How to Get Tons of Work

How to Get Tons of Consulting Work

Give your best stuff away for free.

Plenty of you clicked that link and expected some sort of gimmick, but that’s what you got. Im sorry for the deception, but my small biz and consulting friends need to know this.

Let me explain…

Old School Protectionism

The old guard would have you keep everything close to your chest. Don’t share your secrets. Don’t give away the ‘special sauce.’ Hold on to your best resources and only help the people who are paying you. Only the best clients get the best advice.

The problem with that approach is when the old guard meets the new customer. The new customer’s brain has been replaced with Google. The new customer doesn’t need to hire you for your knowledge. Every kid with a laptop can go and get knowledge.

The New School

The new customer hires you for your wisdom. They hire you for your expertise. They hire you because you’re on top of your industry. You can make sense of all the information out there and get the job done. You don’t get to be that guy (or gal) until you prove it.

You prove it by giving your best stuff away for free.

  • Your best ideas.
  • Your best content.
  • Your best wisdom.
  • Your best advice.
  • Your best contacts.

One time, I needed a handyman to come draw up an estimate for some work on a client’s house. I had this guy come out and take a look. Half an hour of education later, I was convinced that I could go out to Home Depot, pick up the supplies, and do the work myself.

But, I didn’t. We hired him.

Trust Comes Before the Hire. Not After.

You can’t get the job until you get the trust. The trust comes from educating your customer before they’re even your customer. Give them everything that they need to go out and do it themselves. When they realize that they can’t, you’re the first one they’ll come back to.

For a deeper dive on trust, check out my post called The Secret to Gaining and Maintaining Trust.

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11 Responses to How to Get Tons of Work

  1. Anonymous February 2, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    Absolutely LOVE this post, Kenny. There is so much wisdom here. You’re right – these two philosophies are the clash of the old and the new. I used to work at a PR firm years ago and there was definitely an underlying philosophy of hoarding all the good info. And, I’m certain a number of traditional consulting firms still follow this philosophy.

    As the web has grown, the consulting world has had to change with it. Some have, others have it. I think those that have adapted to the philosophy of sharing will find that they survive for the long haul.

    • Kenny Silva February 2, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

      Thank you so much for stopping by today, Laura. The long haul is what its all about. In the short term, it seems crazy to offer everything up on the front end. In the end, however, its what will set us up for success.

  2. Jeff Goins February 2, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Love this. Generosity is the new economy. You’re a great practitioner of this, Kenny!

    • Kenny Silva February 2, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

      Thanks ver much for compliment, Jeff. It was great getting to catch up with you today. I really am excited for you and your new endeavors. I can’t wait to see them grow.

  3. Anonymous February 3, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    I agree to a point. There are skills that you can tell people about but they will not be able to execute themselves. So offering advice or information about those skills can help secure a job. However, if what you offer is strategy and a knowledge base, and you offer it all for free, then it makes me wonder why someone would hire you when all they have to do is ask you. I think that you have to draw a line somewhere. How much is too much?

    • Kenny Silva February 3, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

      Great point, Lauren. There does have to be a line somewhere and that line is going to look different for everyone. If we’re talking about customizing a strategy for a business or individual, that takes time and specific attention; things that are valuable and should be charged for. If we’re talking about giving general advice and wisdom, I would lean towards generosity.

      • Anonymous February 3, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

        I agree. I always lean towards the generous. I have actually had people start questioning me to the point of having to tell them that I can put together a proposal for them because they were asking so much. I had someone ask me to vet about 100 websites for them and tell them if they were any good, what kind of traffic they got, etc. I actually had to tell her that I charged for that, though in a nice way. lol. For me, I blog daily. In the blog I give a lot of advice on tech, social media, business and strategy. I decided that the blog was the line. If I wasnt willing to blog about it, then it stayed in the “paid” information group. Otherwise, I remain generous with information. Ultimately helping people will lead to good things, they might not become a client but you could get a great referral!

  4. Ebenezerspastor July 4, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    Being a pastor and teacher of God’s Word, it’s not like I’m sharing something that no one else cannot figure out on their own. My hope is that they gain insight into His Word from what God has revealed and made personal for me in my own life. It doesn’t bother me in the least to open up and provide the best I have. It might not be as intuitive as someone else, but we share to learn, not just teach!


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