I am new and I want to offer consulting services to small business owners on Clarity.fm. The problem is that I don't have extra time to spend on typing out answers to questions posed on Clarity.fm. What should I do to have my first client?
This is a typical Chicken and Egg Dilemna that I have to solve.
I started on Clarity just by answering questions last summer. I used to love Quora but really disagreed with a number of changes they made and so when Clarity launched answers, I started answering questions. I'm incredibly busy but let's face it: we all have extra time. We spend it looking at our phones, on Facebook, socializing with friends, whatever way each person does it, we all spend time on non mission critical stuff.
Because I genuinely enjoy helping others, I treated Quora as a way of relaxing the same way others would read news sites or blogs. And so I switched all that time to Clarity by answering questions. I don't recall the exact specifics but by providing real answers (not just, "call me, I can help you), I had my first call request within about a month of my first answer. And I got a nice review. And some more questions answered, and a couple more calls, and a couple more reviews. And from that point, the call volume increased.
Simultaneously, I started referring all "can I pick your brain" requests on LinkedIn and email to my Clarity account. And so some calls initiated that way. More reviews.
Now, a year later, I have done over 200 calls, with the majority of it inbound from Clarity.
Take it from me, if you make the time, and provide genuine help to people, you will get rewarded for it. But like anything in life, if you're not willing to invest the time and resources, you're unlikely to see any return.
Like you I am new to this platform. I have been active on Quora for sometime. If you are not active on Quora, I would suggest starting there by responding to people and answering questions. Build a following then once you have enough followers add your clarity link to the profile.
My second suggestion would be help people by answering questions on Clarity.
I agree with the previous answers. "Giving back" should be a part of any growth plan. I view sharing a percentage of your knowledge and expertise as one method of giving back.
There were certainly people in my early career that simply gave - expecting nothing in return. They are the reason I am in the position I am today.
That said, if you "don't have time" to help others by answering questions, look at where you are spending your time and money. Your priorities will quickly become evident. Spend 10% of your time giving back and the rewards will exceed your expectations.
Reiterating on one of Tom's points, move pick your brain type requests onto Clairty.
This accomplishes two things for you:
1) it increases call volume which is a result you (and most everyone) wants.
2) it helps separate the serious people are you could actually help from all the requests which helps free up some spare time.
What you do with that new spare time is of course up to you but it could always be spent answering Clarity questions :)
I'll be the last guy to the party and state the obvious: having a nice-looking profile helps. Pick a high-res picture of yourself from a flattering angle or use an illustration like I did to show some of your personality. Choose interesting images for your area of expertise, and take the time to write a thoughtful explanation of your perspective on each area. Pick topics you're passionate about. Start your per-minute rate lower at first to give folks a lower barrier for entry—but not so low that your pricing devalues your perceived expertise. Sync up with LinkedIn to pull in whatever testimonials you might already have there. Maybe even give away a few VIP calls to start populating your profile with some positive reviews. Put the link to your Clarity profile in your email signature. Put the Clarity widget on your website. Book a couple of Clarity calls with other people who have been on Clarity longer and have lots of positive reviews to get a feel for how they handle themselves. Respond to "I'd-like-to-pick-your-brain" emails like this: "I'd be happy to chat with you about that. I book all my consulting calls through Clarity. Hop on and propose a few times that work for you. Here's the link to my profile: [profile link]." The rest will take care of itself!
Leaders often ask the same question, and it's simply a matter of priorities and time management.
First, recognize you, like everyone else, only has 24 hours in a day, seven days a week, etc. And, that although it's a difficult concept to accept, the reality is that the moment you leave this life, you will have lived a very specific and finite number of years, months, days, hours and minutes. What this means is that you only have a certain amount of time, and you want to make to the most of it.
So, working backwards, assuming you sleep approx. eight hours, and that you work another eight, that leaves another eight hours to do what? Fun? Sex? Family? Running? Biz Dev? Etc.
Further, if you really don't have time to answer Clarity questions, what makes you think you'll have time to take on one, two, three, possibly four new clients? What happens if you're asked to speak on the phone with a CEO about your services? Will you not have the time?
Make a decision that answering questions here at Clarity will or not be beneficial to both readers and you alike. If you believe you can add value, both to Clarity users and to your business opportunities, then cut out one hour twice a week (or whatever) and commit to it. Once you start, over time, you'll build up a body of work and be glad you did. And, if you really believe you don't have the time, or that there's no value for you here, stop agonizing and move on.
The question I always ask my clients is, "If a $1 million dollar piece of business required one more hour a week of your time, would you -- could you -- rearrange your schedule to accommodate?" In over 20 years, 100% of my clients always answer, "Yes, of course."
Priorities and time management. Take control and don't be a victim to wasted, lost time.
Level you linked network to get some inbound interest. Clarity has also partnered with boostable which is a platform to promote ads for marketplaces. Don't be lazy and add pictures to your specialties as well as thorough description. Be patient, very patient calls will come eventually, so develop some sort of cadence or methodology that forces you to interact with Clarity with a certain frequency -2x or 3x a week. This helps build reputation and you could get featured as a popular answer or expert on their weekly digest
You typed a question, so you have a little time ;-). Like most of us, you may just need to carve out a dedicated spot for Q & A. Start with 5 minutes and then build up if you feel its necessary. If your goal is to make some money using this medium then, create a plan for what works.
Choose a time on MONDAY for 15 minutes when you will ONLY focus on this.
I direct most of my prospective clients that want to have initial calls to Clarity via the VIP code to give them a free consult, but also to build some traction and positive referrals. It reinforces that there is a cost to the time spent, but you are generous enough to give it for free up to a point, and encourages them to provide feedback on the advice offered.
After having been on the Clarity platform for almost a year and often browsing the questions and answers I've learned that you need to take a pro-active and generous stance with any community in which you want to build trust.
Just in this past week i've completed two face to face mentoring sessions with start-up founders who were looking to raise investment. Both were hugely successful sessions, and I have every intention now to direct future brain-picking through Clarity.
I wonder if doing Goolge Adwords or Facebook Ads (I'm not doing this at the time of writing this answer) is a good idea to try in order for having a first client. For example if you give Social Media advice, you may want to try setting up an Adwords campagin for the keyword "social media consultant".
Other than answering questions and optimizing your profile, another starter idea is bringing your existing clients to the platform.
Quick consulting or support for a retainer client? Bring them to Clarity. You can embed their widget to your website as well, or share it to your social media profiles.
Clarity also provides a VIP link feature for free consulting - a fair way to help a few people and add some value while building your reputation along the way.
I started by using my VIP link, something you can find in your account settings, and allowing people to set up a free call with me through that link. That way, they were more inclined to receive free advice, and they left me reviews that gave me credibility and authority as an expert in my field. I did that with five calls, got five reviews, and then I started promoting my profile with the link that would actually allow me to get paid. I had a client within a week and things grew slowly from there. I would also recommend making your pricing competitive. Check out what the going rate is by other experts in your field and see if you can price the same or better. Once you have more clients and more reviews you can up your price.
Tom's right on.
Answer many questions, in detail, calls will come.