The Independent Consulting Manual

The Independent Consulting Manual

The Independent Consulting Manual features a collection of actionable essays, articles, and viewpoints from expert consultants to help you on your journey from Freelancer to Consultant

An Insider’s Guide to Building Six-Figure Solo Consultancies

Have you ever felt like you're all alone?

When you got a job, you could rest easy knowing that when you went to work, you'd receive training on how to do your job. A supervisor would both give you guidance and hold you accountable. But you hated having a boss and you and knew you could do better out on your own. So one day you quit your job and put out your shingle.

And that's when you discovered the terrible truth– being on your own can be hard and scary.

  • There's no one to turn to but yourself for help.
  • Sometimes it just feels wrong, like it's all going to collapse at any moment.
  • One month you can't possibly keep up with the workload. The next month you're worried about paying bills.

In my experience, the guidance Julie and the rest of the authors provide is simple to apply and consistently effective. Thanks for showing a clear and attainable path to success!

—Cory Flanigan, Software Consultant


What if instead you could work 30 hours/week & make six figures–with no employees & almost no overhead?

Remember why you quit your safe 9-5 job in the first place?

It was probably to...

  • Be your own boss
  • Love what you do
  • Earn more money
  • Take vacations
  • Spend time with friends & family

And then the reality set in. You got caught up in a never ending carousel of client projects, all while not knowing where your next paycheck may come from.

And that sucks.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

That dream you have is real. I know it because we — each of us — are living it now. And it isn't because we're lucky. It's because each of us have spent three, five, or ten (or more!) years trying (and often failing) to build a consulting business that fulfilled the dreams that all of us want.

Your dream is real, and as a business owner, you can make it happen.

Build a business that fits the life you want

The Independent Consulting Manual has all you need to know about building a successful high-profit consulting practice that fits the life you want.

Whether you're just starting out as a freelancer, running a small agency, or even just using consulting to fund a SaaS business, the Independent Consulting Manual has what you need to know to build and grow a successful consulting business.

A roundtable of expert authors, all of whom have built six-figure consultancies in the last five years, share the lessons they learned and what you need to know to succeed.

Take a moment and ask yourself: What would you do with 10%, 20% or even 50% more money than you are currently making? Now look through this list of topics included in The Independent Consulting Manual to help you make that dream a reality.

The Independent Consulting Manual will teach you how to:

  1. Avoid late payments & get paid on time
  2. Handle overdue invoices
  3. Grow an audience using podcasts
  4. Productize your consulting offerings
  5. Plan actual minimal viable products
  6. Send effective cold outreach emails
  7. Use winning email & phone scripts
  8. Faster fulfillment with processes
  9. Cope with entrepreneurial stress
  10. Better qualify your clients
  11. Start and run a professional Slack
  12. Properly structure your sales website
  13. Write proposals using options
  14. Multiply the value of your services
  15. Establish your fool-proof positioning
  16. Say no to bad work
  17. Automate your sales pipeline
  18. Master consulting’s emotional game
  19. Transition to value-based fees
  20. Travel as a business owner
  21. Use social media to get new clients
  22. Maintain a healthy work/life balance
  23. Run your business from anywhere
  24. And most importantly, you’ll learn how to make more money

Reading the Independent Consulting Manual, it's like the whole world (or a dozen very smart and kind folks) is conspiring to help me succeed with my business. 🙂

— Brandon Walowitz


When You Order You'll Receive

The Independent Consulting Manual

An Insider’s Guide to Building Six-Figure Solo Consultancies. You'll receive a copy of The Independent Consulting Manual, plus free updates for life.

Written by 12-contributing authors, The Independent Consulting Manual will give you actionable, specific advice on growing your freelancing business.

You'll receive a copy of The Independent Consulting Manual in PDF, Mobi, and ePub formats, so you can read the book on the device of your choice. You'll also receive free updates for life.

  • "Solving Expensive Problems," Kai Davis (Page 1)
  • "Positioning For Greater Value," Philip Morgan (Page 11)
  • "The Path to Value Pricing," Jonathan Stark, (Page 46)
  • "Turning Down Work Is Good For Your Business," Jeremy Green (Page 67)
  • "Avoiding Late Payments," Julie Elster (Page 82)
  • "How To Make A Productized Consulting Offering," Nick Disabato (Page 95)
  • "Your MVP Isn't Minimal Enough," Jeremy Green (Page 105)
  • "How To Write Proposals That Close," Jonathan Stark (Page 115)
  • "How To Better Qualify Your Clients," Julie Elster (Page 131)
  • "Memorize Your Lines: Scripts For Freelancers," Kurt Elster (Page 137)
  • "How To Build An Online Professional Community Using Slack," Nick Disabato (Page 158)
  • "How To Multiply The Perceived Value Of Your Services With Professional Design," Jane Portman (Page 166)
  • "How To Use Social Media To Get New Clients," Mojca Mars (Page 173)
  • "Get Leads By Appearing On Podcasts," Kai Davis (Page 183)
  • "How To Structure Your Consulting Website Around Products," Jane Portman (Page 206)
  • "Marketing Automation: Sell While You Sleep," Kurt Elster (Page 215)
  • "Writing Cold Emails," Kai Davis (Page 232)
  • "Enjoying The Perks: How To Travel Like A Boss," Zack Gilbert (Page 252)
  • "Work/Life Balance, Doing More Than Just Making Money," Michael Steele (Page 269)
  • "Working On The Run: How To Run Your Business From Anywhere And Stay Sane, Even If You Have A Family," Travis Northcutt (Page 279)
  • "Don't Adopt Anxiety: Coping With Entrepreneurial Stress," Zack Gilbert (Page 289)

When You Order You'll Receive

The Expert Roundtable Videos

These six 'roundtable' video recordings each feature a panel of 4 to 6 of the authors discussing a specific topic relating to consulting. You'll love these deep-dives into consulting topics:

  • Sales! Sales! Sales! — You'll get a deep dive on sales for consultants. You'll learn how we approach sales in our business and what we recommend for you as you grow. (52-minute roundtable video recording featuring Kai Davis, Philip Morgan, and Kurt Elster)
  • Marketing and Promotion — You'll learn about the different marketing and promotion options available to you to promote your business. What's worked for us in our businesses? What should you evaluate and test in yours? (50-minute roundtable video recording featuring Kai Davis, Mojca Mars, Philip Morgan, and Jane Portman)
  • Work/Life Balance — You'll get perspective on how to maintain and manage Work/Life Balance, from consultants who have experienced the stresses of burnout and the joys of feeling relaxed and comfortable with their work. (51-minute roundtable video recording featuring Kai Davis, Jeremy Green, Travis Northcutt, Zack Gilbert)
  • Productized Consulting — You'll learn about "Productized Consulting," a methodology for presenting your service offerings as fixed-price, fixed-scope offerings, sold as a 'product' to your prospects, leads, and clients. (52-minute roundtable video recording featuring Kai Davis, Mojca Mars, Philip Morgan, Nick Disabato, and Jane Portman)
  • Hiring and Firing Clients — You'll get input on how to hire (and when to fire) clients. You'll learn about the '20% rule,' which advises you to fire your bottom 20% of clients each year to make room for new, high-quality clients. (39-minute roundtable video recording featuring Jeremy Green, Philip Morgan, Travis Northcutt, Michael Steele, and Kurt Elster)
  • Pricing and Money — You'll learn about how to approach pricing your services and how to handle 'money' related discussions in your business and with your clients. (50-minute roundtable video recording featuring Jonathan Stark, Mojca Mars, Jeremy Green, Nick Disabato, Julie Elster, and Kai Davis)

Each Expert Roundtable is available to watch in streaming video or listen to as a downloadable mp3 (audio).

The Bonuses

Included with your purchase are the following bonus guides and software trials. When you order, you'll also receive access to

  • The Positioning Manual, by Philip Morgan — There are two definitive books written on Positioning for Independent Consultants. Philip Morgan's is one of the two. If you're wondering how to position your business, The Positioning Manual has your answers (Priced at $49)
  • Drip, Email Marketing Software, 3-Month Extended Trial —  If you're looking to start using Email Marketing as a consultant, then I recommend Drip. You'll receive an extended 3-month trial for Drip (Priced at $147)
  • Pipedrive Sales CRM 30-Day Gold Trial — If you need a way to track your prospects, deals, and clients, I strongly recommend Pipedrive, an excellent Sales CRM. You'll receive an extended 30-day 'Gold' trial for pipe (Priced at $29)

Quick note — love the ICM book! The round table videos are the perfect companion, I just wish there were more. It's like putting a tap to your brains!

— Mark Brown


"Hm, I'd love to read a sample chapter first..."

Excellent! Enter your email address below and we'll send you a sample chapter from the book on why "Turning Down Work Is Good For Your Business".

We've all had clients that we've hated. Clients that have drained us of all of our energy. Clients that we should have turned down. In this sample chapter, Jeremy Green explores how you can determine if a client is someone you should work with — or someone that you should turn down.

What email address can I send this to?

“This sounds great, but can I really do this?”

Whether you're looking to level up your existing business, or quit your job tomorrow, The Independent Consulting Manual gives you specific advice to aid you on your path to success.

Based on real-life experiences of design, development, and online marketing consultants just like you, the advice shared in The Independent Consulting Manual is actionable and relevant.

"Is this a magic bullet?"

There are no magic bullets.

The Independent Consulting Manual will give you perspective on a number of the paths available to you as you grow your business.

The Independent Consulting Manual isn't a cure-all and isn't a magic wand. You will still need to do the work applying the advice in the book, videos, and resources.

"Is your advice effective? Does it work 100% of the time?"

You get out what you put in.

The advice in The Independent Consulting Manual is a collection of wisdom and direction. Will it work for your business? Depends on how much time, effort, and elbow grease you're willing to invest.

We want your success, but we can't want it for you. You're going to have to put the work in.

Beyond that, there are no other requirements to build a successful consultancy.

If you're reading this, you have a computer with internet access, what else do you need? You can do this if you give yourself permission.

"Who is this not right for?"

This is not right for you if:

  • You're an advanced agency owner
  • You're already making $150,000+/year
  • You don't see the value in investing in your education
  • You aren't willing to put the time, effort, attention, and energy into implementing what you learn

"What makes you qualified to tell me about my business?"

Each contributor to The Independent Consulting Manual is an experienced, expert consultant. The lessons and advice they share come from their first-hand, real-world experience working as an independent consultant.

"Wow, $119 for a book! That's robbery!"

Is this material "worth" $119?

No — if you think of it as paper and ink.

But that's not what I'm selling.

What I am selling is information.

More information than I give away when I'm paid $1,000 as a guest speaker.

More information than I give in a one-hour consultation for $300.

Your Authors

DavisKai@2x

Kai Davis
Marketing Consultant

DisabatoNick@2x

Nick Disabato
Designer & Writer

ElsterJulie@2x

Julie Elster
A.R. Consultant

ElsterKurt@2x

Kurt Elster
Ecommerce Consultant

GilbertZack@2x

Zack Gilbert
Technical Consultant

GreenJeremy@2x

Jeremy Green
SaaS Founder

MarsMojca@2x

Mojca Mars
Facebook Ads Expert

MorganPhilip@2x

Philip Morgan
Positioning Expert

NorthcuttTravis@2x

Travis Northcutt
Agency Owner

PortmanJane@2x

Jane Portman
UI/UX Consultant

StarkJonathan@2x

Jonathan Stark
Mobile Consultant

SteeleMichael@2x

Michael Steele
Agency Owner

Praise for the Independent Consulting Manual:

Reading the Independent Consulting Manual, it's like the whole world (or a dozen very smart and kind folks) is conspiring to help me succeed with my business. 🙂

— Brandon Walowitz

Stress is a very real hazard of running a business — and if left unchecked, will lead to a lackluster personal and professional life.

After reading the chapter "Don't Adopt Anxiety: Coping With Entrepreneurial Stress", I have a solid, focused understanding of the tactics needed to evaluate and eliminate stress while running an independent business.

The chapter of stress reduction not only gave ways to reduce stress, but explained how to identify stresses. I'm looking forward to:

  1. Proactively eliminate stress from my life
  2. Increase my performance and happiness from reduction of stress

I'm happy to recommend this chapter — and the entire Independent Consulting Manual — to other independent business owners who are looking for actionable, specific advice.

— Aaron McCarthy

Reading "Avoiding Late Payments" by Julie Elster equipped me with useful tools for aligning incentives for timely consistent payment and minimizing risk of financial exposure in terms of unpaid work.

Most of all, I enjoyed the specific, practical advice that Julie shared on attracting qualifying worthwhile clients and remaining confident in the abundance of the market. Reading "Avoiding Late Payments" helped equip me with:

  • A set of clear questions for understanding your client's relationship to their project
  • An understanding of the importance of practicing conversation and negotiation involving money before talking with clients
  • A focus on the value of your service as a basis for price (as well as guidance in illustrating specific ROI and positive outcomes for clients)

Over the course of many years as a consultant, I've made several of the missteps that Julie describes — and encountered many of the same challenges she addresses in this chapter!

In my experience, the guidance Julie and the rest of the authors provide is simple to apply and consistently effective. Thanks for showing a clear and attainable path to success!

—Cory Flanigan, Software Consultant

Stress is a very real hazard of running a business — and if left unchecked, will lead to a lackluster personal and professional life.

After reading the chapter "Don't Adopt Anxiety: Coping With Entrepreneurial Stress", I have a solid, focused understanding of the tactics needed to evaluate and eliminate stress while running an independent business.

The chapter of stress reduction not only gave ways to reduce stress, but explained how to identify stresses. I'm looking forward to:

  1. Proactively eliminate stress from my life
  2. Increase my performance and happiness from reduction of stress

I'm happy to recommend this chapter — and the entire Independent Consulting Manual — to other independent business owners who are looking for actionable, specific advice.

— Aaron McCarthy

I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to freelancers and consultants because it not only understands the difficulties of running a consulting business but it gives you proven strategies to grow your business with better clients, whilst working on better projects, and being happier throughout the daily turmoil of working for yourself.

— Charlie Irish, Startup Clarity

Quick note — love the ICM book! The round table videos are the perfect companion, I just wish there were more. Its like putting a tap to your brains!

— Mark Brown

Order The Independent Consulting Manual Right Now

You'll receive a copy of The Independent Consulting Manual, plus free updates for life. Written by 12-contributing authors, The Independent Consulting Manual will give you actionable, specific advice on growing your freelancing business.

You'll receive a copy of The Independent Consulting Manual in PDF, Mobi, and ePub formats, so you can read the book on the device of your choice.

You'll receive free updates for life, ensuring that as The Independent Consulting Manual is updated, you receive all future updates.

The Expert Roundtable Videos

These six 'roundtable' video recordings each feature a panel of 4 to 6 of the authors discussing a specific topic relating to consulting. You'll love these deep-dives into consulting topics:

  • Sales! Sales! Sales! — You'll get a deep dive on sales for consultants. You'll learn how we approach sales in our business and what we recommend for you as you grow. (52-minute video)
  • Marketing and Promotion — You'll learn about the different marketing and promotion options available to you to promote your business. What's worked for us in our businesses? What should you evaluate and test in yours? (50-minute video)
  • Work/Life Balance — You'll get perspective on how to maintain and manage Work/Life Balance, from consultants who have experienced the stresses of burnout and the joys of feeling relaxed and comfortable with their work. (51-minute video)
  • Productized Consulting — You'll learn about "Productized Consulting," a methodology for presenting your service offerings as fixed-price, fixed-scope offerings, sold as a 'product' to your prospects, leads, and clients. (52-minute video)
  • Hiring and Firing Clients — You'll get input on how to hire (and when to fire) clients. You'll learn about the '20% rule,' which advises you to fire your bottom 20% of clients each year to make room for new, high-quality clients. (39-minute video)
  • Pricing and Money — You'll learn about how to approach pricing your services and how to handle 'money' related discussions in your business and with your clients. (50-minute video)

Each Expert Roundtable is available to watch in streaming video or listen to as a downloadable mp3 (audio).

The Bonuses

Included with your purchase are the following bonus guides and software trials. When you order, you'll also receive access to

  • The Positioning Manual, by Philip Morgan — There are two definitive books written on Positioning for Independent Consultants. Philip Morgan's is one of the two. If you're wondering how to position your business, The Positioning Manual has your answers (Priced at $49)
  • Drip, Email Marketing Software, 3-Month Extended Trial —  If you're looking to start using Email Marketing as a consultant, then I recommend Drip. You'll receive an extended 3-month trial for Drip (Priced at $147)
  • Pipedrive Sales CRM 30-Day Gold Trial — If you need a way to track your prospects, deals, and clients, I strongly recommend Pipedrive, an excellent Sales CRM. You'll receive an extended 30-day 'Gold' trial for Pipedrive (Priced at $29)

Quick note — love the ICM book! The round table videos are the perfect companion, I just wish there were more. Its like putting a tap to your brains!

— Mark Brown

Reading the Independent Consulting Manual, it's like the whole world (or a dozen very smart and kind folks) is conspiring to help me succeed with my business. 🙂

— Brandon Walowitz

My "Smile On Your Face" Refund Guarantee

Why put off building the business that gives you the life you want?

You can buy The Independent Consulting Manual and start today.

Plus, the book comes with a 100% guarantee of your satisfaction.

If you're not happy for any reason, we'll refund your money within 30-days of your purchase, and you can go back to doing what you always did (and you'll get what you always got.) That's my promise to you.

Kai Davis

Have a burning question? Looking for some advice? Think of something that you'd love to see included with this product?

Email me directly at kai@kaidavis.com.

Excelsior!

Sincerely,

 

— Kai Davis