Rob Stephens - Freelancing and Digital Marketing AdviceDigital Marketing Consultant
Bio

Need help online? Friendly freelance Digital Marketing Consultant with 15yrs experience (10yrs agency) in delivering results. From freelancing advice, SEO tactics to content marketing strategies, I can work with you to grow your business online. To maximise the value of our call, I’m happy to take some time to prepare for the call, such as reviewing your website for example. I will then send you an actionable plan with a list of recommendations for you to implement.



Recent Answers


The best time in the process to ask for a review is when your client is happiest with your product or service - either when you’ve just delivered it or you’ve achieved a great result for them.

You mentioned your clients leave you glowing feedback but don't respond when you ask them for a Google review.

Next time a client leaves you a glowing review, I would take their feedback and re-write it as a review, then email the client and ask them if they would mind leaving you a Google review as it really helps your business online. Tell them you’ve written a review based on their feedback to save them time, and leave them a link to your Google business page. It’s possible to not only link to your Google review page but have the 5 stars option pre-selected (Google it).

You want to make it as easy as possible for them to leave a review so they can simply click the link and paste in the review you wrote for them based on their own feedback. Most people should be happy to do this.


I would change your thinking.

At the moment you are trying to generate traffic to your website which is hard work.

Why not go to an online learning website like udemy.com or skillshare.com and upload your entrepreneurship course in arabic.

I’m assuming people in the MENA region use these online learning sites, so you could quickly and easily get your course in front of many arabic speaking people who are looking to learn about entrepreneurship.

Once you have a good number of reviews, you can even start to charge for the course to generate passive income and build your brand :-)


Great question! Picking a niche vertical can be very challenging.

You mention that you have some new niche verticals in mind, so you’ll never know if you’re passionate about them until you start working with them.

My advice would be to pick a broad niche (for example healthcare) then choose 3 sub niches (for example doctors, physiotherapists and surgeons). Work with them and you will naturally find you prefer one sub-niche over another. Then pursue your chosen sub-niche.

Other factors you may also want to consider:
- How much do you plan to charge and can they afford your services?
- Are people in this niche already hiring other people who offer your service?
- Does this client’s business success rely on using the service you offer?
- Does your gut tell you that you would enjoy working within this niche?
- Is there a high demand for this clients service and is it a growing market?
- Can you easily get in front of the decision maker?

Hope that helps.


There are a number of ways to get more consulting clients depending on whether you have existing clients or not. I will cover both options.

If you have existing clients that you’ve provided consulting for then I would recommend testimonials and word of mouth.

Ask your clients for testimonials as social proof that you can provide great consulting advice. You can then use this in your marketing to attract other clients. Ideally, you want video testimonials as they are more authentic. Ask your clients to give examples of tangible proof i.e ‘with John’s consulting I grew my business from £X to £X within X months’. You don’t want ‘X is a great guy and helped me’ as these testimonials are meaningless.

Next, word of mouth is a very powerful way to get new consulting clients as you have been vouched for by another client and have been recommended as an authority to consult on your chosen subject. You can encourage existing clients to recommend you by offering them a referral fee for every new client they send your way.

What if you don’t have any existing clients?

Then I would recommend offering a free trial consultation. A free consultation allows you to build a relationship with your prospect, allows you both to see if you’re a good fit to work together and takes any risk away from the prospect that your consulting advice is worth paying for.

Focus on creating a strategy that solves your prospects biggest problem, then outline a solution by submitting a written proposal with a series of steps to take in order to achieve the desired solution. You can charge for future consultations and assuming you’re able to help your prospect they shouldn’t be too hard to close and convert into a paying client.


You mention you already have an idea of what your niche will be. It would be useful to know if your niche is a horizontal niche (the service you provide ie. marketing consulting) or a vertical niche (your ideal target market i.e.. dentists).

If you know your vertical niche then it becomes easier. I would do the following:

1. Identify the needs of your ideal client.
2. Highlight all the benefits your consulting service offers and create a compelling offer with your ideal client in mind.
3. Find out where your ideal client can be found and promote that offer to your ideal client. Local trade shows are more effective than chamber meetings. If your offer is good I would even try cold calling using online directories or a targeted leaflet drop.

PS. I couldn’t agree more with Jason’s comment regarding networking groups (glad it’s not just me!). I tried several local networking groups to find new clients. It quickly became clear that nobody had any money and I found them full of people having awkward conversations in which each party tried to sell their services to the other disinterested party.


I know this question is 3 years old now, but I’m new to Clarity and thought I’d answer it anyway as I think it’s a good question.

I’ve hired many contractors on Elance (believe it's now called UpWork). If you’ve ever tried to hire a contractor for a particular task, the majority don’t even read your project requirements and send in a generic description of their business credentials.

A huge mistake as typically I care about two things:
1/ Has my project requirements been read?
2/ Is this contractor(s) capable of meeting my needs?

You mention that most buyers want a price before proceeding to discussions. If you price higher than your competitors try to avoid giving away a price until you have further information.

As long as you can demonstrate that you have read the buyer's project requirement by asking intelligent questions, then they will most likely be tempted to answer your questions and engage in a dialogue giving you a higher chance of winning the project.

That is how my hiring process on freelancing sites always went. I would usually end up having an in-depth conversation with 2-3 contractors and selecting the one I felt could meet my needs.

In your question, you mentioned that price/timeframe are the primary criteria buyers use. I would also add reviews and the contractor demonstrating they understand my needs are also important factors.

I rarely went for the cheapest/fastest contractor alone (although price and lead time are important factors) but the contractor that I had confidence in to do the job correctly even if it meant paying more for that peace of mind.

For a limited time I’m offering free advice for 20mins.
VIP link: https://clarity.fm/robstephens/scale323

Rob Stephens
robstephens.com


I know agencies that have provided marketing services in exchange for equity.

It depends on how much the agency believes in your business. Typically, they will want a unique business with huge growth potential. Your offer of 75% equity may tempt some agencies if they like your business.

A lot of agencies won't except equity because the success of your business relies on too many external factors outside of the agencies control. Do you have the right staff? Do you have enough cash flow to give your business a fighting chance to be successful? Do your staff answer the phones? etc, etc.

For a limited time I’m offering free advice for 20mins.
VIP link: https://clarity.fm/robstephens/scale323

Rob Stephens
robstephens.com


Instead of trying to attract to your website using SEO, social media etc find out where lots of your target audience are spending time (ie. YouTube/Quora) and market to them there.

For a limited time I’m offering free advice for 20mins.
VIP link: https://clarity.fm/robstephens/scale323

Rob Stephens
robstephens.com


For your friend to be successful as a weight loss consultant I would suggest she needs three things:

1. Her own unique weight loss system that she can sell as a monthly service (recurring revenue). It should go beyond the obvious such as diet and exercise or at least provide a new angle on incorporating them. Her system needs to add enough value that people will continue to pay for it.

2. A case study of someone (could be your friend herself) that has lost a lot of weight in a relatively short amount of time using her system. This case study will form an important part of her marketing efforts.

3. As the weight loss market is so competitive, she needs a niche. For example, a weight loss system for stay at home mums. That way she avoids competing with personal trainers who probably don’t have much access to niche markets such as stay at home mums.

Having her own system gives customers a reason to use her as a consultant, having an impressive case study provides credibility to her system and having a niche gives her a specific audience to market to.

There are three markets people make a lot of money in (health, wealth and relationships). The good news is that her business is in one of these markets. The bad news is that these markets are saturated and incredibly competitive online so I would suggest she avoids online marketing activities, for now, such as SEO, PPC, etc. Social media might work for her if she has a unique system and can prove results.

First, she needs proof of concept and to see if people will pay for her consulting. I would recommend she incorporates my three suggestions above and markets offline to friends or find a niche group of people and speak to them at networking events.

For a limited time I’m offering free advice for 20mins.
VIP link: https://clarity.fm/robstephens/scale323

Rob Stephens
robstephens.com


The value of your company is usually determined by multiplying your revenue (the multiple depends on the industry). You might also take into account other factors such as assets owned. Since, you haven’t provided this info it’s impossible to answer a specific sale number you could achieve.

To maximise your particular business, I would try to introduce monthly retainer services (or subscriptions as you call them) with as many clients as possible. A website maintenance service for example or a complimentary service such as SEO or social media. If you have X number of clients paying you X per month, it’s much easier to work out a value for your agency.

As you’ve probably guessed already, it’s difficult to measure the worth of an agency if all the work is one off projects that come into the agency randomly.

For a limited time I’m offering free advice for 20mins.
VIP link: https://clarity.fm/robstephens/scale323

Rob Stephens
robstephens.com


Contact on Clarity

$ 1.67 /min

5.00Rating
Schedule a Call

Send Message

Stats

13

Answers
Calls


Access Startup Experts

Connect with over 20,000 Startup Experts to answer your questions.

Learn More

Copyright © 2019 Startups.com LLC. All rights reserved.