Podcast

Episode: 120 |
Michael Zipursky:
Coach to Consultants:
Episode
120

HOW TO THRIVE AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL

Michael Zipursky

Coach to Consultants

Show Notes

Our guest today is Michael Zipursky, who runs a firm called Consulting Success.  Michael has written multiple books on consulting and he serves as a coach to consultants, helping them grow their practice.

Michael recently published a new guide on How to Start a Consulting Business with No Experience which you may find valuable.

You can learn more about Michael and get in touch via his website, consultingsuccess.com

One weekly email with bonus materials and summaries of each new episode:

Will Bachman: Hello, Michael, welcome to the show.
M Zipursky: Thanks a lot for having me, Will.
Will Bachman: So Michael, I understand you’re sitting in Vancouver today?
M Zipursky: That’s correct.
Will Bachman: Awesome. So I hope you don’t mind my accent. I know I say “about” kind of funny. So I just wanted to get that out there.
M Zipursky: Well, that’s not a problem at all, because I’ve lived and traveled pretty extensively. And so I’m not sure what, you know, accent would … That would be necessarily to be … It’s all a global language. So, not a problem at all.
Will Bachman: Alright, cool. So Michael, I’ve taken a look at some of your books and your website. And I know that you are kind of a consultant to consultants and help many consultants with their practice. I’d love … Maybe just kind of give me an overview of the different ways that you help consultants and then we can kind of dive into some of those areas?
M Zipursky: Yeah, for sure. So there’s really two groups of consultants that we help. The first are those that have been consulting for quite some time. They’ve typically got to where they are in their business through referrals and introductions and, you know, their own network. And so they’re very good at helping their clients. They’ve generated some pretty significant revenue. But now they’re stuck because they’re not sure how to continue growing or how to grow in an efficient and effective way.
And so for a consultant at that stage we’re really helping them to look at how to refine their offering so that they can deliver in a more efficient and effective manner. How they can scale without overwhelm and really start to build what we call a Marketing Engine in their practice that allows them to generate a lot more leads consistently so they can still continue to enjoy business that comes through referrals or introductions. But they also don’t have to rely on that. And so they know exactly what they need to do go out and start to generate more conversations with qualified buyers.
The second group are those who have deep experience and expertise in a certain … You know, in their subject matter, whatever that may be. And they’ve typically come from the corporate world where they’ve applied that experience. But now they’ve decided to go off on their own and they want to become consultants. But they don’t want to go through trial and error. They don’t want to spin their wheels and kind of try and figure it out all themselves. They’re looking for applying for guidance for actionable steps that they can take. And so we really help them to move through a four-stage process that we’ve developed now and working with hundreds of consultants all around the world. Really helping them to add six and even seven figures to their annual revenues.
And so we help them to first look at who their ideal client is … We call this Ideal Client Clarity … So that they are very clear on that. Then next is really developing what we all the Magnetic Message. And that’s the message that will get the attention and interest of their ideal clients. And then it’s really about their offering. So what we call Strategic Offers as well as ROI Positioning, so looking at how they can best package, position, place a value on, and price their expertise.
And finally is the Marketing Engine again. And so that is the piece that allows them to start generating a lot more conversations. And doing it in a way that feels comfortable even for those who don’t have any sales experience or marketing experience or for those who consider themselves to be introverts regardless of where they’re coming from and how technical they are or not. The process can work for anyone as long as they really do have expertise and can add value for their clients.
Will Bachman: Fantastic. So … Boy. And what you described certainly is … Really resonates. I know, you know, quite a few people who slip in that first category of successful consultants. They know how to deliver value, relying on referrals, and then, how do you generate leads for new projects? Let’s talk about that piece a little bit. So, talk to me about how you help experienced consultants build up a Marketing Engine to generate leads. And maybe first even start talking about to generate leads or just kind of give me the overview of the whole … That whole Marketing Engine.
M Zipursky: Well, the first step is really to look at where they are kind of in the marketing maturity model. For certain people, they’re going to see better results for their business by focusing on a specific type of marketing. And for others, they’re going to focus on another area. So I’ll be more specific. If someone is very early stage in their marketing, then spending the time on longer term activities. For example, like authority building or thought leadership, writing a book, going out and writing articles, you know, on your site and so forth. These are things that can have a really great impact on your business. But they take time.
And so if your number one priority right now is to start getting business in the door and generating more leads, you’re gonna have to wait in many cases months if not even a year to see the results from the authority building activities. However, if you want to generate leads right now you could go out and you could take a more outreach approach. Where you get very, very targeted around who your ideal client is. And then you find out where they are. You go to them and you start to engage in a conversation by having the right messaging that will get their attention and their interest. And then you’re able to start to build relationships.
Now, if you flip that and we say, “Well, actually someone is in the position where they already have quite a few leads coming in” … And so they’re not feeling the pressure to generate more business at this exact moment, but they realize they can see like the end in sight. They can see their well of business is gonna start drying up if they don’t feed it with more … You know, put more wood onto the fire. Well, someone further along in that kind of maturity model would be very well-served by looking at authority building opportunities. Whether that is writing a book, or writing articles for different publications, or speaking at different venues, or getting webinar type of opportunities.
So there’s many different marketing tactics. But the key is not just the tactic itself. The key is figuring out where are you in that maturity model right now and what is gonna be the right type of marketing for your specific situation that lends itself well to your skill set, to what you’re comfortable with. But also what’s gonna work best for the type of client that you’re going after.
Will Bachman: Great. Well, let’s talk about the outreach approach. So, you know, certainly there’s probably … I don’t know if you divide that up into the kind of people that you already know and people that you don’t already know or … Talk to us about the outreach approach. If you were sitting down with a client, you know, a consultant who wants to start generating business and more in the short term. And they do know people, but how do you get the word out to them? Or how do you approach new people? Talk me through how that part works.
M Zipursky: Yeah, that’s a really great question. And the big challenge a lot of people have at this stage is that they hesitate to go out to the marketplace. And even if they know people, they hesitate to go to those people. And the most common reason that they’re hesitating is because they don’t actually feel clear on what it is that they’re offering to that market or what to say to that marketplace. So the place to begin is to get crystal clear around, who really is your ideal client? What are you offering them? What are the problems that they have? The goals that they are actively looking for help with or a solution to? And then making sure that you have messaging that will get their attention and interest.
Because when you feel very clear around who your ideal client is and you have messaging that you believe will get their attention, you have a solution to the problem they’re likely facing … That gives you as a consultant a lot more confidence to go out and have conversations with people. But if you lack that, you’re gonna find every possible reason not to go out to people. Because you don’t feel confident about what you’re really offering. And I see this very often with consultants who hesitate to take action because they feel like, “Oh, I don’t want to ruin that opportunity. If I reach out to someone, what happens if they don’t like what I have? Or what if I say the wrong thing? What if my messaging isn’t right or my website isn’t up-to-date?”
And so to create all these kinds of reasons not to take that action. But in fact, taking that action is what will give you the most feedback. You know, you can’t get that kind of feedback just by working by yourself and sitting in your office thinking about what works best. You have to actually go out to the marketplace. So-
Will Bachman: Pondering deep thoughts in your study, right? So how-
M Zipursky: Exactly, right? Yeah, it’s … Go ahead.
Will Bachman: Yeah. And how do you counsel people to get that kind of clarity on what their offering should be? And have those conversations?
M Zipursky: Yeah, another great question. So this is all about the process, right? I mean, I’ll try and cram in as much as we can into the time that we have here. But it starts off, again, by getting clear on who your ideal client is and really understanding what are the most common challenges that they’re having. If you already know that, because you’ve been consulting for some time, then you’re able to move to the next stage of really developing an offering that will resonate with them.
So as an example, a lot of consultants who are at those later stages and have already been doing business for a while and have a pretty good understanding of what challenges their clients in the marketplace faces, one issue that they often have is that they are trying to sell large projects right off the bat. And they face a lot of resistance with that. So in making an initial conversation much easier, one thing that can be done is to create a discovery offering. A lower priced offering that can help you to get your foot in the door.
But for someone who is earlier stage, then they may not yet be very clear around what the real challenges are that the marketplace is having or the ideal client. And so for them, they should really be focused on validating their hypothesis. They should be focused on creating conversations with prospective clients or other influencers or people that are connected to the marketplace to really understand what is the market wanting right now. Or where is the biggest problem? Where is that kind of bleeding neck right now that they can go in and help?
Because one thing, when they have some conversations around that, that’ll give them a lot more clarity. And with that, they’re then able to go out and say, “Okay, well, I’ve heard from many people right now. They’re all having issues with this type of situation. I think I can help them to solve it. Here’s how I think I can help them to solve it.” And that now gives them a lot more confidence to go right back to those same people and say, “Hey, you know what? Thank you again for speaking with me last week sharing kind of what you’re going through. I was giving some thought to that and realized that this is really what I’ve been helping a lot of organizations with in the past. Would it be helpful for you to have ‘fill in the blank’?”
And so it’s very conversational. It’s very natural. The perspective buyer at that stage will likely say, “Yeah, that would be really great if we had that.” Because you’re just offering them exactly what they just told you they’re looking for. And now that creates the opportunity for you to have a much more meaningful and deep conversation around what that would actually look like and how you can best serve them and how you can create value for them.
Will Bachman: Yeah. So how specifically do you suggest reaching out to … You know, let’s start with people that you already know. So, there’s one school of thought that says, “You don’t want to just call someone up that you know and say, ‘Hey, I do this service. I have this solution. Do you have this problem? Let me help you.’” It feels very transactional. And kind of cautions against that. And suggests more just like keeping in touch with your network and checking in and saying, “Hey, how things are going? What’s new with you?”
So let’s take a look at the case of someone that you know, maybe that you served a long time ago in some other consulting firm or you knew them in business school or whatever. So someone that you know, they’re not your closest friend, but, you know, you’re friendly with them. It’s a weak tie. How would you suggest … Like, what words would you say … Do you suggest to your … To the consultants that you’re coaching … Reach out by email? Make a phone call? And if it’s an email, what would you say? If it’s a phone call, like, what would you say?
M Zipursky: Yeah. So let’s assume that the consultant already has clarity around what their offer is and how they want to assist the marketplace, or the value that they’re going to add. It’s gonna really depend on-
Will Bachman: Give us an example. Like … Give us-
M Zipursky: Sure.
Will Bachman: Give us … It doesn’t have to be one of your consultants that you serve, but make it specific.
M Zipursky: Definitely. I mean, I was speaking with a client yesterday who actually was in the exact same situation. She has many people in her network who really would go to bat for her. But she never reached out to them. And she’s been in business for about 11 years. And I said, “Well, why haven’t you gone back to these people?” She said, “Well, ’cause I’m not really sure exactly what to say to them.” So we talked about that for a little while. And once we got clear on what she was really offering, what her messaging really should be, the steps that I recommended to her is simply to first send an email to those people.
And, I mean, she can call them up directly. But these days, it’s hard to get people to just pick up the phone. Everyone’s busy. But the goal is to send an email. Not to make a pitch in the email, but really to use the email to get on a phone call or to have an in person conversation. Because these days so many people hide behind email and hope that it’s going to create, you know, results for them. But we’re in a relationship-based business. And so part of that relationship is not one way through email, it’s in a conversation. So use email or use text messaging or whatever you need to get into a conversation. Whether that’s in person or on the phone.
And then in that conversation, if you have a good relationship with that person that you’re speaking with, then simply let them know. Say, “Hey, you know, I really enjoyed working together at this place”, or whatever it was, “Right now really what I realize is I want to work with people like this. And this is where I have the greatest expertise. Are you working on any projects like that right now? Or do you know any other let’s say CFOs in organizations locally that I should speak with?” Because if you have a very good relationship with someone, they’re gonna want to help you. I mean, people, we like to help other people. And especially people that we know and that we like.
But if you don’t tell them what it is that you’re looking for, it’s going to be very challenging for them to make referrals or recommendations for you on who to speak with. And they may themselves not yet actually be thinking that you are open to helping them ’cause they might think that you’re just busy. So the first think … And it’s really important ’cause it’s the low-hanging fruit … Is to let those you’re connected to, that you have a good relationship with, know what it is that you’re doing and what kind of business you’re looking for.
For those people that you don’t have as good of a relationship with, well then, you can’t make that same kind of ask because that would be too direct, too uncomfortable. And as you mentioned, as well, it comes across as being transactional. No one wants that. No one likes that sales-y type of approach. So with that, you need to transition more to actually engaging in a conversation. To find … First build rapport. Ask some questions to understand what they’re working on right now, what their challenges are, what are their goals are, what their mandates are. And share valuable information with them, either that you’ve created or that you’ve found. And use that as a springboard to go deeper into a conversation around how you may be able to help them or whether there’s someone else in their organization that you may be able to help.
But you don’t want to go straight into, “Hey, nice to meet you. I know that we met at that event two months ago. Here’s what I do. Can I help you?” Like, no one feels comfortable with that. But if you first engage in a much more meaningful conversation around, “Hey, it was really great meeting you at that conference two months ago. When we spoke briefly then, you know, you shared that this was what you were working on. How’s that going? Are you still dealing with some of those challenges? Or what are they challenges right now? What’s your big mandate for this year?” That can then lead, as you’re asking these questions, to identifying opportunities of how you can best help them. Does that make sense?
Will Bachman: Yeah. No, that’s helpful. So, look, what … When you say you suggest to your client that she send an email to try to get a conversation, like, what do you actually put in that email? Is it just like, “Hey, I’d love to catch up”? Or is it more like, “Hey, I’m now doing consulting and I’m focusing on this area. Would you have ten minutes to speak with me about this?” Or, “I’d love to get your help introducing to some people and I can tell you what I’m working on”? So how would you phrase that email outreach?
M Zipursky: Yeah. So it’s a good question. And again, it depends on, what is your relationship with that person? If you’re emailing someone who, again, you have a good relationship with, you don’t need to explain very much in that email. And especially in the case of this client, the people that she’s gonna be reaching out to are very busy, you know, chairmen or CEOs or executives. They don’t want to read a long email. So she can be very direct and to the point and say, “Hi, first name, I’d love to catch up with you, just kind of hear what you’re working on. So I’ll share a few interesting new developments in my world. Do you have 10 minutes later this week?” Right? Or, “On this specific date.” That’s all that she needs to say. Because it’s easy, it’s to the point.
If you don’t have that level of relationship where the person you’re emailing is gonna likely say yes, then you need to preface it with a little bit more information. You need to, you know, give them a reason to get on the call with you. But you don’t want to start selling. You don’t want to start trying to explain too much, which is one of the mistakes a lot of people make. Because if you do that in an email, it might be misunderstood or seen in a way that you actually aren’t trying to explain. So the number one goal is to get on a call or to have an in person meeting. It’s not to explain a lot of detail and to try to make your case through the email.
Will Bachman: Okay, cool. So you suggest … You recommend making these calls. What about … Do you suggest only calls to people that you know? Or do you also recommend people making kind of outbound cold outreach to people that they don’t know?
M Zipursky: Yeah. So I’m not a big believer for … In most consultants making outbound cold calls. But as part of your relationship building process, when you’re building up your Marketing Engine, you don’t make phone calls. Because you will have already connected with, had a little bit of a conversation maybe through LinkedIn or through email. You’ve already been providing value to that person before hand. So when you do get on a call, it’s a warm call. It’s not a cold call, because they know who you are and hopefully you’ve already provided some value or some insights in the conversation before you actually jump on a phone call.
Will Bachman: Okay, cool. So you recommend all these calls. Is there a CRM system that you recommend people use? Or how do you suggest people, that your clients, keep track all of this activity?
M Zipursky: Yeah. So it’s … You know, there’s no one CRM. This is a common question that people ask. It’s like, “What CRM should I use?” And there’s so many out there. And there’s new ones coming out every single day. The main thing is to have a system that allows you to keep track your pipeline, right? And ideally, visually. So you can actually see, you know, “Here is the lead call. And here is the conversation call. And here is the proposal call.” And so on and so forth. And so you can visually see who is in each call.
And that’s really important because when you look at your pipeline, it gives you an indication of where the opportunities are and also where you need to attend and kind of spend more time. If you don’t see enough in your lead call and that gives you a really good indication that you need to spend more time generating more leads or kind of adding, again, more wood to that fire. If you see a lot of opportunities that are stuck at a conversation call, then that tells you that you need to focus on moving people from conversation to proposal. Or if you have a lot in proposal but not in the win or loss column, that tells you that something is going on where you’re not doing followup or you’re not moving people as quickly as you should from proposal to that next stage of making a decision.
So having a system … Whether it’s HubSpot CRM or using Salesforce or Pipedrive or whatever else out there, the visual pipeline is so key because in just a quick glance, you can log on … Line, you know, in the morning, and just know where you are and where you should be spending your time that day.
Will Bachman: Cool. Alright, great. In terms … Is there anything else on the kind of outreach approach that you think it’s important to share?
M Zipursky: Well, yeah. So, I mean, you brought up making phone calls, which I’m glad that you did because I think that’s an area that a lot of people are uncomfortable with. But the phone calls are really important at certain stages. If we look at, you know, the overall Marketing Engine approach, it’s really about identifying your ideal clients. It’s about connecting with them. And then starting to have conversations where you’re building rapport and you’re adding value. And really what you’re is you’re building a relationship with people. And the more value that you can provide, the more likely it is that you’re going to have relationships that are really meaningful.
And within any marketplace when you reach out to people … Right? … The majority of that market is not gonna be ready to buy right now. But if you’re doing outreach consistently and you’re using … ‘Cause it’s Marketing Engine, there are ways to kind of leverage this with some automation and tools to make the process much more efficient. You’re going to identify some people that are actually ready to buy much faster. But again, the majority won’t be. And so it’s really critical that you take the mindset of building these relationships for the long-term.
And coming back to your point on the CRM, it’s so important that you have a way to consistently track and follow up with people. Because, again, people won’t buy right away in most cases, but they might buy in a few weeks or a few months or even a few years. But as you’re layering on and you’re doing this consistently throughout the week, you’re gonna see that this compounds.
And so you’re gonna have more and more people who will start raising their hand at different points in the pipeline. And so what you will start having as you get this going is people, you know, raising their hands for example next week. But maybe they came into your pipeline several months ago. So the sooner that you get this started and the more that you work it, the more benefit you’re gonna actually see from it.
Will Bachman: Awesome. Okay, cool. You mentioned if you’re using the right tools. Like, what are some of the various digital tools, software, platforms, websites … Like, what are some of the ones that you often see people using or that you recommend?
M Zipursky: So a big one is LinkedIn, right? So if you’re not using … LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a really great tool to help to identify ideal clients. There’s a lot of different tools out there right now that help you to automate some of your outreach in LinkedIn. So I would certainly look at those depending on what you’re doing. There’s also other tools-
Will Bachman: I’m sorry. What kind of tools can help with that? You said automate your outreach?
M Zipursky: Yeah, so there’s tools that connect with LinkedIn. And again, you need to look at where you’re located in the world. Because in some … Everything that I’m sharing with you here certainly will depend on what laws are in your country and so forth. Like, when it comes to email with GDPR and in Canada there’s also certain that laws that, you know, do not allow you to just send kind of cold emails to people unless you have their permission. And I’m not a lawyer, I’m not giving legal advice here, just to be clear.
But in terms of LinkedIn, there are different tools that will allow you, for example, to send connection requests to multiple people. All done as if it’s kind of done manually, but it’s through automation. And also will allow you to send messages to multiple people but in a way where it really does appear to be personalized. So there’s tools like that for LinkedIn. And the same way, there’s tools like that for email. Mailshake is one. Reply TO IO is one. That allow you to send emails through your own actual email account, but personalized. So you can customize the person’s name.
It’s the same way as if you’re using something like Infusionsoft or Ontraport or Mailchimp or AWeber, but it’s not a broadcast. There’s no unsubscribe link. You’re not blasting out the same message to thousands of people or hundreds of people at once. You can say, “Okay, here’s 50 ideal clients. I want to send a follow-up email to these people.” You can even set it in a sequence. But you can customize it so it really is one-to-one. ‘Cause it’s going through your own email server. They’re using the same template, just with some variables in there.
So there’s tools like this that once set up as part of your Marketing Engine, allow you to really run much more efficiently. HubSpot CRM and Sales also allows you to do this among other CRM types of tools.
Will Bachman: Okay. So tools that you mention are Mailshake, Reply To IO-
M Zipursky: Oh, Reply.IO.
Will Bachman: Reply.IO. Infusionsoft, HubSpot. What were some of the other ones?
M Zipursky: Ontraport … These are just … I mean, these aren’t ones that necessarily I’m recommending for consultants to use. But just in terms of if people are using those, they kind of get sense, right? Mailchimp or Infusionsoft can do a lot more, but if you think about Mailchimp as an example, right? People send newsletters through that. Reply.Io and Mailshake allow you to do something very similar in terms of automation, but it’s more one-to-one.
You’re able to send an email … Whether it’s to 10 people or 50 people or 500 people with one click. But that email gets personalized to those people. And each email’s actually going through your own email account or your email server. And so it’s not a broadcast. It really is like a one-to-one, but you’re just using automation to make it a lot more efficient.
Will Bachman: Awesome. Alright, that’s fantastic. And so useful, thanks. Let’s talk a little bit on the thought leadership side. You know, what do you see … I mean, it’s probably easy to spend a huge amount of effort on the thought leadership stuff and get zero results.
M Zipursky: Yeah, sure.
Will Bachman: You have helped a lot of people think through it. I mean, you could like spend a couple of years writing a book. And then, you know, who reads it? What have you seen as some of the most successful approaches to doing the thought leadership to build credibility? And then actually to generate leads and real business from that?
M Zipursky: Yeah, I’ll give you a quick little case study here or example from a client who was writing articles on his blog for well over a year. I think he was 18 to almost 24 months into this. Following what all the quote unquote “gurus” were telling him about posting content consistently and writing with SEO in mind. And, you know, he was looking at his metrics. He was getting a bigger following. His list was growing. His traffic to his website was increasing. Everything … All these metrics that people were telling him were important were going in the right direction. But the problem was, his business wasn’t growing and he wasn’t getting any more leads from it.
And so we kind of did a little bit of an audit into what was going on. And very quickly realized that, yes, although he had a lot of this content and this thought leadership materials and yes he had a bigger following, he was missing one of the most critical elements. Which is a really clear and strong and compelling call to action. So that’s what we worked on. We worked on his messaging. We worked on making sure that every message that he put out there gave people a reason to get in touch with him. Where he would invite them to have a conversation. The first time he did this he got seven inquiries. The next time he did it he got five inquiries. The next time after that he got six inquiries.
And so every time that he sends out a message now to his audience, for example through his email, he gets inquiries which turn into business. And so now he’s created this asset where he’s able to have consistent lead flow. We had another client with a very large website generating tens of thousands of visitors every single month but wasn’t getting leads from it. So, yes, they were doing thought leadership, they were doing content. You know, this idea that you put out good quality content people will come to you … Yes, people are coming to them to read and consume that information, but they weren’t taking that next step to reaching out to become a client.
And so we did the same process there to look at, “How can we create a message that would be much more compelling?”
Will Bachman: Like, what’s an example of like a call to action? So what kind of thing would the person say?
M Zipursky: Yeah. I love how you’re asking these very specific, detailed questions. So I appreciate that, so I can then try and provide more value for everyone listening here. So as an example, it might be … You start out by asking a question. So let’s say that you’re talking about helping someone in healthcare, right? Around their technology. So you could ask them, “Are you facing this specific issue in your organization?” Or, “Do you want ‘fill in the blank’ whatever the result is?” Right? That would be kind of at the end of your content piece.
And then after that question, then you invite them. You say, “Well, if you are dealing “fill in the blank’ dealing with this issue and would like to ‘fill in the blank’ of what the result is that they would like to get from solving that issue, then get in touch.” Or, “Then request ‘fill in the blank.’” Give a name to what this conversation is. Don’t just call it a consultation or strategy call, although that’s better than a consultation. You know, you can bright up and give it a name like a healthcare technology audit. Or a healthcare technology strategy discussion. Or diagnostic. Or whatever you want. You know, give it some name so there’s a higher perception of value.
And then let them know. “On this call, on this one-to-one call or on this call you’ll speak directly with the CEO or whoever it is where we will look at or discuss or help you to identify.” Right? So what is the value? What is the reason for them to get onto this call or to request this call? And so the key thing here, where you’re not selling your services, you’re not talking about an engagement. You’re talking about what value this prospective buyer will get from this conversation. And why they should request this conversation. And then you let them know that it’s free. There’s no cost, right? It’s complimentary.
But it is … You know, you have kind of limited availability, because obviously you have a busy schedule. You’re working with existing clients. So you can say it’s on a first come, first served basis or whatever it might be. And then let them know how to get in touch with you. So here’s … You know, click to fill in a form or simply hit reply or send emails to this address or pick up the phone and call this specific person. Whatever it might be. And so you make it very easy for them to reach out to you.
So from a high level, that is the formula to put this type of call to action together. And it works very, very consistently.
Will Bachman: And that would be something that you’d put sort of at the end of a blog post or if you were publishing an article somewhere-
M Zipursky: End of an email newsletter, exactly. Yeah.
Will Bachman: Alright. Cool. So I love the branded conversation. It’s not just, “Let’s have a call.” It’s, “Let’s have a health technology gold-level audit.”
M Zipursky: Yeah, you don’t want to layer it on too much and make it sound just ridiculous. But certainly I think everyone who’s listening can understand that when you shift something from … And our language is so important, especially when we’re positioning ourselves as consultants and experts. If you just talk about something, “Yeah, here’s a consultation.” Or, “Here’s a healthcare technology audit.” Which of those two sounds more valuable? A consultation or a healthcare technology audit? Clearly the second one. So our language is so critical.
Will Bachman: Yeah. Sounds like something very official behind it, like I have a checklist and we’re gonna go through and give you a report at the end, right? Very cool. So, okay. So having the call to action then is key on the thought leadership. So you can’t just put thought leadership out there. Having a call to action. And do you see much differentiation or … You know, or difference levels of success of people trying to either go give speeches somewhere or publishing written stuff on LinkedIn or on their own blog? Do you have recommendations on what some of the things are that work best?
M Zipursky: So that’s a great question. The answer’s that none of them necessarily work best. They’re all very good. I mean, if you asked a coach for speakers, they’ll tell you that speaking is the best. If you ask someone that works helping people to write content, they’ll tell that’s the best. If you talked to someone who’s an expert in videos, they’ll you that videos are the best. The reality is that they’re all very good. The key thing is to understand, what is the best way to get in front of your specific marketplace? And what is your strengths and skill set? So for one person, if they are really good at writing but speaking just freaks them out, then as long as they can reach their ideal clients through writing, then that’s gonna be a really effective and great channel for them.
We see consultants who do fantastically well through speaking opportunities. And a lot of their business and leads comes from that. Others, we have clients who just write exclusively. And they write kind of proficiently. That’s a skill they have and they do it in many different publications and that generates a lot of awareness and visibility and leads and inquiries for them. So it isn’t just one, it’s about finding the right format or channel for … To reach your ideal clients and also that you’re comfortable in.
Because the reality of all of this is -it’s not a one-hit solution. It’s not just a one-time thing. When you’re thinking about thought leadership, you’re thinking about content development, you’re thinking about creating valuable pieces and materials, you want to go into that with a mindset that this is going to be long-term. And so if you do something or choose a path that you don’t like or you’re gonna fight, it’s gonna be a really tough battle. And you’re probably not gonna win because you’re gonna give up.
So figure out where can you best … You know, what channel and method can you use to reach your ideal clients? And then one that is also to your strong … Your skill set or that you can learn to enjoy.
Will Bachman: Alright. So let’s take a minute here and do a couple of things. ‘Cause I know that your … Our time here is limited. First thing is I wanted to mention before we … Before I forget … What is the best way for people to contact you? Find you online? I don’t know if you want to give a website or an email address or … You know, what’s the best way for people to find you, Michael?
M Zipursky: Sure. The best way is just to go to consultingsuccess.com. Plenty of resources there. And I think when you go to consultingsuccess.com you’ll able to also find me on LinkedIn or any other channels that you’d like to. And I’d be more than happy to hear from you and to connect and to help in any way that I can.
Will Bachman: Alright. Oh, come on, Michael. I mean, I need something gold plated here. What is the call to action? So lay it on us. What’s your call to action here? What is the consulting marketing audit that you’re going to provide? Put you on the spot.
M Zipursky: Well, sure. Yeah. So it depends on whether or not there’s a fit. I mean … So if someone wants to, at consultingsuccess.com, if they’re looking for help to grow their consulting business, we have a few different ways that we provide that. If you’re looking for some coaching support, we have what we call the Clarity Coaching Program. A lot of information on that page. So if you go to consultingsuccess.com, click on Coaching, you’ll see the Clarity Coaching Program there. If you feel that is of interest to you, you’re more than welcome to reach out. We do offer a conversation around that. There’s … It’s branded up, so you can kind of see what that’s all about and kind of live and in action on that page as a case study.
But we also have a lot of free materials. We have a 51-page Consulting Blueprint that you can put your email address in for and you’ll receive that right away. As well as some other webinars and kind of online presentations that go into some more detail here around the four steps and the process that we use when we help clients grow their consulting businesses.
Will Bachman: Fantastic. So … And I know I have right here in my hands your book, The Elite Consulting Mind, which came out last year. You have another book coming out this fall, right? Wanna tell us about that?
M Zipursky: That’s correct, yeah. So the upcoming book is called Consulting Success, which is the name of our company and brand and our website. And it’s really a guide for consultants are at the earlier stages, but really want to make sure that they get their business set up the right way, they run it the right way, and are able to grow it. So it takes people through step by step what they need to do to really start, run, and grow a successful consulting business.
Will Bachman: Awesome. So Michael, you are truly role modeling yourself. The … You know, what you preach, I mean, your content creation is very impressive. And the Consulting Blueprint that you have, very cool idea. And to have that out, so check that out, consultingsuccess.com.
I wanted to … You know, thanks for being on the show. This was a great conversation. Gave me some great ideas myself. I’m gonna go check out some of these programs that you mentioned. Really wanted to thank you for joining us today.
M Zipursky: Hey, Will, been my pleasure. Thank you so much.

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