Consultation Power Hours – Why You Need One and How To Set it Up
I reckon everyone* should have a one-hour consultation power hour type service as it’s such a great way for people to start working with you.
*Freelancers/service providers who have a skill/knowledge that could be shared on a Zoom call. This often ISN’T right for coaches, or service providers where something needs way more than one call to work.
A “power hour” as I’m referring to it here is simply a paid hour of your time to power through some questions with a client. Some people call it a ‘pick my brains’ session, ‘one-off consultation’ – I call mine an un-muddle me session!
It’s usually done through Zoom, Skype or over the phone. 100% of power hours I’ve had with clients have resulted in them coming back to work with me OR meant that they’ve then gone away and recommended me to others.
What are the benefits?
It’s a great way to introduce people to working with you. They get a sense for what it would be like to work with you in a more in-depth way in the future, but access that at a lower price point.
- It stops you from accidentally spending 4 hours answering someone’s questions for freesies. I’m all for helping out, and offer lots of free content, but for specific things, it’s right that someone pay for your time. Offer a free 15/30 minute call by all means if someone might become a client, but directing someone to your link to book a call is a great option.
- Often people only need a small amount of help, or something specific which they need advice on. If your next option is a bigger 1:1 service that might be too much. (If this is what you want, then that’s all cool, you do you)
- If you’ve been providing lots of free help in Facebook groups and other places on social media you might be finding yourself putting out a lot of content. That’s a great marketing strategy, but a call with you is a great next step from there when someone is finding your content helpful.
BUT, as they’re a smaller chunk of cash, for a power hour to be the best it can be, and be easy for you and them, I think you need a system in place to make it worth your while.
How to set it up
I don’t know why I feel like I always need a disclaimer but these are ideas, if you don’t wanna do it like this, um, don’t.
1. Web page
Put together a simple page explaining what you do, what your areas of expertise are and some ideas around what you could cover on the call, as well as the info on how to book. You could also explain what you can NOT help with, as this will help your clients to decide whether you’re the best fit for them but this also has the benefit of making sure that you don’t get on a call with someone who is after a service that you don’t offer. Make your offering clear, appealing and easy to digest. The last thing you want to do is confuse them!
Breaking up your time to chat to someone can really mess with your workflow, so potentially decide on one or two days of the week or certain times, when you will accept the calls, and limit it to those days only.
Don’t allow your concentration to be interrupted by jumping from deep work to a power hour, as you won’t be serving anyone to the best of your ability. Carving out specific time like this helps you to keep to your routine, too, and you can set your mind up for the day when you know you’ll be on calls.
Get a booking system in place so that it can all be sorted on auto. Calendly works really well for this, for $15 a month you can get the pro version and accept payments. Someone could book a spot, pay for it, and accept terms all in one go.
Alternatively, you could use a CRM’s scheduler, such as Dubsado, which goes one step further by popping bookings into a workflow so that you have even less admin to do before your call. You can set up a detailed questionnaire for clients to complete beforehand, send reminders and automatic re-scheduling emails, as well as creating projects with all of the client’s details on so that, if they do go ahead and book a service following your call, you don’t have to repeat yourself and ask them to re-enter their info so many times.
Little automations like this can pay dividends in the long run and they also have the benefit of offering a sleek on-boarding impression to potential new clients.
4. Time deadline
To your booking system, be sure to add a rule so that someone can’t book 10 minutes before, for example, so that if you get no calls booked in by say 8pm the day before, you know you can use your morning/day for other things. You also want to make sure that you have a minimum of 10 minutes between calls so that you have time to prepare.
Get a simple T&Cs together, and add this as a required box on the scheduling form. This should cover what the expectations for the client are, for example, being on time to the call, your policy on refunds or rebooking etc, and your duties too.
Please note I an not a legal expert, but my friend Ingrid from Dec + Dash IS, so she would definitely be able to help you out.
So either in the booking form itself or as a link to a Typeform survey in the confirmation email, add a few questions so that you know what they need from you on the call and how best you can help them. Questions like ‘What would make this call a success for you?’, ‘What’s the number one thing you would like help with on this call?’, ‘what help do you need?‘ etc. is invaluable for you to frame their expectations from you. Extra little questions like asking how they found you are also really helpful for your marketing analysis and strategic planning.
7. The Call
Connect your booking system with Zoom (you can use the free version) so that it all links up and then all you have to do is go live in Zoom at the right time.
Beforehand make sure you’ve looked through the answers to the questions and bring it up on your screen so you’re ready.
You can decide how much structure you would like the call to have or you can see where the conversation leads you but I’d recommend that when you first get on the call you have a minute or two greeting each other, then you communicate with them a rough structure.
I always try and use the last ten minutes to give something of an action plan for the client to go away with so that they know what to do next. Leave them wanting more from you, let them know the other resources you have, or the other ways they could work with you in the future if it feels right.
It’s also nice to send an email with a couple of points from your call, it doesn’t have to be intensive, but perhaps reiterating three action points, and thank them too.
I’ve seen prices for this from anywhere between £50-£300 and, of course, pricing depends on many things but I would suggest that you consider these things:
- It should be more than your standard hourly rate by at least 25% (if not much more.)
- It should be priced in line with your experience and the value you bring, but keep it at a price point that is an easy in to start working with you.
- If you do price it higher, say at least twice your hourly rate, you could always add in extra days and do discounts when you need some extra cash.
- There are, of course, some things people will always pay more for, so have a think about what your ideal audience would pay. It should feel stretchy.
Remember that it’s up to you no matter what you do, there’s no right way, so go with what feels right for you and your business. Got questions, ready to set up your own and wanna share? Come on over to the Brand Un-Muddlers Fb Group and share.