How I got my start
How I got my start
Family is always first
I love what I do for a living, but what I live for is my family. Freelance consulting has brought great balance to my life so I can be an active participant with my wife and kids. Everything I do is for them, and love that I can have a job that allows me true work/life balance.
The clients that I have worked with over the years understand that kid sick days, field trips and family vacations are a real thing, but also that I give everything to my clients and never miss a deadline or drop the ball on an important project.
THE DUDE BEHIND THE MAN
I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. Which basically means a bunch of work-a-holics ...who are stubborn are hell. My mom and all her brothers and sisters have their own businesses, and there are 8 of them. All of them have dedicated their efforts to enrich the lives of their family, and follow their heads and hearts to chase the american dream. As a kid I remember the hustle of my mom and aunt's and uncle's. At a very early age I was working with my mom on rental properties and numerous projects. I got the bug early and life and my passion and work ethic are a direct result of seeing how hard they all worked.
After graduating college I did what most marketing majors do and got a sales job, and bartended on the weekends. I loved sales and was a natural at it. I'd continually hit company best numbers and was given extra responsibility often. However, I kept getting pigeon holed when trying to advance my career. I would continually get passes up for bigger positions because I was told I was "too valuable" in my current role. An opportunity came up to be a part owner of an animal care facility with my mom and with the my frustrations in sales, I quickly jumped at the opportunity.
I won't bore you with details of the venture, but will say I learned more in those 6 years then I could have learned in 20 at college. The long hours, the inability to pay yourself, having to learn new jobs daily... the list goes on. It was an unforgettable journey where we turned a piece of property into one of the Midwest's premiere animal care facilities.
As the animal business grew, so did my ambition to do bigger things. I started meeting with smaller business owners who asked me for advice on how we grew our business. I gladly did as a pay it forward type of thing, until I met with a guy who owned a fitness center. He was like... "Nick, you're an idiot. You should be charging for this. This is your next step." He was right. It filled all my gaps and needs. Not only could I control my own destiny, but I could work with businesses (like the ones my family runs) and help them grow. It was a match that was meant to be, and I couldn't be happier with where my career has taken me.
Don't forget about the videos!
Along the way to "freelance consulting glory" I found a passion in creating videos. One of my calling cards and intro pieces is letting people know that I am slightly internet famous. Over the years brands have paid me to be an idiot on camera. The videos I've made with some of my partners have garnered over 100 million views.
HERE'S MY PLAYBOOK
Every organization has inherent value - it’s why you exist.
Identify the sphere of prospects and referral sources that value and want your experience, knowledge, capabilities, expertise, products, services, etc… Find ways to give away bits and pieces of that value for free, and in the process you will position your organization as the ultimate resource and logical solution to their challenges, pain and needs. Strive for your organization to become the premier publisher of content around your core competency.
Clearly define your ideal clients and communicate to them in their language.
Ask yourself which of your existing clients you would like to replicate, which ones are the most profitable, the easiest to do business with, the ones purchasing the majority of your products or services. Identify their commonalities and the reasons your organization is valuable to them. Once you’ve done this, focus on communicating that value in their language.
Your marketing should build community around your organization.
Once you’ve identified your ideal prospects and referral sources, focus on delivering value to them and generating meaningful interaction in the process. By offering knowledge, information and other valuable resources, you can create a dialogue and exchange that brings them closer to your organization and guides them through your sales process.
Marketing should be a system that produces strategic, predictable results.
Campaigns, activities, brochures and even your brand are only tools. Successful marketing like any other part of your business should be a system for communicating with clients, prospects and referral sources with the purpose of guiding them through the desired process. Each marketing effort should have clearly defined goals and measurement of success.
Marketing should walk prospects through the first several steps of your sales process.
In simple terms, marketing should mimic the first several steps of the sales process that your sales staff guides prospects through. Marketing creates groups of targets that share enough in common that a one-to-one conversation can be had one-to-many. Your marketing system should serve to make your sales staff more efficient by allowing them to focus on solving specific needs and closing business, rather than creating awareness one prospect at a time.
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HERE ARE SOME OF THE WAYS WE CAN WORK TOGETHER
SEM/SMM Ad buying
Damn, that's one
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Interested in working with me but want to try before you buy? What better way then to get a free digital ecosystem assessment. This free assessment covers 5 basic areas of your digital ecosystem, including...
About this assessment
This is a quick assessment. I spend roughly an hour examining 5 factors that contribute to your digital ecosystem. This process is supposed to simulate a prospective customer who is in the middle of the buyer’s journey, where they spend a little time briefly looking through your social channels, emails (possibly forms) and website to see if it fits them. So while it is a fast process, it is an honest simulation of what your customers may experience.