[423] How to deal with freeloaders…by creating a Power Hour

Do people ever ask if they can pick your brain….but don’t seem to want to pay for it?

If that sounds familiar you need to create a Power Hour – an online consultancy session where you give specific advice/guidance…and actually get paid for it.

The great thing about a Power Hour is that you can ‘productise’ i.e. turn it into a rinse/repeat process that you go through with every customer who books one (saving you tons of time).

You can use a Power Hour as a paid ‘discovery call’ where you deliver value and – if your client seems like a good fit – upsell them another product/service afterwards. And to research ideas for bigger projects e.g. coaching/consulting packages, courses and events.

But how do you choose a topic for your Power Hour? What tech will you need to deliver it? And how much should you charge?

That’s exactly what I’ll cover in this podcast episode – along with tips on how to promote your Power Hour.

And yes, you can create one regardless of whether you have a product/service-based business

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode.}

 

What is a Power Hour?

 

A Power Hour is an online consultancy session where you give specific advice/guidance…and actually get paid for it.

Contrary to the name – a Power Hour doesn’t actually have to be an hour long. It can be as short/long as you need it to be.  You can call it a Power Session if you like (or something else entirely). The important thing is that you get paid for your advice/experience.

Why I love Power Hours

 

There are so many reasons why I love Power Hours. Here’s just a few:

✔️  They’re a great way to deal with people who ask to pick your brain for free (you can just simply say ‘I’d love to help you with that….here’s a link to my Power Hour’

✔️ You can use a Power Hour as a paid ‘discovery call’ where you deliver value and – if your client seems like a good fit – upsell them another product/service afterwards.

✔️  You can use a Power Hour to research ideas for bigger projects e.g. coaching/consulting packages, courses and events. For example, when I was launching my Instagram Success Academy course, I did a number of Power Hours so I could understand what I should cover in my course

✔️  You can use a Power Hour as a  downsell people for people who don’t have the budget for your high-end offer but still need your help

✔️  You can use a Power Hour to ‘top-up’ coaching programmes/memberships/courses. For example, if a member is being particularly demanding of your time in a Facebook community, you can invite them to book in a 1-2-1/additional call

✔️  You can turn your Power Hour into a rinse/repeat process that you go through with every customer who books one (saving you tons of time)

✔️  You can book clients in for multiple Power Hours for problems that take longer to solve

How to choose a topic for your Power Hour

 

The important thing is that you get paid for your advice/experience.

As with anything in your business, the more specific/niche you can be the better. So while you can offer a general Power Hour (where anyone can ask you anything about your expert topic) you’ll almost certainly get more take up if you hone in on a specific type of customer/client and/or a common problem your customers/clients experience.

If you have two or three areas, you can offer a few choices (but not too many).

Here are some examples of effective Power Hours, created by my current/former clients:

Amy Caiger has a Power Hour that focuses on helping business owners find their niche.

Architectural technologist Jon Clayton has a Power Hour for people who are interested in renovating their house. He started charging £195 for an hour on Zoom or £295 for a local home visit. This resulted in £600 of sales immediately.

Diversity consultant Leyla Okhai offers a number of different options including diversity, worklife balance and wellbeing.


Can you create a Power Hour if you have a product-based business?

 

If you have a product-based business, you can still create a Power Hour. You can either offer something that relates to the problem you solve. For example, I sell a Social Media Diary & Planner. Although I don’t currently do this, I could offer a content planning Power Hour for people who want help creating their content plan. I could offer these sessions to existing diary owners as an upsell.  Or I could open them up to anyone who needs help with content planning and offer the diary as an upsell at the end of a consultancy session.

Or you could offer a Power Hour to other product-based businesses on how to do something specific that you are already doing successfully but they might be struggling with e.g. creating a marketing plan, setting up a shop on their website.

How to deliver your Power Hour

 

You can use video-conferencing software like Zoom which allows you to share your screen and participants share theirs with you. You can also share documents and chat ‘live’ with participants. And you can send them the recording afterwards in case they want to go over anything again. Zoom starts from £11.99 a month.

Alternatives to Zoom: Go To Meeting, Team Viewer, Join.me, Google Hangouts, Meet.me & BlueJeans.

If you’re worried your clients will be overwhelmed by the tech, it’s a good idea to send them written instructions and/or a video using a free tool like Loom showing them how to use it (including how to join).

How to ensure your Power Hour is productive

 

To ensure the session is productive, I’d recommend you do the following:

  • Create a dedicated page on your website for you Power Hour that includes information about the session and a link to book
  • Use a tool like Calendly or Acuity Scheduling so clients can book straight into your diary
  • Send a pre-call email on how to prepare for the session (including any information they might need to bring to the session) and an outline of how the call will be structured. PLUS  instructions on how to use the video conferencing software from their phone/desktop. I’d recommend sending this information immediately after booking, then at least one reminder email before the call
  • Send a follow-up email within 24 hours of the session, with a link to the recording, a short follow-up report with details of what was discussed and up to three key action points (one side of A4 should be plenty).

These emails can be re-used and adapted – saving you hours of time in the long run. In fact, the whole process can be automated so people can book straight into your diary, are delivered the link to join the call and reminders before the call.

I include template/swipe files for these types of emails in my online masterclass: how to create and sell a Power Hour for your business.

If you’re worried that what you teach/coach can’t be delivered online, I’ve personally worked with a pilates instructor, bread making teacher, psychologist, personal trainer and jewellery- making teacher – all of whom deliver their training/consultancy online. And if they can do it, so can you.

How to price your Power Hour

 

Your pricing should reflect the transformation you can create for your client – not how long it takes you to prepare and deliver the session.

That’s said, you do need social proof. You can’t charge £500 + VAT an hour for a Power Hour if you haven’t achieved results – or helped others achieve results – that support that.

Many of my clients start with £99 to £149 and, as they get more experienced – and get more tangible results – put their prices up.

So start by thinking about the transformation you can create for someone and the impact that could have on their life/business.

It can help to spell out the return on investment for your clients. So for example, if I could give you some advice on your sales copy that would help 5x your investment, would you think £500 +VAT was expensive? Probably not. It’s all about how you frame it.

But you do need to have the experience to match your pricing. You can’t charge £500 + VAT for your Power Hour just because someone else in your industry is doing it (well you can, but you may not make any sales).

So if you haven’t yet delivered any Power Hours it can be worth offering a number of discounted sessions so you can gather testimonials. I wouldn’t recommend offering them for free. People generally don’t value what they get for free. Which means they’re more likely to cancel/show up late to the session and less likely to implement your advice. Even a modest fee will ensure they have some skin in the game.

How to promote your Power Hour

 

If you already have an email list – great.  Simply email your list, tell them about your Power Hour and (providing you’ve created the right offer for the right audience) you should get bookings. I’d also recommend doing some social media promotion too. If you have a blog/podcast/Youtube channel, it’s also worth sharing information about it there.

If you don’t have an email list (or only have a small list) you’ll need to use proactive outreach. That means making a list of people you know (e.g. current/former clients) who might be interested in your offer. PLUS asking for recommendations/referrals from friends/colleagues. If you’re not sure how to get started with proactive outreach, the first module in my Build Your Online Audience programme focuses on exactly that topic (and includes email/message templates you can adapt for proactive outreach).

Need help building your email list? Check out: 39 Surprisingly easy ways to increase your email subscribers 

I also have an email list building programme inside my Build Your Online Audience programme

Podcast shownotes

 

  • What is a power hour and why I love them (4:22)
  • Why a power hour stops you feeling like you have to give stuff away (6:08)
  • How a power hour helps you decide if you want to work with someone (7:42)
  • How to use power hours to research ideas for bigger projects (08:03)
  • Why power hours are great if someone hasn’t enough budget for you (09:38)
  • How you can upsell your power hour in a coaching programme (10:31)
  • How to use power hours for a specific project (11:34)
  • How to prep for a power hour and manage people’s expectations (12:50)
  • How to choose a topic for your power hour (14:12)
  • Why a power hour will save you time (17:31)
  • How to create a power hour for a product-based business (18:28)
  • Video conferencing software for your power hour (21:39)
  • How to map out and plan your power hour (22:40)
  • How to make sure your power hour has a good outcome (24:58)
  • Why you should choose a few specific topics for your power hour (26:15)
  • How to price a power hour and what you should remember (27:09)
  • How to use your testimonials to sell your power hour (29:10)
  • How to promote your power hour (31:03)

Resources

 

Buy my 2021 Social Media Diary & Planner

Join my Build Your Online Audience Programme
Find out about my How to create and sell a power hour masterclass 

Other useful podcasts

 

[Bonus] Should you join my Build Your Online Audience Programme? (podcast)

[339] How to build an audience for an online course or membership (podcast)
[386] The four types of content that will help you make more sales in 2020 podcast)
[372] How to build an engaged online audience (podcast)
[414] How much does it cost to launch your own planner (podcast)

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