I publish a weekly newsletter on creativity, freelancing and living a non-traditional lifestyle
That is the sound of my palm hitting my forehead as I listen in on one of my client’s sales calls.
They just got the opportunity to hop on the call with the VP of Marketing at a rapidly-growing company.
It’s a perfect client and a perfect fit for their service.
Yet I sit here in horror as they are botching the call.
The worst part is that they don’t even know they are botching it…
Most agency owners and consultants don’t have any sort of structure or format for their sales calls.
They just show up, have a conversation and hope it turns into a sale.
In this post, I am going to share with you a framework that you can use for your sales conversations.
This will help increase your close rate and improve the dynamic you have with your customers.
You do not sell code.
You do not sell design.
You do not sell services.
Yet, this is how most people approach sales for their agency.
They treat what they do like a commodity.
And as a result, clients buy like a commodity.
They buy based on price.
They compare based on “features”.
And they treat you like an order taker.
Many agency owners just think that this is how it is…
But there is a better way.
Testimonials are powerful. Simply put, social proof is an essential component of any quality marketing materials or website.
As Robert Cialdini pointed out in his famous book Influence, Social Proof is one of the single most powerful forms of influence you can have.
But the problem is that most companies fail to ever ask their clients for a testimonial, or they simply don’t know how to approach it.
The truth is, it is extremely simple.
When most people go to a conference or networking event, they tend to just show up and hope for the best.
Maybe they will bump into someone worthwhile at the bar.
Or perhaps one of the random people they approach to network with will be a potential customer.
Due to the nature of live events and the connections that can arise of meeting someone in person, these events still can often yield results when those lucky connections do arise.
But, relying on luck to bump into a worthwhile connection is not really the best approach.
Instead, you can 10x the results you get from your next conference or live event by planning ahead and doing outreach before the event.
In this post, I am going to share with you a simple 5 step process for maximizing the results you get from your next event.
Chances are the idea of creating your own podcast has crept into your mind at some point. But, you may have gotten stopped by the following thoughts:
- How will I get an audience?
- It’s become too competitive
- There are already podcasts out there like what I want to create
- It is going to take too much time
Those are all common objections people have to creating a podcast for their business.
In this post, I want to break those down and share why you should start a podcast for your agency or consultancy, even if you have the fears listed above.
At this time of year, it is inevitable that you will come across a handful of posts from various bloggers and publications about setting goals for 2017.
As you read through many of those, you may find yourself inspired, jacked up, and ready to dive head first into an epic new year!
And as a result, you may set a handful of big goals that would be difficult, if not entirely impossible to achieve.
Yet in this post, I want to present a different view on goal setting.
When you are doing outbound marketing, emails are essential.
Regardless of if you are running a cold email campaign, or following up on a direct mail piece, email addresses are essential to outreach.
In the course of my outbound marketing efforts, I have researched thousands of email addresses and tried out various tools for finding them.
In this post I have outlined the tools and methods I use to find email addresses.
If there is one growth tactic that I recommend all agencies and consultants use, it is strategic partnerships.
Throughout the many podcast interviews and conversations I have had with agencies and consultants, I have seen partnerships arise time and time again as one of the strongest channels for growth.
Many agency owners even attributed partnerships to generating 20-70% of their overall revenue, hence the headline of “double your agency’s revenue”.
One of my sales mentors once shared a very simple piece of advice with me.
It’s so simple, it seems almost stupid when you first look at it.
But yet, I can relate almost every gap of work in my history of consulting down to this simple concept.
And time and time again, I find myself sharing this information with clients who seem to be struggling to keep their sales pipelines full.
For years, I operated without an entry level offer. Both when I had my agency, and as a solo consultant.
But eventually I decided to make a shift and try out selling an entry level offer. The first few months were rocky, but eventually, I saw the light and decided never to look back.
Utilizing an entry level offer has drastically changed my business and my income.
This article outlines the journey I made with selling an entry level offer, mistakes I made along the way, and it gives you a roadmap for creating your own offer.
When I start working with my clients, I analyze and look at their entire sales process.
And across the board, there is one mistake I consistently see consulting companies making.
They fail to follow the steps of the sale.
They try to leap several steps at a time, and this leads to them failing, falling and losing the deal.
This post outlines, the steps of the consulting sale.
As entrepreneurs, this is something that so many of us struggle with.
We work countless hours, and can’t imagine how we could do it any other way.
And for many of us, when we aren’t working, we can’t get our mind off work.
I was wrapped up in this vicious cycle of endless work hours and worrying about work for years, although through conducing these interviews, I have found answers to many of my questions and changed for the better.
I no longer worry about work.
I no longer work 60+ hour work weeks.
I have a balanced, normal life.
In this post, I am going to share with you the 3 elements of maintaining a life / work balance.
Strategy. To many people strategy seems intangible.
It seems like something that companies either do right, or they do wrong.
But the truth is, strategy is tangible.
And creating an effective strategy is a skill that any person can learn.
For most of my adult life, I have read a lot of books.
In particular, I have read a lot of non-fiction books.
I am committed to a mindset of a lifelong learning, and so I am always seeking someway to improve my skills.
But over the past year, the way that I approach reading and learning has drastically changed.
It all happened when I read one simple quote from the stoic writer Seneca.
There are a lot of ways you can market your business.
Content marketing, networking, referrals, thought leadership, advertising, etc.
All of these methods are incredible ways to grow.
But there is one sales and marketing strategy that too many companies overlook.
They overlook the dream client campaign.
Many of my long time followers will notice that I haven’t blogged lately. In fact it has been almost two months since my last post.
For almost a year and a half I blogged weekly with not exceptions.
That worked well, for a while…
And then I started my year of evolution.
My goal with this post is to share with you some of the drastic changes in my business over the past 8 months, and the lessons I learned along the way.
Nearly every agency and freelancer has the exact same problem.
They need more work, better work and cash flow to cover the monthly bills.
We help agencies win their dream clients through eye-catching outreach campaigns
When you are launching something new, there are two mindsets on how to approach it.
The key is to find a balance somewhere in the middle.
In the middle is a place where you ship, but you still ship something you are proud of.
You set a realistic deadline, you do the best you can, and then you launch.
When things aren't going your way, it can really suck.
These moments happen, there is no other way around it.
Your life and your business aren't always going to be smooth sailing.
You will hit rough spots.
It's just part of life.
When you hit these rough spots, it's important to remember one thing.
For many years, I would say that I was mentally unstable.
I had anxiety attacks, constant stress, bouts of depression, and I was consistently filled with a feeling of "what the fuck am I doing with my life."
Then about a year and a half ago, I started a practice that changed all of that.
I started writing morning pages.
If there is one mistake that nearly all creative professionals are culprit of, it is this.
They make promises to clients, and then they don't deliver on them.
They tell a client "I will have that to you tomorrow."
Then tomorrow rolls around, and they break the promise. They don't deliver. This broken promise upsets the client and it hurts the relationship.
There is always more work to be done.
There is always another project to be started.
There is always more we could be doing...
It's easy to go through life and your career, taking job after job for check after check.
Your income raises, and you feel good about it.
It's easy to keep repeating that cycle.
What is hard is to find your mission.
To find that driving force that brings satisfaction beyond the money you make.
Making money is easy.
Living your mission is hard.
There is a barbershop in Thailand...
You know the situation.
A prospect comes to you with a project and the scope is just unclear.
So how to we handle these situations when a client comes to us and the scope is unclear?
How do we proceed forward and not commit ourselves to something we later regret?
My goal with this post is to outline a method to handle these situations and also get paid for your time.
One of the biggest questions that I get is from people who are seeking to start their own business for the first time.
They have spent their whole life working in jobs for someone else, and thus the idea of starting a business seems scary and overwhelming.
My goal with this post is to share with you my biggest recommendations for first time entrepreneurs.
One of the fastest ways for any individual to make positive change in their life is to set goals, and then work at achieving them.
Every quarter, I do a quarterly review where I review my previous quarter and set goals for the upcoming quarter.
Below you will see a list of my quarterly goals I set for Q1 with the actual outcomes for each of those goals. Then I also dive into detail about what went well, and what didn't.
I encourage you to take this format and apply it to your own life and do your own Quarterly review.
For the past year and a half, I have lived without a cell phone plan.
When I tell this to most people, they think I am nuts.
We assume because the technology exists, we must have it.
But for millions of years we existed without cell phones, and we can still exist without them today.
There is a recurring trend I see among nearly all creative professional who are considering starting their own business or are in the early phases.
They overcomplicate what they do.
Learning to easily communicate what you do is one of the most important things every creative professional must learn.
Creativity. There are few sellable goods or services that have such a wide range of pricing as creative work.
Why is it that one painting can cost millions of dollars, while another can't even be sold?
Why is that one designer can charge 10x what another designer charges for the exact same service?
My goal with this post is to share with you two examples of creative pricing in action, and then explain to you why they are priced the way they are.