Cringing a bit, I scrolled through my Evernotes (I like using it as a noun!) and counted the number of free consultations I’ve done since 2012.
At least 10. (Yes, at least. Still too cringe-worthy to go back and look at specifics on my spreadsheet.)
So if you look at my new service offerings, I’ve lost at least $1,500. And many of those consults didn’t lead to new clients (Ouch!)
That’s a lot of Cheesecake Factory dinners I could have had.
Once I began working on my first series of freebies for my website, I knew I would have to say sayonara to free consults. I just didn’t realize how much expertise I was giving away.
Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project put it so simply and eloquently:
Your business isn’t going to make money itself. If you need to charge money, charge it. And if you need to take back your time, take it.
Truly, it’s her mentorship that spurred me to throw out the free consults. There is so much time and expertise that goes into these consultations. Here’s the lowdown on my “Mind Meld” consults:
- I will send you a pre-consultation survey to discover your needs.
- This gives me an opportunity to go over every part of your online presence. Yep, I check all of them and take notes before I even meet with you.
- Super-fun interview: I’m a journo by training and former trade, so I’m keen on asking questions. A lot of them. Be prepared.
- Note-taking continues: We will have a brain-to-brain (along with a possible heart-to-heart) about what needs to take place in your business, whether it be changes in your content or social media strategy. You name it, we can talk about it.
- Extensive details: What changes you need to make based on our conversation. You get yourself a plan of action!
- Next steps: Suggestions on how to move forward if you need referrals or more help from me.
This is why I embrace the title administrative consultant. Because sometimes, well, I will just consult. (But please don’t call me a coach. I’m really out of shape, and that term screams “athleticism,” which I don’t have one ounce of at the moment.)
Sometimes you need to use your own voice to change the content. Or you need to hire a web designer. Or a masseuse. (I’m seriously considering a housekeeper.)
So, there you have it. I think it’s a worthwhile change, and I definitely encourage you to hit me up if you are interested in a Mind Meld. I’m so excited.
Are you doing free consultations? Have you considered offering something else? Talk to me in the comments.