Barry Feldman week 047-051

How to Grow a Specialty | Day 1 interview with Barry Feldman

How to Become a Consultant Podcast with Joe Sanok and friends.

Grow a specialty, grow an audience, and grow an income.

The top consultants helping you to become a consultant today.

Joe Sanok: Welcome to the How to Become a Consultant Podcast, Session 47. I am so glad you’re here, and this week we’re going to be talking with Barry Feldman who is just a total rock star. But first, I want to tell you a few things about some things going on. So I am launching the consultant school. The consultantschool.com is a great spot where you can get that early bird opt in.

Already, I’ve been talking with some of my consulting clients, and a few of them have already opted in. We’re only going to have a total of 18 spots for this first semester. So October 1st is when that’s going to go out to the email list and then January 1st is when the semester begins, and so during that time in the lead  up, I’m going to be surveying people as to what they want, how do they want to grow? How do they want to connect with each other and make sure that we’re doing just a fabulous job connecting with each other and helping you grow as a consultant.

So go ahead and head on over to the consultantschool.com. It’s a great spot to just connect and just be there. Be there with us. So this week, you know what? It’s been a really good week for me. I feel like things are going really well with my consulting business. Also, I was just really trying to figure out how to streamline my time, brought on a couple more virtual assistants to take some things off my plate, some things that were hanging out there, like the show notes for the How to Become a Consultant Podcast. Brought in a VA to go through and kind of get all those up and running and I have to add a few more links to it. But it’s just amazing how much you can get done when you start bringing other people in. It’s just awesome.

So this week, we’re talking with Barry Feldman, and Barry is the point man at Feldman Creative. He delivers content marketing, copyrighting and creative direction for all the online projects that you do or that anyone does. And he is just so good like so wise in regards to the things that he helped me discover in this interview. So much of it when I interviewed him I started implementing right away.

So this week is going to be an exciting week. We’re going to be talking about copy. We’re going to be talking about content. We’re going to be talking about a number of ways that you can grow your audience and grow your income in really unique ways. So without any further ado, I give you Barry Feldman.

Barry, thank you so much for being on the How to Become a Consultant Podcast.

Barry Feldman: Thanks for having me, dude. It’s good to be here. I’ve been looking forward to this.

Joe Sanok: Yeah, yeah. You’re all over the place, and I’m so glad you’ve taken time out to help teach our audience about How to Become a Consultant, and today we’re talking with Barry all about kind of how can you grow a specialty, and then throughout the week we’re going to talk about a few other things with him. So Barry, maybe let’s just start. You’ve done a lot of work around personal branding and a number of other things. You’ve built a number of different specialties. Maybe just give the audience a little overview of what you’ve done in regards to growing a specialty.

Barry’s specialty

Barry Feldman: Okay. I suppose if I had a specialty, you know throughout my approximately 25-year career, it was advertising, copyrighting, marketing but the creative side of doing marketing and I grew up in advertising agency business so the first 10 years or so was only specializes that. But I have indeed become more of a specialist in the age of the internet and particularly in this decade. So I had a WordPress site I guess since 2011 and I sort of turned on the burners at that time to say I want to be a content marketer. I want to help people understand what’s become a pretty fast-changing and complex and really challenging area.

So some people taking and availing that education began with HubSpot. The term inbound marketing was not as popular as content marketing, if you looked at the trends, and you could say one’s a subset of the other and the argument sort of works both ways. I don’t necessarily specialize in content marketing, although I do tend to make those lists and call myself a content marketing consultant and so forth.

But whether it’s inbound marketing or content marketing and then these flavors personal branding, influencer marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, these are all things that I help people with. And so I call my specialty online marketing. I wish it was more specialized in that. You know it’s the mysterious area that people need help in right now. You know that’s not to say that advertising went away and they don’t need to do advertising. They don’t do public relations and so forth. But the niche is online marketing and the many sub niches that serve it.

Joe Sanok: Great, great! So what are some things like kind of the ideal listener for this show is someone who is brand new to wanting to become a consultant? So they may own a lawn care business, and they want to start consulting with people that own lawn care businesses. They might a counselor that wants to consult with people in starting a private practice. In some way they want to start consulting, what should they know about online marketing?

The importance of online presence

Barry Feldman: I guess if we really go back to the, you know the bare essentials, they should know how important it is to have an online presence, so they’re going to want a website and maybe that’s understood, I don’t know. Let’s say, you’re going to have a website. Plan A, we’ll move from there. The websites of today, if they serve your purposes, they’re getting discovered by people that have never heard of you before so the websites of today are built on a CMS platform. That stands for Content Management System, and so they should have that too, because they’re going to be become bloggers. Whether they are or they are not going to become bloggers, if they’re going to be successful with building their business through online marketing, they’re going to update their website quite regularly.

Okay so, if you build what yesteryear used to have and not every business had, you might as well call that brochureware. A lot of people call that a brochure website, so that means it’s static, you know. You took pretty material, you put it online, you sort of, you know did and made it up into pages and categories and that was cool. That answered customer’s questions but it’s not as cool anymore. It’s not as effective anymore, because there’s so much content.

And so Google is looking for websites that have ever expanding amount of content and therefore if you update your website daily, the search engines are going to index it daily. And so the second thing you need to understand is you’re going to get into some form of content marketing such that you’ll be discovered online. You know people that didn’t know anything about you will find you via search. It uncorks a lot of questions, but I think to begin with, yeah you need a website, it has to have a CMS, generally speaking, because of its ease and it’s basically no price entry.

WordPress is the recommended platform for that. It’s not the only option you have and they continue to evolve and come out here fast and furiously. But yeah, I would say next, you got to think about that. And then comes the big question of how do I create content? What do I talk about? Who do I talk to? And so then we get into, you know understanding more about marketing in general. Those are two starting points or at least the two starting points where I can be most helpful.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. And you mentioned being in marketing for 25 years, and I’m guessing that there’s people that have been in marketing that long that haven’t been able to kind of grow into this new way of marketing, like you have. So, how did you make that transition having been in the field for 25 years?

Going through the transition process

Barry Feldman: That’s a great question. You’re definitely right that there are old school practitioners that are, you know clinging to whatever business is left, because you know that sort of approach has become a recipe for irrelevance, you know, unless you have a lot of money and you can do super bowl commercials or buy the trade ads, and you don’t care about whether they work or not or you don’t care about actually measuring that. Yeah, it’s time to think online or it’s time to be where your customers are, obviously.

We all have these sort of things, tablets and laptops, so they go where we go and so that’s where you need to be. So, how did I make that transition? The truth is, really reluctantly, I guess over time because, you know because of the 25-year time span, we talked about, my experience precedes the internet period, you know, then the companies that brought it to us, AOL and Sun Microsystems and Netscape and you know the whole “you’ve got mail” era. So I’ve read long, I’ve read the websites as long as there had been websites, but it was kind of reluctantly to tell you the truth, because people would call me and say, you know, can you work on a website, you know what you’re doing and they grew this sort of bias, that websites will not be creative. They will not be exciting.

People don’t have time. You will now write straight forward headlines, followed by bullet points, next page. And I resisted that. To some degree, you know I’ve learned that they’re right and to some degree, you know you still need to stand off from the pack and have a skillfully written piece that interests people.

So there’s a little bit of truth to both sides, but the reason I go through all that is I got kind of turned off. You know, and so therefore I didn’t pay that much attention to evolving trends and certainly the one that I regret not paying attention to the most is blogging, you know. So companies that started blogging a long time ago Copyblogger or ProBlogger. You know, they really have some of the most popular websites in the world and they established leadership in their niche.

And I just thought you know probably like a lot of people do think these thoughts today about Twitter and so forth. It’s like, yeah whatever, online chat or people expressing the stuff about their day-to-day life. That’s what I thought blogging was. I didn’t know I’d see the business application for it. So I came to the conclusion, and it wasn’t that long ago. I think it was probably 2010 or 2011. I’m not that relevant. I don’t really know much more than I used to. I’m still good at copyrighting of people story line, I make for it, but you know marketing is passing me by because I’m kind of an online [inaudible 00:10:18].

Joe Sanok: At least you own what you were.

Barry Feldman: So that the turning point or tipping point or whatever you want call it was HubSpot’s book. It’s called Inbound Marketing. It’s as simple as that. The book, four years later which was really six months ago, maybe something like that has been revised. And so somebody told me to start there. I think as I started digging around in websites I said it looks like HubSpot knows a lot about this area.

So I read Inbound Marketing. And Inbound Marketing laid out the recipe for how you stop as a marketer pushing your messages to people, because they don’t like it anymore. We tune them out. We’re walking, talking media filters right? We don’t listen to commercials, we change the station or if it’s the television we fast forward. You know we subscribe some music services that free us from having to listen to commercials. We throw out our junk mail. We have spam filters. You know everything’s permission-based and so I learned that from that book and learned that what you need to do is pull people towards you and to that do you need to be discovered online and that cover a lot of territory such that you could be discovered through search, through social, through blogging, through you know various forms of online referrals, people forwarding your email and so forth. So yeah, big lesson there.

Joe Sanok: Well, I love what you just said, and maybe you can drill in a little bit, the “everything is permission-based”. I love that but some people might not know what you mean. Drill in a little bit more as to what you mean by that.

Something on “everything is permission-based”

Barry Feldman: Well, I guess that you define it a little bit differently across different media, but generally speaking, let’s say, we’re talking about either subscribing. Let’s say we’re talking about subscribing to something. So that could be a blog feed, and that’s not that popular of a thing to actually do and awareness for that’s never achieved what people might have hoped for in the blogging world.

So that’s not so relevant. I mean, I subscribe probably via email to what you publish. And so that might be emails, but generally it’s an email about something you published. So it says, “Hey we have a new post. You should read it.” Often, some people include the entire post, but you left the top in snip it or a teaser to the post. And so the traffic winds up on your website. So the permission-based element to it is, I give you permission to do that. I said, yeah. Amen, and so on a daily basis, somebody is offering me a webinar, an E-book. I don’t know, it could be a lot of things, it could be a podcast, it could be a consultation, it could be a product trial. I’m in content marketing. E-book’s probably the most popular. Some long form of content that I feel has a small price. I want to extract a small price from you.

Well that small price from you is generally your email. You’d get outrageously lower results if it was your phone number.

And so I trade my email for whatever it is they are offering me. I’m giving you the permission to market to me, you know and then ultimately I can control it if I want to not read it, and I don’t read it if I want to opt out, I can opt out. So I say yes, I am – have bought into the degree that you have permission to market to me now. And there’s a lot of forms with that but that’s I think me opting into email from you is the best way to help people understand it.

Joe Sanok: Well, Barry, I think my big takeaway is that we live in a society now where we can cater almost everything to what we want, you know. Like what you mentioned our music, our videos, our you know whether we watch commercials, our emails and when you’re growing a consulting business, whether it’s going to be online consulting, whether it’s going to be in person traditional consulting, that’s the mindset of the world now. And so if you’re not doing some sort of content marketing where you’re out there and valuing the fact that people want to tell you what they want and what they don’t want, you’re not going to be successful as a consultant.

Barry Feldman: Yeah, yeah. I would say so. I mean not everybody has to do it exactly the same way you know. I would have to take any consultant who will study, note, ask the question what should I do? Where will I get the biggest bang for my buck? I have to take that question individually. There might be some track record. Maybe they have meet-ups you know. They put on seminars and so forth and so I don’t have the recipe ahead of time, but you’re right. I mean, one way or another, that’s called content. You know, it’s not my favorite word in the world. I’ve kind of just learned to live with it, you know, because it really means, you know “thing” you know or hate really. It’s you can have a container you know; in it is content. So it’s a very ambiguous term, but it’s you know a consultant’s got to specialize in something. This is your way of giving free samples of it you know.

Joe Sanok: Right, right.

Barry Feldman: That leads to you know a paid arrangement.

Joe Sanok: And Barry, I’m so excited for tomorrow. We’re going to dive into How to Grow an Audience and I think your whole personal branding, you have the A-Z infographic. We’ll dive into maybe some of that, but all week we’re going to be talking with Barry and he’s going to be continuing tomorrow to talk about how to grow an audience. And so we’ll talk to you more tomorrow. Oh actually you know what? I want to close it. What’s one action item Barry that anyone can do to grow a specialty? I almost skipped that final question I ask everybody.

An action item to grow a specialty

Barry Feldman: An action item anybody can do to grow a specialty, you know, somebody told me this piece of advice. I’m going to paraphrase a little bit, but I like to repeat this and it certainly is true. If you, you know, because we just talked about I really wasn’t this specialist in what I decided to become a specialist in. It was related but it was new. And so what I did is this piece of advice. If you read about something an hour a day, every day for a year, you know more about that thing than 99% of the world and people will pay you to share what you learned.

Joe Sanok: Well, that’s great. Thanks Barry. We’ll talk with you more, tomorrow.

Barry Feldman: All right, good deal.

Joe Sanok: I just loved how Barry’s experience as he said precedes this whole internet boom and it’s just really exciting to see someone who has that history, who has that knowledge taking it and applying it in this brand new way. I think a lot of times people that didn’t grow up with the internet has such a hard time making that transition and Barry is just such a leader in regards to this field and doing some just amazing work and really being this mentor figure to all of us. So all week we’re going to be talking with Barry and again head over to the consultantschool.com if you want to get that early bird opt in on October 1st. We’d love for you to be there. Have an awesome day and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

To discover more about how to grow a specialty, audience and income, visit becomeaconsultanttoday.com.

 

How to Grow an Audience | Day 2 interview with Barry Feldman

How to Become a Consultant Podcast with Joe Sanok and friends.

Grow a specialty, grow an audience, and grow an income.

The top consultants helping you to become a consultant today.

Joe Sanok: Welcome to Session 48 of the How to Become a Consultant Podcast. I hope you’re doing awesome today. Today is a rainy day in Northern Michigan and that just seems to happen this time of year. Hope you’re doing awesome this week. Hope you are implementing all that Barry was talking about yesterday.

We have been talking about the consultantschool.com a little bit in this podcast. It’s going to be my membership community. It’s going to be an E-course, a mastermind group of Q and A calls really focused in on helping you launch into being the consultant you want to be, and for us to help one another launch. That if you’re focusing on technology or you’re focusing on counseling consulting or you’re focusing on something else, that really, you have this community of people that all want to see you succeed, that all want to help promote your content and to have people that are all kind of on the same level and with the same goals. It’s just going to be awesome.

So head over to the consultantschool.com. That’s going to be launching on October 1st, is when that cart opens and then the actual semester starts in January. So you’ve got some time to prepare before you dive in to that community. It’s going to be a three-month semester. We’re going to have a monthly Q and A call. The Mastermind groups are going to meet every other week for six weeks or for six times. And so that will be over 12 weeks.

We’re going to have the E-course. We’re going to have mini videos. It’s going to be just awesome. Well, today, Barry Feldman is sharing with us about a A-Z infographic that he made that just went crazy online and other ways that he has found to grow an audience and so many things that I just took away from this that I started implementing right away, the very day that I heard it from Barry.

And we’d just love to get your feedback on it. Send me a tweet or just you know reach out to me in some way. I’d love to connect with you. But before we do that, let’s dive in. Here is Barry. Barry Feldman, welcome back to the How to Become a Consultant Podcast. How are you doing today?

Barry Feldman: Hey, I’m good. Thanks. Is it okay that I wore the same shirt?

Joe Sanok: That’s okay. I’m wearing the same shirt, too.

Barry Feldman: Like pre-recorded TV.

Joe Sanok: It is like pre-recorded TV. I love it. So today, we’re talking about How to Grow an Audience as a consultant. Yesterday we talked about how to grow a specialty, tomorrow we’re going to talk about how to grow an income, but we’re going really dive into some strategies today with you about how to grow an audience. So, where do you want to start?

Barry Feldman: Where do I want to start? Well, the assumption is that most people have caught what I had to say yesterday. We talked about building online properties and getting people to raise their hand and give you permission. And so, today we’re going to expand that into the Expansion of your Audience?

Joe Sanok: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. So how do we kind of become a client magnet? I know you’ve done a lot around personal branding and you’ve got infographics, slide show, all those things are just ways that you’ve been building an audience. Maybe take us through, maybe some of your strategies and then we can pull out what some of our aspiring consultants or consultants can do from there.

Barry Feldman: Yeah, the first three letters in that infographic you mentioned and that’s called – people can search for this and perhaps you can put up and make a link handy for you.

Joe Sanok: Yeah, I sure will in the show notes.

The A – Z Guide for Personal Branding

Barry Feldman: Have this space, it’d wound up on a lot of websites, so with just typing a few of these words, will show it you many times over. It’s called the complete A-Z Guide to Personal Branding and so obviously, there’s 26 tips in there, because like I walked through the alphabet. But we’ll go over ABC, I guess, and perhaps that will interest people enough to keep going.

So A is authenticity and there’s not a lot to be said there, but I see people making the mistake when they try to be a specialist is trying to be like somebody else. And I think, yeah, you can have – you can emulate leaders and you can learn from them and you can build your network with them, but I think anybody going into any specialty is not going to be so specialized that they’re the first, you know. So what really makes your brand unique is you, you know.

You could get online marketing advice from a lot of people other than me. You can get copy from a lot of people other than me. So what makes my brand? What makes Barry Feldman or Feldman creative me is the authentic me. My point of view, my sense of humor, my background, my you know philosophy on things and the way that I express myself.

So (A), I think, I am building your personal brand, and I guess we’re kind of putting a foothold together or a foundation for building an audience. Next, building a personal brand is being yourself, you know. So dig deep into that. Think about what that is. Ask your friends when they think of, when you think of me you know give me three adjectives. What do you think of? So don’t like, like a lot of bloggers, they go, “I’m blogger” and they’ll turn into journalists. They get all stiff and there’s no personality in there. They lost themselves in the mix.

Okay, (B) is for blogging. We’ve talked about that on yesterday’s program and I’ll continue today. The easy, obvious, popular way, you know as dictated by the way of the world, the way people research for information now, all those things lead the door to blogging, you know. You as a personal brand, in the creation of your personal brand and the creation of a consulting business, really have to take that idea very seriously, you know. You need to blog. You need to understand if that’s going to be difficult, you need to figure out a plan so that you’re getting help in that area with your blog and you need to do it forever.

People don’t really like – there are too many blogs that happen temporarily and die, you know and you see that all the time with and you go to a website and you know, they were hot to track for four months and then they haven’t had a blog in two years and that’s dangerous. So, you need to understand that this is going to be a continuous stream.

Joe Sanok: And is there a minimum in regards to if someone, someone starts like is monthly too infrequent? Do you have to be weekly? Like what’s your recommendation as to how things are right now?

Frequency of blogging

Barry Feldman: Well, I think monthly is too infrequent, but I’d settle for it right. If you blog monthly, at least you’ll have established with the search engines I think that you do so and you’ll get indexed monthly or thereabouts. I would aim for more than once a month, maybe bi-monthly. But I would also maybe, you know, force yourself to make a reality check. I got to find the time. Do I have enough to say? You know, do I have enough resources? If I don’t have the time, I hire someone to do it. So you know pick an interval and stick with it and then it’s okay for it to get more frequent, but it’s probably not so good for it to get less frequent.

Joe Sanok: I have heard a lot of people suggest that you have everything go live like on a Tuesday. Is it better to have like three articles go live on a Tuesday or spread them out like a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday? If you had three a week, what’s the strategy there?

Barry Feldman: If you knew you were going to do three a week, you would establish an understanding with your audience of their expectations and I see lots of blogs, like Moz, has one waiting for me, I think every weekday. And it got published like midnight, the night before. No, I wouldn’t bunch them in days. You know you’re talking. They are already about with your competition. You’re talking about sort of information overload, so you’ve got three pieces and you say, here they are, because it’s Tuesday, you know. That’s going to divide your audience in thirds.

So, you know a lot of times people do get real busy and they consider Monday, the day that everybody is overwhelmed and Friday is the day nobody is paying attention, because they’re thinking about you know their Margaritas and so I see a lot of people that do blog off and that are aimed to do a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Right now you might not have to experiment with that. But I would say, yeah, don’t flip a switch and you know, have a barrage of content coming at you.

So ABC, I didn’t get to “C”. “C” is content. And content of course, a blog, blogging is a form of content. But it’s not everybody’s favorite thing to do is to read blogs and certainly become one of their favorite things to do or at least one of the ways to get people to your website. But people could have different media preferences, and so the reason I follow ‘B’ Blog with ‘C’ content is you might make a lot of slide shows and share a month’s slideshare.

Your audience might – a lot of CEOs like to watch one minute or ninety-second videos. You know, give me the bullets. So you might succeed by concentrating on video. You’re creating a video/podcast sequence with the understanding this is a good media preference for your audience. And so, that goes on and on. You mentioned infographics because we’re using that as a cheat sheet not to talk about personal branding. So there’s quite a few forms of content, and I think you have to build that into your plan, too, because your audience is probably going to be fragmented, segmented, be different walks of life and therefore they have different media preferences.

Joe Sanok: I Like that. And do you recommend re-using types of content or having your video be fresh and then have your slideshare be different from that, or can you have some overlap there?

Two terms marketers need to have

Barry Feldman: Oh man! Yeah and I’m glad you brought that up because I might not have been. I don’t know if I have hours for re-purpose but yeah there’s two words that marketers give that. One is repurpose and the other is atomize and kind of brings a little math/scientific approach to it you know so you have an atom that you know has – like if yourself had atoms.

Joe Sanok: That’s why we’re not scientists, Barry.

Barry Feldman: And yeah. You have a nucleus, I think. You need to be out then. I have the molecules around it whatever. You know follow me here, but yeah that’s called repurposing. That’s the good news I guess when you look at you know how taxing it’s going to be to blog, if you create. I have this piece that might be helpful to the audience called the “The E-book is the stud in your content marketing stable” and it’s an article and it’s also a slideshare and so there’s your first answer right?

It’s also become the topic of many interviews and so the E-book was pre planned and carefully planned to be you know a collection of strong ideas. It’s kind of like the approach you’re taking to your program, and then it’s a stud you know and a metaphor here and it creates beautiful babies, so you slice and dice your E-book.

So definitely, there’s some relief in knowing when you’re going to build bigger pieces, you can atomize them if you will, to be repurposed in different media and definitely you know you’d like. We’re talking about you know, Joe does, you know, Joe has an hour lunch before he works out. That’s when he listens to podcasts you know. And John likes to dedicate an hour of watching a video and you know and Jim is a voracious reader, you know.

So yeah that it could be the same content. Now on the other hand, the media is going to probably create different demands for how you execute that content. So that’s a good thing, where you’ll have to have to a little bit of you know, understanding of how different media works and then there’s the reverse strategy of the E-book is the stud in your content marketing stable where while I like pre conceiving a big pitch: twenty one pointers of blah, blah, blah, you know then you’re going to have twenty one sub segments of that. You could do that strategy in reverse. You know you can write or create a lot of small things and then build them into bigger things: programs, information products, presentations, webinars, what have you.

Joe Sanok: That’s awesome. So Barry, we’re going to talk more tomorrow about how to grow an income. But what’s one action item that anyone can do today to become a consultant and to start building that audience?

Take an action item today to become a consultant and grow your audience

Barry Feldman: Blog. You know. The people are looking for information that if you, you know that no matter what you can think of somebody is going to type that in the next hour into this blank field on this page called Google. And they’re going to find the answer to their question. You know my question to you is, is it going to be your answer?

Joe Sanok: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Looking forward to talking to you tomorrow, and we’ll chat more about how to grow an income, then.

Barry Feldman: All right, talk to you soon. Thank you.

Joe Sanok: I love what Barry said when he was asked about the one thing he can do or anyone can do and he said “Blog!” And that’s so true. I actually recorded a video of how to do a blog post quickly on my YouTube channel and so you can go over and find the Practice of the Practice channel there and I’ve got a quick video on how to rate a blog post really quickly, and it’s just not as hard as we sometimes think it is and even those ones who have been blogging for a while. Looking at how you’re structuring it, how you’re just getting information out there about what you do is just so important.

So also, don’t forget about the consultantschool.com. We’d love for you to head on over there and opt in. It’s going to be just be amazing. Even if you don’t end up signing up for this semester which I hope we do a second semester, but we’ll kind of see how it goes. With all of these I’m kind of testing it out. I want to keep this podcast going. I want to keep the consultant school going. But I also need to look at where am I getting the best return on investment of my time, my money, my energy and if people don’t opt in, then you know I’m not going to keep doing things.

So I want to make sure that it’s really going to be a good use of my time and that’s something that you can do, too, you know. Look at where you’re making the most money, where you’re making those impact? Where is your influence and income coming from? Then put more time into those things and sometimes you got to cut things out.

So my hope, my goal is that the consultantschool.com is just going to be awesome. It’s going to be this crazy, amazing community and those that have already opted in, are saying that that’s what they are excited about. They’re really excited about being members, being some of those very first people in the consultant school.

Thanks for letting me into your ears, into your brain. Have an awesome day and I’ll talk with you tomorrow morning.

To discover more about how to grow a specialty, audience and income, visit becomeaconsultanttoday.com.

 

How to Grow an Income | Day 3 interview with Barry Feldman

How to Become a Consultant Podcast with Joe Sanok and friends.

Grow a specialty, grow an audience, and grow an income.

The top consultants helping you to become a consultant today.

Joe Sanok: Welcome to Session 49 of the How to Become a Consultant Podcast. This podcast is just so much fun. It’s so fun to see the community growing on the How to Become a Consultant Facebook page over on becomeaconsultanttoday.com, getting lots of people joining the E-newsletter to get free content. It’s really cool and we’ve had several hundred people opt in to the consultantschool.com early bird invite and so if you head over to the consultantschool.com, you can get your invite there and there’s only going to be 18 spots for this first cohort because I want to do it right. I want to be able to understand and share and fail and try new things and have people say, “That worked. That didn’t work with this group.”

And this first round is going to definitely be cheaper than future rounds. So if you are all interested you want to definitely go over and request that invite from the consultantschool.com.

So again, we’re talking to Barry Feldman. He is so awesome. Have you guys loved him? I have loved his interview this week and today, he talks all about how to grow an income and he helped me discover a whole new way of doing consulting that I switched and found that I increased my income significantly by making that one switch.

So diving into this interview and thank you so much, Barry, for being on the show.

Here is Barry Feldman.

Barry, welcome back to the show. It’s been a busy week for us so far. On Monday, we talked with Barry all about how to grow a specialty. Yesterday, we were talking about how to grow an audience and today, it’s all always everybody’s favorite. Wednesday, how to grow an income.

So yesterday, we talked a little bit about E-books and different ways of forming content. I’m wondering once you provide this free content, how are you monetizing some things or how are other people monetizing their content after they give all this free stuff away?

How to monetize content

Barry Feldman: Every conceivable way. I got to get some generally with me. I get retained as a consultant but being that you don’t have to retain me to work with me. I get project work. Sometimes ongoing, sometimes one off if it’s significant enough. I also get, I mean, I build relationships where people trust me to bill them hourly because there’s lots of spikes and rises and valleys in the demand. And so those are the three ways I do it but I think consultants are often paid to put on a workshop, some sort of training seminar. It might be remotely, it might be in person, it might to one person, it might be to a small group, it might be to an entire company or at an event and so speaking and training, teaching, call it what you will. There’s a lot of slices or varieties of consulting by teaching.

And I think another one has become immensely popular is people get super comfortable with online learning, is online learning. So there’s all kinds of information products. Sometimes you would pay to have a workshop. There’s sort of the virtual version of what I just talked about. Sometimes it’s a membership site. Sometimes it has freebies attached to it. You might have a Google plus circle or a dedicated Facebook page that goes along with your membership site. Those membership sites can function ever so slightly differently and be a course. They might have homework and so they get information courses or information products are very popular. And then you know, like any learning strategy, it usually involves text and so you might sell E-books or you might sell E-books in addition to what you’re selling. And so, yeah, it’s really going to depend on what your capabilities are for delivering it. And I think a tough question because if you sell your time, and this has been a problem and challenge throughout my career. You know, if you sell your time, it’s limited.

Joe Sanok: Right.

Barry Feldman: And so you want to – what do they call it? I guess Pat will call it passive income right?

Joe Sanok: Right.

Barry Feldman: It really is making money in your sleep. You need products to do that.

Joe Sanok:  Right and it’s not really scalable either. But I want to drill in, I want to go back to retained and look at your actual structure and you don’t have to get numbers but how does that work in regards to so someone commits to two hours a month with you or like how does that flow?

Barry Feldman: It has to be flexible, at least, to my business. It has to be flexible, but I don’t know that everybody agrees it has to be flexible. I think I’ve seen and I’ve retained services where like I have a virtual assistant. Okay, so I have to make a commitment to retain them and it’s a minimum hourly thing and indeed it’s extremely unpredictable how much I need from my virtual assistant on a month-to-month basis, so that company that delivers that virtual assistant to me is retained by me with a minimum guarantee. If you retain me because I’m consulting and helping you with the blogging or content marketing or perhaps even broadly, online marketing. We do the same thing. We establish a minimum based on hours so you’re, you know it helps me manage my time and the resources that I have to bring in so that I can’t, you know so that I’m not wasting time doing nothing nor is the opposite true that there’s not enough hours to go around, and so I think you have to tackle that individually. But if you’re working to build a retainer-based business, now you’re going have to look at who delivers the services and how you can lock in clients. In my case, because content marketing is kind of a long play, I try hard to say that the least you can retain me for is three months. I have to fill a lot of questions about results after one or two.

Joe Sanok: Right.

Barry Feldman: After three we might have put a lot of pieces in place. You might start publishing a lot. There might be things worth measuring that will actually be helpful going forward and if that client either has to make the decisions about a return on investment or pass along information about a return on investment, we might be far enough along where we have metrics that now that are meaningful.

Joe Sanok:  Sure. That makes sense. That makes sense. And I think that for a lot of people that structure could really work where kind of whatever business you are in to do a retainer-based consulting, you then can count on a certain number of people each month that have already said yes, I want your time this coming month.

Barry Feldman: I think it’s a form of selling expertise that people are comfortable with and used to. You see variations of it like, “How many times have you seen like in the bottom right corner of a web page, now you can talk to me for you know $2.99 a minute. You know that’s maybe you’re talking to somebody who’s positioned themselves as you know, they’re more accomplished than most in that first consultation which is often free, is not free.

You know you have to say I’m serious. This is a test of my resolve. You can have your $3 a minute so that first hour is going to cost us 180 bucks or something like that but that’s not a good model for building a business. I at least, as a customer, I’d be uncomfortable with that.

Joe Sanok: Right.

Barry Feldman: I’m not going to ask you about your dog or the weather because that costs me anything that is timed.

Joe Sanok: And so do you give away free like consulting on the front end or do you feel like you’re at the point that you just if people want to start consulting with you, you start right from the get-go?

On giving free consultation

Barry Feldman: Yeah. I do give that away free and often, I get off the phone thinking I gave away way too much free and because I want the job as I start throwing ideas around. So I’m getting a little bit better than that. I’ve actually got consulting from my brother who’s very accomplished in the ways of sale about how they manage that.

So when you have a consultation call what I learned is you know, try to make the end in a side call, 30 minutes, if you will. It could 60, it could 15. It’s up to you, but don’t make that call about solving the customer’s problems. Make that call about establishing whether or not you are a good fit. What do you need? You may do a lot of listening at that point. Can we honestly come to the agreement that I can help you? And here’s where we go from here, as opposed to just getting to work. So yes. So I think a free consultation that’s the challenge of a free consultation is come with some sort of exit that is, will we be a good fit in working together?

Joe Sanok: Yeah. Now that’s great. Well, and tomorrow, we’re just going to kind of wrap things up, but tell us one action item that anybody that’s starting this consulting journey can take to start to build an income.

Take action to start building an income

Barry Feldman: Well, I suppose if we spend most of our time talking about modeling that I would say you know look at the models. You might like the idea of having passive income or selling some of your intellectual property such as E-books or webinars, but it might not be on the forefront. It might be like it might cause a lot of stress because it’s more than you can do in the early going. So I would say you know, have a short term plan that’s realistic, perhaps based on some of your peers in the industry, and then have a long term plan that’s ambitious that you can work towards.

Joe Sanok: Thank you so much, Barry Feldman, for being on the show today. We will catch up tomorrow and cover kind of just some wrap-up things around building a consulting business.

Barry Feldman: Can I wear this again?

Joe Sanok: Please do. I’ll wear this again.

Barry Feldman: All right. See you tomorrow.

Joe Sanok: See you. I love how at the end there Barry was talking about how as you grow and your opportunity for making more per hour grows and you’ve got a pretty much outsourced some of those things that you’re doing. I mentioned oDesk. That’s actually switched over to be Upwork and so I still use Upwork for finding a lot of my virtual assistants unless they’re personal referrals. It’s a great resource out there. I’m not getting a commission or anything for recommending them.

But that idea of how do you take things off your plate so you can be looking at that upper level stuff just really resonates with me. And then the other side of it for me that really just resonates is just that idea of having a retainer-based system. That’s what I do for my consulting now. When someone has me as their consultant, they commit to usually four to six months and there’s a certain amount per month and then they get a certain number of things rather than before, it was just, “Here’ how much you pay.” And then you know, “Take it or leave it.” And they could pay in payments, and it’s pretty much the same amount of money. Actually, it’s a little more money, but it’s easier for people to understand what they’re getting. So after Barry and a number of other people had recommended that then that’s what I ended up switching over to doing and it’s doing great.

So thanks for letting me into your ears and into brain. Go over to the consultantschool.com. Check that out. We’d love to have you join that community. It’s going to be awesome. And I will talk to you tomorrow.

To discover more about how to grow a specialty, audience and income, visit becomeaconsultanttoday.com.

 

Last Day | Day 4 interview with Barry Feldman

How to Become a Consultant Podcast with Joe Sanok and friends.

Grow a specialty, grow an audience, and grow an income.

The top consultants helping you to become a consultant today.

Joe Sanok: Welcome to Session 50 of the How to Become a Consultant Podcast. Can you believe we made it all the way to 50? This is awesome. Holy cow! So this week we have Barry Feldman. He has been with us. We’ve been talking all about his content marketing, his strategy; it’s just been awesome. If you want to be a part of the consultantschool.com, time is running out. On October 1st is when that cart is going to open for the semester that starts in January, 2016.

So please head on over there and if you want to be part of that community, it’s going to be a mastermind group, a monthly call for three months so you get three of those and then in the mastermind group it’s going to every other week for six weeks or for six times. Keep doing that. And then we’re also going to have E-courses and videos and little videos and a membership community on Facebook. It’s going to be a real killer.

But today, Barry Feldman is going deep into how do you transition when you have been in the field that’s in the midst of change? Barry was around before kind of the dawn of the internet doing marketing and all this other stuff, and he’s totally pivoted in his career. And he’s going to talk all about that.

So without any further ado, Barry Feldman.

Barry, welcome back to the show, today. It’s been a busy week with you. We on Monday talked about how to build a specialty, Tuesday we talked about how to grow your audience. Yesterday, we talked about growing an income, and today, you know, let’s just wrap things up. You’ve talked about so many different things, but I’m interested more in some of these personal branding and just how much you’ve been able to continually re-invent yourself throughout your career. I think that it’s just inspiring to anybody of any skill set or any age or any like anywhere that they can learn from you about how to just re-invent yourself.

So do you want to start there? And then we can just kind of see where it goes?

Re-inventing yourself

Barry Feldman: Okay, but the question is how I re-invented myself?

Joe Sanok: Yes. Yeah. Let’s hear a little bit more about how you’ve continued to grow your brand because it’s just you know, you said earlier this week that in 2011, you launched your WordPress site and I’m thinking, “I launched mine in 2012 and you are just light years ahead of me.” And so you did something in that time to just explode and I don’t know. What’d you do?

Barry Feldman: Okay. Now that I could answer and that’s a great question. What I did was I guest-blogged and so I don’t how many times I’ve said blog through this four-quarter approach to your program but now we’re in the fourth quarter I guess I won’t stop now. I’ll talk about it some more.

So if I have a lead and have, maybe we’re talking about – well, we’re probably talking about traffic over your blog. It’s because I realize and most bloggers realize, in their early goings, now you don’t have an audience. You know, it’s kind of frustrating. You’re talking, it feels like you’re talking to the wall because you are, you know. It’s not a wall when people talk about the cricket effect so it’s hard to you know, if you build it, you can’t assume they’ll come. So it’s hard to build an audience and it takes patience and it takes great writing and it takes in a lot of relevant content.

So what you do next is you try to find ways to accelerate and of course, that’s going to include having email and having a social media and stuff but what you’re really looking for is an audience that already exists. And so that next comes influencer marketing. And so that’s what I did. I did influencer marketing and I have a massive list of suggestions for how to do influencer marketing in a piece and it’s fast become a variety of things. I don’t know if it was the second quarter or third where we talked about repurposing but that piece is about to become many different things.

Right now, it’s a post called 30 action items to accelerate your influencer marketing or something like that. And so I don’t know them offhand but one of the things I did is I went to conferences aiming to meet people that are far more accomplished than I am, and they’re probably authors. And if they were, I bought their book before I went to the conference and I read it before I went to the conference. And then I walked up to them at the conference and I introduced myself, and I told them how much I like their book, if I liked it. And of course they blogged and I asked them if I could guest post on their blog and then the answer was usually, yes. You know, that form of networking and bonding on a common ground like I’ve read your stuff you know, leads to a yes or at least a maybe. Can you assess my audience, understand what their needs area? And help us because you know, this is a very reciprocal thing. We do this at content marketing and so yes.

So that is an inbound marketing or an influencer marketing strategy that I pursued aggressively, and I became a guess blogger on many of the world’s leading websites whose subject is online marketing. So there’s different you know, stripes of that and so I did that and I built upon it and opportunities create opportunities so now I don’t do it as much as I used to, because that’s a non-paying thing. You know what I’m getting from the person who’s allowed me to make a guest post on their blog is not money. It’s an audience. And so that audience helped me expand my audience and of course, you know, led a path to my website where they can sign up to receive my content.

Joe Sanok: And how early on did you start guest blogging? Did you make sure that you had you know really good content for six months and then you started guest blogging? Did you do it right from the get-go?

Barry Feldman: Yeah, no. Six months maybe. I don’t know. I probably blogged once a week so six months into it you’d have half of – 26 blogs.

Joe Sanok: Yeah.

Barry Feldman: So that’s more than enough. So you don’t have to be six months. So I probably got to it faster than that but you know, it depends a little bit on that, when you have time to read the books and go to the conferences, but yeah. I think what you’ve hit on is a great strategy that I try to share with clients when I’m showing this idea of guest blogging is that you have to have a little portfolio because one of the questions you’re going to be asked is, can I see your writing? Are you speaking to topics that my audience would care about? And does your tone and voice and style fit ours or could it be molded such that.

So I would say your blog will be populated by 10 or more blogs that would demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about.

Joe Sanok: So really, as you’re growing a consulting business, having a blog’s going to help you rank higher in Google, give you a bigger audience, really be able to refine in different products that you can offer to make more money and then all of that for you leads to kind of these top tier clients that have you on retainer. Then you have all sorts of other things that are probably making you money, but it sounds like that blog is really the way that people hear your voice or not even a blog. The content is how people hear your voice to know if they want to retain you as consultant.

Not only the blog but content

Barry Feldman: Yeah. I’m glad you sort of stopped and paused and said, not only the blog, but content, because I don’t want your audience to go, “Well, that’s going to be impossible. I’m out of here.” You know, anybody can make a video, anybody can make a podcast or a slide deck. I’m not saying any particular person has all these skills across the board, but these are doable things on small budgets. We have accepted that a form, you know, a quality of video that resembles what we’re doing which is we do our calls in Skype with a very inexpensive plugin that allows us to record it is an acceptable level of video quality you know. It’s more about what we’re talking about. So people can do these things.

So blog is meaningful here because that’s where you’re going to put it you know so it doesn’t necessarily mean you write 2,000 more articles. You might shoot a video once a week, once a day, what have you. Precede it with a very short introduction or send it out to be transcribed and put that down there. Then so there’s lots of forms of content, but ultimately they lead to a blog. It’s a place online and hope preferably on a website that you own that’s well named and well promoted and some day you know with hot highway traffic that is shared.

So blog is an abbreviation for web blogs so it doesn’t necessarily imply that it has to be 100% text.

Joe Sanok: You know and I think that in talking a little bit more about video, I mean, you think about you can get a $50 lapel mic, plug it into your iPhone, take some video of whatever your tutorial is. I’ve got on Fiverr and got that front end you know with my logo where it looks really nice at the beginning of the video and it’s like you put that with good audio and decent quality video and you could do 50 tutorials that are a couple of minutes each an afternoon. I mean, if you’re – kind of no matter what you are whether you’re painting houses or whether you’re mowing lawns or if you’re running a private practice, all of those things if you just wanted to take an afternoon and have quality audio and then just upload it, I think people sometimes say, “I can’t write, I can’t do that.” Well, then find something that you can do, find something that is your step forward and maybe it’s not this in-depth writing. Maybe that’s something you outsource to a virtual assistant.

When you can’t write but you can talk

Barry Feldman: Yeah. I heard that one all the time. I can’t write. You can write but if you want to be right about this you know. Okay, you can’t write but you can talk. You’re talking now. You know, so turn on the recorder and record it and give me some advice and that might be a solid first draft. If it’s not, you know it’s something to work from and then that thing you mentioned where these resources are everywhere.

Joe Sanok: Oh, yeah. Well, it’s so cheap now. I mean, on oDesk or whatever you use for a virtual assistant, you know, I’m getting my podcasts, they’re half an hour long usually transcribed for like $10 and so it’s like you know —

Barry Feldman: Can I have that resource please?

Joe Sanok: Yeah, it’s just I just went on oDesk and I posted the job and I had probably 60 applicants that wanted to do that for 10 bucks and so you know, it’s amazing how you know, then I have this you know, half an hour of me talking that is unstranscribed and I’ve got a blog post that I can separate out into several. I can leave it as the transcription. I mean, it’s just amazing where we’re at in technology right now.

Barry Feldman: Yeah. I actually bought an inexpensive beta version of an information course that that was the bulk of the lesson then, creating content verbally that’s verbally recorded and transcribed. You know it was about doing or writing a short books that way.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. Yeah, it’s amazing there are so many opportunities to whether it’s consulting or just online business. So Barry, how can people get ahold of you if they want to connect with you? Go ahead.

Barry Feldman: Well, every which way. I mean, we did talk about my URL but maybe that was before that we were rolling. So it’s www.feldmancreative.com. That’s with an ‘F’ and I am a blog bearer. I have an index of places where my interviews are. I have an index of all the various places I’ve blogged. Of course, you’ll find all the social media and I’m an avid user of Twitter and very active on LinkedIn, and it doesn’t leave out many of the other popular ones. So it’s all there on my website. So that’s where I go and if you want to – if you’ve learned something from me and you want to keep doing so, then I of course encourage you to opt in to my email list.

Joe Sanok: I’ve a quick question for you. So when I find followed you on Twitter recently, I loved how it automatically said, “You know, let me apologize for this automated welcome. I’m really glad. You know, I’ve got good content coming out.” What do you use for that automated thanks for following me.

Barry Feldman: That’s called “Just follow.” Or maybe it’s just “UnFollow.” I wish I was more of a master of it. It’s one of those premium services where you know it grows and there are things you can do, but I guess it was a recommendation I signed up. It makes it, it reports to me every day how many people follow me and how many people unfollow me so that’s useful, and then it throws in that feature also that you respond robotically. So people hate that. It’s like you know, usually, those are annoying. It’s like, “Oh, thanks for following me on Twitter. Can you follow me on Facebook?” You know that’s like right off the bat you’re annoying me when you do that. But so I try to throw a little sense of humor in there.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. I love that.

Barry Feldman: Not easy to do it; 140 characters and I say, “My apologies for the robotic response. Much more human and sincere responses to follow.” And I get a lot of positive feedback about that.

Joe Sanok: Now I love that. I thought that was such a cool little hack to have it not take time from you but to kind of make it like, I don’t know. It was awesome.

Barry Feldman: Yeah, if you’re new to Twitter, my advice would be to personally thank everybody that comes anywhere. That would be a ridiculously taxing thing to do.

Joe Sanok: Right. Right. Well, are there any action items that you can think of that we didn’t cover that anyone could do that could help lead them to becoming a consultant?

Focus on what you do well and hire experts to do the other parts

Barry Feldman: Well, yeah. There are lots of them but I’m trying to lead them down the path of things that I know how to do so it’s been about another content creation. But I would say that this is a massive problem with consultants, and I think most people that work out of their home or have small business have discovered that they try to do everything you know, and even though I know this piece of advice, I’m not the best at following it and so if you’re going to be a consultant and you’re going to scale and you’re going to hopefully get more clients and then earn higher wages for your time, you are going to be distracted and therefore threatened by all the crap that it takes to run a business. That might include marketing. Obviously, most of what we’ve been talking about is marketing, but you need to focus on what you do, what people pay you for and allow other experts to handle the other stuff. So I think that’s very important. If you’re going to commit Thursdays and Fridays to doing your books or whatever that’s going to threaten your income. So focus on what you do well and hire experts to do the other parts.

Joe Sanok: Well, Barry Feldman, thank you so much for taking time out of your day and joining us this week. It’s been awesome to talk to you about how to become a consultant.

Barry Feldman: Yeah. I enjoyed being on the show so thanks so much for having me.

Joe Sanok: Thanks. Have a good one.

Barry Feldman: You, too.

Joe Sanok: You know, Barry and I, we talked for a good half hour after that and just hit it off and he is just such an authentic guy. Everything you hear in the interview is exactly how he is for real.

So head on over, check out his site, follow him on Twitter. Just consume his content and then take some action on it.

Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Tomorrow, we’re going to be taking questions. Got some good ones tomorrow. And again, the consultantschool.com. It’d be awesome if you headed over there and jumped on that list so that you can opt in to the school.

All right talk to you soon. Bye.

To discover more about how to grow a specialty, audience and income, visit becomeaconsultanttoday.com.

 

How to start a new consulting specialty

How to Become a Consultant Podcast with Joe Sanok and friends.

Grow a specialty, grow an audience, and grow an income.

The top consultants helping you to become a consultant today.

Joe Sanok: Welcome to Session 51. We are entering the second 50 on our way to 100 so I got the eyes on the prize. I hope you are doing awesome this week. I hope your Friday is great. I hope you’re going to have an awesome weekend. I wanted to tell you just a little bit about my life right now. So my youngest daughter just turned one and my other daughter started pre-school and she is doing a second year of pre-school and it’s just crazy. Those of you that are parents, isn’t it crazy to just see our kids grow up and just do new things and love learning and get involved with things? It’s just mind-blowing what happened in a year of life with both of my girls.

And you know, the reason that I do what I do – I often get emails from people about like, “Why do you give away all this content and you know, you have your other podcast and this podcast” and people ask, “Well, how do you monetize it? You know, you have to – you don’t have to. But if you’re going to take a model similar to mine, I just want people to know that like I’m a cool person that you’d enjoy working with. And then that handful of people that have listened to a ton of the podcast and they want consulting, I’m like, “Okay. Here’s what the price is going to be.” And you know, it will be X number of dollars per month. It’s an amount that’s probably more than what most people expect but for me, it’s really important to make sure that I’m monetizing the time that I’m taking away from my family. If I don’t do that, then that’s a problem because that means that I could have probably spent that time just hanging out with my girls at home rather than doing a podcast or doing interviews or all the other things that I work on.

So for me, it’s just really important to make sure that we get paid to make it worth all the time that we put into all the content and everything else.

So today, there was a great question that was left but the audio was really it just sounded really weird and usually I’m fine just playing whatever comes in, but the audio from this question just didn’t come in real good. So I’m really sorry to the person that left the message that your voice won’t be coming through. But her question was, “How do find a specialty when that hasn’t been your specialty?” Like an example that she gave was helping to empower women.

And so I would say that the very first thing that I would do and this is just kind of my approach. Hold just a second. The heat in my room just kicked on. It’s hot outside. I need to turn the air on. Hold on.

It was freezing in my office this morning and I came in and so I turned what I thought was just the air down but it looks like it turned the heat up so that was just really kind of peculiar there.

Determining the kind of life you want to live to set goals for your work

So for me, I think that it’s really important to start with well, what kind of life do you want to live? Do you want to work really hard so you make more money? Do you want to work very little but just have a lot money coming in? What’s your goal in regards to how you work? Because if you have a specific driver behind your work, I’d rather start with that. So is it to pay off your house? Is it to pay off your student loan debt? Is it to pay for your kids’ college? What’s the driver behind it? When I do consulting with people I always start with, “Okay. So yeah. You want to say grow your private practice. You want to grow your consulting practice. But why? Is it because you want a BMW? Is it because you want to work just two days a week? Do you want to travel more? What is it and why is it that you do that?

So I would start with what’s the why that drives everything that you do in in your business? Is it more time with family? So I’ve given you a bunch of examples. I don’t need to keep over verbalizing.

Sketching out what you can do with your skills

So anyway, when you determine that, then that helps you start to sketch out who you’re going to serve. So to start with you, just get out blank sheet of paper and start looking at your own skills and then evaluating where those might be marketable. So there’s always this kind of tight rope walk between yes, I have these skills, but will people pay for them?

And so for me, I think I had pretty darn good counseling clinical skills but are people going to pay for things beyond just the counseling? How do I raise my rates with that other than just raising counseling rates? So when I thought about it I also had to look at, well, there’s a market here. People are going to pay to have a better private practice. People pay to figure out how to make more money in their private practice, how to run their business.

Using Google keyword planner

And so you also want to look at, is there a market? You can do that in a lot of ways. You can look at Google keyword planner to just see how often things are being googled. In regards to women’s power in particular, I would start with, what does that mean? Like what does that mean to me? What does that mean to your perfect client? So your perfect client is it someone who’s been abused and they then want to be empowered? What does that look like as a consultant? Because that may sound kind of more like being a counselor. So as a consultant, how are you going to empower women? Well, it might be that you focus on helping women that are in business run better businesses. It might be that you help women that are doing a start-up business to run a better business, taking your own skills and applying that there.

And then you have to find where those women are hanging out.  So say, let’s take the example of maybe younger women starting up businesses. So places like SCORE are offering free consultants in town. It probably wouldn’t hurt to just see what their process is like. And then start to put on some events to just talk to your ideal clients. So put on new women business owner like Cocktail Hour or some place. Partner with yoga studios, partner with places that these women would be hanging out, and find out what are the problems that they seem to have the biggest trouble solving? Is it that they don’t know how to start the businesses? Is it the website? What is it?

So then as you explore that, as you talk to more people that are in that field, you’ll see that there’s kind of common problems that keep coming up over and over. And when you find problems that then align with your abilities and your solutions, that’s where you figure out, “Okay, I can start marketing myself under this specialty and people will pay for it.” Because you don’t want a specialty that no one’s going to pay for and you don’t want something people will pay for that doesn’t align with who you are. And so I would start there. I would kind of go through that exercise with a piece of paper and ask friends. Do as much as you can to connect with that perfect kind of business avatar.

I hope that helps. You guys rock. Head over to the consultantschool.com for your invite to the consultant school. I hope you have an awesome weekend. You guys are great.

And thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. I’ll see you on Monday.

To discover more about how to grow a specialty, audience and income, visit becomeaconsultanttoday.com.

 

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