Set yourself apart from the pack, protect your success, and pick clients you want to work with, all with the advice of Facebook ads expert Nicholas Kusmich.
Nicholas started out as a pastor who was committed to not relying on his congregation for his salary. That commitment required a side hustle of some sort, which is when Nicholas turned to the internet marketing world. When he started using Facebook as a major advertising platform for his work, he quickly became one of the most recognized agencies/consulting businesses in the market. But that was just the beginning. You won’t want to miss the story of the million-dollar road that this side hustle has taken Nicholas down, on this episode of the Consulting Success Podcast.
Don’t Be Just Another Generic Consultant — It’s Time to Specialize
One of the greatest keys to consulting success that I constantly emphasize is the absolute importance of specializing. It isn’t enough to simply tell people that are you are a consultant for any industry — you have to find your niche and make it work for you. Nicholas learned early in his career that “everyone and their mother” was a generic digital marketing consultant. It just wasn’t enough for him to follow that same overly worn path — and it won’t be enough for you, either. You have to pinpoint what exactly you are going to specialize in and confidently move forward from there.
This can seem like a daunting task, and you may assume that everyone has the same skills as you. But you can’t let those thoughts overwhelm you. With a bit of research and perhaps some luck, you may discover that you already have in your possession a specialized skill that is just waiting to be exposed. Discovering this skill set and exploiting it in your favor is what will set you apart as an expert in your industry.
For Nicholas that opportunity came at a convention in 2014, where he discovered that he already had a skill that could lend itself well in the marketplace. He knew exactly how to make a profit from Facebook ads, while everyone around him was struggling to figure out what he already knew. By recognizing this, Nicholas carved out a niche for himself, which set him apart from his competition and dramatically increased the demand for his skills. By focusing solely on his niche, Nicholas elevated through the ranks and brought his company to where it is today. As you listen to the story he shares of how he found success, you’ll see how the same approach to specializing can work for you too.
Discover Your Niche by Doing Two Simple Things
At times it may seem that you are one of dozens of consultants offering the same skills to an over saturated market. Nicholas has two tips to help pinpoint your area of specialization.
First, recognize an underserved segment of your marketplace. If you are a consultant that is often “scratching an itch,” meaning that you’ve already figured out what needs are present, chances are you are also already looking for a solution. Once you know who you need to target, the next step will come easily.
Second, target an affluent segment of your target market. You will find greater success if you can identify the thriving companies that are in need of your specialty. By seeking out these companies you will create for yourself a greater opportunity for success within the underserved segment of your marketplace.
Your Network Will Always Work for You
The greatest way to find this kind of success is to keep your finger on the pulse of your industry. By tapping into your already existing network, you’ll be able to easily recognize an under served market. Within your network, there are needs that are waiting to be filled, and you can discover what these needs are in a variety of ways. Compile a list of the best and worst consultants your clients have ever worked with. Poll people within your network to gather opinions on their experiences, good or bad, to figure out what needs they still have that are waiting to be met. Look for commonalities between favorite clients, whether it be the particular business, size of a client’s business, or the products they offer. Look at clients that have been the worst to work with and take note of what common characteristics they have. Each of these steps will help you to zero in on your new niche.
Even after you have taken these steps, you may still find that your market is saturated with overgeneralized specialists. But there is still a way that you can position yourself so that it sets you apart from your competitors. Just as Nicholas shifted his expertise from general marketing consultant to Facebook strategist, you can find a way to stand out in your crowd. Be sure to listen to the additional tips that Nicholas shares to find a way to position yourself so that people see you as the only person who does what you do.
Separate Yourself From the Pack
Your business will thrive if you can find a way to set yourself apart from the crowd. You know that there is no replacement for the quality of your work. As you create value for your clients, your work will speak for itself. Once you have those results, you have to position yourself so that what you do appears to be very different from what everyone else is doing.
Nicholas shares the angle that he took to position himself as the Facebook ads expert. Rather than focusing on tactics like everyone else around him, he set his focus on strategy. He shares the three steps that successful companies take to set themselves apart in their marketplace — the positioning, the promise, and the big idea. He shares the inspiring story of P90X — the way they have used this approach to become the leader in the fitness industry is the same technique you can use to set yourself apart as well.
As a successful consultant, it is essential that you know what your promise is in the marketplace, that you know what your position is in the marketplace, and what your big idea is in the marketplace that has set you apart as the true expert. It worked for Nicholas, and it will work for you, too. All of the details on how to make it happen for you are in this inspiring episode of the Consulting Success Podcast.
Success Isn’t Just a Dollar Sign
When you are first starting out, the highest possible dollar amount may be the milestone of success that you are working toward. However, as your business continues to grow, if you keep working toward dollar signs only, you are going to find yourself working for your business, instead of making your business to work for your lifestyle. Chances are that isn’t why you decided to become a consultant in the first place. At some point, whether it be by reaching a salary goal, obtaining expensive possessions, or even the birth of a child, your measure of true success will shift. Then you will have to protect your success by the choices that you make.
Nicholas shares the measures he has taken to protect his success and optimize his business so that it best aligned with his personal values — and he calls this process “netting up.” For Nicholas, this means a few things. First, it means clearly identifying and only working with clients that he truly enjoys working with. Earning a big paycheck isn’t the only criteria for working with a client anymore — now you can ask yourself if you actually want to spend time with each client that comes along.
Second, increasing your prices is a well-earned mark of success. As you achieve higher levels of success, you will have the luxury of tailoring your prices to ensure that you’re working only with the quality of clients you want to work with. You may reduce your number of clients but as a reward, you are also increasing the quality of each business transaction.
Third, netting up means keeping your staff at a manageable size. This may mean letting people go, but it also means identifying key responsibilities and roles in your business. Rather than supporting full-time employees, you can utilize contractors to fill those gaps and reduce the number of staff that you are responsible for managing.
Fourth, protect your success by putting standard operating procedures in place and making them work for you. If there are ways that you can automate, optimize, or delegate the work that your business requires, take the time to make it happen.
Fifth, make intentional and clear decisions about your boundaries. When are you willing to do extra work? Or answer the phone on a Friday afternoon at 4:30? Or come in over the weekend? By setting boundaries, you can lift the burden of your work and protect your success.
Enjoying this kind of success may sound too good to be true, but if you implement the ideas that Nicholas has shared here, you will soon be enjoying this same level of consulting success as he is.
What are the Pricing Models that Work?
Every consultant struggles to correctly price work. For Nicholas, pricing models have evolved over time for both agency pricing and consulting pricing. In our conversation he shares specific dollar amounts that he currently charges, and why the numbers are all at least five digits. You’ll definitely want to listen to this segment of the episode to hear the details on dollar amounts, where he started, and how he decided to switch to a percentage-of-revenue pricing model.
One key point that Nicholas shares in our money talk is that you don’t have to spend more time on projects in order to charge more money. By strategically optimizing your company’s approach to fees and providing your clients with valuable results, you will be able to significantly increase your company’s revenue. “We’re not raising fees arbitrarily,” Nicholas says of their pricing model. “We’re creating a win-win scenario that makes sense for everyone involved.” Both you and your client will benefit when you charge higher fees, and Nicholas explains multiple reasons why that is, starting with accountability. Be sure to listen to this episode of the Consulting Success Podcast to hear even more reasons why you can feel about confident charging your clients higher fees than you currently are.
Finding Clients that Fit
As you achieve greater consulting success, you will have the option of selecting which clients you want to work with. But how? Performing a marketing audit is the first critical step to determining whether or not a company will make a good fit as your next client. When considering each potential project, it is essential to examine the following — what kind of processes are already in place? What are the company numbers behind the work? Is the company in a place where they can implement your ideas to make changes for their business? If you get the answers you are looking for, then you’ve found your next client. If not, it’s time to move on to the next opportunity, no matter how big the paycheck you’re leaving behind. In the long run, your company will benefit more by only securing the kind of work that is a perfect fit for you.
Every Credible Person is the Author of a Book
Nicholas wrote Give: The Ultimate Guide to Using Facebook Advertising to Generate More Leads, More Clients, and Massive ROI after someone told him that every credible person is the author of a book. He took that advice to heart, and the impact of that decision on his business has been incredible — even though he likens writing a book to passing a kidney stone. You can get a free copy of his book at giveinfo.com. If you’re considering writing a book, you’ll want to hear what the process was like for him, and how it has benefitted his company so far.
[:24] From pastor side hustle to full time consultant, Nicholas shares his path to consulting success.
[4:57] Why focus solely on Facebook ads?
[7:17] Finding your niche starts with pinpointing an underserved market.
[13:10] Separate yourself from the pack by focusing on this.
[20:53] What does success mean to Nicholas Kusmich?
[24:34] Steps for protecting your success.
[29:39] Pricing models that work.
[33:20] Screening companies for the best fit.
[35:52] The impact of authoring Give.
[39:10] How you can connect with NIcholas Kusmich.
Mentioned in This Episode:
Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
Give: The Ultimate Guide to Using Facebook Advertising to Generate More Leads, More Clients, and Massive ROI by Nicholas Kusmich
Tweetables:“I made an intentional decision to capitalize on a recognized opportunity.” — Nicholas Kusmich
“Position what you do in a way that it is unique from all of your competitors.” — Nicholas Kusmich
“I built a business to revolve around my lifestyle, not a lifestyle to revolve around my business.” — Nicholas Kusmich
“Someone told me every credible person is an author of a book, and it seemed reasonable to me.” — Nicholas Kusmich