009 Tim Conley: BIG Money, Small Clients

Looking to make BIG money from consulting?  Special guest Tim Conley tells his story from humble beginnings and what he did to start earning big money.

Tim Conley has been serving entrepreneurs as a marketer, mentor, and executive coach for over 16 years and has worked directly with well over 400 founders.  He is the creator of the Founder to Leader Transformation (FLT) Program where he trains entrepreneurs on the capabilities they need to become the CEO their company needs.  You can learn more about what it takes to lead your company at TimConley.co.  Opt in to get the same leadership lessons his clients receive.

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Early in my career, I was struggling. I was having a hard time even identifying what it was that I did for a living. I knew how to make websites, I had been learning how to sell, I learned how to do direct response copyrighting, and I started going after clients, friends, anybody that I could go after that I could make any kind of money because I had a brand new baby girl. My start-up had completely collapsed, and I truly believed in it so I pumped in my own money. I was broke. The situation was not looking good and I needed to work.

So I took whatever skills that I had and skill-set I learned and I started talking to everybody I possibly could. I wrote some space ads for some trade journals, for a few software companies, I worked with some web development companies to create direct response websites for their clients, and I started getting clients of my own. But I struggled for maybe a couple of years in this process trying to figure out what it was that I was doing. Then I heard this phrase, “Little hinges swing big doors.” This phrase completely changed the way I saw what I was doing. I’d previously had a conversation with a guy named Jay Abraham, who’s a really famous consultant and he got me to believe that I could be a consultant. So I actually started calling myself a consultant. I started calling myself a direct response marketing consultant for the internet.

That was what I was doing. And then I heard this phrase, “Little hinges swing big doors,” from this guy Dan Kennedy and the idea is that a few clients, “Little hinges”, just a few of them, would translate in to very large dollars. So at the time I was struggling, I would have months where I would make over $10,000 then I had months where I would make a few thousand dollars and it was so up and down in that whole roller coaster of working and then chasing new clients, working and bank account going up and bank account going down. Having all that happening and then I heard that phrase and I started looking at clients and I said, “You know, what I want to do is I want to make a hundred thousand dollars.” Which is kind of funny because even all these years later, that a lot of consultants still go after that idea of, “I want to make a hundred thousand dollars.” It’s a milestone they want to break through and I realized all I would need is 10 clients who are going to pay me $10,000 dollars in a 12-month-period. It could be $10,000 for a single project or it could be $10,000 spread out over 12 months.

It didn’t really matter what it was, just as long as I got 10,000 from 10 different clients. And when I started looking at what I was pitching to people as I would meet prospects who would say, “Oh I want a website,” and they would show me this brochure website and I would tell them this wonderful story about how direct response marketing would turn their website in to a lead generator. And that started giving me clients for that specific thing but then I was worried about pricing. So I would, originally I would say, “Oh it’ll be like $5,000 or maybe $8,000 for that website.” And I would get that money and then it would be over. But then I started going after them and saying, “Okay, how can I take a $5,000 website and make $10,000 from this client?” And I would develop other services, I would add additional bonus things that I would do for them that I could charge for and that led to being able to get my first few clients at $10,000 and it just took off rapidly, even faster than what I thought. It took off faster than the 10 clients at $10,000 on average. I blew past that really fast. All because of that mind set shift of knowing that only a handful of clients would turn into significant revenue.

That ended up leading in to me building a marketing agency and kind of forgetting those lessons for a while where I started taking on all kinds of projects because I was trying to build a much bigger agency. Then once I got unwieldy, I did it again. I came back to my agency and I figured out who were the best kinds of customers we can go after and let’s target them. Then instead of $10,000 as my target amount, I started aiming for $25,000. So to make a hundred thousand dollars at $25,000 in a year is simply for four clients, four little hinges is all it’s needed. That is…if you are struggling right now as a consultant, as a freelancer, as a web designer, web developer, any kind of task that people are going to pay you for a short time and you’re going to complete a project for them. If you’re struggling to make the kind of money that you want.

Whether that’s 250,000, whether it’s 500,000, start looking at who is willing to pay you 10,000 or 25,000 or 50,000 or more in a single year for you to do what you do. When you can do that, you can quickly raise your revenue up to 500,000 within a short amount of time. Even at $25,000 annually, you’re still looking at only having 20 clients in total to be able to hit half a million dollars in revenue. That’s pretty fantastic and it’s measurable. You can sit down and plan out how many you’re going to get. With a client that I just had a coaching call with yesterday, we were looking at his business and we sat down and said, “Okay, we want hosting clients, we want some SCO clients on this particular plan, and we had four different products that we’re going to go after.” And then we designed out how many per month we’re going to get sold, and in increasing that each month over the course of this year.

So that now we’re on track in his business, we think we’ll be able to generate at double his revenue this year. So going from just under $300,000 a year, he will exceed $600,000 this year if he stays on this track. So this very next day, we had that call yesterday. This morning, he got a hold of me and said, “I’ve all ready brought in $5,000 in recurring revenue.” and I was like, “Okay, fantastic. We are on track to do that.” Cause he sat down and said, “I only need a handful of people doing each of these different products, buying each of these different products that I have.” And that will translate in to a $600,000 revenue and then the next year we actually anticipate him having $600,000 in net profit. That’s fantastic and that’s what little hinges swinging big doors will do for you too.

Published by

Matt McCormick

Matt is the host of "7 Minute Sales" - a podcast from the perspective of a developer-founder who is learning to sell and market more effectively. Follow my journey and lessons learned at blog.touchingbase.io. Matt is also the founder of TouchingBase.io - A Better Follow Up System for Gmail.