybe this is a good place to start. I don’t see them as separate. I actually see them as necessary. The methodology that I was taught, and this is how we grew what we’re growing and what we do, is you want to start with the overall idea, and maybe you’ve already got that from the SaaS or the freelance work that you do, or you’ve got an agency and you think about SaaS or whatever it is. You take the idea, in our case, helping agencies sell their products and services for 25 that on. So that’s the idea. You call it a niche or whatever. The basic methodology that I’ve been shown is that that first of all, needs to become some service, like a process that you can implement. So you need to be able to sit down and do it with people in a very, at first, slow, clunky manner where you’re figuring it out. Then that turns into a media, as in you have white papers and blog posts and content, and you can talk about this process and the results you’re getting.
[00:05:37.570] – Mike
And then that turns into software. You’ll see the guys who really know what they’re doing, like Who’s… It’s like the six-week year or something. I can’t quite remember. It’ll come to me in a second. Same with Cal Newport as well, like deep work. They have a handful of clients who are paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to go in and consult with them. So they have this idea, I’m going to help you guys do eight hours of incredibly powerful work a day or week or whatever it might be. The process we know, so we’re going to go in and sit with you guys and you’re going to pay a lot of money. It’s going to be extremely profitable for us, but we’re going to work alongside you. We’ve now nailed the process. We’re going to create a bunch of media, in their case, the Book. And in The Book, they happen to sell software that does exactly the same thing. So I actually see them as part of the same journey. And one One should complement the other, and you should be trying to take the stuff that you’re learning. And in my opinion, one of the reasons I think people struggle to sell SaaS is because they’re not able to sell it one-on-one or one-to-few in the same service.
[00:06:45.590] – Mike
Because if you’re then able to say, okay, if you thought this process was a bit of a grind, which it is, like consulting and coaching and group work, it’s hard work. It’s valuable work, but it’s hard work. If you’re then able to say to a customer, and by the way, we actually have a piece of software that does all of this, and it takes like 50 minutes to set up. All of a sudden you’re like, oh, that seems like a no brainer. Of course, I want to take what you guys do, right? I have to jump on calls and meet with people and do a ton of research. So there is media and there’s process and there’s content and there is a one on one style of service. Oh, but didn’t you know there’s actually a piece of software that can do all of this for way less time, energy and effort, right? So that’s how we tend to see that journey working with a lot of suppliers like this. Does that make sense?
[00:07:29.870] – Sean
It in total sense, and I’ll give some examples here to piggyback on what you said, there are people who create their agency and their SaaS are really the same model. It’s just the SaaS is you can do it on your own, whereas the service, if it’s an agency, we’ll do it for you. Of course, the price is much different. The service business, it’s going to be $2,000 a month. We’ll use a nice round number. But the SaaS could be like 30, 50, 100 bucks, something like that. If you’re serving a small and mid-sized businesses, I’ll give an For example here, I’ve seen this with, let’s say you’re an agency and you’re really good at email marketing, and you decide that, Gosh, all the tools I’m using, I’m finding all these things that could be just a touch better. So they go and create their own email marketing SaaS. They still provide the service, but I’ve seen businesses do this where they then start having a conversation where, Hey, we can continue doing this service for you, or if you’re interested, we can give you access to our SaaS business for just this monthly price. And it’s an easy sell.
[00:08:34.030] – Sean
I’ve seen that with IT firms. It would be managed services where you’re managing all the computers and all desktops, all remotely, all that good stuff. They’ll come up with some tech SaaS that maybe manages IPs. I think of something competitive to cloudflare that you can manage DNS in all one clean location. It’s the same model. It’s just we can do it for you, or you can use a tool and you can do it yourself. And it’s such a seamless way to go. And then they’ll keep their service for years and keep their best clients. Their maybe complainy clients. They’ll find a way to, here’s the back door.
[00:09:12.390] – Mike
So on that note of the complainy clients, so what we used to do, so when I set up my agency back in the day, our core offer was, we’ll help you turn blog visitors into leads without out ads. And at the time, that was like, revolutionary. No one had ever thought of doing that. So we specifically focused on insurance companies. Insurance company would drive a lot of traffic and they’d have a lot of blog posts. It’d be very hyper specific to what people were searching for, particularly in the US. How do I make sure my family is fully insured? Or do I now… At the time, it was when Obamacare was coming out. So there’s a lot of articles around that. And so we would just say to people, Hey, by the way, if you want this 10-point checklist, go to head and download this thing. So that was the offer we gave. And what we did to our clients, hopefully this isn’t offensive, but I think if you’re an American, you’ve had to buy insurance. There were some clients I really didn’t like having phone conversations with. I absolutely did not want to have calls with them.
[00:10:19.680] – Mike
So what we would do is we would have them on our software platform. The term SaaS didn’t really exist back then. It was at their enterprise scale. Obviously, you had your sales forces and stuff out there doing it, but there wasn’t really anything… A business like ours wasn’t a SaaS. We just had a platform that we would have people join in. We would run regular calls once a week-ish to our SaaS users. And any who, if we taught them something cool, like, hey, here’s a brand new type of lead magnet we’ve created, or here’s a brand new type of email marketing campaign, a lot of them would say, We’d love you to do that for us. We’d go, Great. It became a work generator for us. But if the clients who we didn’t like said, we’d love to do it, we’d go, we’re full. We’re at capacity. I’m really, really sorry. We sell out like this, right? So that was our way of managing that. So again, the SaaS and the service shouldn’t really be, in my opinion, I know there’s people who do it differently and do on a much larger scale, but I don’t think there’s any reason why they shouldn’t necessarily go hand in hand.
[00:11:25.850] – Mike
And one, to your point, can sell into the other and vice versa, just making sure that you know, ultimately, what are they getting at the end of it? And if they want to get it faster and with less effort and with more automation and with less work from themselves, great. Maybe the service is for them, the white glove style. But if they’re happy to spend a bit more time and energy on it themselves and they want to learn the process, or maybe they haven’t got the budget, then the SaaS version is going to be perfect for them. And that’s how we tend to balance those.
[00:11:56.780] – Sean
It’s a perfect marriage. It’s a great way to go. Yeah. And what’s beautiful about this is with an agency model, you really just need yourself. You need an Internet connection, you need a phone, you need a laptop, and you’re off and running. I highly recommend anybody creating or scaling an agency, hire contractors, go to Upwork, you can find great talent because the agency model, and I only know this because I had an agency from ’06 to 2010, I didn’t do it the right way. I brought on American employees, high payroll costs, and there are many months where I did not take a paycheck. And it’s like, this is not a scalable business. I totally brought on the wrong liabilities way too fast to make myself pretty much broke for four years. Because most agencies, I’ll just set expectations here, maybe you agree, you’re not going to earn seven figures. Your personal income will most likely not get there. Can you earn between 100 and 200K per year? Absolutely. But when you start thinking about numbers like 3, 4, or 500, a year, you’re probably not even going to get there. So that’s why optimize your model, reduce your liabilities, keep it just you.
[00:13:15.060] – Sean
And if you want help, there’s plenty of contractors out there. You can get help on a per project basis.
[00:13:20.930] – Mike
Yeah. So it’s a really interesting point that because part of the problem with this is the very genesis of where people start their agency journey. And 99 times out of 100, it’s because they are the craftsperson. They are the SEO expert. They are the social media content creator or the copywriter or whatever. And I think, I’m going to start selling this as a service because I’m really good at it. Somewhat pessimistically or cynically, maybe, the reason my agency did well is because I’m not a craftsperson. I am sales through and through. I knew I wasn’t the best. I’m not even the best funnel builder and marketing funnel I’m a creator in my own team now, and we generated them for clients. So we would purposely hire people to do the work that I wasn’t doing. But when most people start an agency, they’re doing it from their perspective. More often than not, they are way too detail-orientated. They really overdeliver. One of the core points that I tend to try to get across is $25,000 might sound like a lot, but you’re already probably delivering $25,000 worth of work and value. You’re just not charging it.
[00:14:32.520] – Mike
So we know it’s not your skill set. It’s almost certainly the client’s. And to take on two or three or four other team members in order to deliver that work, it’s crazy because 25 grand doesn’t need a huge amount of extra work and extra people in order to start getting those people some results. So 100 % to your point, you don’t need to hire people straight away. You could even argue that… The model that we try sell is, and again, it comes from the idea, it comes from the thing you’re going to start with. And this is so critical. And to me, if you aren’t 100 % sure that… So we have agencies in my program who are doing seven figures and eight figures. They have video marketing teams and they’re working with Tesla and huge multinational corporations and stuff. So they’re out there. But I’ve also got companies who are super, super successful who hover around a million a year in their total combined revenue. And again, they had a team of five or six people, and they had a lot of outsourcing. So there’s elements on a scale. But again, if you had five clients and you said, I’m just going to help home contractors find their next $100,000 client, something.
[00:16:00.740] – Mike
That’s all you’re going to do. You only need to find that one client, one new client, and that 25 grand is paid for. This is why the maths is so important. When you want to keep it small and focused on yourself and you don’t have a big team and you don’t know that you can make videos go viral or you’re creating adverts for the Super Bowl and you don’t know any of that, go back to the side and go to the maths, or the math, sorry. And you’ll say, if I want someone to pay me 25 grand, they’re going to want 50 to 100 $5,000 back. Some people might be lucky. Some people might say, I just want the $25,000 because I know I can monetize those clients later on. And so let’s say they want 50Ks back in worth of value and they have a $5,000 product. Can you help one person find 10 $5,000 customers? Probably over the period of a year, probably. Great. Can we help five people find five or $10 $5,000 customers? Yeah, great. So that’s our small group. We’re going to get on a call once a week. We’re going to talk through strategies.
[00:17:02.140] – Mike
You’re going to get to know each other. And any work that needs to get done, I’m going to pass over to a VA, which nine times out of 10 is copywriting, taking their niche and taking their ideas and putting it into a framework. We We turned around so many agencies using this model of just bring five people who are willing to pay you two grand for something they would gladly pay two grand for onto a call. Keep it small and intimate. The reason I then love SaaS and software is because when you bring someone in, use your SaaS as part of that onboarding. Make it sticky for them. We know, but we know this categorically because a lot of the companies I consult with are the guys like, well, it was J. P. Morgan and Chase, but it’s now literally J. P. Morgan and Chase. And they’re putting tons of money into SaaS companies. And we know from the time I consult with them and where they’re putting their money, community is what is building these SaaS companies. They want to put their money where the communities are. And so if you’re building even a small five person community of your agency, that’s the part that’s valuable.
[00:18:10.210] – Mike
That’s the part that’s bringing people together. We know that’s what makes people sticky. We know that’s what makes people want to keep paying their money month after month after month. Yes, helping them, massively important. But this super simple model of just bringing five people together, helping them to achieve one thing and charging them a couple of grand a month has turned around so many businesses. And it’s four or five hours a week, maybe. So it’s very, very scalable as well. I’ve got to go from a few angles there, Sean, so you might have to…
[00:18:37.770] – Sean
Reel you back in. No, it’s good. I want to make a comment on the revenue. You’re right. There are a lot of agencies out there that are making over seven figures. But to do it solo, to turn your personal income into seven figures, that’s what I was implying. That’s very hard to do with a SaaS business because it’s highly scalable and you’re not providing the service. It’s the software providing the service. 100 %, absolutely. You can create a seven-figure income, and there’s people that do that. But yeah, agency, that’s tough. You do need contractors, you might need some employees. As you said, five employees making about a million a year. I’ve talked to a few like that. That checks out.
[00:19:16.820] – Mike
Yeah. I’d say that’s pretty… And again, they’re a mixture of American and overseas. Sure. And what’s interesting as well, and this is going off on a bit of a tangent, but the amount of people who I’ve I’ve said, they’re going, yeah, we’re doing a million a year in revenue. I’m like, Well done, dude. They’re like, So why don’t I feel like a millionaire? I’m like, Oh, that’s because you run an agency and your costs are like 85 %. That’s why.
[00:19:42.770] – Sean
That’s it.
[00:19:43.310] – Mike
A million is Fine, but to me, I’d rather have like 100 grand take home cash. I don’t care what the turnover is, as we all know. Exactly. Because I see this time. In fact, after not charging a enough, unbelievably high or unbelievably low profit margins is probably the number one killer of agencies. I think a lot of them try to go for the revenue and they have a lot of clients and they say, Hey, we’re working with 30 clients at a time and they’re paying us this. It’s me and my assistant, and we got our art director and our marketer, and we’re doing a million, and they don’t have any money because they’re not profitable. The reality is, if you’re not profitable, then it doesn’t matter what you do. Nothing else is going to matter. So again, you’re probably already delivering $100,000 worth of work or a million dollars worth of work. You’re just not charging that much. And when we bring this model to people, I know It’s not entirely my model. See, everything is bought from different people. But the clients I’ve worked with, one of whom I’m literally jumping on this call afterwards because he’s now at €25,000 a month.
[00:20:59.420] – Mike
It’s him and his VA, and he has eight clients, and he’s like, literally, I don’t have to do tons and tons of work. They’re all eight clients trying to do the same thing. So if I have to do something new, chances are the other seven want it as well. So it’s this really valuable, scalable model that all starts with what’s the one thing you’re going to help this small group of people doing? Forget all the guys on YouTube and TikTok and Instagram saying, Here’s how I onboarded 100 new clients. It’s nonsense. For a SaaS, brilliant, but completely different, right? Completely different. If you’re bringing on a new client and it’s adding to your workload, you’re doing something wrong because it’s only going to become… There’s only going to be a point that you hit where you physically cannot make any more money. When we show people, hey, rather not just do 250,000 a year and you get to keep 225,000 of it, that to me seems like a pretty good deal, right? Those types of numbers This are really, really important, and it doesn’t mean working yourself to the bone. And it should be something that’s extremely profitable.
[00:22:06.780] – Mike
It should be. It should have a high profit. That’s the point. We’re singing from the same same him sheet.
[00:22:13.180] – Sean
Let’s take a quick commercial break. If someone tells you to buy a stock, the last thing you should do is buy that stock. The first thing you should do is ask why. Unfortunately, a lot of influencers on YouTube, TikTok, Reddit, or some other social media app are giving really bad stock recommendations and investment advice. The question is, how do you determine if what these people say is good advice or bad advice? That’s where Tykr can help. Tykr quickly cuts through the clutter to determine if a stock is a good or bad investment. But don’t take my word for it. Check out our Trustpilot to see what our customers have to say. As of today, we have a Trustpilot score of 4.9 out of 5. Get started today with a free trial. Visit tykr. Com. That’s T-Y-K-R. Com. Again, tykr. Com. All right, back to the show. I want to drill in a little bit here and get people thinking about what type of services can they provide. And I’ll just give a quick case study, my own case study, my own mistake. So when I had an agency in the 2000s, 2006s, 2010. This is when building websites was becoming a lot more popular.
[00:23:20.230] – Sean
So we’re building a lot of websites with WordPress and Joomla, even Flash when it was hot for a minute. But the problem was with the model, it was project-based. So So you do 50 % down, 50 % in completion. And when you get done with your customer, guess what? You got to go hunt for more customers. And I knew this is not a scalable or even sustainable business model. I’m going to be working. And I don’t know how some people do it for more than a few years because it is so hard. And I didn’t have anything else to do because it was the middle of the recession. I think this was 2008, the worst of the worst. I’m like, I can’t find a job because nobody’s hiring. So I got to see this through. Fortunately, 2010, we started bringing on bigger logos, and an agency came to us and bought us out, but it wasn’t like a check was written. It was just all liabilities and debts removed. I’m like, Oh, my gosh. I scooted out of this one without any major loss. Classes. But I was thinking to myself, how does one structure their service business as a SaaS?
[00:24:21.870] – Sean
And then I think we started hit 2013 and ’14, I started seeing people do advertising on a monthly basis services like Facebook ads or Google ads, and charge a fee for the service. And then, of course, there’s a fee for the ad spend. I’m like, there you go. That makes more sense. But I’d love to hear from your perspective, what are different services you’re seeing that agencies could charge $2,000 a a month.
[00:24:45.660] – Mike
Yeah. So it’s a really interesting… So first of all, it’s really interesting that you picked up on that because a lot of agencies don’t even realize this is an option. They literally this is brand new information to them that, oh, did you know you can actually charge 2K a month or a thousand a month or 500 a month? I like, no. Yeah, of course you can. It’s your business. You can charge people however you want, right? I like both. I’m greedy. So I like to get a nice big fat deposit, 5 to 10 grand up front, and then I’ll charge 2K going forward. I always say to people, what you deliver is almost irrelevant. So the best example that I can think of this is Volvo are known as the world’s safest car. That’s their thing. They want to have no cars manufactured after 2020 by Volvo to be responsible for any deaths on the road. It’s a big, really big interesting goal. They don’t sell cars, they sell safety. Specifically, what they sell is safety. I’m going to be a little bit sexist here, but it is the rule, just their purchasing rule is fathers who want to drive their kids to school and drive their kids around.
[00:25:59.150] – Mike
So that’s That’s actually what they’re selling. That’s actually what they’re selling. Typically also why larger SUVs or M SUVs, smaller micro SUVs, are sold, typically to women for the same basic reason. That’s the thing that they sell. If they had to change the product that they deliver, they would probably still stick with the angle of we try to make things much, much safer. Your agency and SaaS need to go hand in hand in the same way that you need to understand the thing that you’re selling. And again, if you don’t know what that is, like safety or something a bit less tangible, bring it back to the maths. If you can say to someone, what we help businesses do, let’s say that your SaaS puts all of your bills into one dashboard and it saves you 50 bucks a month. Let’s say that that’s what you do. What you sell is $50 a month. That’s what you actually sell. I would even say it’s, what’s that, 500 bucks, 600 bucks a year? That’s the thing that you’re selling. If you can bring it back to the maths, it’s very easy to sell a SaaS that does something like that.
[00:27:10.910] – Mike
I like to sell money. That’s one of the easiest things in the world to sell. So if I think about my clients and I say, I’m going to help you get a $25,000 client, specifically, what we help you do is find all the five $25,000 clients. That to me is worth $2,000 a month. I know I can help an agency find a $25,000 client. Are they willing to pay $2,000 to get a $25,000 client? Pretty simple math. This is why our coaching program was so successful because that’s just what we did week in, week out, and we showed people. Now, what’s really interesting is if you understand what the thing is that someone’s getting, if they can understand the tangibility of it, it’s a really good litmus test. If they can physically point to it on a dashboard on their monitor, you know you’ve understood the thing that they want to buy. That’s actually one of the questions we ask is, if we work really well together, can you take me to the dashboard that’s going to prove that we’ve done a good job. I’m working email marketing. So, yeah, we’ve got our number of email subscribers has gone up and our number of clicks to email has gone up.
[00:28:23.350] – Mike
Great. I’m going to point to that physical dashboard. That’s the thing that I’m selling. In most cases, if you say someone, like a supplier, someone who runs a SaaS and is wanting to start an agency, you’re going to help people find a $10,000 client or save $3,000 on their insurance or whatever it is. How would you do that? That process is extremely simple. They will always go. That’s really easy. You go through your statements, you check your bills, you compare your suppliers, and then you go to the cheapest one and you try to get on board with their program. Great. That’s what you’re going to be delivering. I wish it was more complex. Whenever we say to our clients, let’s find something, one of our customers who did something like, she was hoping to get 10 grands worth of business and she launched it and it did 50 grand or something. Because Because she said, I’m going to help new course creators sell and launch their first $1,000 course. She didn’t charge 2 grand a month for it, but she did say, that’s what we’re going to do. I think she was charging a thousand a month for it because If she was like, Well, I can get you two clients a month, it paid for it and then some.
[00:29:34.480] – Mike
And her process was so simple. It was like, head into your current social media platforms, make sure you’re having conversations with people inside there and tell them about the course. And she structured it in a way that ended up becoming just a Google Doc. That’s what she delivered. That’s all she delivered to them, was just that and a phone call a week or a group Zoom call a week. And even now, she still has them on board. People get really wrapped up in the deliverables and the features and the things that they should be delivering. Whereas the cold, hard reality is I could have a proposal that was 200 pages thick, but if at the end of it, you got some leads and some followers and some Facebook growth and blah, blah, blah, or I said to you, I can help you get five $10,000 clients. All of a sudden, I don’t need that proposal because that thing that becomes very tangible to them, that is the thing that they worry about and care about, that’s what they want. And in most cases, the way to get that thing for those clients is extremely simple.
[00:30:40.430] – Mike
It just requires them to delve a little bit deeper into their analytics, do some boring work. And that’s what you can deliver, in my opinion, like nine out of 10 times. And we’ve seen it with email marketing, course creation, social media, content creation, sales, closing, everything and anything in between. So that’s where I’d start. Start with the thing first. Does that make sense? Is that fair? It does.
[00:31:06.720] – Sean
What I just summarize there, and correct me if I’m wrong here, but find out what value or what pain, right? So the value you’re adding or paying you’re removing and be laser-focused in the delivery. What you just said there, you can help bring on X amount of $10,000 customers, or I can help you, if you’re an agency, I can help you bring on $10,000 customers, $25,000 customers, times this many, if it’s three, four, five. All right, we got some logical numbers or tangible numbers we can grab here. The same thing, listener, think about what you want to offer. What can you If you do selling money, as you said, is very easy. You’re using numbers. That’s a big deal. But if you were to sell something that’s ambiguous, we can help build you this or help provide a service such as podcast editing. And you’re not sealing the deal here. Like, podcast editing service. I can help save you 10 hours a week. Take it off your plate. Exactly. There you go.
[00:32:10.870] – Mike
Exactly. Yeah. So a really good example of this is someone who basically sold mediation and conflict something. And I always forget the last word. It’s basically the step before going to court, right?
[00:32:24.890] – Sean
[00:32:25.600] – Mike
And she was like, I don’t understand it. I work with companies who constantly say, Our meetings are really bad. Our project management is bad. No one ever understands each other. There’s loads of conflict. Managers are arguing with subordinates, blah, blah, blah, blah. And they’re all pissed off and I can’t seem to sell it. And it’s because ultimately their CEO was like, I don’t see the value in me paying for this. I’m not really involved in it. And I was like, okay, we can still sell money around this. So the questionnaire became, well, how much time does the CEO spend managing these conflicts? A couple of hours a week or a month? Great. What’s their hourly What’s their hourly rate? On average, what’s their hourly rate? If they’ve got a salary or dividends, how much do they take them last year, divided by the working hours? Nice and simple. In most cases, the CEO is going to be worth over $1,000 an hour. Okay, great. So it’s $2,000 for every conflict. That’s just what the CEO is charging. Let’s take managers. How often are managers having to do it? Managers having to do it at least once a week, and that’s four or five hours.
[00:33:25.110] – Mike
Great. What’s their hourly worth? And eventually, it comes out that one really bad conflict costs a company $10,000 a month or something insane like that. So even if we just carved the number of complaints, it would physically make sense. And if you can put it into tangible numbers, this is the thing. A lot of people People, again, a lot of people are the crafts people. They come from the background of, Yeah, but the mediation is going to help people feel better. And while that’s all important, the cold, hard reality is no one’s going to part with cash until they can physically understand that’s the thing I’m going to get out of Until they can actually point to what is going to be better, no one is going to buy it. Some companies go the other way. They are called Google and Apple and are some of the wealthiest companies on the planet, and they will do anything. But that’s fine. You’re not them. So why not find five people with a very tangible dollar-based problem and have a conversation with them and see if you can help them? And most of the time, the process is actually very, very simple as well.
[00:34:29.560] – Mike
So you don’t to overcomplicate the delivery method.
[00:34:32.690] – Sean
What is Occam’s razor? The simplest solution is usually the solution, something like that. Exactly. Keep it simple. I see too many people trying to overcomplicate and over explain and confused. I’ve got a buddy of mine that works in marketing, and I ask him, What does your agency do? I want to know what services. You could literally give me bullet points. He spent five minutes explaining all these complex… I’m like, You’ve got a long way to go.
[00:34:58.950] – Mike
I’m like, Well, see, this is the funny thing. When I go to events and people say, Mike, what is it? Like on the start of the call here, what is it that you do? I’ll say, I help people find $25,000 clients or charge $25,000 for their work. They’re like, no. If they’re not interested, which 99.99% of the world isn’t. That’s fine. I don’t care. You’re not in part of my market. I’m qualifying you then, fine. But they still understand what I do. My grandmother understands what I do. Mike helps people Make $25,000. That’s as complex as it needs to get. I don’t grow brands. I don’t work on innovative Web 3.0 strategies that are designed to drive. None of that matters because the cold, hard realities until you can tell me physically, what am I going to get at the end of this? The rest of it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you have the world’s best delivery system. People aren’t going to be interested in buying from you until they can go, it’s that. That’s the thing I want to get easily. It’s so, so important. People skip right over it. Marketers especially actually-Oh, right?
[00:36:06.790] – Sean
Yeah. Why are you over engineering this? Keep it simple. Yeah.
[00:36:14.070] – Mike
So On the Keep it simple side, the first question I have, people are like, I want to make 25 grand. Great. Okay. How many proposals are sat in your outbox right now? I’ll go, Five or six. I’m like, Well, what’s the average cost of one of those proposals? Five to 10 grand. I’m like, great, let’s put $15,000 on all of them and send all of them. It is mind boggling to me how many times people have come back and gone, Oh, my God, I sent out these six proposals and they all converted. I’m like, yeah, what the hell did you expect? That’s when I talk about the simplicity is key. When you say keep it simple, so many people are sat on the thing that they’re supposed to do. But what they need often from an agency or a consultant is that push or the reassurance that it’s going to be okay. You’re doing the right thing. It’s okay. So, yeah, most of the time, in my opinion, people are already, if you qualify them enough, they’re already sat on their return on investment already. They’re just not doing anything about it. And then you can work on other stuff.
[00:37:19.980] – Mike
But by that point, you’re already making money and you can invest in some new strategies and techniques. But yeah, keep it simple, 100 % right from the get-go.
[00:37:26.700] – Sean
Love it. All right, before we jump to the rapid fire round, is there one other key takeaway you can give our audience?
[00:37:35.040] – Mike
You mentioned earlier about recurring revenue. That’s key. I wish I had a really clever snappy thing about recurring revenue, but my advice would be just research it, dig into it a lot. There are even events set up to just deal with recurring revenue. There’s a ton of stuff on YouTube. I’ve got a ton of stuff on it. You need something, just like you have your SaaS, you need something that brings in recurring revenue. And there’s no reason why it can’t be a $2,000 a month consulting an agency package. So if you feel, oh, man, I’m sick of searching for clients. It’s way easier keeping five clients happy. Oh, yeah. Searching for a new one. Exactly, right? I think searching for a new one every month. So my final piece is really, really, really… If every bone in your body is saying, Recurring revenue just wouldn’t work for my business, that to me is the biggest sign that it is and that you’re resisting it and that you need to go after it. If you think it definitely wouldn’t work for your business, that to me is the biggest sign that you probably need it in your business.
[00:38:38.900] – Mike
So, yeah, that would be the last thing I’d sign off on.
[00:38:42.090] – Sean
And on top of that, just to add, my two cents, It would be if you can’t structure your offering, you got to get creative or you got to think outside the box. How do you add something to it? For example, going back to my days, I know agencies that will build websites for people, but that’s no longer the thing. That’s like you’re going to pay a fee just a bit more spread out over a year for the website. But the main service would be getting more clients in the door via advertising or editing podcasts or editing video, or something that can be done on a monthly basis. Because when a website is, you’re done building it, if it’s not e-commerce or something massive, the amount of maintenance is minimal. So the client is not going to be like, I’m going to continue paying. It’s like, no.
[00:39:29.010] – Mike
Yeah. And it’s also important to understand that to me, the world’s best sales are made when you do the world’s best qualifying. I would rather spend way more time qualifying people out. And when I go through their numbers, I’m like, holy shit, how are you not making an extra $100,000 a year? And it’s because they don’t know easy stuff like email marketing. They’ve never emailed their list. I’m like, I’ll go into your email. Our email marketer, his entire job is to go into my list and just email market a day. And that’s two and a half grand a month. He’s not even full-time. But I’m like, I’ll pay it because I know that if he converts five clients, that’s money, that’s free money as far as I’m concerned. And that’s because he looked at our numbers and was like, how are you not driving these sales? Because I’m busy. I got other stuff to do. I’m constantly forgetting to do stuff. So there are clients out there who are sat on your money and sat on your ROI. They just haven’t got the wherewithal to to take those next steps. And that’s a real missed opportunity.
[00:40:33.540] – Sean
All right. I know you’ve got a meeting top of the hour, as do I. That’s right. I’m going to do an abbreviated version of the rapid fire round because we just had you on the show. But I want to get an update on where a few things are at. So first question is the podcast. Okay, I can’t recall what podcast you said last time, but what is a podcast?
[00:40:53.260] – Mike
Fre economics.
[00:40:53.730] – Sean
Fre economics was it?
[00:40:55.170] – Mike
Okay. Yeah, that was the one last time, which I do still listen to a lot. But the other one at the moment that I go back to constantly is one called Do Go On, which is an Australian.
[00:41:03.200] – Sean
Okay, that’s a new one for sure. All right, next question relates to reading books or listening to books. Is a recent book you read in the last month or so?
[00:41:13.440] – Mike
I’ve been on a real history binge, so I could just say I’ve been reading medieval history and Tudor history and stuff. It’s been fascinating. I’ve been a stack of them, so I wouldn’t know any in particular. I think it’s called like, the series is like outrageous history. It’s all on Kindle. It’s been fascinating. Interesting. Which I had more for you, but yeah, that I was tons of them at the moment.
[00:41:31.380] – Sean
All right. And then one more here, which is the movie question. What is a movie or TV show you’ve watched in the last month?
[00:41:37.670] – Mike
Well, on the Japanese thing, we’ve been watching Shogen on Disney. It’s so good. I can’t believe how good it is. Yeah. So I think there’s another one released. Tonight. Oh, and also, yeah, tonight. Yeah. Physical 100 on Netflix.
[00:41:51.470] – Sean
South Korean show.
[00:41:52.740] – Mike
Yeah. I’ve never seen anything like it. And I think season 2 is released today. So I’m super looking forward to that.
[00:41:59.890] – Sean
We could talk about both in another hour. Yeah, yeah, yeah. To the audience out there. So I was watching Shogen, Hiroyuki Sanada, who was in Last Samurai. He was in Endgame. I mean, I think he was in Lost for a Minute there. He was in Westworld. This guy, the perfect role for Hiroyuki is this show. Samurai, what is it? 1600. Yeah.
[00:42:29.780] – Mike
So the book Samurai William, I read it like a million years ago, and I didn’t know that the old Shogun was based on that and that this is a reboot of that. I had no idea of that. So I’m laughing this up. It’s very different from the book, but there’s an element. And I agree. I’m so happy to see him in a role like this because it suits him down to the ground.
[00:42:52.720] – Sean
And it’s well written. And I’m one of those people that watches or looks at IMDb. I prefer that over Rotten tomatoes. And I’m like, this thing is sitting at a 9.2. We’re getting up to the Shawshank redemption type rating, which is number one rating, which is what? 9.3 or 4? And I’m like, okay, with 20,000 plus views, you have my attention. So yes. Yeah, great show in Physical 100. I think I watched it when it first came out. So I’m very pleased they’re doing a season 2, and I did not realize it was today, actually. The 19th is much. I believe it’s today. Yeah. Sweet. We’ve got a lot to talk about next time you’re on the podcast.
[00:43:33.040] – Mike
That’s right. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:43:34.680] – Sean
But we got to wrap it up here. If you could let the audience know, where can they reach you?
[00:43:38.540] – Mike
Yeah, you can find me on YouTube, youtube. Com/sellyourservice, or just email me at any time at, michael@s sellyourservice. Com.
[00:43:46.440] – Sean
Awesome. Well, Mike, thanks for coming back, and we’ll get you on again soon.
[00:43:51.130] – Mike
We’ll see you. Thanks for having me, Shawn. Appreciate it.
[00:43:53.670] – Sean
Hey, I’d like to say thanks for checking out this podcast. I know there’s a lot of other podcasts you could be listening to, so thanks for spending some time with me. And if you have a moment, could you please head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a five-star review? The more reviews we get, the higher this podcast will rank. All right, stay tuned for the next episode. We’ll see you.