Why More Offers Don’t Equal More Revenue

Need to make more money? Generate some revenue? It’s as easy as creating a new offer, right?

Not so fast. True, being an entrepreneur means that, even if money doesn’t grow on trees, it’s not so hard to find something to sell when you need a few extra dollars.

But creating a new product, program, or offer every time you want to generate revenue isn’t a good plan. In fact, it’s not a plan at all. It’s a reaction to a need.

When you’re just starting out, most of what you do is react. And that’s okay. But you’re really ready for something a little more proactive now, aren’t you?

My story starts no differently than yours. I “got” the entrepreneurial money mindset—that you can create revenue whenever you need it—well before I “got” planning for steady, predictable revenue growth. When I wanted to make some money, I’d make something new. I’d write a book, create a program, make a new coaching offer.

Of course, launching all the time, creating products all the time (even when you’re an idea person like me!), and selling all the time is exhausting.

Beyond that, it’s not building a legacy for your business. It doesn’t give your prospects something to remember your business for.

But most importantly, always creating new offers doesn’t set you up for making more money in the long run.

Every time you launch a new product or program, you’re only tapping into a very small segment of your potential customer base (the Early Adopters). If you stop there, other customers might trickle in over time but most people won’t even know you have that offer available.

That just puts your business back in the position of needing to generate revenue with another new product. It’s a vicious cycle.

Instead of a vicious cycle, your business needs a system for marketing, launching, and selling your best offers over & over again. And when that system also includes products that work together to create more value for your customers and your business than they could alone, it’s a Business Model.

When your business has that kind of system in place, revenue becomes predictable and more consistent. At the very least, you know when it’s coming. Best of all, you’ll find that your offers start to generate more and more revenue each time you enter a sales cycle because your customers are expecting them, planning for them, and eager to buy them.

It’s so much easier to sell to a prospect who is already aware of your product. It’s even easier when your prospect knows people who have purchased and loved your product already. That’s easy to accomplish when your business has regular sales cycles for your best offers.

My business now has two main offers: Kick Start Labs and 10ThousandFeet. And with just those two offers, my business is on track to do $100,000 more in revenue than it did last year—and possibly much more. Instead of generating new offers over the last 2 years, I’ve focused on making those offers better and better, more predictable, and more familiar.

To get really specific, that means that my interest list for an offer like 10ThousandFeet has gone from 20 to 50 to 150 to 250 to many, many more without much promotion. When I enter a sales cycle with that group, they’re there because they’re truly eager to find out more about the program. They’ve probably heard about it from a past client and they want to get similar results.

Each time I launch the program, it’s easier and easier to sell and I’m more confident about its ability to sell out.

That’s how a blockbuster product is born.

It doesn’t happen all it once. It builds over time. When you design your whole business model that way, you’ve got the makings of a blockbuster business.

This is a great time of year to step back and examine the offers your business currently has, how they’re working together (or not), and how you could plan a system for revenue growth based on those existing offers. Your Next Big Thing might be something you’re already selling.

Have questions about how that works? Ask them in the comments and I’ll address it in a future post.

Why You Haven’t Reached Your Revenue Goals Yet (and Still Feel Burnt Out)

Imagine this common scenario: Stella is a new business owner. She’s got impeccable skills, a passion for her work, and a unique set of insights into her market. She’s poised for success–and excited about sharing what she does with the world.

She develops her first offer, a one-on-one service with companion workbook that helps her customers make big steps toward their goals while giving them the tools they need to maintain their success. She gladly tells her network all about this new offer. She’s full of the kind of earnestness and zeal that really moves people to action, even if just one at a time.

As Stella is in business longer, she gets even better at what she does, grows her prospect list, and has many happy clients. However, things aren’t quite as exciting anymore.

Why? She feels like she needs to hustle more & more to maintain her revenue growth. It’s not so much that she doesn’t feel “successful” so much as she isn’t having as much fun growing the business.

She hustles and hustles. She develops new offers. She launches like a boss.

And she’s feeling burnt out.

That’s rough. Burnt out isn’t a fun place to be in your career. Especially when your business is largely dependent on you to keep it rolling.

Surely, there must be a way for Stella to reach her true revenue goals (they’re high!), to keep up the parts of her business that she loves, and to spend less time & energy on the maintenance of her business so that she can live her life own her own terms.

Microbusiness Earning Plateau

There is.

The “microbusiness earning plateau” is an extremely common problem. Hustle, hustle, hustle, and you just don’t get the same growth you used to get. On the outside you look successful, but on the inside you feel tired and spent.

It’s where I see a lot of microbusiness owners end up throwing the towel in. They just don’t see the path to the revenue and scale they thought was possible.

And that’s often when they come to me.

That’s when we start working on creating a business model that breathes. Marketing & sales activities pulse through its veins. Customer perspective feeds its soul.

The key to busting through the microbusiness earning plateau isn’t more offers (that’s just more work) and it’s not necessarily some signature program or ebook.

The key to busting through the microbusiness earning plateau and creating a business that helps you stick with this for the long haul is leveraging:

  • Prices that serve your customers.
  • Products or services that address their evolving needs.
  • And marketing & sales strategies that are designed for your freedom.

And that is the essence of a business model.

When you’re focused on creating, delivering, and exchanging value according to those three principles, you can kiss that microbusiness earning platue (and burn out, and frustration) good-bye.

It’s those qualities that all the training on social media, multiple revenue streams, or email marketing tactics won’t teach you. It’s a different way to approach the way your business works.

It’s integrated. It’s holistic. And it’s just damn good business.

Whether you’ve already hit your own earning plateau, or whether you’re just starting out and you’d like to avoid the whole thing entirely, it’s time to take a bird’s eye view of your business. There are tools and strategies that can help you cross the plateau as quickly as possible. That’s what I teach in 10ThousandFeet. Check it out.

Leverage Your Weaknesses

I have often been teased for being brainy and intellectualizing personal problems. I tend to think more than feel. I rationalize more than empathize. I am INTP.

I have never gone so far as to try to hide my smarts but I certainly have often seen it as a weakness instead of a strength. Like it’s something to be managed instead of something to be exploited.

This week in 10ThousandFeet, participants completed Onlyness Inventories. Onlyness is a concept from Nilofer Merchant’s book, 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era, and she uses it to talk about the unique angle that each of us bring to the work that we do.

From my perspective, Onlyness also applies to brands. The most memorable brands get really good at using what makes them unique to deliver additional value to their customers. And this often means focusing on what has become a perceived weakness and turning it into a genuine asset.

Instead of hiding what could be the butt of jokes, great brands put it out in the open. They exploit it.

Merchant writes in a recent post:

Your brand is the exhaust created by the engine of your life. It is a by-product of what happens as you share what you are creating, and with whom you are creating.

So if your engine is running on something–no matter how quirky it might be–and that’s not a key piece of what you’re putting out into the world, what’s representing you, what’s acting as a channel for the value you’re creating, you’re missing a big opportunity.

Don’t try to engineer a brand. Reverse-engineer a brand (click to tweet!) that supports your unique way of creating value.

My brand leverages my habit of intellectualizing and rationalizing. It sets my brand apart from brands that leverage fun & glamor or spirituality & poeticism. But its these unique strengths that allow each of these brands to deliver more value than they would if they were traveling down the middle of the road. And they are each things that could be perceived as weaknesses if not blatantly built into the very core of each business.

There’s a perception that there are certain “right” ways to create a brand or build the persona of your business. Whether you’ve bought into an image that ultra-professional, glam, corporate, spiritual, new age, or quirky, if the image of your business doesn’t spring from what you’re bringing to the table through your business’s unique skills, strengths, and passions, the resulting disconnect can drain you dry. Financially and energetically.

Your Onlyness helps you build a business model that really works. It informs your sales copy, your company culture, and your sales process. But, bottom line, it helps you & your business do what it does best.

As I mentioned earlier, often that thing that businesses are trying to hide, manage, or battle is the key to infusing Onlyness into their brand, business model, and sales process. It’s the thing they assume is keeping them from doing more, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Stop fighting it, start leveraging it.

If you’ve be struggling with how to manage a certain aspect of your personality or something that your business doesn’t do as well as you think it should, what would happen if you decided to highlight it? Harness it?

If you have a particular weakness that’s been nagging you for awhile, my friend & client Bridget Pilloud does this for a living. She helped me recast my social anxiety as a strength–which I’ve sense incorporated into my work in a big way.

Sell the End Result, Not the Service (or Product, or Program)

People aren’t looking for your service (or your product, or your program). They’re looking for results.

Your customers want to change the way they feel. They want to adjust the way they act. They have goals, they have desires, they have dreams.

All too often, businesses position their offers around the “what” of what they’re offering instead of the “why” people would actually go looking for it in the first place. Further compounding this problem, is that business models are built around “whats” instead of “whys.”

Instead of considering the best ways to achieve the desired end result for you and your customer, many business owners build models that are based on how a particular service or product has always been delivered. There’s a status quo web design model, a status quo life coach model, a status quo jewelry model.

When was the last time status quo got you the results you wanted?

You can build a business model that is focused on results, different from the rest of the marketplace, and more effective for your customers. But to do that, you need to start by making sure your core product or service is positioned function-first.

Here are 3 easy ways to reposition your offers around why your customers are actually looking to buy in the first place.

1) Lead with value, not the name of your product or service.

Your product isn’t the selling point, so why make it your headline?

If your service helps people feel better about their bodies, lead with that. If your product helps make a brand more memorable, put that front & center. If your program, helps people feel more confident about the business decisions they make and, consequently make more money, make that the star.

2) Make good use of “before & after.”

Just because you’re not Extreme Makeover doesn’t mean your product can’t benefit from some before & after swagger.

It might be as simple as listing a feature that implies the “before,” as this Bang Buster headband from Lululemon does. Or it might involve turning your customers’ before into a bullet point list that exudes empathy and an equally empathetic list of bullets that describe the “after” your customers have in mind.

3) Use visuals that allow your customers to see themselves getting the results they want.

Great visual merchandising helps customers see themselves actually owning, using, and loving a product. That’s why you prefer flipping through an Ikea catalog to browsing Amazon. While this might be standard practice for physical products, it’s also extremely useful for services and programs.

Maybe you use beautiful photos of happy mamas. Or images of curvy bodies successfully practicing yoga.

Instead of just focusing on you, let your customers see themselves achieving the results they want.

Side note: Stocksy has become my go-to source of non-stocky stock images.

I mostly pointed to sales page examples in this post (click the links above to see the examples) but positioning must be woven through all parts of your business–from the Most Valued Customer you seek to engage to your brand identity to your regular email communication. Dive deeper into the businesses I highlighted here and you’ll see a results-centered culture at the heart of everything they do.

Remember, your product is important to you but it’s results your customers are after. Click to tweet. Make how life will be different–whether in big ways or small–the focus of how your engage your customers and you’re sure to get bigger, better results for yourself.


10ThousandFeet - Business CoachingYou’re ready to lead your business instead of follow the jet stream. You’re ready for more confidence, more revenue, and a greater impact in the world. It’s time for 10ThousandFeet.

Work with me over the next 4 months to create a business model that serves you & your customers, a conversation that nourishes your goals, and a plan to leverage your skills, strengths, and passions. Registration is now open.

“The clarity I now have around the business I want to build, not just this year but over the next five, is a bigger, fancier diamond than I even imagined uncovering.”
— Laura Whitman, co-founder, Red Balloon Relations

Are you losing profit to “soft costs?”

Part of understanding the way your business works is understanding the costs associated with the way it generates revenue. For a low overhead business–most online or service-based businesses are–costs can be an afterthought.

How much does it cost to hop on Skype with a client? How much does it cost to produce an ebook or a teleclass? Beyond initial investments in design or tools, there is little monetary cost and almost none in terms of distribution or production.

But it’s a mistake to discount the softer costs of this work.

What are soft costs?

They’re the costs that can’t be measured in money. Soft costs could be felt in time, energy, or reputation.

Soft costs are the ones that eat away at your lifestyle, your relationships, and your personal satisfaction.

While the work you produce might be profitable financially, is it profitable energetically? Relationally? Temporally?

In 10ThousandFeet, we work to make sure each business is investing in creating products and services that are profitable across the board. We measure all the costs. We consider whether revenue streams are really worth the soft costs they demand.

Can you reduce the soft costs of your current revenue streams?

Soft costs often add up when a revenue stream demands you to exercise one of your (or your business’s) weaknesses instead of leveraging one of your strengths. That happens when you try to create a service that doesn’t fit the way you like to work or when you create a product that’s popular but not suited to your creation style.

Where are you losing profit to soft costs based on your business’s weaknesses or working style?

Soft costs also accrue when you make a decision that’s either out of integrity or out of alignment with your brand or big idea. It doesn’t even have to be a “bad” decision, it could just be unexpected or a little confusing for your customer base.

Where have you incurred soft costs due to decisions or directions you’ve taken in your business?

Sure, you want to optimize the bottom line just don’t forget the soft costs in your calculations.