Untether Yourself From Hourly Work

You built your freelance business to give you freedom, but you’re stuck billing hourly for your clients, and you feel like a slave to the clock.

You know that hourly billing is a trap, but your clients expect to pay hourly. When you propose something new, they push-back and you’re stuck billing hourly.

Even worse? You haven’t found your ‘niche’ in your industry yet. You’ve done a little bit of everything — and now your clients think of you as a glorified assistant, a jack of all trades.

When people ask, “What do you do?” you struggle with a clear “I do X for Y.” You want your clients to know you as an expert in your industry, but you’re not sure how to get started.

You’d love to pick a single type of client to work with — but that would mean turning down the work that you oh-so-desperately need right now.

And every time a new project comes in, you scramble to put together a proposal, spending hours or days on it. Only to end up — weeks later — with yet another unsigned contract.

Get Your Freedom Back

  • What if you could waive goodbye to writing time-wasting proposals? When a new client showed up, they’d pick one of your clear, easy to understand fixed-scope, flat-rate productized consulting offerings.
  • What if your business was built on daily, weekly, or project billing? No more fighting with a client about the 12-minutes you spent fixing typos. Your billing is straightforward, clear, and paid in advance.
  • What if you could clearly say “I do X for Y people”? When talking about your dream clients, what you could do and who your dream clients are would immediately ‘click’ for the listener, and they’d know who to refer to you.
  • What if your dream clients came to you? You have a reputation as an expert and thought-leader in your industry. When people have a problem, they think of you.

Does this sound familiar?

When I started freelancing, I was lucky enough to land a whale of a client. But our relationship ended when a set of problems crept up:

  • Insisting on Hourly Billing — When discussing a project, they’d only accept hourly billing. I’d propose a fixed-rate for a project and get push back that ‘they were only comfortable with hourly billing.’ But with hourly billing, the more efficient I was, the less I’d make.
  • Pushback on Invoices — Whenever I’d send an invoice, it would be analyzed down to the hour. Before I’d get paid, I’d need to answer their questions asking me to defend my billing.
  • Generalist, Not Specialist — I ended up working with four different departments and touching all types of projects in the company. Unfortunately, this labeled me as a ‘jack of all trades.’ When the CEO asked the CMO what I did, all the CMO could say was “He helps out with projects?” Terrible. I was ‘trapped’ as a generalist and couldn’t escape.

Finally, I was assigned a meaty, multi-month project that I was excited to work on — and 1-week into the project, I was told they had found someone on Craigslist who could tackle the project for 50% of my hourly rate. If I wanted to, I could drop my rate to match his.

That was the final straw. I ended our business relationship and rushed out…

…into nothing.

The Signs Of A Rocky Consulting Business

Because I’d been so focused on my work with this single client, I was stuck:

  • No Pipeline — Because I’d been so focused on my single client, I didn’t have a pipeline of leads. I was out in the cold.
  • Generalist Experience — Because my projects touched all different areas of the company, my experience labeled me as a generalist. I didn’t know how to focus down to a single ‘expensive problem’ for my work.
  • Hourly Billing — All of my experience was with hourly billing. I wasn’t experienced quoting projects at a daily or weekly rate. And quoting a ‘fixed price’ for a project seemed impossibly scary.
  • Proposal Writing — I was investing dozens of hours writing proposal after proposal, hoping one connected with a client. And time after time, I’d be met with ‘Sorry, we went with another consultant…”
  • No Positioning — When people asked what I did, I’d struggle with a clear definition. I didn’t have a good way to say “I do X for Y.”

Building A Stable Consulting business

Then I decided to do something different.

I started seeking out mentors, coaches, and experienced business owners for their advice. The single best thing I’ve done for my business is to seek out the help of other people.

Every time I’ve worked with a mentor and acted on their advice, it’s had a measurable and positive impact on my business.

Over the last two years, I’ve:

  • Booked Myself Solid — I’ve built a repeatable, systematic method for attracting leads that turn into high-paying clients. And I’ve booked myself solid for 6+ months.
  • Developed Specialist Experience — I’ve positioned myself as an authority and expert in my industry. I’m sought out to speak on podcasts and at conferences.
  • Eliminated Hourly Billing — I’ve switched from hourly billing to weekly and project-based billing, raising my effective hourly rate over 400% since 2013.
  • Eliminated Proposal Writing — I’ve eliminated proposal writing for my business, focusing on fixed-scope, flat-rate ‘productized consulting’ offerings instead. Now, when a client shows up, they can pick from a few pre-defined services that I offer.
  • Developed Clear Positioning — I’ve refined my positioning, creating a clear, direct statement that says “I do X for Y.”

In 2012, I made $52,000 as an employee at my day job.

In 2013, I billed $40,000 as a consultant.

In 2015, my business is on track to bring in $135,000 — all while I worked less, wrote two books, and visited 10+ states.

Growing A Profitable, Stable Consulting Business

I’ve helped dozens of my friends and colleagues grow their consulting businesses. Now I want to help you grow your business. Presenting, Business Coaching for Marketing Consultants.

When we work together, you’ll get expert insight into your business, direction on how to reach your goals, and support and accountability to make sure you reach your goals.

In the past, I’ve offered all sorts of informal advice to friends and colleagues on how to grow their freelancing businesses. This offering brings structure to what I find myself doing every day.

I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars in education and learning and read thousands of websites, courses, and books, and sifted through some very good advice and a lot of junk to learn how to best grow a freelance consulting business. How much would it be worth to you save yourself the years of sweat and tears?

What I Can Help You With

Here’s just some of the things that I can help you with because I’ve already tackled these issues myself:

  1. Productizing your services
  2. Choosing a niche
  3. Finding your dream clients
  4. Eliminating hourly billing
  5. Raising your rates
  6. Adding recurring revenue to your business
  7. Building a sales pipeline
  8. Closing deals
  9. Managing your clients
  10. Getting clients to come to you
  11. and, most importantly, building a profitable business

What I’ll Do For You

Here’s how I’d like us to work together. We’ll work together in 3-month segments. In the first 3-months, we’ll tackle:

  • Kickoff Workshop — First, we’ll start off with a list of homework questions about you, your business, and your goals. Then, we’ll move through a kickoff workshop so we can review your business and identify everything that’s causing you stress — or presenting your business from growing.
  • Business Growth Plan — Then, I’ll prepare a plan of action for your business, contributing my insight and expertise into growing your business and recommending specific next steps for you to take and establishing goals for you to work towards.
  • Twice-a-Month Accountability Calls — One of the most important things I can do for you as a mentor and coach is provide accountability and support for you as you work on growing your business. Twice-a-month we’ll have an accountability call to discuss your progress, identify the next step for you to take, and figure out how you can overcome roadblocks.
  • Unlimited Questions — As a coaching client, you’ll get access to a private Slack channel for us to use to you communicate with each other as needed. Have a question about a client, a proposal, a project, or your business? Send me a message in Slack.

After three months, we’ll have started moving you forward to a more stable consulting business:

  • Clear Positioning — We’ll refine your positioning, helping you create a clear, direct positioning statement that says “I do X for Y.”
  • Expensive Problems — We’ll identify the specific ‘expensive problems’ that your audience is experiencing. Then, we’ll position your marketing, your messaging, and your services to address these expensive problems for your clients.
  • Specialist Experience — We’ll position your experience in your industry as an authority and expert.
  • Client Pipeline — We’ll build out a repeatable, systematic method for attracting leads that turn into high-paying clients.
  • Productized Consulting — We’ll identify, prototype, and launch fixed-scope, flat-rate ‘productized’ consulting options for your business based off of your most common projects.
  • Weekly or Project Billing — We’ll transition you from hourly to weekly, monthly, or project billing for your new clients.

We can work together for as long as you need help and assistance.

After three months, some students decide to continue working together, valuing my continued insight and support as they continue to grow their business.

Other students move forward independently and continue to follow my recommendations for their growth, implementing my recommendations themselves.

What I Expect From You

In exchange for helping you grow your business and improve the quality of your work-life, my fee is $1,500/month, payable three months at a time.

I also expect you to take action. You can listen to me all day, but unless you’re willing to challenge yourself and take action to grow your business, you won’t see any results. I guarantee that by the end of our first three months together, you’ll have both a plan of action and a toolbox of resources.

How We Can Tell If You’re A Good Fit

My coaching services aren’t for everyone, but you might want to apply if this sounds like you:

  • You’ve been independent for at least a year. I like to help people who are already experienced working independently and are looking for the support to grow their business even further.
  • You’re a freelance consultant. I’m a marketing consultant by trade, but I know a lot about how other marketers, consultants, and freelancers work. And the fundamentals of growing a freelancing or consulting business are the same across all disciplines.
  • You’re looking for support while growing your business. I work best when I’m helping you implement marketing to attract new clients, create and launch new productized consulting offerings, raise your rates, add recurring revenue to your business, and close deals more frequently.

Ready To Grow Your Business?

Fill out the form below and we’ll pencil in a time to talk. We’ll discuss your business and your goals and see if my service is a good fit for your needs. I promise I won’t share your information with anyone without your consent. Thanks again, I look forward to hearing from you.

Apply For Business Coaching for Marketing Consultants

Who are you?

Kai-Davis (100x100)My name is Kai Davis. I’m an Outreach Consultant in Oregon. I’ve worked independently as a consultant since 2012. I’m frequently interviewed for my perspective on growing a stable consulting business and speak at conferences about marketing and consulting.

People Who Vouch For Me

Kurt Elster I've had the pleasure of being in a mastermind group with Kai for nearly a year; his advice has saved me from pulling my hair out while helping me grow my business. I'm very excited to hear he's offering a coaching program, because I know others will be able to benefit from his clarity.

Kurt Elster, Owner, Ethercycle

Blake Grahams Kai's marketing advice has been a solid investment for my business. By implementing his advice, I immediately got 4 new clients. He's one of the most helpful people I've ever met. The value I get out of our calls is immeasurable.

Blake Grahams, Owner, 1FootOut.com

Aaron Mahnke Kai helped me refine my vision, clarify my language, and tighten my presentation. My business is poised to succeed. Everyone needs a second pair of eyes on their business, but Kai goes beyond that by bringing in a second, more experienced mind. You can't put a price on that.

Aaron Mahnke, Owner / Lead Designer, Wet Frog Studios

Eric B. Horn Working with Kai was the best investment I’ve made in a long time. He equipped me to win at my own business. It’s always great to have other experts look at my business as a whole and teach you how to be stronger. I can see a lot clearer as opposed to being in hustle mode.

Eric B. Horn, Owner, Eric B. Horn, Inc

Virginia Roberts Kai helps me reach new customers and get more clients. Working with him is a boost to my business!

Virginia Roberts, Founder, The Heartographer

Barry Davis Kai has helped me get my business found online and attract more clients. With his help, every month the phone is ringing and my business is growing.

Barry Davis, Owner, Barry Davis Law

Nick Loper Kai's a great marketing mind! His questions cut to the core of the issue, and that's what it takes to deliver results.

Nick Loper, Owner, Side Hustle Nation

Philip Morgan Kai is the periscope out of whatever box i'm in. Thank you.

Philip Morgan, Content Marketing Coach, My Content Sherpa

It’s Time To Get Started

The best time to start growing your business was last year. The second best time to start is right now.

I’d love to help you grow your business. To get started, tell me about your business and together we’ll determine if we’re a good fit for working together.