When you can't hire me


I raised the price on my main consulting package today.

Well, okay, technically, I raised it several days ago, and then I lowered it slightly to a number that was still higher, but not quite so much. But still, the price ($475) is higher now than it was ($250) a couple of weeks ago. And while I noted it in my newsletter, pretty much the only place I pimp stuff like that, you may have missed the big, fat, hairy announcement.

While I raised my prices almost 100%, the truth is that I just brought the price in line with what it actually costs me to do these things. I started consulting verrrrry tentatively, at the request of a friend who became my first client, over a year ago.

I then created the Main Thing I Offer by way of consulting, the "Full Monty" (still in beta!), as I call it, about 10 months ago, and purposely kept the price low, even as the Monty grew in depth and scope (and goodies, which I've added). I've done a slew of them, and so far, everyone has walked away from the experience ecstatic, unless they're lying to me. They come out of it with clarity and excitement and a plan, and I get to share all this great stuff I've learned and assimilated over the past 20-odd years, and it's awesome. It's a billion times more satisfying, not to mention useful, than writing ads or even acting in them. (And let's not even mention the design, which was an ulcer-inducing year for me.)

Which means that people who need it are happy with it, and I'm happy with it, and it should all be sunshine and roses. And it was, except for what it was taking out of me. Because while I got better and better at doing them, they still require tons of prep. Shit-tons of energy. All good, but completely unsustainable at the old rate.

Problem is, even though it's a reasonable increase given everything that goes into it and still a pretty awesome value considering what you get, it's also a big jump, percentage-wise and I recognize that it's going to put me out of range for even more people than before, an unfortunate but unavoidable reality.


I'm working on some ideas for putting what I do for clients with the not-too-high-priced (but still not cheap, I realize) one-on-one consulting stuff into a do-it-yourself, low-priced alternative. It's a little tricky, but I'll figure it out. This ain't rocket science, and plenty of other fine people have figured it out before me. But in the meantime, until I get these magical, mysterious, as-yet-unknown things out into the universe, what do you do when you can't hire me but you want some help sorting out your marketing messaging, here's what I'd suggest:

1. Comb through the newsletter archives. They're right here. There are a lot of ideas and exercises embedded in the monthly thingamajiggy I put out which, because I am a barefoot cobbler's child and can come up with no better, I call a "newsletter." It is not really a "newsletter", since by weight, it's only about 2% news, if that. (The price hike thingy is news, I guess, as are my occasional "Come here and hear me speak" items.)

The "newsletters" are archived chronologically, with a little description for each. Browse them, see what catches your eye, then pick two or three to work on.

And then subscribe. Seriously. A lot of what I do with my clients is help them apply the stuff I talk about in the newsletter to their specific needs. You won't get a custom fit, but trust me, you're a smart enough cookie to figure it out yourself with a little extra effort.

2. Do the Formula exercise. The Formula kicks ass. Seriously. And it's the foundation of doing ANYTHING right, marketing-wise, on or off the web. Remember: at its core, marketing is the truth of you, translated into the language of them. Here's an example of it in action on my old design website. Here's another one, on Conrad Winter's copywriting site. More as I think of them.

3. Download the DIY version of the homework. Seriously, download it. Won't cost you a cent. No, you don't get me going over it with The Mixmasterâ„¢ (my brain, didn't know it had a name, did you?) Then DO it. If not now, put a time down in your calendar to do it.

BONUS EXTRA: If you want help in any particular area, getting up to speed on social media, becoming a better copywriter, being more productive, check out my copious delicious and StumbleUpon links in your area of choice. Yeah, yeah, there are a lot of tags to sort through. Do a search for what you need, or use one of the bundles I created for delicious. These two spots are where I bookmark most of the truly awesome stuff I find on the web. Again, you'll have to do a bit of the legwork yourself, searching through them, but it's there.

As any real productivity nerd will tell you, a huge part of getting things done is just doing it, starting it. Start with these. Do, read, write, think. See how far along you can get yourself. It takes a while, but it's possible; after all, it's how I learned to do all this stuff.

And if there are specific things you'd like me to address, let 'er rip in the comments. Like I said last week in the Very First Screencast Ever on Communicatrix, I'm looking to do more stuff with audio and video to help share the crazy tricks and tips I've picked up along the way.

Basically, I'm open for suggestions. Wide open. What do you want? What would make your life better/stronger/faster?

If you're just "here for the beer," as we used to say, that's cool, too. But if there are particular things you're looking for, problems you wish I would tackle in my uniquely communicatrix-y way, this would be an excellent time to let me know.

Thank you, and have at it...


Image by sittered via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.