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Case Study

Revenue Up 60% and Winning a $250,000 Project

Unstoppable Software increased their revenue 60 percent by implementing the organic marketing and upfront fee strategies taught by Consulting Success®, winning an impressive $250,000 project.

Generic Messaging and Pay-Per-Click Problems

Founded in January 2008, Sam Schutte’s company, Unstoppable Software, builds custom software solutions to help customers overcome operational inefficiencies, providing tools that save time and money. In the early years, he mostly ran pay-per-click ads using generic, broadly targeted messaging. When the response wasn’t quite what he expected, he ramped up his ad budget. Soon, he was spending an average of $60,000 a year on Google ads alone, and for all of that, he only broke even in terms of revenue. Profit-wise, the company operated at a loss.

Sam knew his company offered great solutions, but as he explained, “I didn't really have a clear understanding of just how to market my consulting services or how to position them in a better way to reach prospective clients.” He hired a team of salespeople and paid them $50,000 a year to make cold calls, hoping that by speaking to people directly, he could get his message across. He cast his net broadly, but he didn’t garner enough response to make it financially viable. Sam estimates that the company booked one appointment for every 190 calls—a huge amount of work at a high cost for not enough return.

At the same time, he wasn’t sure how to structure his fees to offset the cost of advertising. His hourly rate seemed low. He often did free discovery work for clients before presenting them with a proposal, but in many cases, when he finished the unpaid discovery work, the client would read the proposal and say, “I can’t get approval for this amount of money.” As a result, he wound up doing many hours of unpaid work for proposals that he didn’t win.

The Power of Organic Marketing and Upfront Fees

By the time Sam came to Consulting Success® in 2013, he knew he needed a more profitable fee structure and a better way to reach prospective clients. As a member of our coaching program, he soon began to learn the strategies that would help him achieve these goals.

In talking to Michael and other members of the program, he discovered the importance of blogging and podcasting, offering both timely and evergreen content to provide value to a targeted audience rather than simply “paying for clicks.” He started an email newsletter, which quickly gained nearly 1,000 highly targeted subscribers, and he learned how to implement marketing automation technology on LinkedIn, which took him from 400 LinkedIn connections to over 6,500. Instead of using generic messaging, he learned how to target verticals, productize his services clearly, and make front-end offers. As he said, “We now have very targeted subscribers as opposed to just random people, which has given us very high open rates.”

By increasing his fees, charging what he was worth, and using an upfront fee structure, he also eliminated the problem of working for projects that he never won. This, in turn, allowed him to create more specific service packages and add ancillary services.

Greater Reach and Relevance

In the end, Sam increased his fees by as much as 80 percent, added many customers paying monthly retainers, and began closing on some very big projects. He still recalls the eye-opening moment while he was in the coaching program when he closed a $250,000 project. “I would have charged a lot less in the past for that project because back then I wasn’t able to connect the value to the price.” In fact, the rate wound up being more than double what he would have charged in the past. Consulting Success® celebrated this moment with him, and there have been many like it since then.

Overall, Unstoppable Software’s revenue increased by 60 percent as a result of the things Sam learned through Consulting Success®, and almost two-thirds of their client response now comes from organic marketing. The expensive, generic marketing that ate up so much of the company’s revenue in the early years has given way to relevant content that continues to reach more and more clients.

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