One Underrated Strategy to Book Paid Speaking Gigs

The hard part of building the speaking part of your lifestyle business is finding events that pay. A lot of events don’t have a big budget to pay speakers. Most want speakers to share their knowledge/expertise for exposure and the chance to get clients from the audience.

When you’re starting out, that makes sense. You can get video of yourself speaking (for your website) and develop the experience that makes you a better speaker. You can even lock in a few clients. After you’ve been in the speaking industry for a while, it’s not a great strategy–in my opinion.

You can get fantastic at selling from the stage and make killer money that covers you speaking for free. BUT, what if you could have it both ways? (Don’t worry, I’m not going to sell you anything in this post)

The reality is that there are too many events that pay speakers AND let them sell from the stage. Why wouldn’t you want to get compensated and have all the extra sales be the cherry on your cake? There are events all over the world that will pay you a fee, cover your travel expenses, and let you sell your books and programs.

There’s an industry that speakers often overlook. It’s an industry that pays well and will let you sell. One of the most profitable industries to book paid speaking gigs is the MLM/Network Marketing industry and their events. Read more ›

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The Benefits of Consulting Companies Worldwide

If you are in the online/Internet marketing space, you see a lot of the same things. You hear about passive income and creating products to sell. You hear about social media marketing and all the hot-at-the-moment social strategies. You see someone doing well with something–like Live video–and everyone follows the trend. This year the “hot” things seem to be messenger bots, Facebooks ads, and funnels. You can’t blink without seeing a new expert in one of those categories. What happens is that there are many entrepreneurs who want to make money and see the trending ideas as a way to do that quickly.

There are a lot of entrepreneurs who have been at this for years without making any real money. So, when someone posts about making a bunch of money with a new trend, it’s alluring. While there may be real opportunities in the trends, it’s for those at a certain level in their business. The real money that’s made day in and day in out comes from establishing a foundation in something and going deep.

Most entrepreneurs look to the online/Internet marketing space while ignoring a space that has been around as long as business, in general, has been around. That space is the consulting at companies space. When I say “companies,” I’m talking about every day, mainstream businesses. The kinds that have lots of employees, operations, budgets, and structure. Not so much the soloprenuer or Internet entrepreneur type businesses. These can be midsize to large companies that you hear about and use their services.

It’s estimated that 57% of businesses worldwide don’t have a website for their business. The fact is that these larger companies move slower than we would, which creates a lot of opportunity for consultants. Companies spent $42.4 billion dollars on training in 2014 according to Bloomberg. They paid outside consultants $39.3 billion dollars last year according to Business Week. When I tell you the opportunity is good, I mean it. Today, I want to share some benefits of consulting at companies and why more entrepreneurs should be considering it.

Bypassing the Crowd

I don’t have to tell you that the online space is crowded. Think about how many Facebook ads you see every day from different entrepreneurs trying to sell the same type of training. Think about how many of the same podcasts, Facebook groups, online courses, marketing strategies, and a bunch of other stuff that is being marketed to the same people on a daily basis. A lot of people online are frustrated, tapped out, and/or looking for something more.  Read more ›

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I Had to Fire a Team Member (and a Pro Tip)!

In a recent post, I talked about having to fire one of my team members. I want to tell you what happened. Hopefully, it helps another entrepreneur not end up in the same situation.

A few weeks ago, I walked away from a consulting deal that I was negotiating with a company here in Asia (not the one I’m consulting for this trip). They wanted to own all of my content after I presented it at their company. I said no and offered to create content just for them–they said no.

They offered six-figures in the deal but said they had to own the consulting trainings that I’ve been giving at companies all year. My attorney and I tried to offer many other options but they were adamant. They wanted to own the content so they could repackage it and sell it as their own.

I walked away from the deal. I know what my content is worth. I made an honest effort to accommodate them but they were stubborn. That usually doesn’t turn into a good business relationship.

My team of virtual assistants has access to certain parts of consulting deals and the companies that I consult for. This former virtual assistant mainly dealt with the companies on my behalf.

She went to this company in Asia directly and tried to sell them my content on the side. Since she has access, she could have easily done it. One of my other team members saw what was going on and alerted me. Read more ›

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5 Lessons Learned Growing My Business From $5,000 a month to $500,000 a Year

I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 19 years old. My first business was a vacation-relief service for independent vendors. It started with just myself but grew very quickly. By year two, I had six employees, operated in three states, and the business generated half-a-million dollars a year. I sold that business in 2012 to run my second business. Today, I operate a global lifestyle business. I’m the author of four books that have sold over 100,000 copies, I get paid to write for various publications, I sell digital information products, and I travel to 30 plus countries a year to consult large multinational corporations on digital marketing. I’m currently in Asia on a five-country consulting tour.

I started each business making around $5,000 a month and grew them to $500,000 a year. It took a lot of hard work, failure, beating limiting beliefs and strategy to get here. There were many times when giving up felt easier than dealing with difficult circumstances. I pushed through and now get to travel the world doing what I love for a living. There were five important lessons that helped me grow these two businesses. If you are stuck at a certain income level in your business, see how these lessons can be applied to what you do.

1. Social media is not enough.

Everywhere you look, you’re told that social media marketing is the key to your business’ marketing efforts. There’s no denying the power of social media, but it isn’t the only way you market your business. The organic reach of social media is low and the algorithms keep changing. All of the social media platforms are now publicly traded companies that generate profits for their shareholders by charging you for more reach. Social media marketing is a great part of a diverse marketing plan. It isn’t the end all be all.

When I realized that I needed more than social media, I was able to put together a comprehensive marketing plan that grew my potential customer base. This plan involved getting interviewed on podcasts, writing for large authority publications (such as this one), paying for ads, and getting exposure through speaking and consulting gigs. The combined strategy took my business’ email list from 3,000 to over 50,000. That, in turn, led to explosive revenue growth.

2. Low-tier pricing only brings problems.

I kept my prices too low for too long in both businesses. My thought was that I could get more customers but the lower prices attracted clients who weren’t a good fit, so I worked very hard for not-a-lot-of-money. There are a lot of articles about the kind of clients you attract with higher pricing. You have probably experienced this in your business. You work less for more money, you attract high-end clients and you get paid by the value you provide. The reality is that the lower end pricing will attract customers who aren’t satisfied and will always ask for more. It will create unnecessary headaches. Read more ›

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6 Steps to Getting Your First Consulting Contract

In 2014, companies spent $42.4 billion on training according to The Training Industry Report. After locking 34 international consulting contracts this year, I can attest to the fact that solopreneurs and lifestyle entrepreneurs have the opportunity to add significant income through paid consulting at companies. The opportunity is there, you may just not have known how to find it.

Getting a company to hire you and give you a consulting contract may test the limits of your comfort zone. You wonder if you’re qualified to approach a company. When you think about the details, you get frustrated because you’re not sure how to build a consulting business.

My first business was a service company in the bread industry. My second business is a lifestyle business that involves a good deal of paid consulting with companies all over the world. How I book contracts is not a mystery and you probably have the skills and knowledge to land deals. Here are six steps to building a lucrative and freedom based consulting part of your lifestyle business.

1. Make a list of your areas of expertise.

To get the contract, you have to understand what areas you could possibly train on. Tap into your experiences to see what you enjoy and are knowledgeable about. Write those areas down somewhere. List as many as you can come up with.

Once you have this list, start to see how you can combine topics. Look for a “core” topic that could cover several of the ones you listed. Companies want to see that you’re an expert at a main topic. Your website, social media presence, and email list need to show your expertise in a topic if a company is going to hire you. Get clarity and demonstrate what you can consult a company on. Read more ›

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How to Book Your Second International Consulting Gig

Traveling to countries on your bucket list. Having the travel expenses covered and getting a generous consulting fee. Bringing your family and/or significant other on the consulting trips. All of these perks (and more) make international consulting very appealing. I’ve had the privilege of doing consulting gigs at companies in 58 countries over the last five years and have experienced all of these benefits.

In my last post, I talked about the best way to book your first international consulting gig is to find and pitch multinational companies. Essentially, you look for a company in your country that has offices in other countries. When you book a gig at the main office, you then have the leverage to give the same training and/or a variety of trainings at their other offices around the world.

In that last post, I also gave examples of three specific companies you can pitch. That post was wildly popular and got a crazy amount of feedback because of the specifies. In today’s post, I want to give you a few more examples of specific multinational companies that would be could targets to pitch.

Remember, consulting at companies is more than just doing a training. You should have several options in your pitch proposals. Companies paid outside consultants $39 billion dollars last year. You can do one-off trainings from $10K-$100K, license any online courses you have at a rate of $1K-$3K per employee, book high-end coaching in the range of $15K-$60K, and sell comprehensive training programs and temples at rates of $15K-multiple six-figures. I base these numbers off of what companies have told me they’ve paid consultants in each of these areas this year.

Here are some examples of multinational companies you can pitch:

If you are a Health & Fitness Consultant. “Atento” based out of Madrid, Spain is a good company to target. They have 154,000 employees, they do about $1.8 billion dollars a year in revenue, and they have offices in 13 countries. They are a support/sales center type of company, which means their employees aren’t physically active. Health & fitness is important for them to handle all of those hours sitting. They don’t have a wellness program setup for their employees, which makes a HUGE opportunity for you to pitch. Read more ›

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I Want to Book Consulting Gigs, I Don’t Know Where to Start

The thought of traveling to cool countries all over the world and getting paid to do it is appealing to a lot of lifestyle entrepreneurs. You have probably seen me doing just that this year and it makes you want to jump into the consulting at companies space head first. A lot of entrepreneurs that I talk to want to get into international consulting with large companies right away. But, that’s not usually how it goes. I get the appeal but I didn’t start with what I’m doing today. I didn’t start with the bigger opportunities that have come my way over the last five years.

My journey in consulting started with a $500 social media marketing contract with a company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Social media was hot in 2012 and I saw an opportunity to book gigs with all kinds of companies. Without knowing the exact process, I found local companies in Milwaukee and sent them consulting proposals that showed how I could help their social media marketing efforts. There wasn’t any information online about how to get into consulting at companies, so I winged it. I got A LOT of NO’s but I did book that $500 gig.

I did a good job for that business and the owner referred me to several other local businesses in Milwaukee. From 2012 to today, I’ve worked my way to larger companies, and then to international companies. To date, I’ve done consulting gigs at 58 different companies in 58 countries. But, what I want you to see and understand is that I didn’t start with traveling the world for consulting gigs. I started local and with smaller companies.

You never want to compare where someone is now if you are just starting out. If you don’t know exactly how to get started with consulting at companies, here is what you should understand. I hope this helps you start your consulting at companies journey, and helps take you towards your ultimate goals.

Establish a Foundation Around a Topic

If you are going to book a consulting gig, you should have a topic that you can consult on or have several topics. For a company to hire you, they will want to see that you’re an expert. The way that they determine that expertise is by starting out looking at your foundation: your website, social media presence, and email list. They want to see that the content you’re putting out there matches what you say you consult on and that you’re knowledgeable about your topic(s). Read more ›

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How to Book Your First International Consulting Gig

There are many types of companies that hire consultants on a wide variety of topics. Companies paid outside consultants $39 billion dollars last year. You can book gigs at companies locally, nationally, and internationally.

Traveling to countries on your bucket list. Having the travel expenses covered and getting a generous consulting fee. Bringing your family and/or significant other on the consulting trips. All of these perks (and more) make international consulting very appealing.

One question I get asked often is, “How can I book my first international consulting gig?” There are six strategies that I’ve used to book consulting gigs at companies in 58 countries over the last three years. The first strategy is the easiest and the most natural place to start.

You can pitch companies in other countries, but the smoothest transition into international consulting is to find and book gigs with multinational companies. Essentially, you look for a company in your country that has offices in other countries.

When you book a gig at the main office in your country, you then have the leverage to give the same training and/or a variety of trainings at their other offices in other countries.

When I was on a six-country European consulting tour earlier this year, it was for a large multinational corporation. I traveled Europe giving presentations at six of their offices. When I booked the first gig, I went back and negotiated five more gigs at their other offices. Read more ›

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Behind the Scenes of My Consulting Team

One question that comes up lately is about how I use my team of virtual assistants and freelancers. Here is a little peak behind the scenes.

This year, I’ve already traveled to 12 countries for consulting gigs at a variety of companies. Most of what I’ve been doing is one-off trainings on five topics.

In Europe earlier this year, the company I was consulting for asked about access to my online courses. An entrepreneur in my mastermind group told me not to sell them the courses, but to make the company buy licenses for each employee. Dr. Tee Williams is a genius for that idea and I still owe him!

It made a HUGE difference. Instead of charging a company $10K for each course, they are now buying licenses at a rate of $2K per employee per course (I have six courses).

Here in Asia (I’m here on a five-country consulting tour), the next big change happened. I did a training on digital marketing at a company in Hong Kong, and a training on podcasting at a company in Bangkok. Both companies came to me after and said they wanted to hire me to set up what I had trained them on. Right now, I’m setting up a digital marketing plan for the company in Hong Kong. I’m setting up a podcast for the company in Bangkok.

I have never offered done-for-you services or taken on bigger projects like this in the past, so it meant hiring a team for all the work. I currently use four virtual assistants and two freelancers. Read more ›

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5 Ways to Start Living Your Dream Life Today

I hesitate to write this because blogs like this usually involve some cheesy rah, rah advice that’s not practical for making it in this messed world we live in today. I lived a life that could best be described as existing—for years. It took years of hard work and taking action, but I was able to break free. I paid off $180,000 in debt, moved to my dream destination of Maui, Hawaii for a time, and now travel to 30 plus countries a year for consulting gigs at companies. Every day, life feels surreal. When I pinch myself, I smile because I’m living my dream life.

Now, I realize there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to what each of us may be going through in life. But, we all have a choice to make. We can choose to accept our circumstances, or we can choose to make the effort to rise above them. That choice usually starts with what you believe about yourself and your dream.

Everywhere you look, there is bad news. Every day there’s something in your life that doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to. You can let those circumstances make or break you, and too often, we’re broken. Despite what you’re going through and despite where you are, you can live a life most people only talk about. Here are five ways you can start living your dream life today.

1. Get honest about what you want from life. It’s scary to admit what you want to do and what you want from your life. You may want something that’s well outside of your comfort zone and even scares others in your life, but those dreams are in your heart and mind for a reason. Sit down and say it out loud. No matter how crazy it sounds—get real and honest about what you want.

2. Use the Internet to research your dream. We live in a time where information is readily available. If you own a smartphone or have access to the Internet, you can research what it would take to make your dream life a reality. You don’t have to guess, chances are someone has mapped out what you need to know. Get that knowledge and research. Get as much as you can and in as specific steps as you can. Read more ›

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