If you’ve been in the blogging or social media game and you appear like you know what you’re doing, you’re eventually going to be asked, “how do you do it?”
If you’re nice like me, you’ll probably help your buddy out for a few minutes to possibly an hour. They might mention you to their other blogging buddies, and then before you know it, your email inbox is being blown up by people who are asking for tips and advice on improving their blog. While this might be flattering, it gets old, trust me.
I don’t consider myself a huge overnight success star or that I’ve made it and am living life extremely lavishly, but I will give myself props for being a highly adaptable and resourceful lady who’s capable of picking up anything social media, marketing or design-related pretty fast. Using the strategies I teach in The Blogger Bible, in just 4 months I obtained 10,000 followers on Instagram and increased my Pinterest pageviews to over 900,000 a month, which is quite impressive for having done this in all under one year.
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I love helping others who share the same passion, but after spending several hours a day for several months helping others with their projects, my productivity for my blog and business began to decline. So I learned to charge for my assistance, and now have a better balance between focusing on my own work and helping others, while getting paid for my time.
Let’s face the truth: helping people for free won’t make me money. I’ve learned this extremely hard truth and have taken a step back to look at everything from a bigger perspective: blogging is a business. Social media marketing is a business. And I’m sure if you consider your work your business, wouldn’t you be a little worried if you were giving your knowledge and time away for free to others who are trying to create their own businesses? I left corporate America to work for myself, not so I can once again I work for someone else and get paid significantly less (or even nothing) for my labor.
I don’t claim to be a million-dollar consultant, nor do I tell my clients that they will make a million dollars either. However, I do offer consulting services on the side to complement my blogging income, and since people ask me a ton of questions anyway, I might as well get paid for this knowledge since I know that my methods give me results.
I’m sure there are tons of bloggers and influencers out there who feel the same way. You might get approached by friends day in and day out for advice, and it can be extremely time-consuming and can take you away from your own workload. So don’t be ashamed to consider starting a consulting business on the side, because, hey, if people are asking you for advice, then they’re doing it for a reason.
So, how do you become a consultant if you’ve never consulted before?
Just like with any other business or occupation, you’ve got to start somewhere. One doesn’t just become a doctor suddenly. One has to practice as an intern before going into the professional field.
I may get mixed opinions from this, but I truly believe that having a successful consulting business truly depends on perspective. To someone more experienced than you, you might seem like an arrogant newbie trying to sell your mediocre knowledge to the unknowing. But to others who know less than you, you can help them. And yes, this is where you can justify being paid for your services.
A long time ago, I listened to a podcast from an established social media consultant, and they offered sound advice on this matter: being a successful consultant doesn’t mean that you have to make millions. Being a successful consultant just means that you are able to solve the problems of your clients. If you can do that, then consider yourself successful.
If you are that person in the group who is always asked questions or needed for advice and tips, then you might want to look into consulting, as you should definitely be paid for your time helping others. There becomes a limit in how much you can help others for free until it takes away from your own time. Just remember: will you be able to solve your client’s problems?
From being a freelance photographer to an esthetician to a Realtor, I’ve learned this one valuable lesson in all 3 fields: never undervalue your craft to please others or earn people’s business. When you offer a quality product or service for cheap or free because you worry about looking bad, mean or even greedy, you are devaluing yourself and your time and therefore, others will too. It’s good to know that others look up to you, but it’s not good to spread yourself thin and make yourself easily available to others to help build their businesses while your efforts take away from building your own empire.
For all your bloggers and social media marketing entrepreneurs, how do you feel about the time-is-money topic, especially when your business is both your passion and full-time job? Let’s chat in the comments below!
If you’re interested in my consultation services, please visit my Blog and Social Media Coaching page for more information.
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