The biggest thing I wish I knew starting out
When you start out in your consulting business, there are tons of things you have no idea about, and getting clients–since it’s the foundation of your business–is one of those things.
But first, if you haven’t yet registered for tomorrow’s (4/1/2014) free webcast, where:
- I’ll reveal the exact ways I get clients, and
- you’ll get access to a proposal example that allowed me to earn $300/hour),
you need to save your spot (registration is free, but required).
OK, back to business.
In the past few posts, I talked about things I spent a TON of time on which actually ended up being a total and complete waste of time.
Problem was, while I was in the middle of doing those things, it sure felt like I was working on my business and doing things to make progress.
But those tasks didn’t help in getting clients.
What did I spend my time on?
In a word: busywork. I mentioned the difference between busyness and business in an earlier post, but it’s a crucial point.
Being busy on your business is NOT the same and tasks that grow your business.
Here’s a list of some of the things I spent my time on:
- business cards
- giant spreadsheet of prospects
- agonizing and researching my choice of business entity
All told, I probably spent over 100 hours and 4-5 months on those tasks.
And not one of those things got me a single client.
Fact is, I didn’t need ANY of those things to get my first clients.
How was I getting clients?
At first, I wasn’t getting any clients. I officially started my consulting business in January 2007, and didn’t get my first client for about 5 months.
When I realized people really WOULD pay me cold, hard cash (well, checks actually, but it’s all money in the bank), I was hooked and had a boost of confidence. Getting paid is the ultimate validation in business.
After that, I started doing a bunch of things to try to get clients:
- cold calling
- forum posting
- sending those damn brochures out
- polishing my website
What results did I get?
Again, not much happened.
All the busywork tasks got zero clients.
The cold-calling didn’t work. Those friendly, in-person rejections just left me discouraged, depressed, and thinking I should give up.
The emailing, networking, forum posting, mailing brochures, tweaking my website? Virtually all of it didn’t work.
Again, I spent dozens of hours planning and writing, and calling (truth be told, I spent very little time calling; most of my time was spent AGONIZING over calling and deciding what I should say on the phone).
Nobody called back. Nobody emailed back. The brochures went into a void. Networking usually meant the OTHER person asking me if I had leads for THEM instead of me getting leads for my own business. The only hits on my website were from me.
It was incredibly discouraging.
I desperately wanted it to work. I knew the day job route wasn’t what I wanted to do the rest of my life.
I wanted something more, with more flexibility, where I could take time off for my kids’ school events, or where I wouldn’t feel stressed about taking a day off work to care of them when they were sick.
I wanted to earn more–at least get paid what I was worth in the market. I wanted this to be my path for more financial success and freedom.
It was incredibly frustrating. Most days I felt the nagging thought that I should just give up. Figure something else out–though I had no idea what “figure something else out” was.
And virtually nothing I was doing for getting clients worked.
But some of it did.
Slowly, I started getting more consulting work. I started getting clients.
The biggest thing I wish I knew when I started out
What I realized was that I was all over the place. I was trying everything I could think of. Everything the “experts” said would lead to getting clients.
I had no systematic approach.
So, when I did something and failed, I felt crushed.
When I began being more systematic, I started seeing more progress.
That progress led me to feel more successful.
Now, results are great, they’re what brings in the cash.
But feeling successful is also hugely important:
- When you feel discouraged and defeated, it takes an herculean effort to keep trying, to stay the course.
- But when you know you’re getting further down your road and making progress, it’s MUCH easier to take that next step.
TRUTH: Being systematic creates better results faster, and snowballs your progress, since you feel empowered instead of defeated.
I realized that my efforts toward getting clients were all experiments. They weren’t pass/fail. Yes, I did fail, a lot. But being systematic in my approach made those failures simply another data point I could use on the path to improving and getting better results over time. All those efforts were just experiments.
What do I mean by systematic?
Being systematic means you have a strategic approach, where your actions and methods are repeatable, and you’re measuring and monitoring your results.
It’s not some off-the-cuff, throw-everything-at-it-to-see-what-sticks frenzy.
By measuring and monitoring your results, and documenting what you’ve done, you can improve your results over time. It’s not some chaotic roller-coaster ride. Yes, there might be ups and downs, but the trend is upward.
Your actions snowball over time. You get bigger results over time, and can even automate your systems so you can focus on other, more strategic tasks.
To someone on the outside, this looks like luck:
- “Wow, that guy/gal knows exactly what to do!” or
- “She’s crushing it! I don’t know how she does it…”
- “I wish I could do something like that…”
But you and I know that the harder and smarter you work, the luckier you become.
Systems are how the most successful people work smarter, leverage their efforts, and get out-sized results while others are struggling and fighting over scraps.
Tomorrow, I’ll reveal the exact systems I use to get clients
Yes, I’m going to take you behind the curtain to show you the actual systems I currently use to get high-value prospects to come to me. I’ll also reveal actual revenue numbers–how much these marketing channels have generated in real revenue.
In tomorrow’s live, free webcast, I’m going to reveal things about my business that I’ve never talked about on the blog.
It all happens tomorrow, Tuesday, 4/1/2014, at 9 p.m. Eastern / 6 p.m. Pacific.
A consistent pipeline of clients is possible, even if, like most of us, you’ve got a busy life: family and friends, a full-time job, or other responsibilities.
During tomorrow’s live webcast, I’ll show you how, including:
- The “expert” advice you can skip.
- How to create systems that bring clients TO YOU, even if you don’t have a single client right now, and have no idea where to start.
- I’ll reveal the exact strategies I use to get consulting clients (and my specific revenue numbers) that bring me clients worth $1,000, $10,000, and even $100,000.
This is info I DON’T share on the blog, and I’ll reveal specific details of my consulting business that I’ve never discussed before.
This is FREE, live, and starts at 9 p.m. Eastern. You can watch from anywhere.
There will NOT be a recording available (all my premium course material is recorded so you can watch it at your convenience).
Yes, I’ll be re-opening my Client Pipeline Mastery course, and I’ll briefly tell you how you can get access to this premium course. But I’ll spend the majority of the live presentation revealing my exact strategies and actual revenue numbers so you can start getting results in your own business.
Bonus: I’m giving away a special bonus during the presentation: an example consulting proposal that allowed me to earn $300/hour. But you need to attend the presentation to get access to the bonus.
Reserve your spot in 15 seconds (required).
See you on then!