Raise your hand if you want to make more money. Everyone does, right?! Sometimes that drive to earn more can lead you to take on a wide variety of projects and that breadth of work can make you crazy. I’m here to share a secret with you.
You don’t have to do All. The. Things. You don’t have to run around like a crazy person. You just have to find your zone of genius.
There’s a seriously simple principle in business: the less that you do the more money you make.
I hear so many agency owners struggling, especially at the beginning of their entrepreneurship phase, because they operate their businesses around fear. They have this fear mentality that every opportunity that comes their way is something that they have to pursue.
Sometimes there will be clients that are not a good fit for them, but because they need the money (or they think they need the money), they're willing to bend and adjust to fit that client's needs. They have the mindset that whatever a paying client needs, we'll make it happen.
Sometimes a client may come along that wants PR or another core service that you're interested in offering. Unfortunately, the client isn’t ready for your core service. They need their pictures. They need marketing copy. They need a website. Maybe they need a look book or a line sheet. They're really wanting to work with you, but they don't have everything that they need in order to make you completely successful right out of the gate.
In this scenario, what do you do? You say “we can help you with that,” right? We can help you write your copy. We can help you pull together your website. We will find a photographer. We'll do a photo shoot. You handle all these things because you want to work with this client, and because you feel like you're going to be helping them.
I have news for you.
You are not helping yourself or your business. You're actually doing a major disservice to your business, especially in the long run.
You think you’ll make more money with more services, but that’s not true. When you offer all of the things, it prevents you from being an expert in what you want to be known for. By becoming known as an expert in one specific area, you ultimately can charge higher rates and have your ideal clients come to you. But taking on too many disparate tasks keeps you from specializing.
Context shifting happens when you are a generalist. You are trying to do all the things for all the people, so you never get into that super productive mode of work. You’re too busy trying to keep all your different tasks straight!
This happens when you take on additional work outside your core services. You end up making yourself crazy, and you don't get into that state of flow. You're constantly stopping and starting. You're context shifting. You're losing productivity, and you're probably making yourself a little crazy, am I right? This is not the way to make more money.
My goal for you is to help you create a business where you're experiencing maximum profitability. A business in which you're creating your best work in order to attract the best clients. Context shifting majorly detracts from that goal.
Context shifting can really become a problem when you work with clients that aren’t ready for your core services. Right now, I’m asking you to commit to working with clients that already have everything that you need. With this commitment, you will start to attract better and more established clients with bigger budgets, and ultimately your business will make more money.
Work with people who take your time seriously. In my Agency Accelerator program, one of the resources I give my students is a PR Checklist. When you’re vetting a prospective client, simply go down the list to ensure this client has everything they need to get started — so you don’t end up taking on a ton of work outside your core services just to get them ready for what you actually do...PR!
When you try to take on every service a client needs, you end up spreading yourself too thin.
Especially with design and creative services, there tends to be scope creep. Scope creep is when you’ve agreed to a certain service for a client, and they ask for you to do services outside that agreement. Or they ask for additional work.
Maybe you’ve agreed to write X number of social media posts per month for a client, and now they are asking for X + Y number of posts a month. Maybe you’ve agreed to write press releases, but now they need marketing copy as well.
When you become subject to scope creep, you are losing money on all this extra time you’re spending on non-paid work. You're also distracted and pulled away from what you are actually great at and love to do.
You’ll also find that stretching yourself too thin and taking on too wide a variety of projects will impact your profit margins. You cannot scale your business and make more money by focusing on 100 different things. You need a zone of genius.
The zone of genius is the state you’re in when you’re doing work that you love. You get into a productive flow where time passes by quickly. When you come up for air, you’ll know that you have completed your best work.
What if you could become known for this type of work? You’ll be able to do work that is fun AND profitable.
Every agency owner wants a good profit margin. But you can't have that when you're a web designer, graphic designer, publicist, copywriter, social media specialist, and marketer.
If you take on all of these different roles, you'll never get into that state of flow that leads to quantum growth in your business.
If you are offering all of your clients the same type of services, you don’t have to shift gears between all the different roles. You will get to do work you enjoy, and you’ll find yourself working faster. This helps your clients receive better deliverables quickly and helps you make the most efficient use of your time.
Are you ready to make more money? Follow these tips to maximize your efficiency. When you use your time to focus on your core services and specialize instead of taking on a ton of different types of jobs, you’ll find yourself attracting better clients and commanding a higher rate.