A professional business coach can often help an independent consultant take their practice to the next level. There are many coaches who may have some consultants as clients, but the coaches listed here are those who focus exclusively on serving independent consultants and boutique consulting firms.
Click any name to go directly to that coach:
- David A. Field Consulting Group David A. Fields
- Melisa Liberman Coaching Melisa Liberman
- Do It! Marketing David Newman
- Craft of Consulting Deb Zahn
- Consulting Success Michael Zipursky
David A. Fields Consulting Group
David A. Fields
David A. Fields is one of the leading coaches for independent solo consultants and boutique consulting firms. Umbrex has collaborated very heavily with him.
David has led more than a dozen online Umbrex events, has led several in-person professional development events, and has been a guest on our podcast multiple times:
- Episode 1: Winning Clients
- Episode 170: Effective Outbound Calls
- Episode 172: Setting up a CRM
- Episode 182: Solo Practice Accelerator
- Episode 190: Successful Partnerships
- Episode 221: Converting Leads
- Episode 259: Show you Care
- Episode 264: Virtual Workshops
- Episode 287: Ask for Recommendations
- Episode 411: Crafting Your Fishing Line
- Episode 428: Business Advice for Consultants or Boutique Firms
- Episode 445: The Eight-Week Planning Process
Additionally, David serves as coach to more than a dozen consultants in our community, several of whom have provided testimonials below.
David’s ideal client:
If you run a small consulting firm — between $100K and $50M per year, you may be seeking the fastest, most reliable path to the next stage of performance for your firm. Whether you define performance as higher revenue, greater profits, more clients and impact, a bigger staff or longer vacations, we’ve got you. We’ve helped other firm leaders just like you achieve the same goals you’re trying to achieve. We’re the experienced, proven expert in your corner.
Think you’re too small to work with us? You’re not. We’ve helped solo consultants jump start their practices and, if they want, transition into multi-million dollar boutiques. And yes, of course, we’ve built firms to tens of millions of dollars and helped owners pocket princely sums through the sale of their firm.
To qualify to work with us, you must meet the following criteria:
- Run a management consulting firm. We work strictly with management consulting firms–not coaches, trainers, IT consultants or other professional service companies. (That’s why we’re so good at growing management consulting firms.)
- Be coachable. You must be ready to take advice and step outside your comfort zone.
- Enjoy chocolate. Okay, this one’s optional, but it helps!
That’s it. If you meet those criteria and want to elevate your consulting practice, reach out.
Fees vary widely depending on the program, the firm, etc. Expect working with us to be a meaningful investment!
We offer a few group programs that operate as live events throughout the year. The most popular (and well-attended by Umbrex/Veritux members) is the Solo Practice Accelerator. The Solo Practice Accelerator is specifically designed for solo practitioners and is extremely effective at helping you make progress in all aspects of your firm in a very short period of time. It’s also in high demand. We highly recommend you join the wait list since the program usually sells out within a week or so of us opening registration. Learn more here.
Would you prefer to work one-on-one with us? Perfect! About 70% of our work is one-on-one with firm leaders. (About 25% is small-team work–see below, and the remaining 5% is group programs.) The structure of your one-on-one program with us will depend, in part, on your goals and on how far your firm has progressed on the 10 Stages of Consulting Firm Growth. We have a number of program structures that are ideally suited for different types of firm leaders pursuing different goals.
Boutique firm work:
We’ve worked with boutique firms at every step along the 10 Stages of Consulting Firm Growth, up to and including sale and exit from the firm. As a result, we know that the structure of our work depends on the goals of your firm and how far you have progressed along your journey.
In some cases we work with the firm owner(s) or leadership team. In other cases, we work with the entire staff, or with small teams inside the firm–for instance, the next generation of firm leaders or a newly promoted group of Senior Managers. We even have “admin-to-admin” programs that ensure your infrastructure is operating at it’s highest possible effectiveness.
We have also conducted training sessions and one-day programs for boutique firms, when that’s the most appropriate format to achieve the firm’s goals.
The David A. Fields team:
We are (currently) a team of six. Everyone on the team is a full-time employee of our firm (we have no loosely affiliated coaches or franchisees). Your “coach” or advisor has 20+ years experience in consulting, has worked directly in various size firms–solo, boutique and large firms, and probably has 5+ years of experience in a top-tier firm (e.g., McKinsey). Since we serve small consulting firms exclusively, and we’ve been doing this a minute or two, we have directly worked with well over 300 consulting firm leaders just like you.
In the CrackerJack Consulting Podcast, Fields interviews people who have built successful, boutique firms to find out how they solved the critical challenges that could have stymied their growth.
The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients: 6 Steps to Unlimited Clients & Financial Freedom
Fields synthesizes his decades of experience into a step-by-step approach to winning more projects from more clients at higher fees. From nuts-and-bolts business advice and tactics to a deeply insightful breakdown of the human side of a very human profession, Fields delivers a comprehensive guidebook that is at once highly approachable and satisfyingly detailed.
The Executive’s Guide to Consultants: How to Find, Hire and Get Great Results from Outside Experts
The Executive’s Guide to Consultants explains how to ensure that every project delivers measurable benefits every time. This book will help you find experts, invest wisely, accelerate change, and achieve your most important goals by tapping into the genius of others.
Testimonials from members of our community:
“With a sincere, personal touch, DAFCG helped me clearly structure the actions I needed to take to establish my firm’s direction and level up. Their powerful combination of simple frameworks, accountability and psychology has unlocked productivity that I didn’t know was possible.”
“DAFCG has been critical to helping me develop a more systematic approach to business development and build in the leverage required to grow my firm and free up valuable time. It’s great to have a sounding board and thought partner at each critical step with a clearly thought out approach based on relevant, lived experience. I always recommend them to anyone considering starting or growing their own consulting practice.”
“The impact that working with DAFCG has had on my business is absolutely incredible – revenue is up, my work is getting greater recognition in my field, and clients are fans and friends. But his greatest impact has been on my confidence, my understanding of what needs to be done and why, and my belief that I’m doing the right things to get the results I want.”
“The team at DAFCG has been an invaluable partner in building our consulting business by helping me focus on the most important activities to drive firm growth. Beyond these activities, the DAFCG team’s thoughtful guidance on ad hoc issues along with swift communication has made them a key partner for us.”
“David (and team) set me on a trajectory to become an author and more well-known thought leader in the leadership development space, and I’m grateful for their guidance. They’re brilliant at the consulting sales dialogue and I still use their techniques today.”
“In less than a year, DAFCG set our growth on an entirely new trajectory. It is hard to find an advisor with deep, specific expertise in the tools and techniques for growing a consulting business. But to find one that can capture their advice in such sticky and easy-to-remember ways that your entire team understands and starts acting on that advice, is just as hard. When you combine these two, as DAFCG does, the impact can be explosive. It was for us.”
“I turned to DAFCG out of frustration with flat revenues in my consulting business. They provided me with the strategies needed to grow my business; the specific tactics to implement those strategies; and the ongoing coaching and support to ensure that I stayed on track. With DAFCG at my side, I approached new business acquisition with more confidence. . . and more success.”
“As a co-owner of a three-partner consulting firm, my firm was struggling to define who we wanted to be and how to grow. DAFCG provided a range of strategic and tactical support on where we play in the market, better management of our business relationships, better conversion rate on new business and tighter back-office operations. We knew how to deliver great consulting work…but didn’t know how to grow a consulting firm. The DAFCG team pointed us in the right direction – especially when our partnership wasn’t aligned or clear on what to do. They are invaluable, patient, and wise.”
“I’ve worked with the DAFCG team for 5 years and have seen significant, widespread impact. They are consummate professionals, true experts, and overall great people. In my 5 years working with DAFCG, my revenue and income have grown almost 3x, and I think their input, guidance, challenge, and support have been critical in accomplishing that growth. I highly recommend them.”
“DAFCG built up our firm’s bus dev engine, taking a critical look at what we had, keeping what was good, and being very specific about what to change. Even more critically, they coached our team through the transformation with regular, in-depth conversations that covered live issues. The effects were transformative.”
“I have had my consulting practice for 13 years – since I left McKinsey. After a good start, my business stalled. I then started working with DAFCG. With them, my consulting has become more focused and scalable and I have enjoyed top-line growth.”
Melisa Liberman Coaching
Melisa’s ideal client:
I work with independent consultants who’ve built their practice to at least $100k in revenue, and who want to grow up to $1M without hiring a team or transitioning into a boutique firm or agency model.
Fees vary based on the type of engagement. Click here to learn more.
Melisa is a one-on-one coach for those independent consultants who want dedicated and personalized attention to their goals and business. She’s a private coach who works with her clients in a one-on-one relationship.
Melisa’s unique approach combines proven strategy, tactics, and mindset to help clients grow a $1M solo consulting business and transform into a $1M business owner. In addition to achieving their specific business goals, clients often remark that they feel like a completely different person and business owner because of their work with Melisa.
Clients also share they’re surprised how impactful the mindset work with Melisa was, and that they were able to push past their plateaus and feel more confident, clear, and in control of their businesses, their schedule, and the type of clients and work they attract.
Melisa tailors her proprietary scale-IC™️ methodology to each client’s specific goals and unique challenges.
- Melisa collaborates with her clients over weekly or bi-weekly coaching calls
- Melisa builds a personalized coaching portal tailored to their specific goals and business, including best-practice-based templates and resources to give them shortcuts and quick starts
- Clients have access to Melisa over voice and text in between calls. She’s a “coach in their pocket” as they’re navigating all the aspects of their businesses from mindset challenges (self-doubt, second-guessing) to emotional ups and downs (fear, procrastination, overwhelm) and strategy (e.g. proposals and pricing)
Learn more about Melisa’s coaching for independent consultants program here.
I personally do all the coaching. I’m passionate about diving deep into my clients’ businesses so I can provide personalized strategy recommendations, ask them meaningful questions that help them see their businesses from a different perspective, and help them uncover the blindspots and patterns that they aren’t able to see themselves.
My passion for independent consulting comes from having been an independent consultant myself for the past 10 years. It all started when I resigned from my corporate role (as EVP of Global Professional Services for a SaaS company) to move to Hawaii for my husband’s job. As I was resigning, it never occurred to me to propose a consulting arrangement to my former company. Luckily, they asked me to stay on as a strategy consultant. That’s how I started my solo consulting practice almost 11 years ago.
I fell in love with the ability to impact organizations from the outside, the autonomy, and the limitless potential. I made so many mistakes in those first few years — undercharging and underestimating myself. I finally started making substantial traction when I hired my first coach. She helped me transform into a true business owner. And, that’s why I love helping other independent consultants grow their own practices….to help them achieve businesses beyond what they ever imagined is possible.
Check out Episode 448 of Unleashed with Melisa Liberman on Coaching Independent Consultants.
Grow Your Independent Consulting Business
Melisa’s podcast shares the blueprint to exactly how you can grow your business into a predictable, sustainable revenue stream. Each week features solo insights or informative guest interviews that will help you to accomplish your Independent Consultant business goals.
Testimonials from members of our community:
“Melisa’s unique value as a coach is that she doesn’t just focus on her clients’ business issues, but also, and even more importantly, on their mindset. Her arsenal consists of a variety of structured and highly effective toolkits that break down the challenges the consultant is facing into its relevant components, and provides the necessary steps to address them. The outcome is concrete and actionable support that really makes a difference.”
“Working with Melisa Liberman has enabled me to regain my spark, identify and focus sharply on my goals, and course correct when the path looks foggy. She’s gifted in asking high quality questions and shining a light in places that I never thought to look. It’s an honor to work with her!”
“Before working with Melisa, I was having questions and uncertainties around pricing, seeking clients, and positioning myself. I was unintentionally limiting myself because I didn’t see all my possibilities and potential. Melisa was incredibly helpful in my IC journey, particularly when tackling challenges around pricing and positioning myself. Everyone has blind spots. I know for me, I constantly felt that I might be missing something, or wasn’t sure how to tackle specific challenges surrounding my practice. Working with Melisa is incredibly helpful because she has a set of systems, mindsets, and insights that help you feel like you have your bases covered. Implementing these tools translated into ease when it came to owning a consulting business. Working with Melisa translated into working with more ease, that investment for me paid itself quickly, and opened a world of possibilities that would have been hard to stumble on myself. I cannot recommend her enough!”
Do It! Marketing
David’s ideal client:
We work with solo B2B consultants, business coaches, corporate trainers, and professional speakers.
Fees range from $1,100 per month to $4,200 per month depending on your level of revenue and which program is the best fit for your exact situation and goals.
Our primary way to serve clients is through our revenue acceleration mentorship called Do It! MBA which combines personalized coaching, content, and community. For consultants already generating $500k/yr or more, we have our MBA Elite mastermind which included unlimited private consulting with me as well as a highly curated cohort of 15 other consultants.
We offer a 1-day VIP Day experience for seasoned consultants who want an espresso shot of strategy, tactics, and guidance to propel their business forward. These can be scheduled live in person or virtually via Zoom.
The Do It! Marketing team:
For MBA, we have an incredible team of specialized coaches as well as a Director of Training to make sure each client gets the personalized attention they deserve. For the MBA Elite mastermind, there are no other coaches – everyone works directly with me.
Problem: 99% of sales training is geared to generic product and service businesses, NOT to solo expert businesses. Lucky for you, you are now in the 1% (the good kind!)
Five things missing from most sales training for consultants — What’s the missing secret sauce?
- Personalization. As a solo consultant, you need to tap into your own personality, strengths, and preferences.
- Conditioning. Situational sales strategies need ongoing repetition, reinforcement, and application.
- Competitive insight: Unless you know your competition intimately, you’ll never escape commodity vendor status.
- How to speak “prospect.” B2B trusted advisors need to speak prospect language about prospect problems.
- Real-time marketing fixes. We DO work on your marketing, but never in a vacuum – always as a “just enough, just in time” fix to help you sell more today.
I know what you’re up against… I’ve been there… stuck, spinning my wheels, working my butt off but not closing nearly enough business. It was painful, frustrating, and sad. Twenty years ago, it took me three years of experimenting, trial and error, and LOTS of expensive mistakes to figure out the RIGHT combination of mindset, skillset, and toolset to become successful at selling my own services, coaching, consulting, speaking, and products… Do YOU have to struggle through the same growing pains that I did? Absolutely not!
Bad news: most solo consultants, business coaches, and experts have no idea how to CONSISTENTLY attract, engage, and win new clients… Good news: Our team and I DO. And we’ll teach YOU exactly how you can, too.
Why you’ll love selling the Do It! MBA way: You’ll love Do It! MBA because it’s specifically designed to help B2B consultants, executive coaches, and solo professionals to sell smarter, close more business, and monetize your expertise as a “Company of One.” No theory, no fluff, and no bull.
An interview-based podcast focused on the topic of selling professional services – geared to a core audience of B2B consultants, executive coaches, and thought-leading solopreneurs who want instant-action strategies, advice, and insights to sell more – more easily and more often.
Do It! Marketing is a quick read and an encouraging kick in the pants that will reignite your marketing mojo. The underlying premise is that “only action creates results.”
Do It! Speaking reveals the inside track on marketing, positioning, packaging, prospecting, outreach, sales, and how to get more and better speaking gigs on behalf of your company, your brand, and yourself.
THIS is the sales book you’ve been looking for. You want to sell smarter to today’s buyers who value empathy, relevance, and intimacy over sales pitches, sales hype, and sales nonsense.
Craft of Consulting
Deb’s ideal client:
I help consultants in various markets who are in first two years of consulting start, build, and grow their consulting businesses. I focus on independent consultants and owners of fledgling consulting firms who need to learn the business side of consulting, such as how to define their target clients and value proposition, get and keep clients, price services, and manage clients and engagements.
Fees available upon request.
I offer the Craft of Consulting membership. The purpose of the membership is to help members get more clients, more easily and with more confidence and have a community of other consultants who get it. Members get:
- Rapid, daily coaching from me through personalized videos and written responses to their questions.
- Coaching from me on monthly “Ask Me Anything” group calls and replays of events.
- Live monthly trainings on common topics and issues arising in the membership (e.g., preventing and managing contract objections, developing and managing retainers) and relays of the trainings.
- Pop-Up trainings and conversations about topics that arise in the membership, such as working with non-profits and managing your mindset.
- Tools to take action, including email templates and courses.
- Accountability for business-generating activities through weekly goal setting and report backs.
- Support and guidance from other consultants in the community.
I offer 3 tiers of one-on-one coaching.
- Intensive coaching, where I help consultants with each step, so they can fast track their success. For 3 or 6 months, we have 2 monthly live Zoom coaching sessions to work on their success plan and address their most pressing needs. I provide email or video feedback if something arises between sessions, such as preparing for a prospective client meeting, developing a pricing strategy, or reviewing a proposal. I also share tools that help consultants take shortcuts and learn an essential skill.
- Basic coaching, which offers similar value to intensive coaching but includes only 1 monthly live Zoom coaching session.
- Membership+ coaching, which is only available to my Craft of Consulting members. This coaching includes a live Zoom kick-off coaching session to identify where they want their business to go and what is currently getting in their way. Then I work with them to achieve their business goals through unlimited direct messages in the membership platform. I also offer single-session coaching for consultants who need to figure one thing out or solve one problem, such as pricing an engagement or managing a tricky client situation.
My special sauce is I am still practicing consultant and have been for over 12 years. So, everything I help people with is based on the reality of being a consultant—initially at a firm and now independently. Over the last decade, I have coached 100+ new consultants and helped them be successful faster. My superpower is helping consultants move past difficult feelings and overwhelm, make solid decisions, and focus on high-yield actions.
Check out Episode 327 of Unleashed with Deb Zahn on The Craft of Consulting.
Every week, Deb interviews guests or talk about a particular topic key to being a successful consultant.
Michael’s ideal client:
Consulting Success® helps entrepreneurial consultants to build profitable, scalable and strategic consulting businesses. We have over a decade of experience working closely with over 1000 independent consultants and boutique consulting firm owners. Their goal is not only to create and scale a successful consulting business but also structure their messaging, offering, pricing strategy, systems and business so it supports their desired lifestyle. One that is full of financial freedom, time freedom and flexibility.
Consulting Success® offers a variety of programs and workshops for solo consultants and firm owners. The investment level ranges depending on the program. All programs are focused on delivering a significant ROI for clients.
Consulting Success® offers programs with both support in 1-on-1 and group formats.
Consulting Success® offers programs with both support in 1-on-1 and group formats.
Boutique firm work:
Consulting Success® has helped hundreds of boutique consulting firm owners and their teams to add six and seven figures to their annual revenues. This is done through both 1-on-1 coaching, workshops and ongoing training programs.
The Consulting Success® team:
The Consulting Success® coaches are all active consultants running their own successful consulting businesses. They have been trained on the proven Consulting Success® Framework that thousands of consultants have used to grow their consulting businesses. They are experts at meeting clients where they are and helping them to map out a custom plan to achieve their next level of growth and supporting them to accelerate their results in the most optimal way.
The Values We Live and Breathe By…
We Are La Familia:
We’re a family-owned business and we treat our team, clients, and community like one big family with respect, honesty, genuine care, and trust. We go the extra mile for our clients and team members. We truly want to help the people we come in contact with. We love to serve people beyond what is typically expected in a business relationship.
We Are Entrepreneurial:
We believe growth and improvement makes life and business exciting and challenging. We’re always learning, growing, taking action, surrounding ourselves with smart, ambitious and inspiring people. Reaching new levels of personal and business success is what we’re all about!
We Believe Health is Wealth:
We prioritize health. Mental health, daily physical exercise, and having a flexible schedule that allows us to recharge and create amazing life experiences inside and outside of work are key to how we operate and run our business.
We Are Worldwide!
The people, the languages, the cultures, the food, and the geography, make this place we call earth, a truly spectacular and unique gift to us all. We celebrate this through travel, deep exploration, and by happily working with and supporting people of all backgrounds, religions, and ethnicities.
Watch a short film about the Consulting Success founders here.
Check out Episode 120 of Unleashed with Michael Zipursky, Coach to Consultants
The Consulting Success® Podcast dives deep into growing a highly profitable and successful consulting business.
How can you take your skills and expertise and package it to become a successful consultant? There are proven time-tested principles, strategies, tactics and best-practices the most successful consultants use to start, run and grow their consulting business.
16 mindsets and many more excuses debunked with proven best practices and expert interviews to grow your consulting business in this book from Michael Zipursky.
In ACT NOW bestselling author and CEO of Consulting Success®, Michael Zipursky shares insights from industry experts Rita McGrath, Jill Konrath, Perry Marshall, Martin Lindstrom, John Warrillow and others on how consultants can navigate through these challenging times to succeed and prosper in their consulting businesses.
Testimonials from members of our community:
“We had our best year ever last year, adding hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue, and I’m very excited for the growth we’ll experience this year! I’ve worked as part of large consulting companies and consulted for some of the world’s biggest businesses. When it came to growing my own consulting business this coaching program was a clear fit. I’ve invested a significant amount of money to work with Michael and his team and I continue to. It’s been a great investment.”
Unlike the other coaches listed on this page, rather than being a coach IndeCollective is more of a cohort-based professional development organization.
IndeCollective’s ideal client:
IndeCollective’s typical member is a seasoned professional services leader — e.g. someone with 15+ years of experience in their craft — who is building a solo practice and/or small agency and looking to access the far-ahead mentors, practical playbooks, and supportive community to grow their revenue, while saving time. What our members share is that they DO NOT want to leave their success to trial and error. So they join a 10-week IndeCollective cohort to tap into more than a dozen experts — mentor/coaches, who have built their own 7 and 8 figure independent businesses — to clarify their focus, productize their services, differentiate their brand, value-based price their offering, and build a pipeline of ideal clients. View a cross-section of member case studies and testimonials here.
$4,995 for the single-cohort, 10-week program and $6,995 for a full year membership.
IndeCollective is a “modern, MBA-style program” in that our pedagogy combines the same three ingredients of the best MBA programs — practical education, far-ahead mentors, and a curated community of peers — while tailoring the content to the best practices that help experienced professionals grow their consulting revenue, while saving time. Through IndeCollective’s 10-week bootcamp, you’ll learn the keys to translate your craft into a six-, and even seven-figure business. You’ll set goals, receive a customized learning plan, and then tap into the right mentors, peer group, and educational resources to:
- Productize your work – to reduce the trade of time for money
- Differentiate your brand – to attract the right clients on the right terms
- Price your services based on value – to charge premium rates
- Build a predictable pipeline – to eliminate the ebbs and flows of business
- Streamline your operation – to identify the processes that help save time and scale
What’s more, like an MBA, you’re participating in the program alongside ~100, handpicked consultants and small agency builders. A group that you’ll no doubt find ways to collaborate with — trading referrals, collaborating on projects, even using each others services. And, as a part of the program, you are assigned an (A)Team — a personal board of advisors — who track with you as accountability partners and sounding board over the course of your ten-weeks (and beyond). Learn more here.
The IndeCollective team:
IndeCollective is delivered by more than a dozen “expert guides” — read independent consultants and agency builders, who have already built their own seven or eight-figure independent practice and who, through live programming and coaching, support IndeCollective members in applying the practical playbooks that unlock revenue growth and time savings. Topics covered by our expert guides include, but are not limited to, those included above.
Umbrex member are invited to take advantage of a free workshop on Value-Based Pricing to get a flavor for our programming and what you might expect.
Check out Episode 460 of Unleashed with Sam Lee on The IndeCollective.
The Modern Independent is on a mission to assist modern independent workers in accelerating their growth, both personally and professionally. We provide our listeners with the necessary education, expert guidance, and inspiration to achieve greater financial freedom, fulfillment, and flexibility through their independent work.
“A year and a half ago, my business partner and I launched our own independent consultancy, the Renegade Consulting Collective. This year, we wanted to invest in taking our business to the next level. Through IndeCollective, we were able to access practical playbooks, work with sector-leading mentors, and connect with a supportive group of peers running their own independent businesses. Personally, I learned an incredible amount about how I can shift my own business from a one-to-one model to a one-to-many model and even launched a client offering focused on philanthropic advising for high net worth individuals. My partner (who is also an Umbrex member) and I earned our MBAs from Stanford and Wharton respectively, but IndeCollective has absolutely helped us grow business in very real ways we didn’t learn in business school–all while saving both time and money.”
“I’ve made more changes and (wisely) invested more in my consulting practice than I had in the previous three years since starting my business and joining Umbrex. IndeCollective’s curriculum is rich and eminently practical, covering all the essentials needed to start or improve as an independent consultant or a boutique firm. Still, the differential factor is the relationship-building with your IndeCollective cohort (~150 hand selected independents, who build business together) and with your A-Team (a personal advisory board of six, who help you to answer the tough questions and then shift into action as you take your business to the next level). I’m available to chat about my experience with any Umbrex members!”