FT 120: Find Clients Willing to Pay Thousands per Month for Your Services with Adrienne Richardson
Adrienne Richardson manages Facebooks ads. So how much is managing someone’s Facebook ads worth? Is it the $100/month that you’ll find on some offshore job boards? Is it $1,000/month? What about $5,000 a month plus 10% of the Facebook ad spend? That’s what Adrienne’s clients pay, and she is frequently booked solid. She’s also not a massive agency, as you’ll learn, her business is mostly her.
In this interview, Adrienne spills the secrets of why she is able to command these fees and work with amazing clients, despite plenty of other people fighting to charge the lowest fees possible. Pay close attention to why her clients are actually hiring her. And pay attention to how she finds her clients, and I’ll give you a hint, it’s not super sophisticated, but it’s incredibly powerful.
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Adrienne shares with us:
Adrienne started her digital marketing agency 4 years ago and specializes in Facebook ads.
Adrienne's background is in PR, but when she was laid off, she had to come up with something new. She tried starting a different business, but that never took off. Then, she started her marketing agency. Originally, Adrienne did any and all marketing.
“Anything I knew how to do that anybody would pay me to do, I was doing.”
About 2-3 months into her business, she discovered Facebook ads and learned how to use them for her own interests, to promote her agency. Once she got results, she started sharing with her clients that she had success with Facebook. So they started asking her to do the same for them, and it took off.
Around the same in her business, Adrienne joined a program called Clients on Demand. She learned new tools and business strategies such as how to build out funnels. Clients on Demand helped her go from charging $400/month for Facebook ads to $5,000/month plus 10% of ad spend, slowly increased over 3.5 years by $25 increments.
“That was the first time I realized the value of what I had to offer people.”
The higher price tag comes with additional services as well, especially higher quality customer experience.
“The truth is that people with huge budgets want to hire the best and people know that the best costs a lot of money. So when you're cheap, people know you're not really the best.”
At the $400/month level, Adrienne was attracting people who knew they needed an expert to do the work for them but couldn't afford the best. They had small budgets. And if a client has a small budget, it is hard to get life changing results for them. It's not as fulfilling and fun for Adrienne to work on because they tend to also nitpick on every dollar.
“The larger clients could care less about all the little numbers. All they care about is if they are making more money than they are spending.”
Using Facebook Ads
All that matters is if you are making more than you are spending. So Adrienne's job is to figure out what it costs to get the end-goal.
The mistake many people make is trying to get the cost-per-click lower or increase the click-through rate.
“Just because it is a cheaper click doesn't mean that its a good quality lead.”
But what matters is the result, such as sales from a sales page or booking a sales call. Adrienne looks at cost-per-call, not cost-per-click. Adrienne optimizes to get the client high-quality calls, not just clicks.
Pro-tip: Test mobile and desk-top ads separately so you can have a much better understanding of where the audience is. And if you see that a click for the desktop group is $2, while a click for the mobile group is $0.30, don't toss out the desktop group! What really matters is that desktop traffic will often follow through even though there are fewer clicks, compared to mobile with many clicks, but low conversion to any substantial result.
One of the first marketing jobs Adrienne got was writing emails to list of 30,000 emails. She was just starting out so she did a back of the napkin calculation. She wanted to make $50/hour. And she thought it would take about 30 minutes to write an email. So she told the client it would cost $25/email. At the time, she felt really good about this. Rich even!
After a couple of months of writing weekly emails, the client told her that one of the emails landed him a huge, multimillion dollar deal! She was so excited! Then her husband pointed out that she was paid $25, while the client just made millions.
“That was the beginning of me realizing that we should not charge based on how long it takes us to do something, but instead on the value of the result it gets people.”
But she still struggled internally, thinking that is was ridiculous to charge more. Adrienne thought it was so easy to write emails or do Facebook ads. It took a lot of convincing from other people to tell her that it's not at all easy for them. It took 6 months to a year after the Clients on Demand event for it to really sink in that she was worth more.
“That was my own self-worth issue that I had to work through.”
As she kept seeing the results that she was getting people, she gained confidence in her ability and slowly increased her rates by $25 increments. Then, she doubled it, expecting that she would lose clients and that no one would be able to afford her. But her reputation had been increasing along with her price, so she just got higher value clients with bigger budgets who knew the kind of results that she could get for them.
Not a lot has changed except her confidence level. She doesn't have to convince people to hire her. In fact, it is easier to make the sale because she has built up her reputation in the industry.
Building a reputation:
“One of the biggest things that started it is I decided not to be a jack-of-all trades.”
At the end of her first year in business, she decided to focus only on Facebook ads. At first, it was hard to say no to people who wanted her to do other forms of marketing because that was money she was turning down. But, when she focused down, she started getting more referrals because she was the person who did Facebook ads. Her name would quickly come up when someone said they need an expert in Facebook ads.
“It was scary to do, like I said. And it seems counterintuitive. I could do all these things, so if I stop doing them, I'm going to lose business. But that's not what happens.”
The key is doing a really good job for people. Treat everyone great and do fantastic and get people good results. Then it naturally grows. Happy clients referred their friends to her and she kept getting bigger and better business.
She had one coaching client who was just starting out. She could only afford to pay Adrienne $100 for coaching, but took the advice from the coaching and made a successful webinar that got her $1100. She reinvested in coaching with Adrienne and made more. She did it again and again and now makes millions in her business. She has referred over 25 people to Adrienne, high-quality leads.
“Put your stake in the sand, this is what I do, this is what I stand for. Do a really good job for people and you're going to have 1, 2, 3 people along the way, you don't need a massive amount of people referring you, you can literally fill your business with one or two strong referral sources.”
To build a reputation, you need to have good communication and integrity.
Way too often, you hear from clients that they contacted a marketer but never heard back. Be different, be good at communication.
Then, have integrity and do things that you are comfortable with doing. Don't do the shady, it won't pay off.
Getting higher quality referrals:
“I set the intention that this is what I want to do and this is who I want to work with. And when I started raising my prices, it naturally started weeding out the people that are wrong and attracting the right people.”
When Adrienne networked, she got really specific about what she was looking for: people who are close to six-figures and want to scale-up and double. She just put it out in the world of who she was looking for.
Once she landed a few big clients and other people knew that she did great work for these big names, then the other big names came out of the wood work and wanted to work with her.
At first, she only went to industry specific events so she could learn from colleagues. Then she switched and started going to events where her potential clients hung out. These are not newbies. These are people who know what Facebook ads are and know that they can benefit from them.When she met the potential clients and saw that they had a need for her work, she got up the courage to offer her services.
Adrienne also goes to events that are more diverse in the types of business owners so she can learn other ways that they market. These events drive her creativity to figure out how to apply other marketing strategies to what she does. It keeps her work fresh and exciting.
Finding the events can be a bit time-consuming. At first, she would do lots of googling to find interesting events. Then, Adrienne started asking people where they go and what events are good for her. Her goal became building up a network of the right people with the right connections and businesses that would need her services. Smaller events became more important than the 3,000 person events.
Adrienne runs few ads for herself because she depends on her personal relationships to run her business. Adrienne's goal is not to grow out a massive agency. She wants to spend time with her family too. Ads are for volume, networking is for a few, high-quality clients.
“I have two options. I can grow my business by charging less and having hundreds of clients. Or, I can get really amazing results for a handful of people, charge a really high ticket, they're happy and I'm happy. And I don't have an overwhelming, huge business.”
It is really uncomfortable to network – to go up to someone and start a conversation and meet new people. It pays off huge. It is so much more comfortable to go to events with friends, but you don't meet new people.
First thing Adrienne does is ask a lot of questions. She wants to know all the numbers of the business. She asks if they have a marketing funnel, how they are getting leads now, what percentage of leads they close, etc. That way, she knows if Facebook ads would help them.
A lot of the time, people don't know how much it costs to get a lead. That's a red flag. She doesn't want them dumping a lot of money into Facebook without a system of what to do with the leads.
Adrienne likes the people in the middle who know their numbers, who have some leads coming in and have a system in place to convert them. She will take them on if she knows that she can improve leads for them and that she can scale it.
Most of the clients that Adrienne works with have an ad budget of $10,000 or more.
When you start out, be aware of who you get good results for and who you love working with. And be very intentional to only work with the people who meet your criteria. Stop taking on clients who make you say that you will never work with that type of client again, or work with so-and-so again.
Be willing to say no to the wrong people! It's not worth the aggravation.
You will only get the business you want when you stop taking on clients that you don't like working with.
Lessons from Adrienne's experience:
Don't be everything to everybody. Dial it in.
Not finding value and worth in what you do. Work on your confidence and self-worth.
Try and push back the fear!
- Work at being the best in your craft.
- Do things that are uncomfortable and push to grow. Never be complacent.
- Know what you want and stay true to it.
- Clients on Demand
- “Strike Gold with Your Facebook Ads” by Adrienne Richardson
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