Julie Hanks week 052-056

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How to Grow a Specialty | Day 1 interview with Julie Hanks

How to Become a Consultant Podcast with Joe Sanok and friends.

Grow a specialty, grow an audience, and grow an income.

The top consultants helping you to become a consultant today.

Joe Sanok: Welcome to the How to Become a Consultant Podcast with Joe Sanok and Friends. This is Session 52. Can you believe we’re already at 52? This is just so incredible. Well, this week, our – it’s not a sponsor. It’s a resource. I want you guys to get that invitation for theconsultantschool.com/. I’m going to be forming my January cohort, those invites to be able to opt in to that. It’s going to start on October 1st. These are going to be three different levels, and there’s only 17 spots that are open. I offered a few spots to some of my past consulting clients so that they could get early access in the “gobbling them up”. Gobble, gobble. I guess we’re headed towards Thanksgiving as well.

So I hope you’re doing great today. I hope you’re doing great this morning. If you’re listening to this Monday morning when it goes live, welcome to Monday. I hope your weekend was awesome. I’ve got my coffee in hand and I just dropped my daughter off at pre-school. I just love that pre-school.

So they force us to walk up these stairs. So it’s an outdoor school that has – like each classroom is its own cabin. And so you have to walk up like 50 of these stairs outside, and they’re like jagged and icy in the winter, and it’s just great because you’re forced kind of into this communal torture. It’s not torture, but it’s like we’re all just like have these pre-schoolers in tow that don’t want to go up the stairs and you got to carry them, and all these parents just like bond through this common enemy of the stairs, and it’s just awesome. It’s such a great school. We love it.

I got my coffee here. I’ve had a little tickle on my throat. I don’t know why. I don’t feel sick, but – I’m sorry if I cough a little bit.

Well, this week, we are hanging out with Dr. Julie Hanks. Dr. Julie Hanks is one of my favorite consultants in the world. She and I and Kelly and Miranda from ZynnyMe helped put on the first ever Most Awesome Conference, and it was a conference in La Jolla, California, for therapists that own private practices, where we were the consultants there for two and a half days. It was unbelievable, unlike any conference where you actually got stuff done. Instead of having people just talk at you, we would have someone talk on a certain subject and then we’d all kind of be floating to help people update their websites. July did this great kind of session that was on How to Rock the Media, and she ended up launching Rock the Media School as a result of that. All these people that were able to then get really just deep into the media, and she’s just an awesome consultant.

So she has a PhD, an MSW, an LCSW, and a self-care evangelist and author, relationship expert, media contributor, blogger, speaker, song writer, and licensed therapist with her over 20 years of counseling experience. She’s the owner of Wasatch Family Therapy. I always slaughter that name, and she’s going to kill me for that. No. She’s the nicest person in the world. She’s so nice, like even if I slaughtered it every time, it would be fine.

But I am just amazed at just – if you got to drjuliehanks.com – I’m going to just go there right now. And she has – you know you’ll see people say, “As featured on,” but Julie has been featured like everything. She’s been on Fox Business, Health, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Cosmopolitan, Health Post Live, Parenting, I mean, she has testimonials from writers that are from Cosmo, Real Simple, Natural Health, Martha Stewart. She has nailed the media, and her Rock the Media School just launched recently, and so that’s closed at this point, I believe, but it’s so worth it for therapists that are looking to get some consulting on how to rock the media. Actually, probably anybody could do it, but she’s focusing more towards therapists.

So today, she’s going to be talking with us all about how to grow a specialty. So without any further ado, I give you Dr. Julie Hanks, the one who gives you vibrant solutions for an extraordinary life.

Julie, welcome to the How to Become a Consultant Podcast. I’m so glad that you’re here today.

Julie Hanks: Thanks, Joe. Thanks for inviting me.

Joe Sanok: Yeah, yeah. Well, all week, we’re going to be talking about how to become a consultant. Why don’t we just start with like who are you a little bit, and then we’ll dive into how to grow a specialty.

Something about Julie Hanks

Julie Hanks: Great. So who am I? If you ask a therapist that question, you might get a really long answer – no. So I’m Julie de Azevedo Hanks. I’ve been a psychotherapist and private practice owner for – well, owner for 12 years and therapist for 20 years, and I’m newer to the consulting area, but I do a lot of business: social media and marketing consulting for mental health professionals, and absolutely have loved doing that, helping therapists build their private practices and building an online presence.

Joe Sanok: Well, and I think that you’ve done such a good job transitioning. I wouldn’t say out of private practice, but really adding consulting to what you do, and we met online in – I won’t go into all those details because I know we’ve just got about 10 minutes today. But you’ve done so much, and I have a past podcast interview with you that I’ll link to in the show notes that goes more in depth, but let’s just talk about, how can anybody grow a specialty?

*A theory on how to become an expert in a specific area

Julie Hanks: I have a theory that if you create content in a specific area for a year, then you become an expert. So I think content creation is really important to build kind of a catalog a proof that you know what you’re talking about.

And so I think that content creation is really, really key, not going to be for small businesses. It’s just blogging twice a month is great. Do that for a year, and then that’s what – that’s more than most people are doing. That sets you apart. You’re serving, you’re sharing what you know, you’re sharing your expertise. So I think content creation is really key.

Joe Sanok: So when you were first, so you were running this private practice, it’s going great. How did you start to develop content, because I think a lot of the listeners, I mean, they own a lawn-mowing business, they own a painting business, they own a private practice, but it’s like, to make that jump into what it takes to run one of those things, like they don’t even know what their specialty is. Take us back to that moment when you were brand new green, wanting to become a consultant.

Start with the common questions that clients or customers ask

Julie Hanks: Yeah. So I actually started blogging and creating content before I became a consultant. So it was a little bit turned around. But I would say, think about, what are the common questions that your clients or customers ask, and start there. Start with Q&A. How can I – like say a cupcake business. It’s like, “Okay, well, what’s the biggest mistake that people make when they’re making cupcakes at home?” Like that’s a blogpost.

Joe Sanok: What are the best flours for –

Julie Hanks: What’s the best flour? Why is this one the most popular? Why do you think it is? Whatever it is. So take the questions that people are already asking you about your business or “Gosh, how did you get started?” or “How did you raise the money to get your first store?” Whatever those are, start putting that out there online so it’s searchable and people can find you, and then content also gives people a reason to come back to your website.

Joe Sanok: I know. I was surprised I had written a blogpost when I first started blogging before I started consulting around “How to Name a Private Practice”, and I didn’t even try to rank in Google, and all of a sudden, I found it was my second most frequently landed page, and it was all because it was like, “Where do you start when you want to start a private practice?” Well, you got to name it. Like how do you figure that out? And so going back to the very beginning of “What are those essentials?”

Begin with the basics

Julie Hanks: Right. And I think it’s easy if you’ve been in a field or a business for so long that you think that everybody knows that, and I think that’s a great point to start with, with the basics.

Joe Sanok: It’s like that curse of knowledge. Sometimes, it’s so hard to go back to those, “What are the original questions?”

Julie Hanks: Right. But people just starting out will ask you those and refresh your memory. If you just start jotting those down, what are the frequently asked questions that friends and family, like, “Well, how’d you get started?” “Well, how’d you name your…?” “What’s the best-selling cupcake?” or whatever it is. Start taking note of that and then turning that into content.

Joe Sanok: I love that idea of asking friends or family about the basics of it, because like I would guess that most people that aren’t in the counseling world, if they were at a party with me, they would ask very simple questions.

And so sending an email to your friends or family just saying, “Okay, I’m launching a consulting business for a cupcake business. What would you want to know if you were to launch a cupcake business as a non-cupcake maker?”

Julie Hanks: Right. But you don’t even have to do that much work. Just start paying attention to the questions that people are already asking you. When you meet people, what do they ask you? When they find out you have a water softener business or whatever it is, what do they ask you? And start taking note of that.

Getting to the next level in your specialty

Joe Sanok: All right. So once you have your specialty, you’ve been in it for a while, how do you go to the next level once you’re maybe – you’ve been in it for a few years, like yourself, how do you keep growing your specialty at that point?

Julie Hanks: Well, I think a huge part is to have proof that you’re successful in what you’re doing and that you know something about it, and that you’re passionate about it. I think those all go together. I mean, I wouldn’t go to a consultant – green lawn consultant if their business was floundering. Like why would I go to them if they couldn’t even do what they set out to do, right?

Joe Sanok: Right.

Julie Hanks: So you want to be making sure that whatever you’re doing is working well, and that you love it because that passion is contagious.

Joe Sanok: That’s great. Those are great tips. One question I’m going to ask you every day is going to be, what’s an action that somebody can do around that? So around growing a specialty, what’s an action that anybody can do today to start on that path of growing a specialty?

How to start growing your specialty today

Julie Hanks: Ask yourself, “What lights me up? What am I passionate about? What do I love to talk about?” That’s information about how you can uniquely serve the world.

Joe Sanok: Wonderful. Well, all week, we’re going to be talking with Julie. Tomorrow, we’re going to be talking about how to grow an audience, then on Wednesday, how to grow an income, and then Thursday, we’re just going to chat about any things that come to mind. So tune in tomorrow, and we will be chatting more.

So what are people asking you in your business already? I really like that idea of just start paying attention to what you’re doing well, pay attention to what people are asking you, and then just start blogging about that, and then start building that credibility. Start building all of those different things the as featured on, and as you build that, it’s going to just continue to perpetuate itself more and more.

We’re going to be talking with Dr. Julie Hanks all week about how to become a consultant. Go ahead and head over to theconsultantschool.com/, and you can get your invitation there, and pretty soon here, we’re going to be launching that January cohort and we’d absolutely love for you to be a part of that.

You guys rock. Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a good one.

To discover more about how to grow a specialty, audience and income, visit becomeaconsultanttoday.com.


How to Grow an Audience | Day 2 interview with Julie Hanks

How to Become a Consultant Podcast with Joe Sanok and friends.

Grow a specialty, grow an audience, and grow an income.

The top consultants helping you to become a consultant today.

Joe Sanok: Welcome to the How to Become a Consultant Podcast, Session 53. All week, we’re talking with Dr. Julie Hanks, but first, I want to invite you to head over to theconsultantschool.com/ where you can opt in to get that early access to The Consultant School, and we’re going to be launching that on October 1st of 2015 for our January cohort. So if you’re listening to this before that date, please head on over there. I would love for you to be a part of that community. It’s going to be so darn awesome.

You know? It’s funny. Every Tuesday, we talk about how to grow an audience, and I think one thing that I noticed is how small of an audience you need to make an income. So often, when I’m consulting with people that own counseling private practices or consulting private practices, we talk about, “What do you need actually client-wise?” And so if you kind of work backward and say you have people that are, you’re charging $500 a month to talk to once or twice, how many people do you need to make up whatever it is that you need to make out of your business? Do you need to make $4,000 a month? Well then, that would be eight people. Do you need to make $10,000 a month? Well, that would be 20 people, if you didn’t have any upsells or anything like that.

And so as you look at what is it that I need in clients, then you could start to look backward. So if your opt in, how many times maybe people opt in to your email, and then you look at when you send an email, how many people open them, and then you look at percentage-wise, how many people open those links and then how many people take action, you can then just run the numbers as you start to get some of those analytics.

Just say, “Okay, what do I need to increase? Okay, I need to increase my open rate. Maybe I need better subject lines. I need to increase my links within my emails to go 5% open rate to 10%.” How do you do that? How do you get people to do that, and testing different things: running AB tests, so things like AWeber, which there’s a link on becomeaconsultanttoday.com. You can run where you send one email in one form and then one in another, and you can just tweak one little thing and see if your open rate goes up, see if you click-through goes up. Then start to look at how many clients do you actually need to make a business out of your consulting. So really kind of interesting stuff we’re going to talk about today with Julie. So without any further ado, here’s Dr. Julie Hanks.

Julie, welcome back. How’s your day going?

Julie Hanks: It’s going well. How are you, Joe?

Joe Sanok: I’m doing really well. So yesterday, we talked all about how to grow a specialty, and today, it’s how do you grow an audience? We kind of touched a little bit about that yesterday in regards to content, but I think especially around Facebook, you have grown such a tribe of people there around private practice, and maybe take us through that, and then we can springboard into some other areas of growing an audience.

What Julie loves about social media

Julie Hanks: I love social media. I love being able to connect directly with like-minded individuals, and it’s fun. So I think that’s part of what I would suggest. So many people that I consult with, they go, “Oh, social media,” like it’s this chore. “No, you get to talk to thousands and thousands of people,” like do you see how cool that is? And so they’re like, “Well, how do you make time for it?” I’m like, “It’s just part of how I do my life. I’m thinking about my tribe.”

So back to kind of your original question, you think about how can my knowledge or expertise help other people, and who are those people, and how can I connect with them? And that’s how you’re going to build your tribe. So Facebook is still the most daily usage in terms of all the social media. So Facebook is a really good place to start to develop your tribe.

Caring about the people who follow you

I think the most important thing is really caring about the people that are following you and that care about what you have to say. Caring about them; I think about my tribes. I have two, like people who follow my just general emotional health and relationship advice and private practitioners, and I think about my tribe daily. “Oh, this article would be great. Oh, I’m going to share this.” “Oh, this is a really cool resource.” So it’s just part of – it’s integrated into how I think.

Joe Sanok: Now is it usually better to set up a group or a page? Like in regards to engagement, like have you found any of those kind of nuts and bolts of Facebook that might help people get more engagement from their users?

Making your space into a collaborative community

Julie Hanks: Yeah. I think once you have a presence – so you’ve been creating content and you’ve been posting that on your page, groups are great. They’re specific and focused and you create a sense of community, so in my Facebook group for practitioners, I’m not the one that’s like always asking questions or answering questions. It’s like, “Hey, what do you guys think?”

So it becomes this collaborative community, and I think that’s where Facebook groups can really be helpful and people go, “Oh, what’s going on there?” “Oh, I can get support. I can get ideas,” and it becomes a collaborative space, not just a place where I post my new blogpost.

Joe Sanok: Sure, sure. I think that’s probably a trap that a lot of people fall into where they just put out their new blogpost, they don’t necessarily engage their audience, and then Facebook’s not going to show that to people, either.

Julie Hanks: Right. Just like who cares? Nobody cares about it.

Joe Sanok: Right. There’s nobody talking about this. Why would we show it to more people?

Julie Hanks: And I think you bring up a really good point that curating the best information in your specialty area is really important. You can’t just be pushing your own stuff down people’s throats. It’s not attractive. People sniff it out like, “Ugh.” It’s just self-promotion. People want to have relationships, and so that’s one of the ways that I relate with my tribe, is I probably share more things that aren’t my original content, but that apply or that are helpful to my tribe.

So being generous and sharing other people’s information and sharing the best content, you become trusted because you’re curating. It’s like, “Oh, I know I could go to that page and I can find the best information about how start a boutique online, FC Store,” or whatever it is. And if you serve people, they will trust you.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. And I think that’s so true, too. I like that you made the point that you’re not always weighing in either, because I feel like when you do weigh in, it matters more. And so if your community is kind of the main voice and then you’re just part of that community, it’s not like the guru on high that we expect to answer all the things. It’s that we’re then able to all be a part of it.

Julie Hanks: Right. And yeah, I don’t see myself as a guru in any way. It’s just I’m here to serve and share information and support, and I’m invested in your success. And so however that looks, Facebook is – the groups are a great way to set that up, that collaborative space.

Joe Sanok: So in regards to paid advertising, whether through Facebook, Google Ads, any of that, in growing an audience, have you found that to be effective? Is it a waste of money? What’s your perspective on that?

Julie’s take on paid advertising

Julie Hanks: The only ads I pay for are Google Ads. I don’t do Facebook ads. I believe that the best way to connect with people is to have other people quote you as an expert or to get paid to create content and then – so I prefer getting paid to share my knowledge, and that that’s a lot more effective.

So I do a lot of media interviews, sharing what I have learned, and so to have the Wall Street Journal say, “Psychotherapist Julie Hanks says, ‘XYZ’,” you can’t pay for that kind of ad, right?

Joe Sanok: Right.

Julie Hanks: So that’s where I’d rather invest time and social proof of expertise through doing podcast, media, TV, those kind of things, and spending dollars.

Joe Sanok: Maybe talk a little bit more about getting those media, because I think that when you get in the Wall Street Journal or something like that, everyone’s ears are like, “Wait a minute. How does that happen?”

Julie Hanks: Yeah, I know.

Joe Sanok: So tell us, how does that happen?

Julie Hanks: You’re a therapist, right? Oh, and yeah. So help a reporter out is a great service. You have to know how to use it. You get three emails a day with questions from journalists all over the world, different areas. And so for several years, I have religiously read almost all of those. Just browse through them, look for something that I might be able to contribute to. And I just shoot off and a quick email. “At the top of my head, here are some thoughts in answer to your question,” and the Wall Street Journal came about – so that wasn’t anonymous.

So usually, the anonymous queries are from really huge sites or really tiny sites because they don’t want to – they just don’t want people – yeah, anyway, so I responded to an anonymous query and then got a return email from a Wall Street Journal journalist, and now, we have a personal relationship where yeah, I’m on her shortlist of people she calls for emotional and psychological and relationship help.

Joe Sanok: That’s awesome.

Julie Hanks: Yeah. But I’ve had a lot of top-tier quotes, and my tips for that is responding to the reporter queries are: answer the questions they ask, be a real person; not a know-it-all. I’m just like – I talk about why I care about the topic. That’s something most people don’t do. Like I do some kind of personal connection with – or a professional connection with the topic. And that helps.

Joe Sanok: Sure. So Julie, what’s one thing that anyone can do today to start growing their audience?

A tip on how to start growing your audience today

Julie Hanks: One thing – I mean, we kind of covered it in the content creation. So I’m going to say curating content, other people’s content in your area of expertise onto your social media sites: Twitter, Facebook. That’s what I would say.

Joe Sanok: Great! Well, Julie, tomorrow, we’re going to be talking about how to grow an income, usually most people’s favorite. So we’ll see you tomorrow.

Julie Hanks: Okay. Thanks, Joe.

Joe Sanok: I want to put a big star next to what Julie said right at the end there of curating other people’s content. I know that I really am flattered when people share what I do on Facebook or they share it or like it on Twitter, on other social media platforms. It really is awesome when other people help me grow my audience because then, those people are on my radar more, and they may be people that are just starting out. It’s the people that just kind of email me and say, “Hey, will you put this resource on your website?” It’s like, “I don’t even know you. Are you kidding me?” “No.” Like, “We don’t even have a relationship.”

So when you’re first starting out as a consultant, look at the people in your field that are already doing an awesome job, and start to follow them, start to share what they’re doing, start to be a part of their communities, a part of their Facebook groups, get noticed by them, and then when they have a call to action, do it. It could be submitting a guest blogpost. It could be just weighing in on something. It could be completing a survey that helps them understand their demographic better. You don’t have to necessarily do consulting with them just to get on the radar, but that really gets you on people’s radars, as well. I think about the people that came to the Most Awesome Conference. I want to see them be successful. For one, because I want them to be successful, but I also want people to say, “Going to the Most Awesome Conference was such a good investment of my money and my time that I would do it in a heartbeat so that other people want to come to that conference, as well.” So that helps me out, it helps them out, and so sometimes, inviting those other consultants in can really help speed things up for you, as well.

Well, tomorrow, we’re going to be diving in to talk with Dr. Julie Hanks more about how to grow an income. Head on over to theconsultantschool.com/ if you want to opt in to that invitation list. Also, over at becomeaconsultanttoday.com, you can get all sorts of other resources, blogposts, links to a lot of the things that we talked about to help you grow your consulting practice.

Have an awesome day. Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. See you.

To discover more about how to grow a specialty audience and income, visit becomeaconsultanttoday.com.


How to Grow an Income | Day 3 interview with Julie Hanks

How to Become a Consultant Podcast with Joe Sanok and friends.

Grow a specialty, grow an audience, and grow an income.

The top consultants helping you to become a consultant today.

Joe Sanok: Welcome to Session 54 of the How to Become a Consultant Podcast. I hope your day is going awesome. Oh, how did my coffee get over there? Hold on. It’s morning here in Northern Michigan, and I’ve got my cup of Joe, and I’m looking out at the water. I’ve got this great office in Downtown, Traverse City. We were very lucky when we were looking for new offices a year ago, and this top floor became available. I’ve got a great view of the water, see Downtown, get to see people, unique traffic and driving patterns. It’s just awesome. Every day, I walk into my office, I am just so thankful and grateful for what has happened, and I don’t say this is my achievement. I definitely think that it’s been a team effort. There’s been a lot of people that have helped position me, from my parents all the way to teachers and mentors that I have had.

So one thing I think we don’t think about enough is how are we grateful or thankful for what we have. Almost every day that we drive, I drive my daughter to school – she’s four years old, I say, “What are you thankful for?” and she’ll come up with really funny things some days. Sometimes, it’s really deep and complex things. Sometimes, it’s really trivial things. Like this morning, she said, “I am thankful that the leaves turned bright red soon.” She’s so excited for fall in Northern Michigan, and we get this beautiful just cascade of colors that happens around us.

And you know? Little kids teach us so much about just being grateful, and it’s really important to me that you know that every Wednesday, we talk about growing an income. For me, it’s for a purpose. It’s to help my family. It’s to help fund my kids’ colleges, to help the developing world have clean water and medicine. I’ve gone to Haiti three times to work at a medical facility down there, and it’s just amazing to see how 200 miles from Southern Florida, there’s countries that live in just such devastation. We have a noble duty as the top 1% of the world, and I know that we’re 1%. It resonates as – oh my gosh. We’re not the 1%. Well, we are, really. I mean, I think it’s if you make more than $50,000 or $60,000 a year, you’re in the top 1% of the world.

So sorry to get on a bit of a platform here, but I feel like we do need to use the resources that we’ve been given, whether you believe that’s from a higher power, whether you believe that that’s through your own achievement. No matter what you believe, we have way more than most of the world. Actually, the water’s cleaner than most of the world’s water. And I know Julie and I, we’ve had lots of discussions about making the world a better place, and the compassion we want to see in the world and our personal belief systems.

So as we talk about growing an income, go do it; but also, do it with a purpose. So without any further ado, I give you Dr. Julie Hanks.

Julie, welcome back to the show. It’s been a busy week thus far. We covered how to grow a specialty on Monday, how to grow an audience yesterday, and today, we’re diving in to how to grow an income. So welcome back.

Julie Hanks: Thank you so much for having me.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. So how to grow an income. We could go in a lot of directions, but around consulting, maybe let’s start there. What have you done to grow an income in regards to consulting?

The first thing in regards to growing an income in consulting

Julie Hanks: Well, I think the first thing I did was to figure out how to get paid to create content that demonstrated my expertise.

Joe Sanok: All right.

Julie Hanks: And then content that I owned and then could share. So that was a really great – I pitched a blog to Psych Central. I wanted to blog about building a private practice, Private Practice Toolbox. And I wasn’t expecting to get paid for it, but I did. And so it wasn’t a lot, but that started this – like, “Oh, wow! You can get paid for content creation,” and that’s a way to start that income.

Having a website that is accessible and really demonstrates that you know something is really important, and then having it easy for people to sign up to work with you as a consultant is another thing that’s really important.

So I have an online scheduler where people come to my site. They click, “Okay, I want to schedule –” pick the date and time, pay on PayPal, we each get an email, and it’s done.

Joe Sanok: Wow. So you don’t have an initial conversation to see if they’re a good fit or any of that. They just dive right in.

Writing a blog versus giving free advice

Julie Hanks: You know I used to, and I found that people wanted free advice, and I don’t have time for free advice, that’s why I blog. Like you want free advice? Read the hundreds of articles on my website or Private Practice Toolbox Blog. But I found that there was so much back and forth. Well, does this time work? Well, does this time work? So I just realized I’m going to set a day. I do consulting on Thursdays, and these times, this is the fee, done.

Joe Sanok: Wow, wow. So how did that transition work out for you when you started to really say, “I’m not going to give away free other than the blog.” To me, that is a big jump for a lot of people, and I see so many people that are like 30 minutes free, and I don’t know. That kind of comes across this like they’re kind of gimmicky. How did you do all of that?

Julie Hanks: Yeah. I’m very intuitive. It just started feeling like, “This is not productive for them or me. I’m not really able to help if I’m just doing kind of this free email back and forth.” It was just so much time and energy. And I have to really guard my emotional energy. That’s my precious resource, because everything I do requires a lot of emotional presence. And so I realized, “Yeah, I don’t want to be spending it on back and forth with people who may or may not be a client.”

So I just trust that people who want to work with me are willing to pre-pay the work with me, and if they’re not, they’re not, and that’s okay. Like I don’t need to work with everybody. And if they want free, they can join the Private Practice Toolbox group on Facebook. They can read the blog that I give away a lot, but I can’t give away my emotional energy and my time at this point in my life.

Joe Sanok: Well, I think that’s a really good point, that if you’re creating content, if you’re spending the time to do all of these free things or get paid a minimal amount from a blog or those sorts of things, that you need to have those higher-end clients that are going to pay for your time to kind of make up for all that emotional energy poured into writing the blogpost and getting an audience that’s growing.

Julie Hanks: And once people have paid, and they talk about their goals and their history and whatever, and sometimes, I will – in fact, this happened a few months ago. I was like – they said, “Okay, I’m making this change next week in my practice,” and we weren’t going to meet for another month, and I called them like, “Wait. We need to talk before then. You don’t do anything yet. Wait till we know –”

So I figured once someone has put down their money and saying, “Look, I value you. I want to work with you,” then I show up 120%. But I just feel like at this point and I have –I’m juggling a lot of different aspects of life, and the stuff that sucks the energy is just the back and forth emails or calls or I don’t want to use my energy for that.

Joe Sanok: Well, maybe tomorrow, we can go into how you focus and how you stay focused and juggle all of that, because I think that’s something that when we hear, “Okay, you need to be blogging and you need to be creating content. You need to build an audience. You need to be consulting.” It’s like, “Well, where do I start?” So maybe tomorrow, we’ll go into some of that. But what’s one thing that anybody can do right now to start to grow an income as a consultant?

How to grow an income right now as a consultant

Julie Hanks: I would say, put on your website that you do consulting. Like just go public with it, set up “If you’re interested in consulting, click here. Send me an email,” set a price, just declare it to yourself and to the internet.

Joe Sanok: It’s very powerful to tell the internet that you’re consulting.

Julie Hanks: Yes, I consult. Pick me.

Joe Sanok: When it comes to pricing – I do have a follow-up question on that. Like what’s some advice on how to set a price, because I know that we both in the past have talked about – we definitely charge too little when we first started out. What advice do you have? Do you have any formulas or ways to kind of structure that?

Some ideas on setting a price

Julie Hanks: I don’t. I’m really intuitive about most business decisions, which most business people are like, “What?” But I’d pick something that seems doable. If no one buys, then you’re probably too high. And start somewhere, and then gauge it. Like I started somewhere like, “You know what? It doesn’t feel like it’s worth my energy. I need to bump it up.”

So it’s just kind of you have to kind of gauge it based on intuition and just, “Yeah, this doesn’t feel like enough right now,” and your own needs matter, too.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. I agree, I agree. All right, so tomorrow, we’ll talk a little bit about staying focused, and then we’ll probably find a few other things to dive into.

Julie Hanks: I’m sure we’ll find many things.

Joe Sanok: All right, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Julie Hanks: Okay. Thanks, Joe.

Joe Sanok: Isn’t Julie so awesome? I just love her idea of finding that balance with how much you’re charging, and she just provide so much value. Thanks so much for being a part of this community. You guys rock. You are sharing this podcast, and reviewing it on iTunes, and doing so many things that just give back to the community to help more people learn about this, and I just thank you from the bottom of my heart for investing your time in this, but then, so many of you are taking time outside of this to share it with other people and to help other people discover the podcast.

So thanks so much. You can go over to for theconsultantschool.com/ for your early opt in to get that invitation into The Consultant School. We’d love to see you over there, get to know you better on a deeper level, help you launch your consulting practice and just start killing it. That would be awesome.

Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. You rock, and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

To discover more about how to grow a specialty, audience and income, visit becomeaconsultanttoday.com.


Last Day | Day 4 interview with Julie Hanks

How to Become a Consultant Podcast with Joe Sanok and friends.

Grow a specialty, grow an audience, and grow an income.

The top consultants helping you to become a consultant today.

Joe Sanok: Welcome to Session 55 of the How to Become a Consultant Podcast. Today, Dr. Julie Hanks is going to reveal something she does that’s way different than how I structure my day, and really, I’m kind of excited to hear your thoughts in regards to what you think about this.

So if you want to join the conversation, I would love for you to jump over to our Facebook group, probably the best way to get into that Facebook group because it’s an invite-only one, but it’s free to join; you don’t have to pay anything, is to jump on the email list, and then you’ll get an invite through that or you can find us. Just type in How to Become a Consultant on Facebook.

So we have Dr. Julie Hanks here today, our last day with her. Oh, tears, sad, but it is what it is, and all great things must come to an end, eventually. So Dr. Julie Hanks, without any further ado, here she is.

Well, Julie, welcome back to the show. I’m really glad you’re here.

Julie Hanks: Thanks for having me, Joe.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. It’s been a great week. Monday, we talked about how to grow a specialty, then Tuesday, we covered how to grow an audience, and then yesterday, how to grow an income, and today, we’re going to just dive into kind of wherever we go for this last day of talking. But yeah, yesterday, we had kind of talked and touched a little bit on how do you structure your time with all the things to do to grow a consulting business. Like how do you manage all these things? Any tools that you use, or things that you can advise us on?

Organizing your consulting business

Julie Hanks: So, no. I actually don’t. Here’s my secret. I do what I want to do when I want to do it. Like I go with where the energy is. What I’m excited about, I do it. Like right then, I ride like the emotional way. So if something sounds draining, then I don’t do it or stop doing it. If something sounds fun, then I do it. Really, that’s how I structure my life, and I wish I had something more eloquent or more practical to say, but when I think about something, I try to do it right then.

Joe Sanok: Well, and how do you complete things? Like I know, I love the start-up process, and then it’s like there’s a point in the project, where I’m like, “Oh man,” like, “I don’t want to finish this,” but it’s not done, and I’ve just wasted this time. Is there a point when you get stuck but you have to power through, or is it just, “Well, I’m going to put that on hold for a bit.”

Completing things after a start-up

Julie Hanks: I put a lot of things on hold. Sometimes, I power through, but for me and my personality, I have to find the emotional energy, the passion about the thing that I’m doing, because that’s what helps me feel alive, that’s what helps me enjoy my life, so there’s no shame in unfinished projects, just so you know.

Joe Sanok: Well, you’re a proof that you can be highly successful, and just take that approach. I think that’s great. Some people will say, “No. You have to focus on the one thing at a time,” and I love that approach.

Julie Hanks: So I’m also a song writer, and my philosophy about that is probably 1 out of every 10 songs is good. So most songs never get finished. They just are in notebooks in a closet somewhere. And it’s the same with any kind of projects in life. They’re not all good. They’re not all worth investing in. And I really think when I go with my passion that I never regret it, ever. Even with big, huge decisions, like marriage, having a baby, starting a business, all that, like if I go with my intuition and where my passion is, it’s usually right on.

Joe Sanok: Well, and I think that’s a great point too, where you start some projects that you’re excited about. If they sit there and you don’t ever think about them again, they probably weren’t worth completing, but if you keep thinking about that one project and then you get re-excited about it and keep going back to it, it’s going to make it invigorating. You’re going to like it again.

Julie Hanks: Right. And if you don’t, then that’s important information. Why would you invest in something that you don’t really care about or that’s not giving you something back?

Joe Sanok: I love that. I think that’s a really great point, because so often, people feel this certain obligation to just keep doing it, even –

Julie Hanks: “I should.”

Joe Sanok: Right.

Julie Hanks: I should. I should keep doing – so I say, “Says who?” And if you stop, so what?

Joe Sanok: Yeah. What’s going to happen if you stop?

Julie Hanks: And if you’re not into it, then I think that’s really, really important information.

Joe Sanok: So we’ve got this bundle of three things we’ve really talked about this week of how we build a specialty, income, build an audience. What are some of the traps that people fall into as they start consulting?

Taking note of some traps when you start consulting

Julie Hanks: I think a trap is – well, we talked about this a little bit. Not charging enough, giving away too much time, so there’s this balance, because you want to serve your potential clientele. There’s a fine line between giving away too much, and again, I’m really intuitive about that. If it feels yucky, it’s probably I need to set better boundaries, if I feel resentment is the best gift. When I start resenting someone or something, I go, “Okay, I need to charge more, set better boundaries or stop doing it or create distance.” I just think it’s resentment, like, “I don’t want to work with this person. I don’t want to do this,” or like, “Oh, I need to charge more” or change what I’m doing.

Joe Sanok: Right, right. And that makes me curious. When you do set those boundaries, what do you do to feel well-rounded outside of consulting? Like any tips around that to just kind of stay balanced?

Tips on staying balanced

Julie Hanks: Yeah. So I don’t do consulting full-time. In fact, I don’t do anything full-time, except that you’re never off-duty from being a parent in the family life. I like variety, and so I’ve structured my professional life to have variety as well, and tons of flexibility. I mean, I make time for friendships outside of family relationships. I do radical self-care, and I need quiet time more and more. I think I’m getting old, but I just need time to do nothing and take care of no one.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. So tell me about radical self-care. I like that.

Julie Hanks: Yeah.

Joe Sanok: I think I like it, until you haven’t described it yet. So I think I like it.

Julie Hanks: Yeah. You’ll know you’ll love it. You’ll love it. What I have found, about every quarter, I need a couple days off. Like by myself without anybody, because I’m so intuitive and I sense people’s needs and emotions that I take – it’s just part of what makes me good at what I do and part of what makes me tired.

And so radical self-care is going to a hotel for two days by myself and doing whatever I want to do or not doing anything or sleeping or eating or laying by the pool or whatever, and then once a year taking a week and doing that.

Joe Sanok: Wow. So when you’re hanging out at the pool, are you thinking about blogposts or are you fighting back that kind of entrepreneur side or is it pretty easy for you to turn that off?

Julie Hanks: So I get to do what I want. So if that is fun and sounds like something I want to do, I do it. If I don’t, I don’t. What I found is I don’t compartmentalize life and work. It’s like my “and play and work”. It’s all the same thing to me. My work is my play. It’s my creative expression. It’s all the same thing.

Joe Sanok: It’s all life.

Julie Hanks: Yeah. And so like work-life balance. I think – like that’s a weird term, because like it’s all integrated for me and how I think about it. And so yeah, I just got back from Mexico. I went with one girlfriend who also is a mom of several children. And so we went there and did whatever we wanted for a week, and we didn’t have to take care of each other. We just kind of did our own thing sometimes. We could talk or not talk. We could be together or not, and I just – so sometimes, I work. I brainstormed. In fact, I’m at the pool and I reached out to Kelly and Miranda with ZynnyMe, and I’m like, “Hey, I have this consulting idea,” but I did it because I wanted to, and it felt fun and energizing. It felt playful, not like, “Oh my gosh, I’ve got to plan my next year and what I’m going to do with my consulting business.” So I go with what I want to do.

Joe Sanok: That’s awesome. Where in Mexico did you go?

Julie Hanks: Puerta Vallarta.

Joe Sanok: Cool. That’s a beautiful area. We took our babymoon down there. We had that – before our first daughter was born, we went down to that area.

Julie Hanks: Oh, awesome, awesome. So radical self-care is also – for me, is napping. Like naps are just the best treat.

Joe Sanok: I am the opposite. If I nap, I’m groggy the rest of the day, and it’s so hard for me to bounce back. But maybe at some point, I will take on the napping banner.

Julie Hanks: Siesta, and offer siesta.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. You know? When we were in Spain, we took siesta because we had to, and it was great because it lined up with our daughter’s nap time, and it was good to sit and read a book, but to actually sleep for me was just disorienting.

Julie Hanks: Oh man. That’s radical self-care.

Joe Sanok: That’s awesome. Well, Julie, thank you so much for being with us this week. It’s been such a pleasure, and I know that we’ll be continuing to follow you. If people want to connect with you, what are some ways that they connect with you?

Julie Hanks: Yeah. drjuliehanks.com is the best way to see what I’m doing or schedule consulting. I’m also on Twitter @julie_hanks. Facebook, Instagram, pretty much the – Pinterest. So search Julie de Azevedo Hanks, and you’ll find me all over the inter-webs.

Joe Sanok: Well, thank you, Julie, so much for being on the show. We’ll have more at becomeaconsultanttoday.com about you and to link to all of those things, and this has been an awesome week hanging out with you.

Julie Hanks: It’s been great. Thanks for inviting me, Joe.

Joe Sanok: In so many ways, I feel like Julie just has this depth of wanting to do what makes her happy. Like life is too short. Let’s do it. Let’s move with those things that give me energy. And so often, I kind of set my own mental rules. I could be really rigid because I want to achieve so many things. I want to do so many things, but Julie sometimes has just such a casual flow, but seems to make such a greater impact, sometimes. She really lives out that 80-20 rule you hear so often of 20% of your efforts give you 80% of the results. And I know that she takes time for her family. She does so much, and I’m just so amazed at all that she does.

So if you want to connect with her, you can go over to drjuliehanks.com. That’s one way to connect with her. Also, she has rockthemediaschool.com. I believe that’s going on right now. I don’t know that you can sign up for it, but you can also head on over there and be on her email list so that if she launches another semester of it, then if you wanted to learn about rocking the media, she is the one to learn from because she’s vibrant, she’s exciting, and she’s done it. She’s been on a billion different really high-profile news and media places.

So thanks so much. Tomorrow, I’ll be taking your questions and letting you know who we’re going to have on next week. So thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. See you.

To discover more about how to grow a specialty, audience and income, visit becomeaconsultanttoday.com.


Session 56

How to Become a Consultant Podcast with Joe Sanok and friends.

Grow a specialty, grow an audience, and grow an income.

The top consultants helping you to become a consultant today.

Joe Sanok: Welcome to Session 56 of the How to Become a Consultant Podcast. I hope you’re doing amazing today. I want to reveal to you who I’m having on next week. Next week, I’m having my great friend, Sarah Barnes. Sarah was in our wedding. She is a business consultant in Chicago and does SEO work and a ton of other work that just – it’s mind-blowing the things that she teaches next week and helps us discover next week. It’s just going to be so awesome. She does very kind of traditional business consulting. So a lot of you that are interested in doing corporations or consulting with non-profits, next is going to be the week to hear. And thank you so much for all the iTunes reviews. You guys rock. I so appreciate it. You are amazing. Thanks for doing that. It’s really incredible to just see how many of those are pouring in. Thank you so much for heading over to iTunes and writing a review. If you don’t know how to do that, drop me an email, and I’d be happy to send you kind of a walkthrough.

So today, I am going to be answering a question. I got a question from someone. It was an email. They didn’t say whether I could use their name or not, so I don’t want to use their name. So they were asking, “So I’ve got an audience and I feel like I –” this is like a summary. For some reason, I pulled it up right in front of me, and I have a client for my private practice coming in in a couple of minutes, and want to make sure I get through this before then.

Breaking through your hourly rate when you’re stuck

So the person asked, “So I feel like I’m kind of stuck with my hourly in consulting. How do you break through the hourly that you’re at?” and I think that’s such a good question. So you’ve identified your specialty. So you’re really honed in on that, you’ve read some books on it, you’ve kind of grown, then what do you do next? Well, you’ve already kind of started to grow your audience, so you’ve got some leads coming in. Now that those leads are coming in, how do you increase that income?

So for a long time, I pretty much just said I want to make more money doing consulting per hour than I do in my private practice doing counseling. So I just made sure that my hourly rate was more than that. So it was really, “Okay, here’s Joe’s hour. That’s all I’m paying for.” Well, what I decided to eventually do was to not just be an hourly solution, but instead to be an answer to a problem, that the problem was, I’ve a private practice that’s not going how I want it to go.

And so I started offering catered solutions to launching a private practice, or catered solutions to growing a private practice. So I switched things around a bit, where I went from having this initial phone call with people and then sending them a proposal to hearing them for about 15 minutes, talk about their practice, ask them a lot of questions about what drives them, why they want to have a successful practice, all of that, and then I said, “Well, based on what you’ve said, here’s what I would recommend,” and it was a mixture of meeting with me, a SWOT analysis with website analysis, and so looking at what was working, what wasn’t working, so some backend solutions. What’s good about including some of those things, like a SWOT, is that it’s really hard to say how much is that worth.

So I write a 20 to 30-page report identifying all the areas that they could grow, they could change, threats to them, so they get this report. Most people say it’s one of the best things for guiding them in the future that they’ve ever received. So they get that, a really high-quality document. Also, some things I often include in it is an E-newsletter that’s automated. So once a week, it’s all on how to start a private practice, so that’s not always appropriate for people that are looking to grow a private practice. I sometimes include my E-book, a paperwork package; there’s a number of different things that are solutions to making the consulting more effective, but not using more of my time. So instead of just saying, “We’re going to talk for 45 minutes,” it becomes then, “Here is the solution that we’re creating together.”

So I would say, the more that you can be solution-oriented, or, “What’s the problem I’m going to fix?” versus “Someone pays me for the hourly,” that then increases your hourly, because you can then say, “Okay, the SWOT is worth $900. This E-newsletter is worth $150. This E-book sells for $10 on Amazon or $35 through Gumroad. This other solution costs $200; so this whole package would typically be – if we added it all up over four months and divided it by four, it’d be about $1,000 a month, but I can do it for $795 because it looks like once we kind of get into a good flow, it’s going to take less time for me outside of the time that we talked.”

Learning to frame what you’re offering a little bit differently from the usual hourly rate

So that’s where you then learn how to frame what you’re offering a little bit differently, rather than, “You get 20 hours with me,” or “You get 10 hours with me.” Instead, it switches over to, “Here’s my solution. Here’s your expected return on investment. How do we then help you to decide to make a decision on this phone call whether or not this is a good fit?” And when I switched that over, I went from converting about 10% of the people I was having these phone calls with to probably over 80% of the people. By the time they get to that point of talking with me, they usually know that they want to do consulting with me. I also have a page where they schedule that says, “My minimum monthly is this much per month,” and that helps kind of weed out some people, as well.

So I would say that would be where I would start right from the beginning. And in The Consultant School, we’re going to be going super in-depth on this, as well. I’m also going to have some free videos for you that will just help you guys kind of train a little bit more around just how do you grow your specialty and how do you grow clients that will actually pay you these higher amounts.

So next week, like I said, we’re going to have Sarah Barnes on the show. She’s going to talk a lot about working with non-profits and for-profits and regular business consulting trends. She’s amazing. And so very similar in a lot of ways to Michael Zipursky, who was on a few weeks ago. And so if you liked his kind of in-depth like multi-million dollar contracts, I would definitely say tune in next week. And even if you don’t think you’re going to be into it, Sarah’s amazing. She’s super fun, and we had a lot of fun on the show.

So thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. You guys have an awesome weekend, and I will talk to you on Monday.

To discover more about how to grow a specialty, audience and income, visit becomeaconsultanttoday.com.