Earlier this year, we were talking about ways to streamline our biz. I (Lily) had just had a health scare and we decided it was time to do some re-evaluating. What in our lives (and biz) did we love and want to do more of? What did we want to do less of? It was time to make some decisions.
So what did we love? Design of course!
We wanted to be able to spend more time actually designing websites. So that meant outsourcing the things we didn’t like to do. That’s why we’ve made it a priority to hire a VA by the end of summer.
What didn’t we love? Working on a million tiny projects for a million different clients (clearly we weren’t actually working on a million projects but it sure felt like it at the time).
We wanted to focus on working with a few select clients every month.
And so, our VIP program was born!
How does it work? For a recurring monthly fee, we manage our client sites. We check weekly to make sure that the sites are updated, secure, and just generally running smoothly. More importantly, besides our full website design projects, we will only be working on projects for our VIP clients.
We sent out an e-mail announcing our launch to 12 previous clients.
9 said yes immediately.
We always knew that there would be only 10 spots, we filled the last one the following month. For the first time ever, we had sold out a service!
Ready to start selling more?
- Offer something your audience wants.
This may seem obvious but it’s something people take for granted. For a program or a service to sell out, you have to be sure it’s something your audience wants. In our case, clients don’t want to deal with logging into their website on a regular basis. They also don’t want to be the one to break their website when they hit that update button lol. Being able to reserve a space on our calendar is just a bonus.
- Offer to warm prospects first.
We sent out e-mail to clients who knew and loved us. That made it easy for them to say yes. If we had made this same offer to our e-mail list, people who knew who we were but hadn’t necessarily worked with us, the results would not have been the same.
- It’s a numbers game.
We offered this service to 12 people and 10 said yes. That’s definitely not average. Denise DT (one of my favorite entrepreneurs in the world!) recently talked about how an average conversion rate is something like 1%. When trying to sell out a program you’ll need to be realistic about how many people are likely to say yes and how many people you’ll have to pitch to get your spots filled.
Transparency time – In our 7 odd years of business, we’ve launched quite a few services/products. Most don’t sell out. Some don’t sell at all. And that’s okay. Being an entrepreneur is a learning process, and as long as you learn something from each experience, that’s what matters. If you’re starting to get discouraged because it feels like you can’t ever make the sales you want, don’t give up!
Focus on building your audience and trying to figure out what you can do to make their lives easier. I know that feels like a big thing (I was going to include a clever example here but right now the only thing I can think of is the proverb about eating an elephant and that doesn’t quite fit) and I’m not saying that it’s supposed to be easy. But that’s what it boils down to. People buy solutions to their problems and when that solution is being offered by someone they already know, like and trust, it makes the purchase a no-brainer.