Among one of the low cost, high margin businesses you can get into is consulting. All you need is a laptop, an internet connection, a phone to make calls and your expertise.
Digital marketing done right can do wonders for consultants. Bear in mind that these tactics also apply to freelancing and other service based businesses.
Often considered by many as being slow and time consuming, blogging might just be your No. 1 channel for generating leads for your consulting business.
Not only can you showcase your expertise in short value-added consumable blog posts, it also serves as a portfolio for cold prospects to read up on to get a better picture of what you are like.
I find that it is strategic to have two blogs – one business and one personal.
Your business blog is purely based on what you are marketing – your consultancy services.
Your personal blog is about personal brand – your behind-the-scenes. People like to work with people they like and this will give them a reason to work with you (you wouldn’t want to work with terrible clients either.)
While writing regularly for your blog, spend your time looking for clients on databases such as Crunchbase (startups that recently closed funding is the best)
Go through their websites and figure out who are the key players, C-suite officers, VPs and the investors as well.
Email as many people in the company including the investors to get the job.
Lewis Howes, founder of the School of Greatness, is one of the leading authorities on webinars. You can listen to a podcast he did with Smart Passive Income here.
Have a free consult or strategy session at the end of the seminar. Use a scheduling tool together with a survey tool to gauge if the client is suitable for your services.
In the survey tool (e.g. Survey Monkey) ask for details such as the industries they are in and the size of their business and annual revenues. This is to vet if they can really afford your services.
The scheduling tool allows the user to book a time slot to have a Skype Call with you – Sam Ovens and Growth Everywhere criteria – and worth your time.
Create a tool
A good example of this is CrazyEgg – a heatmappng software which shows you which part of your webpage has the most amount of clicks.
When you go through their webpage – they ask you to provide your website for them to analyze and then they ask you to provide your e-mail address to get the report.
To take it one step further, you can also ask for them to schedule a consulting session with you with a survey form as discussed in the previous tactic.
Be associated with the biggest brands in your space
If you feel that at this point you are popular enough or not authoritative enough, you can do branding by association.
Find out who are the biggest names in your space – make a list of 30.
Do spec work for them before even asking them and give it to them in an e-mail.
Provide value upfront since you are asking for something.
Work for them for free and get their testimonials to put on your page and your portfolio.
Alongside blogs, podcasts are also long term plays.
Don’t get too caught up on the gear. You can start off by getting a decent desktop microphone and start inviting guests or just talk on your own in the beginning and do Q&A’s with your listeners or Facebook friends.
Create and add value via your podcast.
Eventually you will create a following and get business from there.
A great example is Brian Dean from Backlinko. He talks mainly about SEO but get this – he writes just once a month on his blog and he doesn’t release a video regularly either but he is seen as an authority on SEO because everytime he does produce content, he has a lot of gems of information that is valuable to his followers (SEO agencies, freelancers).
You can listen to Noah Kagan’s podcast with him on how he managed to make 6 figures on his course with an e-mail list of just 2000 people (something you can try out as well).
A tip on infoproducts: give away your best stuff for free.
Focus on the few
A big mistake commonly made by most entrepreneurs is that they are not focused on just a few things when it comes to their craft. My recommendation is to focus on just 2 things.
1 is good for laser targeted focus. If you are confident that your one single skill can last you at least for the next 5 years, stick to one.
If you are not confident, go for 2. It gives you the freedom to switch between the two when you do get bored at certain times – some days you may feel like doing skill 1 more than skill 2 and vice versa.
3 is ok only if you can manage it. I personally cannot juggle more than 2 core skills to master to on and eventually consult on.
Remember to focus on mastery. There are a lot of consultants that do a lot but they are rarely the best in the business. In order to be the best in the business, dedicate all on your time on just 1 or 2 skills.