Maya Elious is a personal branding strategist and founder of Built to Impact, an agency helping women of faith build their brand in the online space so they can expand their reach, and amplify their impact. Although she initially launched a web and graphic design business, over the last few years, she’s successfully scaled her design company from consulting and coaching to a membership program and full-service personal branding agency.
So, how did she do it? We caught up with Elious to talk steps for scaling your business and charging what you’re worth.
What have been some of the points of your journey when you realized you were ready to scale?
Logistically, I felt ready to scale after setting up a process and knowing how to delegate each step to my team. I didn’t decide I could take the agency from six figures to seven figures until I started working on believing in myself. I had all this faith in God but less faith in myself. Expanding my mindset allowed me to want to reach more women and make more money so that I could make a bigger difference.
Can you provide two to three steps or signs for someone who thinks they are ready to scale?
You cannot scale something that is not already consistently growing. Once you have a proven system that allows you to streamline your sales, you can build upon that. You also have to be clear on what scaling your business looks like for you. Most people in my industry want to scale by selling more products (which usually means getting more visibility through ads). I want to scale by hiring employees since I provide a service. Because I have a high-ticket item ($7,000), my agency doesn’t need as much exposure/visibility as someone who is selling lower-priced items. There are pros and cons to each solution, but you have to be confident in which method works best for you.
I also have a membership program with over 100 members and I never feel ready to “ramp up” unless I know the software/platform I’m using can manage hundreds (even thousands) of people. Before scaling, you want to ask yourself “Do I have an infrastructure that can handle growth?” If not, build that system. If yes, become visible and start converting.
What advice can you share for determining your value and fees?
- Stop tying your worth to a dollar amount. My business mentor Marshawn Evans says “no one could ever pay you what you’re worth. They can just pay you for your time.”
- If you’re selling your time, do not undercharge yourself. Time is your most valuable commodity. You cannot scale time like you can scale products. If you’re trying to decide how much your time is “worth” per hour, think about the transformation you’re helping someone make when they have access to you.
- Decide the model for your business. You can reach a lot of people with affordable offerings, or you can reach fewer people with high-end offerings. Both models work (e.g., Forever 21 vs. Barneys New York). Both are billion-dollar companies with different price points and audiences. I have both models, but I would suggest mastering one model first.
Ready to build a profitable and impactful brand in 2018? Visit mayaelious.com.