In a previous post, we described a system to promote a consulting business. However, most consulting businesses are not inherently scalable since there is a limit to the number of hours that consultants can bill. Moreover, marketing takes time, and devoting many hours per week to marketing and promotion efforts means less billable time.
What if there was a system that allowed you to leverage your time in such a way that you could charge multiple clients for the same hour of work? Here is the system that I recommend to my consultant clients in order to do so. The process is pretty simple.
There are two popular ways to leverage your time. One is to offer group counseling and the other is to develop an evergreen training course and then add it to a drip campaign to deliver it.
If you are using an automated lead generation video to source many potential clients, you will have the ability to pick and choose which client you want to work with instead of starving for new clients, leading you to accept anyone willing to pay your fees.
However, the traditional model of trading your time for money is not very scalable. Offering in-person or virtual group counseling using tools like Zoom, Skype, or any of the dozen or so other platforms will allow you to leverage your time with numerous clients and to scale a business like your consulting business.
The first step is making sure that the clients are a good fit for what you have to offer. One of the reasons we recommend you follow the automated lead generation video with a free one-on-one meeting is to get the client to share a bit of information about themselves so you can determine if the potential client is coachable. Many clients are simply looking for validation from an expert and as a result, are not very coachable. When these clients are part of a group counseling program, they tend to be more disruptive, leading to a reduction in the quality of the program. Therefore, the goal is to have lots of potential clients so you have the option to cherry-pick the best ones to ensure your group counseling program’s success and garner great reviews.
Another advantage of having many potential clients to choose from is the ability to organize them into groups or clusters based on their prior experience and knowledge. On one level, you want each consulting group to be composed of clients with some level of diversity so that during group activities and discussions, the group members can learn from each other and remain engaged in the process. On another level, you want the group members to all come from a similar place of experience and knowledge to allow the group to advance at a similar pace. You will want to avoid the dreaded client that will need far more support and hand-holding and that will drag the entire group down.
What many consultants have found is that groups of four to eight participants in a group counseling session work best. Remember that the clients want access to your expertise when they engage with you. Too few in a group and it may not make economic sense for you. Too many in a group and the client feels cheated by not having quality time with you.
One popular way to leverage your time as a consultant is to record one or more training programs once and turn them into online courses that customers will pay for. Many consultants develop a course and place it on platforms like Udemy or Skillshare. Some will just hope people will find them on the platform, while others will actively promote their courses with paid ads. While this is certainly a viable option to generate revenue, the platforms take a nice cut of the revenue generated. Moreover, because these platforms represent a red ocean in terms of competition, many of the courses have to be significantly discounted to make their price-competitive with alternative options.
Alternatively, if you are using the lead generation video process described in a previous post, you have captured the lead and as a result, you should capture 100% of the revenue while improving your website’s SEO. When it comes to training, there are two basic types that I recommend. Self-Paced and Drip Learning. Each has its pros and cons.
In a self-paced online course, the customer has access to all of the content of your course immediately after purchasing it. This means that they get all the available information at once without having to wait. If you have a WordPress website, you can use the free plugin called LearnPress to deliver a self-paced course. LearnPress is how I offer a whole series of free training programs for my clients and readers like you on SteveBizAcademy.
One of the advantages of offering a self-paced learning program is the fact that the person can binge-watch the entire content in one or two sittings. The best self-paced learning programs are relatively short and highly targeted. For example, suppose you were in the market to buy an existing business. It is unlikely that you would want to enroll in a 6-week drip-fed training program because you need all the information now. This is why we offer our course on buying or selling a small business and many others, as self-paced training programs.
However, for the consulting businesses that need to generate revenue from clients, you may be better off using a drip-fed training programs where you can add one-on-one consulting sessions between lesson drops. After all, your goal is not to just provide content but, as a consultant, to make sure your clients achieve the results they signed up for. Science shows us that, combining face-to-face sessions with automated lesson drops, helps with repetition and practice and encourages deeper learning retention.
Drip-fed training programs are very different from self-paced learning ones. Drip-fed training programs are all about scheduling the delivery of your online course. With drip-fed training programs, the customer gets the course material in stages so they can absorb the content easier. This means that they don’t get the content all in one go but gain access to it at a specific set time.
If what you are delivering requires time to internalize the content and includes research and homework, drip-fed training programs make more sense for the client. Moreover, the time between sessions allows time for additional paid one-on-one counseling sessions or access to subscription sites with forums, where clients can ask questions and receive answers asynchronously from you as well as others.
Drip-fed training programs will also help your website’s SEO as you will get fewer bounces, longer session durations, and more page views.
Other benefits of drip-fed training programs are that they help keep up the momentum for a longer period and are less overwhelming for the clients. Moreover, drip-fed learning programs delivered in stages are often considered more valuable and consultants can charge more compared to training programs that are offered as self-paced courses and deliver all the content at once.
On the downside, drip-fed training programs can drive some people away if they want all the content at once.
In conclusion, when a client engages with you, it is good to remember that they are not buying your consulting services. Instead, the client is investing in themselves.
As a consultant, do you know how to leverage and scale a business?