Today, I will share with you some insider tips and tricks of how I operate in Cloud 9 Strategic. We will fully dive into productising your services and then a touch on CONVERSION.
But before we begin, here's what I would love you to do: I would love you to read this blog from beginning to end. And the reason I say that is because there might be points in this where you feel fear, you think, "Oh, this sounds complicated. This sounds like I can't do it..."
First of all, courage and fear exist together – not separately. And that is the amazing Brené Brown that says that. And it is so true! So I'm going to ask you to muster up the courage right now to feel the fear, and finish reading anyway. Please remember what I say in my book: I would love nothing more than to make that glass ceiling your new floor. And if you stick with me, I might be able to do that.
So if you are at a place where you're just doing basic bookkeeping and you want to focus on that, but stack the VALUE of what you're doing and understand why not everything is going right for you – why PRICE is a priority for clients and why you're not being valued the way that you should be, this blog is going to help you with that.
By the end, I'm going to summarize with action steps and I promise, even though it might feel outside your comfort zone, I'm going to wrap it up by showing you how we can bring it back to exactly where you are at right now – so you can kick goals immediately, straight after reading this.
So, productisation and conversion – these two are actually kind of mixed in. I'm writing this at a time where I am just about to send a client a proposal. So in this case, if I was to categorise this particular person in my network, they are technically a PAST CLIENT, meaning that they are not currently engaged in any month-to-month services.
So absolutely in my bookkeeping practice Cloud 9 Strategic, we offer basic bookkeeping. It's the core of what we do and it's often what people reach out to us for first, and I call that what they want.
And I always say,
we will sell what they want, before we try selling them what they need.
So, we do offer basic bookkeeping but we also offer numbers mastery. We can offer business mastery because I do have the Better in Business platform where I've got academy content – numerous courses and resources that I can chop that up in a million ways and offer up single sessions that include INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. I can even offer group programs!
With intellectual property, the sky is the limit.
And, if you join The Strategic Bookkeeper Transformation Program, you actually get to become an affiliate of Better in Business. I can then train you on how to sell and bundle and use all that intellectual property, and you get the opportunity to get access to all of that too – to go through it and learn more and more about business yourself so that then you can actually teach it when you're ready.
I know it's an ideology shift, and we're going to start at the beginning with basic bookkeeping and then numbers mastery, and then take it one step at a time. The whole reason that I set up the podcast under the Better in Business brand was with the long game in mind, which was to generate DEMAND and DESIRE for strategic bookkeepers.
(and that is all starting to work now!)
These days, I get business owners ring me and say, "Oh, Jeannie, can you recommend a bookkeeper?" – even though I have a bookkeeping practice myself. But because they're engaged in the Better in Business platform, which I've built to drive business to my tribe, that comes through my program.
So back to the relevance of this to productisation and conversion: That particular past client, I kept in touch with him. If you've read my book, you're already familiar with keep-in-touch or KIT MARKETING. So, he gets a range of automated and non-automated messages from me. The automated is things like the Better in Business podcast that we do fortnightly – he gets that in his email. We also have email sequencing and messaging that's automated just to every now and then, in a value orientated way,
we keep in touch so that they know that we're here –
that they can always reach out, and that we're trying to help them do better in business generally.
And then there's the non-automated way, which is just me with my manners sending a text message every now and then that says, "Hey, how's things?", and then there's sorts of welcome lines. So when a client becomes a past client, again, technically they're a prospective client. So for this particular past client, he's going to get served up our welcome lines.
Now, all of these things are explained in the book, but please know they are also done for you digital assets and strategies that I serve up to you in The Strategic Bookkeeper Transformation Program – your done-for-you bookkeeping practice. So, we give you all of the ASSETS, the STRATEGY, like the email sequencing, and then we actually show you how to implement it, and then we make sure that you are using it and we find out how you're going with it, and we make sure that we help you test, measure, tweak, change, practice, because we know that practice makes progress.
So back to the client: Because they're a prospective client now, it's normal and it's automatic for them to be getting our WELCOME LINES. So one of the welcome lines that he has engaged in is a complimentary strategy session that we have. I did that on the phone with him yesterday – a lot of the time it's Zoom, occasionally it's in person, but in this case it was on the phone, and we had just a beautiful chat.
We chatted for about an hour, and then I asked him, "What is your key takeaway from our strategy session today?" And what he said is,"You're the oracle, Jeannie."
Part of the reason he said that is that I have known this person for years and I have helped him kick massive, massive, massive goals – well, I'm a very openhearted person! And so of course, it is natural that I know him and that I can get outside his square and sometimes see things that he's not seeing.
This is what happens when you keep in touch with people, and when you SEEK TO UNDERSTAND your clients, your past clients, and your market.
So anyway, he added, "Jeannie, really, I need more. I want some help." And we'd established during that session that he needs another strategy session. So in this case, it's a strategy session that I will propose and send thru my proposal software, which is Ignition, formerly known as Practice Ignition. If you're not using it, you should be.
My only regret with Ignition is that I didn't start us using it sooner. So I'll put my hand on my heart and tell you that it is definitely a really great proposal software to use, and we get a big return on investment out of it. Yes, it costs money – but when I looked at other proposal software, it wasn't really any more expensive in comparison. But, it's built for our industry, and so it saves us a lot of time and money. Go ahead and see for yourself! Use this LINK and get 50% OFF on your subscription right off the bat.
So anyway, I create and send the strategy session proposal in Ignition, but I also drop it into a Google document that sits in a folder inside The Strategic Bookkeeper Transformation Program – all ready as a done-for-you asset when you join in. In terms of productisation, I serve you up all of the productised services that I am currently using in Cloud 9 Strategic, so then we're always testing, measuring, and updating them, and on a regular basis, you get notified on the updates.
So, when I was on the phone with this past client/prospective client now, we did not talk price at all. We did not talk fee structure for the strategy session, because I very easily have my clients outcome focused, and so am I.
The fee structure is the fee structure, but they do get up-to-date, accurate accounting records which is globally recognised as pillar one for the success of any business –
that in its own right, the beautiful platinum level of service,
the up-to-date, accurate accounting records that gives your clients peace of mind and more,
that in its own right has a massive high value and you should be able to charge a premium.
And I absolutely teach you how to do that and how to get prospective clients to say yes to you even though you are 20, 30, 40, 50% higher fee structure than others. But once they go beyond that, do you know what? The clients don't care what they pay me because they get a massive return on investment.
Don't forget that even though the strategy may sound scary, two things: first, please, read my book. And second, I promise to slowly but surely introduce you to all the intellectual property that I have created that makes this doable and easy. I will never ask you to leap outside your comfort zone.
Imagine you were learning to swim. I'm not going to throw you in a river and go, "Oh, I think you should learn to swim by just flailing around and feeling like you're drowning until a point where you manage to pull yourself to shore." I'm never going to do that. I'm going to put you in the swimming pool and I am going to teach you very, very, very slowly over time how to go from not being able to swim to like, "Ah, swimming is so easy and I love it."
So back to this client: I go into Ignition and I'm creating a little bit of a bespoke strategy, productised service. I put together the proposal for the strategy session, but something I want to say about productising the service as well as the conversion process is, when I write up any service, I talk about what I'm going to deliver in say, a 90-minute strategy session.
And this is where it's really important to move away from time to money and move into a world where we just talk about VALUE, OUTCOMES and intellectual property, because if I'm just thinking out loud right now in terms of what I'm going to give to this client... I'm going to give him my time and energy in terms of reviewing all the notes that I have on file, even if that's just the fact that all those notes, I've got them on file. Remember when I said that this client called me the Oracle? The amount that I know about him, his business, his hopes and his dreams, his family, there is a value to that.
As I pull together the productised service for him, the things that he will be getting will be outlined so eloquently and I will be making sure he understands the things that are included are: one, my TIME to absolutely read, review and process my notes and my understanding of where he's at, and two, realistically speaking, is pre-work by me before we meet for 90 minutes. And then, he will get the 90-minute recorded Zoom strategy session where we will dive into A, B, C, D, E, F, which is the what, the features.
Separate features and benefits – so it's like, based on our complimentary strategy session we did the other day, I'm going to make sure that we cover off these things. And then at the end of the session, you're going to get a document with all the notes that I've taken throughout that session, and you're going to get a link to the recorded Zoom, which I recommend that you use as an audio clip to listen on your phone when you're in the car, et cetera, so you can just keep digesting that amazing content, which is this intellectual property.
So when you give someone just some time, that's it – it's gone, there's nothing after that.
But when you give someone your TIME, and then you leave them with a bundled-in INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
(like a recorded Zoom session that they can listen to a hundred times),
the VALUE skyrockets
– their ability to get outcomes skyrockets, their ability to get impact from what you've delivered skyrockets, and their ability to get a return on investment gets deeper and deeper and deeper.
So for this particular client, for 90 minutes of my time, plus the intellectual property and the value that I bring to it, that will be a thousand dollars. And I know for a lot of you, you think, "A thousand dollars for 90 minutes of your time? That sounds unachievable"... My two main core values are courage and honesty, and very closely followed behind is authenticity and kindness. I don't leave my values at the door, and my expectation is that my clients will get so much value out of what I do.
Now on the basic bookkeeping side, when we use our PRICING CALCULATOR which is a done-for-you asset in the program, I tend to be calculating our basic bookkeeping services at about $90 an hour because you got to meet the market there. And basic bookkeeping will always be seen as a cost, but once you go beyond that... We go into numbers mastery, which we're calculating at $200 an hour up, and the clients are just building a shrine to us in their houses. Once we are in a space where we're just shining a light on their numbers and asking powerful questions, the value skyrockets. Accountants are charging more like $500 an hour for that, but that said, we always say: we charge for outcomes, not hours.
So one of the reasons charging a premium (like a thousand dollars for a 90-minute strategy session) is great, is because that way I've got a lot of space and time and room for the quick query. So when I charge a thousand dollars, I know that that client can call me before the strategy session anytime because I love talking to him. He can even call me after the strategy session. I just do not sell time for money, and I don't want you to either one day.
Once I put you in the swimming pool and I teach you to swim slowly, I want you to one day get to this point where you're able to serve your clients in a way that
money doesn't matter anymore because you're focused on giving them values, outcome, impact, and return on investment.
And so to touch on the conversion process: It's really important to remember that conversion process is always really, really important. Even when I'm working with a client that knows me really, really well, I have VIDEO SALES LETTERS, which is also a done-for-you asset in The Strategic Bookkeeper program. I help you to create your own and we can give you templates and done-for-you, but I make sure you nail a really nice set of basic video sales letters.
So when I send the proposal, there's a really tight process and the video sales letter covers off everything that you'll find in the conversion chapter of my book. So it goes through my profile, my reputation, all of the different moving parts – what's really important is that I don't just serve up the what.
The client has every opportunity to receive the what from anyone, but the productised service along with the why. So a version to remember,
"Well, this is our profile, so this is who we are and this is why you should choose us because we've also got this amazing reputation. Here are the results that we get for clients. Here is our vision for you, and then here's our mission and how we achieve it in terms of the customer journey. Your proposal today fits into this section of the customer journey, and these are the outcomes we expect from the customer journey."
And then, I'll talk about my CAPACITY which creates more urgency, but again, I'm always honest about that – I'm not going to lie about my capacity, and I will never recommend telling porky pies. So my conversion process will still exist for a client that has the know-like-trust factor already.
So my lovelies, I want to wrap up with key takeaways and maybe some action that you can take because you know I'm all about you taking action. So number one, I really did want you to know what's included in the program, because productisation of your services is so powerful that it can be something that can take you a while to do, test, and measure before you get it right. And so I want you to know that if you want to fast track all that, it's there in the The Strategic Bookkeeper Transformation Program. And, I wanted you to know that I'm literally at my computer all the time putting assets into this vault that you get access to once you join in.
If you are not going to join the program, I just wanted you to understand what I do. I wanted to give you a look under the hood of what I do in terms of productising a service, for example. The next thing is I didn't want to overwhelm you with the idea of delivering strategy services, so I hope I haven't. And so that swimming analogy, because conveying your value is just as much around you as a bookkeeper doing basic bookkeeping as it is anything else.
If all you were ever going to do was basic bookkeeping, that's okay. I would say that when you move slowly into numbers mastery, that's when price starts to look a little more irrelevant, but when it's just basic bookkeeping, I can show you how to make price secondary and not a priority through my podcast, which comes with heaps of free content to help you, along with the book.
But as I've said, price starts to become more irrelevant in the strategy space when you're leveraging the Better in Business Academy content and that kind of thing. So I'd call that very much phase three.
So phase one, nail being valuable in the basic bookkeeping space. Phase two, learn to swim in the numbers mastery phase. And then once that's all sorted and you feel like, "Wow, this is just autopilot, I just love swimming. I can swim like a ninja. People are dropping flowers at my door for my swimming." Then you look and, oh, I might dip my toe in the water of phase three, and let's call that an ocean swim.
And so when you get to phase three with the Better in Business Academy content – where you're just helping business owners do better in business in a different way – price has become completely irrelevant. The clients that get referred to me or find me in terms of needing business strategies through betterinbusiness.global, to them, fee is completely irrelevant. They are focused on the outcomes that they will get.
So in terms of action, it depends on where you're at with your bookkeeping practice. So if you're at the basic bookkeeping place but you want to productise your services so that you can stack the value of what you do and make price very much secondary and win work, even though your fee may be 20, 30, 40, 50% more than someone else, then the action that you should do is to listen to a lot of my podcasts because a lot of them cover that off. And, read the book end to end and use it as a how-to guide.
And then your other alternative is to jump on and register on our waitlist for the program, so that you can fast track your results. All the stuff that we give you, so the assets and the strategy, absolutely rockets your results ahead and you've got all the very tailored support in that space.