Blow Apart the Billable Hours Ceiling by Selling and Reselling Your Intellectual Property

How many of you made as much money as you wanted to last year? Don’t
be shy; raise your hands. Hmm, I don’t see too many hands out there.
What would you say is the cause of this gap between your goals and
your earnings?

While you could certainly name the economy or inadequate marketing as
the culprit, I’d like to suggest a third alternative. It may be the
constraints of the billable hours model that keep you from your
financial goals.

Let’s face it, there are only so many hours you can actually bill to
clients. For example, the national average for consultants is 22
billable hours per week. You can only raise your rates so high and
still find enough customers. And if you spend more time on marketing,
that’s less time you have available to bill.

But there’s a way out of this trap. No matter what type of business
you’re in, you can use intellectual property to crack the billable
hours ceiling. Here are just some of the ways to start tapping into
this resource today:

1. Package your process. What if every time you began work with a new
client, they paid an up-front fee before you spent even one hour with
them? If you sell a process rather than your time, clients will pay
for access to your previously developed materials. Examples are
workbooks, forms, assessments, surveys, games, self-paced programs,
and train-the-trainer packages.

2. Give a class. When you assemble a group of people to learn
together, you can earn more per hour than working with them
separately. Classes can be given at your office, at a
rented (or borrowed) facility, on the phone, or on the web. Your
market for classes is not just your clients — think about what you
could teach your colleagues as well.

3. Record a tape, CD, or video. The simplest way to make recordings
is to capture your live classes or speaking engagements on audio or
video. Make your unedited recordings
available immediately on the web or by phone. More polished
recordings can be made with the help of a local studio or editor, or
you can learn to do this yourself with the right

4. Write a white paper, workbook, or booklet. Short publications like
these are easily within your reach, even if you don’t consider
yourself a writer. A simple 20-page booklet might have as few as 4000
words in it. If you’ve written four articles to promote your
business, you’ve probably already written this much. These are
perfect formats for e-books, which cost you nothing to print.

5. Author a book. This might seem an impossible task, but if you
write one page a day, five days a week, at the end of a year you’ll
have a full-length book. If writing isn’t your
strong point, find an editor, ghost writer, or even a co-author who
has the skills you lack. You don’t have to wait until your book is
finished to start selling excerpts as articles and white papers.

6. Market other people’s products. If you don’t yet have your own
product, don’t let it stop you. You can begin earning passive income
by selling other people’s books and tapes, becoming a re-seller for
software or assessment tools, licensing someone else’s process, or
joining affiliate programs.

Any of these products can be marketed in conversations with prospects
and clients, in your standard marketing kit, in mailings or
newsletters, on your outgoing voice mail
message, and on your web site.

If you’ve been counting on hourly fees for your entire income, you
may be surprised at the impact developing your intellectual property
will have. It will add not only to your revenue, but also your
professional credibility. And in poor economic times, you will find
that prospects who hesitate to pay for personal service will still
purchase classes and information products.

C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients NOW! Since 1992, C.J. has been teaching business owners and salespeople to make more money with less effort. She is a Master Certified Coach and leads workshops internationally. Read more of her articles at