Group Coaching Questions

Following are questions that have been answered in my group coaching program:

Questions from 2020-10-22

Do you have any tips for how to improve with meeting facilitation? (timestamp: 1m 47s)

I have been a back-end /devops web-dev for quite a while, working mostly on either large ongoing projects, or as support for teams of developers. This means I have gotten sunk into trading time for money as this is the most common paradigm for this kind of work and its difficult to assign value when my role is so removed from the actual work being done. My question is, what steps can I take to start interfacing with clients firsthand, when my skillset has little to do with their perceived needs? (timestamp: 3m 32s)

When you're in a sales call with a customer who is looking to create a new product, should you try and value price the whole project or just the first phase of an engagement? i.e. if I decided that a sensible first step would be to build a prototype, should I value price that? Or is this where a productized service makes more sense? And then following on from that, once you've delivered a prototype, should I value price the subsequent phase? (i.e. an MVP) (timestamp: 9m 18s)

Looking for ways to do get more eyes on my social media content. Would it be a good idea trying to start a video series of „Show“-Storyboarding sessions with interesting people? So they get to talk about their newest product for half an hour, and I get to show off my storyboarding skills. Most likely they already have figured their messaging out, and it wouldn’t be so much consulting from my side, but more a sketched exploration. (timestamp: 19m 5s)

Can you go over the benefits of daily emails? Both, benefits to you and benefits to suscribers. (timestamp: 22m 41s)

I have a client engagment with a unlimited access advisory retainer, who was my previous employer. The issue is, they are only using me about 1 hour a week. I have offered to review data, help to arrange organize experiments, help in strategy, but hardly any engineer has taken me up. I'm still treated like I was when I was an employee, in terms of authority. What can I do to deliver more value? I'm concerned that they will end the contract because of lack of need (atleast how they see it). (timestamp: 38m 40s)

What are the reasons why leads would ghost you after an introductory call? How can you avoid this? Also, how do you get a reply from busy decision makers? (timestamp: 40m 10s)

Update Copy for a Lead Referral Page: my largest source of leads is an "Experts" page on a software's website. There is a list of 10 consultant links, which will open a sales page. I am struggling to come up with the right length, structure and detail to present on my page. The page will have a CTA linking to my site. (timestamp: 45m 45s)

I’ve been working on my 1-liner formula: I am DISCIPLINE who helps TARGET MARKET w/ EXPENSIVE PROBLEM unlike my competitors UNIQUE DIFFERENCE. I’m stuck on the EXPENSIVE PROBLEM part. How to make it clear that this problem you have is expensive so that I can solve for that. Is there a talk, webinar, podcast where you go into some detail about that? (timestamp: 51m 23s)

I'm told that I should have a "signature" offer. It's a fixed-price, fixed-scope, productized or packaged service that's unique and sold at a premium flat rate. Signature offers are often sold as standalones. But do you recommend a three-option proposal preceded by a "why" conversation still? Or is it necessary since it's well-positioned, practically presold, and can often be purchased in a single step (like via a "buy now" button)? I'm thinking of an audit-roadmapping bundle using my IP. (timestamp: 55m 14s)

I am planning to start a "gold" level engagment with a client. Basically, I am supposed to give them all I got. Any tips on how to manage this type of engagment? (timestamp: 59m 2s)

How to price an idea for groundbreaking concept for a global brand (high class hotel chain)? They haven’t asked for it - it is my initiative, I would reach out and pitch the concept. (timestamp: 68m 47s)

Do you see a benefit in setting standardized pricing for creative services, kind of like when you productize something. My video productions rarely go above $800. My web design projects teeter around $1500. (I’m certain I charge too little). Rather than come up with value based proposals for individuals, just have a range of preset options for people. (Easy pricing?) (timestamp: 82m 20s)

How you think about pricing roadmapping sessions for an MVP build. The deliverable is a set of requirements and wireframes. I find that clients don’t have a good handle on the value of their MVP. Their “billion dollar idea” hinges on it succeeding, but it might fail. Seems like knowing the value of a working MVP would determine the price of a roadmapping session. If that IS how you think about pricing the roadmap, how do you determine an MVP’s value to come up with a good value-based roadmap price? Or if you think about pricing the roadmap in some other way, can you share how you think about it? (timestamp: 86m 32s)

Questions from 2020-10-08

Hi JS. I've recently invested in developing my first white paper resource (ie. a lead magnet) that targets my primary buyer (ie. CMO of an eComm brand using Shopify). What are some tips on getting the most mileage from this type of resource as it relates to a LFPS? (timestamp 1m 40s)

I have heard you suggest to write the project value into the proposal, to anchor high against the project price. However I don't think this is in your proposal template. Do you recommend always doing this? (timestamp 9m 1s)

I find it easier to have a value conversation when my clients have a problem, versus when they've identified a new opportunity. This maybe because I can diagnose the level of pain with an existing problem, whereas a new opportunity is completely unknown. I assume your approach to both situations is the same (Why conversation). But can you offer any tips on how I can frame this situation differently? (timestamp 14m 28s)

You recently answered my question about value pricing. One comment you made was "you can price on size of company, type of watch the buyer wears etc." Can you explain how? Is it as easy as saying "bigger company, higher value"? (timestamp 21m 19s)

How can we develop relationships that lead to knowing about upcoming projects, before large outsourcing firms get involved? What ways have you found yourself eligible to be on a company’s vendor list? (timestamp 27m 18s)

Is there a ideal set of questions (or outcome goals) to have in mind during the market research interview rounds? (timestamp 33m 48s)

What's the best way to find 'dumb money jobs' as you adviced last time, that would still relate to the field and skills that I'd be willing to build my business around? ( design in my case). Last time you proposed to do Fiverr&Co,, but that also requires pretty demanding resourcses in terms of marketing and time there a ideal way I could for example reach out and propose myself to agencies? (timestamp 41m 53s)

Trying to just answer the “WHO DO I SERVE” question. Where I am at is: My business is mainly creative services (videography, photog, and web design), but I also handle some digital marketing tasks for clients (email, social media, etc) There’s no one vertical I do this for, nor do I have a desire for this. I much prefer to work with local people and meet with people even though it might be a little less efficient than being a virtual content creator for businesses. My clients are in either contracting, restaurants, and service professioanls. The one commonality between my favorite clients are they understand the internet just enough to know its value in it but no where enough to understand “how to use it for their advantage”. They’re happy to pay someone (me) to be mostly hands off, with some input to the creative. Honestly, this all kind of works for me. I get a healthy amount of new leads each month with zero advertising or cold calling people. The reason I’m trying to figure this “WHO” question, really only is to make it easier for ME to create content for MY business. I’m all over the place right now. (timestamp 50m 7s)

Questions from 2020-09-24

What are your thoughts on using your content to help educate the buyer on the value of your services? I'm a vertically positioned management consultant (ad agencies), and I have a platform speciality. I deal with software implementation so the "costs of implementation failure", or "the value of an erp system"; or education about metrics and benchmarks ("Gross Profit per employee should be $150k") so that they may have a clearer valuation prepared. (timestamp: 1m 21s)

If the value of my services are upstream and I can't define a financial ROI for my services, you recommend pricing feelings instead (eg. customer satisfaction). In this scenario, how do you determine project value with the Why questions? (timestamp: 8m 31s)

It seems like to build authority, capturing and managing ideas is essential. How do you get good at capturing ideas as you have them, and nurturing them to become part of your toolkit, your content, your reference material, and your products? What kinds of workflows and techniques have helped you? And how do you manage your Big Ideas? Do you keep them in a specific place so you can refine and re-use them over time? (timestamp: 17m 59s)

It seems to me that self-worth is a huge barrier in raising prices. Do you agree and if so, how would you coach someone to realise their limitations are self-imposed? (timestamp: 27m 15s)

What's the best practices you've seen implemented by people successfully pursuing the psychographics specialization in terms of nailing it down properly and keeping 'scanning' for prospects? And is it a sensible move for someone in a situation of needing to earn in the short-term, or better staying with a easier specialization and then rethinking it psychogs when financial pressures loosen up? (timestamp: 35m 8s)

When I see a job description which might seem like a perfect role for me, how do I convince them that it’s best to outsource it to me on a contractual basis, rather than keep it in-house. Especially when the company says things like they want someone who will want to grow with the team and with the business? (timestamp: 47m 31s)

How can I overcome the sometimes endless litany of technologies that appear as a requirement for a role? On the one hand, I don’t want to be the cook, the bottle washer, and the waitress. But at the same time I need to show enough depth about their problem. If I start taking tech tools I’m experienced with off my list, will I not lose on potential opportunities, looking for something that doesn’t exist? (timestamp: 53m 38s)

Technical setup question: How do you syndicate your daily posts to both and your mailing list? I'd like to reduce the barrier of publishing to my mailing list, and also would like to give subscribers a way to link to useful posts, so I'm curious about your setup there. (timestamp: 58m 44s)

I've been working to build my design advisory homepage using your Perfect Sales Page framework. I'll not be able to join the call, but I'd love a review of where I'm at with it. Yet to be added, client case studies and more testimonies. Each product offer would have a sale page in the future. (timestamp: 62m 35s)

Questions from 2020-09-10

I am trying to create a short video course to teach my audience of Google Ads experts how to use Javascript to automate parts of their work. I have never created a video course before. Do you have any recommendations on the most effective way for me to learn how to create and distribute such a video course? (timestamp: 1m 8s)

I run a digital service agency, focused on building custom web solutions for eCommerce d2c brands and now in the midst of a shift to value based pricing. What advice do you have for structuring ongoing website maintenance plans for clients that originated on an hourly billing model? How do you feel about offering tier's of maintenance plans (1. On Demand 2. Prepaid blocks 3. Monthly Retainer)? - Thanks for your help! (timestamp: 6m 30s)

I’m tired of doing the type of tech consulting I used to do, but at the same time I don’t want to feel like I’m starting from the bottom with offering a different service. How do you suggest going about repackaging myself to solve different problems a software organization might have? (timestamp: 10m 51s)

How can I enlist the services of someone who would act as my account executive who can help build relationships with software development and operations teams? (timestamp: 23m 53s)

Is there a scalable service that you found can be done for more than one software organization at a time as a client? In other words, I want to move away from the dilemma of one big tech client sucking up all my oxygen in terms of time and mental energy. (timestamp: 25m 39s)

Please describe your process for time management: personal, family, personal development, client delivery, as well as learning new things to make you more effective at your business. (timestamp: 35m 53s)

A client reacted positively to our presentation and said he was going to push his organization to accept our most expensive option. But when I sent the 24-hour deadline reminder he replied: "I am definitely not going to be able to have an answer on this before then so we will take our chances. I will have a much better sense of things at the end of next week." I haven't heard back yet. Do I risk coming across as desperate if I offer to give the presentation to his colleagues? (timestamp: 40m 47s)

If you’re giving a live free webinar and want to make an offer towards the end, what main points would you want to hit, so that people are primed to enroll at the end? (timestamp: 51m 14s)

We have a "have a meeting with us" in our page for prospecting, but we have many customers that just want to talk with us because we are relatively known. But they dont have the money for our services. Its a good idea to have a digital form with "screening" questions, to only incentivate qualified prospect? even showing some price ranges, so they think before asking for a meeting? (timestamp: 54m 8s)

You sell private coaching to professionals wanting to level-up for $10k/4mo. Your demo proposal for BigCo sells coaching to a big company for up to $12k/mo (4x+ more expensive). We're planning to sell coaching to our clients who spend 10M+ a year overall. Did your Bigco spend more/less than this? We're trying to find a sweet spot for pricing (not just cover our costs, and trying to be happy even if the client just goes for one round whether that's 1,2,3 or 4 months). (timestamp: 58m 47s)

Questions from 2020-08-27

I'm experimenting with your suggestion to use the following pricing options to write proposals: 1) I'll create a plan and find someone to do the work. 2) I'll create a plan, find someone to do the work and oversee things. 3) I'll do it for you. In option 3, I'll still be outsourcing to juniors and managing the process. Which means options 2 and 3 feel very similar. Can you help me reframe this to see the differences between options 2 and 3? (timestamp 1m 42s)

Can you explain the difference between using roadmapping as a loss leader versus delivering roadmapping as a valuable standalone productized service? (timestamp 6m 53s)

I now understand the difference between specialising (me) and niching (them). If you choose to focus on a specialism, is there a way to tie your content marketing to business value? Or is focusing your content marketing on your specialism more of a "hit and hope" strategy? (timestamp 12m 36s)

I help Elm devs succeed by advising them on design techniques, craftsmanship practices, and support on tricky problems. I'd like to re-launch my group coaching program. My group coaching was valuable to clients in the past, but I dropped it because the logistics were cumbersome. I like the idea of crowdcast as a platform because it gives an easy way to submit questions in advance so there's no fuss over rescheduling. Can that that format can be effective for highly technical topics? (timestamp 18m 39s)

Is there a tension between offering group coaching to individual developers, and other services to teams (advisory retainers, training). Am I splitting myself between two groups to serve, or can this be in alignment? Individual devs tend to focus on more tactical questions. I focus on a lot of the same techniques and habits with both. Maybe it's a question of framing the individual services to be of strategic value? (timestamp 24m 40s)

I am trying to grow my email list, The audience is Pay Per Click experts. What strategies have worked the best for you to grow your email list or would you suggest? (timestamp 26m 33s)

I send mini articles to my mailing list subscribers. Some articles are potentially interesting to other people. But for now I am not publishing these articles on social media, because it seems to me that this content "belongs" to my mailing list subscribers. On the other hand, mailing list subscribers were already the first to read my articles. And it’s not scary if others read it a month later. How do you solve this dilemma? (timestamp 30m 20s)

Your newsletter emails do not contain "Share to Facebook, linkedin, Twitter" buttons like Seth Godin does in the newsletter. In theory, such buttons allow the subscriber to spontaneously, in one motion, share your letter and expand the audience of your mailing list. Is there any reason why you shouldn't do this? (timestamp 36m 5s)

It's easier for me to meet clients for 2-5 sessions than for a multi-month project. Either I solve problems effectively, or I don't find long-term projects. Can you recommend books or articles that have been most helpful to you for organizing your 4 month coaching program? Or maybe some kind of online course? You seem to have mentioned that some Seth Godin course was helpful to you in organizing this group format ... (timestamp 37m 48s)

How do you feel about including one illustration every day, if appropriate? This means, for example, engravings, the plot of which well emphasizes the idea of the letter. Given the high frequency of emails and the weight of emails, is this overkill or a good idea? (timestamp 42m 1s)

LFPS tear down request: -I help the ad agency owners transform the way they work so that they can scale their operations for growth without bleeding expenses. We are different from our competitors because I only work with Workamajig. It’s the best tool out there and I won’t work with less. (timestamp 43m 32s)

Would you recommend advertising your services or products at the bottom of every daily email? The argument is for availability, that is, for a potential buyer there is no barrier between his desire to buy something from you and the need to look for a link. The argument against it is that it looks like an intrusive selling, and that customers don't notice the ad that is repeated every day. (timestamp 51m 26s)

Is it possible to find a long-term project that fits the ideal of value pricing AND does not have the end client dictating deadlines? (timestamp 53m 26s)

Does it help to create a video sales letter to prime a potential client like CTOs for the sales conversation? (timestamp 58m 39s)

How did you choose the (minimum) duration for your private coaching product? I noticed you've tried at least three different durations (3, 4 and 6 months?) Which duration has worked best and why? (timestamp 60m 48s)

We got a lead that can only afford 1/5th of our minimum engagement price. So we cannot work with them. But they do know people who we might want to work with in the future. How do you turn away a lead like this softly so that they will still want to recommend you to people who can actually afford you? (timestamp 64m 31s)

You make a free 30 minutes introductory call with a potential client. There are no grounds for a value pricing project - a maximum of one or two sessions. The client specifies how much it costs. Do you call $ XXX per hour or per session and specify if this amount is within his / her ability? The client confidently says "Yes, of course" and asks for a link to book a session. And then the client disappears. How to think about it? (timestamp 67m 32s)

Questions from 2020-08-13

The first call with a customer usually lasts 40-60 minutes. It is very difficult during this time: a) to exhaust his verbal flow, b) to go through 3 questions "Why?", c) to evaluate the value of solving his problem, d) to evaluate the amount of my fee, e) to test the client's willingness to pay the maximum and minimum price. Does this skill come with experience or should you divide such a conversation into 2-3 calls? (timestamp: 0m 57s)

For various reasons, I've not done great at building personal relationships at work (professional, yes, but personal, VERY limited). This is mostly because I didn't want people to think I'm trading on these personal relationships to get ahead - especially since I'm a woman and a minority. I preferred to let my work speak for itself. Given that so many consulting opportunities are not obvious, and they often depend on personal friendships, what are my options to approach potential clients? (timestamp: 8m 40s)

I help IT entrepreneurs make critical business decisions faster. I offer two extremes — a free checklist/mailing list and expensive customized 1:1 individual/group sessions. I plan to offer a Group Coaching format for young entrepreneurs similar to yours (biweekly video, Slack, etc.). If you were me, how would you launch such a format? Specifically, which main mistakes you would avoid, and what would be your main focus? (timestamp: 15m 42s)

On your advice, I launched a daily newsletter. I am pleased with the first results by the number of subscribers and like the process itself (I regularly write long articles). However, I am worried that creating 1 letter (250-350 words) takes 2-3 hours every day. How long does it take you to create 1 email on average and how much has it decreased in the first year or two? (timestamp: 22m 12s)

You have been practicing the format of a 3-4 month individual coaching program for a long time. Many students have gone through it. Could you share if your program has a common pattern of what and how you are trying to achieve with your client? What 3 typical mistakes would you warn us against when launching such a program? What should be the main focus here? (timestamp: 29m 28s)

The client needs your advice in preparation for an important deal. You offer a fixed $X with 100% prepayment for 5 sessions of 1.5-2.5 hours during the month. The client says he has difficulties with the cash flow. He calculates that you offered $X for approximately 10 hours, which is equivalent to $X/10 per hour and offers to pay for each session separately. You so wanted to move away from hourly to value payment, but the client drags you back there. What would you do? (timestamp: 36m 16s)

We're going to start doing a slide deck before we deliver our written proposal. Do you have a go-to guide or SOP for presentations? Also, would you include pricing in a presentation or reserve that for the proposal only? (timestamp: 38m 35s)

I am educating my audience of PPC experts on the use of scripts (javascript) to automate parts of their work. A big chunk of my audience wants to learn the basics of javascript in the Google Ads context (Google Ads javascript API). Currently I am sharing my knowledge through my blog and offline training. How would you decide on "the next format"? Should it be a book, video course, online workshop (webinar), or something different? How to choose? [sorry, won't make it to live event] (timestamp: 44m 20s)

Which positioning statement seems more clear & useful to you? A. "I help B2B SaaS companies land more demos & trials" vs. B. "I build B2B SaaS sites that turn traffic into raving subscribers." (timestamp: 46m 45s)

Some subscribers to my mailing list have informed me that the emails fall into the Advertising or Spam folder. I also see that some subscribers have not opened any emails. Perhaps for the same reason. Of course, you can ask subscribers to put my address on a white sheet, but as far as I understand, this is done differently in different e-mail systems of the ISPs, it's not always obvious and it's not the fact that people will figure it out. Do you solve this problem somehow? (timestamp: 49m 6s→)

In the first weeks of open mailing it was about 45%, and a month later with the growth of subscribers it fell to 20-30%. The quality of content has not changed, grateful feedback comes regularly. Is this a normal trend or should something be done in your experience? How have your indicators changed over the years? (if, of course, it was important for you). (timestamp: 52m 18s)

Is this a good LFPS: I help hyphenated American professionals to make the leap to entrepreneurship by focusing on 5 essentials. Unlike my competitors, I built a high six figure career and a high six figure business for more than 10 years before I became a career and business coach. (timestamp: 55m 50s)

I am afraid to promise within the coaching program 24/7 the client's access to me, even with reservations (I answer the call within 90 minutes, the email within 24 hours, etc.). Therefore, I have a desire to either not promise such access, or put a very high price on the coaching program. What is the dynamics of customer calls to you as part of your coaching program? You have not been overloaded? (timestamp: 59m 47s)

How to overcome the fear of approaching certain decision-makers because of their title, even though I’ve had senior titles as well. (timestamp: 63m 51s)

Is it too much to have two niches, one for my tech consulting business, and a slightly different one for career/business coaching? (timestamp: 68m 26s)

I had a client ask to delay our scheduled discovery call 40 minutes before the meeting. They would like to schedule for the next day. This sounds like it should be a red flag for a difficult client. Would you recommend taking the call or not? How would you respond? (timestamp: 69m 54s)

Which positioning statements sounds stronger: a) As a Business Therapist, I help IT entrepreneurs navigate in non-standard situations faster. Unlike others, I provide an interdisciplinary view. b) I help IT entrepreneurs make critical business decisions faster. * - non-standard means shareholder conflict, entering a new market, founder burn-out, etc. ** - interdisciplinary means that I combine various modalities (business consulting, psychotherapy, Theory of Constraints etc.) (timestamp: 72m 45s)

Questions from 2020-07-30

Sequencing the Why: do you always use the Why in your first call, or do you qualify, then conduct a second call for the Why? What if you can't get the Why answers you need during the call? Just set up another call and try again to dig deeper? (timestamp 1m 40s)

What are your thoughts on scheduling follow-ups? There seem to be 2 projects within a big software project: the project itself, and the project of getting the project started. I'm usually VERY lenient about follow-up convos (they seem really salesy), but I'm losing deals left and right because prospects are either (1) overwhelmed by the options and want someone to guide them, and (2) my competitors are scheduling follow-ups and building more rapport with them. (timestamp 7m 33s)

Do you have any best practices for getting in touch with the real decision-maker? Recently had a "why" convo with a CTO -- I was a really good fit for the project, but they didn't want to put me in touch with the CEO (who would ultimately make the decision). Of course, he bailed on our follow-up call and they picked another provider (probably the one that got a hold of the CEO lol). (timestamp 20m 1s)

How do I apply value based pricing to a project with hourly costs? Value based pricing has worked well for consulting, but I now want to apply it to a software implementation project. I have a new client, trust is high, and they're great about accepting the costs presented if they understand the pros and cons of each option. They're re-launching one of their SaaS platforms, and they need to take payments. So the value of doing the project is high. The existing platform is a mess, and there's a lot of remediation to be done to take payments and apply subscriptions in a secure manner. And they understand that’s necessary. There are multiple payment solution options, depending on how fast they want to deliver vs what features they offer to customers. The client most values being able to weigh the cost of implementation vs the business value and they (now) value higher quality delivery. I don’t want to present a "$x per month for a team of 3 (my staff are paid hourly) and we'll do whatever you want for as long as it takes" proposal, it’s how the previous vendor lost the work – the client couldn’t see what the cost of a project was before committing to it, and it could take months to deliver. Do you think there is a value proposition to differentiate the options - beyond just "this is cheaper to implement/this is cheaper to run/this has more features"? Is there a way to price/present the options to cover the risk of budget-overrun given the ‘unknowns’ of the inherited system, but only if needed? (timestamp 28m 39s)

One of the products on our ladder will be to offer Hotels new websites. It's a competitive space as many of the booking engine providers offer websites for free - but the sites are what you would expect. My thinking is we offer 2 options: $$ option - Monthly Subscription - Using our custom WP Template - $1000 a month min 24-month contract. (We have a team member that would be doing this work, not me). $$$ option - Custom site What do you think of a website subscription model? (timestamp 41m 50s)

On your sales pages you have sentences like "The price is $xxx, which distinguishes those who are serious about their business, and is easily recouped through the reduction of manual labor and increased profits." I don't often see phrases like this justifying a price point. Why do you do this? What is the difference compared to just stating the price? Is it working for you? (timestamp 47m 24s)

What if the client wants to hire you before you have the "value"? I had the "why" with the stakeholders but didn't fully drill into the business case to arrive at their perceived value. I followed up recommending any of: a) diagnostic (review their system), b) a "process observation" (diagnostic), or c) an additional, free discovery call to continue the "why", inviting the owners to join. I received this respons: I must be honest, this seems like a pretty straightforward proposition…are you willing to provide immediate training to help us address what I consider to be remedial needs? If so, I think we can quickly move forward based on the “wish list” Michael shared with you. After that, once we have the basics shored up, we would be open to a discussion on larger, structural elements. (timestamp 50m 15s)

Most of our services, are codesigned with the clients team. But we believe there are some products that are a standard pack (ecommerce, mail automation, on boarding) that will probably will work better with no intervention from the client's team (specially because they are part or the problem) how can we build the offer without looking that we are avoiding their team (which we are). More specifically, the question is, how do we design and price a product without our interaction, without lowering our prices? Being a productized service, the customer can think it will be cheaper, but we think we are packing our knowledge and reputation. (timestamp 55m 50s)

Questions from 2020-07-16

Do you ask old or existing clients to recommend your services to someone they might know? Do you send letters to your old clients to "raise them from the dead". e.g.: "I liked working with you on project X. I’m curious, is there anything I can do to help your business grow?". (timestamp 2m 11s)

During the value conversation, how do you ask questions about the expected monetary value of future business improvement without being perceived as if you gather too sensitive information? Did any prospect get nervous/suspicious that you will charge a higher price if you know more info about his/her potential gain? Because at that stage you are still a rather stranger to them. Plus nobody asked them such value questions before. Maybe they never asked those questions to themselves. (timestamp 5m 17s)

Could you please elaborate more about your mailing daily practice: How far in the future you have emails scheduled? How do you find inspiration when you feel stuck? How do you manage to avoid overwhelming people's minds inbox? Do you have some heuristics for daily mail: maximum number of words, bad ideas, home-run lessons, etc.? (timestamp 11m 15s)

You once said that you simplified your email list logistics and now have a basic Orientation course (VBT, FPS, 7 emails with articles) followed by fresh daily letters sent to your entire list simultaneously. Don't you feel some regret that new people miss your great old daily posts? Yes, I noticed that you also publish them (via automation?) on your website, but does this content have any other usage apart from the email option "View on the web". (timestamp 17m 4s)

I'm wondering why you don't maintain a minimum activity on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Telegram? Why not use them at least as a promotion tool for growing your mailing list? May be your potential clients don't use these channels? Or given your existing client base plus podcast, plus guest podcast activity is more than enough for your business now in terms of lead gen? (timestamp 25m 7s)

What's your position about when to send your daily broadcasts to ensure they are indeed being read by subscribers? E.g. not sending email on Sat/Sun? Or sending emails early in the morning? Does scheduling consistency matter for building your predictability and hence trust? (timestamp 26m 26s)

Do you automate 3 proposal reminders (before acceptance) or just set reminders for yourself to send them out? Sometimes I forget and my clients can sometimes be busy too so I feel like I need to have some process here whether it's automatic or not. (timestamp 31m 0s)

could you demonstrate how you use Trello for client tracking/CRM tasks? (timestamp 35m 31s)

How strict are you with proposal expiry dates? Or does this completely depend on the project? Any minimum ‘cool-down period’ if someone misses the expiration date before you consider talking about the project again? Or just depends? (timestamp 42m 30s)

If you didn't have your podcast and you were starting your list - or when this was true for you - how do you get initial traction on your list without constantly spamming LinkedIn, FB, and Twitter? (timestamp 48m 18s)

If you feel like you've outgrown a client, do you still try to assess whether they still want to work with your new prices before letting them go? Have a client that needs work done that actually helps them convert customers (and they know this) but I have a strong feeling that they are still the champagne taste & beer budget type. (timestamp 56m 14s)

How do you deal with a client you have outgrown that is not really that pleasant to work with (e.g. low budget, not too respective of your time/start date boundaries). Can you really refer this type of client to anyone you want to keep a good relationship with? Or do you just say "good luck, bye"? Currently I'm basically ghosting them / not replying, not sure if that's the best way to deal with this. (timestamp 64m 37s)

We are a business design consultancy as IDEO. We usually do high cost consulting (from 15 thousand dollars upwards). We have a show on the web about business and technology that has quite a few viewers, and many of them want to have a "little piece" of us, and can't afford us. How can we design low-cost products like courses without devaluing our high-cost products? (timestamp 66m 49s)

I am inspired by your product ladder with your productized consulting services. I am considering to offer similar services. What do you like the most about these type of productized services? What do you dislike about them? Would I be better off with offering an online course instead? (I love travelling and my freedom to organize my working days on the go. A lot of your products seem to require tight schedules in your calendar) (timestamp 74m 53s)

I have 2 new clients and 3-4 current clients I am moving to Retainers with weekly meetings. I'm trying to price this with options for unlimited support email, the periodic call, and finally an option for direct 24/7 cell phone access for CEO. They are all currently paying $200-$250 hour. Trying to determine a good starting point for a quarterly retainer, understanding there is a premium for access. (timestamp 87m 52s)

How do you handle situations in which you set a time to follow-up with a prospect via phone, and they cancel at the last second, without suggesting a new time? (timestamp 104m 56s)

How do you know when to call it quits on a marketing campaign? (timestamp 105m 56s)

If you have time ... would love to get your spontaneous reaction to my website ... I enjoyed the "tear down" last time (timestamp 109m 57s)

Questions from 2020-07-02

My previous projects have all been in the $3000 to $8000 range. With that pricing, just sending over a proposal always seemed enough. However, I'm about to send over my first $30k+ proposal, and I'm wondering if a proposal is enough. Are there other documents you recommend I have the client sign as well? Right now, I'm using your TPS proposal template. The project is developing a web application, if that matters. (timestamp 1m 37s)

In previous group coaching sessions, you've said it's important to determine some metric that can be tracked while we work on the project. I feel like I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this concept, though. I know this will always depend on the client and should be determined with them, but could you come up with some examples of things you could track? Like for a web app, or a website redesign, or rewriting a website's copy. (timestamp 9m 40s)

How do you respond when prospects get angry at you for asking "why" questions? (timestamp 20m 11s)

We are a business design consultancy (ideo style), which helps companies to implement digital transformation, through rapid prototyping. Many of our services are quite custom. However, we would like to have some productized services, easy to implement and of a small cost (about 1k - 5k). We couldn't have an idea of what to do. Our expertise is in agility, business viability analysis, service design, user story, user experience, metrics and rapid prototyping. (timestamp 28m 58s)

What are some simple scripts to use when clients start asking for work that’s in a level of engagement deeper than what they paid for? (timestamp 38m 46s)

If you have time on the call, would love to know why you chose Moon Clerk. What are some things to consider when choosing a payment system like this. I looked into using it but there’s no way to have tax automatically added based on geographical location which I need to charge legally. (timestamp 48m 12s)

Questions from 2020-06-18

I attended your positioning statement workshop a while back and loved it. I was wondering if you could give specific examples of how you take the statement and apply it to other marketing assets? I think I've perfected my statement, and am now rewriting my sales page. I can't directly see a positioning statement in your perfect sales page example, or your Linkedin profile... In short, I'm interested to know how the positioning statement fits into the overall messaging strategy. Thanks! (timestamp 1m 47s)

We want to make an introductory program to our digital transformation methodology called "pandemic digital transformation bootcamp". 3 sessions with a slack group where we will adress: 1. agility 2. leadership and teamwork 3. prototyping and rapid development. It would be free of charge, so that later they would want to buy strategy and coaching. Target audience is CEOs, COOs with whom we have good networks, is it a good idea? would you do some tweak? how do we transform them into customers? (timestamp 17m 32s)

We are a business design consulting firm (similar to IDEO), but there are only two of us. What happens when we have 3 big clients that will occupy the next 3 months? How do we sell to prepare the future without accepting new clients in parallel? (timestamp 28m 33s)

I'd like a teardown on this draft of our new landing page. The target audience is dev leads for Laravel product teams. (timestamp 38m 8s)

... if we have time :) ... We've built a landing page that sells custom project work. How would you go about offering related productized services. These services are usually initial phases of every custom project we would do anyway and are bundled in the project. Phases like: 1. Assess readiness, 2. Discovery, followed by PoC and further development. - Can all that be on the same page? How would you connect it? Do you have examples? (timestamp 60m 20s)

Questions from 2020-06-04

Any ideas on finding 'watering holes' where CMOs or CTOs hang out? Reddit and FB seem better suited at targeting a B2C crowd (who may or may not have real money to spend), - There are some Linkedin groups that seem to target these 'C-suite' players in their titles, but they mostly seem to be spam fests, accepting anyone who requests to join, with no real community engagement. - I'm guessing that in 'normal' times, live conferences are the answer. But are they congregating anywhere online? (timestamp 1m 26s)

What are some pointers on writing less abstractly? (timestamp 10m 14s)

Would it be uncouth of me to offer free strategy sessions (no sales slant) to Black startup founders during this time as a way to support with action? (timestamp 17m 44s)

What do you use to keep track of long-term goals or chart out how to reach those goals? We have long-term goals like publishing a short book, speaking at conferences, and other ways to raise our profiles. Have you found a system or bit of software that helps to keep you accountable? (timestamp 20m 54s)

Can I get a site teardown for the site I'm working on? Trying to get the right balance of being clear on who I'm trying to help vs what I can help them with. (timestamp 31m 17s)

I took the advice from the last session about our innovation design firm. I have a new proposal of a web page, and we designed 4 products for CEOs and COOs. Caould you check if its clear enough? (ennglish its not my native language, and the original page is in spanish, I translated it for the session. (timestamp 46m 12s)

This is my draft/sketch for our Machine Learning Experts Landing page. Can you please do a tear-down? My concerns is that so much text makes it sound like TV Shop commercials. (timestamp 62m 10s)

Questions from 2020-05-21

How do you approach offering a new productized service as a "beta"? Context: I've been having difficulty getting folks to buy my conversion audit (fixed @ $5000 for everyone). Lots of people ghosting me after being "all about it" on the phone previously. I'm suspicious that there's a trust problem somewhere and I want to get more specific testimonials. But, the audit requires a huge time commitment from people, and I think giving it away for free will be a harder sell than charging (because they're not invested & they see it as "cheap/not worth it"). (timestamp 1m 7s)

Positioning statement for review: ‘I’m a sales copy, case study, and white paper writer for SaaS companies struggling to build credibility with large enterprise clients.’ Is ‘SaaS’ too broad of a niche for marketing consulting services? If so, should I narrow my focus to something like healthcare or EdTech? Right now I'm in the trenches writing B2B tech copy and content (on Upwork, lol) but would like to eventually do more big-picture strategic communication/branding consulting. Looking to focus and learn one market well. Any other market suggestions would be highly welcomed as well. Please and thank you :-) (timestamp 8m 57s)

Do you have any do's/don'ts for pursuing leads who are also friends? I'm concerned about under-pricing myself with them, or possibly putting the friendship at risk if the working relationship goes awry. (timestamp 18m 2s)

Positioning statement for review: "We are a technological laboratory that helps managers of highly competitive companies to optimize their operations, improve their sales and innovate in products and services. Using rapid development methodologies and technology, we implement functional prototypes in weeks instead of months, we transfer tools and speed up your teams so that the organization can continue on its own." Giving our service is something as a "magical promise" (solving a problem and prototyping in weeks), how to make leads to try us out? Finally, We are very good on the detecting problems but those problems are not necessarily the one the client has detected as a problem. I know from your writings that we have to focus on what customer pain is, but what if we resolve the problem he is fixed on... the real problem still exist? (timestamp 21m 32s)

I'd love a mini-teardown of the landing page work in progress I shared. Is the target audience too broad? Do the pains resonate? Should we just use the FixMyF**kingProject site? :D (timestamp 47m 0s)

Finally posted and setup my monthly office hours session... can I get a review/feedback of the post and landing page? Goal is to get people into a funnel for the mailing list and security coaching community. Thanks! (timestamp 55m 2s)

What changes would you make to the "Beta Service Invite Email Template" from TPS for cold outreach messages on Linkedin to get beta testers? Trying to figure out how to balance the curiosity-inspired "you look interesting" kind of messages with asking something of them. Pretty sure I have serious aversion to coming off as salesy. Every variation of what I type out feels forced Variations: "I'm launching a new Customer Data Review service and looking for beta testers. If you're interested could we have a quick call?" "I'm looking for people to beta test a new "Customer Data Review" service I've put together. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in please let me know and I’ll send over times for a quick call." And then some tweaked version of the full template from TPS but not sure if that's too long. (timestamp 63m 32s)

We have a client that has a retainer where they can opt for maintenance (just updates and security) or sprints, which includes development work. They've snuck in little requests for fixes while only in "maintenance mode." We don't want to send them little invoices for $1k or $5k. We've thoughts about resolving this by getting them to pay for the development in advance, paying for a year of maintenance in advance in exchange for little fixes be thrown in. (timestamp 71m 15s)

Questions from 2020-05-07

How do you handle the first conversation you have with prospects after COLD outreach? (usually only 15 mins) (timestamp: 1m 14s)

Do you have any suggestions for client exit interview questions or questions to ask after completing a project for a case study? (timestamp: 6m 0s)

Felt much more confident after using your 5-page proposal template with a new prospective client. I have a 14-day expiration on it. It's been a week with no response. How would you handle the one week check-in on this? (timestamp: 18m 1s)

How to find out from your existing / past clients what was your ‘competitive alternative’. - ‘what would your clients do if they didn’t hire you”.

I am wondering how to find that out from clients directly? How to frame that conversation and get the answer I am looking for (and not something like “we would’ve hired another consultant / company”)
Is this something you would recommend being part fo the questions for Client Testimonial (vs. 5-question from The Brain Audit) (timestamp: 32m 27s)

Questions from 2020-04-23

Copy from the slack channel re PS - One direction that addressed my ‘product’ side: "We help growing tech startups with creating strategic products/features and grow customer base!" - that seems a bit unconvincing, and if we focus on the ‘pain’: "We help startups in growth stage with implementing strategic product / ideas that are getting delayed/postponed" (timestamp: 2m 2s)

What are your reccomendations on building an effective (cold) email outreach campaign for new strategy work? (timestamp: 23m 11s)

I'm trying to build out a sales page according to "The Perfect Sales Page template" article. It's still a draft (I haven't completed the actual offerings) and the "unique" section but would love feedback so far. (timestamp: 38m 48s)

You mentioned a podcast as a midrange authority builder. Do you think a weekly newsletter would be a comparable channel? Or is one preferable? Thanks. (timestamp: 53m 33s)

I'm fairly new with my business idea, being a Notion Consultant. And don't know where to start. - Is it realistic to work on a LFPS now? The current one is and doesn't give me a rollodex-spark: I’m a Notion consultant, helping digital product providers building their digital workspace and save admin time. Unlike my competitors I offer my services for the German speaking market. - If it's too early for a LFPS; what makes more sense to focus on? (timestamp: 55m 54s)

Jonathan, I'm having trouble getting to the next phase. Not sure if it's an execution thing or a focus thing. My vCISO advisory has been successful, but I want to take it to the next level for scaling. My Getting Into Infosec podcast has been VERY successful but needs continuous attention. I know everything that needs to be done, but having trouble prioritizing content creation, with delivery of work, and etc. (timestamp: 61m 26s)

If time for a second question. I've been following the LinkedIn making connections approach. Getting a lot more conversations going, even a couple of phone calls. Learning A LOT about the real estate agent industry (and mortgage brokers), but I'm struggling to see obvious opportunities where I can help them consistently, "Oh would this bring you value". They essentially all just need more inbound leads. (timestamp: 67m 53s)

Questions from 2020-04-09

How do you deal with the "value dichotomy"? Meaning, the activities at the start of a project are much more valuable than the actual deliverables themselves, but you can't price "discovery/strategy" nearly as high as the implementation work? (timestamp: 1m 50s)

I'm focusing on developing my positioning statement this month, would love your feedback on it, thanks so much Jonathan! "As a physical design advisor, I help technical product founders navigate the ins and outs of commercializing lasting products to build durable brands and businesses." (timestamp: 15m 37s)

I just got an email from a client I haven't worked with in about four years. Since then, our business has changed a lot. We charge $5k minimum for initial work, which is always a report. We charge much more for implementation if/when we do it at all. What's the most tactful way to adjust a client's expectations? Do you have a script for this? (timestamp: 30m 1s)

I'm considering a Slack-only, one-on-one design advisory program for physical product founders—to create a lower barrier of entry. Up to this point weekly live calls that include Slack access but they are a harder sell due to price point. I see this as a way to begin the conversation, then upsell to more live reviews and audits. Any words of caution or suggestions from your experience of running Slack-based coaching programs? (timestamp: 36m 2s)

What do you do to keep yourself consistently focused (over a period of years) on tasks that are mind-numbing to you, but ultimately very important for your business (for me: prospecting on LinkedIn & cold emailing). (timestamp: 42m 10s)

In your last mail you talk about change. How to support clients and help them not to be afraid of change and to encourage them to see the value and give a chance to the "scary" or "radical" solutions you might propose? For eg. in the COVID19 situation in many industries - for eg. the travel & hospitality or events industry a paradigm shift is required (at least until a vaccine is established). (timestamp: 46m 19s)

Also working on my positioning statement after watching the crash course and another one or two previous live streams. In A for B style: "I do spreadsheet automation for property managers" in "I help x with y" style: "I help property managers to improve client relationships" or "I help property managers to close more clients" (timestamp: 56m 55s)

Questions from 2020-03-26

As you prob. do you think the current COVID-19 pandemic will inhibit people from VBP? I get a feeling that decision-makers that are being blasted with demands for layoffs are hardly going to sign a $300K check right now. (timestamp 1m 37s)

I have been working to move from design services to design advisory as a subscription or retainer, with the majority of this year being advisory. However new client may still come to me to do a task, which then I sell them on the task being a subset of an advisory package with a multi month commitment. Can you speak a bit about advisory retainer best practices and what’s worked and what to watch out for? Also, difference between advice or access as a subscription vs advisory retainer? (timestamp 10m 13s)

Being a trusted source of advice for many of us in this group, what are your thoughts on running and managing a business during these turbulent times? What are you hearing from your clients? Have you given thought to how this changes value-pricing in the future and/or do you see a greater need for productized services vs. customized? (timestamp 34m 47s)

What, if anything, would you do differently in regards to outreach in times like this? (timestamp 47m 2s)

What specific parts of your system outlined in TPS you would focus on, over others, in times like this? (timestamp 54m 15s)

Questions from 2020-03-12

How do you switch frames from the initial "why" conversation where you're trying to "un-sell" yourself, to the practitioner who does see a problem? i.e. "I don't think there's a problem here, prove it to me" to "Okay, I know there is a problem, let's fix it". (timestamp: 1m 20s)

Let's pretend you were still doing mobile consulting. Would you walk us through how you'd land a new VBP project, if you only had 2 months, and couldn't use your current platform? (timestamp: 5m 20s)

As a software engineer working as a full time employee for a large company trying to put together a business case to be an independent solo-prenuer to convince a skeptical, risk-averse spouse, how large of a revenue stream could be anticipated and within what timeframe? This question is open to everyone. Direct message me or post in the general chat, whichever you feel most comfortable. (timestamp: 20m 52s)

Can you please review the pain, dream, and fix portions of our UX Sales Page that you mercilessly critiqued during the last session? You liked the rest of the documents, so this doesn't need to be a full review. (timestamp: 26m 15s)

how do you deal with prospects that respond to "why" questions with long-winded responses..totally torpedoing/confusing the conversation? (timestamp: 46m 28s)

Questions from 2020-02-27

Can you take a quick look at my new site? Is the messaging clear? Is the niche too broad? Any major concerns that jump out at you? (timestamp 2m 43s)

Can you review our sales page copy mercilessly provide feedback? (timestamp 27m 47s)

Do you have any advice on how this LFPS could be improved: I'm a Product Designer who helps fitness software companies deliver personalised experiences in compliance with privacy regulations. Unlike my competitors, I use compliance to build trust instead of degrading the experience by overwhelming prospects and customers with legal content. (timestamp 55m 24s)

Questions from 2020-02-13

What are some marketing/reputation-boosting things I could ask clients for in exchange for pro bono work? I'm trying to build connections in a relatively new niche, and I've found a prospect in that industry with no budget but a small enough project that I could deliver with little hassle. I was thinking of asking for a written testimonial, a video testimonial, and doing an in-depth before/after case study. Thoughts? (timestamp: 1m 25s)

How do you deal with situations in which exclusive economic buyers are very time-poor, and cant concede the time you need to have a proper why convo? (timestamp: 6m 59s)

Do you think roadmapping/discovery sessions are a good stop gap to sell more projects until you build up an authority? Roadmapping/discovery sessions are kind of a drawn out version of your why conversation and the proposal, but with the added benefit of being able to build more of a rapport. The why conversation seems to imply that you are already someone a potential client knows enough about to answer "why me?" relatively easily (an authority). (timestamp: 22m 25s)

We currently provide web consulting services to several public policy nonprofits (think tanks), but those clients have referred us to many other types of nonprofit groups. I fear that think tanks alone are too narrow a niche, but nonprofits seems much too broad. How would I go about determining if think tanks are a good niche? (timestamp: 40m 10s)

Could you recommend a “template” of questions the client should answer, to help them give you meaningful/useful testimonial? (timestamp: 51m 51s)

I'm quite pushy in getting prospects to get on the phone with me. It feels unethical to me because I know that I start all my projects with a fixed-fee discovery period (it's the same for everyone), and I only want to get them on the phone so I can control how emotional objections are handled, (not because its the right thing for the prospect). Do you ever take on engagements without having a call first? (timestamp: 53m 31s)

How would you recommend to weave in paid roadmapping with your approach? Do you get them a price up-front, with the roadmap being the cheapest option? I find that roadmapping is often the most valuable part of the engagement. (timestamp: 57m 49s)

Questions from 2020-01-30 session

I have a sales interview tomorrow with a very qualified prospect (first point of contact), and I know that they have received a proposal for $175K for the project already from an established agency that specializes in the same niche as I (CRO for SAAS). How can I possibly compete with this agency on any metric other than price? I believe if I propose a price anywhere close to $175k, they'll just think "ah well might as well go with the agency to hedge our bets, then") (timestamp 1m 15s)

Sticky predicament: in my sales interview tomorrow, the guy who referred me will also be present. He's a freelance developer that has a strong relationship with the prospect. It seems strange to price out the entire solution (discovery->design->development) with the prospect, when I know the developer is stuck in the hourly trap. I get the impression that he will confuse the process since he will want to bill the same client hourly for the development. Any advice? (timestamp 12m 50s)

In a previous coaching call, I asked you about "website as a productized service", and you gave the example of someone you hired to build a "website in a day". Here's my pilot test project for $5,000 "website in a day": Does this meet the bar you'd expect for the pricepoint? Do you have any suggestions before I go live with this offering? (timestamp 19m 11s)

Using your Dentists audience as an example, when dealing with 1 person/smaller businesses, how would a software designer help this kind of audience vs helping software companies that build products for this audience?\ I don't see why these kinds of businesses would pay for software solutions to be designed and built when solutions likely exist and if they don't exist, surely wouldn't pay the kinds of prices required. (timestamp 32m 7s)

Questions from 2020-01-16 session

I'm having deeper why conversation and having people tell me their problems and things that will happen if they don't fix it. It all sounds pretty serious, except when it comes to "is this a problem worth solving? or "how much is this problem worth solving?" - not getting a numerical answer, their answer is flipping it back on me. This has happened the last few meetings. Am I positioning/phrasing something incorrectly or is my market target still off? (timestamp 1m 39s)

My why meetings are going further but when it comes to the money - it's "too expensive." At the same time these are all multi-million dollar biz owners who agree they have these problems. At the end they start talking about doing a commission/percentage scenario or I do this for them, and they'll include my production services in all their marketing/welcome packages, basically everything except actual payment. Maybe it's something but I would rather get paid. What are you thoughts on this? (timestamp 18m 29s)

Does anyone know where CTO's and Startup exec hangout online? Any resources are welcome. Thanks! (timestamp 22m 38s)

I've had ~50 or so value conversations, though I'm finding that prospects get emotional and guarded when I start probing and asking about specific revenue numbers (if I don't probe for the value in their own words, they often don't have a realistic anchor, so my $xxx,xxx price seems insane). Common objections are "why is this relevant?" or "that's for me to worry about". How do you manage objections like these? (timestamp 30m 7s)

Can you give me your thoughts on my sales funnel draft? This all stems from the Slack convo we had about low carb docs using Patreon. I pivoted just slightly from targeting"low carb docs" to targeting "low carb podcasters", since "podcasters" seems to be a larger potential market. (timestamp 44m 14s)

I get the impression that access to highly exclusive economic buyers boosts your likelyhood of closing 6 figure deals moreso than understanding the principles of effective VBP. So, someone who sucks at VBP is much more likely to land a windfall deal than someone who understands VBP but doesn't have access to experienced buyers. Is positioning & access the real golden ticket? What are your thoughts on this? (timestamp 61m 41s)

Working on launching my group coaching class... need to get people enticed so I'm thinking about a $99/mo lifetime discount for early signers. What do you think? Regular cost will be between $250-500/mo. Target is CTO's and technical founders in growing startups. Also, I keep going back and forth between "class" and "community". Thoughts? (timestamp 67m 4s)

Last time, I asked you about developing & testing a point of view like "Hourly Billing is Nuts" - in this case it was "Referrals Don't Work". Can you give some practical examples of how to deploy this point of view, how to use it effectively in marketing? (timestamp 71m 42s)

How do you have the why conversation with smaller businesses (less money available), if at all? Sounds like it's more appropriate for larger businesses. (timestamp 76m 17s)

Questions from 2020-01-02 session

I've been trying to figure out a Distinct Point of View, along the lines of your "Hourly Billing is Nuts". My target market is independent management consultants, who see referrals as sacrosanct in lead generation. I'm considering “Referrals Are Not Enough” as a somewhat contrary PoV. Do you have any suggestions on this question? (timestamp 1m 49s)

On the topic of contrarian catchphrases, if I want to specialize in accounting and business consulting for small law firms, how are these phrases: "Law school didn't teach you how to run a law firm." or "Law school didn't prepare you to run a law firm." (timestamp 17m 43s)

What is your position on working with recruiters? Should they be considered a last resort for getting projects, or is there a way to work with them that supports your business long term? (timestamp 24m 58s)

Getting more comfortable with brain dumps and asking why questions but having trouble going deeper with the ‘whys’ and demonstrating higher value. I’ll ask why me and always get - because john said you’re good, you have the most reviews, your work looks amazing. I’ll go into “i’m probably the most expensive option” and so far have continued to talk myself out of every sale telling people they can hire less experienced photographers for what they’re trying to do. (timestamp 31m 59s)

How do you create that luxury perception for a service where it’s so good people just want it no matter what the cost is?

I remember in an earlier session you talked about being stuck in your income/class bracket and clients probably having same problems as you. What are some practical steps I could take to appeal to a higher income bracket? And maybe any recommendations for stuff I could watch/read to learn more about this mindset. (timestamp 47m 9s)

Do you have any tips on getting testimonials from current clients? Would the approach be any different than at the end of a project, or different from approaching past clients for testimonials? (timestamp 60m 42s)

I think one of the reasons I’m talking every person out of working with me is because I’m looking for a project but they’re looking for a productized service. If that’s the case, what are ways to immediately identify this, and how would you approach a productized service convo on the phone? (timestamp 63m 10s)

Questions from 2019-12-19 session

After the brain dump and why conversation, how does it look/sound when you transition the conversation into talking about your price? (still getting the hang of this, i know it’s to qualify fit/answer objections). Do you present 3 pricing tiers on the spot? Do people get shook when they see the numbers? After presenting price would you ever change it? Seems at this stage I either have to walk away with a check or nothing. (will be our 3rd meeting, 5hrs later.) (timestamp 1m 44s)

For the first time in my life I am having valuable/completely different convos with potential clients. In my mind even though i’ve specialized and am focusing on an outcome, i’m still getting hung up on pricing. In my digital/creative field I practically have no costs and am creating intangible assets. How do I get over this and just break through saying numbers like $50k? I know it’s all in my head but I’m coming from a place where the most I ever charged was $5k and still doing $500 gigs. (timestamp 13m 30s)

My why convos/me asking questions about their biz have been turning into 2hr long unpaid discovery sessions. It’s been helping me understand where they’re coming from/where they want to be, but am I going off track here? Where do you draw the line when it comes to access to your head and letting people know they will need to hire you for a consultation? (timestamp 29m 0s)

Met with someone who owns a successful investment management firm and wants to build authority on the web for their industry. They purchased a $3.5k youtube/sales funnel ecourse roadmap. They are too busy to do it themselves and want me to execute everything for them from the roadmap. I asked why me and they want one person they can trust that will get the job done. Pretty much I am building their money-making vehicle, but it’s not my roadmap. How would you approach/price a project like this? (timestamp 36m 38s)

I'm working on creating an ideal customer avatar - aka buyer persona - aka a bunch of other terms. There are a ton of resources on this that suggest going into so much detail that you list what they had for breakfast. It's too much. What is the 80/20 or MVP of an ideal customer avatar? (Note: next question is somewhat related) (timestamp 49m 23s)

Can content marketing work for generalists? Is there a requirement to be a specialist to make content marketing work? This is related to the previous question :) (timestamp 53m 54s)

I have a bunch of email addresses of prospective clients (not bought- found via a directory they are members of). Any ideas on how can I use these in a non-spammy way, e.g. create look-alike audience in FB, etc? (timestamp 64m 2s)

Questions from 2019-12-05 session

Last session was my attempt at specializing to architectural real estate photog. You talked about writing daily. I’ve been having trouble coming up with valuable ideas to write about for my niche audience of realtors. So far what i’ve written only helps photographers. I did some pain point research but I don’t think my skill set would even solve those problems. Could you talk about your writing process & finding ways of applying your skillset to help a vertical? (timestamp 1m 53s)

Finding more and more that real estate photog on its own is incredibly commoditized like $200 shoots for a $1mil house. There are a select few people doing $20k+ shoots for designers/developers, trying to get in front of that exclusive crowd without an intro has been tough. Should I bite the bullet and accept these smaller shoots as a way in the door? How would you go upon this? In the past, in order to charge more and make a living, I’d tack on extra production services, web design, etc. But that would defeat the whole purpose of specializing. (timestamp 11m 50s)

I'm a vertically-specialized web designer, my market are small management consulting firms. I'm considering offering some kind of content marketing as an add-on service (interview them to create blog posts, podcasts or something like this). Any advice on offering this? (timestamp 28m 56s)

Can you talk more about your writing process? (timestamp 45m 44s)

Questions from 2019-11-14 session

Current client buckets: 1. companies looking to improve efficiency. 2. early stage startups. Project Categories: - streamlining payroll. - build custom work management tools(simplifying complex internal processes). - leveraging automation tools. Horizontal Positioning First Pass: We help companies improve efficiency by building work management tools. How can I improve positioning based on past project types? (timestamp 1m 26s)

Good ways to open conversations with people and ask them to share pain points in business? (timestamp 17m 21s)

Your 25yo again starting over from scratch with everything you know from today. All you have is your skill set + niche page + $500 ad budget. What are the top 3 things you need to be doing on the daily to create a prosperous business. (timestamp 22m 19s)

My target market is consulting firms. For new business, they are very referral focused, it's all about the network and word of mouth. "Sales" is often even a taboo word. Given all of this, what is your advice on selling marketing (strategy creation and implementation) and websites to this market? (timestamp 32m 17s)

If there’s time could you do a site tear down: might remember me as the ‘digital solutions guy’ this is my attempt at niching down, feedback really appreciated, thank you! (timestamp 49m 26s)

Questions from 2019-10-31 session

Will you help me identify what niche to pursue? Let's play like I've never attempted to pick a niche before... (Since I've been trying to position myself for so long, unsuccessfully, maybe I should start again at the beginning?) (timestamp 1m 15s)

I've identified a watering hole for each of the 2 niches I was targeting in the past: 1. Men's Professional Doubles Players: Very active on Instagram, and 2. Docs Treating Patients using a Low Carb lifestyle: Very active on Twitter. Both groups post lots of opinions and observations. But I don't see many questions or posts that seem to be soliciting help. For those types of situations, what's a good strategy to use to start helping them? (timestamp 14m 47s)

I’m new to the world of LFPS/value pricing. I finally finished making my lead magnet and niche sales page. My 3 offers are all high ticket done-for-you in person web/production services. Would offering something like this your first time scare people away? Or would it make more sense to initially invest the time into creating educational digital content that sold for a few dollars just to get some credibility/momentum for myself? (timestamp 22m 19s)

How do you assess & move forward with conflicting data? This week I interviewed five people. I was getting a split response so I almost scrapped my entire offer idea but decided to move forward anyway, solely on the fact that I've made a few substantial sales with this offer in the past. Could that have been a streak of luck or do I need to really find a solution that everyone can agree on? Just would hate to dump my energy into something that was a waste of time. (timestamp 38m 10s)

What do you think about NDA? Is it a huge red flag? (timestamp 49m 53s)

How to deal with people prejudice because of my name? I think I get dismissed a lot because of it. (timestamp 52m 53s)

Hi Jonathan, most of my income is 20% big projects, 80% smaller $200-$500 fixed scope gigs. This month I’ve talked every single person out of working with me and it felt like the right thing to do. Except now it’s really starting to add up and idk how much longer I can keep this up for. So how does someone in their early stages of transitioning to value pricing do this without hurting their income? (timestamp 55m 21s)

Questions from 2019-10-17 session

Does pigeonholing apply also to companies? I run a software house with 10 people. We do web apps and also mobile apps. What would LFPS look like? (timestamp 1m 35s)

I have upcoming large project. On the initial call, the client is trying to understand how expensive is my work. I said that I don't bill hourly, only fixed price projects, etc (from your best practices). And then the client ask: ok, what if the project will need you as a part-time developer, how much will it be, or how much do you want for a one-month full-time project? What can I answer here? I told them my desired numbers, but I think it scared them as hell. (timestamp 25m 48s)

How does one get someone like Seth Godin to appear on their podcast? :) More context: is this possible for a fairly new podcast with a small audience? (timestamp 38m 1s)

Would you consider "entrepreneur" as too vague/broad as a targeted audience? I've been struggling with this question for months. We do our best and most valuable work (with varying deliverables that are specific to a measurable result) with people who have started their own businesses and are in a position to grow in a significant way. By targeting owners we get access to a decision-maker, passion, vision, etc. (timestamp 46m 14s)

How did you start building your audience / email list? Much of the advice on the internet assumes you have a decent social following or web traffic. Was that required? Or, can you build it and they will come? (timestamp 56m 16s)

About that "super clear mission" I'm trying to figure out my Mission or "Point of View". I want to help experts to create a successful business around their expertise so they can compete with larger companies. Why? Because I found this incredibly difficult to do myself, and so I want to help people like me. Any tips about turning this into a simple super clear mission/POV like yours? (timestamp 62m 55s)

Questions from 2019-10-03 session

Jonathan, can you talk a bit about websites? I.e. what you think are the most important elements to have on there, what's not important, etc? (For context: coming from the perspective of a B2B service provider like a marketing consultant, etc.) (timestamp 1m 33s)

Thoughts on niching down to a particular service, rather than a particular product? For instance, instead of "I make X," it's "I ONLY do the Y part of the process for creating X." How do you convince customers that specialization like this has real value, even though you're selling an incomplete version of the product they're looking for? (timestamp 18m 32s)

I'm interested in using surveys to research my audience, their needs, and to market myself as a thought leader. Do you have any suggestions related to using surveys to get the maximum return for effort & investment? (timestamp 29m 37s)

Motivation, and working with smaller or larger clients? One of my driving motivations in business is "to help the little guys to even the playing field so they can compete with the bigger guys". However, it's the larger companies who have large budgets and they also get more value from my services due to scale. Do you have any advice on resolving this conflict between motivation and working with folks who have more ability to pay? (timestamp 39m 4s)

Questions from 2019-09-19 session

How do you charge by value to people who 'know your rate'. A coder creates a website for a pizza parlour. The pizza parlour owner doesn't know the market rate for that skill and they pay. Same coder goes to an engineering company that has a much better idea of how much a coder is 'worth' in the market (rate-wise) and has a pretty good idea how long such a task would take. In other words, they've already calculated: our budget = hours * rate. The second is clearly a tougher sell, any tips? (timestamp 1m 18s)

(From your TBOA episode “do you DO or do you KNOW") I’m getting pretty good at the Why conversation, can always uncover a deeper pain than their self-diagnosis. Trouble is, even though they appreciate that, ultimately they still want someone to just “do” that work - they don’t want an advisor. Occasionally I’ll just do it, but how does one transition from one who does to one who knows? Doesn’t seem to matter if I'm talking to a decision-maker or not. Guessing it's a marketing problem? (timestamp 11m 6s)

So I did a job where I reckoned a task would take me half a day. Because of technical issues it took five days. Some of the issues were mine but most were hardware or wiring issues (the client did the wiring). Can I ask them to pay more and if so, how? (As an aside I could have saved myself the wiring problem by saying "I'll do the wiring" as an Option 3. I will do that next time). (timestamp 23m 29s)

I always thought "even the possibility to reach us and our knowledge is worth something". I found your article "HOW MY RETAINERS WORK" and i think: we have the same opinion. 1) If a client doesn't accept a retainer agreement. What is the consequence for his service?/How do you handle this request? > Do you write a proposal? > How fast do you make it? Don't you even make it? 2) Just to get a feeling, i don't want to be indiscreet - how much would you say is worth a retainer? (timestamp 31m 30s)

  1. Question. As a second service we offer to host the website on our servers. Compared to a normal hosting service, we are expensive. But the client get's a lot of extras from working with us. Comparing to the time, we are investing in support, it is not a very worthwhile branch. Do you have ideas how i can transform the "agency hosting service" to a package and a price, which is more worthwhile? (timestamp 40m 23s)

Any thoughts on transitioning from a "DO" to "KNOW" role with an existing client, without leaving them in the lurch with tasks? Thoughts or advice for someone who "KNOWS," but very much enjoys "DOING," but is also up against a hard wall with capacity? (timestamp 48m 2s)

Back to the "already know your rate" type of customers – an agency, for instance... Thoughts on asserting your expertise (even as a DOER) by tying your cost to a static (large) percentage of the agency's profit, rather than your typical cost of work? (timestamp 52m 35s)

Questions from 2019-09-05 session

How do I find topics to create content? How do I make sure my content isn't useless? Someone's advice was to spend 3x creation time on promoting. If I spend 1-2 hours on a video creation. Then I need to spend 3-6 hours promoting a piece of content? Do you agree with this 3x rule? What's your take? Finally, what would a high level weekly plan for creation + promoting content look like? (preferably with recommended time per activity) (timestamp 1m 22s)

I'm starting to work with a lead that looks almost certainly looks to become a whale client (high revenue, high % of working hours). I do have protected space in my calendar for working on my business, and I am not letting the extra revenue bloat my budget. Is there anything else I should be considering, either to maximize the benefit of a whale client, or maybe not even take them on. (timestamp 12m 9s)

Coaching: should I offer a free initial call? How should I structure my offering? [Question was too long for Crowdcast - see it on Slack] (timestamp 20m 10s)

Building on a recent TBoA episode, lay out a comprehensive plan that takes someone from expert to authority. (timestamp 34m 30s)

Is the largest part of your audience growth through content/broadcasting and I shouldn't be overly concerned about "growing the list"? (timestamp 57m 45s)

Questions from 2019-08-22 session

Most of my work is coaching (on-site and remote) with some training. Great balance now of work, content creation, and pipeline. Add 2-3 more clients and I will be out of balance. What do I say to people I've been courting who say yes, but then I'm too busy? How do you manage the pipeline when you are near max capacity? (timestamp: 1m 29s)

I'm setting up a 7 email course and then moving them onto a list where I email 3-5 times per week. I like to go 80/20 on this. Can you tell me a bit more about the mechanics of your email list setup? After you deliver your 6 lessons, do you then move them off that sequence and onto your daily email list automatically, or do you offer a new opt-in? If they're in the Bootcamp Lessons sequence, do you isolate them so they don't get your daily emails? Any other tips? (timestamp: 7m 10s)

My weekly email list (content delivery similar to your daily email) is opt-in. How do I grow it? (timestamp: 19m 16s)

I'm interested in knowing how to publish a book? You once asked about it on your newsletter and at that time I didn't even consider it. I'd like something similar to your social networking process sheet (an overview of how to make it happen) (timestamp: 28m 2s)

Survey/Original Research: have you ever surveyed your prospective clients to conduct original research, to establish yourself as a thought leader, etc? Any thoughts on this? (timestamp: 48m 31s)

Questions from 2019-08-08 session

Hey Jonathan, I'm having trouble doing outreach to specific companies that I've identified as leads but that I don't have any relationship with. It's hard to find emails for these companies - sometimes their contact form or email gets a response, but it feels like shouting into the void. How would you reach out to a specific company you'd like to work with? (timestamp: 1m 5s)

What advice do you have for me in getting onto popular podcasts in my target niche as a guest? I have seen some horribly written form emails sent by some "podcast guest placement services", and I want to make sure that I distinguish myself from these. (timestamp: 14m 38s)

I'm looking for your advice on growing my email list from scratch. Some channels or strategies I'm looking at : - Hosting my own podcast - Guesting on other podcasts - Free 7 day email course - Having an automated webinar (possibly driving traffic from by Facebook ads) Do you have any suggestions on growing my email list using these or other methods? (timestamp: 21m 50s)

"We need you guarantee a date on which you and your team will deliver a perfect bug-free issue-free product." How do you manage the delicate balance between agile development and the reality that accounts need to know an exact date when you will deliver because they are planning PR, building a marketing launch around Product Hunt, trade shows, internal timelines, fund raising, investor commitments, etc. around your delivery date? I'm dealing with an account that has a whole product launch machine behind the product we are building, we've slipped delivery date by 3 weeks for a number of reasons, including scope creep. How do I deal with setting delivery date expectations up front? (timestamp: 33m 54s)

One big question that's been nagging recently is how do you know how much cushion is enough without specking out deliverables? Have you ever had a scenario where you gave a value based price and then got into the project and realized you far underestimated the effort it would take to get them the desired results? (timestamp: 48m 18s)

Another question if we have time... In the scenario where multiple people are bidding on something. Do hourly billed agencies typically have lower "quotes" than yours? Does your positioning as delivering value typically win over the client from the hourly billing agency? (timestamp: 57m 43s)

Questions from 2019-07-25 session

My primary area of expertise is branding, but it's challenging to hone in on pains since "branding" can include many touch-points that connect a customer to a business. The most narrow I've gotten is "I help small businesses attract and retain new customers." which still feels general, but allows me to provide solutions in all areas (print, product, digital, etc.). What are your thoughts on how "branding" is defined and the associated pain points? (timestamp: 1m 30s)

My local market has lots of high revenue small businesses which are good opportunities but they are very hard to get in front of. There are not many local industry specific conferences/publications etc. Do you have any suggestions for directly targeting local industry in this type of situation? Is it a mistake to focus on local. If so, do you have suggestions for taking first the first steps in getting remote clients? For context, I do full stack custom rails development of backend systems (timestamp: 22m 25s)

Promoting a brand new podcast: I'm launching a podcast called "Marketing for Consultants" in the next month or so. The audience is independent consultants who need help marketing their niche consulting business. Do you have any recommendations on how to launch the podcast to maximize impact/listeners in my target audience? I have no problem investing money if I'm spending it properly. Jonathan, I know you're a big fan of 80:20, particularly when it comes to your podcasts: what's the 80:20 here? (timestamp: 36m 31s)

Can you talk about the productized coaching ladder, and also the nitty gritty about how you manage clients and appointments. It seems like having the differentiated services and lots of people you coach, the logistics get challenging. (timestamp: 50m 40s)

Productized service on its own domain name/website: I've got a great domain for my productized service - a "does what it says on the tin" domain. Any thoughts on having the service on a standalone site, away from the primary business brand website? (timestamp: 57m 41s)

Can you explain a bit about value-pricing for Research and Development? Thank you. (timestamp: 61m 15s)

Questions from 2019-07-11 session

Meeting with some company leaders to have the why conversation. When we get to the "why me" part, how do I do that? I have strong credentials, but they are all from P-12 and higher education. Do I just trust that my ability to help them identify a problem that they aren’t actually fully aware of, and to offer some possibilities based on their unique situation, that will give them the answer to “why me”? I am not into selling myself, but they have a real need and I know I can help them. (timestamp: 1m 16s)

How do i keep track of linking to my own content between blog posts, email news letters, website, etc? (timestamp: 11m 2s)

We build large scale projects that typically last 6-8 months. I'm relatively new to services business and our ability to estimate delivery dates sucks and we seem to always be off. Right now 3 weeks late for delivering on a project. Death by 1,000 papercuts along the way seems to be the recurring problem. (1) How do I better estimate delivery dates? (2) How do I set expectations with these clients up front and part of the sales process? (3) Our practice is to demo weekly, but client gets frustrated that what we show is not yet perfect. They say "Why are you taking our time to show us stuff that doesn't work perfectly yet?". How do I deal with that when it's a best practice? Damn, I think I need to get back to building products! Help! (timestamp: 20m 46s)

When things slow down on my end I tend to reach out to agencies for work? They always ask for the hourly rate! Is it possible to sell value pricing to an agency or is it a lost cause? (timestamp: 50m 1s)

Questions from 2019-06-27 session

I want to productize a service and offer a course (or series of courses) with three options (no touch, low touch, high touch). I already have a buyer. I know how to write curriculum and teach, but how will I manage it? What do I need to think about? What technologies should I use? (timestamp: 1m 37s)

Project/client management - how do I keep track of everything? Following up on scheduling, check-ins between phases, updating materials, making sure my clients feel special... Ugh! How does a non-programmer automate workflows? (timestamp: 20m 7s→)

I'm looking at offering "Website as a productized service" for consultants. I'm trying to figure out how to price and scope this offering - I was looking at starting out with a single $9,000 offer. Can you give me feedback on pricing & defining the scope of the website/engagement so that it's profitable and high-value for my clients? Any other tips on doing this as a productized service greatly appreciated. (timestamp: 25m 12s)

I have a fixed price project (100% upfront). It should be finished in 2-3 months (plus 3 months guarantee). But when the project is close to finishing, the client is gone (priorities are temporarily changed in the business) so the work is stopped. And now, after 7 months, the client returns back and want to finish the project. It breaks the schedule and I am not sure I want to continue with the old price. Is there a good way to resolve the situation better? How to prevent it in the future? (timestamp: 32m 55s)

Currently looking into think tanks as a niche. They provide financials as a non profit. Is this an area I should look into? Not really sure how to look over a financial doc (timestamp: 39m 30s)

Understanding that the goal is value pricing, but I have a large potential client that wants a blended hourly rate. How are others calculating this blended rate? What are others in this group charging per hour in the US market when an hourly rate quote is required? We build large multi-month SaaS application engagements that typically include multiple interfaces including a company facing admin, customer facing web interface plus native iOS and Android customer facing apps. (timestamp: 53m 13s)

Questions from 2019-06-13 session

My current position: I help physicians educate their patients about Low Carb without using valuable clinic time to do it. Should I narrow down to a specific type of physician? Can you give me a quick refresher on a plan to engage my target via Twitter? When I update my Twitter bio to reflect the new position, should I also update my website? My LinkedIn profile? (timestamp: 39m 50s)

Questions from 2019-05-30 session

We currently offer our clients website support plans. (Which are basically retainer access to us, with some value-added services.) In the context of that type of offering, What are your thoughts on billing monthly (without a contract) vs. billing monthly (with an annual contract) vs. billing up-front for the entire annual contract? (timestamp: 1m 35s)

Hi Jon, can you design a productized coaching service over a period of time and set availability hours? Or will that make the client divide the amount per the hours set and defy the whole purpose? (timestamp: 20m 5s)

Following the website support plans question... One specific scenario from our company. We finished a website. And 2-4 weeks after launch, the client starts doing things like Online-Marketing. Some of those random calls or emails come in: - We have now a linkedin page. Can you add the link to the footer? - Can you please implement a facebook conversion pixel on the website? - How can i change the image on my homepage? - More random questions... So it's support, but no bugfixes. How should we deal with that? (timestamp: 32m 17s)

We work with entrepreneurs and start-ups but there is often little budget for brand development when a business is launching. We know name / identity / positioning / brand artifacts are critical to long-term success but there doesn’t seem to be a realistic budget for these services. Any suggestions on how to structure a conversation for finding a mutually- beneficial solution? How do you feel about equity as a consideration? (timestamp: 39m 57s)

Questions from 2019-05-16 session

Most of my business had been client work and I am now venturing out into products/passive income this year. What do you feel has been the best way to get started with creating passive income in your business? Courses? Trainings? Funnels? (timestamp: 1m 33s)

What are some of the benefits to using your own name vs a studio name? I work with other people on my custom projects so it feels disingenuous to have my actual name be my company's name, but it's way more recognizable than starting a new "studio" name. (timestamp: 22m 2s)

I know you've talked about conferences a bit before, but I seem to recall it being primarily about being a speaker. If I'm attending a conference that is primarily peers speaking (though they in theory could influence later hiring type decisions), what things should I make sure I do? What things should I make sure I don't do? (timestamp: 31m 2s)

What are you thoughts on medium/high-touch services paid on a subscription model? - Context: we do custom websites as project-based fees, and are exploring moving to a value-priced subscription model. (Along the lines of a IT firm doing fully managed services.) (timestamp: 45m 7s)

I'm considering moving from contracting/consulting to enterprise training. My company has been working with the tech that companies are now starting to move to (in my geographical area) - React, Redux, Typescript. I think this will be higher leverage work than before. Plus I think it's got a good value prop despite making me a (hopefully) a lot of money. What strategies do you recommend to make that move? What issues do you see happening? Do I need to start with other products? (timestamp: 58m 24s)

Questions from 2019-05-02 session

I have an agency who wants me to consult on ecommerce/shopify projects. But right now exactly how many projects they would isn't defined. Should I charge a flat rate per project to consult? Or a monthly fee because I am available? I am also a little unsure how what price makes sense. (timestamp: 1m 19s)

I currently do custom rails apps, using agile, so minimal upfront planning/documentation. Looking at moving to more head than hands work, what would the deliverables look like for non-implementation project, ie what do you think would be in the table of contents for the roadmapping/discovery report? (timestamp: 14m 39s)

How can I use podcasting to reach my target market? (timestamp: 31m 50s)

Should I present my productized services in a build-your-own way, sort of like Chipotle? (timestamp: 43m 22s)

Questions from 2019-04-18 session

I need to renegotiate a referral agreement. An agency owner I know gets leads through his website that he can't service, so he sends them to me. If I close a deal, he gets a kickback of 25% for 3 months which is just too high. Initially he was more involved in the sales process, but now he sends everyone the same copy-paste email intro and leaves me to sell. I much prefer being left to sell and am happy paying for the lead, but the $ needs to drop. Any advice? Have closed 8 of 22 leads so far. Extra info - most projects have an initial discovery component which is less $ than the project itself, and can often be 3 or more months between discovery and project, so I'm usually only paying a referral on the discovery component anyway. I'd be happy to create an arrangement that is a % of the discovery only, and remove the 3 month timeframe, but open to better ideas if you have them! (timestamp 1m 56s)

After you have a value conversation with the client, do you like to talk about pricing/budget on phone with them so you can answer their objections? Or do you prefer sending pricing via email? (timestamp 13m 54s)

Recently I have become much better at ascertaining the value of the project to clients, but their budgets are consistently disproportionate to the results they want to achieve. For example, the client wanted to increase their sales by 500k with a new website, but only budgeted 8k for the project. (timestamp 22m 14s)

I had a client who wanted to increase their conversion rates by $45,000 a month ( we were going to redesign a sales page ), and I quoted a value based price and the client didn't take it well and told me there were other designers who would only charge 3-5k for this same thing and that it was basically highway robbery. I have been feeling like I will always be anchored to industry rates even though I have really great value based conversations. (timestamp 48m 38s)

Another thing the client said was "I'm not there yet so there is no way I would pay this." It seems like clients base their budgets on their current sales, not the future goals they want to achieve. (timestamp 66m 8s)

Questions from 2019-04-04 session

How do I deal with small requests like fixing minor CSS bugs? (timestamp 1m 9s)

Just started publishing daily. When I have that habit steady enough, what do you recommend doing next? Thinking about focusing on making a free email course, productizing some services, or revamping generalist website to be more along my target specialization. (timestamp 25m 26s)

I'm getting crushed by scope creep on a huge project. It's for a starup where i'm building MVP for cash + equity. They've closed a seed round and have a fixed budget. Now we're five months into the project and we're discovering many new features/functionality that we've learned to better meet product market fit. All of these make perfect sense to me and should absolutely be built. But, it's going to cost them another $150k beyond the $125k they've already committed to. They have $90k to spend, no more. (timestamp 36m 34s)

Really having trouble with the advisory retainer concept. I know I’m not “selling an outcome” with this model but its hard to not want to just dive in. Realizing I’m very weak on communicating what they should do vs me just doing it. Do you have any suggestions here? (timestamp 55m 12s)

Questions from 2019-03-21 session

What do you do when you can't get a decent understanding of what a prospect's "ideal outcome" on a first call with them? I just had a weird initial consult with a very large non-profit who showed up with 12 people on the call (only expecting one), and I simply couldn't get simple answers from them as everyone kept jumping in with their thoughts and confused things. Got out of hand real fast. (timestamp 1m 20s)

I am a filmmaker who works fast and feel that many of the times I lose money due to being fast at my craft. When asking the client the why questions and they do not give you an amount that they hope to make off of the video you produce, how can you create a quote if you do not base it on your old hour rates? (timestamp 9m 28s)

What if I ask a client how much they are willing to invest, but say they only want to invest $5,000? Is that what you charge or do you create a proposal with three different prices with $5000 being the top tier? (timestamp 31m 24s)

Is it better to position yourself as a video consultant rather than a retention consultant? Does it matter? (timestamp 41m 15s)

I've heard you rave recently about your VA on podcasts and am trying to think about what I could use one for. Can you brain dump some of the stuff you have yours do? Context: rails software developer doing/ paid discovery + currently lots of implementation (timestamp 51m 49s)

Questions from 2019-03-07 session

You've talked a bit in the past about some of your strategy around conferences, but how do you decide whether or not to speak at one if given the opportunity? (timestamp 1m 10s)

I provided an ideal target options on how I could help with an expensive problem (big traffic drop, poor conversions). Instead they asked for just consulting, to which I initially said yes. But it’s become clear any worthwhile solution requires a fair amount of hands on analysis and roadmapping. I could just fall back to a day rate, break it down into smaller productized service options, or walk away. What would you do? (timestamp 19m 26s)

For advisory retainers, doesn't it just boil down to hours? (example, an hour call a week plus email access with x turnaround time on responses) (timestamp 37m 52s)

Questions from 2019-02-21 session

I'm trying to get myself onto stages and in front of people to help build my reputation/authority but haven't done much in the way of speeches since school. Do you have any resources you would recommend for helping with both talk creation and presentation? (timestamp: 1m 18s)

I've made the decision to stop taking on new implementation projects so I can focus on building out a niche and my own products. Some of the clients will easily transition to working with my friend, but he only takes on high-value projects. As for the rest, I want to see them succeed and I don't want to burn any bridges, but I just can't continue to do hands-on dev work for them. Any recommendations on how to gracefully end the dev relationship with the remaining clients? (timestamp: 21m 13s)

Ideally I’d be prospecting to those making $1m+/year BUT feel like I’m maybe not “good enough” or experienced enough to be an attractive option. Any suggestions? (timestamp: 32m 29s)

I have a potential client who I proposed a 'Preliminary Strategy" session online prior to the Brand Strategy because she's creating a new lifestyle category and has tons of ideas. I wanted to narrow down her ideas on a phone call or webinar to pinpoint her desired state, so going into the strategy session, we would have a clear direction. I'll also be collaborating with a financial strategist during this session (timestamp: 51m 32s)

Questions from 2019-02-07 session

Is there ever such thing as additional scope on a value-based project? If the client pivots their whole business model mid-project which requires significant changes/revisions, do you just keep working under the original price? (timestamp: 1m 53s)

I'm working on a product ladder and debating how to price the various rungs. Is there a strategy or is it pretty subjective? Trial and error or is there some research I can do to dial it in? (timestamp: 19m 17s)

I'm hearing the advice of setting up a product ladder but am struggling with coming up with options. My Mercedes offer is typically a custom backend system ($30-$100k), and I offer an audit/strategy report ($5-$10k). My "sawdust" would be frameworks etc which I dont see my clients wanting. Am I thinking inside the box too much on this? Do you have general suggestions on products categories to kickoff brainstorming? (timestamp: 36m 20s)

When do you know to go all in on specializing? Does it ever make sense to just have two businesses? (timestamp: 47m 34s)

Follow up to my first question if you have time: if you work down from the top of the product ladder, how do you effectively generate leads for that next rung down? (timestamp: 55m 6s)

I have been developing a software application for a company for the last 18 months. When I took over the project was dead. Now it has gone nuclear, getting traction in the org. This is a big win for me and the team I’m working with. They want to expand it to other depts and are asking me to lead the effort (more assumed that I will), their desire is to hire me, my desire is to go from hourly to value, ugh, I feel like I might have to move on (timestamp: 60m 26s)

Questions from 2019-01-24 session

Is it ever okay to work on an hourly basis? (timestamp: 1m 49s)

I sent a cold email to a potential client, in the email I listed the things I can help with, here is the response I got "I'm not sure how to use your service. I would love if you could tell me something you could do for us, like a project/optimization you see us needing? If that's possible. " it seems that they need me to look into their business for free, what's the proper way to get back to them? (timestamp: 14m 46s)

If I only have one url to direct people to, lke a "work with me" type page, what should I make sure is on it? Only the fixed price things? Only custom engagement process? Both? (timestamp: 25m 36s)

When does it makes sense to look for a business partner? Or is it better to keep going solo? (timestamp: 41m 53s)

Questions from 2019-01-10 session

When offering a bug-free guarantee, how do you handle or explain bugs that come from vendors/OS/browsers and not from our code? (timestamp: 1m 51s)

Do you have any advice on metrics to look for with a start up for evaluating value? Is there anything unique about a startup that would cause you to change your approach to pricing/proposal/etc? (timestamp: 17m 20s)

Does using different language like "promise" instead of "guarantee" make it less effective in your opinion? To us in Canada the word "guarantee" sounds a little Walmart. It seems to us that a guarantee is somewhat implied in the value pricing... (timestamp: 27m 38s)

Do you have any advice on what to do if your conference talk proposals get rejected fairly often? I'm not really sure what to do next, other than perhaps write a different talk to pitch next time, since there's not much feedback. I live in area with very few meetups and such where I can trial/tune the talks much. (timestamp: 40m 35s)

if there's time left, can you tear down my landing page? (timestamp: 61m 43s)

Questions from 2018-12-27 session

I am about to complete an hourly based project. It, shockingly, went about 15% over the estimate. The client is happy with the results, but not that the cost was higher than estimated. I'm writing a case study for the project and was wondering if you have any recommendations on presenting a case study where everything isnt a win? (timestamp: 1m 9s)

I'm getting ready to launch a new productized service, any general advice on how to price it? I've primarily done the work in the past as an FTE, so I'm a bit uncertain on pricing. (timestamp: 15m 20s)

I’ve built a team around me where we can execute on 3-4 big projects at a time. These projects typically last 3-6 months as they are fairly big. My issue is that I’m still very much in the center of it all. I don’t have revenues to support the hiring of talent to replace me yet. How do I bridge growth? (timestamp: 34m 24s)

Questions from 2018-12-13 session

Via email: I asked my client how would you measure the success of this project (after the work has been done), and they replied with the fact that they were happy with the "outcome". Meaning the work was done, but couldn't measure success in a dollar value. The work I provided was Brand Identity. In speaking with the founder and their staff, they all felt excited with the new look and feel of the brand. What am I missing here? (timestamp: 1m 12s)

Via email: Could a corollary to "If you're worried about bugs, you're not charging enough" be "If you are on thin margins you should invest more in quality assurance so there will be less bugs"? The issue here is pricing of QA services. Rich clients don't fear bugs so don't need QA, and poor clients fear bugs but can't afford QA. Bummer... So how do you value price QA or other risk-control services? (timestamp: 14m 9s)

Via email: I am a 20 year old designer that is currently studying design at university. I have had paying clients but nothing over £2000 yet. My question is, how do I show the value I bring to them without having the “professional” experience? (timestamp: 46m 10s)

When a prospect asks, “how do you price your services?” I “try” to do 10% of estimated annual hard dollar ROI outcome as long as its head and shoulders above time and materials cost now. I’ve tried to “mix in” perceived value for unmeasurable stuff as part of that value calculation based on gut, but can’t tell a prospect that. So how would you handle that question? (timestamp: 23m 52s)

Can you do a teardown of my site (timestamp: 51m 42s)

Questions from 2018-11-29 session

I'm building an audience with my side hustle, with the long term goal of turning that into my core business. I don't have a clear idea of what products I can create and sell to that audience yet, I'm just focused on delivering value for now. Do you think not having a plan about a product ladder during these early stages is ok? (my feeling is that the products will reveal themselves as I have more conversations with my audience). Or does that sound naive? (timestamp: 1m 32s)

When you write daily emails, come up with products or podcasts episodes etc., do you have one person in mind who you "speak to"? i.e. a person who is your ideal target audience? Or are you more generic i.e. speaking to an imaginary person who ticks certain boxes? (timestamp: 7m 51s)

I’m interested in potentially getting royalties from my clients’ skincare or cosmetic products. My clients are in the beauty industry, and I’m curious about the pros and cons for both parties, and how and when I would approach the convo. I want a passive income and if I’m invested that would show that I’m committed for the long haul, right? But I also don’t want to screw myself over or give off a money-hungry, selfish vibe. A previous lead wanted a similar arrangement with me, shark-tank style, but it turned out that they just didn’t have any money 🤦🏼‍♀️ so we never ended up working together anyway. Thoughts? (timestamp: 17m 0s)

Can you please teardown my website: (timestamp: 24m 12s)

Questions from 2018-11-15 session

How do you deal with the fear that comes from various marketing and sales activities (e.g., niching down, public speaking, launching something new, presenting premium prices)? (timestamp: 1m 33s)

What are your thoughts for offering referral commission for other consultants/agencies referring leads? (timestamp: 28m 33s)

When you value price a project to a specific problem/solution and find out problem is more extensive than you thought, how do you handle seeking scope change vs saying, "Okay I can eat into this profit, learn, and move on" ? (timestamp: 30m 27s)

Any advice on how to qualify leads? I had a lead recently, he seemed that he had a budget for the work though after exchanging emails I found out that he is looking for cheap service, I'd like to avoid such leads in the future, is it possible? If so, how? (timestamp: 35m 48s)

Any advice to stay motivated, positive, and focused? (timestamp: 40m 3s)

I can't stay on the call, and feel free to answer anything else first but otherwise you can rip into my newly separated niched sites. FoxPro specific and Rails specific (timestamp: 48m 23s)

Questions from 2018-11-01 session

When building a proposal, I find it hard to figure out what should go in each option. I always ensure Option 1 solves their core problem, but struggle with where the "home run" should land. I've been treating option 3 as the "home run", but that starts to feel a bit like options 1 and 2 are the dodgy non-options. (timestamp: 1m 24s)

I became self-employed about 2 years ago. Since then work has been a "Roller Coaster"! Some months projects are coming-in and life is good. Other months it's completely dry. Based on your experience how can I have sustainable business? (timestamp: 9m 1s)

Is it important to to figure out "why am I doing this?" being self-employed I guess. I heard recently that I need to find my "why?". When I think of my "why" it always comes down to this: pay the bills, provide for family, live a comfortable life – one day hopefully – and never work for anybody else ever again, am I getting this "why" thing wrong? (timestamp: 18m 6s)

I’ve got a 30 minute call with my ideal customer next week (CEO of funded startup). My idea : “I help startups with Devops”. This is a ‘I want to find out what your problems’ kind of call. I’m worried the conversation will dry up. What are some good questions to keep him talking? (timestamp: 26m 0s)

The question I plan to ask my target demographic for our conversation is "When it comes to growing your business, what is the single biggest challenge, frustration, or problem that you've been struggling with?" In your experience, would a question like this sounds an alarm in a business owner's mind? In other word, how should I rephrase this question to make it more tactful? (timestamp: 31m 8s)

I'm just starting out, and don't have any business connections, how can I present myself to my target demo as credible and not trying to sell them anything, in order to get them on the phone for a conversation? I'm working a full time job, so all my social media accounts are all about my work experience as an interpreter, so there would be a disconnect between what I'm doing now and what I want to be, which is a marketing consultant. (timestamp: 40m 11s)

If I need to put in some work prior to reaching out, what are the things I should put together to show them that I'm credible, and not just a random spam in their email accounts? (timestamp: 43m 30s)

Client wants to start project tomorrow that was set to start on the 9th. How would you respond to this? The reason for urgency is a bug they want fixed right away. The project is a 2-month optimization project to get their web app stable for projected growth in January. I had not anticiapted having to fix urgent bugs from day 0. How would you manage expectations here? (timestamp: 45m 27s)

just bc you have a few minutes - you said don't work on portfolio/case studies? (we're updating that stuff now) why not? can you elaborate? (timestamp: 56m 55s)

Questions from 2018-10-18 session

At the moment I'm an eCommerce development consultant. I'd like to transition into an eCommerce growth consultant so besides development work I'd like to offer services that covers digital marketing & conversion rate optimizations. I can do it though as of now I don't have track record of it. Is it possible? If, so are we talking months or years? What would be the best way to approach this? (timestamp: 1m 28s)

I've a prospect (B&M) that needs help with digital marketing and Shopify store management. At the moment the store is doing pretty bad 0% conversion and traffic is pretty low, on the other had they are making $250K-$1M/year. I need help pricing this? (timestamp: 21m 11s)

I started off as a consultant with fixed pricing (sort of value), and have been pushed to go back towards a hourly rate as the client is trying to do some of the work themselves and are looking more for short interventions and are hesitant when I try to point out what the outcome is and how I can help (when they believe they've done 70% of the work). How do you suggest I handle these conversations? (timestamp: 28m 49s)

I started working with a well funded but frantic startup with a real deadline (conference) and need last minute help. I don’t want to gouge them or encourage the frantic behavior because they will be interesting/profitable future projects, but had no idea how to price small but not trivial work. How would you go about it? (timestamp: 40m 10s)

Questions from 2018-10-04 session

Do you believe that the path to thought leadership must always pass through the phase of expertise first? (timestamp: 2m 1s)

How much time I should be spending on growing my business per week or month? I find myself always prioritizing client work which I think on the long-term is hurting my growth rate. I'm not sure how to balance! Please advice, thanks. (timestamp: 6m 17s)

What do you think of paying for Ads to generate leads? From your own experience what generated most leads for you this year? (timestamp: 11m 57s)

What do you think about this LFPS? "I am a DevOps expert, who helps startup CEOs achieve their business goals by shipping better code faster. Unlike my competitors, I understand the needs of both business and tech." (timestamp: 20m 4s)

I'm doing a Keynote at the local Devops Days next month "DevOps: Why the Startup CEO should care and how to convince them with numbers". What would be a good lead magnet to have ready? (again, this jumped in my lap before I've done the prep for it..) (timestamp: 27m 52s)

When you’re new to pitching fixed-price expensive-problem: what makes sense as an initial project/product to a prospect who has approached you? I plan to have a product ladder ranging from the low-price-low-touch book/course, up to the very expensive done-for-you service. This prospect has approached me before I’ve thought it all through. (timestamp: 35m 3s)

Questions from 2018-09-20 session

In a recent proposal, I mentioned time to deliver since I know there is urgency to the project. But they used it against me: If it only takes X days, why does it cost $XXX? Did I make a mistake mentioning time? How can you communicate the added value of a quick turnaround without it backfiring? (timestamp: 1m 28s)

I’ve started a productised service creating digital annual reports, and aiming to sell to the renewable energy sector (basically, annual reports published as microsites, I have sold two in other verticals). I know a bit about the R.E. vertical, can speak about benefits over features etc, but can def learn more. Would like to get a landing page up - any thoughts on what this first landing page should aim to achieve at the start? Eg: lead capture, sales, something else? Happy to play the long game (timestamp: 8m 24s)

I get all my clients through referrals, which is good but I feel like a hostage. At any time those referrals could dry up and there is nothing I can do. I started putting effort into my website and social media. I paid a copywriter for website content and blog articles so it reads professional. I also did few Facebook (and Instagram) Ads to promote my blog articles, Facebook page, and website. I spent around $400-500 and I got 0 leads out of those campaigns. How can I create my own sales funnel? (timestamp: 20m 19s)

From Slack: I am having trouble connecting the dots between my skills and solving expensive problems. I have recently started instigating conversations with a market segment that I want to serve, in order to understand their problems. I am trying to be genuinely curious. But when they mention problems unrelated to my area of expertise, the conversation languishes. I already have clients who are getting value from what I deliver, so I know there’s appetite. Is this just a case of persevering? (timestamp: 34m 33s)

Questions from 2018-09-06 session

Can you give a good example of what a weekly habit of "optimizing for conversations" might look like? I'm particularly interested in using LinkedIn like you described on the BOA episode. (timestamp: 1m 6s)

As a solo consultant with a steady stream of referrals, I've always neglected building a site. Next month I'm bringing on a friend to join me, so I'm thinking more about the sales funnel and attracting leads. I hope this isn't too broad, but what good resources can you point me at for building a site focused on attracting leads? Or is this the wrong thing to focus on for lead generation? (timestamp: 31m 22s)

Had a good why conversation, all boxes checked, sent them a proposal (told them I was the expensive option ahead of time), response “price point for this is higher than I anticipated”, “At a price point of $90k, I would expect more of a fully developed system”, my take, they are thinking cost+ pricing, not the value they are getting. Any suggestions on where to go? I don’t want to push, am fine with moving on (timestamp: 47m 36s)

Questions from 2018-08-23 session

I was referred by a client in the coworking industry (my niche) to their industry association. Apparently the association needs help with their marketing but don't really have a budget. They want to grow the number of members and have several hundred already who pay a small annual fee. They also have a conference. I think the idea might be to get exposure to their network of coworking space owner/operators. I usually don't work for exposure, but this feels different. Thoughts on this situation? (timestamp: 1m 32s)

If I'm just getting started with a new consulting business, and I've thought of a problem I think is worth solving, what should I be doing as a next step? (timestamp: 19m 12s)

What should I do if a prospect balks at my pricing? (timestamp: 35m 13s)

Questions from 2018-08-09 session

I'm feeling a bit stuck. As a contract developer, I'm essentially a fulltime employee. That means all my work time is committed to that employer, leaving very little time to work "on" my new business. have any ideas or thoughts on a good transition plan for someone like me, to be able to free up some time to get the flywheel moving? How have other students been able to do this? (timestamp: 1m 36s)

Can you tear down my landing page at (BTW, I don't have the registration button wired up yet.) (timestamp: 10m 29s)

I have an awesome client, currently an hourly arrangement. A few months ago they had a super busy month coming up, and I suggested a higher-priced, fixed cost retainer which they accepted for that month. It worked great, and they went back to hourly after that thinking it would quiet down again, but it hasn’t really. I’d like to bring the retainer up again, and I think they’d be open to discussing, but they are quite price sensitive so not sure how to bring it up. Extra background: I started out doing creative work for them (brand design, brochures, signage etc) but am now more of a brand manager for them. I’ve become their first stop for advice on how to start/run/do most marketing projects, and am now about 50% project management and 50% creative work. I’ve created systems and dashboards for them to manage our work together and they’re always open about how happy they are, so each passing month gets smoother (ie, I’m making their lives a lot easier). (timestamp: 32m 27s)

Can you do a teardown of my homepage targeted at messaging / websites for professional service firms? I'm trying to balance how much to pigeon-hole my homepage. I'm considering niching it down to target only B2B CPA firms. I'm planning to run linked in messaging campaigns for specific consulting offerings geared just towards CPAs. Right now those are their own Landing pages , not my homepage. (timestamp: 46m 31s)

Questions from 2018-07-26 session

I help prof. service firms w/ customer experience/messaging strategy. Most of my clients don't have a dedicated marketing function so we're starting from scratch. I've found that clients want access to me to guide their strategy and activities, but quickly ask me to oversee or source a team that is also producing deliverables. Do you have tips on how to delineate and set boundaries between 'advisory retainers', 'coaching services' & 'done-for-you' service lines? (timestamp: 2m 18s)

I am wanting to move away from doing implementation work and more towards strategy consulting. What would be the best way to get started and how can I convert existing clients to do this? (timestamp: 11m 26s)

You suggested that I continue to reach out to Tennis Directors, to get connected. I can do that for some, via LinkedIn. For the ones that aren't on LinkedIn (but that I have an email address for), what's a good template to use, to connect with them? What's the correct approach and CTA to use? (timestamp: 18m 4s)

Would it be too niche to specialize in helping multi-location coworking spaces with their marketing (as a consultant/advisor)? And have an intro tier for coworking spaces aspiring towards multi-location? (timestamp: 25m 25s)

I have a long standing client on a retainer, where the work load has gradually declined. At this point they're paying me every month but they never call. It's not a huge amount of money for me. Should I just keep quiet and see if they notice that they're not using me? Should I suggest they stop paying me? Should I proactively reach out and try to increase the level of engagement? [I have a conflict so am not on the call, sorry] (timestamp: 30m 25s)

I'm interested in offering 3 pricing tiers on a proposal. In the past I've always offered a single, flat rate, but I'm wondering about the best approach to differentiate the offerings. I usually think in terms of features or amount of work to be done, but I've also heard about removing risk to the client as you move up the tiers. Just curious about some examples you could give on how this could be presented. (timestamp: 36m 37s)

I haven’t done any strictly advice based consulting before, usually I do discovery/implementation, but was asked during a networking event if I would come in to advise a company . We got cut off and he left before we could flesh out details but I plan to follow up. Do you have any advice on pricing this? (timestamp: 47m 38s)

From Slack: 1. Should I consider increasing the scope of work that Videobites delivers? 2. Is only creating “training” videos hindering the opportunity? 3. Or will diversifying my service reduce my expertise and value? (timestamp: 61m 13s)

From Slack: Sales conversation transcript teardown (timestamp: 78m 7s)

Questions from 2018-07-12 session

I have a lead who wants to hire me to help advise them on a fairly large capital purchase (somewhere in the $200K-$500K region). I'm an expert on both the technology and the vendor they're probably going to select. They want advice from an unbiased expert to make sure they purchase the right equipment and services for their plans. How would you approach pricing something like this? (timestamp 2m 2s)

What can I do on my website since I don't have any good testimonials yet for social proof? (timestamp 14m 56s)

Can you review my LinkedIn tagline? (timestamp 31m 15s)

Do you have any recommendations for long term support of a custom software solution for clients. Specifically, on-going small (low value) tweaks, small tweaks with high value and planning/pricing version x+1. (timestamp 42m 19s)

I've got a client that I had a roadmapping session with, followed by a $75K proposal. This is a company looking to increase monthly revenue by $100K by doing online marketing (they currently only sell offline). They said the price was high but they were still interested and would get back to me last week. I followed up with them on Monday but still haven't gotten a reply. How can I try to salvage the deal at this point? (timestamp 48m 34s)

Can you provide any suggestions on implementing and pricing GDPR compliance for clients (news sites, blogs, recruitment agency). Not sure if there is anything I can learn and do as a web developer or if I should be referrring them to a lawyer/GDPR consultant. From what I'm seeing online, it looks like lots of sites are going halfway and are not really fully compliant. (timestamp 62m 43s)

Questions from 2018-06-28 session

In light of the list of potential offerings you posted in Slack, what should I do next? (timestamp: 3m 23s)

Had a "no-show" call with a referral yesterday. Is there a good system to weed out the tire kickers that I ought to implement? (timestamp: 31m 4s)

I am doing a lot of specialty consultant work for my clients but I am trying to figure out how to move away from actually executing the work. How do you delegate this? (timestamp: 36m 35s)

In my specialization direction “sales funnels for thought leaders with digital products” i’m finding its still not specialized enough from convos with bigger names (there are a lot of funnel guys out there) so I think I either need to 1) further specialize skill wise e.g. top of funnel, brand building or 2) further specialize industry-wise, e.g. behavioral science, etc., do you have thoughts there? (timestamp: 42m 25s)

I mainly build internal tools to help automation of business processes. The easiest place for me to look at for the value I provide is savings in labor hours vs doing the process manually, ie 10 hours saved by 10 engineers a week times 50 dollars an hour is $5,000 a week saved. Are there other general areas you would consider when looking at internal tools for estimating the value of an engagement? (timestamp: 49m 29s)

I started my consulting business a year ago, but intentionally delayed building a website to prevent myself getting distracted before landing some paying clients. Now that I've proven the concept, I did a website build to create a presence that provides social proof, authority, and makes it easy/enticing for clients to start a conversation with me. Can I get a teardown of the website, with a focus on the value prop/concincingness/calls to action? (timestamp: 56m 5s)

Questions from 2018-06-14 session

As you know, I'm bouncing back and forth with my vertical specialization idea. I see it's potential, have made some progress, but I'm concerned that it's just an opportunity and not something I am necessarily passionate about. Wrapping my identity around it exclusively feels awkward. You mentioned needing to feel some degree of passion, and I wonder if I'm just facing "the resistance" or to what degree it matters that I'm not ultra-passionate about the industry. (timestamp: 1m 41s)

I'm a marketing "consultant" with a whale client problem. Basically an employee as my retainer is for full time hours. I would like to become a real consultant so that I don't have to trade all my time for money. I recently read TFR and like the idea of productizing a service. I'm introverted and not keen on creating a personal brand, doing speaking gigs, podcasting, etc. Is it unrealistic to think I can position myself as an authority without doing these types of marketing activities? (timestamp: 22m 33s)

I’m struggling with how to connect with additional people in my target market. They have very expensive problems that I am interested in, but I’m not able to find associations/conferences that are in common to them, to allow me to easily get in front of them. Any suggestions on channels to tackle for starting specialization. (timestamp: 34m 3s)

Can you please do a webpage teardown (timestamp: 41m 13s)

Due to your latest podcast I decided to finally publish this page. Not perfect, but could use your insights. (timestamp: 55m 50s)

Questions from 2018-05-31 session

I'm considering broadening my positioning from focusing on coworking spaces to specializing in helping subscription/membership/recurring revenue businesses with marketing and retention. My approach would be to focus on optimizing the 5 stages of the member/customer lifecycle (my own idea). Then still targeting coworking (and others) with industry and problem-specific landing pages/blog content/conference talks. Am I making a poor choice, is this too general? (timestamp: 1m 30s)

This might just be a “yes” question but, in slack someone mentioned a $450k project (going for “hell yes” value I think) and my question is, would you still ask for that as upfront? Would you ask that expecting they would come back with x payments over y months? (timestamp: 10m 34s)

I sell consulting services today and will be selling products later on. My marketing strategy is focused on content marketing. I am building out my website and I wanted to know what are some key tactics for your homepage layout? (timestamp: 21m 24s)

I currently do fixed prices for projects but have struggled to genuinely value price. I'm working with telephone companies and I'm usually talking to (e.g.) Director of Operations about a network upgrade (to put it in IT terms). My clients motivation to make changes usually comes from problems with current equipment or End-of-life situations. They need to do these projects to maintain their current status quo - but I find it hard to really assess value. Advice? (timestamp: 33m 38s)

I currently price by sprint and want to switch to value based. I do interact with the “CTO” role typically. I am meeting with a client to start discussing v2.0 of their system and plan to approach this value based. I plan to direct the conversation towards objectives/measuring success/value as opposed getting a list of todos and present a 3 option proposal etc. Is this the course of action you would recommend for transitioning? Is there any additional advice or strategy you would recommend? (timestamp: 43m 43s)

You've been a FileMaker developer before. I am, still. My primary skill, and source of new clients, relies heavily on my identity with that market. What "productized" services should I first focus on as I seek to rely less on selling solutions? (timestamp: 51m 11s)

Questions from 2018-05-17 session

I'm a bit stuck - my "generalized" consulting practice is approaching multiple 6-figures with only a handful of clients, and my foray into specialization in coworking spaces is proving to be a big demand on time and mental bandwidth. My hunch is that I'm not solving an expensive enough problem and the road to profitability on that front is long. Should I focus on my more lucrative consulting and reconsider my vertical specialization? Or keep pushing on my daily emails until something clicks? (timestamp: 2m 11s)

I have never tracked my time. I can see how this is maybe unnecessary for value priced or strategy projects, but I'm very much focused on implementation currently and am thinking it might be a good idea to start! What are your thoughts and have you any tips on successfully doing this? I'm concerned I'll spend too much time remembering to track the time rather than doing the work. Cheers, Ant (timestamp: 21m 36s)

My client paid for a project 6 months ago and never got around to doing the pre-requisite work. He is done now, can be very pushy and everything is urgent for him. I pushed back on him because I did not want to him to control my time even though the specific task was small. What's the best approach for handling client expectations like this? I am having trouble organizing my time better with multiple clients. (timestamp: 27m 23s)

How would you structure content marketing if your product is technical but the purchaser is probably nontechnical? Example: I'm looking to provide backups for SaaS apps as a productized service. I could write about how I would back up a MySQL database, or how I would help you design a disaster recovery plan (understandable by nontechnical folks). Some people have said devs will refer you to their boss, others have said "that never happens." (timestamp: 42m 4s)

I’m starting to write daily to see if this is something that works for me. My thoughts are pretty random right now and what I’m writing seems to be all over the map. I have identified my target audience, so that helps, but still, it feels like I have very little continuity. Any tips on finding a voice? (timestamp: 56m 7s)

Questions from 2018-05-03 session

I decided to position myself to help salesforce powered businesses be more efficient. Clients have signed up for custom software development that integrates into their salesforce so that all the data is in one place. With a positioning focus around technology, should content and articles be more technical focused or business focused? (timestamp: 1m 37s)

I'm struggling to keep up with a daily email writing habit. Mostly because it's taking be over an hour to write something. Should I try to simplify my emails or do you have a mindset I should take into account when writing them? (timestamp: 15m 39s)

How would you recommend making the most of a speaking opportunity to my ideal audience but on a topic that is not my area of expertise / the service that I sell? (timestamp: 24m 10s)

For our new "info product sales funnels for influencers" page I'm building a quiz as the call to action that will generate a report based on user inputs related to marketing/product dev sophistication, revenue/list size and their personality. Am I getting too complex with this? Would you recommend just starting with something simple like classic sales copy + "schedule a call" or "view pricing" (for productized service) ? (timestamp: 33m 0s)

I am still on the fence about the proposal/roadmap document. What's your latest thoughts about it: single page vs. 50 page? Does it depend on how much they paid you for it? (timestamp: 41m 2s)

I am wondering if you could provide me with direction as a photographer. I tried to set up my website in a different way from other photographers, but think it's potentially over the top. I have a couple ideas on what to offer as an intro email series as I want to do email over blog. Website is (timestamp: 50m 46s)

Questions from 2018-04-19 session

Can you talk a little about creating and implementing an introductory email series as a call to action on a home page? No specific questions, as I’m just starting, but anything that might help make it more effective and avoid common pitfalls. (timestamp: 3m 32s)

Would you recommend selling a productize service and roadmapping side by side, or should they be standalone to avoid confusing the situation? (and maybe create another personal consultant style website where I do offer strategy?) (timestamp: 15m 26s)

How do I migrate from one specialization to another? I want to continue accepting customers in the old focus, but start driving customers to the new one. (timestamp: 23m 33s)

I'm a software developer and I've fired my biggest client then realized that I only have about 2 months of runway and I don't have a lot of past clients to reach out to. What would be your next steps to secure revenue with the right clients quickly? (timestamp: 32m 42s)

I’ve been doing daily emails for a little over a week now and have had good success so far. People are clicking, opening, and replying to my emails. Remind me, why do you send live daily emails instead of creating an evergreen workflow that every subscriber goes through? And would you recommend having them onboard with a series of 10 or so emails to get them “indoctrinated” into my way of thinking? (timestamp: 50m 33s)

Curious on ideas to make website maintenance worth my while. I know it's not high-value, but wondering different ways to propose it so it's not billed as hourly. My clients are used to this method, but curious of what I can do for future clients. (timestamp: 53m 7s)

How to find what are the pressing problems of your target customer and which you can solve with your skills (timestamp: 57m 13s)

Questions from 2018-04-05 session

You have mentioned recently how the first financial engagement with a client will always be the most profitable and then it's "downhill from there". Can you speak more about this? In a recent situation with me, my profits with one client have gone up because they've developed more trust (so there's less resistance to payment) and also because I've practiced the work it is quicker for me to deliver and therefore I have higher profit margins.

I have been freelancing for 3 years. Things are moving in the right direction but business is still maturing. I know I should focus on one thing at a time, but I am considering starting another business at the same time. The plan would be to spend a few hours a week on it. What is your advice on growing a second business whilst focusing primarily on a main business?

Feedback On: Delivering simple, accessible, data-to-people solutions to leverage your PI System Here is the bottom line: Your data is stuck in PI, it requires expertise to access and share, which is causing you to miss a huge opportunity. Subject matter experts, the people making key decisions, need to use and visualize your PI Data. This must be as simple as possible, not requiring training, or special tools. It should be as easy as opening a browser or mobile device and seeing the answers.

I'm considering sending daily emails to my small but growing email list in my niche market, but I don't know where to begin, and I am also somewhat concerned about whether I will have the discipline to keep it up over the long term. You have given lots of great advice on the subject already, but wondering if you could get specific on first steps and your mindset when you started doing it.

From our discovery calls, the common thread so far is “I have to do it all, I’m not a marketing expert so i need confidence to know what to do next” We want to do a catch-all online sales process audit with recommendations as our initial productized service but $1799 seems VERY low for the value. Are we shooting ourselves in the foot? Is there a better approach?

Questions from 2018-03-22 session

I have settled on a horizontal focus (i.e., software training videos for SaaS owners) but I'm not getting a lot of leads. What should I do next? (timestamp: 2m 23s)

If you could promote one thing (a remote service, digital product, etc.) to a niche audience, what would it be? All of your podcasts, content, etc. would promote this one thing for all of your income (ideally recurring revenue, low ongoing stress). (timestamp: 22m 41s)

Do you have any tips for finding where a target market is talking online? (timestamp: 38m 3s)

Questions from 2018-03-08 session

When your proposal is rejected but you're close to 100% sure they should take it, what's a polite way of saying "Your loss, I'm here when you need me"? I don't want to try and 'convince' these guys that they need me, but I want to suggest the alternative is doing things the hard way (I know the alternative they're considering, and it's totally the hard way). (timestamp: 1m 52s)

Questions I have are: 1. Do you have a Project propsal template? (not the retainer one) 2. What are your typical steps after the proposal is accepted? Do you create a spec and give to the client for approval or How do you define the scope details? 3. How do you handle support/maintenance? If you give a 6m/1yr support/maintenance as part of the proposal, what after that time frame? (timestamp: 7m 7s)

I've recently landed my first coaching client. I wasn't really considering coaching before, but I love it. I'm billing a fixed price for 2 hours coaching per month with unlimited email contact, with discounts for 3 months payment. What advice do you have for a budding coach, particularly around building a pipeline of prospects? (I'm going to be a litle late joining, so don't choose this as the first question!) (timestamp: 21m 45s)

Is it so bad to have a horizontal positioning? My main gig is digital strategy consulting for $5mil+ companies who prefer to have a hybrid internal/external team vs. a full-service agency. It’s a unique service model for reasons not mentioned. I know it’s harder to market myself, but I only need 3 clients to break 6 figures (I have that already) and 10 clients to break multiple 6-figures sustainably. Is it simply “the fear” making me hesitant to jump into a vertical with 2 feet instead of 1? (timestamp: 31m 9s)

How do I persuade leads to see the value of fixed-price offers when they are too used to hiring via staff augmentation? Like the habit to estimate a hourly rate based on the proposal and deciding on that and not the value they get. (timestamp: 38m 43s)

When trying to get work from past clients or more work from existing clients or new (super busy) prospects, we often get pressured to just send a proposal. That ends up needing to be revised or gets rejected because we couldn't/didnt do enough discovery/educating them for the value - do you have any tips for how to manage/insist on having enough discovery in that process to get to the desired outcome in these type of situations to get it right the first time and maximize chance of acceptance? (timestamp: 42m 29s)

I've been doing some web dev work for an agency who just went bankrupt. Yes, I lost some money but there is a chance to work with their client directly. It seems like a chance to move the project toward a fixed price approach. But I have no idea what that client's budget was/is. Any recommendations on how I can get some insight on the $ that's on the table? (timestamp: 51m 7s)

Questions from 2018-02-22 session

I've found a problem I can help solve. My ideal client has a "hero" office staffer with lots of processes that go through him or her. (I have tools to analyze and visualize this stuff quickly and easily in a way that empowers them and clarifies the picture.) How can I turn that into a vertical? (timestamp: 1m 5s)

Is it too vague or confusing to say you're a "Marketing and growth consultant for X industry?". The Growth part allowing me to branch into strategies for client retention, experience, etc. (timestamp: 22m 34s)

i have a 2 part question - 1. How would you go about targeting thought leaders (like yourself) for direct sales outreach? linkedin, open doors by trying to be helpful, etc? 2. How would you suggest I go about trying to generate inbound type leads? e.g. how would you personally go about looking for an improved online sales related solution (timestamp: 44m 31s)

Questions from 2018-02-08 session

As a designer I produce a lot of annual reports which I enjoy and would like to do more of. Can it be worth focusing on a (sometimes commoditised) service seeing as I would be looking to specialise in it - ie, could that eventually move me away from being commoditised? (timestamp: 2m 22s)

Follow-up question - I currently do most annual reports for the insurance industry which really doesn't interest me. I'd love to work with the renewable energy sector instead, but I have no contacts there. Should I bother trying to crack a completely new market? My process would be similar, and I could probably address the advantages and outcomes more to that sector than to insurance. (timestamp: 6m 14s)

I'm about to start a 6-month DevOps contract with the Scottish Government. I plan to use this experience to explore whether it's possible to sell online training courses to them once I've left; any thoughts or suggestions about how I can use this 6 months to maximise my credibility and opportunity afterwards? (timestamp: 13m 56s)

Also, thinking about my LFPS, I currently have this "I am a DevOps & Python expert, who helps large companies ship better code faster. Unlike my competitors, I have decades of experience that you can learn from." I'm thinking about changing the end part to "Unlike my competitors, I have extensive hands-on experience with large companies like the BBC and the Scottish Government. Thoughts? I'm trying to get over that doing things at scale is different to just knowing the syntax for the tools. (timestamp: 18m 26s)

When signing an NDA and maintaining privacy in general, where is the line between sharing what could be considered "competitive intelligence" and what is my own "intellectual property"? (timestamp: 32m 20s)

I’ve taken a first pass (with much anxiety) at a positioning statement and was wondering if you had any feedback? Is the vertical or service offering too broad or unclear? > We create content assets to help personal brands in performance related fields improve their sales velocity. Unlike competitors, we guarantee a specific result by taking inventory of the entire sales funnel, and then use the findings to focus on one point in the sales funnel at a time. (timestamp: 38m 58s)

What are your top tips for discovering a niche's expensive problems? We're currently researching online (reading blogs, following influencers and competitors) and reaching out to potential clients to try and book research calls. Got other practical tips? (timestamp: 56m 50s)

I'm going to be proceeding forward with doing some CFP submissions this month. Any suggestions for getting the best chances for being accepted? Is it strictly a numbers game? I'm looking to apply to general business as well as tech conferences, or any really that could look like it would work. (timestamp: 63m 4s)

Questions from 2018-01-25 session

Based on your advice and recommendations, I'm building a website that is 100% focused on my target market's industry. My plan is to build an audience first with nothing to sell, then determine products and services for them later. Would you advise for or against creating a free community (using something like or Slack) if I plan to later create some kind of paid membership later? Would it cannablize the paid group or help it? Thanks! (timestamp: 2m 1s)

I'm putting together some online training for the DevOps stuff I do; the online course provider has just added a Pay-What-You-Want option. I'm going to give this a go, but do you have any advice or experience to offer on this pricing options? (timestamp: 9m 18s)

If we have the time: How is the credit union outreach going? (timestamp: 16m 31s)

I have a couple of clients in a similar demographic who have a similar bundle of "basic needs" (keep the server running, administer email accounts...). In both cases grabbing that contract work through a job posting has turned into more interesting opportunities. I figure there are more of these out there. How might I go about marketing such a "basic needs met" package as a productized service? (timestamp: 28m 27s)

You've done conf. talks, have books, do podcasts, have magazine articles (read yours in .net mag). Have you found that any one in particular was more beneficial to you than others for landing new business? (timestamp: 40m 0s)

I'm sitting on the fence of working my niche (elite sports clubs/ski teams) and looking for a "job". Thinking about moving the niche to ski resorts. I have a 3-5 year goal to have 6 SaaS subscription products and a job might enable me to have the 4+ hours a week to work on these products. When I'm hunting for work or doing work, I have not time for my product development. I'm in a position right now where a good client is a paying client. . . (timestamp: 51m 5s)

5 minute answer please- i see recently alot of agencies and lead services for agencies totuting linkedin- my question- im an agency owner and im never on linkedin- so my question is this- if you are to use linkedin as a prospecting tool - its seems like the only people you can reach on linkedin are companies that are also using linkedin to prospect- is this true assessment? (timestamp: 63m 10s)

I've had a couple of interesting online and offline conversations this week about collaborating with other independent folk. What are your thoughts about whether this is a good way to amplify the mutual opportunities? Any warnings about what not to do? (timestamp: 66m 47s)

Questions from 2018-01-11 session

I've been reading Badass Your Brand and just had this epiphany. . . I can build most MVP web applications in about 6 weeks. So, why don't I start with an offer like 25KApps. Here's my prototype: Thoughts? Once again I find myself being the professional horizontal finder while never finding the vertical. (timestamp: 2m 57s)

I'm taking your advice and focusing on the coworking industry. I currently get a few sparse leads from my small niche website. However, what I want to do is marketing advisory and consulting, and not done-for-you work, and I do this successfully already as a generalist. The problem is they can't afford those services. Do I change my offer? Sell group coaching? Create info products instead? Or only focus on multi-location spaces? (timestamp: 23m 27s)

I currently have one consulting client in my target market. How do you do content marketing without feeling like you're giving away their intel? They are onboard with me specializing in their industry but I fear the idea of leveraging the experience gained with them and giving it away to potential competitors, making them upset. (timestamp: 32m 8s)

My SaaS business has acquired about 100 subscribers organically, but I have a strong sense that I need to start doing direct sales. Sales is not one of my strengths. Could you talk through the right approach? Example scenario: We sell training videos and want to get Heroku’s team of frontend engineers signed up. (timestamp: 40m 19s)

I don't have experience dealing with larger firms; my experience in my own business has been with smaller clients. Can you compare and contrast the experience of selling to clients with larger budgets with selling to smaller clients? (timestamp: 46m 10s)

I read and appreciated your emails about your LinkedIn outreach to credit unions. Have you got any "Wish I knew that before I started" or additional points to share now in retrospect? Thanks! (timestamp: 52m 59s)

I'd like to ask for your feedback on the following LFPS attempt: "I help infosec companies to protect high-speed datacenter-to-datacenter Ethernet networks". Now with the 'unlike my competitors' part I am struggling to fit the following options/benefits: a) help to go through a complex certification process b) eliminate vendor-lock by releasing full source code and design materials c) using hardware accelerated cryptography to deliver a higher-margin products. (timestamp: 57m 48s)

We have 1200 email subscribers, and I’ve been bad about forming a community with them. One of my goals this year is to email them more regularly and frequently. I’m having difficulty getting folks to engage - to write me back, tell me their frustrations, etc. What are some techniques or strategies to help me engage with my audience so I can understand how best to serve them? (timestamp: 67m 4s)

I want to try out a new productized service and I have a client in mind who could beta test it. It’s similar to your slack room, where me and my business partner would make ourselves available to help out an engineering team with UI development questions they have. How should we go about piloting this, and discovering the price? (timestamp: 72m 52s)

Questions from 2017-12-28 session

How do you deal with value pricing customers in a relatively close knit industry when you know there is differential value for different customers? What if the customers talk to one another? Do you have thoughts on this? (timestamp: 2m 2s)

What way do your credit union customers go in your funnel for getting on your most expensive retainer? Do you know them personally before? Have you worked with them before? (timestamp: 6m 58s)

You recently talked with Kevin in Slack about your writing process, and I appreciated the discussion. In the early days, did you ever struggle with what Philip Morgan calls The Fear? I imagine your "sun" could have been any of dozens of topics - how did you commit to one central area of expertise, and resist the temptation to change direction before you had an audience? (timestamp: 15m 13s)

I currently work with a small team of devs to deliver projects. Projects typically last 2-9 months. I'm acting as the salesperson, project manager and product manager for all projects. I'm getting to the point where I can't handle the client facing stuff all on my own. How do you think about team structure as you grow the business to handle more projects at once? How would you structure the team? (timestamp: 30m 59s)

When someone goes silent for months like that, do you ping them? or do you just sit and wait? Do they feel like they've been ripped off after they remember they have you? (timestamp: 39m 7s)

Do you have suggestions for how to determine the value of (specifically) design work to clients so as not to be taking mildly educated guesses, or is that just the reality of this approach to pricing? (timestamp: 47m 13s)

Questions from 2017-12-14 session

I'm really having a challenge converting existing clients from hourly billing to value-based billing. I know you cover this in some of your content, but any tips? (timestamp: 1m 34s)

Any tips for when running projects where your team is also outsourced / sub-contracted onto a project? Do you move them over to value-based billing? (timestamp: 8m 29s)

I struggle with how to word an invitation to chat about a businessperson's problems/felt needs. Can you give me some context about why this would be an appealing request for someone, what they might get out of it? (timestamp: 15m 24s)

Earlier this year, a real estate broker hired me to write software to consolidate his various tools into a more streamlined workflow. His two goals at the beginning were to serve more clients and to attract new employees. But later, he talked more about spinning off the IP into a new tech company, finding investors, etc. Eventually the budget ran out, and the tool was never used. He wants to meet again to talk about "finishing the software". How would you approach revisiting a project like this? (timestamp: 23m 18s)

I currently advise on and/or manage digital strategy for clients in a variety of industries. My best client is in the coworking industry, and I have considered going into that niche to specialize. My concern is I will limit my earning potential or I will need to work with a high number of clients, even though the one client I have pays well. I feel like they are an exception to the rule generally. Am I looking at this the wrong way? (timestamp: 27m 41s)

we are considering offering paid discovery / marketing plans for clients that come into our funnel- we design websites and manage marketing - is there a framework that we can follow on how to offer paid marketing plans/ strategy sessions -what to offer in them & how to do this correctly so we can move our client into our marketing plans- breenan dunn offers something like this, but are there others that have a good framework for this & what are your thoughts on having clients pay for these (timestamp: 38m 27s)

How do you deal with the scenario where you are selling to mid-managers and they need to sell to their senior managers? I can help uncover value with the mid-manager, but they often fail to convey this upward to their managers. The obvious answer is to try get in front of senior manager, but this is not always possible. Are there some hacks to help the mid managers sell the value-based price upwards on your behalf? (timestamp: 46m 3s→)

How do you say "no" to prospects? My filtering process is not working yet and most times I am in a meeting with a new prospect I quickly realize it's not going to work with them. Like there's no way to implement a value pricing in their project (for various reasons). However they don't see any issues and usually are keep asking for making an estimate for their project. Would you recommend saying "no" right there in a meeting? Or maybe start talking about paid road-mapping session? (timestamp: 51m 31s)

Questions from 2017-11-30 session

I started moving to tech training around building APIs, mainly in a specific tech. Now I was thinking of moving to advisory consulting in this field but with a different audience. Our previous exchange made it clear to me that the audiences (tech managers and biz people) are too different and have different needs, fears, etc. When focusing on building apis for business people, it is still horizontal? Should I add a vertical too? (timestamp: 1m 41s)

We're having difficulty pinpointing our ideal client. We've done a lot of implementation work this year and want to avoid that next year. We're considered experts in our programming language/framework, so we're trying to find products/services we could work on for our audience - thinks like trainings, building teams styleguides or libraries, Slack mentoring rooms, etc. What should we do to identify this? Email our list? Experiment with a product idea for someone we know? What's the next step? (timestamp: 13m 8s)

Do you have any tips on making the decision between two audiences less hard? Personally, I love training and also advisory consulting but have a hard time deciding between them. The only clear thing is that I don't want to code for someone else :-) (timestamp: 18m 12s)

We've helped a lot of companies this year but they seem to take our work/their product and move in a bad direction. We've tried hard to have conversations to get them to ask the right questions, but "business needs" pressure them to move quickly, and we see them just plow ahead into the unknown. Are these bad clients? Should we just break up with them? How do we get them to follow our strategic advice? (timestamp: 23m 28s)

Hi Im new to the group- we are a 15yr old webdesign and marketing management agency "generalists" and have seen the light in regards to specializing and niching we are currently looking at a few niches now so my first question is this- is there a step by step framework that exists that we can follow to effectively evaluate and research a niche? (timestamp: 31m 30s)

Investor have awesome expertise in target market but zero experience managing a development of a complex hardware product. External dev team (startup) is failing to deliver. Partly because they don't prioritize this funded project for themselves and use invested money to cover their own struggling business needs. Investor has already started to micro-manage everything (it doesn't help though). Are there any options to help this project to succeed (preferably with value pricing approach)? (timestamp: 40m 3s)

If you sign a client on a strategy advisory retainer (marketing in my case), but they don't already have a formal strategy, is the best approach to advise them on building pieces sequentially or should I create a detailed roadmap/strategy up front? (timestamp: 51m 33s)

I'm looking at religious organizations for my niche as I've built church conference level fund accounting systems. I've also coached soccer and ski racing for 15 years (in a previous life)--membership organizations. What would be a "niche" in the scope of large churches or upper level organizational units in non-profit/religious I'm also thinking along the lines of membership organizations? Am I being silly trying to link religious/non-profit with membership organizations? (timestamp: 57m 9s)

Advice on moving from implementation work to advisory consutling would be great. (timestamp: 63m 51s)

Questions from 2017-11-16 session

What do you think of this LFPS? “I’m a Python expert, who helps large companies with an old Python codebase get the best ROI from their dev team. Unlike my competitors, I (<)still working on this bit…)” (timestamp: 1m 54s)

How would you approach a situation with an "ex-startup" that positions itself not being able to afford a consulting services from an ex-employee? (Yes, "we're broke" discount request). A little twist: they owe me mid-five figures and agreed that I don't release all the source materials to them until that amount is fully paid. I think about releasing everything anyway to get to the point where they are technically not dependent on me anymore. (timestamp: 14m 16s)

The first part of my LFPS is "I help information-security companies to ship a state-regulatory approved carrier-Ethernet encryption appliances". What would you suggest for a second part of LFPS when companies are only developing these sort of products internally (those who think they can spend years without any output and others don't even try). (timestamp: 19m 22s)

I have three tiers of consulting services: 1- reactive advisory 2- proactive advisory + access to freelancer Rolodex (implementers) 3 - done for you digital strategy management (virtual CMO kind of role). My home page copy speaks to the highest tier almost exclusively. Would you advise softening it to include something like "I advise on or entirely manage your digital strategy for you" or was I right to lead with and focus on my highest tier of service? (timestamp: 30m 44s)

Assuming you've already narrowed down to a niche market and validated it, what marketing strategies would you suggest when switching from doing mostly subcontract work to getting clients directly? (timestamp: 35m 21s)

How do you enter a new vertical where you have no case studies to show you are an expert and don't understand the problems and pain points that exist? What is the best way to approach / cold email contacts in that market and ask them to have a conversation to explore the opportunity? I'm completely cold going in to this market but have a huge amount of passion and interest. (timestamp: 41m 23s)

Is there such thing as a "big fat check" that will drive you away from your LFPS area for a year or two? (timestamp: 47m 9s)

I'm trying to decide whether to hire an in-house sales rep / marketing manager to find more leads vs. a 3rd party marketing company who only manages online ads and lead magnets. What factors should I consider when making this choice? (timestamp: 53m 40s)

Questions from 2017-11-02 session

“Most of my clients have been entrepreneurs who are starting off. They have an idea and I help them succeed with getting there. This is an incredibly challenging audience to target however. Nobody on LinkedIn says "Aspiring entrepreneur". They have a full-time job typically or occasionally another business (in which case they are CEO). How would you go about positioning yourself when your audience is hard to reach? Or would you position yourself for another audience?” (timestamp: 2m 31s)

“Typically we work with clients who are experts in their domain. Because they're experts, they can answer all of our "Why" questions. But we end up building software with a list of features for the client that they themselves have more or less defined. Often the software doesn't solve their problem, so we deliver software that is not valuable, and then the client pivots and tries something else. How do we properly get to the underlying "why", so we can discover the business goal?” (timestamp: 8m 21s)

“I find it unexpectedly challenging to tune in to clients' yearly calendar (busy/less busy seasons; when various decisions are made by whom). Do you have ideas on when and how to get this information?” (timestamp: 50m 39s)

“If someone emails us about a low-risk/productized service (e.g. a training), should we have a "why" conversation to see if it's a good fit, or find out what the goal is?” (timestamp: 52m 26s)

“You mentioned you think of training as a productized service. Do you think training is a good way to get away from time-based consulting? We run a SaaS company but use consulting to bootstrap our business. Could trainings be a better way to fill out our service offerings & fund our company?” (timestamp: 56m 14s)

“I’m still having to rely on hourly freelance gigs to earn money until I make the transition to value pricing. Is it even worth mentioning value pricing in the context of responding to calls for freelancers who always ask your hourly rate? (Sorry I can’t attend the session today - I have a call with someone looking for a freelancer lol)” (timestamp: 58m 58s)

“I work with sensor data, e.g. like from wind farms, to bring value to the business. This usually involves creating management or executive web-based dashboards that are easy to access, understand, and in real-time (updated in seconds). I work with a specialized database, that my customers already have. It is usually difficult for those outside of operations to easily digest this data. I feel this is very general, any suggestions in how to boil this down to an expensive problem, easy to convey?” (timestamp: 61m 21s)

“I sell a highly commoditized service: Outsourced web development for web designers and agencies. My question is what would be the one marketing task that I can focus my attention on to generate leads. Would you recommend linkedin propecting, blogging, or something else? I have a fulltime employee doing the actual work. I've never marketed my services until recently when I started a blog and publishing content on freelancing, outsourcing, etc...” (timestamp: 69m 0s)

“Would you be willing to share your tool box list for all the tools you use in your business...crowdcast... hosting. Email. Payments. Etc? You have many landing pages and microsites as well and they all seem to gel together. Extremely valuable to hear the tools of the trade.” (timestamp: 80m 3s)

Questions from 2017-10-19 session

“You've talked about how to move up the altitude of involvement and sell strategy. You've also mentioned a strategy engagement (like a roadmap) might be 5% of overall project (say, 5k). Given that implementation is very expensive (and thus brings in a lot of revenue), if we start successfully selling strategy only, how will we make as much revenue as when we were doing implementation?” (timestamp: 0m 52s)

“With value based pricing, I need to determine what the overall value is for the client. Is it realistic to get value based pricing for implementation work? Example: Let's say that I'm able to figure out that the product's value is worth around $5 million in revenue for the client. What is a reasonable percentage to figure for how much I should charge? 5%? 10%? 5% would be $250k. Where as the hourly priced implementation might only be $50k worth of development if outsourced. Thoughts?” (timestamp: 7m 29s)

“I realize this positioning statement needs work, but can you tell me what areas you would seek to improve? "I'm a virtual CMO who helps time-strapped CEOs win back their time by managing their company's digital marketing for them. Unlike my competitors, I work for a fixed monthly fee and guarantee my work."” (timestamp: 12m 43s)

“We are considered experts in our chosen technology, and it's how we get lots of consulting leads. Is it possible to value price horizontal specialization? We've tried thinking about things like training, mentoring and coaching but haven't cracked the value pricing nut for these yet.” (timestamp: 34m 40s)

“In a why conversation, one way to discover the value for a client is to find out how much would an employee cost/take to do the project instead. Are there any other techniques (other comparisons one can ask the client to make) to estimate the price of the project that the client would consider acceptable?” (timestamp: 40m 14s)

“Right now I'm spending most of my time on implementation tasks (coding) for clients, because it's helping me build up a cash reserve. It's good to be busy, but I want to free up some time and mental energy to think about the future. Would it help to try delegating to junior developers, or will that just create new problems and more work? Do you have any more general advice on how to start freeing up time without cutting off too much short-term revenue?” (timestamp: 45m 45s)

“When a project is finished, it doesn't generate revenue (and profit for the client) immediately, but over time... When estimating the value of the project for the client, do you take a look how much profit they would make in a year (let's say 1 mil) or in 2 years (let's say that would be 2 mil) or in 3 years (3 mil) as that's a 2x or 3x difference to how much you could price the project?” (timestamp: 50m 8s)

“I have developed a layer on top of an open source platform (Drupal) that significantly reduces the time it takes to build a website and offers other enhancements for content management tasks. Since the time taken to produce sites is dramatically reduce, hourly billing makes no sense. Are there key factors to consider when working out value-based billing for production services based on open source technology? (I.e. where there is not full control of the IP.)” (timestamp: 51m 48s)

“I find it challenging to think clearly about dollar amounts at the scale that businesses larger than mine operate at. I've had a number of 5-figure projects over the years, but it's hard for me to internalize the fact that a business could justify spending half a million dollars on something. I've talked to potential clients who couldn't afford a few thousand for software development. How can I develop better intuition about the amounts of money that larger businesses are operating with?” (timestamp: 55m 57s)

Questions from 2017-10-12 session

“Hi! What would you do if you were working remotely from a country with lower salaries for a client in US and they'd expect a rate that's standard to that country (and much lower than US rates)? Hope the question makes sense. Thanks” (timestamp: 2m 41s)

“Should a prospect initially balk when I tell them my rate?” (timestamp: 9m 26s)

“If you're doing outreach and have several (or many) conversations going across email, Slack, LinkedIn, etc. How do you manage them without getting overwhelmed?” (timestamp: 15m 0s)

“I've done quite a bit of thinking on the best vertical for me to hone in on ... this feels like a difficult decision. Can you revisit the industry vertical / horizontal specialty and what questions to ask yourself when focusing on a niche area?” (timestamp: 20m 39s)

“Do you ask the client how much profit they make on each customer? This could come up in an attempt to explain how much value your work is going to be for the client. For example you can expect 10% increase in customers with your work, therefore you will make XYZ profit after paying for your work.” (timestamp: 35m 4s)

“Value based pricing in public sector (working for municipalities, governments ...) Can it work? Any tips?” (timestamp: 49m 17s)

“In reference to the $12k weekend project, would you say that it will only take you a weekend? Can a short time frame undercut perceived value?” (timestamp: 51m 33s)

“what's your email signature? how do you convert your initial outreach into clients?” (timestamp: 55m 40s)

“Verticals: if you want to focus on multiple verticals, is it best to have separate marketing/websites for each? I would assume so, since that's how you operate it ( = software devs, = mobile / credit unions)” (timestamp: 59m 14s)

“How do you determine if a client is a good fit?” (timestamp: 60m 54s)

“What is a compelling communication strategy to over come existing perceptions of what I ‘should' cost and get conceptual buy-in from not only my client contact but also their VP and CEO BEFORE providing a proposal? I want them to accept my higher rates and not feel like they need to consider another consultant.” (timestamp: 63m 48s)

“Is the outreach campaign you have been reporting your entire marketing strategy? Or are you advertising?” (timestamp: 68m 0s)

Questions from 2017-10-05 session

I’m setting up a productized service for SEO / internet marketing companies where I’ll “health check / tune-up” their new clients’ websites (as part of their on boarding process). I have a flat rate price. What do you suggest on offering bulk discounts? For example - a 5 pack of tune ups at 25% off each? (timestamp: 3m 5s)

I noticed you exclusively offer productized services on your website ( Four questions: 1) Is that how you value price? 2) Don't you feel like you leave money on the table in some cases? 3) Do you find these easiest to sell? 4) Do you ever do custom engagements? Thanks! (timestamp: 6m 17s)

I've been offering Roadmapping Services with our software consultancy and our deliverables have always been tied to the implementation of tools so we never needed to put together a report. Now, I've recently incorporated the services into our web development business and I'm curious what type of format/info you provide. If you have a sample or a template you wouldn't mind sharing - even better! (timestamp: 13m 5s)

Many of my family, friends, and colleagues are not people who make decisions to purchase services such as I might offer. Will this limit the effectiveness of my "magic wand" interview with them? (timestamp: 21m 38s)

I’m struggling with managing my time. I have a couple of ongoing hourly customers and with dead-lines etc.. I’m seeing the reality that at the rate I’m going, moving off of hourly feels like it is going to take a very long time. Any suggestions or tips on how to overcome this? (timestamp: 29m 51s)

Do you find that there is really a minimum company size, whether it be head count or yearly revenue, necessary to offer our services, otherwise, it's not worth the time and energy? (timestamp: 36m 18s)

Is it possible to do retainers for implementation work without falling into the hourly trap again? Or should implementation work typically be value-based? (timestamp: 42m 14s)

I do digital strategy consulting and advisory. One target market is $5-50mil+ companies looking for the equivilant of a digital marketing manager/advisor, and my other target market is small businesses who tend to DIY more of their marketing, and need guidance on where to focus, what to do, and how/where to find freelancers to help when needed. Do you think it's confusing to both groups if I target two very different markets like this? (timestamp: 47m 44s)

I'd given up on moving a couple of my clients off hourly, but Tricia reports success. "I moved off hourly billing almost overnight with customers I have done business with for the previous 10 to 15 years. It's the best thing I've ever done." Do you have ideas on switching existing clients to value pricing? (timestamp: 56m 58s)

How do you respond to the 'But what happens when you're hit by a bus' objection? Particularly when selling a large project with some amount of support required down the road. (timestamp: 64m 53s)

What do you think is one or some of the best ways to get street credit for any given industry? (timestamp: 68m 16s)

Questions from 2017-09-21

I want to get completely away from project work and get into consulting (just like you). I’ve never had a consulting / advisory gig before but am very confident I would do well at it. What’s something I could do daily to reach that goal? (timestamp 4m 50s)

I’ve identified a potential target market that I want to provide consulting services to. They are essentially my competitors. What’s the best way to show my strengths while giving them confidence I won’t steal their business? (I’m a WordPress developer). (timestamp 12m 38s)

I'm having a tough time deciding on a target market. What things did you consider when deciding on credit unions for your market for mobile consulting? Any tips on choosing a market, other than just choosing something, reaching out to that group, and testing the waters? (I'm a Rails Dev / AWS engineer) (timestamp 19m 47s)

Follow up Q: I get a ton of referrals from internet marketing / SEO companies. Is it feasible to find other internet marketing agencies who have a WP dev service who might build sites just to get the SEO business? If I can help them build better sites, they might be able to retain SEO clients longer. (timestamp 33m 7s)

Should I pick a vertical based on who I have connections to, or based on ideas I have about solutions I could provide to various industries? (timestamp 46m 56s)

I have an idea on how to turn my services into a product, but I don't want to spend too much time working on it without knowing that other would buy it, I'm thinking of starting small, but struggling on a good approach, kind of open ended question (timestamp 55m 11s)