6 Figure Creative Icon

How To Set Yourself Apart From The Other 500,000,000 Freelancers In The World | Part 4

Episode art
In the final episode of this 4-part series, we're diving into one of the most powerful but often misunderstood methods of standing out from the crowd.
I saved the best for last.
This has been the “secret sauce” behind my all of my successful businesses, from freelancing, to Airbnb, to multiple software companies, and even podcasting.
Without this last piece of the puzzle, nothing I've tried would have worked, and I'd likely still be working at Gamestop for minimum wage (missing out on millions of $ in the process)
If you're ready to become absolutely indispensable to your clients, listen to this week's episode to the 6 Figure Creative Podcast.
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • The importance of specialization
  • Why niches work better than others
  • Conversion-focused web design as a differentiation method
  • Niching down vs. niching out
  • The advantages of pushing bad leads away

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[00:00:00] Brian: Hello and welcome to the Six Figure Creative Podcast. I'm your host, Brian Hood. This is your first time listening to the show. Hi, welcome. Don't know why you're starting in part four of a series, but I'm glad to have you here.

[00:00:07] Brian: Anyways this podcast is for you. If you are a creative freelancer, you offer services and you want to make more money from those creative skills that you currently possess. And you want to do so without selling your soul. That sounds like you, you're in the right spot. For my returning listeners, we are in the final, hopefully the final episode of this series.

[00:00:21] Brian: I think I'm serious doubt, honestly. I don't know about you, if you're a regular listener, I'm kind of serious doubt. I'm going to probably stop doing series for a while and just start doing one offs. Just cause I want to change it up. I don't know. Anyways we're going to continue the series, but before I get into that uh, couple of fun life updates really quick.

[00:00:34] Brian: For those of you who have never read the book Outlive, I think I talked about this a few episodes ago by Peter Atiyah, I think. Outlive. The Science and Art of Longevity. book is single handedly, flung me into my midlife crisis at least a healthy version of a midlife crisis. 37 for those who don't know my actual age. think i'm 37. It might be 36, but I think i'm 37 And

[00:00:56] Brian: there's a graph in that book. I'm going to share it on the screen here.

[00:00:58] Brian: and if you're listening in audio, this [00:01:00] will be on our show notes page at sixfigurecreative. com slash 303. this single graph from the book Outlive effed my ass up. my up. This graph gave me a nice little wake up call.

[00:01:10] Brian: It just essentially shows how VO2max, this is the stat the basically, shows your cardio ability or your capacity for your body to utilize oxygen efficiently, how that's going to slowly, actually not slowly, very quickly deteriorate over time, starting probably in your thirties and every decade drop precipitously and how it correlates to just doing basic things like Being able to walk three miles an hour up a slight incline, or up a steep hill, or slowly climb stairs, or run six miles an hour, or briskly climb stairs, or run ten miles an hour, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:01:41] Brian: And how if you are, 35, an average VO2 max, you can do basically things like run six miles an hour, no big deal.

[00:01:49] Brian: But if you want to be able to do the same exact thing at 70 or 75, you need to be in the 95th percentile of VO2 max. So that means if your cardio capacity is average by the time [00:02:00] you're 65 or 75 You'll barely be able to walk three miles an hour up a steep hill free to pause look at that or go to the show notes page and kind of like analyze that further But seeing that has again spurred me into my midlife crisis And I'm hoping this is my midlife crisis because I know I will have to have some at some point I think it's like a rite of passage for a man.

[00:02:17] Brian: Some people violently go into it I And let it happen to them and others they do it gracefully. I'm hoping to do a graceful one where I'm just focused on longevity and health and stuff. So I did a VO2 max test. That's where you wear a mask. If they wear this mask, run on the treadmill until your heart rate gets as high as possible, until you basically just give up and throw in the towel.

[00:02:35] Brian: And my VO2 max was shown at 60, which is way higher than I thought it would be.

[00:02:39] Brian: my goal was like in the forties. I've also done like a lot of blood tests recently. I did a whole blood panel of like, it took like nine vials of blood out of my arm. I literally passed out when they were taking all these tests, from tests that I wanted to take from the book Outlive.

[00:02:52] Brian: since starting this book, I'm literally down 25 pounds or since finishing this book. I don't remember. I think I started around January, 25 pounds for my [00:03:00] January one weight as of March 26. That's when I record this episode. So 25 pounds in three months is pretty damn good So I'm just curious before I get into the topic today, which is not longevity Although I could do an episode on that if you're interested.

[00:03:12] Brian: Are there any other longevity nerds out there? I'm just curious. call out to my listeners or viewers on YouTube. Hi youtubers

[00:03:17] Brian: again This is something that I think now that I'm in my late 30s I'm taking more seriously so that whenever I'm older, I don't have a lot of health problems and can actually enjoy my life. I don't necessarily care about living forever.

[00:03:28] Brian: That's not what I want. I just wanted to enjoy the life that I have. And I know that when I'm in my 60s, 70s and or 80s, if I make it to that level or even beyond. I'm I just don't want to be the person who cannot enjoy my life

[00:03:37] Brian: because why be entrepreneur? Why start a business? Why do all these things if you can't enjoy your damn life? And I can say from just some of my, hurt my back like a few weeks ago. and I'm still kind of recovering from that. And just like that brief period of my lower back going out on me.

[00:03:52] Brian: from just bad technique on the rower. it's just a really good reminder of we take our health for granted. And when something like that goes wrong and I'm unable to just do basic [00:04:00] things around the house, that could be me for decades. And I cannot at all accept that.

[00:04:05] Brian: I refuse to. so if you are the type of person who seems into this sort of thing, go read the book Outlive. It's my number one read of this year so far, even though it's only March. And I would actually say it's my number one read of the past year as far as me taking action and making change based on what I read.

[00:04:19] Brian: So enough for longevity, enough for nerd stuff and cardio and fitness and VO2 max and blood tests. Let's talk about what I'm hoping is the final episode of the series of differentiation. How do we stand out from all the other freelancers that are already out there and the other, millions or hundreds of millions who are quote, coming online over the next five to seven years.

[00:04:36] Brian: We already talked about brute force differentiators. We already talked about building credibility, trust, social proof. This episode, we're going to talk about specialization. This is my specialty. This is how I've differentiated myself and how I've stood out. And most of the businesses that I've started, at least the successful ones from my music production background to my Airbnb to both my software companies, specialization has been key for me. And this podcast [00:05:00] too. even before this podcast, when we were the six figure home studio, even more so. And by the end of this episode, you'll understand kind of what I'm talking about here.

[00:05:05] Brian: So specialization, just for easy definition, is just when we narrow our focus in some way. We're specialized, we see this in the medical community where you go to general doctor and they're going to tell you you have something wrong with you and they're going to send you to the specialist who just works with I've heard some obscure stuff like they only work with left hips or left knees I don't know why, but like they'll get that specialized.

[00:05:27] Brian: We don't have to get that specific with what we do as freelancers, And there's a few different ways to do this. I've got a couple to talk about here, but the main one is just specializing by niche. And when we're talking about niching down, this is a controversial topic.

[00:05:38] Brian: We have to first understand why it matters. Then we have to understand how to do it because these are two very important things. If you don't understand why it matters, then you're not going to do it. And if you don't understand how to do it, you might want to do it, but you don't do it the right way. So first of all, why do we need to niche down?

[00:05:50] Brian: generally as freelancers, we approach our business from a very selfish perspective. the entire reason you listen to this podcast is very selfish.

[00:05:57] Brian: It's very you focused, you centered. You want to know [00:06:00] how you can make more money from your creative skills without selling your soul. In that sentence, there's nothing about your clients. There's nothing about what they want, what they need. And most freelancers fail to really take that into account. so when you flip it around and you focus on what the client wants and what the client needs, what the client's looking for.

[00:06:16] Brian: Now, all of a sudden, a niche makes more sense because if I am the customer or the client and I am looking at two different freelancers who offer very similar services,

[00:06:25] Brian: photography for example, I'm likely going to pick the one who is specialized in a way that appeals to me.

[00:06:31] Brian: the line that I've said over and over again about how if you try to appeal to everyone you appeal to no one well in this sort of mental exercise when I am a potential client looking at a wide array of potential freelancers who are out there that I could hire for my photography needs All of a sudden, not all photographers look the same to me. And depending on who I am, one photographer might appeal to me over someone else. And to the next person, another photographer might appeal to them over someone else. and in almost all cases the photographer or any freelancer in this case, but the photographer who's trying to [00:07:00] appeal to them.

[00:07:00] Brian: widest array of people possible is going to be one who is often the most ignored. And the one who is more specific of who they're trying to target, who they're speaking to, what their service is offering. The more specific that is, the more it's going to appeal and become a hell yes to me, the person who I'm a perfect fit for.

[00:07:17] Brian: So we're talking about niching down. There's two components to that. We have the service you offer. And the client we're attracting, and we don't always need to focus on both. So I'm going to talk about a couple of different varieties of niching down what this can look like. There is the type where we focus on the service.

[00:07:31] Brian: And because of the service we're offering, it's already so specialized that it Essentially, by default picks the client for us, you know, know what I'm talking about when I get there. We're going to talk about offering a broad service or a broad collection of services to a very specific client. And then we're going to talk about kind of the third, we're doing both we pick a very specific service and we, shape it to a very specific type of client.

[00:07:52] Brian: And that's the most powerful, but there's some caveats with that as well. So let's talk about the first one. We were just doing very specific service to a broad array of clients. We have no real narrowing [00:08:00] in of what kind of client we're targeting. I'm going to give you Five examples here and this is actually an order of what I believe is like worst to best worst example to best example The first one i'm i'm going to pull up here This is a very specific service But to me it doesn't really self select over who is the perfect client the perfect fit client for this and that's music mastering for my mastering engineers listening to the podcast.

[00:08:18] Brian: Yes. am poo pooing you again. So, sorry, but generally speaking Even though you are a very narrow service, you're a very specific service. there's so many of you out there and there are so many genres of music out there that it's probably not alone enough to just be a master engineer in today's age.

[00:08:34] Brian: We'll talk about how to differentiate more later in this episode, but That is a bad example of someone who is a specific service, but it's not a narrow enough service or narrow enough offer. Okay. to attract the right people to you.

[00:08:43] Brian: Next on my list, who's slightly better in this example, is Package Design. If you're a graphic designer and you offer Package Design, that's a very specific service. And it does narrow down a little bit the type of client that you would need. It would be someone with a physical product. Someone who needs a physical package that is designed.

[00:08:58] Brian: Now, what kind of package? There's a lot of [00:09:00] different physical products out there. There's a lot of different niches and sub niches and things within that whole category. So, It's still not great. That brings us to the third example service and we're getting a little bit better here and that's wedding videography.

[00:09:11] Brian: I just chose videography because we're going to talk about photography later in a second but wedding videography. If I'm a wedding videographer, then by very definition of the service that I offer, it's pretty known who I am targeting someone who's getting married. anyone who's in the wedding industry, you know that it's not all the same.

[00:09:26] Brian: There are very different types of weddings that are out there from luxury to destination to

[00:09:30] Brian: whatever other variety there are.

[00:09:31] Brian: but most people in the wedding industry that I've seen from videography to photography, that's about as niche as they get with a few exceptions.

[00:09:37] Brian: So that brings us to our fourth example. And this is where we're getting more focused on the service To where it essentially self selects the type of clients we're going to attract. And that is conversion focused web design.

[00:09:46] Brian: When you're looking for a way to differentiate and you're like a web designer. Just putting some sort of flair on it, an extra flavor, a spice to your service, your offering conversion focused web design is a differentiator. It is a way we narrow our package down in a way that makes it more [00:10:00] appealing to certain people.

[00:10:01] Brian: so if I'm a business owner or somebody who really cares about the conversion rates on my website, and I know that good design doesn't necessarily equate to high converting website, then I might be more attracted to somebody who is a conversion focused web designer.

[00:10:13] Brian: but there's still a lot of different type of industries that are interested in conversion focused web design. Web design. It could be e commerce. It could be software as a service. It could be coaches and course creators.

[00:10:23] Brian: It could be home service industries like plumbers and electricians and roofers. So it's still not perfect. And that leads me to the last example here. Something that's, To me, so specific that the service itself already kind of self selects the type of person you're targeting and that is boudoir photography.

[00:10:37] Brian: If you don't know what that is, it's essentially kind of sexy photography. It's like you dress up and just make yourself look good. And the photographer takes photos of that. And if you don't know what it is, feel free to Google it. But by very specificity of the service being offered for boudoir photographers, that is something that it essentially self selects the type of people you're going after.

[00:10:53] Brian: now there may be some boudoir photographers out there screaming at me that there are very specific small niches within the boudoir photography industry. [00:11:00] industry,

[00:11:00] Brian: but I would argue in many cases, it's already such a small niche, narrow market that if you try to narrow it even further, especially considering that most Boudoir photographers are going to be limited geographically to their area, you're narrowing an already small market, even smaller.

[00:11:14] Brian: And I don't know if the juice is worth the squeeze there, but that's an example of just niching down by service itself. Just service and nothing else. There are plenty of examples of people who have dominated just by offering this one service and not narrowing it any other way.

[00:11:28] Brian: I know many mastering engineers who offer mastering to all genres. I know many I don't know, many packages. I know that a lot of package designers who offer package designs broadly and that's what they do. And they're known for that. I've seen plenty of wedding videographers and photographers who that's, that is their niche.

[00:11:42] Brian: They don't go any narrower than that. I've seen conversion focused web designers and we worked with some and also the same with Boudoir Photographies where people that is their niche and that is it. So that's one way, is specific services to no specific type of client.

[00:11:55] Brian: Another way I've seen work for freelancers is offering a broad selection of [00:12:00] services to a very specific, small group of clients, where we're really just focusing on a specific customer or client group, and then thinking about what services can we offer To support that group to give that group what they need.

[00:12:12] Brian: And i've just got a couple examples here. I can pull some more out of I feel like we need it But one example of a broad service to a very narrow specific set of people is web design for dentists That is a pretty broad thing web design There's a lot of websites on the internet But if we narrow it down to something that's as specific as dentists Then all of a sudden we can stand out as web designers And the reason this is so effective is because if I'm a dentist and I'm looking at a bunch of web designers and I go to your site, Who does web design for dentists and all the examples are other dentists, some of which I know some of the testimonials are dentists that I know.

[00:12:45] Brian: Now I'm more interested in working with you versus someone who does websites for the local roofing companies and mom's Etsy shop and

[00:12:54] Brian: the veterinarian. I'm just making things up at this point, but you see how we were taking a broad service web design and narrowing it down to a very specific [00:13:00] area. Customer group, and that is dentists. Another way is doing kind of an all services thing. So like full service podcast production, full service music production.

[00:13:08] Brian: I've seen full service marketing for like marketing agencies where they offer a bunch of wide variety of services, but narrowing it down to a very specific type of client again. So it could be full service podcast production for thought leaders

[00:13:18] Brian: or full service music production for heavy metal bands. It's my background. where we really can specialize and really stand out from everyone else is when we narrow down to a specific service or outcome in a very specific customer group or client group.

[00:13:32] Brian: But there's a caveat with this. And we alluded to this when we talked about boudoir photographers.

[00:13:36] Brian: The smaller the market that we're working with, the higher the dollar amount has to be. So if we're working with a very small group of people, we know we're only going to get a small percentage of any given market, then the dollar per client has to be really, really high. Whereas if we're working in a really big market, we can expect to earn less per client, but overall the market's large enough for us to thrive as freelancers. So there's a sweet spot here. It's a spectrum. So if you look at something like drone videography or [00:14:00] drone photography, that's a pretty specific niche service.

[00:14:02] Brian: And you could probably get away with just offering that as a service. And we have clients who do that. But you can also narrow it down further to something like drone photography for real estate or an even more niche thing that's a little higher dollars drone photography or drone videography for construction updates.

[00:14:17] Brian: So whenever big construction projects think stadiums or high rises. When those are going on, they use drones to get construction updates to whoever they need to go to.

[00:14:26] Brian: they can see the progress being made on the building to make sure it's lining up with the expected progress. Another example of a specific service to a specific niche is Logo Design, which again, we talked about made by James on the show. He does Logo Design, but I don't believe he specializes in any specific customer group.

[00:14:43] Brian: I talked about how you can have. Examples of anybody who's thrived in any service who keeps things broad and made by James is a wonderful example of, James Martin is his name, is a wonderful example of somebody who has a massive top of funnel. He's got half a million or more followers on Instagram.

[00:14:57] Brian: As of the episode we did with him on the podcast back in, [00:15:00] I think, 2022. He had, it was getting like a thousand inquiries a year as a logo designer. And I would imagine that's up even higher now because he's multiplied his following a lot since then.

[00:15:09] Brian: So he doesn't necessarily need to go any more narrow. If anything, he can branch out whenever he's dominated a smaller niche and branch out and branch out and branch out. bigger the top of the funnel gets, but for the rest of us out there who are still trying to find our audience and find the people we're trying to go for something like logo design for funded software as a service, funded SAS or logo design for coaches or course creators, or going back to the mastering example, we're talking about mastering, just offering mastering as a service, which is a specific service. It is a very specific service, but it's also a very bloody red ocean. how can we find a industry to dominate a smaller subsect all the music genres that are out there?

[00:15:44] Brian: How can we do that? That's where we can do something like music mastering for CCM, contemporary Christian music. One of our past guests on the show, Mike Cervantes, he came on the show early 2023, he crushes it. He's like, The number one user on FilePaths, which is one of my software companies. I see how many projects and how many songs he [00:16:00] masters.

[00:16:00] Brian: He is absolutely killing it, crushing it. And he dominates the CCM market. And we actually, on one of the calls he and I had, we actually calculated the amount of songs in the CCM world being released annually. And it is phenomenal. Hundreds of times the amount he needs to succeed as a freelance master engineer.

[00:16:16] Brian: So he can really just double down and focus on that one niche, that one genre and crush it for the rest of his life.

[00:16:22] Brian: And one final example here of offering a specific service. To a specific customer group or client group would be something like the conversion focused web design. That's where you are a web designer who focuses on best practices for high converting landing pages and websites. So how can we get more leads from the site to the traffic that we're getting, taking that and pairing it with a customer group or client group who.

[00:16:42] Brian: Is really interested in that specific thing who would get a lot of that and I think one of the niches that are out there that would do really well for this is e commerce and you could probably even break it down to even a specific part of e commerce so it could just be the health and fitness e commerce world But earlier when I said, certain markets are too small, like boudoir photography. How do you target a [00:17:00] sub group of people within boudoir photography? Because it's already such a niche thing.

[00:17:03] Brian: Well, That could be the case in that specific service. There are many services that are out there that you can start narrow, but you find a small group of people that's a blue ocean where your service hasn't been saturated.

[00:17:14] Brian: And there's, it's easier to find clients in that world, even if it's a smaller market. And then you can expand from there. It's called niching out. That's what we did with the six figure home studio, the podcast. This used to be called the six figure home studio. We worked with a very specific small group of people in the recording studio world and we did 150 episodes of the six figure home studio podcast. And we got a great foothold in that market. And then we use that to launch us into kind of the general freelance market. We branched out a bit. And if we wanted to, we're not going to do this, but we could branch out to the general business niche, which I'm not going to do because that's even more saturated.

[00:17:46] Brian: So that is choosing a niche. one of the biggest parts of specialization. It is finding a specific service. For a specific client type or just a specific service that kind of naturally filters to a client, especially if it's not a super saturated market or you have some other [00:18:00] differentiator that ties in well with what you offer or taking a broad array of services like full service music production.

[00:18:06] Brian: And then offering it to a very specific group of people.

[00:18:09] Brian: And we've got a few big benefits for this. The first is when you niche down like this, it allows you to create stronger messaging. And this kind of goes back to what I said earlier, when you put yourself in your client's shoes, and they're analyzing you, why they should hire you. And they're analyzing someone else's, why they should hire them instead of you.

[00:18:22] Brian: When you're more specific, when you're the web designer for dentists and you can put all your messaging on your website about dentists and the struggles they have and the pain points they've had with other people who don't understand their niche, they don't understand the dentist industry, they understand the unique needs that you have as a dentist, suddenly that messaging resonates with me.

[00:18:37] Brian: It won't resonate with a, software as a service company. It won't resonate with the mom and pop shop down the road. It won't resonate with the roofer or the plumber, but it will resonate with a dentist very well.

[00:18:46] Brian: the type of stuff that turns someone from a stranger on your website to an actual inquiry. those of you who have a low converting website, in many cases, it's because you have very broad, fluffy language on your website that does nothing to attract [00:19:00] specific people.

[00:19:00] Brian: Because if your website does not repel people, then it is definitely not attracting people. It's this weird dichotomy. The more people you repel from your site, the more people you are going to attract into your world. And it's the law of percentages. As a freelancer, you only need a small percentage of people to become an inquiry and then a client for you.

[00:19:16] Brian: And people overestimate how many people they really need to attract in the world. So they're afraid of pushing people away on their websites. but I can tell you with full conviction that the web designer for dentists is going to attract more people because they've pushed more people away by working with dentists specifically.

[00:19:31] Brian: And God, you don't have to work with dentists to work with somebody that you have experience with. You have connection with you, care about, you want to actually help, but this is just an example. It's easy for people to understand you work with dentists. You are literally rejecting anyone who's not a dentist.

[00:19:43] Brian: And because of that, you are attracting more dentists to you, and you're getting more clients, which leads to kind of the niche benefit number two, and that is you have better connections. When you start working with the same type of client every single time, you start getting more referrals. You become the go to person for other dentists in your [00:20:00] niche.

[00:20:00] Brian: It's easier to find your, potential clients because they all hang out in the same areas. You can go to conventions or events that other dentists attend and you can become a known face in that industry.

[00:20:09] Brian: It also allows for better testimonials and case studies. When I see a testimonial from another dentist that I know, I'm more apt to work with you. And if you listened to last week's episode, you understand why that is.

[00:20:19] Brian: Niche benefit number three, by niching down, you are able to upgrade your skills and your gear. And all of your processes to perfectly match that niche. So this goes back to kind of my background as a heavy metal music producer. What things can I do to stand out from the other people who don't specialize fully in heavy metal?

[00:20:36] Brian: I know that in heavy metal and the type of music that I worked with, Guitars are dropped really low, like drop A, drop G. I know what gauge strings we need to use. I have specialized guitars, baritone guitars, seven string guitars, eight string guitars. I know the quirks and weirdness that comes with low tuning.

[00:20:52] Brian: I know I can give an Evertune bridge. And when we're doing low tunes, and I hit the strings really hard. They don't bend sharp. These are all things that as a specialist who works with [00:21:00] one specific genre of music, I know that other studios don't know that.

[00:21:04] Brian: I know as a specialist freelancer, there are certain skills that you can invest in that only your type of client cares about. The things that they value.

[00:21:12] Brian: So as photographers, a certain style or aesthetic that your clients like. As a videographer, same thing.

[00:21:17] Brian: This is actually why we chose our wedding photographer. When we were looking for wedding photographers for Meghanai's wedding, We picked our photographer because she had kind of a more moody vibe to her versus the light and airy stuff that a lot of photographers had.

[00:21:28] Brian: We chose that. That's the thing that we value, the thing that we wanted. and our photos turned out amazing.

[00:21:32] Brian: With Ryan Corle, we've had on the show he has the Grow Your Video Business podcast. All he's able to create a unique storytelling angle that he works with his clients on. So he works with people like lawyers who really care about the brand and the, way they're perceived.

[00:21:44] Brian: so the type of workshop he's created and the scripts he creates for the videos are unique to the types of clients that he serves.

[00:21:50] Brian: those are some of the benefits of niching down, but that's not the only way to specialize. You don't have to just specialize by niche. There's a couple other ways that are worth mentioning here. They're not, definitely not as in depth, as in detail, [00:22:00] and usually not as quite as beneficial as what I just talked about there.

[00:22:02] Brian: but one way of standing out and specializing is by standing for something a good example. This is Michael Woods episode 209 He was heavily involved and heavily targeted all his messaging was around the LGBT community

[00:22:14] Brian: so when you just look at it through the lens of Standing for something as a freelancer, and I'm a potential client analyzing you versus all the other people. Why would I ever choose these vanilla freelancers around me who who have really stand for nothing when I can choose this person who perfectly stands for something that I really aligned with something that I really care about.

[00:22:30] Brian: And that can go for a lot of different things. black rifle coffee scans for something very specific. Their messaging and everything that they do is very specific and it pushes a lot of people away. It also attracts a lot of people.

[00:22:40] Brian: They are not trying to appeal to everyone. So love them or hate them. They are not trying to build everyone. They attract a very specific type of person.

[00:22:46] Brian: But one final way to specialize that I think is something often overlooked is creating a more appealing offer. This is a form of specialization. I'm going to give you of examples here.

[00:22:55] Brian: The first is if you're offering something that's nice to have versus need to have. an easy [00:23:00] example is a wedding photographer versus a photographer doing a couple of shoots. We've had a wedding photographer, we've actually hired recently a photographer who did a couple of shoots.

[00:23:09] Brian: Both were wonderful. But if you look at which one is a nice to have and which ones a need to have, It's easy to understand the photographer for weddings is a need to have no one that I have ever seen We'll get married without a photographer there I'm sure it happens, but it's like 0. 1 percent whereas I know many couples who have never done couples shoots so by simply taking your service and Flipping it to something that people actually need versus something that they might want one day can be a great way of creating a more appealing offer to people,

[00:23:35] Brian: but if you have a nice to have offer like couples photography or family photography where it's something that people might hire one day they're waiting for something and there's like some roadblocks in the way or they just didn't think about it. A great case study of this is yearbook club by Anna May Tonkin.

[00:23:48] Brian: We had her on the show. Back in the backlog somewhere back there

[00:23:51] Brian: way back in episode 223. And then we, uh, put her on a replay on 276 because it was a good episode.

[00:23:56] Brian: But she took her nice to have service of family photography, [00:24:00] where, sometimes I'll remember that I need to get photos of my kids for this year. But then I go a couple of years cause I forgot things got busy in my life. Automate created the yearbook club and the yearbook club is a recurring subscription photography service where she turns a nice to have into an automatic customer and automatic customers are the best type of customers because you don't have to go find them again.

[00:24:18] Brian: And the way she did it it was a flat yearly fee charged monthly. So she has a good stable month to month income. at least when she was on the show, she was making over six figures a year just from the yearbook club. On top of her one off services that she still did and what it allowed for is believe it was like two big sessions every year spring and fall and they got the first to schedule and they got reminders and she would make sure they're actually utilizing it and it wasn't just like a zombie client but the reason I love that example so much is because it's a wonderful example of It's not how it's done in my industry.

[00:24:46] Brian: in family photography, there's no way to do a subscription service for that. she proved it wrong. Just because everyone in her industry does it a certain way, doesn't mean that she has to do it a certain way. Another example. This is my wife. were recently testing something out. If you don't know my wife, she goes by Meg's Tea Room [00:25:00] on TikTok.

[00:25:00] Brian: She does cozy fantasy stuff. She's like in the book niche on TikTok. And so her business model is she gets a lot of followers. Then she creates sponsored posts and she gets paid usually by post.

[00:25:10] Brian: And the standard is you just charge for per post as a influencer for lack of a better word.

[00:25:15] Brian: And I challenged her to create something, what I call the partnership package. And the partnership package is, it's a package of services. I think what she pitched was a three month thing, and it was many, many multiples of what a normal one post would be,

[00:25:29] Brian: and she had great reasoning for it. I'm not going to go into all the details here, but it's essentially, it 5x'd the value of the client. they bit, they took it, and they paid her what is now her biggest single batch of income for any client that she's had.

[00:25:40] Brian: And this proves something that I think most freelancers don't understand, and that is Most clients don't even know what they want until they're presented with an offer something that's appealing to them and for this Client this was a software brand that was sponsoring my wife or something They thought they wanted a post but she said no.

[00:25:55] Brian: No, you don't want just a single post What you want is this really cool offer where I [00:26:00] do? All these different things, all these different touch points talked about the rule of seven where people need to see the brand seven times before they really understand it, know it and remember it.

[00:26:08] Brian: Or with Anna Mae Tonkin where people think I just need photos of my kids this year. And she says, no, no, no, you don't need your photos of your kid this year. You to document and never miss a moment. Every year, twice a year, getting new updated photos of your family so that you can look back for every season of your child's life and miss no moment.

[00:26:24] Brian: So just because your industry doesn't do it a certain way, doesn't mean you don't at least try try to break away from the norm. And kind of an added benefit of this is something called pricing confusion. When you are simply pricing your services exactly the same way as all the other clients that are out there or all the other competitors that are out there, Clients don't have any problem comparing the two. This photographer is 250 for a session. This photographer is 300 for a session. They look about the same to me. I'm going to choose the cheaper one. But what do you do when someone has a unique offer and they charge annually, but I get more for it, Increases the lifetime value of the customer or the package pricing that partnership package that my wife put together It [00:27:00] is not an apples to apples comparison. They got so much They can't just break it down to a generic cost per post that most influencers charge by There is no more apples to apples.

[00:27:08] Brian: It's now apples to oranges. And when you have apples to oranges, it creates something called pricing confusion. And now price is not the main differentiator. It is which one of these two things is getting me closer to what I desire as the client, as the customer. going back to what I said earlier this episode, you've got to flip it around.

[00:27:23] Brian: Does it matter that you want to earn more money from your creative skills without selling your soul? It doesn't matter. They don't care about that. What they care about is how do I get what I want as a potential client? are you the right person to get me that?

[00:27:34] Brian: think I'm going to wrap here. I had some stuff I want to talk about with something called Goldilocks pricing, but maybe I'll just break that off and not make it part of the series because it is a differentiator, but I think Goldilocks pricing is just a concept that needs to stand alone and not part of the series.

[00:27:46] Brian: So maybe we'll talk about that in a future episode. But I hope you enjoyed this series. This is one of those damn impossible series to do because this is not what anyone wants, but this is what you need. So if you made it to the end of this series, you're one of the smart ones.

[00:27:56] Brian: You're the smaller percentage of people that make it to the end of a series. Even though it's not what you [00:28:00] want, it's what you need. And differentiators are the thing that will make or break you as a freelancer.

[00:28:04] Brian: Just a reminder, if you are working in a vacuum. You have no idea how this all pertains to you, which pricing, which packaging, which way to differentiate, which niche to go into. Even if you're beating your head against the wall, just even trying to select a niche, I implore you to apply, to work with us for coaching.

[00:28:19] Brian: If this is something that you need help with we'll work with you one on one to create a full roadmap. We will pitch the roadmap to you of all the things that we will do to fix your business, including niching down all the marketing channels we need to do. Basically all your client acquisition machine presented to you in a pitch.

[00:28:32] Brian: And if you accept it, we will work together. If you reject it, we will part ways. No skin off your back. And then we'll work with you to implement that plan until you get an ROI on our time together. If you never get an ROI, then we will coach you for free until you do.

[00:28:44] Brian: All you gotta do is go to sixfigurecreative. com slash coaching to apply. That's it. Super easy. And we'll take it from there. So that is it for this episode and this series. Hopefully you liked it. I'm looking forward to kind of a fresh slate, no more series for a while. Maybe some two parters. That's about it. But, uh, yeah, thanks for listening and go buy the book, [00:29:00] Outlive. That's the one thing if you're over 30, if you're under 30, you won't care. Over 30, you'll care. that's all. Thanks so much for listening to the Six Figure Creative Podcast.

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