Is This a Good Time for Consulting?

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

A logical question which leads consultants to other questions like these:

  • Are we in a continuing recovery or are we still just limping along, having pulled ourselves out of the worst economic decline in modern times?
  • Are the new jobs being created the kinds of jobs that a real recovery should produce?
  • What impact does this really have on opportunities for consulting?
Right time for consulting

Which way is the economy heading?

 

Consulting realities in a down economy

In a down economy, businesses tend to cut back. Managements are hesitant to add expensive staff for the long term. Instead, they turn to contract employees to meet immediate needs.

This short-term perspective  opens opportunities for people with specialized skills and problem-solving capabilities. Established consultants – especially those serving the small business (under 500 employees) and mid-sized companies are likely to find many opportunities.

Consulting realities in an up economy

Conversely, in a booming economy, companies are pressed by competition and scarcity of available candidates to fill specialized employment needs. This also creates opportunities for consulting.

Are there any bad times for consulting?

Probably, and certainly when viewed from an international perspective. But at any given time, your opportunities will be determined by the specialized skills and experience you have to offer, who needs them and where are they located.

But there’s one other factor that will decide how effectively you are able to take advantage of these opportunities.

Opportunities depend on marketing skills

For the most part, there are always likely to be opportunities for the qualified consultant who does a professional job of marketing for his or her services.

Next to your skill set, your marketing skills are the major factor in determining your success in identifying, locating and attracting clients. We continue to explore various strategies, tactics and marketing scenarios that can produce consulting client opportunities.

By way of a “preview,” here are some of the critical marketing activities we recommend for beginning and seasoned consultants alike . . .

Website – Your website is the central focus of your communication in the world of business. It must answer all the questions a prospective client needs answered (including, “Can I trust this person?”) – and help that client contact you. Just as all roads lead to Rome, all paths from your various activities should lead to your website. We’ve pulled together an entire workbook on setting up an effective website for the professional. Check it out here.

Professional Image – From a business card to appropriate stationery and a multi-function business telephone system, your interactions with people should convey the image you wish to project. Contrary to popular belief, a “brochure” may or may not be beneficial.

Writings – White papers, (i.e. position papers), articles in industry publications that can be reprinted and distributed in response to inquiries, published on your website, etc. are among the most valuable forms of “marketing collateral.” Depending on your writing skill, you may need to engage the services of one or more writers.

A Published Book – Establishing yourself as an authority by producing a book on the subject of your expertise can have an enormous impact on your marketing success.

Professional Networking – Possibly the single most effective way to reach the “hidden job market” (yes, the very same companies that have unpublished job openings) is through strategic networking. Unfortunately, too many people with otherwise excellent people skills make a number of mistakes in their networking activities that shut them out from receiving the true referral benefits of this activity. Are you making any of these mistakes? Our training guide and its workbook review these mistakes but more to the point, aim you in the right direction for getting those true referral benefits. Find out more about Professional Networking here.

Social Media – Among the most interesting ways to get yourself in front of potential buyers is to participate selectively in appropriate social media. LinkedIn, for example, is almost certainly an appropriate medium for you; both your profile and your activity in targeted groups can add real fuel to your efforts. Twitter may also a likely candidate. Facebook or Instagram may or may not fit your plans.

Public Speaking – In front of the right audience, presenting is a superior way to generate inquiries about and for your services. But don’t be fooled. Just getting in front of an audience is only the beginning. Knowing how to present yourself and your subject as well as how to strategically withhold information (to provoke inquiries), etc. are techniques you must learn to use properly. Otherwise, the speech is a waste of time at best and can even harm your image. At The Marketing Machine® Group you’ll also find a course on giving powerful presentations.

Are there other ways to market your services? Absolutely there are, including operational tools and practice management activities such as the proposal, pricing, method of reporting results, etc. We cover these and other aspects of Marketing Your Consulting Services in our articles and training materials. You’ll see more on items from this list because we think they must be given priority.

(Have a marketing topic you’re particularly interested in? Let us know and we’ll add it to our list and share what we know!)

Joseph Krueger
The Marketing Machine®

Interested in getting started right now? Ready to pick and choose from proven training materials? Take a look at TheMarketingMachineGroup.com. There you’ll find a collection of courses in three categories: Marketing Toolkit, Professional Skills and Start-up.

 

Referral Regrets

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

“Gee, I never realized you do that!”

How many times have you heard that? If you have EVER heard it, I trust you flinched – and recognized immediately that you haven’t been doing a very good job of marketing!

Regret If you stop to think a bit more, you’ll also realize that whoever said this has been unable, all this time, to make a good referral on your behalf. OK, if it was your mother-in-law, maybe it’s not so serious.

But if a client or business associate says it, then you have really missed out!

Time to revisit your referral strategy to avoid any (more) referral regrets.

We’ve said it before. People like to do business with people they like and trust. The same holds true for referrals.

People like to make referrals for people they like and who they know will appreciate it.

How does a potential referrer know you will appreciate the referral? Only if he’s confident it’s a good fit. This means the potential referrer needs to know a lot about you.

The referrer needs to know you WANT referrals.

Do you make it clear to your network when you are looking for referrals? It can be something as simple as saying, “I’ve got room for two more clients and I’m looking for the right ones.” This should lead to the follow-up question, “Oh, what kind of clients are you looking for?” and then the conversation can continue.

The referrer needs to know exactly what kind of referral you want.

You may be looking for clients, as described above. But maybe you’re looking for a new attorney who specializes in intellectual property. Maybe you need a referral to a real estate professional who specializes in leased office space. Maybe you are looking for the right person to plan and facilitate your upcoming company retreat. The more detail you can provide, the easier it will be for your referrer to help.

The referrer needs to know exactly HOW to make the referral.

Your being handed a business card with name and phone number is not really a referral. An effective referral is a personal introduction, where the referrer uses his or her own authority and relationship to pave the way for you.

If your referrer doesn’t have a personal relationship with the prospect – again, this may not be a real referral. Before you promise to “follow up,” make sure that your referrer has the appropriate status and commitment in the midst of the transaction.

Not a fit?

If, for any reason, the referral doesn’t really fit your needs, you can decline to use it. Make sure your referrer understands why – timing not right, different focus, potential conflict with other clients, etc. In that conversation, you’ll have the opportunity to give your referrer even more information about what you do, so he’ll continue to be a potential source.

For sure, you’ll never hear again from that person, “Gee, I didn’t know you did that!”

Virginia Nicols
The Marketing Machine®

 

Any of this hit home? If so, you may want to check out  this post:

http://consultantsmarketingmachine.com/hate-networking

And if you’re interested in a full-on review of referral strategies, check out this material at The Marketing Machine Group:

http://themarketingmachinegroup.com/downloads/dynamic-referral-system/

 

Building Your Own Website Safely and Smoothly

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Five things I have learned over the past few years.

I wish I had learned them earlier!

Build Website Safely So much has been written about building your own website that I hesitate to add to the collection. But if you’re a marketer today, you must have a website (if not more than one) and that means either you build it yourself, or you hire someone else to do the job. The goal, of course, is to have that building process go smoothly, with as few interruptions as possible.

The headline above tells you I’m a relative beginner. Certainly, most of the people I work with have been doing business online for years and years. (That usually translates to something like 12 years, at the most!) What I have discovered, though, is that these “experts” have to keep changing their websites, too – simply because the whole online world keeps shifting and developing!

So, don’t feel intimidated about being a “newbie,” since a lot of people are in that same boat with you. Here is some of what I have discovered about building a website. I hope you’ll find it instructive. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

1. Start with WordPress.

Even a few years ago, there seemed to be a number of competing platforms for websites. These days, the leader, and growing bigger every day, is WordPress. Don’t waste any more time deciding — start with WordPress (.org, not .com), where you’ll get the most training, the most enhancements, the most support. And WordPress is free.

2. Invest in paid instruction.

You can get hours and hours of free online WordPress training – articles, illustrations, videos. The problem with free assistance? Time! You may spend hours, even days, searching for the answer to your simple question, and even then, it may not work because the source you’re using was created 18 months ago and is now completely outdated. Buy a course. Depending on what is included, you may pay from $50 to $350 for it. See if you can find one that has a private Facebook user’s group affiliated with it. You’ll get answers to the things that are stumping you. (Groups are amazingly generous.) You may make some new friends, as I have. And you’ll have a place to come when you start looking for private “tech support,” a little later down the road.

3. Figure out what security plug-ins you need, and get them installed. From the get-go.

Several excellent security plug-ins are free, like Wordfence Security and iThemesSecurity. You need one or more. Understand the settings. (Unfortunately, they are complicated for the uninitiated.) Run the scans. Don’t think that because you’ve got “just a couple of pages up,” that you’re immune from hackers. Opening your web page and seeing a message like the red one above is a terrible way to start a day!

4. Back up your work.

As you build your website, back up, back up, back up. In three different places: on your computer, on an external drive, in the cloud. Again, there are free and paid back-up programs. Your Facebook user’s group or your website course leader will be able to suggest which is best for you.

5. Keep everything up to date.

Hackers and scam artists and whatever other bad people are out there focus on WordPress, just because it IS so popular. And every time WordPress updates, all the ancillary programs and plug-ins that connect to it have to be sure they still work. I update something every single week. I’ve even had to make a chart with my sites down the left column, and check every update off as I complete it, otherwise I can’t keep track. (There are programs that let you update everything from one place.)

What happened to me.

Four years ago I started building my own website following suggestions 1 and 2 above. I got to the rest of them as I got hacked, locked out of my own sites, and repeatedly warned. When YOU start, see if you can start with all 5 of the above recommendations in mind and in place. The ride will be a lot smoother!

Virginia Nicols
The Marketing Machine®

 

From Accomplishments to Talents

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Accomplishments to TalentsBuilding your own Library of Accomplishments

When you’re doing any career planning, having a true Library of Accomplishments is a necessity. It takes a lot of effort to build your library, and then you find you have to keep updating it!

Once you have the Library, though, you can use it in so many ways.

Today, I want to write about one more way to use your Library. And that’s to take the next step with it to identify your Talents.

What’s the difference between Accomplishments and Talents?

Accomplishments are by their very nature historical. That is, they describe skills and abilities you demonstrated in the past. Talents, on the other hand, are enduring traits or characteristics that are part of who you are today. You’re likely to carry these forward into the future, no matter what skills you may be missing.

When people talk about “Going with your strengths,” they are talking about taking advantage of your Talents. Talents are usually listed as adjectives, for example: assertive, curious, inventive, materialistic, punctual, etc.

Talents are what make you unique.

If you are still deciding which direction to head in as far as your career is concerned, knowing what your talents are will be a big help in making that decision. If you are working on understanding the Unique Value Proposition of your consulting practice, you’ll be including your talents in that exercise, too.

How to use your Accomplishments to identify your Talents.

Obviously, the longer the list of Accomplishments, the more valid will be the results. Wait to do this exercise until you have at least 50 Accomplishments — don’t waste your time on it with only a handful.

1. Grab your list of Accomplishments. Beside each Accomplishment (verb)  write down the ONE Talent (adjective)  that was required for that success. (See the image above for an idea of how to lay it out.) For example:

  • Accomplishment: Revised audit procedures
  • Talent: Efficient

Another example:

  • Accomplishment:  Introduced new sales approach
  • Talent:  Persuasive

2. Now, go back and tally all the different talents you’ve noted. 

3. Rank all your talents, from most frequent to least. You may be surprised at what comes up most often! The Talents you have identified are what will help direct you and your business to the right market. These are what you can count on and build with!

Use your Talents to guide you.

As you review the options, research the character traits of other successful people in your industry or your position. Do your talents correspond to theirs?

Skills can always be learned, or outsourced. You are born with your Talents; they are the aptitudes that have always made work for you easy and productive.

Be sure your Talents are aligned for success in your business!

 

Virginia Nicols
The Marketing Machine®

P.S. This article assumes you are familiar with the concept of Accomplishments as they apply to building your resume as well as to building your business. We think an Accomplishments Library is foundational to career planning and business marketing. Here’s a link to the full discussion and to our course on the topic: Building Your Accomplishments Library.

 

 

Your Digital Brochure – Who will be responsible?

Monday, January 20th, 2014
Digital Brochure

Digital Brochure – Exactly what you want?

Setting Priorities for Digital Marketing Materials

If you’ve been in the business world for any length of time, you have been exposed to ever more digitally-delivered sales and marketing information.

Your previous company

In addition to the usual printed annual report, brochure, tech sheets, printed ads, etc., which of these online resources have your previous employers used to attract business?

  • Interactive website
  • Facebook company page
  • LinkedIn company page
  • Twitter account
  • Sales Videos
  • Weekly or monthly e-newsletter
  • Email promotions to in-house list

Your consulting business

As you build your consulting practice, which of the items on the list do YOU plan to use? And, most important, where do you start if you want to use several of them?

1. First on the list: LinkedIn

As we have discussed before, for a professional, a well-designed LinkedIn personal profile has to be first on your list. It serves as the introduction to your consulting “brochure.” Recent statistics show that 93% of employers are using it in their search for the right people to fill their job needs. And according to Hinge Marketing, 60% of potential professional service buyers check out their target company’s social media presence (including LinkedIn) before they decide to buy.

2. Second on the list: your professional website

Every professional needs a website to serve as a digital brochure. (It serves as far more, but it is definitely the first place any potential client will look for information about you and your services.)

There are so many options for getting a website in place!

  • You can interview and hire a website designer to build a site for you at the cost of anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000; the process may take a month or two.
  • You can get a discount website built over just a few days for as little as free!
  • You can build it yourself, if you have the time and inclination.

Whatever route you choose, be sure it satisfies your needs for YOUR consulting business. Questions to keep in mind:

  1. Will the site need frequent changes or updates?
  2. Will you want to be able to make those changes yourself?
  3. Where will you get the training you need if you want to make the changes?

How the website should be designed and laid out is worth more discussion — a lot more! Here’s a link to our full manual on building a professional services website. For today, be thinking about WHO is going to do it.

3. Third on the list: your email list

Of course you don’t intend to spam your prospects and/or clients with unwanted email! But email remains the most widespread method for personal business communications. The two key words in that last sentence: personal and business.

For your emails to be personal, you must have the right address and the right name for the recipient. Think of how many “fake” or pseudo emails you have created in the past! Your prospects and clients do the same thing.  Confirm their names, their addresses, and that they WANT to hear from you when you write.

Business emails need to be carefully formatted and managed. As your business grows, you will need an email “service provider” to help you keep your marketing lists separate and updated.  If you sign up for information from The Marketing Machine®, it will be delivered with the help of Aweber, one of the most popular email and autoresponder programs. Again, for more info on effective emails as a marketing necessity, check out Better eMail Copy.

Virginia Nicols
The Marketing Machine®

 

Marketing Classics: Two Years Old is Too Old

Monday, January 6th, 2014

I just came across this statement in the preface of a book published in 1986:

“Generally speaking, any book more than two years old is of questionable value. Books more than four or five years old are a menace.”

Marketing ClassicsNaturally, this caught my eye!

To be fair, the book in question was published by Nolo Press. Since Nolo specializes in taxes and legal issues, the warning is probably a good one.

(I published a book myself in 1991 on financial and tax planning. Five years later I got a request from the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, to reprint the book IN CHINESE. Well, for sure those Chinese readers were in for a treat of questionable value! But I digress . . .)

To get back to the book in question, however. It was on the topic of marketing, mostly direct marketing. In fact, it was on how to market without advertising (the name of the book, surprise! is Marketing Without Advertising, by Michael Phillips and Salli Rasberry) and it is filled with excellent observations, some great cartoons, and an easy-to-read discussion of building and implementing a marketing plan.

Yes, the references to “rolodex parties” are out-dated, but not the idea of getting friends or colleagues to share their contacts with you!

Marketing classics are just that: Classic!

The point of all this is that if you have access to some of the classic resources, whether in your own collection, at your local library or online, it is likely worth your while to track them down.

Yes, read them with an eye to what may no longer be applicable. But if they ARE business and marketing classics, the majority of the material is likely to be just as valuable as anything being written today. (And at the risk of sounding critical, I bet the majority of the material will be better written than what you’re finding today, too!)

Three of my favorite marketing resources.

The photo show three of the classics that I have used for years as resources. If you click on the links below you’ll go directly to an Amazon page where you can get full details. (Disclosure, we are Amazon affiliates and may receive a commission if you purchase through our link. It doesn’t impact the price you pay — but helps keep our website active!)

* Getting Business To Come to You, Edwards & Douglas. This is a 685 page reference manual of step-by-step processes, examples, checklists, action steps, charts and diagrams. Our copy is filled with bookmarks!

*  Shenson on Consulting: Success Strategies from the “Consultant’s Consultant.” Read and savor anything you can find from Howard L. Shenson. He’s one of our favorite masters.

* The Consultant’s Guide to Hidden Profits, Herman Holtz. Holtz is our second favorite master of consulting. This book has 101 boxed “insights” that are terrific; look for them. We have bookmarks in this book, too! (Holtz’s most well-known book: How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant.)

Good stuff is good. Use it, share it. Produce it yourself. Good stuff retains its value for years — and the very best gets even better!

The Marketing Machine®
Virginia Nicols

 

 

 

 

I hate networking!

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

I hate networkingDoes that sound like something you might say?

Sticking with this a little bit longer, here are a couple of other statements I’ve heard from consultants about networking. Are any of them familiar to you, too?

  • “I feel like I’m intruding on a conversation that’s already in progress.”
  • “What could I possibly say to the speaker that she hasn’t heard a million times before?”
  • “It’s nice to reconnect with old friends, but as for meeting new people – it just doesn’t seem to happen!”

Coming from someone who wants to build a consulting practice, these statements are bad news. Many consultants say they get the most of their business through referrals.

And they make those referral connections through networking.

Hating networking will get in the way of your building a successful practice. So, if you need to improve your attitude and/or your networking skills, keep reading!

What do these statements reveal?

Take a look at those statements above, and you’ll see that there’s one theme common to all three: a lack of purpose. The hapless networker isn’t sure what he has to offer, or why he’s even at the networking event. Naturally, he ends up drifting around the edges of the crowd or sticking with people he already knows. Either way, it’s a waste of time.

No wonder he hates networking!

How to change the dynamic?

Great networkers are made, not born. Like every other “champion,” they follow a training regime that over time gets them to the top of their game and keeps them there.

When it comes to networking, three of the key components of training include:

  1. Set a purpose and a goal for the networking event.
  2. Figure out who you intend to meet and prepare what to say.
  3. Make sure you come away from each conversation with an appropriate next step.

Of course, this short list is misleading. Networking skills don’t develop overnight. Even setting a goal isn’t something that just “happens.”

Following a step-by-step networking training course can set you up for success.

Professional Networking Guide miniIf you need to polish up rusty networking skills, or develop some new ones altogether (for example, that include taking advantage of social media!), read more about our Professional Networking Guide. It’s packed with “how-tos” for avoiding intimidation, starting up conversations, keeping from getting stuck – and ending the conversation in a way that continues the relationship.

We’ve drawn on years of our own consulting to put this together, and added new ideas from other professional networkers.  Get more details now.

The Marketing Machine®
Virginia Nicols

Holiday Season – A Good Time to Network?

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

If you’re new to consulting, and just starting to build your business, or even if you’ve been a consultant for a while and think your reputation is well established . . .

End of the year parties and get-togethers are made for professional marketers!

The big advantages of holiday season parties:

  • You don’t have to plan your own event.
  • You don’t have to compete to get attendees — they will already be there!

So what’s the catch?

People are at a holiday party to celebrate! They have not come with the idea of doing business.

If you miss the cues, you could make a big mistake.

Still, the holiday season is the biggest season for many businesses, so business — and money — won’t be that far from anybody’s mind.

Your job is simply to bring business into the conversation at an appropriate time.

Your networking plan should make it clear how.

  1. Identify who will be at the party that you want to meet.
  2. Do your homework about that person — what is going on in her company? What’s going on in her industry?
  3. Be prepared to pose an intelligent and useful question at the right moment, to begin that all-important dialog and relationship building.

If your purpose is networking, it is not to party. Don’t confuse the two.

Don’t stuff your face while trying to present yourself as a professional.  Ditto regarding overdoing alcoholic beverages.

Yes, networking at holiday parties can be tricky, but what a shame it would be to miss a great opportunity!

If you are serious about networking, consider getting your own copy of our Professional Networking Guide. Professional Networking Guide miniIt will set you up so you’ll make it safely and effectively though the holiday season minefield.

This is a serious training piece. If networking is a part of your business marketing — and surely it is — then I believe you’ll appreciate our step-by-step approach to becoming a confident and effective professional networker.

Take a look right now!

 

 

 

 

Virginia Nicols
The Marketing Machine®

What size businesses do you consult with?

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Breaking Into Consulting Series

You’re new to consulting.

You’ve conducted a disciplined, professional job search and you are turning to consulting for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Supplement your income
  • Expand your exposure to the business community
  • Fill the growing gap in your employment history
  • Hone and/or expand your professional skills
  • Begin a new career as a professional consultant

So, what kind of businesses do you want as “clients?” What size of business is likely to need your skills and be willing to hire you? There is a distinct difference between major corporations and small-to-medium-sized companies.

Most books on the subject of consulting are written about consulting to large corporations.

If your skills and experience are all with large corporations, you probably already know how to negotiate in this environment. The majority of books on consulting are written with your target market in mind so we’ll refer you to our Marketing Machine Library for references on building your consultancy.

Of course, your inventory of skills is critical. If, for example, you have credentials in a specific niche, but little experience with larger businesses, you might still find good potential clients.

But if you are one of the former executives with predominantly small business experience (as the majority of former managers are), you’re most likely to experience the success you aspire to with smaller companies. So be cautioned.

You are going to be confused – even tragically misled – by much of the “advice” you get in the great body of reference literature on consulting as a career. You will be well advised to check the credentials of the writers before investing time or money in reading their materials.

The big difference is in how decisions are made.

In a large company, the sales process typically starts with end-users and includes influencers and decision makers. Each audience has its role to play as the sale moves along. You can identify each participant level, and of course should address each one differently.

If you’ve been a manager (mid or C-level) in a small organization, you know that budget items and costs are allocated differently and decisions to make purchases are usually made by the senior management team. You simply aren’t going to get a contract without the owner/s’ approval. And, in fact, you are in all likelihood reporting right to the top.

Reflect your understanding of these differences in your marketing communications.

Make sure your “credentials” and your marketing materials reflect an understanding of how your target market company operates.

As for your personal credentials, your Library of Accomplishments is the place to start in finding good content. Check out this recent post.

If you’re new at developing marketing messages for small business, take a look at the Robert Half website. Of course, that organization is aiming to get small businesses to hire ITS consultants, but the reasons they give for why a consultant would help are ideas you can apply in your own marketing.

 

Take the time to build a real marketing plan.

If you are serious about building a long-term consulting practice, you’ll need more than simple marketing suggestions like those above. Like any business, the most successful consultants are those who are able to establish what makes them unique, and then build a marketing plan around that.

The Marketing Machine has developed two specific guides you may want to examine:

Zeroing In On Your UVP (Your Unique Value Proposition)

Strategic Marketing Plan for Professionals

Each of these has been specifically created for the professional marketplace.

Virginia Nicols
The Marketing Machine®

The Consultant’s Ghostwriter

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Help For the Writing-Challenged Consultant

Consultant ghostwriter

Expert at written communications?

As I read about the statistics on the lack of “functional literacy” in the City of Detroit – approaching 50%! – I got to thinking about the world of consulting and the varying degrees of coherency of proposals and reports that I’ve labored through over the years.

During this time my views have also been formed by a Rotary Literacy Conference that I ran in 1991 on the East coast of the United States, and subsequently and very recently by our dealings with college interns coming out of the University of California.

Our educational system seems to be woefully lacking in the quality of language instruction. Of course, reading and writing skills vary widely and, while I’m not really qualified to comment on the skill levels of our teachers and professors, I do wonder how professionals in our society can function without at least a better-than-average command of the language and its proper usage.

How Well Do Your Written Documents Represent You?

Proposals, white papers and reports are at the heart of professional consulting. And, while the “language of business” is distinctly more formal when dealing in the corporate world than with small businesses, communicating clearly and appropriately with the target audience is always important – and a challenge for many. This is one challenge that is not easily overcome without a formal educational foundation.

Professional Business Writers Are worth the Money You Pay Them.

A solution for the independent consultant – at least those dealing with small business owners – might be to utilize freelance writers or proofreaders, or both. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr are a good place to start. It may take a number of trial runs to come up with the right resource, but the added cost for professional writing services doesn’t need to be exorbitant.

Since English is becoming the standard language of business, you will of course want to make sure your writing resource/s are fully versed in English. I would probably require that that person’s first language be the language of your audience.  (English in one part of the world may be quite different from English in another part.)

When you consider that a typical consulting assignment will bill several thousand dollars, the value of good communication far exceeds the two hundred or so dollars you might pay a ghost writer.

How Do You Keep Costs Down?

That depends on your communications style and proficiency with the language. Obviously, it you expect someone to draft a document from scratch it will take hours and cost more.

Some ways to be more efficient:

  • Clearly identify for the writer the PURPOSE of the document you want written and what you WANT THE READER TO DO.  (For example, a web page Article will have a different purpose and call to action than the Welcome Letter to a new client.)
  • Then, create a list of sentences (that include the appropriate professional jargon) and put them in the order to be presented.
  • Now, using these notes, take a stab at writing the document the way that makes sense for you.

A professional writer will easily be able to take the list and your first draft and create a good working draft.

The bottom line is that your documents are going to be read or even studied by other people in your target market. Regardless of how good an impression you make in person, you will ultimately be judged on the quality of your writing — by others who may never even meet you.

Joe Krueger
The Marketing Machine®

Have you used freelance writers in your consulting business?  How did it work out?  We will all be interested to hear your story.