How a jet-setting client helped me drop my ego and multiply my day-rates.

By  •  Updated: 09/03/21 •  4 min read

I had a client called Rory who spent a large chunk of his time on planes, flying around the world, presenting his workshops to large audiences.

Even now, with live events gone down the toilet, he has the same challenge of meeting 1:1.

This problem turned into a huge opportunity for me.

Rory has another agency building an email list for him to convert into leads at his events.

They’ve done a great job of building the list.

Not such a great job of putting bums on seats, which is when I stepped in.

Without a tonne of time until the next event was happening, we decided that the most impactful thing we could do was to create a webinar.

This is where we got stuck

You see I can’t just “do” a webinar for the client, they have to deliver it themselves.

My webinar offer is a coaching offer, by necessity.

We were having a hell of a time finding the time for me to talk Rory though our webinar “formula”.

Eventually I realised it wasn’t going to happen.

But Rory needed the training. He needed the webinar to happen, he needed bums on seats.

I had to find a way round it.

With no other option I swallowed my pride. I suggested I do some of the training by video, so he could watch it in one of his dead moments in the airport.

We split the training into 5 steps:

  1. 1 part video training
  1. Let Rory have a stab at the outline on his own
  1. 1 clarification call to clear up any misunderstandings or hazy areas
  1. Let Rory write the rets of the presentation
  1. 1 refinement call to make the final product as good as possible

I was feeling a bit let down that we hadn’t been able to do the training in-person, but on the first call with Rory I had a shock.

“This is amazing stuff Steve, you’ve clearly presented this a lot more times than you let on, you shouldn’t be so modest about it.”

(I’ll let you in on a secret, this was the first time I’d pulled all the material together into a single video).

The next line is what bowled me over though.

I feel so much more confident I can do this than I did last night. I’ve had a bit of time to absorb it all before we talk about my presentation.”

I’d hit on a huge improvement.

With other clients I’d been trying to teach the theory and get them to apply it in a single call.

I’d totally under-estimated how hard it is to learn and act at the same time.

Rory had had time to absorb the information, and even re-watch bits of it until he understood.

His first attempt at the webinar was the best one I’d seen from a first-timer.

I took a long look at what I’d believed about training and realised that it was pure ego that was pushing me to be with the client in that first step.

What they wanted was the information that would lead to the result.

They weren’t interested in me being there until they had questions to ask or feedback to receive.

In that moment I decided to pursue a remote-first model for all our training.

Once you let go of the idea that the client is buying you, and look at the alternatives, you start to recognise that recorded training is more valuable in a lot of ways

1) They can watch it again, without slowing anyone else down

2) They can “sleep on it” to get better ideas before they implement

3) They can share it with junior team members or replacement staff if someone leaves

It also gets a lot more enjoyable for you if you get bored presenting the same material again and again.

You can spend your time just implementing, and show your real expertise by applying the information to a range of different businesses.

I hope this gives you some confidence to for how you can run your own training products, without tying yourself in to every moment of delivery.

Stephen Pratley

I build email lists, that grow into one-man businesses.