Once I became an expert I realized people would pay me to talk to them. I had become a “consultant.”
Remember from the third and fifth revenue streams I wrote that my publisher told me I wouldn’t make any money from book sales, but I would make money from speaking (which I didn’t want to do) and consulting (which I didn’t have time to do).
The first time someone wanted to pay me to consult I was on cloud nine. Compared to what an employer pays you per hour, consultants make a TON of money.
But I was worried about two things:
If I were to charge that much money, I would want need to make sure I had something of value to offer. I did not want to be the stereotypical consultant who came in, made crazy/lame recommendations, and walked away with a check. I wanted to ensure that my services were perceived to be worth more than what the customer paid. That meant I had to think about what the “services” where, and be able to justify the offering.
Again, the time factor. When JibberJobber started seeing more success, I didn’t have as much time as I did when I first started in business.
The money make it worth it, especially for the short amount of time I had to put in (and the fact that each engagement was a one-shot deal, without a long-term commitment).
So, let me go back to the first sentence of this blog post: “Once I became an expert…”
So many of the people I meet have expertise in something. Here are some examples of EXPERTS I’ve come across – I use them as examples because they are just like you – professionals who have developed expertise in something, but aren’t necessarily consultants.
Jason King, in Seattle, is THE EXPERT on how to get the most value out of travel incentive programs. I spent a few hours in a rental car with him talking about business and I was absolutely amazed at his depth of knowledge on how to travel in a way that you get free trips out of it. I’m not talking about the normal frequent flyer stuff, I’m talking about stuff that would make you dizzy just thinking about what you are missing when you don’t take advantage of all of the goodies offered.
Nancy Babyak, also in Seattle, is THE EXPERT is project management, product management and business processes on a large scale. I had dinner with Nancy and her husband, after knowing her on some email lists for a while, and have continued to be amazed at her expertise in this area. I don’t know anyone who has deeper experience in BPO, PMO, etc.
Kakie Fitzimmons, in the Twin Cities area, is a marketing and communications manager who is THE EXPERT in developing a line of kids books. If you want to write a kids book (or a series), you need to buy some of her time and she’ll tell you how to do it! You can read about her business here (she doesn’t say she’s a consultant on this page, but my point is, as THE EXPERT she could develop a consulting stream of income to all of those authors of kid books).
Fred Behle, in Salt Lake City, is THE EXPERT in facility management. This is the industry I came out of three years ago, and I have a deep appreciation for facility management professionals who keep large buildings running. From the stuff we see (paint, parking lots) to the stuff we feel (temperature) to the stuff we don’t think about (electrical, plumbing, etc.), Fred’s expertise would allow him to help companies who need to move understand their facility needs and possible challenges, and how to prepare for the change.
Martha Sue Yeary, in San Diego, is THE EXPERT in golf. She is a member of the Ladies Professional Golfers’ Association (LPGA) and has created an awesome business teaching people to golf. She is passionate about helping those with disabilities, including stroke victims and people who have significant injuries (think war injuries) get back into a game they used to love. Martha is a true entrepreneur, and has had to figure out her own business, and I know that any business that approaches her to help them figure out how to use “golf” as a tool to empower or motivate their people, or create teamwork, or achieve many of their management objectives, they will get amazing ideas (and amazing results).
What is expertise? Is it self-proclaimed? Again, I contend that just about everyone reading my blog is an expert in something… it might be construction or handyman work (which I have to pay for, since I’m not blessed with any handyman skills), computer skills, presentation skills, cross-knitting skilz… the list can go on and on.
YOU ARE AN EXPERT IN SOMETHING.
You’ve developed that expertise probably on the job, or because it’s a hobby you are passionate about.
And it’s likely that there’s one person or company in this world who will pay for your expertise… even if they just pay you for an hour of your time to do a brain dump with them. Remember, if you can find one hour per month, and charge $83/hour, you will have made an additional $1,000 in a year. To make $10k, just consult ten hours a month.
Back to what I’m doing. Because I’ve been recognized as an expert on LinkedIn, and I have done a lot of consulting with individuals and companies on how to use LinkedIn, I’ve decided to make it one of my revenue streams. Here’s how it works (I welcome suggestions):
I have an offering (product(s) and/or service(s)): I help people figure out their LinkedIn strategy, and help them know what they can do act on that strategy.
I have a way of letting people know about it: Through my blogs, speaking, newsletter, Twitter, etc. I let people know my services are available.
I have set a price: I currently charge $250/hour, and will do 1/2 hour sessions. You have to have a price so that when someone asks you are ready to tell them, AND you don’t want to underprice yourself where it makes you look like you are a hack (of course, this means you can’t be a hack!).
I have a way to deliver my offering: I use webinars to deliver my services. It costs me about $100 a month to have the webinar software (I know there are free options, but they haven’t worked universally for me, and I need universal). If you decide to consult you have to know how you are going to deliver on your sale.
These are the 4 P’s of marketing: Product, Pricing, Placement and Promotion. If you can define the four points above, for yourself, you might just have enough of a “business plan” (I use that term lightly) for your consulting business!
If you could define your expertise, and envision your offering, perhaps you could create a consulting revenue stream… right? This might be part of your strategy to pay the bills during this job search!
If you are in a job search you should be spending 10 hours a week just in lunches and “coffees!”
I know it’s discouraging, and hard, and you have to be creative, but seriously, if you aren’t spending at least 40 hours a week in a job search then you are dillusional. Or you don’t have bills to pay and you don’t have a sense of urgency.
I was at my laptop by 6am. I could not sleep peacefully as an umemployed father of 4 (and a half). I was anxious to get up and see what was in my inbox (usually nothing), and worked until around 6pm when I made myself pretend I was a competent dad and husband, and do some family stuff. Then, back up at 6 again the next morning.
Saturdays was probabaly a half-day, but it was a day I was on the computer.
I confess I did all the wrong things in a job search, because I was too smart to get help. So I did a lot of wheel spinning. But I know stuff now (I think), and if I were to do it now, I’d probably spend my time doing some of the following:
Lunches and/or breakfasts and/or “coffees” every single day. (10 hours a week)
Network meetings – weekly there were 3 or 4 for professionals in transition, and others for working professionals that I could have gone to. (10 hours a week)
Computer time – crafting cover letters and tweaking resumes for different job postings, checking emails, responding to emails, etc. (5 hours a week)
LinkedIn Strategy – searching for contacts and target companies, reaching out to them on or outside of LinkedIn (5 hours a week)
Calling people, and networking my way into target companies – This is time consuming, and takes guts to pick up the phone (even if it’s to contacts you know) – but more effective than combing the job boards all day. (10 hours a week)
Learning. Make sure what you are doing is principle-based – my job search wasn’t, and that’s why I was spinning wheels. Read the Career Hub and blogs from real coaches and resume writers who are in the thick of it with their clients. (5 hours a week)
There’s 45 hours right there. There are many other activities you can do – I guarantee it. If you think you can have a 10-hour-a-week job search, go for it. And for the other 30 hours a week, figure out 3 more 10-hour-a-week job search strategies and implement those.
I can’t believe people can justify a 10 hour a week job search, can you?
Today I want to talk about something related, and again, an issue I see ALL THE TIME. That is, how do you introduce yourself and ask for help. I recently saw an email to an elist I’m on that was something like this (slightly edited, just taking a few words out):
Would you help me out joining my linkedin network? My current job ends a week from today. Can you recommend a reputable [city, state] Employment Agency, Virtual Co., etc?
That was it. How many requests do you get like this? Expect the number to go up this year, as more people who have been heads-down employees start to navigate the job search. Here was my response:
I know this is HIGHLY unsolicited advice, but I see this type of request coming through on this list and others, so let me suggest something to you (or whoever wants to listen) – if this offends you, sorry, but hopefully it helps as you network during your job search.
You are asking if we know any agencies in [city]. You can simply go to google or the yellow pages for that. I can list a few agencies, but they are virtually useless, especially when everyone and their dog is going to them right now for help.
Might I suggest you pose your question a little differently? I have no idea WHO you are and WHAT you do. Not to mention we don’t have a relationship, but beside that, I really need to know more about you before I refer you to a nameless agency, OR worse, to a network contact of mine.
I’m okay trusting members of this group, even with 9k+ members, and kind of doing an intro based on that even though we don’t have a relationship, but you have to give me something to go on. What about:
“My name is _______ and I’ve been on this list for x months/years. I have appreciated _____________.
My current job ends a week from today. I have known about this for the last month and have been getting my job search in order, and network as much as I can. I know that there are places I haven’t thought of, and am wondering if any of you have any recommendations for helpful recruiters, employment agencies, or people I should talk to?
I am in [city] and specialize in the _________ field. In my last job I (tell a story here that helps me wrap my brain around your value add).
I am looking for a role as a (job title). Ideally I would like to work for a company like (target company A, target company B, target company C).
Does anyone know of any network contacts I should talk to? Even if they aren’t in [city], I’d love to talk with someone at one of my target companies, their competitors, or someone in my industry.
I appreciate any help – you can contact me off-list for my resume or any other information.
And if any of you are looking for a new job in [city], please let me know and I’ll share some networking ideas with you.”
One of the reasons I didn’t network early in my job search was because I was afraid of n.e.t.w.o.r.k.i.n.g.
What an ugly word.
What does “hey, let’s go network!” mean to you? Is it like “hey, let’s go sell used cars!” Or, “hey, let’s go find the one awesome contact who is going to be surrounded by dozens of duds!” Or, “hey, let’s go schmooze with a bunch of people, collect their business cards, and never contact them again!”
I didn’t want to network because I didn’t understand what networking meant.
Never Eat Alone completely COMPLETELY changed how I went about my job search. Subsequently, it had a significant impact on WHAT JibberJobber would become (in JibberJobber you can rank the strength of your relationship with your contacts, as well as each company and job), and HOW I interact with people today, as a business owner.
I’m comfortable saying that Keith Ferrazzi changed my life. And it’s the #1 networking book I recommend. (#2 is Thom Singer’s Some Assembly Required – it is a different, excellent book that complements Keith Ferrazzi’s book).
So, number one task for you is to GET and READ Never Eat Alone (my local library has three copies, which are usually checked out).
Number two, if you want to learn from Keith himself, is to register for the $50 Experts Connection teleseminar this Wednesday at 4 – 5pm EST. Register here. This is the description of the telesememinar:
Building Relationships for Career Success in a Downturn Market:
Class Description: Today’s economic environment makes it easier for people to lose their sense of direction and more people are looking for solutions. The answer remains that all of life’s successes are about people. No matter your goal in life, networking can help you achieve it. It is about knowing the right people for the right reasons – not just because you shook their hand at a corporate event. When you base your networking on generosity and friendships, the doors you never knew were there will open. These relationships are driven by intimacy, transparency, generosity and accountability.
In this 60 minute session you will learn to:
Identify people who can help you achieve career goals.
Build and broadcast unique personal brands to stand out in the crowded marketplace.
Ensure the people and resources in your own “back yard” are contributing to your success.
Approach and engage mentors for guidance along the many paths of your career, culminating in a dynamic personal board of advisors.
Develop a Relationship Action Plan to guide your actions and track progress.
I have not heard Keith Ferrazzi talk – I hope his presentation is as good as his book (regardless, read the book!). If you attend, let me know what you think!
I feel like I’m writing A LOT about multiple revenue streams lately. I will continue to share my personal revenue streams each Friday until I’m done. Again, the purpose of writing about this is not to brag, or intimidate, or convince you to buy my cool stuff, rather to inspire you to think about what YOU could do to diversify your income. Remember where I came from… laid off, hopeless and practically helpless. My goal is to help people, including myself, achieve income security.
My third revenue stream is my books – that is, the books I personally write. This revenue stream refers to actual money made from book sales (not stuff that the books lead to, like speaking or other opportunities).
Remember in the post about professional speaking (as a revenue stream) that I asked my publisher how much money I would make from each book sale. His response was “Jason, you won’t make any money from selling books. No one does. If you want to make money, you do that as a speaker or consultant.” Aside from what I wrote in that post, I had one big issue with not making any money from book sales:
I. Was. Hungry.
I was hungry for income. I was hungry for a little self-pride (which had all but gone away). I was hungry for a win… any kind of success. I needed to pick up my ego from the floor and get back in the saddle. I needed to win. I needed to make some money from book sales.
I vowed to prove him wrong. I wasn’t sure how I would sell books, since I had never done it before, but I was pretty confident that people would buy my LinkedIn book. It seemed like a great title and topic, and I knew a lot of professionals in transition were wondering how to use LinkedIn. In fact, I estimated that everyone who had ever signed up on LinkedIn had asked the question “NOW WHAT???”
Even though all of my author friends told me that you don’t make any money from book sales, just as my publisher had, I was hungry. Even if I made a few hundred dollars a month from book sales, that would be enough to justify the time I put into it.
(of course, I had NO idea how being an author of a book could catapult my career, marketing, exposure, etc.)
So I wrote the book with the goal of making money from sales in mind.
And I have made money from sales. It was more than a few hundred dollars a month. I still have author friends who either don’t make much per sale, or who only use their book(s) as a way to get speaking and consulting gigs.
Even though there are a number of LinkedIn books out there now (even another one by my publisher), I am happy to have not only one of the first books on LinkedIn, but the first SECOND EDITION book on LinkedIn.
Of course, my second book on Facebook for professionals was good, and is profitable (which means I am getting royalty money from that, too), and I am toying around with a third book. That will be it, I keep telling myself. We’ll see if I can get over this book writing thing
Can you write a book? I’m amazed at how many people have a book in them, and they KNOW IT! Let me recommend two resources for you:
My publisher just put out a book called 42 Rules for Driving Success with Books. If you work at or own a company, even if it’s “just” Me, Inc., I strongly encourage you to get this book. It’s a collection of stories of how authors have “driven success” to their companies or careers because of their books. Inspiring and fun (and, I’m a featured author :)).
I developed a webinar called WRITE YOUR BOOK! This is an introduction to ideas around the book process, what it takes to get your book written, thoughts on publishers, etc. One person who listened to the live webinar (which I recorded and have available for purchase) has since written and published her first book, which is an AWESOME book for introverts called The Successful Introvert: How to enhance your job search and advance your career. I was proud as a poppa to see that book come out!
Here is a breakdown of the revenue streams I’ve shared so far:
Everyone wants to work for Google, right? Back in the olden days (around 2000 – 2003) it seemed like this was the hottest place to work… and even the lowest man on roster was becoming a multimillionaire due stock options.
I kind of wanted to work there, but figured the work environment would conflict in a big way with family stuff. All of their perks sounded great for a bachelor, but I had kids and didn’t think it would be good for me to spend 20 hours a day at work.
I recently finished reading The Google Story and LOVED it. Their story, where they came from (pretty privileged, actually), what they accomplished, and how they have changed the world has been so inspiring for me.
I love Google. I have even been to the Googleplex in Silicon Valley… very cool. The grass must be SOOO green over there, right?
“Sounds great for freelancers and gifted speakers. But what could possibly be my other revenue streams if I am employed full-time, do not own a house I could rent out and nobody wants to pay me for speaking in front of them…?”
Wow. Excellent thoughts. I can do all of this stuff because, well, I have the time. I don’t have an employer breathing down my neck, having me work so much I’m too exhausted to do anything else. Here’s my response in the original blog post:
Great question. When I was working at my last job I read Multiple Streams of Income and thought “that’s nice… for other people. I can’t do that, I don’t have the time or energy or knowledge….”
I got into this because I was forced into it…. and over the last three years I’ve been able to discover the other revenue streams. I kind of happened upon them.
I don’t know what is right or best for YOU. I don’t know what your skills are. But I’m a huge advocate of doing *something* … like I mentioned, it could be something that simply produces $100 a month. Like babysitting, being paid to get groceries, walking dogs, washing cars in a neighborhood, teaching art or piano, etc.
The point is, figure out something that is beyond the employer’s paycheck… something that frees you of that complete dependence.
To take it a step further, here are some things that I know people do, or have done:
A buddy of mine went on a juice diet. All juices, nothing else. He paid someone $1,000 a month to get him his food. This meant the service provider planned his meals, shopped for the ingredients, prepared the juice meals, and delivered them to his house.
I was talking to a friend who has a neighbor who mows lawns in the summer. He makes about $5k/summer.
When I lived in Northern Virginia I washed cars at townhouses on Saturdays with some friends. We had a bucket, a hose, soap, rags… and it was a breeze. It was like washing cars in a parking lot – we didn’t have to walk much, since everything was so close.
Many of my partners have created reports, white papers, ebooks, teleseminars, webinars, and other knowledge-based materials that they sell. I contend that EVERYONE reading this blog has some expertise that they can turn into a product, whether it has to do with arts, business, processes, etc. Creating an ebook is as easy as opening a word document (well, maybe not *that* easy :p).
I know two ladies who have created an arts-and-crafts website, translated it to Portuguese (their native language), and made it available in Brazil. I hear the google ads from that site pay for their house payment (in the U.S.).
I’ll feature some stories on the blog this year. There are some really inspiring stories I’ve heard.
That’s what this talk is all about… just giving ideas and hopefully inspiring. It’s why I’m sharing my revenue streams each Friday (first was here, next was here).
I hope this isn’t too intimidating. Some of you will act on it now, others will let it sink in. Either way, I think it’s a great dialogue.
(and, it’s less intimidating than a long, scary job search – trust me!)
Obviously today is a day for the history books. I didn’t vote for Obama, and I hope that some of the scary stuff I saw from him (with regard to policy) was just pre-election hype that he can’t or won’t implement.
But his message, about change, inspired by hope, is needed at every level. The United States, and the world, has been crying for change for a long time. Now is the time for change. (it has always been the time for personal change, but heck, let’s jump on the bandwagon and declare the time as now anyway)
I hope that we/you/I can be a part of this change. For me this means:
Being more responsible, financially. Sure we can blame all the talking heads and biggies who knew about the bad stuff, financially, and let it continue. We can blame them as we, as a people, overspend (with money we don’t have) on stuff that is utterly unnecessary.
Being more responsible, physically. Health insurance is a tender subject for me. Obama may just create hundreds of thousands of jobs, especially if he socializes health care… while that smells rotten on the outside, it really would be great if everyone had access to quality health care. But we can eat better, work out, sleep better, and do things for ourselves which fall under the guise of “prevention.” Here’s something to do: floss daily. I’m guessing this would eliminate a majority of cavities, which means we pay less for that aspect of our health care.
Being more responsible, socially. Last night I was in my closet and noticed a really big, warm, snuggly winter coat. I don’t like the style, so I probably won’t wear it. It’s sitting in my closet on the floor. I’m sure there is someone out there, even in my own city, who is praying for and dreaming of a coat that could just keep him warm, regardless of the style. We must be more kind and compassionate. I’m not sure what that means to you, or how you will act on that, but I’m really thinking about what this means to me.
Being more responsible, career-wise. Of course I’d talk about this There are too many “heads-down” workers out there who just don’t get it. Just about anyone reading this blog gets it, I realize that, and the rest will get it when they experience a tough job search. We must, must, must be more serious about personal career management, income security, and all of the other stuff I write about regularly.
Being more responsible, _________. I think the less we do intentionally, on-purpose, the more we are saying to someone “come, take it away.” Whether we are talking about our freedom, our joys, our health, our career, etc. We must stop looking at the government, or our boss, or whoever, and thinking they will coddle us through life.
The CHANGE required is not in the Oval Office, it’s not in the presidency, it’s in ourselves.
I pray that we can affect the change needed. I know I’ll reflect on the historic events of today for a long time.
I got an email last week from one of my super users who expressed concern about having to login a number of times throughout the day. Why can’t he just login once and not have to login again?
I asked him if he was using the “Remember Me” checkbox when he logged in… he wasn’t because he assumed it was for something else:
So here’s the deal. If you click on the Remember Me checkbox you don’t have to login a bunch of times throughout the day. It’s as simple as that.
Just remember, if you are using a shared computer, like at a library or school or something like that, if you click on Remember Me, and close the browser, and someone else opens it, they might be able to see your stuff. So only click on Remember Me if you are on your own computer.