I have always had a passion for sales. There is something special about the experience of speaking with someone about their challenges and being able to provide a solution to it.
I also love writing.
I wrote a book back in 2017 called Cold to Committed. The book is about how to cold call, cold email, and book sales meetings with potential customers.
It did really well, but I never did anything with it. I wrote a blog post here and there and did a little consulting on the side.
It was more of a side hobby, not a real side hustle that I planned on scaling.
Well, in March 2020 I was about to get smacked in the face by reality and forced to take an enjoyable side hobby from “fun money” to “primary income.”
Before COVID I was running an Inside Sales team at a large software company. Things were going great! We were exceeding all expectations and having a lot of fun while doing it.
Then COVID hit.
Within two weeks…
- My entire team was let go
- I was demoted
- And I was looking at a 50% reduction in income for 2020…
So I did what any good salesperson would do…
In addition to trying to get new customers for my company, at night I would cold outreach to potential consulting clients because it was the fastest way for me to get my income back up to where it was supposed to be.
And you know what happened?
I started getting responses!
That led me to double down on this side business and I knew where I had to start. I needed to produce better content than I had been. Specifically, content that provides a ton of value to the sales community.
Since I decided to focus on producing better content and getting new customers for the past two months, a couple of things have happened.
- My website traffic has gone from less than 100 unique visitors to 1,200 a month.
- My email list has grown from 0 to 160
- I have closed over 23K in sales
4 steps to go from hobby blogger to full-time consultant.
Step #1 – I Found My Audience (LinkedIn for me)
The first step of this process, and arguably the most important, is to be where your audience is. If you are currently blogging, odds are you know this already!
This is important because you need to be posting your content where your audience will find it. In addition, you must gain their trust by being a member of their community.
Step #2 – I Promoted my Blog Content by Providing Value on LinkedIn
Before I started taking my blogging more seriously I would promote it once and that’s it. Looking back on it, this was silly of me. Of course, you need to promote your content more than once! But I, like many others, didn’t want to come across as a self-promoting weirdo.
Here is what works well for me. When posting on social media I make sure what I post gives advice that the target ready can take action on. Then, at the end of the post, I suggest they read an article that goes more in-depth about the topic. This is a great way to not come across like you are always self-promoting.
Here is an example:
Step #3 – I Collected my Readers’ Information (LinkedIn, Email, Phone)
Once you start posting content often you will learn something very quickly…
The algorithm will drive you nuts!
Being dependant on one platform for staying in touch with your audience is never a good idea. The way I do it is to create content that supplements the blog post, but it requires their email. That way you can provide more value to your reader as well as have a direct line into their inbox, which will drive more traffic to your website.
Step #4 – I sold directly to Their Bosses and Managers.
As a consultant, there are typically two categories of people who receive value from the service. The buyer and the user.
For example, I sell sales development training to VP’s of sales and CEOs. They get value from my services because their teams perform better. However, the individuals on their team get value because the training makes them as individuals perform better.
What works really well for me is attracting the users by providing great content to them. Once the user is familiar with me and my content, I reach out to their boss and offer my services.
Here is what this looks like in practice.
- Create content that provides value to the low and mid-level employees of a department.
- Build content that keeps those people coming back.
- Target the companies with employees that are most engaged with your content.
- Reach out to the head of the department and offer your services.
Here is one of the emails I sent
I’m reaching out because I help growing startups build and scale their SDR teams.
I recently helped a startup out of Chicago produce more with 2 SDRs than they were with 6.
I also helped another startup go from 3 SDRs to 12 in 9 months while exceeding all quota expectations.
Some areas I help with:
- SDR manager coaching
- End-to-end SDR training and development programs
- Process and messaging development
- The list goes on…
I think I can deliver great results by improving your current SDR process or implementing new ones.
If this resonates and you’d like to set up a time to chat, what day would work best for you?
This process makes the sale a little easier because the users already like you but it also makes the deal sizes larger because the department head has more spending power. Another reason why I love this method is it helps prioritize who you reach out to so you don’t have to just rely on sending a bunch of emails and crossing your fingers.
It’s a simple strategy that works really well.
Create Content you Actually Enjoy Writing
At the end of the day, you have to enjoy what you are writing about. It is very challenging to produce content for an audience that you are not an active member of. The most important thing, in my opinion, is that you are invested in the users of the content you produce. That’s the secret to better content and lasting appeal.
Personally, I genuinely enjoy writing about how to improve sales prospecting. I attribute that passion to a lot of my success in the past few months. There are a lot of ways to be successful doing something you enjoy, but finding the right one for you can be challenging.
I chose to sell business to business, which not everyone does. I think selling directly to companies is easier than directly to reps. For example, if I had created a $1,000 online course I would have had to find 23 people to buy it, that’s a lot of people in two months. By going directly to companies, I just needed to make 3 sales.
There are a lot of ways to grow a business or turn a side hobby into cash flow. I chose this way because I know B2B sales way better than I know digital advertising. Choose what aligns with your skills and most importantly, take action.
Kyle’s Cheat Sheet to making more sales in less time.