TVFMS – What Happens When A Client Wants More Work For The Same Price?

Posted by on November 10, 2016 in Premium

Sometimes when doing work for clients, they ask you to do work that is outside of the scope of your project. What do you do? In this week’s video, I go deeper into some of the strategies I have devised to keep scope creep like this from happening. These include: Making sure that you have a contract signed that outlines the scope of work (and the contract template has been approved by a lawyer). No contract, no work. Explain to…

What Tools Should You Own vs Your Agency?

Posted by on August 23, 2016 in Business/Consulting Strategies

Last week I wrote about SEO tools and I’m doing it again today because it’s an important topic that isn’t talked about much these days in the digital marketing world. Today I want to cover the question I have often thought about and heard around what tools a business should have access to vs what tools they rely on their agency for. I’ve worked inhouse and at agencies with clients, using many of the tools on the market today. I’ve gone through many…

TVFMS – What if you had to start over?

Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Premium

Happy Thursday! This video is a bit later in the day than usual (I bet many of you are seeing it on Friday) for a number of reasons, not least because I was busy trying to be wise, not smart. Watch the video and that will make sense. During a conversation with a Credo pro yesterday, I heard a story about leaving their job to go full time freelance and subsequently losing 3 of their 4 clients in the same…

TVFMS – Let’s Talk About Social Proof

Posted by on July 21, 2016 in Premium

Today I received an email that said this: “Trying to sift through the rift raft. Any personal referrals?” This person was looking for help and when I sent him to the /inquire/ page on Credo, he came back with that answer. So I dug a bit deeper and learned that he’s been burned before and didn’t trust that page. So I reworked it, adding my face and a trust signal at the bottom, also letting him know that his information would be…

TVFMS: How do you get your productivity mojo back?

Posted by on July 14, 2016 in Premium

Running a business is hard. I’ve been working really hard lately, doing things like: the real estate guide a lot of outreach and guest posts podcasts new feature development I also haven’t had a real vacation in almost a year. I’ve had a few three days weekends (ish, because I still answer emails) and I try to take an afternoon a week off, but I’ve not had more than 3 consecutive days off in almost a year, even around the…

TVFMS: Working With vs Working For Your Clients

Posted by on July 7, 2016 in Premium

When you are working with your clients, do they view you as an outsourced vendor and “solution” to their problems, or do they view you as part of their team? Over the years I’ve seen both sides of the equation. Each has their own special advantages and challenges, so which one is right for you and your agency? It depends on your goals. In this week’s view, I talk about how I advise people to go about it. You’ll learn:…

Lessons Learned Watching Digital Agencies Sell Consulting Contracts

Posted by on July 5, 2016 in Consulting Strategies/Sales

One of the most interesting things about running my business Credo has been watching the pros on the platform sell their services to businesses interested in hiring a digital marketing professional. I have experience working in sales so as I have watched agencies and consultants try to sell their services, I’ve been able to guide many of them to much better close rates and therefore a lot more revenue for their business. One agency told me recently: The quantity and quality…

What if your client takes your work inhouse?

Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Premium

As a consultant myself and former agency marketer, I have had clients want to take their digital marketing inhouse after working with me for a while. This used to frustrate me because I thought that it meant that I would lose them as a client. What I’ve found, however, is that this doesn’t have to be the case. You can turn this situation into a win for your business. In this week’s view, I talk about how I advise people…

How Much Research Should You Do For Proposals?

Posted by on June 23, 2016 in Pro Blog

In my time running Credo and working both inhouse and agencies, I’ve seen a lot of companies pitch work. Some are super effective, others not so much. One of the most amazing things I’ve learned is how varied consultants/agencies are in their pitches. Some go to amazingly great lengths and put together in-depth Powerpoints with custom graphics. Others go much lighter and run a crawl and look at OpenSiteExplorer. Still others just package it up and sell the same thing…

The View From My Seat: Do You Have A HiPPO Problem?

Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Premium

When you’re pitching new business, do you really understand who holds the budget purse strings and ultimately decides if your project starts, continues, and ultimately is successful? One thing I really learned working inhouse was the importance of knowing who the Highest Paid Person In The Room (the HiPPO) is and what they care about. I faced dynamics of founders and execs both wanting only their way (bad) and working well with others (good). If you’re talking with a marketing…

The View From My Seat: Feedback Loops

Posted by on June 9, 2016 in Premium

As a freelancer, consultant, or agency owner how do you know that your client is happy with the results they are getting? One area that many agencies and freelance pros need to improve upon is asking their clients for feedback so that the client can be better served and get a better return on their investment with you, which in turn grows your business faster. In this week’s view, I talk about the feedback loops that I have built (and…

The View From My Seat: Talking With Clients About Growth

Posted by on June 2, 2016 in Premium

When you get in a new lead and have your first sales call with them, do you have a process and set of questions you always make sure to ask? You should. And I’d like to make a suggestion for a question to add to your arsenal of information you need: What resources do you have allocated to implement our recommendations?

The View From My Seat: Preselling Upsells

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Premium

In your work with clients, do you ever try to upsell them to more work after the initial engagement? Selling ongoing work is hard as an agency and even harder as a consultant since businesses often want to “try out” a provider before they are willing to commit. How many times have you heard this: “Let’s do an initial engagement and if that goes well then we’ll see about freeing up budget for more work” Don’t you hate hearing that?…

The View From My Seat: Involving Consultants in Sales

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Premium

I’ve worked inside of and with quite a number of agencies. One of the common gripes I hear from consultants is: “Our freaking sales team sold this project and it’s not what the client needs.” Don’t you hate it when that happens? You may have sold a project and gotten that revenue, but I can almost guarantee you that this client will not stick around after the initial engagement simply because they aren’t getting the right project for them. To…

How To Communicate With Your Agency

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Business/Consulting Strategies

One of the hardest parts for both sides about a consulting arrangement between a business and an agency is communication. Communication is hard because it takes time, what’s said can be misunderstood, and many people who work digitally would rather not talk on the phone. When I worked at Distilled, we used to say this all the time: Communication solves all problems So as a business working with an agency (or looking to work with one), how do you communicate…

The View From My Seat: How To Get Rid Of Account Managers

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Premium

As an agency owner, consultant, or freelancer you’ve likely worked with account managers at some point in your career. Maybe you even started as one. I’ll be honest – I often think account managers are unnecessary in agencies and think that having them does more harm than good for client relationships 99% of the time.

TVFMS – How To Retain Clients

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Premium

If you’re an agency owner or consultant, you probably have challenges with client retention. Retaining clients is the holy grail of consulting, but it’s hard. You’re consistently driving results for them, working super hard on their strategies, even over-delivering on work at the expense of your company’s profitability. And then they fire you with two weeks notice even though you have 30 days in the contract. Sucks, right?

Proposals: Pitch Deck or Email?

Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Pro Blog

I hate wasting time. I do everything in my power to optimize my time so that I can maximize it, which means that I can get a lot done and then have as much time as possible to spend with my wife, my dog, and our friends.

Are you following up with dropped leads?

Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Pro Blog

I’m not going to bury the lede. Your greatest lead source of qualified business is already in your possession. No, I’m not talking about raising prices on your current clients or expanding their business (though you should be doing that already!). I’m talking about people who already contacted you who went cold.

Never Negotiate Price, Only Scope

Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Pro Blog

When I do the occasional consulting project, I often get asked if I’ll do work for cheaper than what I quote. I’m not cheap to hire, but I’m also far from the most expensive. I hate it when potential clients ask me to do this. I used to give in (and let’s be honest, sometimes give friend discounts when I know I shouldn’t) because I didn’t believe in myself enough and the value I bring.

Don’t Anchor Yourself Too Low

Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Pro Blog

Do you ever have prospective clients telling you that you are too expensive for them? If this happens super early in the sales cycle, that’s a gift because you’re not spending time on leads that aren’t qualified for you. But if they meet your minimum project budget and they still tell you this, that sucks. You might be familiar with the idea of price anchoring. If you’re hearing that you’re too expensive late in the process, that is a breakdown…

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