6 Figure Creative Icon

The 4 BEST Ways To Become More Valuable To Your Clients (So You Can Charge More) | Takeaways From $100 Million Offers

I'm super excited to share this with you today because this is the stuff that really moves the needle in your business.
This is how you can charge more without losing clients or getting rejected.
This is how you make your clients SO happy that they refer all their friends to you.
This is how you become more attractive to your “dream clients”.
And this framework comes from a business owner earning over $100,000,000 per year… so you know this stuff works.
Today's episode breaks down the 4 BEST ways to become more valuable, and if you get this right, you'll completely transform how you show up to clients.
99% of the freelancers I know neglect all 4 of these areas to their own detriment. As a result, they're losing gigs to their competitors, they get constant pushback on pricing, and they're not generating nearly enough referrals to keep their calendars full.
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • Focusing on the end goal, not the short term
  • The value exchange
  • The importance of social proof and perceived likelihood of achievement
  • How to close bigger deals
  • How time delay affects pricing and client acquisition
  • The expert wins: why experts get the job 9 times out of 10
  • Why adding friction is a recipe for losing clients

The value equation discussed on the podcast

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[00:00:00] Welcome back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I'm your host Brian Hood. I'm here with my substitute podcast. Co-host again for the first time since early June, mark Ecker. How you doing my dude,

I'm here. I'm sexy. I'm ready to make a podcast. What's up, Brian?

man? I am. Uh, I'm also ready if this is your first time listening to us, by the way, I I've started doing this mark just to, to kind of hook people in that are new listeners. If this is your first time listening

to us, our podcast is all about trying to earn more without selling your soul. I I've kind of landed on that tagline.

What do you think mark,

earn more as a creative, without selling your soul and also without just wait, waiting around for life to happen to you being intentional about what you're doing with your, your creative pursuits. What do you


Are you saying that I'm responsible for my own career, Brian, because I would agree. I

No, you just, it gets handed to you and then you just wait around and, and clients find you magically

You're trying to tell me, I'm not just gonna wake up one day and then make it, are you saying that, Bri? Are you saying that? I think you're saying it.


what, what is this bit you're doing? I don't like it.[00:01:00]

I don't know. You like it. You, you laughed. That

I, I miss having someone on to just realtime feedback, cuz like I've been doing a lot of guests lately, which is why you haven't been on the show also. You've been going through like crisis yourself a little bit with like business crisis after.

No, I'm not like your, the ships going down, but it's not. It's just like

No, it's it's good. It's just, when you, when you invest, like well, over a hundred grand into like a new tech platform, it's it's gonna be uh, you know, things will go wrong and then they'll go. Right. And that's okay.

Yes. Yes. Yes. But going back to your question, I've been good, man. This is this, I was trying the new podcast intro and it got dragged out and I've just doing it with a cohost is a lot different than doing a, a pre intro by myself before I guessed. But yeah. Going back to what you asked me before, how I'm doing, I've been very good.

I have been uh, doing a lot of interviews lately and we we were talking about this off, air a little bit, didn't get to go into the details of it. I just booked me and my wife just booked one way flights buy And we are looking forward to doing some, some digital nomad life.

Have you have, have you done the digital nomad life thing


Yeah. Back

in, back in 2017, I did [00:02:00] um, Shera. Well, wife and I were, were thinking of doing that in, I maybe like next year or something we talked about potentially Croatia. I think that would be dope.

We were there in September and it was absolutely gorgeous. And there was

it seems great,

some billionaires yacht who I think it's actually been impounded now, cuz it was a Russian billionaire and all their Russian billionaires yachts have been impounded at this point,

oh my

been seized as property, you know, holding it

Well, I remember like years and years ago when I was like uh, you young lad approaching uh, freelance life. I read of nonconformity by Chris Gallow

never read it, but it sounds like a book I'd probably be.

yeah, he, he was great. He's traveled to every single country in the world before age 35. And he

That's I remember that. That's why I'd heard about him originally was that whole travel. Like, I feel like that's an at, at certain point you lose the joy of travel when you're just trying to hit all the damn countries. Like, no matter what, but you know what very few people can say they can, they've done that.

Yeah. I mean, I, I definitely like just comfy in the country, but yeah, definitely got obsessed uh, with, traveling for a while. I mean, I still am, but yeah,

yeah, the [00:03:00] interesting thing is, man, like I've been running a budget for this and like in a very expensive city here in Nashville. So like our, just food alone, we spend a lot of money on just groceries on restaurants, eating out and just like other frivolous things like ordering things on Amazon on a.

And so like if we actually take away those things, a lot of the like frivolous spending we do here in Nashville, just existing in Bali, is actually cheaper than existing in Nashville. So we actually save money while we're over there. our flights cost me like 44 bucks because I use chase rewards, ultimate rewards points that I've been saving up for our flights over there.

So I didn't, we didn't actually have to spend really any money on our flights over there. So I obviously I'll update this as this happens, cuz it's gonna be about a month, and a half from now, from the time we record this episode before I'm out there. I'm really looking forward to it cuz I, I just need to shake up in my life as far as routine

Well, LA last thing before we get into, like the main topic of the episode is

oh yeah, we do talk about stuff other than

other than

Yes. Yes. But, but I have put literally all and I mean, all of my spent expenses, both personal business, everything on my chase, Sapphire, and it's been [00:04:00] great because I'm just racking. Like, I don't even know the next time I'm gonna have to like, for a flight, which is really, that's really nice.

That's a cool hack.

to continue on that thread. I actually just got two new, two new Amex, gold cards, one for business, one for personal, I got 'em the same day. And they had like a total of 200,000 Amex points as like a bonus for signing up. So once I hit minimum spend on those, which will be probably next month, I will have another 200 K in points to spend on like hotels and other things while we're down there.

So like, again, I will likely not have to pay for any flights or hotels for the entirety of our trip.

what's funny is like, you the stuff is like available to every, like it's, it's just, when you kind of learn about like how to. just which credit cards to get and like, which to put your expenses on.

and then also being Smart with your, with your money. Cuz like grew up in like Dave Ramsey world. Dave Ramsey would never be like the guy who's like, I went to B on miles, you know because my credit card he's like he's, if he were dead, he'd be rolling in his grave right now.

Just [00:05:00] talking about the strategy of that. But pay off my balance every month. So I'm not like in massive debt here doing this stuff, but anyways, yeah, I I'll talk about it more and, but there's plenty of people online to learn from. And like once you watch one YouTube video on like credit card miles and which cards to use and how to use 'em and how to get the most points for your for your miles.

Like once you watch one video, YouTube starts recommending tons of them to you. So it's like really easy to get, become an expert in that in like


They're just giving flights away, dude.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, let's, let's dive in an episode today, man, cuz I uh, I don't think much of our audience is gonna care about what we're talking about right now, but this next topic might actually be helpful for you.

We're gonna talk about something we're gonna take. Absolutely no credit for this topic. gonna be reiterating something that's been talked about by someone else's a, a, framework that was created by an author and just, guess now internet famous person, Alex or mosey, he came up with something called the value equation, and we're gonna be referencing a specific image, which, is the actual, like illustration of this image that he uses that he created.

go to our show notes@sixfigurecreative.com slash two, [00:06:00] three, that's the show notes page for this, we'll have that image like front and center. So you can see what we're referencing here. If you're on YouTube, you'll see the screen share in a second, but otherwise you're not gonna have a clue what we're talking about here, but this value equation is this really, really, really cool thing that he created that I think is a, a good lens for us to look at our own businesses at because it's four parts and we can do things to impact all four parts of the equation.

And the better each of these four parts are in our businesses. The more healthy we are as business owners and as freelancers the predominant part of our audience as freelancers We never think about these things, especially like the last two we're gonna talk about. So there's four things we're gonna talk about in this equation , but anyways, let me, let me bring this up on for screen share for anyone who's watching on YouTube right now.

Shout out to our YouTube viewers. This is the value equation, Alex Shamo by the way, is someone who has, he's got the book, a hundred million offers. That's where this illustration comes from and the whole premise of this guy is he has like, he gives away everything for free. He has like a course for a hundred million offers he has for free.

You don't even have to opt into it.[00:07:00] think you can get to that by going to acquisition.com. he's like one of the most successful people I follow in the, online business space. I dunno about you mark. But like, as far as people that's putting out real content from the, the trenches of like running big business.

And I try to just distill it down to what makes sense for me and my businesses. And then anything that trickles down to like what freelancers are doing. I obviously wanna bring to you guys. And I think that this, this value equation is it again, go to our show notes. If you're listening on the podcast right now, you need a visual or looking at here, So I'm gonna start at the top of this equation.

There's something called the dream outcome and we wanna get that number, basically that multiple as high as we can multiplied times the perceived likelihood of achievement. We, we wanna get that number as high as possible. And then the bottom of the equation, we're trying to get these numbers as low as possible.

What's the time delay towards whatever we're providing people and what's the effort and sacrifice for what they're going to have to do in order to get what they're trying to get from you. Now, this sounds very heady right now, but we're gonna give some specific examples right here. Um, I wanna start with dream outcome, mark.

This is, we were talking off air. We talked for probably [00:08:00] like 20 minutes about this whole concept and how it applies to our own businesses and how it applies to our a. But dream outcome is one of those areas that I think most people fail miserably in the freelance community at thinking about specific thing and how it pertains to their business.

And what I mean is like, if you're a freelancer, there's different levels to what you, you provide. a specific example is like, if you're a photographer and you provide headshots, for you, you're looking at this number you're saying, oh, I provide headshots. that's my dream outcome.

And unfortunately, that's not the reality of, of the situation. Like the dream outcome that they have is they're trying to, they're trying to feed their egos and look as professional as possible, or they're trying to appear as professional as possible so they can get hired somewhere or so that they can sell more courses.

If you're doing photography for like course creators or so they can get more clients and show up as more professional. That's their dream outcome. And you're just a small cog in the. Going to something like wedding photography or wedding videography, the dream outcome is like capturing every special moment of the event.

This like biggest [00:09:00] moment in your life, Your dream outcome is making sure you don't miss a single moment. Going back to our audio world, me and mark come from a music production background. A lot of cases, our world is abysmal at this. When we look at dream outcome of what, we're, what we're providing our, clients, we're like, we'll make your song sound good,

No. Great, Brian it'll sound great.

great. We'll make it sound great. Or, or like a master engineer we'll make your song sound like just a little bit louder than it was before. Maybe a little bit more clear it's not really thinking about the next step so that, what, what are they trying to achieve beyond the actual deliverable that you're giving them?

And this is, we've talked about this. I've beating this horse to death on the podcast, but as freelancers as creatives, we do not sell services. We sell outcomes. We are providing an outcome to people. And when we talk about the dream outcome, this part of the equation right here, I would highly encourage anyone to think one to two to three steps ahead of what it is that you're doing, because whatever it is we provide as freelancers as creatives, it is usually a means to an end.

we provide services so that they can, the business can be more [00:10:00] profitable in some cases for other people it's so that I can self actualize so that I can finally have this big goal that I've always wanted to do. I've always wanted to put out an album, have no professional aspirations, but I've want, I wanted to pass this from generation to generation, to my friends and family, or I wanted to look big and impressive to my friends because I need to feed my ego.

That's the dream outcome for a lot of people. And the better you get at understanding that the better you're gonna be at selling at marketing, at getting clients at attracting people to you. And I've been talking for like 30 minutes here. So mark, take it from here on this, cuz I, feel like you have a lot to add and I have not been giving you the chance to talk today.

So I

Yeah. Like what, what the hell man? You know, I'm I'm here. I show up on time. No, I'm kidding. Um, yeah, no.

it's been like two months, man. You gotta earn your spot back, man. Come on.

stop it, you stop it. No, I mean, so I think the, the big thing is if you are a freelancer, typically you're, you're really good at one craft. That's kind of what's going on. So, you know, if you're a wedding photographer, you're a [00:11:00] photographer and you've decided that you like working with wedding clients, like people who are getting married you are know, going back to the audio world, if you like making music uh, you don't really wanna be an artist, you would be a producer or you know, something else.

And so you like putting the music together, so that that's kind of what you decide to be. Well, the thing is value. Like if you think about the idea of value, what is that? It is just an exchange you get something for money and That is the exchange that kind of, that happens.

Right? So you're going to pay somebody to do something for you. You're gonna get this end product. That's the value exchange and you should be happy. Well, if you're a freelancer, you're really just one step that entire process. And you know, I'll, I'll go back to the audio world real quick. If I'm an artist, I want to have a kick ass song out.

I wanna have a lot of streams. I want people to know my name in the streets. Well, okay. I need [00:12:00] to write the song. I need to record it. I need it produced. I need it mixed. I need it mastered. I need a great PR campaign. I need connections in the streaming world, and then I needed a whole process to make everything happen smoothly.

If I'm getting married. need a photographer. I need somebody who makes the cake. I need the band, I need the wedding venue. I need all of these different things. And all of that comes together to create the dream outcome. So really you're gonna spend your entire life becoming obsessed with the craft and being the best at it.

And then you need to humble yourself to realize that you're just part of the pie. So you always have to have that in mind when talking to a client is knowing your place. Now, what is great for this sort of thing? And we can talk about the other parts of this equation, but how could you make it easier?

Could you fulfill other parts that kind of help create that? outcome [00:13:00] the more we can do, and the more you understand your place in that overall vision, that the client has, the more value you have. So that, that kind of relates to the, the dream outcome. Brian, would you, does that

Yeah. There's well on, on episode 206, we had Ryan coral on and he did, does video production for corporate clients. One of the things he asks his clients when he's talking to them is, do you already have the process dialed in of what you're trying to do? And you just need a butt in the seat in order to accomplish this thing, or do you have no idea what you want?

No idea what you need and you need a partner to help you put the entire thing, the entire project together, the clients who just need a button, the seat, that's not his client, the clients who need the entire project mapped out and planned out and dreamed up and how it ties back to the big picture goal.

That's where he fits into the, equation there. And that's where he has to help them come up with the dream outcome and how it ties back to their business. So that is a really good example. If you go back to that listen list in the episode, I'd encourage anyone here to listen to it. That is a really good example of [00:14:00] understanding the bigger picture and how your small piece of the pie plays into the, dream outcome of your client.

In the case of the corporate client, they want more profit. So everything about the video project has to lend to that.

even if you provide a single service and you think you're talking to one, you know, audience persona, the, the person that you would like to work with, even they may have different dream outcomes. I. If I'm producing and I'm working with an a and R like an a and R gets me on the gig for a major label project.

Well, their entire thing is they need to appease whoever is above them, because it, it needs to be, you know, pretty little risk. The artist needs to be excited. It needs to just be a smooth scenario. It's all

So it's, it's almost funny. It's funny that in your case, the dream outcome is to just look as good as possible as

exa well,

exactly ex exactly. But you know, on the other side, if somebody is working a nine to five at a bank and they just wanna make a record, they don't care about necessarily becoming a star. [00:15:00] Like their whole thing is like creative tourism. Like they need a break from like the rest of their life. They just want to feel like they're part of the musical process.

So it's not. You being a Dick and getting like the right cut and like just really pushing them. They just want to be a part of the process. And I think that's part of like learning studio etiquette. I know, again, I'm really talking like audio stuff, but it could be the same for a wedding photographer versus, you buddy Colin, who just did a gig uh, with Adidas, different dream outcomes.

Even if you think you have one kind of client.

Yeah. And I think this is a, the way, like people who really think about this dream outcome thing, these are the people that accidentally fall into an agency. They start to accidentally build an agency up. This is a lot less common in the, in the music world, but way more common in video photography in some of these other creative worlds where they start actually creating agencies, marketing agencies because they start to think of all the pieces of the pie that need to be provided in order to get the dream outcome.

You realize that for that business, that once the [00:16:00] video done, they actually need a copywriter. They need a videographer, they need a project manager, they need they need somebody to run Facebook ads. They need somebody to create all of the graphics for that, a graphic designer for that.

So now they've all of a sudden created this partnership of all these people and accidentally created an agency. And, uh, actually I believe James Martin, who was on episode 204 the logo designer. He actually, I think that's how his agency was created, was all these people kind of came together to start providing all these different services for one big project.

And the value for all of their services put together into one project was much more valuable than all their services by themselves. So if you are incapable of providing this dream outcome to your clients, by yourself, going back to the music world, cause that's what me and mark know really well.

If you don't understand the next steps after the release, what happens? How do you get streams? How do you get signed? How do you tour? How do you do all the things that that musicians want to do after the song is done? Lot of times you can start to find partners to help with this. And this is all [00:17:00] part of helping your client get this dream outcome.

The, the better you are at this, the more value is gonna come out. The other side of this equation, I'm moving my mouse around. For those of you watching on YouTube, you'll see this. If you're listening to the podcast, higher dream outcome means more value in almost every single case.

Yep. And um, just as an example, you know, understanding kind of like the next steps, what I would do a lot of my production clients is the fee would actually include a PR campaign. So I had a good friend of mine. Who's a great PR agent mainly in, in playlisting. But she's one of the few PR agents that I don't think is full of shit, she actually works really hard.

And I, you know, was like, Hey, how much are you spending on marketing to, you new clients? And, and she kind of told me, and I was like, well, let's figure out a deal where I can. pay at cost, essentially, you, you know, you'll have some profit, but like it's included in my fee. so every client that I get you're getting as well.

And so it became part of this package and it was cheaper than buying it separate. So that was a [00:18:00] way that I could help the next step, for the artist. Um, and we provided mixing and mastering included. So you try to do as much as you can if you just wanna stay in your lane, that's totally cool too.

It just depends where you're


When I look at, when I look at trying to help someone with a dream outcome, there's like two things. There's a third, but I can't remember the third, but there's two things. There's people. And there's process. you don't know how to do it yourself, you go to people, you find the people that can't help you with it.

If you are open to it. You can learn the process yourself. And there's so many resources out there to learn every conceivable skill and thing out there. Like every spent so much money on courses, on coaching myself to learn skills that I need in order to provide more value to my own people, my own customers, my own clients.

And if you're unwilling to do that, because you are only focused on the art, you're gonna struggle because someone out there is focused on the art on these active creation and being a creative and the business behind it and helping their clients succeed because there are selfish freelancers out there that only care about how do I monetize my [00:19:00] passion of, of freelancing, of, of graphic design.

How do I monetize my passion of music production? How do I monetize my passion of, you know, insert your videography graphic, whatever it is that you do, how do I monetize my passion? That's that's one approach. It's the less successful approach. The more successful people are out there thinking I have this gift and I can use it to help others. I can use it to help someone accomplish a goal. do, what else do I need to learn or do, or who I need to partner with in order to get that person closer to the goal, to help someone get exactly what they want. If that's your approach, you're gonna be much more successful. If that's not your approach, you're gonna get cleaned out by those who are using that approach.

Um, on here, that's the dream outcome. That's only one part of the equation. We still got three more parts of this equation before we're done here. And that's why this is so powerful dream outcome. So we already talked about that. Next on the is it's multiplied by the perceived likelihood of achievement.

It is one thing to promise someone, the world with a dream outcome. It is another thing to actually help them get that. So mark, we can't just go put on our websites, [00:20:00] like get 10,000 fans guaranteed, right? we

what are you talking about you, dude? I guess your business

We don't have,


don't have the results to show for that.

Or like, let's just say a million fans guaranteed, cuz that's a little more ridiculous. The perceived likelihood of achievement is just really low for that 10,000 actually probably isn't that far off, but 10 million is way out of line. So we can't just pump up our dream outcome and talk about that. We have to make it to where it's believable, achievable.

And we also have to have something to back at. So when we're talking about perceived likelihood of achievement, we want that to be as high as possible. We want them to, look at what we're offering them and think that is something I could achieve. That is something that is realistic in, my world. And I know this because I'm looking at their portfolio, your portfolio, you freelancer, I'm looking at your success stories, your testimonials, your case studies.

I'm looking at your past clients and I'm seeing that all of this adds up all this means that hire. I feel pretty good about my chances of getting what you're promising that perceived likelihood of achievement is really high. And so many freelancers and [00:21:00] creatives are missing that piece of the puzzle.

Something that's proving that you can help them actually achieve what you're saying. You can help them achieve.

and just to give a really, really fantastic example about like how powerful a perceived likelihood of achieve. Plus the idea of dream outcome is is getting signed by a major label or a publisher, like a major. We won't go into publishing, cuz that's so confusing, but like a major label, people getting signed by universal or Warner.

A lot of these deals are terrible. You're never gonna get out of them. Like you're never gonna pay it back. It is so built


I've have you, have you seen major label deals before? Cuz I've, I've looked over some before and are almost always just absolute dog.

I'll tell you stories off air,

but uh,

Okay. So what's your point with

the whole thing is people are willing to literally give up anything, they don't care what happens just because the perceived likelihood of achievement on being signed [00:22:00] and the dream outcome, they're just dotted line I'll sign, whatever it takes.



They're literally selling their souls and signing that away because the perceived likelihood of achievement, at least in their eyes is so

Yeah. Even though we know

yeah, yeah,

for every one artist that blows up, there's a thousand that got shelved that you've never heard of. Anyways,

yeah, that's how powerful that


yeah. So there's, there's something else with this that I think um, going back to the episode with Ryan coral on episode 206, did something that was, I think, B. He's doing like 50 to a hundred thousand dollars video projects, which I think is, is impressive. And he offers a full refund guarantee, which helps with the likelihood of achievement that a guarantee is something that, help with this because they, feel like they can back out.

If you, if you can't get them to the, the thing you, you promised, then you're gonna get your money back. The way he does it though, I think is brilliant. And if you haven't listened to this episode, mark, I think you should go back and listen to it. I don't know if you listen to this podcast outside of [00:23:00] being on it occasionally,


I try to avoid you

at all costs,


I don't find me.

He's like, when I'm not on camera with you, I don't wanna see your face. I don't wanna hear your voice. Not pretending that we don't talk on the phone all the time.

I know Brian's my therapist.

yeah. Here's what here's what Ryan does. And this is why he can offer refund guarantee.

He doesn't offer the refund guarantee on the 50 to a hundred thousand dollars project. What he does is he sells them a $2,000, like half day workshop. And so this is what he does with his clients. this is what I talk about earlier, where they're like, do you wanna button the seat?

Or do you need the entire project planned out top to bottom? Do you need entire everything put together like this big package put together and planned out and figured out what he does is they do all of that planning in a paid $2,000, half day workshop, where he gets in there with all of the stakeholders for the project, they talk through it using his pro Ryan's process.

And then they have this, this plan done and he says, okay, are you happy with this plan? If not, I will either keep working for free or I'll refund your money. Okay, great. You're [00:24:00] happy with it. All right. Now that we have this plan, you can either take this plan to someone else. And have them actually create it, or we can do it for X amount of dollars.

And Ryan said that he has never lost a project this way, no refunds, and no one has ever else has ever been hired. He sells them on the $2,000 half day workshop. First they plan it all out. They love the plan. They love Ryan. They love the experience that he's put together so far. And then he sells 'em on the 50 to a hundred thousand dollars full video production package that is likelihood of achievement, thumbs up.

That is a high perceived likelihood of achievement because he could help them craft the plan. They have their own hands in the plan because they're there while he creates it. And have no risk up until that point because they're $2,000 can be refunded if they're not happy with it. And if they love the plan, they can move forward with it.

So like, this is one of the most clever ways I've heard in a long time, I think for closing these bigger projects with very little risk either side. So you haven't heard that episode. What do you think of that? That process.

No, I think it's [00:25:00] genius. I mean, honestly, for like a lot of enterprise, like big sort of deals what I've kind of noticed just to give some background of audience that doesn't know, I run a company called that pitch.com. We license music for a bunch of artists and producers. We work with like these big companies and it takes a lot of trust for, you know, it could be an Adidas ad.

It could be a music licensing company that needs music from us and it takes a lot of time. So we've done kind of a similar thing where we'll kind of do a batch of songs with them. it's like, no pressure, don't worry about it. And if it works great here, you can sign on an annual contract. You're only working with us, you're getting all of the music through us.

And like, I've never had somebody say no, like once we prove ourselves, they're like, oh, why wouldn't we do this? You really, really love how he has it more systemized, whereas I'm kind of just like, sort of figuring out I

love that. That's really


Well, increase the perceived likelihood of achievement. It also comes down to just any conversation you have with them. they feel like they can trust [00:26:00] you if you actually go back to episode 200?

Oh, you are 200 episode mark. talked about the

I remember

topics to cover with every client before the sale. It was basically like, here's the seven things you need to talk about before every sale. doesn't matter if you're doing like 50,000 hundred thousand dollars projects, doesn't matter if you're just meeting somebody for coffee for a quick chat before you, you talk numbers, like these are the seven things you need to talk about for every project and.

If you talk through those things, not only does it help you understand whether or not they're the right fit for you, which is a very important part of the equation, it helps 'em understand if you're the right fit for them. And it increases the perceived likelihood of achievement because you've covered all the bases.

Those seven steps are those seven key topics are a huge part of building trust and credibility. don't have to sell a half day, $2,000 workshop before you even begin. It can just be a quick chat. It can be a zoom conversation. It can be a coffee meeting, any of those things, all of these things add up with your testimonials, with your case studies, with your great portfolio, with the copy you wrote for your website to impress people and per persuade people that you're the right fit that with a, a good sales process or [00:27:00] a good sales conversation can go a long way with increasing perceived likelihood of achievement.

Anything else to, to get this, this number up on perceived likelihood of achievement,


Yeah, I mean, it, it's really important that you're not the only one, talking about yourself and your work that could be hard starting out, but once you have like some momentum in your career, in my opinion, it's extremely important to figure out ways where people are more incentivized to talk about what you're doing.

Um, It also takes the load off for marketing. Just in, in my opinion, I don't like to be the only one selling what we do at that pitch. Like, I, I want our own members saying like, no, it's, it's working for me. Like I'm landing sink placements. This is a thing. So perceived likelihood of achieve.

In a way part of it can kind of be cut into how can you, incentivize word of mouth, because if they're hearing it from somebody with no vested interest and they're just genuinely [00:28:00] saying, yo, this is, this is great. They're good people. no reason

not to trust.

You know what I'm

reputation is one of the highest, the highest multipliers for this perceived



something we just did is like, you know uh, you know, Spotify, like Spotify

wrapped, like

of 'em. Is that a, is that

this, no, no, the Spotify wrapped thing that happens every year where like people share, this is the

music I'm listening


yeah, I mean, I see it all over my feed where it's like, don't necessarily care that you listen to 44,000 minutes of trap beats.

Right, but that was one of their biggest growth periods when they launched that it was massive for that company. because it's just showing like, Hey, all of my friends are here. They all trust it. They all like it. And it was massive for Spotify growing. So yeah, it's just, how can you have people share about you?

I think is a really important


right. Let's move to the bottom of the equation. This a little different where we have two numbers that are multiply with each other, but we actually want these numbers to be as low as possible because they get divided into the top numbers. It's an equation. Yay. Doesn't really [00:29:00] matter.

Like, if you understand the math behind this, because it's, kind of a BS equation, but it it's hopefully getting your brain turning of like, where are the weak points of my business? What am I missing in these four numbers here? We're trying to get these two things as low as possible.

We're trying to get time, delay and effort and sacrifice as low as possible. Let's talk about the first time delay. There's a number of ways this, works and it works different for every business, but generally time delay is how long does it take, at least in our world, in the freelance world. How long does it take to get the thing I'm paying you for wedding photographers, wedding videographers.

They are notoriously bad about turnaround times. Like how long it take did you get for

your, uh,

about a, about a year. About a year.


that was


Dude, Steph Sorenson, shout out to


girl. got us, our photos back. And like had like little fun test photos, like the night of, but we had

all of them

Yeah, we had

a a win a week or two, it was like a really good turnaround. But time delay is a huge part of this cuz like a certain point where it's different for every person. So we're not gonna give blanket advice here, but there's a certain point in turnaround time where people just give up they're just [00:30:00] like, I don't care when I get these back at this point, I now hate you and you probably hit that point somewhere around month, three or four with your wedding photographer.

really what it comes down to like with time delay and we'll, we'll talk about effort and sacrifice, but time delay, this sort of section of the equation is about how you're fulfilling the work, how you're getting it done. So the dream outcome and perceived likelihood of achievement is what you

can market.



It's about promises, big promises, big,

big promise. I will make you a billion dollars guaranteed. Just come on down old. My shitty blog.

Yeah. But like, once you're on this side of the equation, it's like, okay, you're actually doing the work now in a, in a way. So the, the time delay it's like, yeah, she was great. She was super cool. Really nice. Uh, Everything went great. Like the, photos were, were awesome.

By the time we got it, like, why are we sharing. great, but it's just like, it would've made a lot more sense the month of

yeah. we we were still on our honeymoon when we got our

photos back.

Yeah. It's like, we got some test photos. [00:31:00] Great. But it's like, it took for, so if I, and this again goes to you, when people talk about you in building reputation, it's like, oh, I will say all the, yeah, she was great.

She did a great job. She was super cool. Had a great time. It took forever

for us to get our photos.

And this also goes to like the little interactions, like how fast do you get back on emails? Like you don't need to reply back in, minutes, but like within 24 hours is like a reasonable time to expect to hear back from someone. the real thing that time delay is for is you are res solely responsible for this dream outcome, what's the time delay before they get the, get that outcome.

Or in some cases like I have two software companies. So I'll give one example for, file pass. How long is the time delay before they have their first big, quick win in which in, in our case, it's when a payment comes through and the file gets released automatically without being there. a magical moment.

So how long does it take for them to get in our software and have that magical moment? That's the time delay between. Maybe not the, the dream outcome, but a portion of the dream outcome, just a quick win, a taste of the dream outcome for tho. [00:32:00] for those of you who have like an ongoing project with someone where it's never ending, maybe you're on a retainer, how long before you get that first win that first, like, ah, I can see the possibilities now.

It's in my bank


Yeah, yeah, yeah. yeah. Um, remember back when I hired my first agency to run ads for me and I was spending at the time probably like $10,000 plus 10, $15,000 a month on ads. And it took them a really long time to dial things in better than I was doing

I re

so the time delay was really long and I did not, they did not stay for very long because even by the time they got it to where it was not losing money on my campaigns, it was still barely treading water.

So it was just like none of this equation was doing well for them.

that's, that's where I've been. Every time I've hired a marketing agency, even if it's like somebody who really knows what I'm doing, it's like, by the time they have it dialed in, it's like, were they doing it better than how I do it? You know what I'm saying? So it's, it becomes just like really expensive to not

be involved.

Yeah. And, and again, that's not necessarily a [00:33:00] creative uh, freelance position. It kind of, you could argue that it is, the same time, it's, it is

ads when, when I was just producing, I ran a shitload

of ads,

yeah. Well, I'm just saying, like, we don't have ad managers to listen to show as, as far as I know, if you are, let us know and, and I'll, I'll say I'll start representing you in our, in our, what I think about when I think about this audience, but, but it's still like a freelance position that we hired for, and it was not fulfilled very well.

So like this stuff, it's still the same where it is a service provided and the time delay to the quick win or any win, AKA profitability was just not there for me. And I ultimately moved on and, and brought it back in the house. So one more thing to talk about before I move on, on time, delay is revisions because as freelancers, like I think most of us have to deal with revisions in some way, especially if we're doing like a final product that gets approved by the client and then we're done.

We usually have to go back through rounds of revisions. will say I, in, my past, I've not been the best with this

I've not only not been the best, I've probably been near the


the reason is like, [00:34:00] and this is honestly, this is all part of time delay where like, if you're dragging your Hills at any point, you are not helping your business.

You're not creating value. You're you're taking value. And so there are times where. Once I got past a certain point. I slow down how fast I got revisions back this is man, I would never say this publicly outside of me, just wanting to be open here. But like, would get to a point where this is not me, BR Brian, currently, this is Brian in the past.

So I'm just, I'm exonerating myself here. But I would get to the point where I was hoping that they would rather just release the damn stuff and approve it. So it's done rather than wait for another huge amount of time for the rounds of revisions to come through. I would literally slow down an effort for them to hope, hope that they would just say, fuck it, fine approve.

And I'm tired of waiting on this.

is mark currently, you know,

I'll go ahead and say it I'd

fucking hate


know, we just need to have, we just need, have confessions of, of six figure freelancers as like a, a segment on the show where we

not like I'm, I'm not hiding any of this. I [00:35:00] think most revisions are subjective in bullshit. I think people are just insecure and don't wanna put out the song and I tell them not to their face and nine times outta 10.

They're like, think you're right. And then we have a conversation about their life and they're like, dude, I'm just like really scared about how everyone's gonna judge me when I put this out. And I'm like, well, dude, my revisions, aren't gonna make a difference. They're gonna judge either way. So just put it out.

yeah. Yeah. What I see what I've, I've learned over the years. And, and then I eventually got better at was when I spot a laundry list of just tiny little nitpicky bullshit revisions. That is their fears and insecurity creeping up. Whether they're releasing the songs to the world and facing criticism, they would rather nitpick away for the rest of their lives. this is the case in every industry. Like, this is me talking about audio folks here. Like when you get half decibel changes in, in audio, like turn the guitars up one half decibel or, or tell me a specific plugin to use on something.

It's probably like a designer saying like, Hey, can you change from hex code FF 2, 3, 5 to FF 2, 3, 3, please. Like, [00:36:00] that's what I imagine. It's like for like the design world

Alright. So moving on, we talked about Dream outcome, increasing that being better at providing a better dream outcome. We talked about the perceived likelihood of achievement. So making sure that they think that they can achieve that outcome, because you're not over promising and you're also a trustworthy person and preferably you've done it a million times before, like, think about this from like a heart surgeon, by the way, like heart surgery, dream outcome.

I don't die. right. I get a new heart perceive likelihood of achievement. Well, if I go to my general practitioner, probably not very high, if I go to a heart surgeon, who's this is her first heart trans. Probably not a very high likelihood of achievement of getting a, a successful heart transplant. But if I go to someone who this is their like 30th year, and they've been doing this every day for their entire life, the likelihood is pretty high.

Time delay, I'm gonna get away from the heart transplant conversation just for, for this bottom equation. We talk about time delay and decreasing that at least the time to first win or time to the dream outcome, depending on what, niche you're in and what you're offering people. Now, we gotta go to the last part here and effort and [00:37:00] sacrifice this.

one is one. I think people don't think too much about. And to be honest, this is the, the one that's probably least relevant to freelancers, but it's worth least considering cuz effort sacrifice is what sort of effort and sacrifice is the client supposed have to go through to get the dream outcome.

And as service providers, typically we're doing everything for them. So there's usually very little effort and sacrifice, but there are bits and pieces of it here and there. And every industry's different. We were just thinking through, off air, like in the, in the wedding photography industry, like. We were talking about this, cuz this is one either you've been married before or you know, a wedding photographer cuz there's a million of them. Effort and sacrifice what sort of effort and sacrifice has to be done to get my dream outcome, all the photos for my wedding day. and I look to the time where like everyone's outside and the photographer's trying to wrangle everyone in for photos. Our photographer was amazing at this. She ran the show, everyone listened, we got in and out.

It wasn't this long drawn out process. But if also been in wedding parties where the photographer was awful at this, and they did it at the wrong time of day, they missed shots. So they had to call people back to get [00:38:00] 'em back in line. Everyone's sweaty and hot everyone's miserable. Kids are crying. The old people are like about to pass out, So the effort and sacrifice for a poorly done process is really high in that world. And it doesn't matter if you're a wedding photographer or videographer graphic designer, audio engineer, music producer. There is so. You are not doing right now, that is adding additional effort and sacrifice to your clients that doesn't need to be there.

It's unwarranted effort and sacrifice on their part either because of your own lack of preparation, your own self admitted that your process is not well dialed in or your own laziness because you are trying to avoid something. Or in my case where I was doing my six figure confessions from a freelancer in my case where I'm like dragging my heels on revisions, because I want them to just give up and stop giving me all these bullshit revisions.

And I'd rather them just say, I guess we're done that's effort and sacrifice on their, their part to put all these revisions together. And then me basically ignore them because I don't wanna do them. So that's effort and sacrifice that is unrightfully there. That shouldn't be [00:39:00] there.

Yeah. So, uh, I'm just gonna, but in regarding effort and sacrifice, cuz earlier on you were like, yeah, this may not be as applicable to freelancers. I think it's extremely applicable to freelancers because this audience six figure creative are primarily people who are aware that they are running a business.

that, that's the thing is like you have to sometimes give yourself some perspective, 99% of people who claim to do this are not really self-educating themselves. They're not

trying very hard

That's not our audience. Our audience right now is self-educating and we love you for it. So

Exactly. But the thing is, is like effort and sacrifice. Most people that freelance or have some sort of, and if you're on YouTube, I'm doing like the Austin Powers, Dr.

Evil quote, unquote business, Most people just think it's cash app and like a text in green, weird text, sorry, Android people. Uh, they don't

grain text. I

Yeah. They don't [00:40:00] talk. They don't talk on the phone. They're rude. You don't know when they're showing up, you don't know how it's getting done.

Communication is poor. You don't even know when you're supposed to pay them. Like there, there's no

understanding. most people don't have a website and you really have to think to yourself a lot of times, like when people are like, You know, I'm a photographer. It's so saturated, everyone's a photographer.

Your competition is people opening up their phone, trying to take a picture of their in-laws and it's like diagonal. It looks like shit. And you're like, ah, we should get some real family photos because this looks like garbage. And I don't know how long mom and pops are gonna be around. So I gotta, I gotta frame this shit.

Like, that's your competition. It's not the guy who's like trying to get all the work, you effort and sacrifice. It's about easing the ability to work with you, having a really, really good inquiry form on your site. Having a site, letting people know exactly what you do and [00:41:00] explaining to them the process and communicating with them throughout the fulfillment,

how it's


You know, you know, one thing, one pitfall that I fell into when I first started like being serious about being a business owner as a freelancer, and I had read like four hour work week by Tim fares, which is like a classic that every millennial has read. if you're like us mark, but one of the things I did is I, over systemize things and I'm thinking, how can I make this as efficient as possible?

How can I decrease the effort and sacrifice for me? And so I created all these hoops that my clients now had to jump through in order to make my life easier. And I was doing the exact opposite of what this value equation is trying to tell us. I put all the work on them and you know, I've seen this in my world too.

Like just as a podcaster, people will ask me to come on their podcast. And they will throw 30 questions. They'll try to get me to do all the research for them as me as their guest. They'll try to get me to fill out the bio and everything we're gonna talk about. And I'm like, no, I don't wanna do that.

Like I'm already showing up to your show, providing you for content. [00:42:00] And I know from my guests, I don't have them jump through any hoops. I don't put any effort and sacrifice in the way I wanna make it as seamless, easy as possible, because it is a pleasure to have you on my show. I wanted to be treated the same way, and I did not treat my clients that way.

I was like, in order for you to have the right to work with me, the successful freelancer that I am the highly sought after freelancer, that I am the music producer of the year. You must fill these forms out. You must arrange your files. In this regard, you must, you wasn't, you shall, you shall not. And then I will get paid.

And that was the exact opposite of approach of what it should have.

yeah, so like for music licensing, that's kind of like the big thing for artisan producers is if you want somebody to pay, to use your music in a video it's extremely difficult right now you have to have a bunch of contracts, invoices, a bunch of copyright legal stuff signed. And like what we're solving is like, you just upload a track.

And then we handle everything from there and we just tell you exactly what to do. So like, if you look at Amazon, [00:43:00] like the novel concept of clicking ones to buy that is massive, like that increased their, you sales dramatically. And it's because they just made it one less click, it

Look at the

time delay

thing too, 10 years ago, it was like a week to get a package. Now I'm like, if it, if I can't get it, same day, I'm not ordering it.

It's just, I mean, to be honest, like, I don't really want to go to the mall because it's just, it's a pain in the ass and like don't know. I don't like dealing with people there. It's just, it sucks. Oh, here's one guitar center. I don't shop there. Not because they don't have my stuff, but because it literally takes me a, we're gonna be nice.

It takes me an hour to check out. It takes me an hour to check out. Like last time I was there. Cause I got like this trite and audio thing, like for. My mic. took me over an hour to check out and I was like, I'm never coming back here. This was


that's an additional effort and sacrifice an additional time delay that decreased the value of your experience with guitar center. So you'll never go back [00:44:00] and I can't blame you for it because it's kind of antiquated model, unless you need their help with deciding something, which by the way, there's plenty of people on the internet who can offer their help in a a three minute YouTube video Versus going to the guitar center and having some minimum wage guy tell me, like, here's what I think about this device.

I think another thing, last thing, if you're a freelancer, if running your own business, you're going to know more details about the process and how things can work more than everybody else. And in a way. It's kind of your job to really only communicate the things that your prospect really needs to know about.

that's been a big problem for me is because like, what I'm working on right now is pretty complex. Like music licensing is a lot of copyright stuff. It's complex. Most people don't need to know the details. In fact, it's not good. Like they just need to know where do I click the buttons? You if you're a wedding photographer, they need to know where do you fill out the form? How do I know how much [00:45:00] this is going to cost? Will you be on time? That's all

they need to


Oh, one more thing to add with that, that you just brought up with the wedding photographer thing. Unanswered questions are a form of, friction to me, which goes under effort and sacrifice. So I I'll say one other area there that I think most people fail to do is just setting expectations ahead of time so that you know where to be when to be there, what to expect when you get there.

What I need to do when I'm there, all these questions that you obviously know as a service provider that they just don't know, because they've never done this before and you can't expect them to just know everything. So having it laid out in a real clear, easy to understand format so that they're not, not even, not only not asking you questions because that's, that's fine.

but also just having full clarity on what to expect. So there's no unanswered questions and our wedding planner, just going back to wedding, sorry. Our wedding planner was actually bad at this. She was an incredible wedding. And she came highly regarded from everyone, but she actually didn't do a great job of communicating.

And [00:46:00] it added a lot of like strife in the wedding planning process because she wasn't communicating certain things, even though it all got done, it was all perfect. No problems whatsoever day of leading up to the wedding, not a perfect process because certain things were just not explained properly. And certain expectations were not set ahead of time.

And it added friction that should not have be there, which was just part of the effort and sacrifice of this equation. So, there's this whole thing. We could probably talk for another hour on not, but, but I hope I've got your, your we've got your will spinning in your head of like where, where on, in my business, am I not working towards a dream outcome?

where am I actually not providing. The right services right now, or maybe this service is a better dream outcome to another type of client. my video skills are a better outcome to a, a corporate client than maybe this like hobby band who wants to do music video, where can I increase the perceived likelihood of achieving that dream outcome?

Like what can I do to be more believable in what I say, how can I show up as a more trustworthy person? How can I have better case studies and [00:47:00] testimonials? how can I increase people believing that I can help them? How can I decrease the time delay? That's the big thing? How, how long does it take to give them what they've hired me to give them?

How can I decrease effort and sacrifice? These are all different areas that no one has really thought through probably in a short form, like in this hour long. Episode. I'm hoping you've had a lot of ahas and moments of like, God, I am actually not as good as I thought I was. And that's okay. We don't hear, we're not here to beat you down, but we are here to wake you up and think like, Hey, , Mark's here to beat you down to say, Hey, you're maybe not as put together as you thought.

And that's okay. We've got things to fix. We've always got things to work on. And that's why maybe in our next episode, mark, we'll do the old, the age old conversation of like, how do we make time to work on our business? So we're not always stuck working in our business cuz that's how you actually start to fix these problems is getting outside of working in our business, heads down, doing the work and setting outside and looking the big picture, like this value equation, which we still have put up on the screen here, this value equation that to fix all of these things, I have to work on my business, which means I have to have time to [00:48:00] do all these things.

So maybe that's our next conversation. Mark. What do you think.

I'm down, bro. You just invite me back on. I show


All right, everybody. Well, thanks for tuning in for this episode. Wait, that's a pet peeve of mind tuning in that's like from television, when you actually turned dials on the TV to tune into the frequency,

which is wildly antiquated. So I'm gonna, delete that for my vocabulary. Thanks for opening whatever app you're on and listening to the show.

If you're on Spotify, do me a favor and actually leave a rating. You can leave a rating on the mobile app on Spotify for podcasts now. So that helps us out and otherwise just keep listening on whatever app you're on and, and know that we love you

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