Become a Standout Consultant

I just finished watching Seth Godin walk off stage.

He gave a great presentation.

Parts of it I’d seen before yet it’s always great to see him speak in person.

One of the lessons he shared that stood out in my mind isn’t a new one. In fact, he wrote about it in his 2011 book “We Are All Weird.”

It’s an important concept and one that continues to become more and more relevant with each year.

I believe it’s especially important that consultants take notice of it.

1
As the above chart shows (via 27gen.com), back in 1955 the vast majority of people would be considered ‘Normal’.

This includes your ideal clients and most buyers of consulting services. If you were marketing back then you would focus your efforts on this great ‘normal’ majority.

As time went on the bell curve start to flatten out and by 1975 the ‘normal’ majority was seeing a significant decrease. As Seth Godin put it, there were more “WEIRD” people.

2

This increase of smaller market segments made marketing to each segment a lot more attractive. The market was growing…and still is.

By 2011, the original ‘normal’ group has gone from majority to minority or close to it. Marketing is no longer about muscle and forcing messages on people. Continue Reading

Why Some Consultants Struggle to Get Clients While Others Succeed

How-You-Market-Yourself

He got me thinking.

I was out for a morning walk. The sun warming the cold street and keeping the wind at bay.

It doesn’t matter what situation or country you’re in, or what industry you serve. Figure out what you need to do to reach the level of success you want and take action on it.

He was sitting on the ground about 10 meters in front of me.

His hat lay on the ground about a half meter in front of him. It contained a few coins. Just enough to look like someone had contributed them but I could tell he’d put them in himself to encourage others to give him money.

His position was relaxed. He didn’t try to get my attention. It seemed as though he’d already decided how successful his day would be.

A few blocks down the same street another man stood playing his harmonica.

He was about the same age as the first. He hadn’t shaved in a while and his clothes were stained with dirt – likely from calling the park bench or alleyway door his home.

At first glance both these men shared similarities.

But not everything was the same…

The second man played his music. He wasn’t good at it, but it looked like he was doing his best to enjoy it. He engaged eyes with everyone that passed and gave them a smile.

The other difference was that the second man’s hat had a lot more money in it. A few bills and at least $25 worth of coins.  Continue Reading

How to Use Twitter to Get More Consulting Clients

Finding-Consulting-Clients-Twitter

Social media can be a complete waste of your time.

Simple conversations can and do often lead to more serious discussions that turn into business.

It can also be a great way to build your business and land consulting clients.

Obviously if you spend your time on Twitter, or any other social network for that matter, engaged in meaningless time consuming banter the result will be meaningless.

On the other hand, if you take a strategic approach to your social media, it can directly lead to more clients.

Today I’m going to share with you a simple, yet powerful strategy on how to use Twitter to land more consulting clients.

Here’s how it works:

1. Make a list of your ideal clients and who your buyer will be. Aim to find out the name of the person at the company. The more detailed and specific you can be here the better.

2. Spend 20-30 minutes searching for each of these buyers on Twitter. You may be able to find them through Twitter’s search directly. Or you can hop onto Google and search for them there. For example, let’s say I wanted to connect with Maria Pergolino, the VP Marketing at Apttus (formerly Marketo). I would simply do a search for “Maria Pergolino Twitter” and this is the result: Continue Reading

How to Find More Consulting Clients

Find-More-Consulting-Clients

Do you want to expand your client base and attract more of your ideal consulting clients?

Once you’ve put this list together you’ll have a set of criteria that gives you greater clarity into who your ideal clients really are and how to get your message in front of them.

One great option to accomplish this is to get a clearer picture of who your ideal clients are.

There are several ways to do this:

Buyer Persona and Client Avatar: Often called a Buyer Persona or Client Avatar, in this exercise you want answer specific questions that include:

  • Demographic information – location, age, income, gender, etc of your ideal client
  • Title – is your ideal buyer a VP, Director, CEO, Manager?
  • Average day – what does their average day look like?
  • Buying authority – do they have authority to hire and write you the check?

Information Sources: Where does your ideal buyer go to get informed? Do they visit specific websites, blogs, read trade publications or magazines? Do they attend specific events? Continue Reading

Unprofessional Professional: Part 2

Unprofessional

I shared some thoughts on what makes an Unprofessional Professional in Part 1. I’ve since seen and thought about other qualities that make a professional, well, unprofessional.

Here’s one: Running away from something when it’s hard or when you’re scared.

The unprofessional let’s things slide and does their best to hide when the situation gets uncomfortable for them.

A prospective client asks you a question, you give them an answer. It turns out to be incorrect. Do you just leave it and hope that it goes away. Or do you let them know that you were mistaken, expose your error and offer them the correct response?

If you’re discussing making a deal with someone, you agree that they should call you back a specific time and then have second thoughts, what do you do? Do you let the phone ring when they try to call you and not answer it? Do you ignore their emails and tell yourself you’ll pretend that you never saw them? Or do you pick up the phone, because you agreed that you would at that specific time and tell them that you’re having second thoughts and explain why?

Both of these examples may seem inconsequential.

“It’s just a small mistake” you say.

“It won’t hurt anyone”…”it’s just a phone call” you tell yourself.

Well, that’s the attitude of an Unprofessional Professional.

The problem is that every time you let something “small” slide it adds up. It gathers and then one day starts to creep up on you.

Because when you don’t follow through and do what you said you would, people talk. Continue Reading

What’s Holding You Back From Making Your Goals a Reality

Whats-Holding-You-Back

We are now well into March. The short lived snow we had in the city has melted. The buzz of New Year’s resolutions has faded.

I’m not preaching from a high pedestal here my friend. I’ve been in your shoes. I used to believe that I could do everything myself. I’d try to ‘save’ money that way.

By this time you’ll know whether or not the goals you’ve set for this year are on track. So my friend, how are you doing? Are you well on your way to making your goals a reality?

If you are, congratulations. If you’re not, my friend, it’s time to get help…

Make This Year a Success

I want you to make this year a fantastic success for yourself. Let’s not fool ourselves. If you haven’t taken action on your plans yet, if you’re not significantly closer to reaching your goals by this time in the year, it’s unlikely, yes highly unlikely, that you’re going to get there by yourself.

If your goal was to eat better and lose some weight and it hasn’t started to happen, it’s time that you speak with a dietician or nutrition expert. Maybe team up with a friend and commit to each other to make it happen.

If going to gym is your goal and you’re just not making it happen. It’s time to hire a trainer and signup for a program to ensure you make that goal a reality.

If you decided that this year you’re going to land more clients and grow your business and income, and it hasn’t started to happen yet, it’s time you join my marketing for consultants program.

The Mistake We Make

As business owners and consultants, one of the biggest mistakes we can make is trying to do everything ourselves. We trick ourselves into believing that we don’t need help. And that’s dangerous.

Because not only do we waste time and money when we try to accomplish everything ourselves…the lack of results we often see crushes our confidence.

I’m not preaching from a high pedestal here my friend. I’ve been in your shoes. I used to believe that I could do everything myself. I’d try to ‘save’ money that way.

The problem was, it cost me a lot more. Continue Reading

How to Grow a Consulting Business By 400% and More

Grow-Your-Consulting-Business

I clearly remember the decision I made to change the focus of one of my businesses.

That business was bringing in about $10,000/mo on a pretty consistent basis. I wanted to take it to the next level, and I knew things had to change.

I do however believe that if you change your mindset and start focusing on the right things in your business you can see significant results.

I invested (a lot of money) in some mentoring and coaching and made a strategic change in direction of that business. Last month that business brought in over $54,000 in one month. It will continue to generate $40,000 to $50,000 or so each month. Until we take the next steps to grow it further.

The increase came not only from the coaching and mentoring I invested in though. It also came from a change in my mindset.

Your mindset has a huge impact on your success.

No, I’m not getting all spiritual on you. I’m not preaching that if you tell yourself you’re going to make money it somehow magically starts coming to you. I don’t believe in that.

I do however believe that if you change your mindset and start focusing on the right things in your business you can see significant results.

On a recent call with one of the consultants (for confidentiality I’ll call him John) in my coaching program, we mapped out some strategic shifts for John to make. And now he’ll add an extra $120,000 to his income this year as a result. Maybe more.

Not only that, he won’t have to work anymore than before.

John started only 1 year ago. He went from making $3000 a month to $12,000 a month in less than 12 months. This year John expects to do over $200,000. My bet is that he’ll actually get closer to $275,000.

Of course John is good at what he does. He knows how to get his clients results. He also made the decision to believe in himself and invest in getting coaching and support to reach his goals quickly.

Not everyone will see results like these so fast. Though many of the consultants I work with are able to double, even triple their incomes.

If you want to achieve these types of results, I suggest you follow these steps:

  1. Figure out what change you need to make in your business to reach your financial and personal goals
  2. Decide who can guide you on the fastest way to reach those results (this can be a mentor, coach or friend – just make sure that whoever it is, they have the experience and track-record to really help you)
  3. Make the decision to invest in yourself and your business
  4. Put your plan into action and don’t waiver from it

If you want to start landing more clients, increasing your income and grow your consulting business, and if you believe you’d be a good fit for my coaching program for consultants, claim one of the 4 free strategy calls I’m offering this month.

Wishing you great success!

Sorry It’s Marketing, Not Consulting

Marketing-Not-Consulting

We’re all in the marketing business.

Consulting or coaching is what we get to do once we win the project.

Don’t forget that.

Just the other day I was speaking with a consultant in my Coaching Program. This consultant was previously a Vice President for a large international company.

If you want to have clients lined up to work with you, to grow your income and make your business a long-term success, start focusing on your marketing.

She earned a great income, traveled the world and enjoyed all the benefits that come with it.

Two years ago she decided to leave the corporate world and go out on her own.

As soon as she launched her consulting business she got some great referrals. That kept her busy. It was a great start.

Now those initial referrals that were so easy to get have started to dry up.

She’s not getting enough clients and certainly not with enough consistency.

Not only is she feeling frustrated, she’s also starting to doubt herself.

There’s no reason that she should though. She’s great at what she does. She knows how to provide massive value to her clients.

She just needs more clients. She needs to market and promote her services.

Remember, not only do you need to be great at what you do, you also need to become great at marketing.

There are specific steps you can take right now to get refocused, to position yourself as an authority in your marketplace and to start attracting your ideal consulting clients on a consistent basis.

That’s what my Marketing for Consultants program is all about. Don’t wait for your referrals to dry up. Take action now and make sure you’re marketing your consulting services.

If you want to have clients lined up to work with you, to grow your income and make your business a long-term success, start focusing on your marketing.

100 Tips on How to Start a Consulting Business

100 Tips - Starting a Consulting Business

There are all kinds of consultants in my coaching program where we focus on getting more clients and increasing your income.

Some consultants are already earning $10K, $40K, even $80K a month. Other consultants are just getting started. They’ve been managers and executives in the corporate world and are new ready to transition to become consultants and enjoy more freedom and control of their life.

These are just some of the key questions you want to work through as you look to start and grow your consulting business.

I’ve been asked many times, “what do I need to do to successfully start a consulting business?”

While this list isn’t exhaustive, it does include many of the key questions and ideas you’ll want to consider and can use to get started:

Identify Your Ideal Clients

1. Who are your ideal clients?
2. Who will you serve?
3. Who will you market to?
4. The more you know about your ideal clients, the better.
5. What industry are they in?
6. What is their position and title?
7. Are they in a certain geographical area?
8. What is the big problem they are facing?
9. What are their goals and mandates?
10. Without this information you won’t know who to serve, how to best serve them and especially, how to market to them effectively.

Be Clear on Your Value

11. How will you add value for your ideal clients?
12. What result will you produce for them?
13. Why should they hire you?
14. Why are you the best person to help them?
15. How do you compare to the competition?
16. If they don’t hire you, what will that mean for their business/life?

Deliver that Value

17. How will you deliver the solution?
18. Will you be doing this in-person?
19. Or will your delivery be online?
20. What will the delivery actually look like?
21. What should your client expect?
22. What will the process look like?
23. What type of deliverables will they get?
24. What type of timeline is involved? Continue Reading

Chasing a Lost Dragon

Chasing-Lost-Dragon

The Chasing Dragon Cafe opened up several months ago. Their story is one you need to learn as a consultant and marketer of your own services.

The cafe is on a very visible street corner. Tens of thousands of cars and likely hundreds of thousands of people see the cafe each day.

It pays to specialize. When you do, you’ll be known and remembered for something, instead of nothing.

When you walk in the decor is simple, calming and pleasant. It’s a breath of fresh air in a landscape surrounded by national and global coffee chains.

The space is large, great for meetings, to read a book or get some work done.

The coffee and tea are above average. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly.

You might think that this new cafe has all the ingredients to be a success.

You’d be right, many of the critical factors of business success are here. But the Chasing Dragon has one major flaw…

It doesn’t know who it is.

The Dragon Cafe wants to be everything to everyone.

It’s called a Cafe, which in this city means a coffee shop. A place you can go to get a great coffee, tea, pastry or sandwich.

The problem is first visible before you even enter the café.

The sign outside the door got my marketing ‘warning bell’ ringing. Continue Reading

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