What would happen if you improved on everything you did by a factor of 10?

a ten times iimprovementLet me give you an example.

Let’s say you’re a freelance writer, focusing on Business-to-Business clients, and want to create a free report to offer your website visitors when they sign up for your newsletter.

We’ll call your report, “The 7 Secrets to Converting Prospects into Clients”.

You create a short outline. You do some research. Maybe you download a few reports from your competitors’ websites to see how they did it.

You then write the report. Let’s say it’s 14 pages long. You get a cover designed. You’re good to go.

That’s the “factor of 1” version.

Now let’s look at what a “factor of 10” version might look like.

You find 7 senior marketing managers at B2B companies, contact them and say you’d like to interview them. You could do this by Skype. Better still, you could travel to their offices and interview them in person. Or go to the same conferences they go to and interview them there.

Now you have 7 video interviews. You make transcripts of them.

You change your title to, “7 Successful B2B Marketers Share Their Prospect Conversion Secrets.”

On your website you can now offer both the transcript and the 7 video interviews as a freebie for everyone who signs up for your newsletter.

The transcript version is 54 pages long. You have photos from the videos. And you have the videos yourself.

Now you are leaving your competitors in the dust. Because what you offer has 10 times the value of what they offer.

You are also building a unique and powerful brand. You’re the person who goes 10 times further. You’re the person who does what it takes to do the job right.

Here’s another example.

Your website probably looks OK. WordPress, I’m guessing. Maybe you spent $50 on a logo design. Maybe another $50 on the design, look and feel of the site itself. Maybe you didn’t spend any money at all, and did it yourself.

You have the sections you need – a Services page, a Portfolio or Samples page, an About page…and so on.

That’s the “factor of 1” version.

Now let’s look at what a “factor of 10” version of your website might look like.

You go to 99Designs.com and spend $500 on a really great logo and site design. You make your website look super-professional.

As for the content, you create the usual pages. But then you do more.

If you’re that B2B guy, you do a ton more video interviews and post them on your site. Maybe you do one a month.

Or maybe you become the “resource” guy who curates the very best B2B articles and software resources from across the web for your clients and prospects.

And you have a blog that you add to at least once a week. Maybe every day.

Sound like a lot of work and expense?

It is.

But you’ll get a lot more clients and you’ll be able to charge more, because you have massively increased the perception of your value.

You’ll make back the extra money you spent with your first few projects. Maybe from your first project alone.

As for the extra time all this takes… well, that’s how you separate yourself from the crowd. That’s how you present yourself as a top-tier professional.

And let’s go back to those interviews you did. If you interview 20 B2B marketers, I bet five of them will become clients.

You can apply the “factor of 10” approach to everything you do as a freelancer. You can apply it to every project you do for your clients.

The thing is, almost nobody does it.

Almost everything freelancers do is “just OK”.

Their websites look OK. Their free reports look OK. The content on their websites is just OK. The way in which they market themselves and their services is just OK.

And when you look OK, you’ll never stand out. You’ll be part of the herd, scrambling to pick up scraps of work for very little pay.

The good news is that because most freelancers take the “factor of 1” or “just OK” approach, it shouldn’t take too much for you to stand out as being exceptional.

Even a “factor of 5” will put you on a pedestal.

So what do you say? Are you going to stick with doing the bare minimum? Or are you going to step up and present yourself as being exceptional?


Coaching for freelancers


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1 thought on “What would happen if you improved on everything you did by a factor of 10?”

  1. Excellent article. Your example of improving a site by 10 is outstanding: it’s concrete, specific and enormously helpful. Thank you!


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