Two days ago I posted an article for my friend Tom about consulting and how to get away from consulting in his fitness business. If you’ve not read it, you can read it here:
Reading that article might give you the impression that the ultimate goal is to stop doing consulting all together as you transition to training and leverage – which give much higher returns to your business than consulting does.
But consulting will always have a role in the Three Prong System. And that’s what I want to talk about in this article.
So What Is The Role That Consulting Plays In The Three Prong System?
The role of Consulting in the Three Prong System is fourfold:
- It keeps you up to date.
- It allows you to discover new ideas for potential new training, and then new leverage
- It allows you to actually develop the solutions that you’re going to incorporate in your trainings – and test those solutions out.
- It provides you with social proof before you launch your training class
Let’s look at each of these in more detail.
- Consulting Keeps You Contemporary
If you’re in the fortunate position where your training and leverage are generating great returns for your business you may feel that you don’t need to do any consulting.
After all, the drawback to consulting is that you are trading your hours for dollars.
But even in markets that are evergreen there are always new ideas filtering through. And if you are only taking training classes and leveraging those training classes you’re going to be away from those new ideas filtering through.
So doing some consulting allows you to keep your training and your outlook honed and contemporary – and prevents it going stale.
- Consulting Allows You To Discover New Ideas
Another great benefit of consulting is that it allows you to discover new idea.
If you remember back in the original article I wrote for Tom, I recommended that he uses his current one-on-one training sessions to help him identify particular problem areas that his target audience are having.
One of the difficulties with product creation is trying to ensure that you’re creating a product that your target audience would actually want to buy before you create the product. The worst thing in the world to have happen is to work hard bringing a product to market, launch it to the world and then….the sound of tumbleweed as no-one shows up to buy.
It’s heartbreaking and dispiriting in equal measures.
Quick sidebar: I remember the launch of my first product…I slaved away for about six weeks getting it ready. On the day I’d announced that it would go live I was having technical issues incorporating Paypal buttons and setting up an email list and so on. And I ended up missing out on a snowball fight with my kids (then aged 5 and 3) and all their friends who lived in our road at the time. Now the kids still remember that snow ball fight that I missed – it doesn’t snow that often like that in London – and though I got my product out on time, I only sold the grand total of six copies in the first month of release (at $33 each). I missed a memorable snowball fight – and slaved away for 6 weeks – for $180?
So consulting with different clients can be a great way to identify problem areas in your target market. And you don’t have to stop there, because…
…. (3) Consulting Allows You To Test Drive Your Solutions
If your consulting clients have that problem, and you can solve it, then your future training program can start to take place in those consulting sessions as you help your client solve whatever their problem is.
Not only do your consulting clients act as ‘lab rats’ in testing the efficiency and effectiveness of your solution, they can also give you instant – and priceless – feedback on what’s working in your training and what’s not.
And if something’s not working…you can fix it now, before you even think about creating the training class. And before you launch your training class, your consulting clients can help sell or pre-sell that training class.
4. Consulting Clients Can Provide Social Proof
Once you’ve worked through your training thoroughly with your consulting clients and helped them solve the problem they were having, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to ask them if they’ll provide a testimonial. And most of them will be delighted too.
Those testimonials will go a long way towards providing social proof for potential clients who perhaps don’t know you as well as the consulting clients do.
As an example, as part of our one-on-one sessions Tom showed me a beast of a hamstring stretching exercise. And he casually mentioned he’d taught it to a lady in her mid-fifties and within three weeks she managed to touch her toes for the first time in over twenty years.
That is a killer line for a testimonial if that exercise were part of a course or class that Tom was creating.
So What Percentage Of Your Business Time Should Be Invested In Consulting?
As I said in the original article for Tom, trading your hours for money is a poor proposition in the long term.
But in the short term everything can grow from the consulting. Problem areas can be identified and solutions tried out. And those solutions can then be turned into a training class. Which can be recorded and sold on DVD. Or as streaming video. Or as 3D holographic instruction or whatever the next video format will be.
Once leverage starts to kick in then the amount of consulting time needed to keep the business going falls. One side benefit of leveraging your material is that having your name out there on courses raises the perceived value of your time, so the consulting that you do perform can be done for a higher rate than previously.
Each business is different. For Tom I’d say an ideal split would be that leverage products generate around 40-60% of his income, training course represent 20-40% of his income. And consulting shouldn’t take more than 20% of his time- and would generate a small percentage of his income.
Once training and leverage kick in, any monetary gain from consulting is purely a bonus. The real returns are the discovering of new ideas and the testing out of the solutions prior to formalizing them in a training class.
Today we’ve looked at the role of consulting in the Three Prong system. Although the Three Prong system is a systematic method to help you escape the consulting trap – and that trap is where consulting provides 100% of your income – consulting remains a valuable part of the Three Prong system.
The four specific benefits are:
- Consulting keeps you contemporary
- Consulting allows you to discover potential product ideas
- Consulting allows you to test drive those ideas.
- Consulting clients can give testimonials when those ideas are turned into classes
In an idea business scenario where the Three Prong system is working efficiently, consulting should only provide a small percentage of overall income and take up no more than 20% of your time.
For more on The Three Prong System don’t forget to check out my buddy Sean D’Souza at Psychotactics.com.
If you have any questions, feel free to post them below.