The “R Word”​ Secret to Growing a Profitable Consulting Business

By Lynn Swayze | Copywriting

Sep 12

Today I’m sharing a secret I wish I actually took to heart when I first began consulting and writing copy years ago.

If “old Lynn” had her mindset marbles straight, she might have taken this to heart and be light years ahead today.

You see, there’s ONE component to your business that you can’t fake, buy, or manipulate.

And it’s this one component that’s so critical to feeling confident, charging more, and attracting and selling new clients.

It’s even useful for getting clients to follow your advice and actually implement what you suggest.

That component is RESULTS.

Without results, you’re probably just another consultant making big claims you can’t back up.

Without results, you’re probably going to feel less than confident about your ability to deliver, and will price and position accordingly.

Without results, you’re not going to be able to get the testimonials, case studies, referrals, and repeat work that make the consulting world go round and round.

You see, it all hinges on results.

Without the results, you’re stuck.

So how do you GET RESULTS if you have no results?

Here’s what I suggest, and I’ll expound on each in a moment:

  1. Do it for yourself, and collect the data
  2. Do it for free, or for a lower fee in exchange for testimonial/case study
  3. Only work with those who will be able to get results, and only do work that is measurable

Got that? Let’s dig into those three suggestions really quick.

Do it for yourself, and collect the data

The first thing I suggest you do, if you’re new to consulting, is to do whatever it is you’re trying to sell for yourself. Doing this will give you confidence and mental images that say you can do the thing. It’ll also give you the data you need to sell it to someone else.

Let’s take Ryan Levesque of ASK METHOD as an example.

Did he start out by selling this method without trying it first? Nope. He tried it on his wife’s businesses first, got the results, then tried it elsewhere, got more results, and then kept building from there.

So it was easy to keep selling bigger and bigger clients because he had the data to say, “Look, I’ve gotten results here, here, and there, and even over yonder. I am confident we can make this work for you, too.”

You should do the same for yourself.

If you’re a copywriter or marketing strategist, then come up with a business and make it go using the marketing strategies you sell.

If you’re a clutter coach, get your own house in order first.

If you’re a fitness coach, get in the best shape before you pitch your services.

Now, obviously there are consultants who don’t fit this mold. Lawyers, doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and so forth. Your business is a little different and can’t rely on this; instead, you have to rely on other proof methods and probably mentoring with an experienced partner for a while.

Do it for free, or for a lower fee in exchange for testimonial/case study

Once you have some data for yourself, you’ll have the RESULTS on hand to pitch to someone else.

Here’s where doing a few jobs for free (like for those in your immediate network) as a “test” would work.

But whoever you help, make sure they:

  1. Have the problem you solve
  2. Have the desire to solve that problem
  3. Have the ABILITY and DESIRE to track the metrics needed
  4. Have the willingness to provide you with the DATA and a TESTIMONIAL as a result of your work together

This is so necessary at the early stages, and you can easily build in the testimonial and data-gathering into whatever contracts you write.

Only work with those who will be able to get results, and only do work that is measurable

Finally, don’t let your sales people sign anyone who isn’t able to get results, or who wants to do work that isn’t measurable, or who refuses to let you track the results.

This is especially true for you marketing consultants and copywriters.

RESULTS = MORE WORK.

As you grow, you’ll come across salespeople with mindset issues who just want to close everyone who breathes. Do NOT let them do this. Instead, help your salespeople understand that results will make the job of marketing easier, and marketing makes sales easier.

This is where specialization can help.

If you specialize in solving painful problems in a very specific way, you can build data-gathering into your solution; you can make sure that whatever you solve, that it’s impactful AND measurable.

To reiterate:

If you want to grow your consulting business, you’re going to have to start injecting more RESULTS into your marketing, sales, and consulting process. And the only way to get to that point is to a) only do work that is measurable, b) only work with those who will actually measure their results and pass those results to you, and c) actually measure those results and use it in your marketing.

Need help identifying metrics that will move the PROOF needle? Let’s talk. Send me an email at lynn@idrm.us to get the conversation started.

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About the Author

Direct Response Copywriter Lynn Swayze has specialized in Consultant Marketing and Information Marketing since she jumped on the scene in 2014. She's worked with big names like Agora, Kevin Rogers, John Bowen, Mike Weiss, Jason Hanson, and more. She works as CMO to IDRM LLP and is a staff copywriter at several organizations.

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