We are going to be talking serious strategy and planning here, so you’re going to need your notebook and a little time-
if you have been feeling a bit uncertain about your financial goal this year or where you want to be just feels like a million miles away, THIS is for you and it will leave you feeling confident and positive about how to actually make stuff happen, and the direction in which you need to move in.
This year I set myself a BIG scary money goal. Like, so big it gets me excited but also at the same time a little – WHAT, are you serious? YOU? earn THAT?
Which is good, right. Goals are meant to be a little unnerving otherwise what’s the point?
And my lifestyle goals are also scary.
1- Not increasing my work hours even by a few hours or so here and there. If anything – LESS. Which is also super scary for someone who used to run a full time teaching job, run a bar in the evenings and weekends, and then go home and work until it got light on my business. The cult of busy is almost ingrained into us, right?
but I’ve pretty much managed to nail it, now it’s maintaining the levels of work / play / lifestyle that I love and that fulfils me on a soul and creativity level.
2- Year of travel, to New Zealand, Bali, Austin, and maybe a few other places inbetween. Yep, the FCA is going global which wouldn’t be quite so scary if it didn’t come hand in hand with two pre-schoolers who REALLY don’t like flying. Like, not even for an hour or so. So it requires a ton of organisation. Not my greatest strength.
So anyway – I revealed my grand master plan for my big scary income goal to my friend / mentor / guru-awesome-person this week and he said – Great! Now what’s the plan to get there?
How are you going to do that?
Oh. Um. Well. I’m not quite sure yet. But I will do it!
Good one! How to sound like a daydreaming non-action taking non-goal achiever in under a second.
And being a woolly headed daydreamer, I admit that sometimes in looking for the destination and dreaming about its beauty, I kind of forget that YOU NEED TO WRITE THE BLOODY MAP ON HOW TO GET THERE.
So I got to work, and I thought this process is one you might also want to follow if like me, on occasion, you get diverted from your goals easily, lose sight of what you are aiming for, or even like I do get so busy dreaming about the future you forget to implement some of the strategies needed to get there.
Let’s get this straight first.
THE MAP IS MEANT TO HAVE DIVERSIONS.
THE MAP IS MEANT TO HAVE BUMPS IN THE ROADS
YOUR JOURNEY WILL GO VIA MOUNTAINS AND YOU WILL GET TIRED AND FRUSTRATED
IF YOU DON’T STRAY FROM THE MAP SOMETIMES YOU’LL NEVER FIND THE SHORTCUT
IF YOU GET LOST, RETURN BACK TO THE ORIGINAL ROUTE AND PLAN.
YOU HAVE CHOICES IN ALL OF THE ABOVE.
Here is how to make your goals happen, whatever time of the year it is, from a practical based strategy, rather than a daydreamy – wouldn’t that be nice type view.
Planning the journey
This part is easy. You need to know where you are headed. So what’s your final destination? Write it down. The most important part here – BE SPECIFIC. How much do you need to earn and by when?
One brilliant member of Shining Lights posted in the group recently saying that she realised one morning she needed to make an extra 1k this month, so she jumped out of bed and launched 5 mentoring sessions (even though she admits it was a little scary to do so). Result? She sold out in less than a day.
But first, she had to know what she needed in order to be able to carry out the practical action necessary to hit that goal.
And to hit those BIG, scary, next 6-12 month number goals? It’s the exact same process as above, just on a bigger scale.
Pin that number up somewhere where you can see it, so you are reminded on a daily basis where you are heading.
Finally for part one – realise that BIG SCARY MONEY goal is just someone else’s idea of NORMAL- why can’t it be normal for you?
THE BIG ROUTE PLANNING PART
First – look at where you are at RIGHT NOW. What are you earning, monthly?
Then, take this amount away from your goal figure.
What are you left with?
So if your goal is to make 20k per month and you wanted this to become a regular, reliable source of income for you, and you are currently bringing in 5k per month
If you want to hit your 20k goal, you’ll need to find a way to make that extra 15k per month. Read on to find out how-
Review your current income streams. What has been the most profitable and EASY income stream for you over this past year? It doesn’t matter how big or small or how much you’ve earned with it, or whether it feels like a lot or not to you.
Just what has been EASIEST, that you have achieved without barely trying?
Remember – 3 Ways to grow a business.
Get More Clients,
Sell More To The Clients You Already Have
Get Existing Clients To Buy From You More Often
Golden tip; it is much easier to LEVERAGE your current clients / followers, than it is to gain new ones
So now you have looked and right now you probably have ONE main bestselling product, service, or package last year.
So focus on THAT FIRST, before you try to grow anything else- as it already contains LEVERAGE-
-your existing clients
-proof it works
So those clients you have that you have had to date – how can you work with them MORE?
What did they come to you for- and the answer will never be what it is that you do,
specifically eg ‘photography’ but because your style is ‘romantic soft dreamy’ for example-
or it won’t be ‘business coaching’ it will be ‘financial transformation’
or it won’t be ‘planning a wedding’ it will be ‘easy straightforward beautiful design and organisation’
One of my dear friends who is a killer high-end wedding planner recently launched a high-end planning and design service for baby showers, naming ceremonies, and birthdays.
That is a BRILLIANT example of how to maximise your current clients, seeing as I’m guessing at least half of her clients will go on to have children in the future!
How many photographers go on to routinely offer one year anniversary sessions? Not many. Or one year anniversary print sales? etc etc.
So that’s looking at what you do from a SERVICE based perspective, now to SELL what you have decided to offer-
What MARKETING streams worked well for you last year?
So what worked successfully to attract clients into this one program / service / package this year? What persuaded them to work with you or buy from you?
Was it reviews? Advertising? Was it a call to action at the end of your posts? Was it referrals? Was it face to face networking? Was it your stellar customer service? Which part of the process gave you the best results, and that you found easy / loved to do- and how can you do MORE of it this year?
If you invested in advertising and it returned you three clients which TRIPLED your original investment into the ad – you might then want to TRIPLE your investment into the ad, so that you start to see massive returns.
So you would include this in your planning as your way to estimate how you can LEVERAGE YOUR CURRENT INCOME so if you know that those three clients earned you $3000, by investing $500, you could reasonably expect that if you increased your ad spend to $1500 (three times the original amount) you could expect to earn $9000.
So you have leveraged your current success.
Because this is what planning your map is about- using where you are currently at and figuring out the quickest route to get to where you want to go, and usually the quickest way to do this is by LEVERAGING what you currently have.
For me, facebook advertising worked like a dream to get people joining my list.
As I write so much content, it was inevitable that from there some people would naturally become my (dream) clients as one of my main sales activities is my daily call to action I put at the end of my posts, (number two so I will be doing more of that)
and then posts themselves that got shares,
followed by my members-only affiliate program as my biggest revenue-generating activities.
Plan out everything you want to launch or create this year.
And then – this is how I work things out and it’s kind of backwards in terms of how most people will tell you how to do it, but then I’m not most people I’m ME and this is what works for ME so there is a pretty great chance it will work for you too unless you can think of a reason why not in which case do go find something else that works.
All I know is – THIS WORKS.
As well as setting your financial goal – figure out how many people you want to help this year.
Last year for me it was 4000. And I ended up with about 4400 names on my list or thereabouts. 4400 women (and men) saying they are interested in hearing from me, and in me helping them.
How many people do you want to work with and impact?
And HOW are you going to do this?
First – look at your main income stream. You need to figure out how many people you would need to serve going by what you currently charge in order to reach your income goal.
Say for example you are a photographer and you shoot weddings and you charge $3500 per wedding. Your income goal is $200,000 for the year or 17K per month on average.
You’re going to need to book 5 clients per month paying $3500 per wedding to hit your target.
But what if bookings are slow? What if shooting 5 weddings per month means you work every weekend and you know you’ll be exhausted as a result? What about in winter or quieter seasons when people aren’t getting married every weekend meaning you’ll need to shoot 2-3 weddings per week during the busy summer months which means without a doubt you’ll get frazzled and exhausted and ANYWAY that’s impossible because you have 3 kids?
You get the point.
If you are STUCK at your main income stream hitting a ceiling (because perhaps you are trading a time for money model eg there are only so many weddings you can shoot, bouquets you can design, people you can coach based on how many hours you actually have available)
You need to figure out another way to hit your goal which involves helping MORE people who need you and your brilliance.
This is a big step and something not always thought about in the chase of doing what we love from a ‘selfish’ perspective eg I will just do what I want to do and what I LOVE to do, yet you are constantly living in a feast – famine cycle, or relying on the seasons for your income, or hoping that one day like by magic everything will change and your business will gain the leverage you need-
Without realising that the reason you aren’t hitting your goals is perhaps because your route map needs some adjustment and flexibility.
Perhaps you create franchises of people working under your name / in your style.
Perhaps you need to create a ‘stable’ of freelancers willing to work for you, in your name / style
Perhaps you need to create digital income streams that can be accessed globally
Perhaps you need to write a book
Perhaps you need to create a training academy
So while you concentrate on leveraging the income stream that you already have –
What else can you CREATE to reach and serve MORE people?
Going back to the previous example and I KNOW this is getting pretty facty- here and I hope you haven’t nodded off because THIS is what you need to know, this is the important stuff that will get you to where you want to go, once you have the mindset in place that can so often hold you back from taking the action necessary to IDENTIFY, LEVERAGE, GROW-
If you know you only want to shoot 20 weddings a year not 60, so you know you will make 20 x 3500 = 70,ooo from shooting weddings, and you know on top of that your other sources of income which might be other shoots / session types, product / print sales leave you with a total income of $140, 000 and you need to fill the gap of 60,000 to make your target goal –
You now know you can either
Increase how often you sell something to your current or existing clients (so you might offer more print sales or promos)
Increase the prices of your current offerings
Provide something new for your existing clients
OR get more clients.
And here you want to start with aiming to reach the BIGGEST AUDIENCE POSSIBLE and generally this is NOT found within a model that trades time for money even if that is a model of income generation that seems really popular and easy right now for example coaching or photography or mentoring.
Bottom line – if you are trading time for money there will always be a ceiling on your income.
SO- who else can you serve and create for, and how can you make this as many people as possible?
Create your other income stream.
Start to plan it out.
Figure out how much you need / want to earn from this in order to meet your income goal
Figure out how much you will charge and how many people it will serve
And THIS is how you will hit your income goal this year.
I know, it doesn’t SOUND heart driven, because the practical strategy never bloody does, but the thing about making a living as a CREATIVE?
It has to be about passion and creativity backed up by the practical strategy necessary to MAKE IT WORK.
And I know that once again this is a MASSIVE post and perhaps indeed it should have been reserved just for my Shining Lights members who GET IT, they understand completely how this stuff works and WANT to take the practical action ALONGSIDE the big dreaming.
BUT- I wanted you to know.
This is how I make my dreams happen.
This is how they don’t just remain stuck up in my head like a daydream.
I choose to take the disciplined strategy and sit down with a notebook and work through this stuff.
Funny thing is I have a feeling well over half of the people reading this post will go – yeah! sounds great! and then never do a thing with it and forget it ever existed.
but for everyone else –
Creator, dreamer of dreams;
Go back to the start of this post, and choose to do the work.
Success is ALWAYS, a choice.
Love and Light
Want to join a passionate and on-fire tribe who are getting a ton of strategy as well as the motivation and the mindset techniques needed to grow their business and enrich their lives?
You can make this choice.
Choose Shining Lights.