How Not To Suck At Downtime

As we dive-bomb into August, I’ll be pausing these weekly thought pieces.

Stay tuned for September: I’m working on a content revamp, co-hosting a brand spanking new podcast AND fine-tuning the next ConsultantBrand experience.

If you’re thinking about enrolling, mark your calendar to start the virtual workshop on September 22. Continue reading

How To Decide If You’re REALLY Course-Ready

You’ve got an idea for the perfect digital course.

It’s focused on your sweet-spot clients and buyers and you can envision exactly how it will transform their lives by solving a common problem.

Meanwhile, it feels like every Tom Dick and Harry—many with far less savvy than you—is offering up a course.

Should you or shouldn’t you buckle down and build yours? Continue reading

When Should You Boost Your Consulting Fees?

Notice the question isn’t “should you boost your consulting fees”, but WHEN.

Because whether you’re solo or leading a firm, you’re still running a business that is (ideally) growing and evolving. Your fees shouldn’t remain stagnant anymore than your work. And make no mistake; your fees are an essential piece of your brand. They telegraph your value in neon lights. Continue reading

Eight Reasons You Need To Become An Authority

When I left the big boys to start my first firm, I made the decision to continue to court the dozen or so mega companies where I had built strong relationships.

It was a calculated investment since my two-year non-compete precluded me from earning any revenue from it and I wasn’t sure if they’d buy from a tiny firm. But they were people I’d deeply enjoyed getting to know and wanted them to stay in my circle.

Just when my two-year moratorium was up, one of my favorite folks was getting ready to solicit bids on a project right up our alley. Continue reading

Getting In Synch With Your Clients—How To Build Trust

A client—let’s call him Thomas—asked me to re-purpose an old marketing piece for a niche audience he was targeting—and then create a spiffy PDF his new readers could download.

It was a quick exercise. He already had a clear brand voice and message we’d built for him and his firm, so editing was a breeze. Thomas approved the first draft, and I handed it over to my partner-in-crime to re-imagine the visual layout.

She knows both the client’s brand AND how I like to push visual design when it makes sense. The first—and final—draft bowled me over. She took my words and made them visually stunning and perfectly in-tune with his audience (and him). Continue reading

Engagement: Can You Reach Your Tribe Without It?

Engagement: can you reach your tribe without it?

Well, that depends.

Social media started it—this fascination with “engagement” as the gold standard for how well you’re positioning yourself with your digital tribe. Continue reading

How To Get The Best (Free) Advice

Sometimes, you just need some quick, actionable and yes—free—advice.

As a consulting business + brand expert, I get asked for “free” all the time.

I’ve been asked to read and comment on entire manuscripts. To spend a half-day driving to/from and lunching with a casual acquaintance to pick my brain. To analyze a big idea and critique a launch plan.

Sure, I do these as a prelude to preparing a proposal for potential clients.

But when it’s more in the favor territory, I pick and choose. Continue reading

I Have A Brand And It Haunts Me

I was talking to my pal “Jonas” who recently decided to freelance (vs building a multi-consultant business) when he left a bigger firm to do his own thing.

Jonas is a global talent guy who works across the planet for some of the world’s most well known companies. He decided his best play—the one that would allow him to focus on what he loves most and live the life he’s planned—is to freelance for other firms.

His plan got off to a bit of a rocky start because—get this—none of the firms he approached believed he’d actually want to “just” freelance. Continue reading

What Are You Building Right Now That Will Be Here in 40 Years?

Tucked away inside Parade Magazine’s annual “What People Earn” list was a celebrity earning an estimated $27 million in 2016.

The only quirk was that he hadn’t done a single thing in 40 years—because he died in 1977.

And yet Elvis—the King—is still out-earning most of his modern-day peers (only Michael Jackson earns more posthumously). Continue reading

Why Is Your Brand As A Consultant Important?

I learned the true value of a distinct consultant brand AFTER I left one of the global giants to build my first firm.

We positioned ourselves as the funkier alternative to the big boys: filled with mastered degreed refugees who’d fled the big firms, jonesing for more flexibility and creativity. When The Wall St Journal called us mavericks and outliers, we were thrilled.

Not everyone loved us, but no one ever forgot us. Continue reading