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Early Exit #14: August Finances (75% to goal)
The best month I've had..so far.
You’re reading Early Exit Club — a newsletter about leaving the 9-5 workforce to build a $20k/month solo business by Nick Lafferty.
I’m writing this edition from Santa Cruz, California where I’ve spent the past few days hanging out with a good friend, learning to surf, and asking complete strangers if they’ve seen a yellow slug (most had not).
We’re officially 75% to my goal of earning $20k/month and there’s a non-zero chance I hit 100% before the year is over.
I’m skipping the standard full finance update and instead focusing on what I think you’ll find most interesting.
Here it is
Last month my consulting income spiked and I’m here to tell you all about it and hopefully leave you with some tips on how to replicate it yourself.
🟢 Up 186% ($4.4k → $12.6k)
I’m a growth marketing consultant for B2B SaaS startups from Seed to Series B. Hit reply if you need my help :)
So, what happened?
It’s a combination of a few things.
Signing two new clients on monthly retainers
Increasing scope with 2 existing clients
I’ll break down each one.
1) Signing new clients
Where do I find clients?
The unsatisfying answer is that they find me.
I’ve spent years writing online, building an audience on LinkedIn and on my blog, and that’s resulted in about 50% of my current clients.
You can do this too and it starts with consistently sharing your story on a platform like LinkedIn.
But what about the other 50%?
But not in person, god no.
Put me in a group larger than 3 people and I completely shut down.
Networking on the internet is where I earn my gold star.
I’ve been making friends on the internet since my parents bought our first computer.
I started an internet radio station when I was 16 years-old, comprised solely of strangers I met in internet chat rooms.
Those strangers freely agreed to trade their time playing music on my radio station, long before Spotify was a thing.
And while I had no idea at the time, the years I spent talking to those people gave me the skills and experience that help me build relationships on the internet with strangers I meet on LinkedIn.
I genuinely enjoy talking with people 1-on-1 to learn more about them, their story, and how I can help.
I wrote more about my approach to this in a previous newsletter:
I purposely called it Building Community because that’s how I approach every interaction.
I don’t want anything from you. I just want to meet, say hi, and be helpful.
And that’s gotten me introductions to people who have changed my life.
Those 2nd and 3rd degree connections have introduced me to the remaining 50% of my current active clients.
So my advice? Go out of your way to meet new people, be helpful, and ask for nothing in return.
2) Increasing scope
The other part of my income spike last month came from increasing scope with two existing clients.
Here’s what that looks like.
I moved those clients from Advising engagements to Implementation engagements.
Advising is a great way to start with a new client as it lets both sides get to know each other with minimum commitments and risks involved.
From there, you can identify opportunities and put forward a proposal for how you can help them.
My advising engagements usually start by working with a founder or marketing leader to build a growth marketing strategy. Often they want a second opinion on their current strategy and feedback on what to do (or just as importantly, what not to do).
Sometimes I come in and identify a gap where I have the exact skillset they need.
Those are the times where I graduate clients to the next level.
And sometimes I come in and I can’t help them. Then I’ll refer them to someone else and look to step aside.
I approach every engagement with the same mindset: I just want to be helpful.
Wait, before you go
This was a different finance update than my past ones.
What did you think? Do you want me to go deeper on one channel every month instead of giving shorter progress updates?
Take a look at my last finance update to see what an older version of these looked like:
As always, I appreciate the heck out of y’all.
This isn’t a platform for me to ego-blast how much money I make, it’s an excuse to share my story with the 700 friends I’ve met on the internet with the hope that I can help a few of y’all out.
Thats it. See you next week for a newsletter based on the 1998 hit movie You’ve Got Mail (seriously, lol).
p.s. had to throw up a new pic from my surfing adventures
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