You've heard me say before that 1:1 work is a fantastic way to get started as an entrepreneur, especially when you need to hit a certain income threshold. But I don't do 1:1 work anymore! Today, we're going to talk about why I don't do 1:1 work AND share an exciting announcement that you might have already noticed.
Why I Don’t Do 1:1 Work AND an Announcement, did you catch it?
Want to listen to the podcast version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
Let’s start with the exciting announcement!
You may have already noticed… but in case you didn’t, I changed the name of the podcast to Hey Jessica!
I’m changing the name pretty quietly. The podcast was originally called Grit, and then I renamed it to Passive Income Playbook in the summer. The motivational “kick-in-the-pants” style of Grit was someone else’s dream and mission. So, I changed the name to Passive Income Playbook. And nearly immediately, I regretted it.
I really want my podcast to be a business podcast, but also a place where I can give you ALL the things I’m passionate about. I’m also looking forward at interviewing local business owners now that I have this studio, and I want the freedom to make those interviews about things besides passive income.
That’s NOT to say that I’ll never talk about passive income again, because y’all KNOW that passive income is my jam. But it probably wasn’t a month before I told my assistant that I regretted not making it Hey Jessica.
So, next time you look for this podcast, you’ll just need to search Hey Jessica. You won’t notice a difference in the content! That’s another reason I’m keeping it quiet. I feel freedom to create content that I know you all will love, even if it isn’t passive income focused.
Let’s talk about 1:1 work!
Typically, whenever I put out a course I get a lot of requests for 1:1 work or consultations. I got an Instagram dm the other day from someone about to launch a course asking me how I handle telling people that I don’t do 1:1 work.
This is SUCH a good question. My answer to her was to just straight up say no. If you feel like you don’t want to do 1:1 work, then that is completely your decision. I think that we have a lot of trouble telling people no about anything, BUT it’s a two letter word.
We can and should say no! People ask me on a daily basis (especially locally) if I do 1:1 work or marketing management. And sometimes, when I tell people that, I get a lot of confusion. “What? I don’t understand? I thought that’s what you do!”
It’s very confusing to people locally that I don’t do one-on-one work because they don’t quite understand how I make money. And I TOTALLY get that, because I have a very different type of business model.
So, what do you say when someone asks you to do a 1:1 work but you don’t offer those?
Include recommendations for other service providers.
People are probably asking you about your service options because they need help and don’t know where else to go. Have a list of other names ready to go in case someone asks!
This can also apply if you do one type of 1:1 work but often get asked about another. If you’re a web designer, you might have a ton of people ask you about social media management or graphic design. Having a list of go-to recommendations for other providers will help your “no” be actually helpful for the other person.
Another option: have something you CAN give them, outside of 1:1 work
A lot of times, people will come to me and ask about 1:1 coaching. So, I tell them no, but I ask them specifically what they are looking for help on. Most of the time, it’s something that I already have a course on and so I can point them in that direction!
Maybe you have a resource or freebie that’s relevant to their question that you could send their way.
Sometimes, you won’t have a course or resource to point them to! Instead, you can recommend someone else who you know does fantastic work in that area.
If you’re going to turn away work of any kind, you should have a plan in place to provide that person with a resource.
Why I don't do 1:1 work
Well, guys, it’s because I don’t like it. I don’t like being at the mercy of someone else. I don’t like feeling as if someone else is my boss.
The other day, my whole family and I got into a conversation about whose job pays for their cell phone and whose doesn’t. During this conversation, I was a smart-ass and said “my company pays for my cell phone!” And my brother-in-law said “duh,” and then he said: “You may not have a boss, but somebody else is your boss.”
He went on to say that, no matter what you do, you always have a boss. If you stop doing what you do, then people will eventually stop buying from you. And I completely agree with that – our customers are our bosses no matter what our business model is. But I think it’s next LEVEL when we do a service.
I personally don’t like the constraints on myself, my schedule, and my team. Plus, I don’t like feeling like I don’t get to make my own rules in the scenario.
I have tried to do 1:1 consulting, coaching, and marketing services thinking it was the WHAT I was doing for 1:1 that I didn’t like, not the 1:1 part. And I have learned that that is not the case.
My past experiences with 1:1 work
I LOVE giving people advice and strategies. But, for whatever reason, I don’t like to coach or consult. I think a lot of it in the coaching/consulting part is that most people don’t listen to the advice.
I saw most of that locally. By the time someone makes it to an online coach, they’re usually ready to do the work. But locally, I am the only person around here who specializes in digital marketing. So, I would create packages. I had one “done for you” package that was priced outrageously high on purpose, because managing everything for someone is a LOT for me and I wanted it to be worth my time if I was doing it.
So, I had this top-of-the-line package priced at about $4,000. Then, I would offer a one-time consulting session for $450 or $500. The other option was an ongoing coaching relationship for a three-month minimum. At that point, I would consult with people, tell them what they needed to do, give them the resources to do it, and yet I saw the most falloff.
It was so frustrating! There was one company in particular that I consulted with that I shared all the knowledge with – and they didn’t do half of it because the girl was busy. And I totally understand busy seasons – but that meant we weren’t getting half of what we should have been doing, done. And at the end of this relationship, there weren’t very many results.
So I felt like I had failed, but in reality, we could have gotten incredible results! They just didn’t have the capacity, and I couldn’t force priorities.
In late 2019, I decided to open up my calendar and add different coaching package options. I had six clients, and I was charging between $1,000-$1,200 per month. That's a decent chunk of money! But I hated doing it. I hate feeling tied down to work.
As we were nearing the end of those contracts, I knew I wasn’t going to renew them, even though my clients at that point were all AMAZING. But $7,000 per month is a LOT to give up. But, if you don’t enjoy it at all, then you need to figure out a way to make up that income.
The point here is that I don’t do 1:1 work because I don’t like it. And some people would think that makes me crazy, because it has good money involved. I will say that I get the most confused reactions from local people. They scoff at me for passing up the opportunity and don't understand how I make money.
So, I find other ways to up my income so that I don’t have to do 1:1 work.
How I’m making up that income in 2021
One of the ways that I am doing that going forward is with sponsorships: YouTube, podcast, and more. And in some ways, the sponsors that I’m creating content for are my boss. But I do not enter a single contract or partnership without CLEARLY laying out the things that are non-negotiables for me.
One of those is that I’m not going to sell out my audience. A lot of times, sponsors will want you to do a video that fully focuses on them and their product. I will NOT do that. And that means that I turn down some money – which is okay with me.
Any sponsorships that I do have to be a great fit for my audience and allow me to integrate the sponsorship natively into my content.
If there is something that you just do NOT enjoy doing, but all the gurus are telling you that you need to do it – DON’T LISTEN TO THEM.
There’s no point if you don't enjoy the work.
There’s a push for everybody right now to create courses. But if you love 1:1 work and hate courses, then don’t do it! Or, if you’re like me and love courses but hate 1:1 work, then stick to courses!
I’m not saying we only do work that we enjoy. You don’t have to enjoy something that you’re “supposed to enjoy.”