Stop Giving Advice Away for Free


Have you ever noticed that when you give someone advice for free they don’t take action on it?

When someone pays you for that same advice they are much more likely to use what you’ve shared with them and benefit from it.

Those kinds of people do exist. They just want to get what they can for free and aren’t serious about hiring someone.

This isn’t a universal truth that applies to 100% of people. It is however what happens in the vast majority of cases.

It happens so often in fact that what’s revealed is a bigger issue…

People don’t value what they get for free.

When you give your advice for free, people may say “thank you” and “I appreciate your time”. Pleasantries are nice, but you’re not giving advice to have your ego stroked (at least you shouldn’t be).

You’re giving advice because you want the person to benefit from it. To take action on it, to implement and to get the result they are looking for.

Consultants often ask me, “Michael, my clients and prospects always want my advice but they’re not willing to pay for it, what should I do?”

My answer…

Get a new client!

Sounds harsh, yet it is a real option.

You see, if you’re dealing with a client or prospect that is just looking to be a leech and suck away your time and knowledge they may never be willing to pay you for help.

Those kinds of people do exist. They just want to get what they can for free and aren’t serious about hiring someone. They’ll try to do everything themselves and will end up taking three times as long to get where they want to go and often won’t ever reach their destination.

Instead of giving away all your advice for free, ask the buyer as many questions as you can to understand their situation.

If you sense that’s who you’re dealing with, it’s time to move on and find a real client and buyer that needs help and wants to hire someone that can deliver great value. Continue Reading

Are You Failing Enough?


On a call with one of my coaching students the other day I realized that one of the greatest obstacles you’ll come up against is the person you see in the mirror.

That’s right, YOU!

Have you ever felt the fear to pick up the phone and call a prospective client? Or how about waiting to launch your website or a direct mail campaign because things weren’t ‘quite right’ yet?

When you encounter failure or rejection, don’t take it personally.

The reality is, almost everyone one of us has faced some kind of fear like this that holds us back from moving forward and being successful.

What it comes down to is ‘fear of failure’.

You lose a project.

A client wants you to reduce your consulting fee, you don’t and they walk away.

You can look at these two situations and see failure. Be scared by it and then use it as an excuse not to move forward. Not to get more done.

Or you can view your failure as a lesson. Learn from it and move on. Continue Reading

Turn $1 Into $5


Let’s talk about investments for a minute.

If I told you that I could turn every $1 you gave me into $5, how much of your money would you hand over?

As much as you possibly can, right?

The people that invest in themselves and their businesses almost always see significant growth and reach their goals much faster.

Just yesterday I was looking at the sales report for the month in my payment processor system and it really got me thinking that many business owners don’t understand the difference between expenses and investments.

And that’s a critical issue.

I can pay over $1000 each month to process payments.

Most business owners have no problem with this model – because they don’t pay anything upfront.

You only pay the fee when you make sales.

$1000 a month on a service may sound like a lot (and it is)…but it allows me to process tens of thousands of online orders ($s) each month.

Let’s dive into some psychology, because here is where things get interesting…

If I asked you to pay $1000/mo for the same payment processing service – but you had to pay it upfront – before the sales came in – would you? Even if you were asked to pay $1000 upfront and that you’d get any unused portion back after… Continue Reading

Get Paid More


Here’s a thought…

You get paid for the value you produce and deliver to the market.

Companies need to constantly improve their products because buyers are always looking for more value.

Have you looked at yourself as a product? You should.

Whether you’re actually selling a product or providing a service, YOU are a product.

The more valuable you make yourself the more you’ll get paid.

Your Best Investment

When you invest in yourself, sharpen your skills, hone your marketing – you become more value and can charge and earn more.

Ever seen a 20 year old outperform an ‘experienced’ 40 year old salesperson? It happens all the time when the 20 year old is hungrier for success and decides to invest in themselves.

The 40 year old thinks they know everything. Makes some cold calls and grumbles about how things have changed. Inside they’re starting to doubt their abilities. But they don’t do anything about it. Continue Reading

How to Be a Great Resource to Your Clients


As you build your consulting practice you’ll constantly be looking for ways to stand out from the crowd.

A powerful approach that can help you is to become a resource to your clients. To become a resource you’ll need to expand your circle of influence, education and investment in the market you want to be known in.

Now imagine how your clients will feel and think about you when they know that you are the go-to person? That’s right, you’ll be their resource and trusted advisor.

The benefits of becoming a resource are:

  • You are the first one clients go to for help and advice
  • Your clients refer you to others more often
  • You get asked to speak at events
  • People want you to write for their publications
  • Your name becomes associated with your specialization

The benefits of this are clear. Your business will grow and you’ll make more money. So how can you achieve this?

You can become a resource in several ways:

  • Read the latest industry news and publications
  • Share the most relevant information with your clients
  • Attend networking events in your industry
  • Write articles for print and online publications
  • Keep a blog that you write for consistently
  • Connect and get to know other professionals in the industry

The last point is more powerful than most people think. To truly become a resource for your consulting clients, you’ll want to reach out, connect and get to know other professionals that serve your clients marketplace. Continue Reading

What Differentiates Your Consulting Practice From the Competition?

Differentiation Consulting

Today I want to encourage you not only to read my article but to ‘work’ through it. That’s right; I want you to actively participate. Not for my benefit, but for yours.

If you can come up with a statement that matches both criteria there’s a good indication you’re getting close to finding what really makes your practice stand out from the competition.

I’m going to ask you a question and I want you to take a minute or two right now and answer it. Trust me, it will be worth your time and greatly benefit your consulting practice.

The Question

Okay, here it is:

Question: “What makes your consulting practice special and separates you from other consultants in your marketplace?”

Now before you continue reading think about that question and list out 3-5 of your key differentiators and advantages.

If you can’t, an alarm should be going off for you that this is something you really need to work on.

Okay, have you written down your answers now? Continue Reading

15 Ways to Get Referrals for Your Consulting Business

Referrals for Your Consulting Business

As our survey on Marketing for Consultants revealed referrals is still the top source of new clients for most consultants.

Getting consulting referrals doesn’t always happen by itself.

The consultants that get the most referrals have a system and process they follow that works for them.

With that said I thought I’d share a collection of 15 different ways you can ask for and get referrals.

Here they are:

“I’m so pleased you’re happy with my work. Do you know anyone else who can benefit from my services?”

“We’ve found the best way to get referrals is to have a web form that all our clients see after purchasing and we can also send this out through follow up email. This allows clients to provide us referrals quickly and easily.”
Source: Continue Reading

10X Business Growth: How an Engineer Turned Consultant Uses Marketing Automation

Steve Gordon

Interview Transcript

Mike Zipursky:  Hi, everyone. It’s Michael Zipursky here and I’d like to welcome you to another show. Today, we have Steve Gordon with us from Steve Gordon Marketing Florida. Steve took an engineering consulting firm from $250,000 to $3.1 million in sales in a few years.  Today he works with businesses to improve their marketing in a variety of industries. Steve, welcome.

Steve Gordon:  Hey, Michael, great to be here.  Thanks for having me.

Mike Zipursky:  Yeah, my pleasure. I’m excited about this. Steve, let’s start off and talk a bit more about your previous job at that engineering consulting firm. What were you doing there?

Steve Gordon:  I started there fresh out of college and kind of wait behind the ears not knowing anything, and had the good fortune to have a really great mentor in the founder of that firm, and very quickly moved on to a path to succeed him in the firm. I’d been there about four years and then he asked me to take over. It was just an outstanding opportunity to step in to a bigger role really early in my career. Continue Reading

Research Reveals How to Establish Social Proof to Grow Your Business

Social Proof Business

Research Reveals How to Establish Social Proof to Grow Your Business – Click Here to ReTweet

Marketing is all about positioning. Your job is to get in front of your ideal client and cultivate and grow the perception that you are the best choice in the marketplace.

And to achieve that, your ideal client must trust you.

While most people think about using celebrities in their marketing, like on TV commercials, to be over-the-top expensive, that’s not always the case. You can be creative in how you approach celebrities and use their status to your benefit.

Simply being able to offer the product or service that your ideal client is looking for isn’t enough. As they evaluate their choices they go through a process in their mind where they score several factors before making a decision.

They consider factors like:

  • Are you for real (or are you faking it)?
  • Do you have the experience?
  • Will they enjoy working with you?
  • What makes you better/worse than the alternatives?
  • Can they trust you?

These are all important questions in the minds of your ideal client, and it’s unfortunate that many consultants don’t give them much consideration.

To increase your chances of being viewed as a trusted provider and partner, let me share with you several ways to establish the necessary social proof.

Categories of Social Proof

Techcrunch wrote a great article that breaks down social proof into 5 general categories.

They are:

1. Expert Social Proof

This can be when you or your business is talked about in the media, by a blogger, magazine or other source considered an expert in your market place.

For example, when Maclean’s, one of Canada’s largest national magazines featured me in an article on Small Business Customer Loyalty, I was able to use that to further enhance my own credibility and authority status. Continue Reading

10 Referral Strategies to Grow Your Consulting Business

You will have a hard time finding a service professional, or any business owner for that matter, that believes referrals are not their best source of business.

2 Benefits of Referrals

In almost every case, referrals are the least expensive source of new clients. That is, the direct cost to acquire them is low. Especially compared to other marketing methods such as print or online advertising.

What you will quickly learn is that what might seem like a small step you take today, done continuously, repeated often, will reap big rewards.

Another clear benefit of referrals is their high closing rate. When you generate a lead from an inbound or outbound marketing channel, it can often take several months if not close to a year to win the business. This all depends on where the prospective client is in the buying cycle…and whether they’re just feeling the options out or have a serious problem they need a solution to ASAP.

A referral comes with a layer of trust built into it. You haven’t touted your own horn to generate that lead. It has come to you through a trusted source. Which means that the prospective client does not feel the need to ‘get to know you’ and ‘trust you’ to the same degree a general lead would. Ultimately, this means you close the sale more quickly.

The question then, is how do you get referrals?

I will share 10 strategies to land an on-going stream of referral business. Though before I get to that, let me be clear. None of the below strategies is of value unless you have a great product or service. If you generate referrals and try to sell a mediocre, or worse, an inadequate product or service, the effort you put into generating referrals will be all for not.

The business may come in…yet it will go away just as quickly.

With that, here are 10 of the best strategies to generate referrals:


Wouldn’t you love to get a ton of referrals and new leads overnight?! Well, here’s how to do it…wait a second. Stop the record. Just stop! That’s a load of BS. Like most things in business, the majority of referrals come from a systematic process you put in place and keep working on. Every little thing you do adds up. To see the real power of compounding, read Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect. What you will quickly learn is that what might seem like a small step you take today, done continuously, repeated often, will reap big rewards. For referrals, this can mean reaching out to new people once a week, every week. Going to an event or networking meeting on a consistent basis. There is immense power in repetition. Continue Reading

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