Dear ETR Reader,
I am not particularly bright or gifted. So just about everyone who knows me is surprised by where I am today. About the only things I’m any good at are writing, speaking, and marketing. And I’m not great just decent. I don’t have an MBA or a Ph.D., or professional licensing of any kind. Yet, working from the comfort of my home, I made over half a million dollars last year in my little one-man consulting business. I made about that much the year before, too.
While neighbors wake up bleary eyed and moaning, rushing to catch the bus for their grueling morning commute into the city (that is, unless they’ve been laid off and are wondering how to pay the mortgage this month), I sit peacefully at my PC thinking, reading, writing, and talking on the phone with my clients. My home office window looks down on our wooded property, where chipmunk, squirrel, deer, raccoon, and fox roam freely. I sip my morning coffee in peace and tranquility, while other folks are already stuck in yet another boring, endless meeting part of the soul-deadening corporate life I gladly left behind a long time ago (and I’ve never looked back since).
I love being a Freelancer. My definition of success is ‘Doing what you want to do, when you want to do it and being paid very, very well for it.’ Being an independent consultant has made that dream come true for me as it can for you, too, as I’ll explain in a minute. Being a ‘Freelance consultant’ has given my family and me a comfortable, worry-FREE lifestyle. I became a self-made multi-millionaire while in my 30s, and since then, there’s nothing my wife and kids want that I can’t easily indulge them in. (Although, I don’t always do it! I prefer a modest lifestyle. I always buy cars for cash, and while we live in a $600,000, 11-room house in an expensive suburb of Manhattan, it’s mortgage-free. We also have zero credit card or consumer debt.) But it wasn’t always that way … until I got some incredibly shrewd, unbelievably astute guidance on how to succeed as an independent consultant.
By following that advice, I gradually built my solo consulting practice, earning many millions of dollars over the past two decades giving advice to local and national clients. Now, that ‘million-dollar advice’ on how to start and run a successful consulting practice is once again available. And just as a friend shared this life-changing information with me two decades ago … and helped make my dreams come true by doing so … now I want to share it with you. If you will let me.
Unemployed and broke in America’s most expensive city In 1982, I had just quit my job as an advertising manager for a manufacturing firm because they asked me to relocate from New York City to Wichita, Kansas, and my fiance at the time didn’t want to go. I thought that, instead of looking for another job, I might try doing some consulting. So I decided to freelance. I had less than $2,000 in the bank. I had no idea how to get clients … how to present myself to prospects … how to package my services … what to charge … what clients were really looking for … or how to close a deal.
And so my income was, well … calling it ‘pitiful’ would be generous: I made about $7,000 in my first 6 months. Then one day a friend handed me a thick manual he had in his possession. It was a home-study course with the ungainly title of How to Guarantee Your Consulting Success and Your $250,000 Annual Income, and it was published by something called the American Consultants League (ACL) an organization I’d never heard of. I’m an avid reader of how-to business material, so I decided to give the manual a quick read.
To my surprise, How to Guarantee Your Consulting Success became my ‘Bible’ for getting my new consulting practice off the ground and generating millions of dollars of income from consulting fees over the past two decades. I referred to it for years as a source of guidance, inspiration, and ideas. Every page was dog-eared and filled with notes, underlines, and highlights. Whatever the manual said to do, I did. And boy, did it work!
In 1982, my first year in business as an independent consultant, I grossed $39,000 (my annual corporate salary had been $27,000). In 1983, my income shot up to around $80,000. Every year after that, I earned steadily more, and always well above $100,000. The last couple of years I’ve grossed around half a million dollars a year, making a handsome income despite the sluggish economy. (You can, too.) Now, my consulting specialty is marketing, because that’s what I know (my first two jobs were in corporate marketing). Yours will be in whatever field of knowledge, skill, or service you know best.
Consultants are needed in virtually every area: Accounting … advertising … architecture … business management … customer service … debt resolution … e-commerce … financial planning … graphic design … human resources … IT (information technology) … manufacturing … marketing … operations … product development … quality control … risk management … sales … stress management … time management … training … Web site design … writing … and dozens more.
The point? If you know something that other people or organizations need or want to know, then you can make a handsome living as an independent consultant. Revised and updated for the 21st century. Today you cannot buy How to Guarantee Your Consulting Success in a bookstore. In fact, you cannot buy it anywhere, at any price. But now you can get an ebook copy absolutely FREE when you become a member of The American Consultants League.
Founded in 1983, ACL is one of the oldest and most respected professional societies for independent consultants. And, it’s the only association I know that is oriented toward helping both novice and experienced consultants become more successful and profitable. This year, the ACL directors and I did a major revision and update of How to Guarantee Your Consulting Success to help you succeed as an independent consultant in the 21st century.
And here’s just a sampling of what you’ll find in this new and improved program:
* Choosing your consulting specialty: determining what services you’ll offer, to which clients, and in what industry. Plus: how to find the highest-paying consulting assignments you can qualify for (see chapter 2)
* The surprising secret that separates highly successful consultants — those earning $250,000 a year or more — from those who are just getting by. It has nothing to do with how good a consultant you are, or how much expertise you have in your field (chapter 1).
* A foolproof way of getting leads. Automatically pre-qualifies prospects so you know the lead is good before you call them (chapter 4).
* How do you convince potential clients that they should hire you instead of your competitors? This one simple method works 8 times out of 10 (chapter 3).
* Shortcuts to writing proposals that win a maximum amount of new business with a minimum of time and effort (chapter 6).
* Choosing the right name for your consulting practice: Does using a made-up name work better than using your own name? Surprising answer (chapter 3).
* Do you need a Web site? What should it look like? What should be on it? Plus: How to build your Web site for under $250. See chapter 3.
* What to send a potential client who calls and asks, ‘Can I see some more information about your consulting services?’ Hint: It’s not your resume. See chapter 4.
* Avoid costly malpractice litigation that could put you in the poorhouse if you’re not careful (chapter 9).
* What never to say to a potential client at the initial meeting. Utter these words, and you’re out (chapter 5).
* The one thing you MUST always include in every proposal you write to guarantee that you’ll get all the business you can handle (chapter 6).
* How to set your fees, when to bring up fees, and how to quote fees so the client doesn’t fall over when he hears them (chapter 8).
* When never to charge an hourly rate. Avoid a mistake that’s made by almost every beginning consultant (chapter 8).
* Making the sale even when the client says, ‘Your price is too high’ and 9 other common objections you can easily overcome (chapter 8).
* How to write a consulting contract that your clients will readily agree to sign without putting you at financial or legal risk (chapter 7).
* Master the fine art of ‘client service’ so clients recommend you to others and keep hiring you at big fees, again and again (chapter 10).
* Going beyond the $250,000 a year mark with lucrative ‘profit centers’ that are independent of your hourly services. Passive income makes you money even while you sleep (chapter 11).
* When you should avoid a formal contract and when you MUST use one. This advice could save you thousands of dollars in lost earnings (chapter 7).
* Succeeding as a consultant for the long haul: secrets from the ’20+ years experience’ consultants (chapter 11). The best investment you can make in yourself and your consulting success today. Is joining the American Consultants League and taking our home study course, How to Guarantee Your Consulting Success worth the investment of your time and money?
Here’s what your fellow consultants are saying:
‘ I didn’t have the slightest idea how to market my skills to achieve maximum results as a management consultant. ACL played a major role in helping me master that task. Thanks for creating such a magnificent training course.’ –Roy Noel, President, DDP Productions
‘ These strategies are really based on facts. I would like to congratulation ACL for playing a vital role in the development of consultancy business.’ –Zia Rehman, London
‘ I know that having ‘Certified Professional Consultant’ on my business card directs and confirms the prospective client’s first impression of mastery.’ –Joseph Kovarik, St. Paul, MN
‘ How to Guarantee Your Consulting Success offered a number of valuable suggestions. First, it stated not to provide a resume. Frankly, I was shocked at this advice, but it was good.’ –Dr. Wayne Allen, Chairman, U.S. Capital Funding Corporation
‘ The course How to Guarantee Your Consulting Success is one of the most informative blueprints available to any consultant, novice or seasoned pro. My ACL membership has been very fruitful the savvy and wisdom gained can’t be found anywhere else.’ –Richard Garrett, Chartered Consultant
‘ Since I studied it, the course became an essential reference for my professional activity as an international development consultant. I am now developing my activity, taking advantage of many recommendations and tips contained in the course.’ –Jose Horta
‘ The ACL’s course knowledge and hard work are the driving force behind consulting success.’ –Margaret Alexander, Lauderdale Lakes, FL
‘ My decision to obtain a copy of How to Guarantee Your Consulting Success was a very wise one. It has helped enormously in establishing my credibility as a tried, tested, and true consultant, not only with my clients, but with my network of independent representative offices worldwide’ –Tony Narinesingh, Senior Partner, The Cynton Company
‘ I am proud to be a member of the American Consultants League. I have gained not only more respect from clients, but have gained more clients as well. Both have helped make my business highly successful.’ –Stephen Brennan, President, Peak Performance Consultants
‘ Within 12 months, my revenue tripled, and I gained many new clients as well as referrals.’ –David Rosensweig, Printing Consultant
‘ The marketing strategies in the course are excellent.’ –Kevin Chen, Business Methods Corporation
The bottom line: How to Guarantee Your Consulting Success gives you everything and I mean everything you need to know to earn $250,000 a year or more as an independent consultant. No wonder so many self-employed consultants I know are self-made millionaires! Gain instant credibility and credentials as a professional consultant.