I like consulting. I make a great living, I’m rewarded by seeing companies be successful– I have actually seen customers go through 2 acquisition exits, several million-dollar funding rounds, 10x development in profits, and more– and I get enough queries through this blog and recommendations that I do not face pipeline droughts.But getting to
this point wasn’t simple. In reality, it took a year. The journey taught me a lesson about client acquisition that I have actually because requested myself and my clients. What follows is the short but unfiltered story.Month 0 There
was a long winter after I stopped my job. Nevermind that it was summer season– what followed was three months where my savings diminished like the fat of a hibernating animal. I was to become an independent consultant.I invested those 3 months doing what I thought one does to find customers: network. I went to meetups each week and provided my elevator pitch to anyone who ‘d listen. It didn’t happen to me at the time that everyone else was there for the same reason. I was pitching marketing services to an attorney who was pitching legal services to an MBA “ideas individual”who was there to pitch ideas to a. It continued, and it was ridiculous.Month 3 After three months, my savings were running low and
thought about returning to a normal job.Then, a good friend I made at one of these meetups referred me to a startup that
could utilize my assistance. A few calls and a meeting later on, we had a deal.It didn’t result in other customers, but I got two important things from that job: money and confidence. It sufficed loan for another three months of runway.Maybe that was the formula, I believed; satisfy smart individuals and take some time to form relationships. I spent the next two months taking that
method and it failed, too. The concern is painfully apparent in hindsight: founders do not have time to schmooze at random meetups.Month 6 Significant development does not happen slowly, it happens in unexpected leaps.The next leap came from an inconspicuous remark I made on Hacker News, which resulted in an e-mail query
, which developed into a job, which developed into a long-lasting consulting relationship.Things were looking better(in
that I had a regular monthly income), however I still needed to discover a constant and foreseeable method of getting clients.The positive result of my comment taught me two things: Busy individuals– creators and CEO’s– might not have time for meetups, however they sure as hell read HN (or their industry’s equivalent). Sales pitches are repulsive, however valuable details is attractive.Thus my next experiment: blogging.
Specifically, writing content that could be intriguing to prospective clients.Month 10 I released my first post– with aid from a good friend, himself a consulting start-up CTO– about a side project, and shared it on HN on a Saturday morning in March of 2014. To my surprise, it got adequate votes to get onto the front
page and proceeded to receive ~ 7,500 special visitors over the weekend. I thought to myself: If I can bring enough people to an article, some variety of
them might click through to the homepage, and a small percentage of those may end up being prospective clients.Although the majority of HN readers are not in a position to employ specialists and therefore
would not transform (ie, contact me about speaking with), I only needed a handful of good potential customers for this to be a success.That preliminary post had nothing to do with marketing, so I don’t think I got any consulting inquiries from it, but the volume of traffic was encouraging. I set out to compose a minimum of one new post per month.Getting to the front page of HN is part compound and
part possibility, so I didn’t give up when my next 2 articles tumbled, and kept writing.Month 12 In June of 2014– a complete year after I quit my job– I blogged about a lesson I gained from running an A/B experiment. It received 10,000 special visits over 3
days. 2 weeks later I published another post; it received 15,000 special visitors over 3 days.A little portion of those readers clicked through to my consulting page, and a little portion of those called me for aid.
Within two weeks I was completely booked for the next six months. I broke through.Lesson Learned The technique of blogging to fill the top of the funnel continues to work, for me
and my clients.But the conclusion isn’t really that you ought to blog. The actionable lesson here– for companies, marketers, and specialists– is there’s no magic formula, so experiment much faster till you discover what works for you. ◼ PS-Liked this article? I compose one on a monthly basis approximately, covering lessons found out on B2B startup growth. Get an e-mail upgrade when the next one is released: