WP Tonic 133 Kai Davis on Digital Outreach

Kai Davis is an Outreach Consultant in Eugene, Oregon, who helps bootstrappers, product creators, self-funded startups, and single founder companies grow their audience and promote their best products and content.

He connect with influencers and finds opportunities to expose your best products and content to their audience.

He writes about Digital Outreach and Public Relations at Double Your Audience. If you’re looking for help growing your business, you can browse his Consulting Offerings. If you’re not yet ready to work together, you can sign up for his free newsletter.

In this episode, Kai opens up to us about digital outreach, the importance of aligning value when doing podcast outreach, positioning yourself as a consultant, the psychology of raising your rates, and more.

We also encourage you to check out the podcast Make Money Online, which Kai co-hosts with Nick Disabato. You can follow Kai on Twitter at @kaisdavis.

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Full Transcript of our Interview with Kai Davis

John:

Welcome to WP-Tonic episode 133. Today we’re talking with Kai Davis about digital outreach. Before we start, I’d like to remind everyone to leave us a review on iTunes if you’re getting value from this show. With that, I’m going to let our guest introduce himself. Kai, who are you?

Kai:

Who am I? That’s a question I wake up every single morning and ask myself, and I have to tell you, I have yet to find a concrete answer. A working one right now? I’m a digital outreach consultant, which means I help my clients manage their most valuable relationships and build new ones, and I go about that by helping them identify who their ideal audience is. The target market, the best buyers they want to reach, figuring out where those best buyers already congregate online, and then facilitating the relationships between my client and the audience owner … the person who’s controlling or curating that audience, and finding opportunities to naturally promote my client’s best products or content or services to this audience on the other side. In a nutshell, that’s how I identify as an outreach consultant.

John:

Very good. I want to introduce my co-host as well, Jonathan Denwood. Jonathan, who are you and what do you do?

Kai:

Hi there, folks. I’m the co-founder of WP-Tonic, or was the founder, but John has really been a driving force as well, and basically if you’re looking for somebody who’s reliable, a company that can help you maintain your WordPress website, deal with any small jobs, on a fixed monthly rate so you don’t have to worry about getting some massive bill, or you’re looking for true WordPress consultancy from me and John, we’re here to help you.

John:

Very good, and I am John Locke, and I run a small WordPress consultancy in Sacramento called Lockedown Design, that specializes in local SEO and WooCommerce development. The first question I want to ask you, Kai, is as a consultant, how much of a difference does it make to focus down on one specific niche, one specific area and one audience, and how do you decide how you’re going to choose that niche?

Kai:

Great question, and I think focusing in on a niche, a specific target market, is one of the valuable decisions, one of the most valuable actions you could take as a consultant, because it lets your customer more easily identify, oh, this is the person to work with. We could do a mini case study between your introductions and a generalist developer just by saying like, “We help WooCommerce store owners with custom development.” Okay, great, you’re easily signifying to people who own a WooCommerce store, “We help WooCommerce stores.” If your tagline was, “We help with websites,” people would be like, “Well, I got a Shopify thing, and maybe, I don’t know, a something …” By niching down, I think it’s adding a marketing channel to your business or testing a new marketing angle, and then making it easier for customers to know that they’re your ideal customer.

“Oh, I have a WooCommerce store. I have a problem with this. I better contact you,” and create what I call referable moments, where people in your target market, or friends, or colleagues, or past clients hear like, “Oh, you work with this type of company to solve this of problem? You help dentists get more repeat patients? I know someone who owns a dental office. I better refer you to them.” I think positioning is incredibly valuable for any consultant or agency owner because it more easily lets your ideal client know who they are, and who you best work with.

One resource I’d be incredibly wrong to forget to mention would be Philip Morgan’s The Positioning Manual. It’s a wonderful book for any agency owner or development shop on how to position your business. Essentially, rather than saying, “Hey, we’ve got this big pond of potential work. I need to be the biggest fish out there,” saying, “Well, hey. Let me find a smaller pond where I could just drop in and be the go-to person, the go-to WooCommerce developer, the go-to outreach consultant, for this smaller arena, and then slowly build up that arena over time.” For any listeners that are curious about positioning, highly, highly recommend The Positioning Manual available at thepositioningmanual.com.

John:

A very good, excellent recommendation. Here’s a question. You choose your niche. You’ve positioned yourself to where you’re serving a specific set of people, to solve a specific, expensive problem. Now you’re trying to promote yourself, and digital outreach is part of that. How does that benefit a consultant who’s already found their position, and they’re trying to get the word out?

Kai:

Good question, so with digital outreach, I see it about as building relationships between yourself, once you understand your positioning and the expensive problem you solve as a consultant, and your target market, the audience that you want to serve. With digital outreach, it’s the process of identifying where people in your target market already congregate. Maybe it’s a conference, conventions, online forums, watering holes like subreddits, or private forums, or Slacks, just these different communities. Then building a relationship with the people that are active in that community as a member of that audience, or the person who curates and organizes and administers that community as an audience owner, and finding an opportunity to expose those people to your best content and services and products.

It’s so easy for anybody just to show up and be like, “Hey I got a thing. Come buy my thing,” and then they disappear, and then people hate you because you’re that guy who showed up and just said, “Hey, buy my thing.” Instead, if you approach it from the perspective of relationship building … “How do I become an ally to this community? How do I build a relationship with the members, or with the person who’s curating and owning the community?” You find opportunities to promote your products and services in a natural way, where it doesn’t come off as overly-salesy, but instead it comes off as, “Oh, hey, I’ve been contributing value here. By the way, check out this resource,” similar to how I reference, “Oh, you should check out thepositioningmanual.com.” It’s a way to reach an existing audience, your listeners, and promote a product that would benefit them but in a way that doesn’t come off as, “Go buy this thing immediately.” It’s more, “Oh, if you have questions about this, go check out this resource.” I see digital outreach as encapsulating all of that.

John:

Yeah, definitely, and I know that you work not only with consultants, but eCommerce stores, or people who have education products. What you’re saying is that a lot of this is holistic. It’s aligning the needs between the person with the audience, the person with the product, and the audience of the person that you’re trying to get that product in front of. What are some of the steps that you go through to figure out how all those values get aligned, to where everybody gets the most value out of that situation?

Kai:

Great question! Whenever I do an eCommerce outreach campaign, or what I frame as a blogger review outreach campaign for an eCommerce client, I’m always focused on first and foremost saying, “How are we providing value to the …” I want to say end user here but it’s not end user. “To the audience member, the participant, to the person, you know, reading the review or engaging with the content,” because first and foremost, we need to be delivering value to them. I coach my clients and work directly with them on saying, “Where would somebody receive value?” Is it by having a style guide, if it’s a fashion product? By having a usability guide, by having a review that focuses in on this one feature that your customers always ask about? How could we first and foremost deliver value to the audience member, and everything else sort of falls in place backwards from there.

Once we identify how to deliver value to the audience member, then it’s easier to approach the audience owner and say, “Hey, I’d love to teach your audience something new. Would they like to learn about, you know, A, B, or C?” Maybe it’s a podcast interview. Maybe it’s a guest article. Maybe it’s a review. Maybe it’s something else, but we approach them from the point of saying, “Hey, I’d love to teach your audience something new. I’d love them to end up with a benefit like this. Here’s three paths we could follow. We could talk about A, B, or C. Which one would you prefer?” Now the audience owner’s in the position of saying, “Wow, I love providing value to my audience. Here are three options. Option 2 looks great. They’re always asking for more information about that. Let’s go with option 2.”

Now we back up to you as the consultant or service provider. You’ve found a way to reach people who are in your target market, teach them about something you’re already an expert on, or teach them how to solve an issue that they’re facing that relates to your consulting, in a manner that benefits the audience owner. They’re excited because it’s not another pitch of, “Let me talk about my services,” but it’s a pitch of, “Oh, hey, here is something that will benefit your audience,” which in a roundabout way lets you promote your own services. “If you liked listening to me talking about outreach for the last 30 minutes, check out freeoutreachcourse.com and you could learn some more,” and people can naturally make that jump, but from the audience’s perspective, it comes off as not overly-promotional, not overly-salesy. It’s, “Hey, I’m going to educate you for 20 or 30 minutes, and if you want, you could step over here and become part of my audience, but you don’t need to if you don’t want to.” I think everybody wins when we approach outreach and relationship building from that frame.

John:

No, I definitely think that cross-pollination in the audiences, and exposing people to new things, is very valuable for anyone that’s putting out any form of content, whether it’s a podcast or a blog or YouTube or anything like that. It sounds like a lot of this is really nurturing relationships within your industry and building trust with your peers. What type of process is that take? How important is it to nurture those relationships within your industry?

Kai:

I think it’s incredibly important to nurture industry relationships, either from an outreach perspective or just from a general business-development perspective. Some of the biggest wins for my business over the last three or four years have come from focusing in on colleagues, friends, people who are in the same industry as I am and saying, “How can I help support you? How could I help your business grow?” Coming at it from a point of an abundance, and an abundance mentality and saying, “I want to help you succeed. You succeeding more does not cost me anything. How could I help your business win?” And sometimes it’s being available for a phone call when they’re trying to answer a decision. Sometimes it’s offering insight or expertise on a problem they’re struggling with, but no matter what, building and maintaining those relationships always comes full circle to providing you, as a consultant, with value.

John:

I love how you put that, that it’s really from a position of abundance, because as consultants, it’s not a zero-sum game. There is enough value and enough work out there for everyone to share, and it’s figuring out how you can best serve other people, whether that’s your clients, your audience, or other people’s clients. The big thing to know is that if you give to somebody else, that’s going to come back to you. That’s not taking anything away from you. Here’s a question, too. Creating educational assets as a consultant, like yourself. You have a few books which are chock full of value. A lot of people have educational assets that are high level consultants. What do you think prevents people from taking the time and the effort to create those educational assets that are going to end up being lead generation tools, and how do those fit into the bigger picture of getting consulting clients?

Kai:

Great, great question. Let me tackle the second part of that first, why don’t more do this, and then we’ll talk a little bit about the benefits and how this fits into the overall lead generation for a business. I think most people don’t approach it because they feel it will take too much time or too much work to create. “I have to create a lead magnet. Oh, my gosh, it has to deliver a ton of value. I’m selling multi-thousand dollar consulting services, so, you know, this free eBook better have a $1,000 of value in it,” and then we get stuck. I’m describing this from personal experience, by the way. So many times I’ve been like, “I’m going to create that freebie offering,” and then three weeks later I’m like, “Ah, this is not going well.” What I discovered, just from discovering my own anti-patterns or behavior there is I get stuck in a mentality of thinking, “Oh, if the end goal is to sell them a thousand, a five thousand, a ten, or a $20,000 consulting service, I want that lead magnet or that freebie offering or book to deliver that much value. I have to create that $20,000 book and then I get paralyzed.

I realized just a few months ago, really, when somebody shows up and wants to sign up or engage with you, or buy a book, well, maybe they’re signing up for a free course you put together where you just have to make sure it’s more valuable than their email address that they paid with. Maybe they’re buying a $29 book from you that talks about your methodology, the why and what of your process. Well, it doesn’t need to be a thousand or a $5,000 book. It just needs to provide $29 or $39 worth of value to them. By re-scoping it in my mind to that, I realized, “Well, it’s easier to create it than not. It could just be a thousand, two thousand, give thousand words that talk about, “Hey, this is why we approach it in this way, and this is what the benefits are of approaching it in this way. If you want to learn how we approach it in this way, feel free to schedule a call with us. We’d love to explain our process and methodology,” but I think most consultants don’t create educational assets, be it a free course, a lead magnet, a small book, a larger book, a larger paid course, because they feel it has to be this large, mammoth project.

Amy Hoy’s book Just Fucking Ship is wonderful to help break people out of that mentality by helping them see, well, you don’t need to ship the ultimate, mega-guide to everything awesome at once. You could break it down into a tiny little piece and ship that tiny piece, and get it out there, and build on it over time. I think by approaching it with that mentality, it’s a lot easier to create these educational assets. Why create them? It’s a perfect opportunity to educate clients on how you work, and the benefits you could deliver to them, without needing to get on a phone call with them. I’ve had numerous clients buy one of my books like The Outreach Blueprint at outreachblueprint.com, that talks about how to email anyone and get a response. I never met these people before. I get a little ping, oh, hey somebody bought my book. I’m like, “Woohoo! Somebody bought me a burrito! Yay!”

Then a couple weeks later, I get an email from them. “Hey, I just finished reading your book. It was wonderful. The process you described is exactly what we want. We don’t have the time to do this ourselves. Can we hire you, please?” I’m like, “That was unexpected and wonderful. Yay! Thank you.” The educational asset gives somebody a low-risk opportunity to engage with me, learn about how I think, learn that I can put together something. I can actually ship a product, and then say, “Oh wow. The process he’s describing in here is exactly what we’re looking for in our business,” and it gives an easy in.

On top of that, they’ve already crossed that threshold from prospect to paying customer by buying a $29 or a $39 or a $49 book, so mentally it’s easier for them now to jump up to a $500 or a $1,000 roadmapping session, and then a 3 to $5,000 project. Then maybe a larger, ongoing monthly project because they’re across that hurdle. Educational assets provide an easy in for prospects, provide a way for you to educate and nurture people about how you work, and help get them across the threshold from somebody who’s considering working with you, to somebody who has paid you money or signed up for something you created.

John:

I think that’s great how you put that, too. The book is a way to graduate people into a larger gig, and maybe they start even with a free signup, like a free PDF, and then they go to getting the book, and then they go to the bigger consulting gig. I think where a lot of people fail to see that is they’re just trying to go all the way to the end before getting people, training people, teaching people that they want to give you money for information and value.

Kai:

Completely agreed. One thing I noticed myself when I looked at my product ladder or product funnel, the different services I offered, I did an analysis of this at the start of the year. I was like, “Okay. I’ve got like a range of services. The intro offering, the mid-level offering, the retainer offering, the larger retainer offering,” but I realized if somebody showed up, it started at $500. They could not engage with me for less than that, and I was like, “There has to be people out there who want to, like, work with me in some capacity, but are like, hey, I don’t have five Benjamins to hand you, Kai. What do we do?” and I’m like, “Enjoy my free newsletter. Thank you so much. You don’t get to give me money.” I realized there I was leaving money on the table by not having a quality lower-priced or more affordable educational offering, that I didn’t need to hand-deliver.

That spurred me to put together an outreach blueprint and podcast outreach, as lower-priced ways for people to say, “Hey, the information he’s sharing is valuable. I want to learn more about it. I want to implement it myself, perhaps, but I can’t afford a full engagement.” A number of people who don’t qualify for working with me one-on-one instead are able to circle around say, “Okay, I’m going to buy the book. I’m going to buy the course. I’m going to learn how to do this myself.” Then eventually might come around and say, “Oh wow. This, you know, is a lot more time-consuming than I thought from the get-go. I’d much rather have an expert do it for me,” and that’s where I think educational offerings, again, provide a lot of value by capturing that surplus below your minimum project size.

John:

I think that’s definitely great. We’re going to go to our first break, and then when we come back, we’ll be talking some more with Kai Davis about digital outreach.

We’re back from our break. We’re talking with Kai Davis about digital outreach. I want to ask you a question, Kai. The two areas that you focus on specifically with digital outreach are eCommerce outreach and podcast outreach. What is more important about podcast outreach now as opposed to a few years ago?

Kai:

Great question. I’d say the most important distinction about podcast outreach now as opposed to a few years ago is that podcasts have grown dramatically, just in the past year or two, from less than 50%, less than 40% of the market share of time people spend listening to audio content, to a much higher percentage. I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, and my mind loses statistics like water through a sieve, but there’s been a rapid growth in podcasting as a means for people to consume audio content. Along with that, we’ve seen an explosion not just in the top-end podcasts, the ones with hundreds of thousands or millions of listeners, but in the small-to-medium size podcasts. Podcasts with 50, 500, 5,000 listeners, and there’s a wonderful opportunity as consultants or product creators to reach easily, honestly, a large segment of the audience by appearing on podcasts as guests.

The metaphor I often use is, imagine your local Chamber of Commerce invited you to give a presentation to 100 local business owners. You’d say, “Great. Seems good. I’ll probably get a couple leads out of this.” You go, you give the presentation, you get a couple leads, you make a name for yourself, you come home. A week later, they call you up again and they’re like, “Hey, we’ve got another 100 people,” and you’re like, “No, I, I just presented last week. You have to have confused me with someone else.” They’re like, “No, 100 brand-new business owners, never before seen you present, love to hear you again.” You show up, you present, you get a few more leads, and then the next week it happens again. They contact you and say, “We have yet another 100 people who want to hear you talk.”

Podcasting, I think, follows the same form and format. You get you up on one show, another show a week later, a third show a week after that, and each time reach 50, 500, 1,000, 5,000 unique listeners on that show, present your message and convert some of those listeners into members of your own audience. The growth of podcasting has fueled a growth of small, medium, and large shows. By strategically targeting your outreach to shows you’re able to appear on, not punching too far about your weight class, not punching too far below your weight class, but finding that right balance, you’re able to reach your audience. Talk about what you’re an expert on, what you’re an authority on, and promote your services in an educational way. I think podcasts, to jump back to our conversation on educational content, are a great example of that type of educational content. An episode like this one will be exposed to hundreds if not thousands of listeners over its lifetime. Well, that’s going to transform into hundreds if not thousands of people hearing this conversation about outreach strategies, and it provides a long-term educational asset.

John:

I think that’s beautiful the way you put that, as well, because not only … People appearing on shows like that, it has a long-term value, but also when people are hearing your name, or your brand, or your business, it takes a couple times for it to sink into their brain. The more times that you appear on shows, or in print, or on a blog, the more people begin to remember your name and your brand. That’s the thing I think that people kind of forget is, you need help to build yourself up into this big entity. You can’t really do it all by yourself. As far as starting a podcast, would you say that appearing on other people’s podcasts is a good way to get your feet wet before you go out and start your own, branded podcast?

Kai:

One hundred percent. I think that appearing on other people’s podcasts is a wonderful way to test the waters, before launching your own, for a couple different reasons. First and foremost, you might be in a segment of the market where there aren’t a lot of podcasts already in existence. Doing a small podcast, or identifying five to ten podcasts you want to appear on, reaching out to them using the methodology I talk about in my book, Podcast Outreach, to build a relationship and turn that relationship into an appearance, can be a wonderful way to see, “Okay. Can I get on these podcasts? Are there even podcasts that reach this target market, and do the listeners resonate with my message?” Once you’ve been on five or ten shows, you’ll have a lot more information on the type of messages that the audience is positive about hearing, how the audience likes being approached, whether the audience actually exists or not, and it’s a wonderful way to validate it.

I’ve had friends and colleagues who have launched a podcast, built up five to ten episodes, went for that big launch, and nobody showed up to listen. It turned out that podcasting just wasn’t the channel that that audience used, so by doing a podcast tour first, you’re able to easily validate, “Do people listen to podcasts in this industry?” If they do, wonderful, double-down on podcasting. Launch your own with that audience you’ve been able to secure. If not, okay, you’ve tested the waters. You’ve seen there’s only two podcasts for this niche out there, probably not the best avenue to pursue. You can scratch it off the list. Same with really any marketing channel. I always like looking to see are competitors, or colleagues, or similar people in my industry using this channel already? If so, and if they’ve been using it for a long time, well, that validates they’re getting a return on it. It’s probably not that much separating me from them, so I should be able to get a return on investment on that channel. Now it’s time for me to double-down on it.

What scares me is when I see a new marketing channel, let’s say podcasts, and there’s nobody in the industry using it. I start scratching my head and saying, “Well, why has nobody use this yet? Did I discover, like, the secret ultimate weapon nobody knows about, or have people tried this and said, ‘Oh, no. Lose money on it every time. Let’s never do this one again.'” I always like seeing other people active in a marketing channel before I start investing myself.

John:

That’s smart advice, too, because if a marketing channel has got a lot of viability, you’re going to see some other people in that. It’s not going to be a complete blue ocean, or green field, or whatever other color analogy that you want to make. Jonathan, have you got a question for Kai?

Jonathan:

Well, I was going to follow-through. I’d be interested to see if Kai thinks there might be some truth about this. Podcasts, obviously, having a listener base is fantastic, but also, the kind of having guests on the show, building relationships through having various people come on the show, and building your credibility also, all are benefits of podcasting. Would you agree with that, Kai?

Kai:

Completely, completely. There are huge benefits just from building those relationships. I have a number of colleagues who have built their name in their industry by saying, “You know what? I’m going to start a podcast, and I’m going to start interviewing … let’s say mid-level figures in the industry. People who have a small-to-medium sized audience,” and then they level up to medium-to-large, and then large-to-extremely-large audiences. Over time, they’ve built connections with each guest. They’ve maintained those relationships over time, following up with them, sending them interesting articles, figuring out how they could provide value to the guest over time, and those relationships turn into invitations to speak at conferences, potential work projects, anything under the sun. I think having a podcast and using it as a means to build those relationships is an incredibly underutilized tool in our arsenal as business owners. Even if the podcast is just a means to broker an introduction with somebody who’s influential in your space, have a 30 to a 45 minute conversation with them, and then continue that conversation and that relationship forward, that could be a huge win, even if there isn’t a large listenership for the podcast yet.

Jonathan:

That’s great. Can I ask about your Double Your Freelancing Academy?

Kai:

Of course.

Jonathan:

Maybe you could describe what that’s about, and maybe you can give one or two insights of mistakes you see a lot of freelancers that come to the academy that you regularly see.

Kai:

Great question, so some background for the listeners. I’m the director of the Double Your Freelancing Academy. I’ve partnered with Brennan Dunn on this, and we’ve launched this a seven-month-long course to help independent business owners, consultants, and freelancers basically transform their business over a seven-month period. We think of it like taking your business to the gym. You’re going to start off at one point, and with consistent hard work and accountability, we’re going to get you an entirely new business, but it’s going to take some work and effort on your part. Over that seven-month program, we move through modules on positioning, on market research, on messaging, on crafting offers, and on different marketing strategies: content marketing, paid marketing, social marketing, marketing automation, to help people say, “I’ve got a successful freelance business, but I really want to take it to that next level. What should I do?”

Well, with the academy, we provide both the roadmap … Hey, month one, month two through month seven, this is what you should do, and the accountability and support. Weekly lectures from subject matter experts like Philip Morgan who wrote the book on positioning. Weekly meetings with your mastermind group, a group of six other peers so you could have that accountability and support. Brennan and I designed this program from the ground up to provide what we saw freelancers and consultants really needing to transform their business: accountability, direction, and support. We founded the academy on those three principles.

In terms of mistakes we’ve seen web freelancers make that prevent them from succeeding, I really think it comes down to one key aspect: personal accountability, or accountability to a group. It’s one thing to say, “I know I need better positioning. I’m going to do it.” It’s another to actually act on that and implement better positioning for your business. Same with any other part that I just described, be it market research, or marketing for your business. There’s a phrase I often use: Simple, but not easy. A lot of the concepts we talk about in the Academy … Get better positioning for your business. Talk to 10 potential customers and learn about the pains and problems they have.

They’re simple ideas that we’ve heard time and time again, but having the accountability and support to actually implement them in your business is the most challenging part, because it’s so easy to defer the time we want to spend working on our business, and instead spend it working on a client’s business, or working on a client project. Within the Academy, we’re incredibly focused on providing that space for accountability, for support, for direction, so students who enroll in the Academy know, okay, this is the roadmap. This is what I need to do this month. This is what I need to do this week, and I have the support of both a subject matter expert, a success coach leading my mastermind, my group of peers, and 300-plus graduate students of the academy to provide that support, that direction, and answer my questions.

Jonathan:

Oh, that sounds fantastic, and they can get all the information if they go to the website doubleyourfreelancing.com. That’s correct, isn’t it, Kai?

Kai:

doubleyourfreelancing.com/academy

Jonathan:

All right, thank you. Would it be correct in saying that you’ve been an active consultant since 2012? Would that be correct, or did you start before that?

Kai:

I started before that part-time. 2012 I made the leap to full-time consulting, so I’ve been consulting on a part-time basis since 2008 and full-time since 2012.

Jonathan:

If you were looking back to Kai Davis in 2012, what were some of the things, mistakes, or reflecting back that you made initially, that being who you are now, you would consult yourself in 2012 if you had to? What were some of the things you would like to say to yourself if you could go back in time, Kai?

Kai:

Good question. I’d say it really comes down to three key things. The first is, find a group of your peers that you could talk with, ask questions to, and get their insight from. In 2014, I joined a mastermind group with a group of now very-close colleagues and friends, and that mastermind group having weekly meetings, having a Slack channel where we could post questions, having this community of business owners at a similar stage in their business who I could ask questions to was like rocket fuel for my business. Suddenly I was able to come to this group of experts, come to this group of colleagues and say, “I’m not sure how to fire this client. What should I do?” or, “I’m trying to raise my rates. What should I do?” and they were able to share their wealth of knowledge with me, and I was able to share my knowledge with them.

Thing number one I’d encourage Kai to do? Find a mastermind group of peers, join that mastermind group. Even if it’s just one or two other consultants, that will give you accountability, support, direction, and a sounding board. “Hey, I’m thinking of doing this crazy thing with my business.” “Hey, that sounds a little crazy. Maybe you shouldn’t do that thing,” or, “That sounds the right amount of crazy. Go do that crazy thing!” but it gives you a sounding board to bounce ideas off of.

The second thing? Positioning. Back in 2008 through 2012, my positioning was, I will WordPress website for you. For who? For anyone who wants one. That positioning did not work very well. It got me small gigs, but it did not get me, let’s say, work as a trusted advisor. I’d really encourage Kai back then, figure out your positioning. Even if it’s just saying, “Here’s a list of industries. This is the one that’s most exciting to me.” Okay, where are they currently spending money? What’re the problems they’re currently experiencing as an industry? Let me look at those two lists and pick. Okay, I’m going to do this service, or I’m going to help them solve this problem with a service offering. Doubling-down with my positioning like that would’ve been invaluable, and made it so much easier for people to say, “I want to hire you to help me solve this problem.”

The only problem I was really describing my ability to solve was, I will WordPress website for you, which isn’t really an expensive problem, even when I just switched over to, I will improve the SEO of your eCommerce store, I think back in 2013. There was a rapid uptick in the number of people who wanted to work with me, because suddenly they’re like, “Oh, you solved this problem. I’m experiencing that problem. Can I pay you money to solve that problem for me?” Again, it was like rocket fuel for my business.

The third area I’d say was very important … We talked about positioning, we talked about a mastermind group … The third area I’d say is, honestly just charging more. There are a lot of mental blocks we feel as consultants around pricing: that we’re charging too much, that how do we value what the client thinks this project is worth, how do we step between these two arenas? Charging more was influential and instrumental in my business, and at the end of the day, all it took was me realizing, hey, I’m going to put a slightly higher number on this proposal and see if they accept it or not. If they do, wonderful. That’s my new base rate. If they don’t, okay great. I will negotiate with them and next proposal, put a higher number on there.

Brennan Dunn’s Double Your Freelancing book was instrumental in my success in increasing my rate. Since I read that book, I think I’ve more than 10x-ed my rate, so it’s definitely over-delivered on the promise of doubling your freelancing rate, but I encourage any consultant out there who’s saying, “Hey, I wish I could charge more for my projects. What should I do?” A, there’s really nothing holding you back, aside from yourself. It’s getting out of your own way and saying, “I can charge for this. I deserve this.” B, definitely pick up a copy of Double Your Freelancing Rate at doubleyourfreelancing.com/rate. It will give you the tactics, the tools, the strategies, the systems, the methodologies to charge what you’re actually worth as a consultant.

Jonathan:

Oh, that’s fantastic. The only thing I would say about that is, which is very linked to what you’ve described before that question, is positioning. Obviously increasing your rates to clients that don’t see your value, and economically can’t pay what you’re asking, is going to be a bit of a disaster, so the proviso for our listeners. You’re not watching the video. You’re shaking your head, Kai, so I get the impression you agree-

Kai:

Very much so.

Jonathan:

If you don’t get what you previously discussed, what you’ve just described a few seconds ago is not really going to pan out, is it?

Kai:

Uh-uh (negative). Yeah. I definitely recommend thinking about … I think you could accomplish both at the same time, but you’re absolutely right in that, without clear positioning, without a differentiated market tagline or positioning in your market space, it will be harder to command premium rates. I think any consultant listening to this can definitely increase their rates from wherever they are right now, just by applying a few simple principles to how they price, and how they value their projects, but you will experience dramatically-better returns, exponentially-better returns by A, figuring out your positioning. What’s your target market, and what expensive problem do you solve? “I help WooCommerce store owners get more repeat orders.” Then by figuring out, okay, what’s the value of that to an average customer?

Well, if they’re doing, let’s say, $300,000 a year and we can help them shift that up by 10%, that’d be a $30,000 increase. Okay, we’re going to charge $5,000 for that project. Maybe that project is installing and customizing three plugins, and then providing quarterly check-ins. To the client, the value is immense. “You made me $30,000!” To us as a consultant, the work is relatively small. Hey, we installed these things, we customized it, we made sure it’s set up, and we’re going to moderate and report, and iterate and improve. The value is there, but it comes from that positioning. People knowing, “Oh, that’s the problem you’re going to help me solve, and it’s one I really, really want solved,” and understanding how to value solving that problem for the client.

Jonathan:

I totally understand. It’s value pricing in a way, isn’t it? I’m going to touch on a subject, and I don’t know if it’s an area that you want to remark. If you don’t, we can move on, but you remarked about SEO. Obviously SEO-like technology in general is always moving and changing, so how do you, in your own mind, balance organic SEO and paid-for traffic through Google AdWords, Facebook paid advertisement. What’s your position about both, and what are the fundamental changes that you might see in this area in the next year, maybe?

Kai:

Good question. I don’t play around myself a lot with paid traffic, so my comments are very much from an outside observer. That said, I’d say when it comes to organic or paid traffic, both are wonderful marketing channels that it’s worth testing and evaluating. For any given business, there’s no rule of thumb that I could apply that says, “Paid is always better than organic, or organic is always better than paid.” It really is, “Well, let’s invest $1,000 and see if this works.” I think it all does come back to positioning, though. IF you don’t understand who your target market is, or the problem you’re trying to solve, you’re going to be running ads for your services that say, “We will build a better website for you,” and people aren’t really going to click on that. If you’re running ads that say, “We will double your number of repeat orders for your WooCommerce store,” people will be like, “I’m going to click on that one.” It comes down to positioning and communicating that expensive problem. That’s what I think makes a paid advertising campaign that much more successful.

For organic it’s similar. As you understand your target market, you understand the questions they’re asking, the solutions they’re searching for. Now you can create content that answers those questions, optimize it so people searching for those answers can find your content, and then have organic as a channel. Again, it comes back to positioning. Understand who your target market is. Understand the problems they’re trying to solve. Now create content that educates them about those problems.

Jonathan:

I think that was a fantastic insight. Thank you so much for sharing that, because I think what you’re saying is that if there’s something fundamentally wrong with the positioning, you’re actually magnifying your problem, and you’re actually spending money in showing people your problem.

Kai:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jonathan:

You’re doing the opposite of what you’re hoping for, actually. You’re spending resources and you’re showing your problems in public, almost. You’re pushing your problems out. Would you agree-

Kai:

Entirely agreed. There’s a wonderful mini-case study I could share. There’s a local web development company that was running radio ads for their web development service, and I heard this one the radio, and I was like, “That’s amazing.” I always love it when I encounter what I think of as older-school media for newer, digital-type businesses. I’m like, “That’s awesome. They’re doing radio lead gen. I’m going to visit their website.” Their website was like, “We will website for you.” I’m like, “Where’s the form for me to apply? Where’s the lead magnet? Where’s the way … Where’s your phone number?” I finally find a contact form, and I’m like, “Hello. I’m a business owner. I’m desperately looking for a website, love to schedule an initial consultation. What’s the next step? Here’s my phone number. Here’s my email address. My budget is like $5,000 to $15,000. What’s the next steps?”

We are now up to six weeks and I have yet to hear back from them. They’re spending money on radio ads. This wasn’t Kai accidentally found their website. This was, I heard the ad they actually spent money on and then went to their site, and then no response. I think I wrote that as close to an ideal lead as I could’ve been. I think you’re absolutely right. If that positioning is out of alignment; if you don’t know who you’re trying to sell to, or what problem you’re trying to solve, you’re going to end up in a situation where people aren’t going to be able to effectively decide whether they want to work with you or not, and that’s only going to be magnified as you’re spending money on organic, paid, or any other marketing channel.

Jonathan:

That’s great. I’m going to let John take over and ask some more questions before we wrap up our podcast.

John:

Yeah. I think we’re up against the end of the regular podcast, and we’ve got time for a little bit of bonus content.

Kai:

Bonus round.

John:

Bonus round, definitely yes. We’re going to close the regular part of the podcast. You can find-

Jonathan:

It’s going to be five rapid questions, Kai, that if you don’t get right, you’re in trouble.

Kai:

Yes. They hooked me up to electroshock so I’ve got my fingers crossed.

John:

Kai, how do people find you?

Kai:

I’d say the-

John:

How are podcast-

Kai:

Oh, please, go ahead. I’m sorry for interrupting.

John:

Oh, no, no, no. Kai, how do our podcast listeners find you?

Kai:

The best way would be to go to freeoutreachcourse.com. It’s a free, five-day, five-part email course that you could sign up for that would teach you the principles of effective outreach, how to email anyone and get a response. It’s a great course. People who have been through it have had fabulous things to say about it. I wish I could remember them off the top of my head, but I can’t, but highly recommend going to freeoutreachcourse.com and signing up to learn more about the principles of effective outreach. Another great way to get in touch with me is I run an Ask Me Anything page on my website, so if you have a burning question about consulting, positioning, marketing, your business, outreach, anything in general, go to doubleyouraudience.com/ama, drop your question in there. It usually takes me a day to three to respond, but I try to respond to everyone that posts a question there and create a public, living library of knowledge about consulting and business in general.

Jonathan:

Are they witty responses, Kai?

Kai:

As witty as I can make them.

Jonathan:

Oh, good.

John:

Jonathan how do people get ahold of you?

Jonathan:

I’m easy to track down. I’m over the internet like a rash, folks. Basically, email me. I do reply after a couple days, not six weeks, and [email protected] Yes, it’s got a hyphen. Yes, I tried to get it without it, but the guy wanted $10,000 and I wasn’t going to pay that, folks. You can Twitter me @jonathandenwood, that’s my handle, and I’m pretty active on Twitter. I do, like every second day, look at my Facebook page. If you do want to friend me, I will check you out. I will see if you’re suitable to friend. That’s how you can contact me, folks.

John:

Very good, and you can find me at my website which is LockedownDesign.com, and you can find me at Twitter, @Lockedown_. Be sure to tune in to the WP-Tonic website for the bonus content, and we will see you next episode.

I don’t want to keep you too long, Kai.

Kai:

I definitely have time on my calendar. Yeah, a little break before the next meeting, so if we want to do a little bonus content, we absolutely can.

John:

Okay.

Jonathan:

Try and be witty, though.

John:

Yeah. Something that I read that you said, and something that you alluded to earlier, was the only thing that’s really stopping you from raising your rates is yourself. One thing that you said is 95% of the battle is psychological, within yourself. What do you think keeps people from charging what they’re worth, or even realizing, hey, this is what other businesses are charging?

Kai:

I think part of it is the fear from coming in at a higher price point, and having a client decline a proposal. We, as humans, assign more pain to the loss of something than we do to the gain of something, so even just the perceived loss of, “Oh, if I price myself higher on this proposal, they’ll say no, and I won’t get the gig,” puts us in a scarcity mentality and makes us afraid to move forward with it. On top of that, there’s not a lot of conversation, that I’ve seen at least, between colleagues or different people within an industry to say, “Oh, like the average I charge for this type of project is this. Oh, the average I charge is this. Oh, there’s an opportunity for me to charge more. It’s not going to take away from you, it’s just, people are obviously willing to pay more for it,” so people feel sort of boxed-in in their pricing.

There’s a wonderful interaction I had with Patrick McKenzie, patio11 on the internets, on the Hacker News forums probably back in 2010. I posted something like, “You know, I’m charging $65 or $70 an hour now, and I can’t wait for the new year, because I’m going to start charging $100 then.” He responded back and he was like, “What’s going to change between now and then? Honestly, like what’s going to change in your business that will qualify you to charge $100 an hour that you don’t already have now? Is it a certification? Is a case study? Is it something else?” I thought about it for a good 20 or 30 minutes. I responded back and I was like, “Nothing is honestly going to change. It was an arbitrary date I set for myself,” and he responded back and said, “Well, why not set that arbitrary date to today? Why not start charging $100 an hour today?”

I couldn’t give a good reason why not, so the next proposal I sent out, boom. $100 an hour. Since then, I realized at least for my pricing issues, it was me needing to get out of my own way. I would just invent excuses as to why I couldn’t charge more, why a client would say no, why I shouldn’t put a price out there at a higher rate. As soon as I got past that, it became so much easier to quote higher rates and realize well, if they say no, that’s not necessarily an absolute no. That’s them saying, “Hey, we can’t budget this much. How do we shrink the scope so we can afford you?” I’m still able to charge a higher rate, deliver a smaller scope, and everybody’s happy. It really came down to me realizing that I needed to get out of my own way, or we as consultants need to get of our own ways, when it comes to charging more and realize, there’s not that much risk. There could only be an upside, and the only way to end up charging more, is to start charging more.

John:

I think sustainability is a feature. If you’re a consultant, if you’re a small agency, sticking around to service your clients for the next three, to four, to five, to ten years is absolutely imperative, and you can’t do that if you’re not charging enough to be sustainable. I do believe in what you say, that we don’t have enough conversations about what it takes, what we should be charging, and I had some conversations with some colleagues last week. They asked me, “How much do you charge for this?” and I told them, and they’re like, “Oh, man.” It’s enlightening. I think we should do more of that.

Kai:

Entirely.

John:

Yeah. Where do you fall when it comes to value pricing versus hourly pricing?

Kai:

I want to take hourly pricing out behind a barn, give it a hug, and then release it out into the wild, because it hasn’t done anything wrong, it could just run away. It could be free. I don’t really like hourly pricing because I don’t think it’s the right modality of pricing for the client or for ourselves as consultants. For the client, it’s always going to be a pushback against, “Ah, you charged me six hours for this. Why did it take six instead of five?” and that’s never a fun conversation to have. For the consultant, as we become more efficient at delivering on a project … Let’s say it’s an SEO audit for a website. The first time we do it, let’s say we’re charging $100 an hour and it takes us 15 hours. Woohoo! We made $1,500. The tenth time we do, we become a lot more efficient at it. The same exact scope of work now takes us 5 hours to do, but now, because we’re more efficient, we’re making a third as much money as we were before. That never made sense to me. Why should I be punished because I’m now more efficient at delivering a project?

Do I, what, sandbag it and say, “Oh, it still took me 15 hours. Here’s the invoice.” When I had that realization, it made me switch to what I see as a productized consulting methodology, where I do fixed-price, fixed-scope projects that are typically value-price anchored against the potential outcome for the client. If somebody’s able to show up and say, “Oh, you do an SEO audit. It’s $1,5000.” They’re now able to do that math on their side. “What would we value insight at this at?” Maybe it’s 3, maybe it’s $5,000, and they’re like, “Oh, great. This is, you know, we’re going to spend $1,500. We think we’re going to get 3,000 to 5,000 back in our return on investment. Let’s pull the trigger and do it.” Be it an hour or be it ten hours to deliver that project, it doesn’t impact the value to the client. It impacts just how much time it takes me to deliver. I’m very much a fan of value-based pricing, or fixed-scope, fixed-price pricing, and don’t think hourly pricing is necessarily the right method to follow.

There’s a place and a time for hourly pricing. I like it for exploratory projects. Somebody’s like, “Hey. Let’s do this crazy skunkworks thing and see how it goes, and we don’t know what the outcome’s going to be.” I’m like, “Cool. My hourly rate is this. We’re going to do a 10-hour block, and we’re going to see where we are the end of those 10 hours.” It works great in that circumstance since I don’t know what the outcome’s going to look like. They don’t know what the outcome’s going to look like, and we just want to throw some time and energy at it. Outside of that, though, I’m very resistant to hourly pricing. I think switching to daily pricing is a huge upgrade for most consultants. Switching to project-based pricing can be wonderful. Switching to weekly pricing can be wonderful. Hourly pricing seems like the least-beneficial option for consultants, and I highly recommend daily, weekly, project, or productized pricing for any sorts of projects you work on.

John:

Definitely, and a resource that I would recommend to see more of what you’re talking about there, where it puts people at cross-purposes, is to follow Jonathan Stark and his writing. The way he says, “Hourly billing is nuts,” it does. It puts the consultant and the client at cross-purposes. I think I agree with what you said. There is a time and a place for hourly, but it shouldn’t be for the majority of your projects because I think it’s mapping the wrong thing. It’s mapping effort instead of results.

Kai:

Entirely.

John:

In your estimation, what’s the key to making value pricing work? Is it digging in and understanding what the intended outcome is, and maybe finding out what the client stands to gain from this whole engagement?

Kai:

Yes, entirely. I think that what makes value pricing work is by digging in and understanding the problem the client is experiencing, the situation that led to that problem, and what the world would look like once that problem is solved. I found the best way to get there is just by having a list of six to ten questions. I have standard prospecting questions I use on every call that just walk through learning more about the situation. “What’s going on? How do you make money? What sort of situation has come up? How could I help? Why try to solve this now instead of six months ago, or six months from now? What would be the biggest benefit of solving this problem?” Just asking these questions, not talking about my skills or my background as a consultant, but talking about them, their business, their goals, their pains, their pains, their struggles, and just getting as much information as possible.

In that conversation, by creating a space for that client or prospect to speak, I will learn so much about the potential value I could deliver to them, or problems that they’re experiencing that they didn’t even know they were experiencing yet. Pushing back, asking why. “Oh, you want more traffic. Why is that?” “Well, want to open up a second location, so we need more sales to fund it.” “Why are you opening up a second location?” “We’ve been in business for 20 years and we feel it’s time to expand, but we need more revenue.” We could go from this amorphous question of, “We want more traffic,” to “Well, our strategic goal is to open a second location in the next two years, and we need all of these elements in line.” That’s a much more detailed, much more expensive, so to speak, problem to solve that a consultant can attack in a number of different ways.

By asking a client a series of questions, using Socratic questioning or a Socratic interviewing methodology, you can learn more about the problems they’re facing, and then present a proposal that says, “Hey, the actual problem you have is this. Here are three or four different ways I could help you move forward and overcome that problem.”

Jonathan:

Another thing I wanted to ask you. Have you, through the Academy or through your consultancy, had clients that financially could afford your product or consultation, but you’ve come rapidly to the conclusion that they are not serious about following your advice, or the programs outlined in the course, and you’ve actually had to part company with them? I think a lot of people have problems with that, not just around ethics, but what I was going to ask you, what I think they should consider is that I’ve found such clients … They fail, but they never say the failure was caused by their lack of commitment. They will say it was down to you. Would you agree with that, and have you had to do that? Actually have clients that can financially afford what you’re offering, but you’ve had to say goodbye to?

Kai:

Entirely, entirely, and I think it’s a big growth point as a consultant to recognize that. As a consultant, we’re in the business of helping our clients improve their businesses. If we’re working with a client and delivering outcomes, be it reports, strategic advice, insight, tactical execution, but the client isn’t making the space to act on them or for us to act on them … It’s wonderful that the client wants to spend money or invest money in this type of resource, but if they aren’t willing to act on the insights, or act on the advice, or use it to improve their business, are we really doing any help there?

Oftentimes I tell a client, “Hey, my role here is to tell you what needs to happen, but also say, ‘Hey, you know what? This is no longer providing value to you. This is no longer something that’s helping your business grow. I, I mean, as a consultant, more than anything else I want to give you good business advice, and the business advice I need to give you is, I’m not providing value anymore. We either need to find a way for me to provide value to the company, or we should part ways, because I’d much rather you invest that money in another channel that will help.'” Then I’ll say to them, “But maybe I’m off-base here. Tell me. How has my advice helped provide value to you? How have you acted on it recently, since maybe I’m just not able to see, oh, this department is acting on this advice, but it takes them three or four months to actually ship the work, but the advice has been incredibly helpful.”

I’ve worked on large-scale SEO audits for companies before where the outcome was a 30, 40,000-word report that broke down site-wide and page-specific, these are the things you need to do, and it took them nine months to execute on that report, implement these changes, because it was a multi-million dollar company that had a very long … “We have to do a lot of marketing work. We have to do some development work. Now we need to test it. Now we need to roll it out.” At first I was like, “It must’ve just, like, gone into a drawer somewhere,” and then the director of marketing reached out and was like, “Thank you so much for the report. It took us longer than we anticipated to implement the changes, but we’ve implemented them and we’re seeing wonderful results now.”

I think it’s through that conversation with a client that we could assess, “Is this providing value? Is this just spending money to feel good that we’re spending money on a consultant?” If it’s the second category, that’s where I steer the conversation towards, “We either need to find a way for me to provide value, or we should talk about changing this relationship. I don’t want you to waste money on something that’s not providing value to you.” Similarly, in the Academy, whenever we invite a new student to apply, Brennan and I get on a one-on-one phone call with them to understand their business, their goals, the outcomes they’re looking for, and the issues they’re currently struggling with. We only want to invite people into the academy who are going to be able to get a return on investment on the program.

Oftentimes we’ll get on the phone call, we’ll with somebody and they’ll describe their business or their goals, and we’ll say, “You know what? You’ve got a great business, and you have great goals. The academy just isn’t situated in a way that will help you achieve those goals.” Oftentimes it’s somebody coming in saying, “I really, really want to launch a SaaS,” and we’re like, “That’s awesome. This is not a course to help you launch a SaaS,” or, “I really want to launch an information product.” “That’s great. Some of these lessons will apply, but this isn’t a course about launching an information product.”

People will show up and say, “I want to pay money for this thing,” and we’ll, “That’s wonderful, but your business just isn’t in the right place to get the maximum return on an investment. We don’t want, in seven months, you to say, ‘That was a crappy thing to buy.’ We want you to say, ‘That was a wonderful investment for me,’ so let’s steer this into a different direction and direct you towards resources that will help you accomplish your goal, because we’d much rather have you spend money on another course that will help you actually achieve that goal, than spend money on the Academy and feel, ‘C-plus. Not as good as I thought.'”

Jonathan:

Yeah, I think that’s a fantastic way of putting it, and thank you so much for saying that, because if you can avoid not doing that, I think in the long-term it benefits your business, doesn’t it, to be totally honest-

Kai:

100%.

Jonathan:

Have really high ethics about the value that you’re providing, and in the long-term it’ll pay dividends, won’t it?

Kai:

Entirely, entirely. I think as consultants we’re continually learning, and one of the things that I recently started to understand is, my perception of value may be dramatically different than the perception of value from the client. I could be engaged on a project and be like, “This isn’t going anywhere. I feel terrible in taking money. Are you sure this is …” and the client’s like, “This is incredibly of value. You don’t understand. This is giving us the direction we need.” I’m like, “I, I didn’t realize that. I’m so happy to hear that. Thank you for telling me,” and it’s through those conversations. Now, I make a habit of regularly having a check-in call with every client, just to say, “How are things going? Are we enjoying this? Are you getting value from this? Is this helpful? Is this moving you in the right direction?”

Just to have an honest person-to-person conversation and understand, “Where is the value you’re seeing in this relationship? Okay, great. There is value, and it’s in this area. How could I double-down on that and make that even more valuable for you?” and, “Oh, I was doing this thing over here, but that’s not valuable? Let’s cut it, and figure out how we could direct that time to something new that is more valuable for you.” By having those ongoing conversations with students in the Academy, with clients I work with, with my coaching students, I’m able to better assess how and where I could deliver value, and through what means.

Jonathan:

Fantastic. What do you think, John? Do you think we should end this conversation? Kai’s been very [good].

John:

I think is a great point to wrap it up, and I think it’s been an excellent episode. You’ve been very excellent, Kai. Thank you so much for coming on. Who should we have on next? Who do you think we should have on this podcast?

Kai:

That’s a good question. Have you had Philip Morgan or Jonathan Stark yet?

John:

I have not had either of them.

Kai:

Let me do introductions to both of them to the two of you. I think they’d be wonderful additions to the show. We referenced both of their books, Hourly Billing is Nuts by Jonathan Stark, and The Positioning Manual by Philip Morgan. I think they’re wonderful resources, and I’d also recommend … and I could do an introduction as well, Brennan Dunn, the founder of Double Your Freelancing.

John:

Okay, yeah. That would be amazing.

Jonathan:

Yeah.

Kai:

Yeah, I know he’d love to be on the show, and they’d all be wonderful people to teach the audience something new and educational.

Jonathan:

Well, John does. I sometimes fail, Kai. We do try and ask intelligent questions and have a deep conversation with our interviewees.

Kai:

This was wonderful.

Jonathan:

Hopefully you feel that we have succeeded with that.

Kai:

100%.

Jonathan:

I’m not too sure about this.

Kai:

No, I love this. This was a great interview. The questions were wonderful, and I hope the audience gets a lot of value out of it. I know I did, just being on the receiving end and talking through these topics with the two of you.

John:

Oh, awesome. Great, and that’s part of our goal, too, is to expose our audience to people that we feel that they should be following, and people that we feel that they should know about. I think this made me very happy to just share some of … I’m sure that I found you through all the other people that I follow, and I’m just like, “This guy is really cool, and he has a lot of good value to offer.”

Kai:

Thank you so much.

John:

Hopefully some other people will pick up on that as well and start listening to Make Money Online with you and Nick D, and read your blog and pick up your books, as well. All right, cool.

Jonathan:

It’s definitely a process, isn’t it? What consultancy should offer is to cut down the winding road, to make it a bit straighter. It can’t produce miracles if you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing.

Kai:

Exactly.

Jonathan:

A consultant cannot save you, but what you should be able to do is instead of having to go, say, down that winding road, they should be able to shrink some of the bends, so you’re not having to spend so much time finding your feet. Would you agree?

Kai:

To dig deeper into that metaphor, I think oftentimes when we get paralyzed by the fear as consultants, it’s because we see one of those bends, and we’re like, “What’s around that bend? Is there a bear behind the bend? I don’t want to be eaten by a bear.” The bend is pricing, charge more, or positioning, talk to your target market. We’re like, “There’s a bear behind that bend, the positioning bear is going to eat me.” I think you’re absolutely right. As consultants, as mentors, as teachers, as educators, it’s to help not see that bend as being something so scary, or see that there’s a quicker way to cut through it, and just providing that support and direction so they know, “Oh, this is the next step I need to take. There is no bear there. No bear is going to eat me. I’m going to be safe,” and they’re able to improve their business and move on further down that path.

Jonathan:

That’s great. Well, thank you so much for joining us. I’ve really enjoyed the interview.

Kai:

Thank you both for inviting me on, and thanks to your audience for listening. I’m excited to hear how the episode is received.

Jonathan:

Thanks.

John:

Definitely, and we’ll let you know. Just to let you know, too, we will blast this out … Not blast it out, but we-

Jonathan:

Shotgun.

John:

Will include this in our respective newsletters. WP-Tonic has its own. I’ll include it in my own as well, and I will put this on my Facebook page. I’ll make it goes on the WP-Tonic page as well, and we regularly cycle these episodes through on Twitter as well, and we get a lot of secondary listens.

Kai:

That’s wonderful, yeah. When the episode is ready to go live, if you go ahead and shoot a link over to me, I’ll have my assistant send out an email to the list. I’ll have her add it to my tweet schedule, and just share it with the audience writ large and help get some more eyeballs on it.

Jonathan:

That’s-

John:

Absolutely.

Jonathan:

Thank you so much.

John:

All right. Thanks, Kai. Appreciate it.

Jonathan:

Excellent.

Kai:

Wonderful to talk to the two of you. I’ll do those introductions that I mentioned later today.

Jonathan:

That’d be fine. Thank you.

John:

Okay, thanks. Appreciate it.

Kai:

Talk to you all soon.

John:

All right, we’ll catch you. Have a good day.

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