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Re: What would you do?
> What suggestions do you have for me that
> will help turn my web site into a well oiled
> money making cash machine.
> I love what I do business coaching and
> consulting - and I want to be doing a whole
> lot more!
I agree with what John posted below... you have a very difficult nut to crack.
One of the things I do is perform the type of service you are currently doing. But I do it through a small non-profit agency and it's limited to a single county in New York state.
Outside of what John stated, I see two other difficulties.
#1. Out of probably 200 startups, pre-starts and just wishful thinkers I've dealt with over the last 12 months, darn few have/had the resources, smarts, common sense or experience to even consider looking on the Internet for someone like you that can help them. Then you have the whole affordability thing to deal with, not too mention it seems all these "new" business folks seem to think they know more than they really do about general business issues so are very reluctant to spend money on an expert, even though that is precisely what they need.
Secondly you're site is that of a "generalist" rather than "specialist" I think that makes things difficult for you as far as search engine positioning as well as just how you will be perceived by someone starting a particular business. For example restaurants... Yeah, your info is applicable to new restaurant owners but I think the restaurant newbie will discount your knowledge because you're not specializing in restaurants.
Marketing great Dan Kennedy has said (as well as Ted Nicholas before him) that if you really want to make money as a consultant (business guru) you need to specialize in one business category or industry. Dan also has said his "Chiropractor" marketing newsletter was always much more profitable that the general marketing newsletter he puts out now.
You need to specialize in order to attract attention... once you have the attention/reputation then you can generalize yourself. If you don't I think you just end up trying to get nickels out of people that really won't or don't appreciate your knowledge base.
Re: What would you do?
I've specialized in consulting to niche experts/specialists for more than two decades and I agree with several of the points Mike and others have made:
> Secondly you're site is that of a
> "generalist" rather than
> "specialist" I think that makes
> things difficult for you as far as search
> engine positioning as well as just how you
> will be perceived by someone starting a
> particular business.
Very important point. In fact it's one of my 12 principles (#5) for success as a niche expert. You may find my principles useful:
1. Do the one thing you absolutely love and charge for it.
2. Ignore the dream-killers around you.
3. Promote your own name rather than a company name.
4. Position yourself as the leader in your niche, not a follower or an also-ran.
5. Narrow your niche even more or create a new niche if necessary.
6. Multiply yourself by offering your specialized knowledge in a variety of formats.
7. Attract people to you, rather than "knocking on doors" to get clients.
8. Avoid obvious paid advertising.
9. Avoid working for free.
10. Get paid to promote yourself.
11. Do fun things that just happen to be newsworthy.
12. Be a memorable person: a contrarian, a maverick, a pioneer, a rebel.
When I figured this out ($1985) my income rose from $8,000 a year to $12,000 a month. Some of my former clients are earning upwards of $500,000 a year from selling only their advice. A few of the niche speakers I've represented earn more than $30,000 for a one hour presentation.
If you were my client I'd recommend not giving away so much - you already said this - and collecting some of those articles into manuals, classes, books, newsletters, etc. I have very few free how-to articles on my site, but they were all paid for once.
I'd also recommend changing your site... it's simply not presenting you as the expert that people feel compelled to line up for your advice. You'll notice a difference when your web site is positioning you as it should.
Web sites that position and elevate experts to prominence
Re: What would you do?
As Michael said: carve your niche.
That niche maynot be some different occupation. It can simply be something you do differently. Something that differentiates you from other consultants.
Maybe you are willing to travel to other locations. Maybe you are really good at bringing out peoples thoughts... there are some consultants who charge top dollars that do nothing but ask questions. They dont give solutions - but just probe into your minds and ask questions which you have to answer. Maybe you could be like them if you are good at interviewing.
Secondly never decrease your prices. I dont agree with Michael that many startups cant afford to pay for consulting. I have seen people who dont have money to pay rent yet they buy 1000$ worth Jay Abrahim stuff.
So if you can churn out good quality work, money will automatically come.
Your site review: the newsletter just says signup to receive free ebook. Which free ebook? What does your newsletter have that other newsletters dont? Whats the USP?
And one thing that lacked is testimonials. For newsletter as well as your services. Dont expect people to go to another page to read what others say about you. Bring it out in front.
I saw a link to womens biz. You could make yourself stand out by only consulting to women biz. You can be the "Women help Women consultations." That will make you stand out. That will buy you space in peoples brains. Next time some womens organization wants a consultant - they will give you a call.
And try to add some free stuff to your site. Some free articles. Tips. Whatever. Whatever that can make me stay at your site longer. And that can show me how good you really are in consulting.
Maybe you could be different here - get some of your clients permission - and add the whole client consultation session in audio format to the site. Show people the whole enchilada. Show then what they will receive.
Help people make a wise decision choosing you.
Also there are 2 links - pre startup and small business -that link to a same page. I would take out 1 of the links.
Specialize in either pre startup consultations or small biz consultations.
I would be more inclined towards small biz consultations because that way I can have 1 client come over to me again and again. While in pre startup - once their companies are set - they will go find some one else.
But dont try to be both together.
And most of all educate prospects. Educate all your visitors what you can do for them. Tell them step by step - how you will guide them. Reveal all the steps. Something like: 1st session - we will brainstorm on how to save your firm more money. 2nd session we will brainstorm on how to develop your USP. 2rd session we will brainstorm on how to increase revenue. 4th session we will brainstorm on how to get repeat clients.
Reveal all such steps you take in consulting. And if possible - get testimonials for each step.
Best of luck.
Inspirational Quotes and Stories
Re: What would you do?
> Secondly never decrease your prices. I dont
> agree with Michael that many startups cant
> afford to pay for consulting. I have seen
> people who dont have money to pay rent yet
> they buy 1000$ worth Jay Abrahim stuff.
Not only are most startups way underfinanced, they as I said in my original post are mostly uneducated when it comes to starting a business. They take for granted their knowledge is "good enough" to start a business. It's the classic "technician's sydrome" as precisely described by Michael Gerber in the "E-Myth".
I deal with a good 3-6 startups every week... 98% don't know Jay Abraham from Jay North (Dennis the Menace)... they don't know Dan Kennedy from Teddy Kennedy.
The folks that visit quality forums like this are the exception rather than the norm. Most startups are not sophisticated enough to even consider there is a better way to run their business (that is until the business loses boatloads of money and or goes belly-up). We know about Jay and Dan and Ted Nicholas and Gary Halbert and all the rest... but we're the exception and not the rule. Trying to prospect for new startups or pre-startups that have both the coin and the business sense to seek help is going to be very hard and expensive.
I agree with you on the pricing... I wouldn't cut pricing either. I would find (or create) a market that I'm creating sufficient value for so that in the end I'm being compensated at a level I feel is "right" for me.
> So if you can churn out good quality work,
> money will automatically come.
Not necessarily... why? because our perception (as a business owner or manager) of "quality" is almost always different than that perceived by the customer. We toss around the word "quality" like a $10 bill, but it is not the ultimate key to business success. The bigger determining factor is how much value are you creating for your customer(s)? "Value" encompasses "quality" and a whole lot more. You put out a quality product but not a product that creates value for the enduser and you're dead right out of the shoot.
Re: What would you do?
> I deal with a good 3-6 startups every
> week... 98% don't know Jay Abraham from Jay
> North (Dennis the Menace)... they don't know
> Dan Kennedy from Teddy Kennedy.
I gave the Jay Abrahim story as an example. I meant to say - there are thousands of people who would spend money - lots of money - even if they cant pay rent - on all sorts of things they cant afford.
But only if they think the product or service can give enough value.
Inspirational Quotes and Stories
Re: What would you do?
My niche is businesses owners with 1-25 employees. My personal brand is "blue chip" services.
To me, a consultant who only asks questions is a coach. I have experience doing both coaching and consulting. I like asking questions then offering my suggestions. However, the clients I do attract want both and sometimes don't want any coaching at all!
I don't see Micheal suggesting that I lower my prices. Actually it was me who mentioned that new business owners don't pay for my full services, it was me and I was looking for ways to offer them some of what would be helpful. Yes, they buy "how to stuff" and very often don't use it. They throw 4-5k on quick fixes - then they come to me wanting me to help them for free, cause how they're broke Been there, worked with some and that's not my ideal client.
> Your site review: the newsletter just says
> signup to receive free ebook. Which free
> ebook? What does your newsletter have that
> other newsletters dont? Whats the USP?
MMM I no longer give free ebook with my newsletter. I do have a few pages of free ebooks/ereports on my site right now. They're available to anyone.
I guess I can come up with a USP for my ezine, Elevating Your Business, based on what my readers tell me. My ezine is a "view it and do it", it's long, but jammed packed full of useful, practical information.
> And one thing that lacked is testimonials.
> For newsletter as well as your services.
> Dont expect people to go to another page to
> read what others say about you. Bring it out
> in front.
I have testimonials in the right column of each page (including the home page), throughout the site and on a testimonial page, too.
> I saw a link to womens biz. You could make
> yourself stand out by only consulting to
> women biz. You can be the "Women help
> Women consultations." That will make
> you stand out. That will buy you space in
> peoples brains. Next time some womens
> organization wants a consultant - they will
> give you a call.
All women? OH life would be boring. My clients have been 50-50 and I'm AOK with that.
> And try to add some free stuff to your site.
> Some free articles. Tips. Whatever. Whatever
> that can make me stay at your site longer.
> And that can show me how good you really are
> in consulting.
HUH? I have 200 articles (hidden recently unless someone does a search ) 20 ereports, and about 20 pages of resources that are there for free. Actually there is TOO much for free, and that's what I'm changing.
> Maybe you could be different here - get some
> of your clients permission - and add the
> whole client consultation session in audio
> format to the site. Show people the whole
> enchilada. Show then what they will receive.
Appreciate the idea. I would not ask a client to do that because it's not something I"m confortable with. However, I do have a transcript of an online session on the coaching page. And I'm working on redoing my audio welcome. For people ready to hire a coach/consultant, they get a free 15-20 minute interview. That gives them first hand knowledge on how I work. Between all the free stuff on my site, my ezine, and the free consult, I'm giving away more than enough for people to get a feel for how I can help them, don't you think?
> Also there are 2 links - pre startup and
> small business -that link to a same page. I
> would take out 1 of the links.
I'm really happy with that change I recently made where I put a link for pre-startups and a link for small businesses. I want pre-start ups to have their own set of pages to visit, however, first I have to create the new ones . I just changed the navigation bar two weeks ago.
> I would be more inclined towards small biz
> consultations because that way I can have 1
> client come over to me again and again.
> While in pre startup - once their companies
> are set - they will go find some one else.
Can you explain this differently? I don't understand it. (I do understand your suggestion to specialize in small business coaching/consulting, it's the paragraph above I don't understand)
> And most of all educate prospects. Educate
> all your visitors what you can do for them.
> Tell them step by step - how you will guide
> them. Reveal all the steps. Something like:
> 1st session - we will brainstorm on how to
> save your firm more money. 2nd session we
> will brainstorm on how to develop your USP.
> 2rd session we will brainstorm on how to
> increase revenue. 4th session we will
> brainstorm on how to get repeat clients.
I don't take "steps" that can be written down like you mention. With each client, the steps as well as the plans they can choose, are tailored to meet their needs. Some come to me for business foundation work, others marketing, others Internet marketing. I think I'm clear on what my services are tailored to their needs and what. I also have information on what I do, don't do, etc.
I do educate them. Possibly too much. That's something I have to consider. If they get so much for free, why should they pay me? The best way for me to get new clients, is to get them to request a consultation. Once that's done, they get a feel for my services and me, and we go from there.
I think on the articles, I"m doing to take a poll and ask my ezine readers and R and D Team about selling the single articles.
You mentioned about not charging too low for my ereports. Is there a "too" low and what is "usual"?
I never have a problem coming up with content. I have more of a problem NOT coming up with more things to write about. I have a folder how, that I just throw ideas in.
I don't use content from others in my ezine. Why would I want to promote another coaches work? Wouldn't that be counterproductive? I do refer people to other coaches, but to blantantly advertise my comptetitors in my ezine? Not sure what that would accomplish. Can you elaborate?
I do appreciate the time you took to view my site. Gave me some ideas, and strengthened my ideas on other parts of my business, too.
Elevating Your Business
...give the site a major overhaul, starting with the headline and site copy.
I found it tedious looking for that Earthquake quiz i.e. after playing around with the tarot software at facade.com. I hadn't been to facade in many moons, was fun:-) I skipped the NY tour since I'm a NY'er, but enjoyed the Washington tour:-) What did that have to do with telecourses, though?
Getting down to business...which I actually forgot about after cruising through the 'Articles' links...if your site is intended for coaching businesses, then you ought to stick to business. The Free E-books links took me to your site map that reads like an error page.
You have too many irrelevant sublinks from your main nav. When you redo your site, you need to put a lot more thought into the information architecture and also to your site content.
Being a prolific writer, you might want to consider using a CMS (content management system). It cuts down on a lot of work and time in maintaining a site. Here's a site where you can find some open source cms' OpenSourceCMS
'Elevating Your Business' blog reeks of 'give me your money' instead of giving me useful advice for my businesses.
There's a lot more, but it's beyond the scope of this post.
I wish you much success!
Barbara Camisa Candelario
Coming Not So Soon
Don't Click Here Unless You Want to Make Lots of Money from Coaching or Consulting
First of all, I've seen your articles come
across my desktop for the past few years. You
have a great talent and a lot of knowledge to
share with others.
The advice that Andrea, Michael, and Ankesh have
shared is excellent and is 100% true.
Allow Me to Share My Experience with You...
...but before I do, this message might NOT be for
you (or others). You see, if you're happy doing
coaching and you're satisfied with making a
medium income, what I'm going to share with you
might not be of interest to you.
The reason I say that, is that I have worked with
many business owners and coaches that are
comfortable with their business and don't really
want to make a LOT of money (usually because it
means more effort on their part or they're
comfortable trading their time for dollars).
If I Had to Do it Over Again I Would Have Never...
...started my Marketing Best Practices business.
You see, its a general small business marketing
company and really doesn't target any one niche.
I still make quite a bit of money from this
company selling information products but it still
doesn't bring me the income that my niche marketing
After A Couple Years I Finally Took My Own Advice...
...and began my niche consulting practice in
the spa and pool industry (yes, you read that
right...spas and pools). You can read more about
how I've done that and the results I've achieved
on this site www.Market-Your-Services.com
I have never sold a spa or pool. Don't know how
their built, nor do I know any of their features,
but what I do know is how to get people "in the
door." And that's what I teach spa retailers
and pool builders.
My list to that industry is 3,500 today and will
be over 8,000 by the end of the speaking season.
I make twice the money sending a single email to
that list than I do my 40,000+ Marketing Best
It's All About Niche Marketing...
People want products built especially for them
and their unique situation. They'll pay more
money, they'll pay it faster, and they'll pay
it again and again if you provide EXACTLY what
So my advice...STOP working on your general
web site. (I have) and START working on a niche.
I Work with a Lot of Coaches and Most Experience
1. They're afraid to niche themselves for fear
that they won't have a big enough customer base
to market to. (I only have about 10,000 spa and
pool people in my niche)
2. They don't know "how" to niche themselves.
Let me just give some final thoughts about the
** Niching can be as simple as taking three
testimonials from customers in the same
industry and promoting your product as a solution
to that industry using the three testimonials as
** You don't necessarily have to have experience
in the niche, although it helps and gives you a
"story to tell."
** Pick a niche that you can easily and affordable
market to! I had a business coach just buy my
Small Business Marketing Bible the other day.
She told me her niche was to "help people re-
connect with the outdoors."
There are two problems with this type of niche...
1. How are you going to find people who want to
re-connect with the outdoors. Where's the list?
(there might be one...haven't looked in my SRDS)
2. Do these people feel that it is a big enough
problem in their lives that they would actually
PAY MONEY to someone to help them solve it?
I would never pick a niche that I couldn't easily
and cost effectively communicate with.
When You Start to Niche Yourself You'll Immediately...
1. Your reputation will be spread faster.
2. People will be willing to pay you more money
3. It will be easier to sell your products and services
4. People will come to YOU for speaking engagements
5. Referrals will start flying
6. Your marketing costs will go down
7. Your solutions will become more precise and
effective (because you'll more focused on a fewer
set of problems)
8. You'll find it easier to create "marketing
systems" that bring predictable results
9. You can start more profit centers such as,
"mentoring groups", "bootcamps and seminar",
"outsourced marketing services", "group coaching"
etc. etc. etc.
10. You'll be able to leverage yourself and your
time much easier.
11. And lastly, your website will start working
like a well-oiled machine (which is what you said
Whew! Hope that helps...
Author, The Coaches and Consultants Marketing Bootcamp
The Coaches and Consultants Marketing Bootcamp
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