91. Business Tip with Sam Lee: The 3 P's of Building a 6 or 7-Figure Business
Alessia Citro 0:02
Welcome to the corporate dropout podcast. I'm your host Alesia Citro. If you're sick of the corporate hamster wheel and looking to feel inspired and empowered to live a high vibe life as your own boss, you're in the right place. Dare to drop out in 321. Before we start the show, I want to tell you about the business I'm launching. Starting a business can be hard work, but it doesn't need to be confusing too. And that is why I founded Theia collective, a learning community for entrepreneurs, learn from experts across law, finance, tax operations, marketing, sales and more. And get the blueprint on how to set up and run your own business. Text biz, that's BIZ to 949-577-8709, or head to Theia dash collective.com. To learn more.
Alessia Citro 0:51
Hello, friends, I am back today with Sam Lee, if you did not have the chance to listen to our interview together yesterday, be sure to do that. Let me tell you a little bit about Sam and then we'll get into what he's going to talk about. So he is the founder and Managing Partner of E three ventures, a platform that invests advisors and builds companies that unlock human potential. He is also the founder and CEO of Indy collective, the place where top independent workers go to supercharge their careers. And he is an alum of WeWork, Goldman Sachs and AOL quite the pedigree. So today, Sam is back. And he is going to tell us how product to zation. Pricing and promotion are your three P's of building a six or even a seven figure independent business. Sam, thank you so much for being back with us today. I can't wait to learn from you.
Sam Lee 1:38
So great to be back. And honestly, this is one of my favorite topics. I was fortunate enough when I started my independent practice e three ventures to have a couple of mentors who who had the tried and true playbooks in these arenas. And I'd say these three of seven that we teach it in the collective make all the difference in the world. It's never about massive shifts in your business or life, it's about two millimeter changes. So we'll talk about some of those two millimeter changes right now. So as you said, there's there's three P's, I think of building a seven figure practice, and those relate to your product decision, to your pricing, and of course, to how you promote yourself. Let's start with productization. I think having now talked to some 1000 or so top independents and work with a couple 100 of them through indie collective. What I see all too often is that we are in a pernicious trade as independents, and we are trading time for money. And it happens all too darn often. So how do we get out of this trade of time for money, because for those of us who have ambitious lifestyle and loving priorities, we hit a ceiling and we hit it pretty quickly. Product position is the path just to cut to the chase. We think about product position from a three D perspective. It starts with niching down who is it that you really want to serve in this world who is your ideal client, both company, but also buyer, the person that you're going to be delivering your service or your product to? Next we get into your engagement formats? What are the formats of doing your know how your expertise that actually deliver the income and impact that you desire. And this is important to many of us when we go independent, we're willing to be flexible bespoke answer any call to action, to do the work, both because we love the work or we love the clients. But what what you will find after doing that for 612, or even multiple years is that you are not efficiently or effectively achieving the income and impact for you or your clients. So finding the right engagement formats is powerful. Once we're clear on the ideal client and the right engagement formats for you, it's been about thinking about your personalized product decision playbook. Write the playbook that helps you to stop trading the time for money. And that's a combination of processes, people platforms, things that get you off that hamster wheel. So those are the three that's a 3d perspective around product decision. And, and when you do that, you end up having a consulting business and potentially a set of productized services that will get you out of that trade of time for money. Right. So let me give you the example of one of our members, Claudia Richmont. I love Claudia. I got to know her 18 months ago, right as she was striking out independent for her second goal because she had done it once before years prior and ended up going back in house to the big agency because it just didn't live up to what she thought was possible. So in our second goal, she joined Indy Collective, we dug deep into her product position. And what she found is that she didn't want to work with everybody. Right? She had done that in agencies. She wanted to work with mission driven startups, and specifically with CEOs who wanted to grow their companies without leaving people behind. So she, she builds herself as a change artists, which I love. So she got really specific on the type of company, the type of entrepreneurial CEO, and helping them to grow from 20 to 200 people without leaving people behind. We then thought about her engagement formats, right, and she is now productized, her consulting and launched a productized service, let's talk about both sides of that equation. Her consulting always begins with an evaluated stage, she's got a six week stage, which at this point, she can easily sell. It has artifacts and process to support it with clear outcomes, read recommendations, and next steps on the back of it. It's something that she's able to deliver consistently with rigor. And guess what, it doesn't take a whole bunch of time, but she's able to charge value value pricing for it, because it's high value. And if you were to equate the hours to the value that she charges, you'd be pretty astounded in terms of how much he's charging per hour, I'm not going to kind of reveal the secret sauce but but that's where value based pricing comes in next, right, so that's her evaluated stage. And that's powerful, because she's not doing anything for free. Her brain is being turned on once the client has brought her in front evaluation. And off the back of that there's clear recommendations and next steps, and on ramps to her next series of engagements. So she's got very clear project based engagements retained engagements that flow off of that, which have clear Pricing and Value around them. And as she was doing this work, but nine months to a year after starting Indy collective, she said Eureka, there's more to build, because I've now identified within this particular client, and type of engagement, that there's something that everybody wants. And she works with these amazing mission driven high growth companies who are hiring managers like crazy and are not equipping them to succeed. So what did Claudia build, she's built the mindful manager training program, a 10 week program that's helping managers to be more successful as managers and as leaders within their companies. And she now comes into a company tweaks it to make it relevant to culture and mission. And then she's been brought back in multiple times to do the same program again and again and again. So as you can see there too, with the right product, physician, read artifacts, recordings, worksheets, she's not reinventing the wheel every time and instead achieving more income and impact for every hour. So that's productization. A Nutshell. And hopefully, Claudia is a good illustration of what that means both in terms of productizing consulting, as well as productizing, a service that scales beyond the consulting our next right, once you've thought about your product position, let's talk about pricing. I love pricing, which is weird, right? Most people think pricing is awkward, or they hate asking for money. I love pricing. I love those conversations. And the fun part is that nobody's done pricing. But most of us are not value based pricing. value based pricing is fun. And we have a full week on this. In Indy collective, in fact, we can, we can put in the shownotes, a free workshop that we offer, you know, friends and family. So if people want a taste of what value based pricing is happy to share that with your listeners. But value based pricing is very, very simple. It's about getting under the hood, of what you do the value you create for your clients, so that you can very clearly and authoritatively speak to that value, not just in qualitative terms, but quantitatively. Because if you can do both qualitative and quantitatively speak to the value, you will always command a premium rate, about 1% of consultants can do that. So the 1%, they will come in 25 to 50%, above the average in the market. And that's what our average members do in 10 weeks, they raise their rates by 25%. So we'll definitely share if you're listening, that that free workshop, it's it's a great one, it's only 45 minutes long, but it's gonna give you that 3d perspective on how you should be thinking about value and a worksheet to help you to start to put pen to paper on what that might look like for you. So once you've thought about your product position, which is really how do you expand the value you're creating? And thought about your value based pricing? How do you really not extract because on an extraction, it's how do you accrue the right amount of value, the fair amount of value to you and your business? You then need to think about promotion. How do you get the word out? How do you build that amazing pipeline of ideal clients? And we take a 3d perspective to this one, too, is 3d is now kind of a running theme. I hadn't thought about that before. But but there's there's three weeks that we do around sales around building that predictable pipeline. We start with client attraction. And the first two weeks are about client attraction, we get into relationship building at scale. Let's see and I talked about that in another like many episodes, so you might hear that at some point, but but that framework is really, really about helping you to authentically transform your existing network into a business development machine.
Sam Lee 10:01
And, you know, one of my, one of my dear friends said to me years ago when I was, you know, in earnest starting my consultancy full time, she said, Sandy, you got a great network, you shouldn't have a handful of referral partners, you should have an army of champions. And when Ashley said that, to me, I was like, Heck, yes, I should. And so should everybody because that just feels like a wave of abundance and that you're on the crest of it, right? So how do you get to that place? It's one your storytelling. And by this point, in kind of the indie collective experience, you've really kind of unpacked your product and who you're serving with, unpack your brand and, and how you're positioning. You've thought about your value and how you're accruing it. And then you're ready to do your story. It's who you are, what you offer, the impact that you have. And we get really tight on that, so that you're confident in your story. Next, we build your army of champions. It's forensic ly, looking at your network and idling those people who are influential, and not who you'll sell to, but rather, who you need to activate, Put differently, recalibrate, to who you are, what you offer in the impact that you have. And then lastly, we kind of open up our playbook and we share how we do that, how do we authentically not just recalibrate but stay top of mind, because once you've done those three things, gotten clear on the story, recalibrated the right people in your network, and then you're staying top of mind, you are going to create this army of champions and people want to help people I found just want to help, but you have to help them to help you. After we do relationship building at scale, we get into the next element of promotion, which is going beyond your network. And I teach that week, that indie collective, it's all about cold outreach. Once we know who your ideal client is, we can build lists, we can run multi touch campaigns, we can even help you hire a sales development rep. So you're not doing this full sales thing yourself, which is really powerful for members of ours who are trying to scale right beyond just a one woman or man band that want to support a team or a collective, or frankly, just want to have more reach and impact. And then the third week of kind of promotion is all about shifting from client attraction to winning business on the right terms, because that's as important if not more important than anything. And that week is really about winning sales conversations, and winning proposals, read proposals that actually get you your value based terms, because I can't tell you the number of great consultants who I've met, who end up leaving money on the table and that final 11th hour negotiation. So I'd say those are the three P's. It's about product isation. Its pricing, its promotion. There's other things that we teach as other things that I think are important, like psychology, like streamlining your back office, like your brand. But but but these three if you can nail them will be major accelerants in your business in life. And for our average members, we see them doubling their business in a year and typically saving eight hours a week. And I'd say these three levers are those points of leverage to get them that much further faster.
Alessia Citro 13:09
Oh my gosh, this is so good. I mean, you could see me on on camera, the listeners can't but this is one of the few episodes I've taken notes on and I took two pages. So good.
Sam Lee 13:19
Oh, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I'm definitely passionate about these topics. I love these topics.
Alessia Citro 13:24
Yeah, I mean, you know, and just talking about Claudia like how she had to go back to the corporate world the first go round, like anyone who's leaving corporate America like we want them to stay out, right. So like, whatever you can do to make it successful and you know, not have to go back with your tail between your legs like, yeah, you're doing the world and amazing service. Thank you so much for coming back on. So tell everyone, how can they connect with you? Where can they find you? How can they be part of any collective all of it plugged away?
Sam Lee 13:52
Absolutely. Well, we also have an awesome podcast you can follow along. It's called the modern independent, you can find it wherever you listen to your podcasts. We host episodes weekly with seven figure business builders who are sharing their playbooks as well as our members who like Claudia are getting further faster and sharing their experience with the world. You can also find us on our website at Indie collective i n d e collective.co. You can read more about the playbooks there and you know, feel free to apply for the next cohort.
Alessia Citro 14:25
Well, thank you so much, and I'll link everything in the show notes as well as that friends and family webinar about pricing. That sounds amazing. Well, thank you so much. It's been a pleasure. This episode was brought to you by Theia collective the learning community I found it for entrepreneurs text biz, that's BIZ to 949-577-8709 or head to Thea dash collective.com That's THEIA dash collective.com to learn more. Thanks for listening to the show. If you enjoyed today's episode, please help me get the word out about the corporate drop out out by screenshotting and sharing this on social I would appreciate it so much if you would subscribe and leave a five star rating and review as well. And I do this show for you and I want to hear from you. So tell me what is it that you want more of text me at 949-541-0951 or slide into the DMS at corporate drop out official or Alesia Citro with two underscores until next time.