Data Entrepreneur: How to Sign High-Paying Clients

Lillian Pierson, P.E.

Lillian Pierson, P.E.

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Wondering how to sign high-paying clients in your data business? Newer data entrepreneurs are always looking for better ways to get high-paying clients sign up for their businesses, so if you’re one of them, then this article is for you!

YouTube URL: https://youtu.be/BTFnkghunps

If you prefer to read instead of watch then, read on…

We’ve produced an updated and greatly expanded version of this blog post. For the best version of this content, we recommend you read this updated, improved version instead post instead.

In case you’re wondering why I’m qualified to talk about this topic… I’ve been a data entrepreneur since 2012 and after serving 10% of Fortune 100 companies from within my own data business, I started coaching other new data entrepreneurs on how to hit 6-figures FAST. 

10% of my mentorship clients have land 6-figure CONTRACTS w/in the first 7 months of signing up with me

My name is Lillian Pierson and I support data professionals to become world-class data leaders and entrepreneurs.

We are going to talk about how to sign high-paying clients for your data business, yes, BUT FIRST, let’s discuss…

“What qualifies as “high-pay” in the small data business sector?”

  • Data Implementation Services – $300 per hour
  • Data Leadership Services – $500 per hour
  • Data Products** – $1000 per hour of your time invested

** Products can usually be scaled so they don’t actually require 1 customer to pay a lot of money, but you’re still able to earn a pretty decent return on investment for the time you spent on those products…I will cover this in more detail later on in this article.

What is required of you (for someone to be willing to pay a lot of money)?

  • Necessity
  • Uniqueness
  • Trust

So to answer the question on how you can sign more high-paying clients into your data business, we need to address what actions you can take in order to build up necessity, uniqueness and trust. 

How to Establish Necessity

You need to make sure that your customers need whatever it is that you sell – either products or services. It can’t be just one of these things that’s nice to have – it really needs to be something that solves a problem for them and that it is an urgent necessity that will require them to actually make that purchase.  

How do you make sure that what you sell is needed?

You need to do market research to identify the huge gaping whole in the market that you have the expertise to fill. Look on job boards, freelance marketplaces, look inside FBGs, Quora or anywhere else where people are reaching out for help on your area of expertise. By looking at how people are asking for help in terms of job postings or questions, you can get a pretty good idea at their level of urgency and you can also see the degree of saturation in terms of other data professionals filling those requirements. 

high necessity and low supply

I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Please share with the community about what you currently sell in your data business and who you serve.

How to Cultivate Uniqueness

There must be some topics, sub-disciplines, specialties or offers in the data space that you are SUPER SICK of hearing everyone else talk about. So what I want you to do is stop and DO NOT DO what they are doing. 

For example, “data storytelling” is super popular right now. It would not be a good time to start a course and teach data storytelling to other data professionals – just because everyone else is already doing it – it’s definitely not unique.

What you could do however, is take those “data storytelling” skills and turn them into a unique client avatar – a very specific class of professionals who really need that type of help! For example: Healthcare Leaders, Marketing Leaders, and so many more. 

And where can you identify who needs that type of help: MARKET RESEARCH

How to Build Trust

There are quite a few ways that you can build trust with prospective customers. Some of them are:

  • Offer low price, quick win products or services
    Something that they can dip their toe in the water to see what kind of results you can generate for them and then they know they want to keep working with you
  • Word-of-mouth referrals
    If you have people that you have worked with in the past, even if it’s in an employment environment, and they recommend you for the transformation you made in their business, then it’s gonna be a lot more likely that their colleagues will trust you as well and make that purchase from you.
  • Credibility
    Another way to build trust is the external show of credibility factors. Yes, of course degrees and certificates are great, but in all honesty in the business world, no one cares that much about your degree unless you went to MIT, Harvard, Stanford or something like that. The big thing really is testimonials – if you can get results for people and show those results as proof and evidence of your ability to get results for more people – that’s going to be one of the things that really helps potential clients trust you.
  • Long-term relationship-building
    This usually requires you to have a website, email list, content strategy, etc. – this is the long game. This is you showing up day after day, week after week, year after year, and continually giving value and contributing and helping your community. These are the types of things that build trust in the long term with your community members and prospective clients.

If you’re like most data entrepreneurs, then you’re selling your time for less than $300 per hour – which is a huge mistake. That’s why I did this video on how to do Data Consulting at >$300/hour. Be sure to check it out!

What to sell to maximize your chance of signing high-paying clients?in-demand data services to offer

I put together a list of products and services you can offer to increase your chances of signing high-paying clients. These services include: 

  • Starter Audit
  • Data Strategy Services
  • Data Cleaning Services
  • Machine Learning Model Building Services
  • Data Visualization Services
  • Data Pipeline Services
  • Custom Chatbot Services

Basically any data skill you provide to an employer can be repurposed into a high-ticket package and sold on the open market to start-ups or to anyone who is looking to hire freelancers.

In terms of what products you can sell: 

  • Books
  • Course
  • Plug-n-Play Dashboard
  • SaaS Trial Version

There is an almost an infinite combination of ways to sell your data expertise as products and services that high-paying customers want to buy. The trick to actually signing high-paying customers is to make sure that what you’re trying to sell them is actually what they WANT and NEED. To do this, try surveying and interviewing people that belong to your customer demographic – so you can hear from them about what they really need and in what format they want that need met. 

How to Sign High-Paying ClientsLet me illustrate with that data storytelling example…

If you speak to most healthcare leaders who want to spend money to get their data storytelling needs met…most of them that have a decent budget will NOT want to buy a course or a book on the topic. This is because this is something that will require their time to read and put themselves together. They will just want to pay someone a fair rate to come in and serve up a data storytelling solution on a silver platter for them. This will make it easy for them to take the credit for the quick win. So in this case, you’d sell a data visualization service package – not a book nor a course. 

For Data Entrepreneurs…

If you’re digging this convo on how data entrepreneurs can sign high-paying clients for their business, then I know you’re going to love my FREE Data Entrepreneur’s Toolkit

It’s an ensemble of all of the very best, most efficient tools in the market. I’ve discovered these tools after 9 years of research and development. A side note on this, many of them are free, or at least free to get started. And they have such powerful results in terms of growing your business. These are actually the tools we use in my own business to hit the multiple 6-figure annual revenue mark.

Download the Toolkit for $0 here.

You may also love it inside our Data Leader and Entrepreneur Community on Facebook. It’s chalked full of some of the internet’s most up-and-coming data leaders and entrepreneurs who’ve come together to inspire and uplift one another. 

Join our community here.

Hey! If you liked this post, I’d really appreciate it if you’d share the love with your peers! Share it on your favorite social network by clicking on one of the share buttons below! 

NOTE: This description contains affiliate links that allow you to find the items mentioned in this article and support the channel at no cost to you. While this blog may earn minimal sums when the reader uses the links, the reader is in NO WAY obligated to use these links. Thank you for your support!

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