Ryan Levesque, author and creator of the ASK Method, was not always the marketing expert with a million dollar company that he is now. After he left his job at a large corporation, he struggled to get his own ‘weird niche’ businesses up and running. However, the lessons he learnt through his struggles became part of the method he is now famous for.
Through the years of him starting up and taking over small businesses Ryan begun to coach students under his mentor, Dr. Glenn Livingstone, whose methodology is what the ASK Method is based on. This progressed to Ryan coaching alongside Dr Livingstone when he had many clients wanting consultation.
During this time, Ryan charged $300 a month for posting advice on a private message board and responding to queries. Many of the queries he received were clients asking him whether or not their copy was good enough. He began writing copy for clients, and because of the extra hours he had to put in, he raised his rate and started saying ‘no’ to copywriting jobs, as he was only there to critique and not to rewrite content.
Eventually, his hourly rate was high enough that if someone did ask him to write copy, he was able to negotiate a price that was worth it. This was a big shift for Ryan as now he was taking on his own projects and achieving great results. His first project was for $8000, and it was then that he realized he could make decent money from copywriting.
However, his career as a full time copywriter did not take off from there. He still had an orchid business on the side that was paying for bills. His consulting work was providing extra income but was not the ‘money-maker’, yet. At events, people would still ask Ryan if he was able to help them implement his techniques into their business and he refused, as this was not something that he had done before, taking on individual clients.
Ryan then realized that people business owners wanted someone to make their lives easier, and that he was capable of doing so and make money from it. This was the turning point for him.
It was not called the ASK Method back then, but from a generic copywriter he became a specialist and solely focused on helping businesses to execute his marketing strategies (the ASK Method). This change and specialization caused him to increase his income from 100 000 a year to a million a year, and he was able to do this with just his wife and one other employee. This was a major leap in income that did not happen gradually, but rather was achieved by implementing three steps.
How Ryan Levesque reaped the rewards of specialization
Ryan explains that there were many conditions that made his income increases possible, but generally he believes that what ever freelancers, copywriters or businesses are charging now, they are able to charge more.
The first big income leap came when he shifted from general copywriter to becoming a specialist or Ask Method expert, and clients started to chase him for business and not the other way around.
The second major income leap was when he begun charging for consulting on projects, and charging for any copywriting work separately. Ryan was able to charge large amounts for copy because he anchored the price to his consulting rate, giving a flat hourly rate and specifying how long the project would take, which racked up much more income.
From what Ryan has experienced, a common mistake here is agreeing to a large sum of money but spend a lot of time on the phone with the client, discussing the project, which becomes time that you are not getting paid for. Ryan advises, rather send the client a draft version of the copy, which is covered in the hourly rate and can then be discussed with the client during the next scheduled weekly call that is being paid for. One on one time with a client should always be accounted for in the price.
The third big income leap was when he added royalties to the copy he had written, or as he calls it a ‘success participation fee’. He justified this fee by not working for any other competing clients and only taking one client per niche, so as not to share ideas, etc with competing businesses. To offset the sacrifice and other business he is turning away, he charges a 5% royalty fee to cover his losses.
Through these three steps, Ryan has made it to a stage where he is earning a million dollars a month, plus receiving monthly royalty cheques.
He advises copywriters to take the opportunity to get paid to be an expert in helping businesses implement something that works really well, like the ASK Method, instead of implementing the ASK Method for yourself, do it for others, as there is a demand for it. Not many people are using this method and taking such an opportunity. Although, Ryan himself is no longer in the particular business of copy writing, he says it is a great way for ambitious writer to make stacks of money upfront and get paid royalties on their work.