Having run my consulting-coaching business for over a decade, I’m often approached by other professionals who have aspirations to ‘go it alone’ and start a service business or grow an existing consultancy practice. Here’s the usual categories people fall into…
- Just starting to look at possibilities for how to set up as a consultant or coach
- Already set up as a service provider and struggling to gain momentum
- Spinning around ideas about professional branding or market niche
- Worrying how to get more clients and achieve a sustainable income.
There are three questions that commonly pop up. In this article, I’ll tackle each in turn, but the first is by far the biggest cause of fear and doubt that keeps people from making the progress they deserve.
1# Can I really be successful doing this?
How successful you are in anything you ever do in your life – business or personal – depends on your attitude to it. Your mindset is critical. That is why all the top service providers in our industry state that professional development precedes financial development every time.
It’s the opposite of the old adage “I’ll believe it when I see it”. That won’t work here. As a entrepreneur … you will see it only when you start to BELIEVE in it. Napoleon Hill says “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” In plain language, “What you think about most becomes your reality.”
If what you think and say are constantly focused on positive things and achievements, you will experience more and more success in your business and your life. If you speak about and think about anxiety, failure and stress, you’ll continue to attract more of exactly that to you.
It really is a mental choice … and yes, it does take some consistent discipline and practice. But you and the people around you, will be happier for it … trust me, it’s really simple switch you can make. Take notice of what you are thinking and decide if your thought is ‘helping’ or ‘hindering’. If it’s negative, you can consciously decide to change it from negative to positive.
If you expect to succeed, you absolutely will. It you don’t believe it’s possible to hit your income goal every month or every year from your business, you’re right there too. Believe and achieve!
#2 How will I get enough leads to grow my client base?
Contrary to what you might, it’s less important how many leads you can get, and more about aligning what you do with the right audience with the right message so the people you are engaging with are a good fit for your services and products.
Once you know you’re on-message and getting a few “conversions”, you can have more confidence to add in some paid advertising to drive traffic to your landing page. With an irresistible giveaway to capture the lead and a good low-cost bump offer, this should pay for itself – what’s called a self-funded funnel.
The absolute best way to build trust with your target market is through education-driven approaches to both marketing and consulting practices. It’s so important in fact I wrote an entire book on the subject, entitled The Educational Entrepreneur.
#3 Who should I get on board to support me?
As you start up, market and grow your business, at some point depending on your own knowledge and skills, you will undoubtedly need support and assistance. Think about the type of support you need. This may be just as a sounding board to talk through strategy or more structured mentoring to develop your business plan and get on-going help to implement it.
I’ve found it’s often well worth the cost of getting specific technical help with some aspects. Even though you may be capable of doing those same tasks yourself, it’s not always cost-effective. Outsourcing a small task or a larger project doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg with freelancer sites like fiverr.com and upwork.com. But some technical problems you’ll end up wrestling with for days, which can cost you a lot of time and grief, disrupt your focus on income-producing tasks.
Whether it’s a whole website development, just a simple layout issue, an irritating plug-in that won’t work, content research, or creating a whole set of branded graphics … a specialist can do it cheaply, quickly and stress-free!
And the process of getting someone on board gets faster the more you use those freelancer sites. You may even end up with your own little team, people who you know, like and trust to get the job done.