Confessions of a Marketing Consultant


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Learn from Lauren Hall-Stigerts' lessons in starting an independent marketing consultancy and marketing herself. Intended audience: beginning online services consultants and non-marketers.

Presentation prepared within two hours for InfoCamp Seattle 2012, an unconference.

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Confessions of a Marketing Consultant

  1. 1. Confessions of aMarketing Consultant Lauren Hall-Stigerts’ lessons of starting a one-woman services business and marketing herself. Level: Introductory @Lstigerts
  2. 2. I started my marketing career withenterprise CRM software as a generalist. @LStigerts
  3. 3. After picking up skillz, I worked at startupsoftware powerhouse SEOmoz as theirMarketing Communications Manager. @LStigerts
  4. 4. I decided to jump feet -first into online marketing consulting. Theopportunity, challenge, and excitement of running my own business andfostering lots of relationships excited me.But it all started with the lessons I learned andrelationships I built while working in -house. @LStigerts
  5. 5. Lesson 1:Working in-house firstisn’t a requirement, but itREALLY helps. @LStigerts
  6. 6. Cyrus Shepard (of PlaceFull) and Iknew we had chemistry when weworked together at SEOmoz. @LStigerts
  7. 7. Cyrus pulled me in on his latest project at eventspace rental PlaceFull. I worked on contentstrategy and email marketing. @LStigerts
  8. 8. Lesson 2:Tell people you’re available.Find friends and colleagueswho need help.(This seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget when you’re busy doing everything.) @LStigerts
  9. 9. Lesson 3:Find a consulting mentorwho is where you’d like tobe (eventually).My two mentors give me so much energy. They boost my confidence and speedup my success with sage advice. One is my financial planner who gave me the firstbig push to stick with consulting. My second mentor is a friend who created aniche for himself in game design consulting. They both independently volunteeredto be my mentors – people like them are invaluable and critical to your success. @LStigerts
  10. 10. I’ve done more new and sometimes terrifying thingssince beginning my consulting than I have in my entirelife. I’ve also grown more as a professional while being a consultant than I have over longer periods in -house. If I’m not stretching myself every day, then something is wrong. @LStigerts
  11. 11. Lesson 4:If you’re doing somethingevery week that terrifiesyou, you’re doing somethingright. @LStigerts
  12. 12. My website looks decent. Personal branding? Check.Description? Check. Email signup form? Check.What ’s missing? Everything else. I’ve decided to hire a professionaldesigner to move this forward in a way that I can’t. @LStigerts
  13. 13. Lesson 5:Outsource the thingsothers can do betterthan you can. @LStigerts
  14. 14. Invest in a way to track yourclients, hours, projects, invoices, finances, and expenses.FreshBooks is worth every penny I pay for it.I’ll be thanking myself come tax season. @LStigerts
  15. 15. Lesson 6: Take your business as seriously as you do your clients.It’s easy to get caught up in what makes you money today. But you never knowwhat will happen, so don’t forget to take care of your own business for futuresuccess. Treat yourself like a client. @LStigerts
  16. 16. I use THINGS software to keep me focused – both on thejob and whatever I have going on in my life. It’s based onthe GETTING THINGS DONE approach to timemanagement.It’s based on the GETTING THINGS DONE approach totime management. Finding a trusted system that worksfor you is key here. @LStigerts
  17. 17. Lesson 7:Find ways to rechargeyour batteries. @LStigerts
  18. 18. I’m extroverted, so working on my own can burn me out.I recharge by getting out and working from differentlocations. It also energizes my creativity. @LStigerts
  19. 19. I also love working around others. I’ll visit local clients’sites to touch base. (Double bonus: They know they’reappreciated!)If I’m not workingat a client site, I’llalso drop in onfriends andcoworking spaces.Here, I’m visitingmy BFF while sheworks on herteaching plans.That’s her cat. @LStigerts
  20. 20. Getting out to industry events is ESSENTIAL – I can touchbase with friends, network with new peeps, learn newthings, AND recharge my extrovert batteries! WIN!Bonus points if you can name all of these really smartSEO / UX / IA friends in the photo with me.Answer (L to R): @ justinrb rig gs @ipullrank @jcolman @LStigerts
  21. 21. I have lots of hobbies that fulfill other parts of mypersonality outside of work, such as costuming atconventions… @LStigerts
  22. 22. … and playingmusic.It’s important tome to keep myhobby timesacred – it feedsback into mywork creativityand energy. @LStigerts
  23. 23. Lesson 8:Keep your story simple.Don’t be everything to everyone. Focus on your core strengths and build astory on them.People love stories. They remember them. They’ll remember you. And that’sa good thing. @LStigerts
  24. 24. Lesson 9:Keep yourself visible. @LStigerts
  25. 25. Find opportunities to share your expertise (for free). Andtry to do it as frequently as time allows.I’m participating in a Max Impact marketing hangout onGoogle+ here. These are great because they’re recordedand circulated. @LStigerts
  26. 26. Facebook Page to practice my own content and socialmedia marketing. (And stay in contact with the peoplewho want to hear from me!) @LStigerts
  27. 27. Twitter. A must for online content curators to strut theirstuff. @LStigerts
  28. 28. - Email newsletters- Blog posts- Question and Answer sites- … SPEAKING! @LStigerts
  29. 29. Lesson 10:Create serendipity.I snagged this from Rand Fishkin.It’s another way of saying “create you own luck.”Do things for people who need help. Do it for free. Don’t expect anything inreturn.And watch the magic unfold. @LStigerts
  30. 30. @LStigerts
  31. 31. Let’s be friends!Lauren Hall-StigertsMarketing @LStigerts