How to start a local consulting business?

18 replies
Hello.. what would be the quickest way to start a business where I'm offering local businesses services (for example seo, fb marketing etc. all the good stuff) and how much experience I need to start one. I have littlebit of experience with seo, ppc for example but I'm still a newbie in that.

So my question is should I just get experience with seo and ppc marketing for 1 year straight and after that start offering my services or is there a quicker way? This is one of my longterm plans and I'm still young so within 2 years at most I want to be running my own business in this area because I've heard there's some really good money in that. Till then I prolly should just get the most experience I can in this area so I have actual value/field experience to offer my clients and work on "more oldschool" internet marketing methods like listbuilding to atleast try to make a few bucks meantime

what are your thoughts on this and the guys who are actually making a bank with consulting/offering services to local businesses then some advice would be greatly appreciated

Mikko

EDIT: hope you guys understood my question.. I have a pretty add writing style
#business #consulting #local #start
  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Two quick suggestions:

    1. Work on that ADD writing style. Written communication will be important, even if it's simply answering clients' and prospects' emails.

    2. Check out Offline Marketing Discussions , where you'll find a lot of kindred spirits who will give you more help than you're likely to get in the general discussion area.

    Good luck to you...
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  • Profile picture of the author Cobaki
    Getting some experience is good, but I do not think doing it for a year would be necessary. I mean, you will never really run out things to learn about SEO. Updates and changes come every now and then. You can study and when you think you have all the tools you need, you may begin applying what you have learned before things become even more complicated.
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  • IMO, don't get into offline because you heard there was some money in it. There is, but if you have no interest in helping local businesses it will be a long slog.
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    If you want any real shot at landing offline clients, you'll find it best to rack up some proven results and proof... so that you can use that when you talk to these businesses.

    I have both online and offline businesses... and the first thing i'll ask anyone who pitches me a service is... "what have been your results in that?"

    I've found that past results are usually a pretty good indicator of future results. Not always, but it at least gives you a yardstick to measure by.

    So, do what you can in order to build up a portfolio of results.

    If you're pitching SEO... show proof that you helped XYZ business get to the top of Google for their desired keywords.

    If you're selling marketing advice, show proof of results that you've had with other companies.

    Walking into a business and showing them how you helped "Joe's Candle Store increase their sales by over $30,000 per quarter" holds a lot more weight than not having any proof at all.

    Don't let anyone fool you, your proof can do all your selling for you, at least most of it.

    Because these businesses are looking for an ROI, they could care less about you.

    So, show them your past ROI for other companies and you'll buy a listen from them.
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  • Stating a consulting business really starts off from "experience", which then leads on to expansion. You cannot start a consulting business with out the proper education or knowledge within the field.

    Thats my opinion

    WILL -
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    I agree with getting at least six months to a year experience
    under someone who does best practices in their field and
    who is a good example. Don't want to get bad habits.

    Learn the services as well as how to market and run a business.

    As King said, do it if you really want to help businesses.

    Then, there's two things to keep learning to get to where
    you are selling your knowledge and providing more value than
    your competition. 1) Of course, the services you will be offering.
    2) Marketing and business management so you can do what is
    best for the client and really help them with your knowledge
    and experience. Beyond just web design or SEO, or whatever your services.

    I know a webmaster who built a new website. He studied the guys business,
    customers, and books and the new site increased earnings from 100K per year
    to 1.2 million per year. He did website conversion tactics for the particular customers,
    and made it super easy to order parts, especially the most common parts and the most profitable.

    Dan
    Signature

    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Build a business...not a job.

    Find the very best, high quality provider you can find. Doesn't matter what service it is - quality is ALL IMPORTANT.

    They might be here on WF or on Elance.com. You can start here on WF, find someone with a ton of great reviews, who can handle the projects for you. Now you have a product to sell.

    Ask them if you can use some of their portfolio results to sell face to face. They will probably not have any problem with it. Even if they don't agree you can tell stories of their successes and now they work for you. I do this with a former Google employee - he is now "my guy."

    Create your sales pitch from their sales letter.

    Forget about cheap. Go the other direction. Set a minimum price and whenever you talk to anyone, filter them by that price. If it's $3,000 for a website or $1,500 a month for SEO - doesn't matter. Set a high price that you make a lot of money with and STICK TO IT NO MATTER WHAT.

    You should be marking up the services by at least 100% (I shoot for 200%). If you pay someone $500/month for SEO service, you should be charging the client $1,000/month. I would charge $1,500 if I paid $500.

    DO NOT COMPROMISE ON PRICE. Providing better service is infinitely more important than a cheaper price.

    Get yourself a simple logo, and some business cards and GO SELL.

    FORGET ABOUT BECOMING GOOD AT THE SERVICE. You just need to know enough to SELL it.

    Remember, if you own a business - sales and getting new clients is the most important thing. It is much more important than knowing HOW to SEO or design or anything else.

    You want to own a business? Don't get good at the technical work, get good at selling.

    The key to wealth and growing a business is to buy low, sell high. That means buy labor for one price, and sell it to others at a much higher price. You need to see these services as an asset you can sell, just like Real Estate or any other class of assets.

    Go to every networking event and tell as many people as possible about your amazing product and what you can do for them.

    Post about your product/service to every social network you can find.

    LEARN TO SELL - that is how you succeed.

    Did you know Nike doesn't manufacture clothing or shoes? They are not manufacturers - they are marketers. Other people do the work and build the product. They sell the brand.

    Same goes for Apple.

    Same goes for almost every major business. You want to be the marketer and seller of other people's labor. That is how you rise up. Labor is a commodity to trade. You don't want to DO labor...you want to SELL labor. Think about any local business, that is exactly what they do. A car wash - they are buying the labor of their workers at one price, and selling it to others at a higher price. Same is true with any business from McDonald's to IBM. Labor is a commodity.

    Some people are happy to work for $10-$20/hour. Let them do it. If you want to gain wealth and fortune in life, and have all the things you want...you give those people something to work on by selling their labor to other people.

    YOU don't do SEO or design - you sell the work of others. Remember that and five years from now you can have whatever you want.

    Forget about starting slow, doing the work alone, charging little prices. That is the path to misery and failure. High prices, right now. You should be scared to say the price the first few times. Do what you fear. Start from day #1 - premium service, premium price. In a few months, you will be making good money. In a few years you will be making more money than anyone else you know.
    Signature
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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    • Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      Build a business...not a job.

      Find the very best, high quality provider you can find. Doesn't matter what service it is - quality is ALL IMPORTANT.

      They might be here on WF or on Elance.com. You can start here on WF, find someone with a ton of great reviews, who can handle the projects for you. Now you have a product to sell.

      Ask them if you can use some of their portfolio results to sell face to face. They will probably not have any problem with it. Even if they don't agree you can tell stories of their successes and now they work for you. I do this with a former Google employee - he is now "my guy."

      Create your sales pitch from their sales letter.

      Forget about cheap. Go the other direction. Set a minimum price and whenever you talk to anyone, filter them by that price. If it's $3,000 for a website or $1,500 a month for SEO - doesn't matter. Set a high price that you make a lot of money with and STICK TO IT NO MATTER WHAT.

      You should be marking up the services by at least 100% (I shoot for 200%). If you pay someone $500/month for SEO service, you should be charging the client $1,000/month. I would charge $1,500 if I paid $500.

      DO NOT COMPROMISE ON PRICE. Providing better service in infinitely more important than a cheaper price.

      Get yourself a simple logo, and some business cards and GO SELL.

      FORGET ABOUT BECOMING GOOD AT THE SERVICE. You just need to know enough to SELL it.

      Remember, if you own a business - sales and getting new clients is the most important thing. It is much more important than knowing HOW to SEO or design or anything else.

      You want to own a business? Don't get good at the technical work, get good at selling.

      The key to wealth and growing a business is to buy low, sell high. That means buy labor for one price, and sell it to others at a much higher price. You need to see these services as an asset you can sell, just like Real Estate or any other class of assets.

      Go to every networking event and tell as many people as possible about your amazing product and what you can do for them.

      Post about your product/service to every social network you can find.

      LEARN TO SELL - that is how you succeed.

      Did you know Nike doesn't manufacture clothing or shoes? They are not manufacturers - they are marketers. Other people do the work and build the product. They sell the brand.

      Same goes for Apple.

      Same goes for almost every major business. You want to be the marketer and seller of other people's labor. That is how you rise up. Labor is a commodity to trade. You don't want to DO labor...you want to SELL labor. Think about any local business, that is exactly what they do. A car wash - they are buying the labor of their workers at one price, and selling it to others at a higher price. Same is true with any business from McDonald's to IBM. Labor is a commodity.

      Some people are happy to work for $10-$20/hour. Let them do it. If you want to gain wealth and fortune in life, and have all the things you want...you give those people something to work on by selling their labor to other people.

      YOU don't do SEO or design - you sell the work of others. Remember that and five years from now you can have whatever you want.

      Forget about starting slow, doing the work alone, charging little prices. That is the path to misery and failure. High prices, right now. You should be scared to say the price the first few times. Do what you fear. Start from day #1 - premium service, premium price. In a few months, you will be making good money. In a few years you will be making more money than anyone else you know.

      17 years of blood, sweat, and hard work into one post. I hope you can use it.
      This was very informative Dan. I really liked this post of yours. True. Learn how to sell. It is the only way to get business owners to pay you and get them to trust you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cobaki
      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      Build a business...not a job.

      Find the very best, high quality provider you can find. Doesn't matter what service it is - quality is ALL IMPORTANT.

      They might be here on WF or on Elance.com. You can start here on WF, find someone with a ton of great reviews, who can handle the projects for you. Now you have a product to sell.

      Ask them if you can use some of their portfolio results to sell face to face. They will probably not have any problem with it. Even if they don't agree you can tell stories of their successes and now they work for you. I do this with a former Google employee - he is now "my guy."

      Create your sales pitch from their sales letter.

      Forget about cheap. Go the other direction. Set a minimum price and whenever you talk to anyone, filter them by that price. If it's $3,000 for a website or $1,500 a month for SEO - doesn't matter. Set a high price that you make a lot of money with and STICK TO IT NO MATTER WHAT.

      You should be marking up the services by at least 100% (I shoot for 200%). If you pay someone $500/month for SEO service, you should be charging the client $1,000/month. I would charge $1,500 if I paid $500.

      DO NOT COMPROMISE ON PRICE. Providing better service in infinitely more important than a cheaper price.

      Get yourself a simple logo, and some business cards and GO SELL.

      FORGET ABOUT BECOMING GOOD AT THE SERVICE. You just need to know enough to SELL it.

      Remember, if you own a business - sales and getting new clients is the most important thing. It is much more important than knowing HOW to SEO or design or anything else.

      You want to own a business? Don't get good at the technical work, get good at selling.

      The key to wealth and growing a business is to buy low, sell high. That means buy labor for one price, and sell it to others at a much higher price. You need to see these services as an asset you can sell, just like Real Estate or any other class of assets.

      Go to every networking event and tell as many people as possible about your amazing product and what you can do for them.

      Post about your product/service to every social network you can find.

      LEARN TO SELL - that is how you succeed.
      Excellent points. Really enlightening. Because yes, there is a big difference between studying for a job and for a business. If you want to make money, selling is where you should be excellent at -- that is something that cannot be "learned". For you to have it, you need training and you need to be born to just be good at it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Dan,

      That's an excellent post!

      Oughta be a sticky.
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    • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      17 years of blood, sweat, and hard work into one post.
      you don't look old enough Dan

      Home run mate, great post and very very true
      Signature

      Mike

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    • Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      Build a business...not a job.
      Another great post from Dan. Pretty soon we will see him on Shark Tank arguing with Mr. Wonderful.

      I would add this--one of the secrets to your success, especially at the beginning, is to call on enough businesses. It's more than you think.

      You've got to keep the sales funnel full. Almost every business I walk into does not have enough prospects in the pipeline.

      My advice is to work on it everyday. Reach out to prospects every day you are open. Take massive action and fill the pipeline.
      Signature
      Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
      - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Dan that's one of the best posts I've read on here.
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    • Profile picture of the author James English
      Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

      Dan that's one of the best posts I've read on here.
      Agreed, definitely top 10. Bookmarked! Thanks, Dan!
      Signature
      HandRaise.co Performance Driven B2B Prospecting and Appointment Setting
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      • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
        Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

        The QUICKEST way is to just start right NOW.
        That is so true.

        People get stuck in this "learning more" mindset.

        Everything you need to know to get started, you already know.

        The best way to learn is by doing. The more business owners you talk to, the better you will get at talking about it. After you have had a few clients, you will have it figured out.

        The biggest obstacle to businesses success is wanting to be good before even getting started. That's not how it works.

        You get started, and then you become good.
        Signature
        Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthem40
    One of the reasons a lot of consultants and coaches fail is because they actually don't know what they are talking about.

    Start marketing via these avenues for yourself or for a quality product. You will learn much, much more when you can understand the emotional roller coaster, when you go to bed stressed, when you land a big client and have a great weekend because of it.

    Business owners aren't stupid, if you don't know what you are talking about, they will know. And when you learn to sell, be authentic. Drop the buzzwords and the archtypical ideas about what a salesman is.
    Signature
    95% of IM'ers have great relationships with clients who also advertise offline and with other people. Stop missing out on that cash and leverage into it. PM me if you are an established marketer and want to find out how.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    Originally Posted by mjohannes90 View Post

    Hello.. what would be the quickest way to start a business where I'm offering local businesses services
    Dan's post covered nearly everything.

    Just one more direct answer.

    The QUICKEST way is to just start right NOW.

    It doesn't take any SEO skill or marketing skill to talk to
    a business owner and ask questions and that's really all
    you need to do...ask questions and listen.

    There's absolutely nothing from stopping you from doing
    that today.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
    Great post Dan! I was fortunate enough to learn that philosophy early in my entrepreneurial life. On occasion however, I would try to learn the skill I was selling. Nothing kills your momentum faster than "working in your business". Nothing. It's an absolute time waster! It's one thing to understand your product or service, but being able or willing to perform it is a different story...

    There is no better way to waste your entrepreneurial juices or drain your energy than being "occupied" by implementing the service/product you sell. You become so attached to the project, spend so much resources that you are unable to let it go and concentrate on business building activities. Soon, you become dependent on your personal labor to make money...

    Pricing of your services is another element that make you or break you. Early in my career, I was thought to charge top price for anything I do. To always be one of 2-3 highest price bidders. It puts you by default in "elite" service providers and guarantees you can afford the best people to actually do what you sell. Your customers may complain about your prices, but they will respect you and will never question your top notch quality and prestige. This philosophy served me very well for 30+ years...
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