Five years ago, Roota Mittal made a pact with herself that would change her life forever. It all started with a disappointing annual review at her high-paying but low-satisfaction software development job. It caused her to realize that what she really yearned to do was to quit her job and become a travel blogger.
She made a deal with herself: If her blog wasn’t successful in a year, she would go back to cubicle life. One year later, Roota was making double the income of that high-paying corporate job. Three years later, she had raked in a total of one million dollars and worked with nearly 2,000 clients across fourteen different countries.
But travel writing didn’t get her there. Mittal realized that to make a living online, she needed to learn how to market her blog so it would get more views. She ended up using that marketing knowledge to quit travel blogging and create a multi-six figure freelance marketing business supporting beginners and high-end clients. Her customers have made nearly $10 million in trackable revenue thanks to her help.
I caught up with Mittal to find out the secrets to her business success, how beginner entrepreneurs can avoid getting stuck charging low rates, her best social media marketing advice for attracting high-end clients and more.
Why You’re Not Attracting High-End Clients | Stephanie Burns
Lim Jiaquan Matthew
Stephanie Burns: How did you go from being a travel writer to a marketing expert?
Roota Mittal: My blog wasn’t getting any traffic and I was getting frustrated only focusing on search engine optimization to promote it. SEO is slow and I like fast results. So I started researching how to make paid ads work. I spent $50 on an ad campaign and ended up with ten potential clients reaching out to work with me as a travel consultant. As soon as I realized the power of social media and advertising, I threw my energy into marketing gigs instead.
I would use myself as a case study, displaying snapshots of my Facebook Ads dashboard on my social media, my website or in messages with potential clients. They could see the incredible results I was getting and wanted them for themselves, so they’d hire me. Strangers on the internet are looking for signs to trust you. Transparency makes it as easy as possible for them to trust you. My first client paid me a whopping $70 per week to manage their Facebook ads, but I made sure to double my prices every time I took on a new client. I went from making about $300 a month to $600 to $1,200 and so on pretty quickly.
Burns: How did you grow your business from there?
Mittal: I was constantly learning new skills that my clients craved—like sales funnels and strategies for increasing your Instagram followers with people who actually end up buying products. I would experiment on myself, figuring out how to get to 10k followers, and then offer that service to others. I had long-term clients who were happy with me and I was charging high prices, but I was working so hard with one-on-one business and I didn’t think it was sustainable. So I created a course, Marketing Accelerator Academy, that would allow me to bring in more revenue without taking on more one-on-one clients. So far it has served more than 1,900 customers all over the world.
Burns: You almost got derailed by your blog not taking off and burnout. How do you encourage other entrepreneurs to keep going when they’re “this close” to quitting?
Mittal: Instead of thinking about quitting, think about pivoting. I’ve pivoted multiple times in my business. If something isn’t clicking, maybe it’s not supposed to happen for you that particular way. Try serving a different customer avatar, changing your marketing strategy, partnering up with someone or creating a different offer—like I did with marketing.
Also, remember that if you quit right now, the game is over. There’s no winning after that. There were a lot of times in my business when I wanted to give up. But I kept going because I believe it’s not done until you win. Back in 2018, when I started promoting my online academy, I got so many hateful comments on my ad posts that I wanted to quit. I would wake up in the morning, pick up my phone and read people criticizing my accent, my appearance or the fact that I didn’t have an MBA. I had to remind myself that my clients—people I know—needed me to help them. So who cares if some strangers are being cruel? I also had to just stop reading the comments! I delegated that responsibility to someone on my team.
Why You’re Not Attracting High-End Clients | Stephanie Burns
Lim Jiaquan Matthew
Burns: You consistently doubled your rates, but what do you say to entrepreneurs who are nervous doing so and get stuck charging low rates?
Mittal: Don’t think about how much you’re charging based on the number of hours you work, the time it takes to do something or the team you have to pay. Think about your work in terms of the impact that it has on your client’s bottom line. If you’re 10x-ing their revenue, charge according to that—not an hourly fee. You also have to shift your mindset. So often, we’re not comfortable charging someone more than we’d spend ourselves. Whenever I want to increase my ability to make more money, I actually spend more money: I’ll splurge on a staycation or invest in a mastermind that feels beyond my reach. Whenever I do, my income increases because my financial limit has been raised.
Burns: What should entrepreneurs do if they want to attract high-end clients?
Mittal: I know this sounds surprising, but you have to start charging more. When you approach a high-end client with a low price, they won’t hire you. They’ll think, “If this person is so good, why are they charging so little?”
You also need to focus on client results. Getting one amazing client can be a game-changer for your business. If you get an epic testimonial video or case study, that can open so many doors for you when you run ads to it and include it in your funnel. I hire a lot of freelancers in my business. I always ask them where their testimonials are and so many of them don’t have any! People are shy about asking for these from clients. But you need to. If you have a powerful case study from someone who is awesome, you can leverage it by putting it into a funnel and creating a pipeline of clients ready to work with you.
Finally, always focus on the client first. It’s not about how much money you’ll get but about what you can offer them. What you promised them was results. You need to achieve that before upselling.
When you get obsessed with your gains and benefits, that’s when things go wrong. When you focus on the client first and getting them results and being of service, that’s when you have success.
Burns: You help so many entrepreneurs get to steady $10k months. What’s your best marketing or business tip for helping anyone take their company to the next level?
Mittal: Being a freelancer, contractor or entrepreneur can be like riding an income roller coaster. When I was starting out, there were months where I’d make $5k and the next I’d barely make $500. I advise my students to always have a client waitlist so your pipeline is never empty. I also remind them that they should be marketing their services all day, every day. Don’t stop just because you do have a client.
Burns: Why are you so passionate about the work that you do?
Mittal: I know everyone has a dream in their heart—just like I did when I felt stuck in that cubicle writing code. Building a successful business helped me achieve that dream and I want to help others do the same. I’ve helped college kids make enough money to put themselves through school and support their family. I’ve helped working moms spend more time with their family and avoid crazy corporate hours by going out on their own. It’s not just about the money. It’s about growing confidence, gaining freedom and achieving the work-life balance you’ve been searching for. If I can help people do that, I’m realizing my purpose on Earth!