Consulting JUMPSTART Blueprint Overview
The Consulting JUMPSTART Blueprint program is an online program designed to support consultants with building, improving, and growing their own consulting business.
The content and format of the program are based on my years of consulting experience and observations. As I designed the program, I reached out to obtain feedback and advice from successful consultants, new consultants, struggling consultants, and consultants who just plain gave up.
Several common themes emerged from the discussions:
- Consultants who grew their businesses the fastest understood the structure of a consulting business and how it’s components and daily actions fit together.
- Consultants that were new, struggling, or gave up commented on their difficulties which included deciding on what to offer; articulating how they are different; finding and engaging with clients; pricing engagements and much more. Many commented on how they felt overwhelmed, drawn into too many directions, and frustrated with their progress.
The result of my effort is the Consulting JUMPSTART Blueprint program. It is a focused, flexible program that is designed to provide on-going support. It is a program that provides a holistic view of consulting starting with the consultant’s CORE and easy to implement actions divided into six areas or modules. The program’s aim is to assist a consultant with creating a solid consulting business framework that works for them and lasts the life of their consulting business.
FOCUSED. The program concentrates on supporting a consultant as they grow their consulting business by providing an overarching consultative framework and a step-by-step blueprint. Every lesson in each module is bite-sized, focused with supporting materials, and to the point.
FLEXIBLE. The program divides consultancy concepts and related materials into six areas or modules making it easy for a consultant to quickly find what they need when they need it. As a consultant navigates through the modules, they work at their own pace and decide on what knowledge and skills are important for them.
SUPPORTIVE. No matter how well a program designed, no person can go it alone. A consultant needs to ask questions when they need assistance. There are two weekly question and answer sessions and a community group. Plus, there are periodic discussion sessions on specific topics.
Who is this program for?
This program is for the individual consultant and small consulting business that is interested in
- understanding the framework necessary for a successful consulting business and how the various functions and processes are integrated to work together.
- a step-by-step approach, a blueprint, with supporting templates, examples, scripts and other related materials to assist with streamlining effort.
- on-going support because they realize there is more to becoming educated than just taking an online course.
This program works for anyone who
- is new or fairly new to consulting,
- has been working as a consultant but needs help with an overall framework and daily tactics, or
- is transitioning from being a subcontractor to a consultant.
Can you tell me more about the program?
The six modules of the Consulting JUMPSTART Blueprint program can be grouped into three distinct but integrated sections:
Your CORE (Modules 1 to 3)
Build Awareness and Relationships (Modules 4 to 5), and
Engage with Your Client (Module 6.)
Your CORE is a combination of your FOCUS (Why and What), IDEAL CLIENT (Who), and POINT OF VIEW (How.) Think of them as a book’s first chapter or a movie’s opening scene because they set the stage and impact just about everything a consultant does as they move forward to build, improve, and grow a business.
There are three keys to Your CORE:
- Focus (Why and What) which is the one thing for which you want to be known;
- Ideal Client (Who) is the person you want to work with and who wants to work with you; and
- Point of View (How) which explain how you assist a client to achieve what they desire and want.
As a consultant moves through this section, they start working on building relationships.
Covered in this section:
- Define your focus
- Identify your ideal client’s characteristics and behaviors
- Determine where to find your ideal client
- VALIDATE your focus and ideal client
- Outline your point of view and initial service offer
Build Awareness and Relationships, or what some people refer to as marketing for consultants, is about connecting with people, getting to know them, and nurturing the relationship. This section is about showing you are real, authentic, and trustworthy. It covers messaging and the basic relationship strategies every consultant needs to implement into their business.
Covered in this section:
- Craft an expanded creative brand message
- Understand the five stages of a relationship
- Determine strategic networking activities including social media
- Develop a referral process for you and partners
- Determine a targeted outreach approach
- Create an overall relationship strategy
- Develop a daily, weekly, or monthly action plan
As you build awareness and form relationships, you position yourself for the most important question a client can ask, “I think you can help me. Are you interested in talking?”
Engage with Your Client covers what can be the most important meeting as consultant has with a client, the discovery meeting. This meeting enables a consultant to understand the needs of a client and consequentially determine an approach and price leading to the creation of a proposal.
Covered in this section:
- Prepare, conduct, and evaluate a discovery meeting
- Develop an approach based on point of view and service offering
- Recognize and apply apply the five basic pricing strategies: Time and Expense, Fixed Price, Value Based, Risk-Reward, and Retainer
- Recognize the value of a consensus meeting
- Create a proposal template for you
- Understand business aspects of a contract. (I’m not an attorney and I do not provide legal advice. )
Focus Is Your Magic!
Start be defining your Focus! Focus is the Foundation for your business. It is your why and what- that ONE breakthrough idea that impacts just about everything you do. Continue with identifying and finding your Ideal Client-Whom Do You Serve?
Whom Do You Serve? (Ideal Client)
You have an idea as to your Focus. Now paint a picture of your Ideal Client-Your Who-and determine if you can find them. Once found, validate they are interested in what you can help them with. Continue with defining your Service Offering-Your HOW!
Point of View to Powerful Offer
With a Focus defined and Ideal Client identified, define your Service Offering-How! Start with your Point of View and then create a framework and offer helping you differentiate yourself from other consultants.
What Message Grabs Their Attention?
With Focus, Ideal Client, and Service Offer defined, craft and practice a grabbing message that pulls them-Why, What, Who and How-together. Does the message lead to a conversation and the start of a meaningful relationship?
Build Trusted Relationships
Develop an overall relationship strategy and a workable plan consisting of targeted outreach, referral, and strategic networking activities. If applicable, add passive techniques. Aim to work the plan so that you have clients within months.
Engage with Your Client
The most important meeting a consultant has with a client is the discovery meeting. This meeting enables a consultant to understand the needs of a client and then determine an approach and price leading to the creation of a proposal.
“More Confidence and More Prepared as Prospective Clients Find Me - When I launched my consulting business, I had no direct consulting experience. My organizational and leadership knowledge and expertise was solid, but when it came to consulting, reading books wasn’t enough. I needed someone who could share expertise as well as guide, encourage, and challenge me. While on LinkedIn, I discovered Laura Burford and signed up for a webinar where it became clear I had much to learn about the “ins and outs” of building a consulting business. I enrolled in the Consulting Jumpstart Blueprint program, which helped me articulate my focus, Leadership Excellence within Education. Understanding my focus helped me define how I serve my clients and enabled me to establish an approach to networking and relationship building. I am much more confident and equipped to find and support my clients. What is great is my prospective clients are finding me and responding with more enthusiasm now that my communication incorporates the principles Laura taught me. I am prepared and ready for all stages of the consulting relationship due to the theory and practice learned from Laura through the Consulting Jumpstart Blueprint program. ”Allison Langford, ABL Wise Consulting
“Executing a pivot led to confidence and energy to engage - I am confident in my abilities for specialty chemicals and materials processing, but was anxious about moving from my previous corporate career to that of a consultant. Even though I have a strong peer network, I was unsure as to how to identify potential clients. Being a strong believer in making a powerful first impression, I wanted to clearly articulate the services and value I provide to a client. Working with Laura, I quickly learned the power of less being more and the importance of narrowing my consulting focus. This resulted in tailoring my message and aligning my focus with the commercialization challenges facing business development leaders. Additionally, Laura helped me move outside of my comfort zone and focus my energy on further developing my service offering and strategically reaching out to build relationships to find potential opportunities. ”John Gohndrone, Ph.D, JMG Process Solutions, LLC
“Within 90 days less resulted in more money - I started my consulting business enthusiastic, but after a few months I was still spinning my wheels and struggling to define my focus resulting in limited client opportunities. The Consultancy Model and Laura’s ability to help me leverage my strengths, narrow my focus, and clarify my point of view enabled me to create and then deliver a concise, aligned message to the right people. The result-several new clients and fully booked on engagements. Beyond the obvious financial benefit, my confidence in how I present myself is at an all-time high. ”Ryan Walter, Parrels Advisory
“I started taking Laura’s courses when I began my consulting and coaching business because I needed to gain clarity around several consulting topics. The courses are clear and concise but the work you do is heavy lifting. Laura challenges you to think beyond what you know and requires you to think outside your comfort zone. Her approach helped me gain clarity around my focus, ideal client, and brand. I highly recommend Laura's courses and the support and interaction you receive from Laura. Believe me when I say her objective is your success.”Charlotte Anderson, Transformation Keys, LLC
“Successful engaged with new clients without using third parties- After years of working with third parties to find work, I decided to directly acquire my own clients but didn’t know where to start. The Consulting JUMPSTART Blueprint program helped me clarify my focus and ideal client—helping CIOs obtain the benefits of agile transformation without destroying the morale of their staff—and improve my approach as to how I support my client’s needs. The best part is as I validated my agile offer, within a couple months I engaged with two new clients without the use of any third parties. With increased confidence, I’m now positioned to productize my services and to continue building relationships. If I get stuck, I know I can get help by joining a weekly call or dropping a question in the community group. ”Pat Delany, eSelect Consulting, Inc.
“Combining of my passions leads to viable Consulting Career - As both a nonprofit executive and a professional comedic improviser, I was struggling to combine my passions into a viable consulting career. Now I am poised to launch my own business helping professional women unlock their power as public speakers. With Laura's support and guidance, I was able to hone in on my focus, ideal client, and messaging with confidence. Laura is a great listener with a personalized approach, and the system she has developed provided the structure I needed to actually make progress towards my goals. ”Lura Barber, Phase Zero Consulting, LLC
“I’ve tried to establish my own consulting practice, but struggled. After taking Laura’s course and actively participating in the group discussions, I realize my services were too broad and my message needed to be further refined so that it was more than good-it was GREAT!”Valentina Crosson, VCI Innovative Solutions, LLC
Why did you create the Consulting JUMPSTART Blueprint program?
The more I worked with independent workers, particularly consultants, I noted those that progressed the fastest were professionals that were interested in understanding the big picture. They wanted to ensure they were making the right decisions for them or at least the right decision for them at that time. I went searching for ways to help them, only to discover bits and pieces and tactical steps to follow, but the reasons behind the actions or how one decision impacted another simply was not there. And that was not acceptable to me. What resulted was the creation of the Consultancy Model and now Consulting JUMPSTART Blueprint, an program that enables people to work at their own pace but also provides the much need support so that they are not going it alone.
What if I need more support than provided?
The material is quite robust but I do understand where a person might need additional assistance. If that is the case, reach out to me and we can discuss options.
How long does it take to get through the program?
The program can be completed within 12-to-15 weeks but that is a guideline. 12- to-15 weeks is long enough for a consultant to act and short enough for a consultant to maintain a sense of urgency. However, this program is flexible enabling consultants to follow their plan and work at their own pace, a pace that fits their schedule and comfort level. With lifetime access to the material, the consultant is in the position to continually revisit the material and many consultants do just that—they revisit the material and join Q&A .
How do I join the program?
Schedule a one-on-one conversation with me. Yes, me and not someone working with me. The reason is I want to ensure the program is a fit for you. It is in my interest as well as yours to see you succeed.