When you’re a 1-person agency (or two people, like my husband and I), your time is your most valuable resource. Therefore the path to $10K (or way more) per month comes down to cold, hard MATH: it only works if you spend your time exclusively on the high-value, money-making tasks that only you can do.
And that means you need to eliminate, or outsource, the rest.
Unfortunately, many agencies do the opposite: they’re set up in a way where they unknowingly waste time doing things that aren’t delivering high-value to their clients, and getting paid an equivalently low wage in the process.
Even worse, they’re not even trying to set themselves up to get more high-paying, high-profit clients in the future.
They’re stuck in this low-value, low-wage cycle and they don’t even know it!
Here are eight things you can start doing today to consistently make $10K or more every month.
1. Find Your Pond
Your pond doesn’t need the widest variety of fish to be lucrative. If you’re a 1-person agency, pitching yourself as a generalist limits your ability to be known for anything when you do a little bit of everything.
It also makes it hard to charge more than a low-level hourly rate. People don’t pay premium prices for generalists.
Find your pond. Get specific about the niche you want to serve, and then tailor your strategy to attract only those fish.
2. Have a Ready-to-Buy Solution to Their Biggest Problem
Stop wasting time customizing every project to every client. You need to spend that time doing work for the client, not nitpicking over details.
Pre-packaged services are necessary if you want to have a sustainable 1-person agency. It cuts through so much laborious work agencies have to do before they have even been paid.
I know what you’re thinking—there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every client!
To which I say, you can’t see the forest from the trees. Your service can still be bespoke, but it’s the package that’s standardized. Within that framework, you can tailor your work to the client. (I share exactly how to do this in my No BS Agency Blueprint, grab it here.)
3. Cut Out Time-Wasting Activities You Think You’re Supposed to Do
Do you use proposals, free strategy sessions, and unlimited revisions to be a big fish in a small pond? You might think you can’t live without them, but you can! You can replace them with processes that are much less time-intensive AND will still give your clients a reason to choose you.
4. Create a Repeatable Process
Your work is custom to the client, but the process doesn’t need to be. There’s a lot more room to get creative if you have a reliable process to deliver that work. For example, do you have onboarding templates to help you start a project? Do you have a system for keeping track of files and documents? Do you stick to a meeting format to ensure each meeting is productive and key takeaways are clear?
Processes substantially cut down on the client management side that often ends up being a huge time suck. You’re only one person—you do not have time for that.
5. Have a “Gateway Drug” Offer That Makes You Easy to Hire Without a Proposal
Pitching and proposals are processes that many small agencies follow blindly because “that’s just how it’s done.” But all you’re doing is swimming in circles, thinking you’re making progress. This puts you in a powerless position where you spend a lot of time working for free.
Instead, I sell a lead product, which is a smaller first offer that replaces the free proposal. You can learn more about it HERE.
6. Fish in Your Pond
Once you’ve found your pond, go hang out in it. Go where your ideal clients go, then connect with them. Be helpful. This is a lot easier if you take the time to find the right pond first because you’ll know the type of fish you’re looking for.
If you do graphic design for anyone who will pay, then your clients are everywhere—meaning you don’t know where to go. However, if you do graphic design for wedding-related businesses—well, now we’re talking! There are so many specific associations, events, and networking groups you can join to find your perfect fish.
7. Be Clear and Consistent About the Problems You Solve
You can spot your ideal fish in an instant, so it’s easy to forget that this isn’t as obvious to the rest of us. Make it easy for others to figure out what you do and how you can help them. Get specific on your website, social media, and anywhere else people might engage with you.
8. Make a $10K/Month Plan
I see agency owners do this all the time: they hope to find as many clients as they can, charge as much as they can, and hope it hits some magic number.
But it is so much easier to hit that $10k/month goal if you simplify your plan for getting there. And the first step is to understand the numbers.
You know how you get four $2,500 clients? You look for four $2,500 clients.
You don’t write proposals for everyone who walks through the door. You redirect all that time and effort and tell everyone about your $2,500 package. I promise you, if you do JUST THAT for the next month, you will make more money in less time, doing what you love.
Are you committing some or all of these cardinal sins? If you want to cut the fat and move into a profitable, no-nonsense agency model, download the exact blueprint we followed here to get to not just $10k/month, but $10k/day with our two person agency. Any small creative agency can make more money in less time just by implementing part 1!