Welcome to March 2016 edition of Just 1 Question. I do hope that this post will do a lot of good to the souls who read it.
Let’s dig in.
Question 1 : ” How do I grow my brand as a leadership consultant?”
Leadership consultancy can come off as a very broad spectrum. What area of leadership are you going to grow in? Narrowing your reach to a specific niche will help you to serve a peculiar group that are fixated on the solutions that you provide.
A few of those areas can be :
- Organisational leadership – helping chief executives understand how to lead effectively.
- Political leadership – helping political enact effective policies to lead people very statemanly.
- Personal leadership – helping individuals understand how to develop their skills and surmount their own problems profitably.
- Church leadership – helping church leaders to develop their skills at personal development and dealing with challenges of leading people.
Finding your niche will depend on how your heart beats for the challenges in each of these areas. Leadership is the umbrella, but narrowing it down to an area will help you focus your energies appropriately in developing solutions to challenges in that area.
The areas above can also be splintered more. For example, in political leadership, you can consider working with governors, chairman of local government or even political party leaders at different levels. The challenges of each of these can be general and specific as well.
To grow your consultancy business will involve the following :
- Identifying peculiar challenges and fashioning solutions for them.
- Packaging your solutions into a relatable format. This can be either through written articles, video, or specialized trainings. This involves a lot of work because you have to consistently be dynamic, showing up to publish and publish and publish your thoughts – at least the ones you can give away for free.
- Choosing a platform (and embassies) for the showcasing of your solutions. You choose a platform where your visibility can be optimised. A platform like Twitter works well for political leaders, while Facebook works well for personal and church leadership. I suggest having your own blog and growing your own followership by consistently blogging your thoughts and communicating with the tribe who are connected to what you do.
You become influential by doing these over time. The result is that you grow trust and your portfolio becomes filled with references, worthy credentials and works done. This will open a whole new vista of opportunities to serve on a higher level – corporate organisations, international leaders and multinational agencies.
Question 2 : “I want to write daily. I want to reach out. But where do I start from. How do I start?”
The only way to write daily is to write daily. There’s no other way. All strategies and motivational pushups and tricks will not work except you decide to show up everyday and write.
The mind works by biting in sizes and increasing the confidence level of your exploits. Start by writing a few words daily. Don’t force yourself to write 500 words at the very start. Write 10 words. Write 15 in a week. Write 24 words in 2 weeks and then increase the delivery.
Don’t feel bad when you come up empty on some days. It happens, so don’t beat yourself with a bat on the head when it happens. When it happens, take a break and have a breather and then return to your piece.
Start by writing your thoughts on Facebook. It’s a great platform where majority of people congregate to read thoughts of people. However, I advise that you pen down valuable pieces that will make readers yearn to read your pieces.
Being proficient at writing doesn’t depend on age. Except one has mental problems – dementia or Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or physiological problems, the brain is alive enough till whatever age to focus on writing. Growing your craft is dependent on your commitment to showing up daily and working at it.
Here’s one piece of advice : keep copies of your posts. They can form a book that you will publish some day soon.
We have a group that you can join on Facebook where you can gain phenomenal values to help your writing journey. In there, you will be part of a group of remarkable writers who will help your art. Join us by clicking here.
Also, download my book, SO YOU CALL YOURSELF A WRITER? for free.
Question 3 : “How do I grow my personal brand?”
As a personal brand, you’re a body of evidence and knowledge.
Whatever activity that you’re involved in that offers solutions to challenges faced by the people you serve with your offerings, that activity can be broken down into words.
Those words, coherently arranged in a systematic manner, forms a document that can be reproducible. That document is an intellectual property that can be paid for.
If you coach singles on how to live blissful marital lives, your step by step approach can be documented in words that offers solutions to someone else. It can also be paid for.
If you weave hairs, every twist and turn can be painstakingly represented by words. Yes, it can be done.
If you’re a managerial whizkid, being able to deftly organise and manage operations from inception to results, your step by step approach can be documented in words.
I’m a body of knowledge because I’m now able to document my transition from paid employment to freelancer in words that can be reproduced by someone else.
What you do as a brand overwhelmingly feeds from your experiences, what your heart beats for, your expertise and stories.
Begin to articulate how your activities can be documented sequentially and systematically in words.
You’re a body of knowledge. See your brand as such and consistently work at that.
Also, tied to this is the answer to question 1 above.
Question 4 : ” How did you grow your subscribers (email list) especially since you don’t believe in signing people up without their consent ?”
I believe in permission marketing. Permission marketing is a concept that was greatly explained by a man I follow, Seth Godin.
In simple terms, permission marketing is selling to people who have given you the permission to reach their hearts. It’s not coerced, but a willingness on their part to say, “Hey, you’re free to reach me with your content. In case you have any product to sell, you’re free to pitch to me.”
Growing my emailing list has been based simply on this concept and nothing more.
I used to have a popup installed on my blog that popped up after a few seconds of landing on my blog post. When some readers complained that it blocked their mobile phones and hindered their reading, I pulled it off. Yes, the popup helped me gain subscribers, but it was more of a forced thing; more of saying, “The heck, let me just sign up and get this thing out of my face.”
In any case, popups are good and can serve to increase subscription rates, but I prefer an approach that appears uncoerced.
For each of my posts, I put an opt-in form at the bottom. After reading my post, you’re at liberty to optin to receive my emails or not. I’m on the lookout for willing folks who will read my emails and not just gloss over them. On my blog and to the right side of the screen is an opt-in form too that has an explanation of what I do. If that syncs with the solution you think I can provide for you, then you sign up.
Right now I’m working on developing lead magnets. Lead magnets are ethical bribes laden with solutions that ‘demand’ an exchange of an email in return for the material. For example, I can do a 2-page lead magnet detailing the automation tools you need to grow your list as a thought leader. To get it will require you feeding in your email and that’s how my list grows.
For me, I do think that it will be a very phenomenal way to grow my list because of its authenticity and value. By doing Twitter and Facebook ads, placing your lead magnet in places such as your emails, Facebook profile, Twitter bio, guest blog posts and many more, your list grows geometrically.
Question 5 : ” I help individuals and organizations achieve peak performance. Some “clients” think I should help them in exchange for “God bless you”; an experience I know you have had. How did you handle it?”
Business is a congregation of systems working together to help you achieve predetermined results. The systems that you create and the procedures that you document will help you understand how money enters into the business and how it leaves, and consequently its profitability. This is very key.
The moment I began to see my business as a business and that I’m a part of the business, the whole dynamics changed for me. A business has bills to pay, no matter how small that is.
When people want me to do something for them, I remind them that they’re not dealing with just me, but with a business that has a life of its own. That changes the atmosphere. Consistently remind them that.
I had these issues with churches who wanted me to speak for free, but when I began to point to them that they pay their generator repairers, so why not me, the conversations tilted in my favour.
Stand your feet and project that confidence that you’re a part of your business. When you tower with such confidence, they’ll know you’re not beggarly. Your business’ cash flow is key.
Having said that, it’s your discretion to decide when to do free and when not to. That shouldn’t be within their own power, but yours.
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