So You Want to Be a Consultant? How to Make Mad Money Off Your Expertise
Answer me this, Boss Girls, do you have some knowledge or expertise that would really benefit someone? Or maybe you have a product, service or method that would add value to people’s lives?
You can make money if you can make a difference.
If you have something to offer that solves a real problem, you can sell it.
But “HOW to sell it?” you ask. (You did ask that, you know you did.)
You’ve got this great service/product/technique/awesomeness but you don’t know who to get the word out for it, or make money from it.
Well, here’s a quick , simple and straightforward guide to effectively selling what you’ve got. You’re welcome. (You did think “Thank you!” — you know you did.)
But before I lay it out for you, you really need to have really good (not great) answers to the following questions:
1) Does your service/product/method (you know, your thang) solve a problem?
(And is it a real problem, and does your thang really solve it?)
2) Do you have a very clear idea of who will need and want this thang of yours?
And will they PAY for it? (You know, money.)
3) Are there other people trying to sell the same thang?
If they are, why is yours unique, different, or special?
What does it add to the mix?
What new problems does your thang solve?
4) If other people offer what you do, have you checked them all out to see what you can uniquely bring to the table?
5) Is what you plan to sell awesome? (Be honest.)
Once you have a clear picture of who exactly will want what you’ve got,and why, you can sell it. And only then. So do not skip those questions. Don’t try to sell anything without knowing those answers. Do not pass GO.
Now… assuming yourthang is awesome, you know just who will need what you’ve got, and you are sure they’ll pay to get your solution to their problem, you can begin.
Let me lay out this fairly simple and straightforward (notice I did not say “easy”) business-building process. You’ll need a:
The trick here is targeting. Success relies on you getting your ad in front of the specific audience that will most likely be interested in what you have to offer. You want to put your solution in front of those specific people with the problem you solve. Then you need a great, engaging ad that offers folks something intriguing, useful, and free! Typically this will be your “value video” but it can be other content or something else that will entice people to click over to your…
This is a well-designed, engaging web page that gives your offer context. Its primary job is to ask people for their email addresses in exchange for freebie content. (Make that valuable, problem-solving content.)
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a video, but I recommend it. Nothing engages, or expresses your brand as well, as a visual and audio presentation that gives what you offer narrative on how you/your thang provides value and can make an impact.
Give them a 5 to 10-minute-long video that clearly makes the case for how you can solve the viewer’s problem.
Break it down into 3 phases:
You talk about the problem;
then you talk about the solution, and;
then you ask if they’d like to find out more.
You’re not trying to make a sale here. The goal here is to get the viewer to ask for information, that’s it. (But it’s a LOT.)
Call to Action
The action can be make a sale, but for consultants or folks offering expertise and not a product, the call to action is to make contact.
They want to know more…congrats. Now, get them to commit.
Either committing to finding out more by clicking, or ideally – especially if you’re aiming to be a consultant — scheduling a call. (The key word here is SCHEDULE. Ideally, you’ll have a Calendar app or some software that enables the prospect to schedule a call right then.)
Knowledge is power. Any information you can gather before you try to close the sale is supremely valuable. A survey will help you find out how you can specifically target the prospects’ situation and help solve their problems. For consultants, it’s also a great way to screen tireless tire-kickers, time-consumers and time-wasters who are never going to hire you no matter what.
Be sure and frame some questions that assess not only what people want but how much they want it and are willing to commit to solving the problem before you get on the phone. (In other words, sometimes the information you gather is about screening.)
Whether it ends up applying to specific customers or not, it’s always (ALWAYS!) a good idea to get as much info as you can about what people want, what they need, what’s bothering them, their pain points, the problems they want solved, and what they’re willing to do to solve them. Consumer research is essential to best serving people, and the better you serve them the better your business will be served. Your customers’ success translates into your success. (I have found that not everyone will allow you to help them to succeed, but at least you’ll be able to give it and them your best shot.)
And finally, a word about…
What is it worth to your targeted niche’s customers and clients to have their problem solved?
It may be $30 , $300 or $3,000 – there’s no absolute answer. But know your market, know your niche, and know the competition before coming up with a good price. And once you’re certain the price is reasonable, fair and offers value, stick to it.
OK, now you have the nuts and bolts on how to build your consulting business. Of course, the best marketing is always the marketing other people do for you, so the most important thing you can do to succeed is to offer real value, solve problems, and have satisfied people recommend you to their tribes. Get your niche and your brand and your story down, but at the end of the day, serve up excellence. That, Boss Girls, is the true key to success!
pin it, lady!