What to Do When Your Clients Got You Feeling Depressed

Depressed-Client

It happened about 10 years ago or so. I was walking through Umeda Station. Western Japan’s largest railway hub with more than 2.3 Million passengers daily.

It was late afternoon and my wife and I were going to enjoy a great night.

During dinner and later at the club my mind kept swinging back and forth between the conversation with my wife and the issue my client was having.

First a new Spanish restaurant and then drinks at a jazz club.

Just then my phone rang. It was Kaz, one of my top clients.

He had a problem and needed my help right away.

I told him I was out and would be in touch early the next day.

It Wasn’t That Easy

But I couldn’t get his call off my mind.

During dinner and later at the club my mind kept swinging back and forth between the conversation with my wife and the issue my client was having.

It ruined my night.

I couldn’t give my wife the full attention she deserved. I wasn’t present the way I wanted to be.

Here’s the thing, it wasn’t the first time this happened…

On several occasions I had client issues come up that completely swept my mind away.

That took me ‘out’ of whatever I was doing the moment a client called me.

Things Had to Change

This time I’d had enough.

I decided then and there something had to change. Continue Reading

4 Easy Tests to Run on Your Consulting Website

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Consultant websites aren’t the same as every other website.

Especially when it comes to testing…

Here’s the fact, most consultants don’t do any testing on their website.

And if you’re website isn’t getting any views there’s not much point running tests anyways.

But for this article let’s assume that your website is getting some traffic.

If you’re not taking note of these four things you’re missing a great opportunity.

Consultant Websites vs. Others

In terms of testing and tracking many of the resources online are way beyond what’s necessary for most consultants.

For example, while the below points are common to test for most websites they aren’t relevant for consultants:

  • Price – you shouldn’t be listing your fees on your website
  • Trial Length – consultants don’t offer trials – and certainly not free ones
  • Link and Text Color – while valid most consultant websites don’t receive the level of traffic needed to test ‘small changes’ like this
  • Login or Signup buttons – most consultant websites don’t include login or signup buttons

Get the point, right?

Most literature on this subject focuses on websites that sell products or services like software.

So what should you test on your website?

Here are four areas I encourage you to consider testing…

Get People to Take Action

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As you can see from the above screenshot, this test by performable showed a 21% increase in clicks when they changed the button color from green to red.

Don’t just think button color however…

Instead, consider changing the text or size of your buttons.

Consider their placement on your website? Are they above the fold? Can everyone see them easily?

Even more important for a call to action is that you’re providing the visitor with a reason to take action.

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Let’s take a look at the above screenshot. The call to action on the left is boring and offers no incentive to take action. The one on the right however clearly provides a reason for the visitor to take action.

Pop Up Effectiveness

Here’s a test that is often controversial. Having a pop up on your website. Continue Reading

How Consultants Added $4.63 Million in New Client Revenue Last Year

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2014 was a landmark year for our clients and all of us at Consulting Success.

During the previous 12 months consultants in my coaching program won an additional $4.63 Million in new client business.

Many consultants doubled their business and several tripled their revenues in a matter of weeks, not years.

Here’s just small sampling of the results consultants have achieved in the program.

While I consider myself a quiet person – I’ve always preferred to let results speak for themselves over boasting or posting screenshots of Paypal accounts – I’m incredibly proud of the amazing consultants I’ve been working with and am very happy to share.

It’s a true honor and pleasure to serve such dedicated and smart people. You all motivate and inspire me. To be given the opportunity to work with you and help you take your success to the next level is what drives me.

No Need to Reinvent the Wheel

The recommendations and actions I ask consultants to take in the coaching program aren’t always easy. But the most worthwhile things we want to achieve in life rarely are. Continue Reading

Webinar for Certified Management Consultants Association on Specialization and Value Propositions Is Coming

CMC

On January 13, 2015 I’ll be providing a one hour online training webinar for the Certified Management Consultants of Canada. Anyone can join. Even if you’re not a CMC or located in Canada.

Just go here to register.

As a consultant the first step in effectively marketing your services is to get the attention of your ideal clients. To accomplish this you need to position yourself as an expert and have an effective value proposition that communicates why your ideal client should work with you. In this online session you’ll learn:

  • Uncover the myths of specialization and when to be a generalist (there’s a right and wrong time).
  • Case study examples of value propositions and marketing messaging (the good vs bad).
  • The proven formula to create an effective value proposition.
  • Discover the most important element of your value proposition (the one most people miss!)
  • How to test your marketing messaging attract more clients.
  • And much more

Continue Reading

New Marketing Book from 21 Experts (Available Free)

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Update: The book has now become a bestseller in the following countries:

#1 in US in 3 categories and over #97 in the whole kindle store, and #5 in the Business category.
#1 in UK in Small Business and Entrepreneurship category and #67 in the whole kindle store.
#1 in Canada Marketing section, #40 in the whole kindle store, and #3 in the Business category.
#1 in Germany in the Marketing section (for English books) and #345 in the whole kindle store.
#1 in Australia in 2 business categories and #90 in the whole Kindle Store
#1 in France in 1 business category and #186 in the whole kindle store
#1 in Spain in 1 business category and #219 in the whole kindle store.

Here’s the deal. A few months ago I was asked to be part of a new book project.

Each chapter includes the wisdom and time-tested strategies from consultants and experts around the world.

Today I’m happy to announce that “Creating Business Growth” is now available. And you can get it for free!

Inside you’ll find marketing nuggets from 21 marketing and business experts to help you grow your business.

And because all of us are passionate about marketing and helping others you can get a copy of the book for the next 5 days at no cost.

Here’s what you need to do (and one request):

  1. Go here and get the book (free)
  2. Enjoy the book with our compliments
  3. My request: Once you’ve got the book and enjoyed it please go back to Amazon and add your review

I encourage you to share this with all of your friends and colleagues who you believe want to improve their marketing and grow their business.

I hope you enjoy it!

To your success,
Michael

Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year

Happy-Holiday-Season

As we wind down yet another big year our team at Consulting Success wants to take a moment to send out warm wishes to you, your friends, family and any other people close to you during this holiday season.

Enjoy the process and give yourself some down time as well to think, recharge, spend time with loved ones, and just to enjoy.

This is a great time of year to reflect on how 2014 went and also to plan and project the upcoming year. Enjoy the process and give yourself some down time as well to think, recharge, spend time with loved ones, and just to enjoy.

We are truly grateful for all of your support and hope to continue to be of service to you on your consulting and life journey. 2014 was a great one and let’s continue to all push hard together in 2015 and challenge ourselves to the next level.

Here’s to a happy new year, holiday season, and a great 2015!
Michael, Sam, Vincent, and the whole team at ConsultingSuccess.com

 

Consulting Habits, How To Start Your Day the Right Way

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Have you ever got out of bed feeling drained?

It’s likely that your usual morning routine does little to boost your energy.

Instead of being consumed by television, print or internet news first thing in the morning take a different approach…

Your internal drive, motivation and inspiration lacking?

Does any of that sound familiar?

How Consultants Deal With This

I’ve spoken with countless consultants that deal with this.

I’ve experienced it too…

The feeling that you need to push yourself…

It’s like climbing up a hill.

Even though you know the view will be beautiful you’re not enjoying the climb up.

Time to Take Action

So what can you do?

Let me share with you the single best way to overcome this challenge.

Instead of being consumed by television, print or internet news first thing in the morning take a different approach… Continue Reading

How to Take a Vacation While Growing Your Business

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If you want to go on vacation – go for it!

There’s a false belief that people have been spreading…

That ‘perfect time’ never comes. So don’t wait for it.

That going on holiday means your business will suffer.

And that is not true.

I recently spent 5 days on a small island with my wife.

I was on ‘vacation’ and enjoying a great holiday.

But I also worked.

“Say what Michael? You’re on holiday but you’re working? That’s not a holiday!” you say.

It sure is.

The belief that you can’t ‘work’ while on holiday is absurd.

My business is part of my life.

I enjoy it – that’s why I do it.

I take an hour or two out of a full day to talk with clients and close deals.

You need it. Your body and mind need it. Your family needs it.

One day I spent 3 hours ‘working’. Then we had a great lunch. Went on an amazing hike to the top of a mountain overlooking the ocean. Then had a drink at the local pub. Followed by a relaxing evening with great food and wine overlooking the ocean where we saw porpoises and otters.

If you believe that spending an hour or two out of a day makes your holiday ‘a failure’ you’re focusing on the wrong things. Continue Reading

6 Reasons to Stop Charging a Consulting Hourly Rate

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I get it. Society has made the hourly rate the standard way to get paid.

The news talks about hourly wages almost every day.

But if you’re charging a consulting hourly rate you’re not only doing a disservice to your client and your business – you’re also leaving a great deal of money on the table.

Here are 6 reasons to avoid the deadly hourly rate:

  1. Your client will always want you to work less because they’ll pay you less
  2. Your client will avoid getting you to do important work because they know it will cost them more
  3. Your client will hold back calling you and asking you for feedback because it might lead to more work
  4. You’ve grouped yourself together with every other person working on an hourly rate (plumbers, fast food servers, administrative assistants, etc)
  5. You’re incentivized to take longer to complete the work because you’ll get paid more
  6. You limit your ability to scale your business because more income means more work for you to do

Scare Clients With Your High Hourly Rate

Some consultants believe that charging  a high hourly rate fixes this problem.

Instead of working 100 hours at $150/hr what if you could charge $25,000 or $40,000 and get the work done part time over two weeks?

Instead of charging $150/hr why not $350/hr.

But how many hours a day are you actually able to spend on client work?

What if you want to grow your business to $50k-$100k+ per month?

Not only does this limit your ability to scale your business there are far fewer clients willing to pay ‘high’ hourly rates.

It simply scares them off…because they compare it to every other hourly rate they’ve seen.

The Structure to Growth

If you want to experience significant growth in your consulting business avoid the hourly approach.

Instead choose a structure that allows you to maximize the value you’re providing.

While minimizing your time involved.

Because the greatest wealth anyone has isn’t ruled by money – it’s the time they have to do what they want.

Structures that work well in this regard include project consulting work, retainer work – all with a focus on value over volume.

Both of these structures have several nuances. And they each require the right approach and positioning. Continue Reading

What Does Per Diem Mean for Consultants

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Per diem simply means “for each day” or “per day” (wikipedia).

As a consultant you’ll run into this word all the time. It’s most often used to describe the amount of money you’re given or allowed to use per day.

Let’s say you’re attending a consulting conference. Your organization may offer you a $400 per diem to cover your hotel, meals, travel, etc.

Instead of expecting your client to pay for your meals or travel, you can simply include it in your proposal as part of the project fee.

To clarify, if you’re an independent consultant you won’t be finding much use in a per diem. This is most common when working for a company or organization as an employee.

That said, some larger companies, government and organizations do offer contractors and consultants per diem in some situations.

Consultants sometimes wonder whether their client will offer them a per diem to visit the client site.

The answer is, yes, some will. However, I’m not a big believer in this model.

Instead of expecting your client to pay for your meals or travel, you can simply include it in your proposal as part of the project fee. Continue Reading