Less Is More …

What if you could spend more time doing the things that matter to your business, and less time doing the things that don't?

Bob Sands here with you for Day Three of The Writer’s Life!

It all started in 1897 with Vilfredo Pareto, an economist who studied patterns of wealth and income in 19th-century England. He discovered that most of the wealth was concentrated among a small minority of the people. In fact, 20% of the population possessed 80% of the wealth.

As his research continued, he discovered that this 80/20 rule was at work in all countries, in every sector of society, and extended beyond just economic trends. Over the years, people have built upon this principle even further. Today it is called the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule. It simply states that 20% of my input will produce 80% of my results.

If you were to sit down and take a good look at your business and your finances, you would note that when it comes to clients, 20% of your clients are responsible for 80% of your revenue. Twenty percent of your marketing efforts are responsible for 80% of your results.

So how do we apply this powerful principle to our copywriting businesses? If you want to be more productive this year, you must skillfully and relentlessly practice the 80/20 rule. Here are a few “No Bull” Tips to make it work.

1. Analyze

Take a look at all of your clients past and present, and then look at how much income you’ve earned from each. Determine who the top 20% are and find out what they have in common and how you can reach a similar prospect.

2. Categorize

Look at each area of your business individually. See how the 80/20 rule applies to your marketing efforts, client acquisition, and income from particular clients and referral sources. I know that 80% of my new income results from speaking to groups and writing articles. Spending time on any other marketing efforts this year won’t be as effective.

3. Optimize

Decide how you will apply the 80/20 rule to each area, make a plan, and then go to work! This year, I’m going to target more associations and organizations where prospects in need of a speechwriter congregate. I will then concentrate on writing articles for their publications and speaking at their meetings. This will give me the most ROI in all areas of my business this year. The Pareto Principle is universal, and it works. If you want to get more done this year and spend less time doing it, then Pareto is your man.

What works for you? What doesn’t? Use the comment section below to let me know. We can all learn from one another!

And if you’re ready to increase your productivity and skyrocket your writing speed this year, read my article on how you can do just that here.

Join me tomorrow for another edition of The Writer's Life when we look at “when bad things happen to good days.”

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: January 23, 2013

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