How to avoid diminishing returns

Early in my career, I heard a lot about diminishing returns in economics.

I always found this concept fascinating, as we can apply this principle in our business too.

The Law of diminishing returns states that, at some point, “employing an additional factor of production will eventually cause a relatively smaller increase in output”.

I have been thinking about this a lot, as the last thing we want to do is to diminish the return of our marketing investments and initiatives, as well as to diminish the return of our clients’ investments when they hire us, right?

From a marketing standpoint, consultants are expert multi-game players. They play at different tables. They use different strategies, tactics, and channels.

To some extent, some are like professional gamblers. They test and try until they find the most converting strategy.

In reality, most consultants keep spinning and investing too much time and money into initiatives that are generating a low return.

When I work with consultants, I invite them to focus on one strategy at a time and make sure they get the most out of it. If you get some good level of traction, then you can start adding different tactics to increase your success rate. But running multiple strategies or channels at the same time, it’s a risky business.

Also, you may experience diminishing returns if you stick with the same content that will eventually bore your target market.

Let me give you an example. I am a fan of Simon Sinek. His book “Start With Why” has been a massive success. But, as I have been following Simon for years, I noticed a much lower return on learning for me when I read his posts now. It’s still much around why we do things but also other bandwagons on leadership.

This is something we have to think about. What can we do to keep the fire burning?

You don’t want your readers, followers, leads leave you, unfollow you, disconnect, unsubscribe.

This concept works for your offerings too. Both the free stuff and paid programs.

In other words, build multiple contents, offers, call to actions to your target. Don’t let the flame die out.

Finally, think about delivery.

I believe that most of you have medium-long term engagements with clients. This is one of the benefits of consulting. You can stick around your client for long (and upsell!).

However, I see consultants start well, show what they can do, empower their clients, etc. but, after a while, the relationship with the client changes. The momentum has gone. Things get a little bit colder.

As the project goes on, I see less high-quality discussions, less involvement in their world, poor cross-pollination within the organization, and more.

In other words, your clients start to see a diminishing return in having you on board.

One thing I strongly suggest to my clients to do is to anticipate that moment. Talk to your clients more frequently and be vulnerable enough to ask for feedback along the way. Not when it’s too late.

And be genuine interest to learn more about their business, keep bringing new ideas, facts, trends, new options to improve results.

The fact they keep paying you doesn’t mean they still see a high return.

Make sure that everything you do will generate a return. Otherwise, just stop now and think again.

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