305 – How To Market Your Consulting Business With Alastair McDermott


How To Market Your Consulting Business With Alastair Mc Dermott

Build Live Give. Mentoring With Paul Higgins

Paul Higgins sits down with Alastair McDermott, Host of “Marketing for Consultants” Podcast and Digital Marketing Expert.

He shares with us how he helps independent consultants get more clients without having to beg for referrals or send spammy LinkedIn connection requests

Welcome to the Build Live Give podcast. If you're a first time listener, welcome, and if you love what you hear or see, please subscribe. If you're a regular, thanks for your support. All of the links and everything mentioned will be in the show notes, but please feel free to take notes as you go, because there's lots of value from our guest today. Who is our guest? Our guest today started doing websites for anybody with a heartbeat and a wallet, and he jokes and says actually just a wallet is fine. He realised that he just wasn't getting any traction because he served everybody, and therefore serves nobody. He started to niche down and he chose consultants.


What he's done now is researched over 1,000 consultants to find out the real key reasons, or the key struggles for them to get more clients. He shares a lot of that research in this podcast, and he covers the three ways that you can gain clients, the importance of podcasting, which we double down on, because he's a podcaster, and also obviously, so am I. Then the third thing is how to perfect your message. Have you ever struggled with being really good at what you do, but you find it hard to articulate that, this is right for you. What I'll do now is hand you over to Alastair McDermott from marketing for consultants. Welcome Alastair McDermott from marketing for consultants to the Build Live Give podcast. Great to have you here, Alastair.


Thanks for having me on.


I've always loved our conversations because you do remind me of a couple of Irish comedians. Whenever I hear your voice, I can't but help laugh, and I know that we're going to have lots of laughter through this.


We'll see how that goes.


You can't help but be funny with an accent like yours. That's why I save it.


I see. I do like humour and joy in work and business. I don't like to take everything too seriously. It’s good to have a laugh and have fun in doing what you're doing.


Exactly. Or you can go and work with someone else again.


No, no, I couldn't do that.


Wouldn’t that be miserable? Go back and work for Cellar. Look, you and I effectively service the same type of people, which is consultants. For me, it's consultants that are typically left corporate, built up a consulting practise, and really want to drive an additional million in annual recurring revenue, or get that next millions. For you, what's your definition of a consultant? Who do you love to work with?


I guess I would call those, and this is coming from Philip Morgan. I would call those front door consultants, so they’re the ones coming from the corporate background where they were typically working for one of the big corporate consulting firms, but there's also then side door consultants like myself and people like Philip, who've got into the world of consulting through some side door means. For me a consultant, there is the prototypical management consultant and that's a really skilled intelligent job. Then there are those types of consultants who are IT consultants, engineering consultants, media consultants, all of those types of genuine experts in their field as well.


I think that the one thing that we share is that typically we're subject matter experts in something. The other thing that sometimes that we share is that it's really hard to sell our own expertise. That's what I'm doing this, with marketing for consultants is because this was something I struggled myself with, and I think I see a lot of people struggling with it as well.


Definitely I'm more the sales than the marketing, but yeah. Scratch my own itch, definitely. I think that's once you've gone through all the hard work, it's great to then share that with others, which I know you do. I know you help a lot of people, a lot of consultants that we just described with their marketing. In particular, how do you win new business? Which it's always that battle between delivery and then new business. What do you know about attracting a new business that many consultants miss?


Just to give a bit of background to this, I did a fairly extensive research project trying to get to understand the world of consulting. I do a survey that has over 1,000 results from independent consultants for the most part, of various different types, and that number is still ticking up as people discover the surveys online. I did it as a series of surveys where I would survey about a particular topic. Originally, I started at trying to understand how do consultants see their websites, and then that took me into marketing, and then that took me to various different places, as I had different questions, I wanted answered. But I ended up with a lot of data and a lot of information about this.


If I take a look from a high level, I see three really typical ways for consultants to actually get leads for their business. The first is the most popular. Probably 95% of business comes from referrals and networking of some type. I'm lumping those together because referrals, networking, the lines are very blurred, but it's generally a personal recommendation of some type that you're getting. That's the major box. Then, there are outbound and inbound. Outbound is your typical outbound sales calls, cold calling, or doing some LinkedIn lead generation, or some email, outbound email. For me, that is just not for me. There is also a thing, sorry, go ahead. What is that?


I noticed on your profile, you said that I think on your header it talks about people on LinkedIn.


One of the things about consulting is that trust is really important. This is why referrals are so important as well, is because referrals pass that trust as they come in. What you're doing typically in consulting is you're doing something that's usually very risky for the client. It's usually transformative in some way, and it's usually quite expensive. There's this massive requirement for trust, and that's why referrals are so important, and that's why the big consulting firms with their decades or longer, of branding and being around, that they have generated this trust. That trust is really important to have.


I think that if you're starting off in an interruption mode, where you are cold calling somebody, you're starting off, maybe not even at zero trust, but maybe at negative trust, because you’re interrupting them. Now you can happen to get somebody at the right time, but it doesn't set off the relationship well from the start. Then the other thing is a lot of people will say that experts don't need to cold call, and that there is something to be, there's an argument to be made there.


Great . I suppose the way that we think of it is the inbound does help with some of the outbound, and it’s not cold outbound, it's warm outbound, which we can talk about in a moment. But good conversation around outbound, which is the second one. What about the third, which is the inbound?


Inbound is for me, that's the holy grail. Inbound is you're sitting in your office and somebody reaches out to you in some way, and that is they've called you, or they've booked a call on your calendar, or they've sent you an email, or they've put their hand up in some way, without you actively going out for them. This is the mark for me of true expertise and authority, because people want to talk to you. Usually that comes from positioning yourself as an authority in some way. Usually we do that through what some people call content marketing, some people call it education marketing, some people call it inbound marketing, and some people call it authority marketing, but basically it is-


Sorry. Some people call it a pain in the you know what as well.


Some people do, yes. This type of marketing it's bloody hard to get right. That's the problem. But for me, it’s also the holy grail, because if you can get it right, then you can spend your time not doing cold calls. There's a lot of experts who are introverts and not really into the networking thing, and who would much rather write books, write blogs, do research and things like that, and have people come to them. This is much more suited for people who are interested in working that way.


Give us some examples of where content's working really well for some of your clients?


People who are, for example, like what we're doing here, we are doing podcasting, and I've set up my own podcast for the same reason. What you're doing is in part you’re networking, but also you're positioning yourself on the same level as these experts and thought leaders, and you are building relationships too, but you are positioning yourself as that authority, as that expert. That's one way. Another way is to like Richard Newton, who's one of my recent guests, he's just published I think his 14th or 15th book. As part of that, by the way, he got other experts to write their stories to put into his book as real life examples.


Either writing the full book, or seeing if there's somebody doing something that you can collaborate or contribute to in some way. Those things are the things that my clients are doing, and that I'm doing myself, and that's what I'm doing with marketing for consultants, is taking time to actually create that content. That brings us to one of the problems with this, which is a lot of consultants don't have time, particularly when they're in this hourly rate trap where they're earning a very good day rate or an hourly rate, so they don't take time out for content creation and future value creation.


Definitely, and we'll dive into that in a sec. Just back on the podcasting. You've just hit the nail on the head time. That's the one thing that none of us can buy. You talked about podcasting in particular. Do you recommend people set up their own podcast, guest on podcasts, a combination of both. What's your go to when it comes around podcasting?


I've been planning my own podcast since 2014, and I launched it in 2021 for anybody listening to this later. That's a long, long time, a very long delay. One of the reasons for that was because I actually discovered that I had a problem with my business when I started to try and podcast. I realised that actually I had no niche market. I wasn't a specialist. I was full services, everything for everybody. My ideal client was somebody with a wallet and a heartbeat, and heartbeat optional. That was the typical generalist thing. Starting to plan the podcast actually became an indicator for me.


Some people listening to this might have noticed that when they try and write blog posts, or when they try and plan something like content marketing or a YouTube channel, or anything like that, they might actually see that it shows a problems in their business model and that they don't have an ideal target market, and that they're not focused enough. Sorry. I know, I didn't answer your question. Can you ask that question again? [inaudible 00:13:19].


That's fine, because what I did take out of that is that your podcast is a way of amplifying who you serve and how you serve them. My view is a podcast is brilliant because like for this, it's video that we can repurpose. For me, I do an hour, all in total an hour. It'll be about 30 to 40 minutes on air. To speak with a great guests like you, that I'm sharing expertise, but then I can multi, I can cut that up and repurpose it. Also I do a solo show, which is 10 minutes. That is therefore something that I can clearly articulate and expertise, and be seen in the world. But that does take some time. What I'm trying to think of is when do you launch your own show, versus when did you just piggyback of others podcasts and guesting?


To answer that question that you did ask, I would say probably if you can, get started with other people's shows, just to get more experience in doing it. First off, start listening to podcasts, because if you don't listen to podcasts, you won't really get it. Then the other thing is, invest a little bit of money. It doesn't have to be a lot of money, but invest a little bit of money in getting a halfway decent microphone. It could just be like a good USB headset or something, but I'm talking 50 or $100. Nothing crazy, but it does help when you sound good, and it gives a better impression to everybody. I would say, start with guesting.


Then as you start to plan and think about your own show, you can think about doing either a show where you interview people in your industry, maybe even interviewing your ideal clients, that would be a really great way to go and network with people. Then you've got the option of doing a solo show, but I think as you know, doing a solo show, it can be quite tough at times, and it can be hard to maintain. You've got to keep the episodes short. It's a lot easier to have a conversation, it’s much more natural and flowing. You don't really need to do as much pre-work for that. There is another thing that one of my upcoming guests, Mike Clay, who's a big SEO expert, Search Engine Optimization expert.


He talks about a thing called content casting, which is something that he does with some of his clients, and it’s amazing really. What he does is he takes a slide deck, and he has I think five of the most common questions in an industry, I think sends that slide deck to his clients, and he gets his client to record themselves answering each of those questions. He takes up, bundles it up as a podcast, also puts it on YouTube, also puts those slides on SlideShare, and Google slides, and various different places. The search engine optimization power of having all of those things interconnected, is really useful. Also, he takes a transcript, creates audio grammes. He ends up with, from one recording, and all that the end user, the client has to do, is record themselves for 45 minutes answering five questions that they're already an expert on. I really love this concept. I think it’s brilliant.


Great idea.


He calls it content casting. I had never heard of it before, but it just sounds genius to me. That could be another way to go as well.


What's the name of that person again?


His name is Mike Clay from Clay digital. I'll send you the link.


That'd be great, and we'll put that in the show notes.


I'll be publishing his podcast in a couple of weeks on marketing for consultants as well.


Excellent. I think that's like you said, so efficient with time, is I haven't got a lot of time. That’s a great way of doing it.


Can I just say on time, Paul, that there's one other thing, and for anybody watching, if anybody is watching this on video, I'm just going to hold up a book. This is the Business of Expertise by David C. Baker. It’s a really a super book for anybody involved in consulting or expert services to read. But one of the things that David says in there is experts have time to write, and they have time to create content because they're charging more money. It is one thing that I think that we need to do is we need to charge more. If I was to say that pretty much everybody listening to this right now can charge more, that you probably can raise your prices, you probably can at least raise them by 50% or maybe even double them.


It can be very scary, but as a general piece of advice, that usually applies to most people who I talk to. Raise your prices in order to make time for creating content like podcasting and writing. The action of podcasting and the action of writing, will actually make you a better expert in your fields, because you'll be organising and formulating your thoughts. You'll be doing research, you'll be talking to smart people, and all of that will make you better, which will make you be able to help your clients more, which in turn will allow you to charge more. It's almost like a vicious cycle, but you have to break the cycle some way. You've got to charge more to give yourself time to create the content.


I think that's brilliant. Most people, it's not as if we've got our pricing plastered all over our website. You can do it case by case, so the next client that you get to, you can also that new pricing and most times, like you said, they'll say yes, and then you think, "Oh my God, why did I take so long to do it?" But that's just part of the evolution. But look, I completely agree with that, and it's not also as if all your clients get together and talk about their pricing. I think the other thing on pricing is that it's return on investment. It's not an hourly rate, it's actually a share of the value.


Always talk pricing about 10%. I say to my clients, "Look, I'm going to get you, we're going to get this result. You're going to take 90% of it." If I said to you let's all show you exactly where to find $100 bill. You keep nine and I have 10 of it, would you be happy with that every day of the week? Yes. That's the exact same thing here, is that it's the price per value. Great point.


Value pricing can be very difficult to do, and I suggest that people check out Blair Enns. That's Blair E-N-N-S and pricing creativity, which is a book that he actually valued price. It costs like two or $300 to buy it. Canadian I think, but it's well worth it because you'll get that back on your first project, most likely. It's just people check that out too.


Brilliant wealth of knowledge here. Just, the last quick one on podcasting is, and now we're going to move on, but finding the right shows. What's your advice on how to get on the shows that are the best for you?


First thing is you really need to understand who your ideal client is. That is a precursor to pretty much anything. I would argue that you should be able to narrow that down a fair bit too. You should be able to narrow it down ideally to an industry, if you can, being vertically specialised. But I think that's a conversation for another day. The other thing is following people. If there's somebody who's ahead of you in your industry a little bit, who has the same ideal clients, go figure out what shows they're on. You can do some Google searches, you can put in things like today's guest is, and then their name, and put that in quotes and stick that into Google, and that will bring up some podcasts.


Figuring out what those podcasts are. I actually got my assistant to make up a list of, I think we have 50 or 60 shows. Then what we did was we ranked them by the number of episodes they have. Now we know maybe how popular that show is. It gives us an idea of ... My goal is to be on 25 podcasts this year, for example, as a guest. One every fortnight, and we're not reaching out to be on the biggest shows out there. We're not trying to be on the Joe Rogan show. In fact, I didn't even pitch you to be on this show today. It just came serendipitous, and that happens, but you can also reach out to people, but also having your own podcast and inviting other podcast hosts to come on your podcast, is a good way to get that reciprocal effect as well.


Look, I agree with everything you said, and I think there's some really good platforms out there. Listen notes is one of them that you can go and see some stats, because it's hard to find what's really happening in a podcast. I think that's the best way to get your podcast out, is to be on other podcasts. I think that's really smart.


It doesn't hurt to be on smaller shows either, because even if there is only a very niche show or very small listenership, you're still developing relationship, you're probably still getting search engine optimization benefit from having your website linked. It’s probably worth the hour or two of your day that it takes to do that. I wouldn't be too concerned about the size of the show that you're going on.


I think you did bring it on. I think the benefit of I'd much rather someone that is really good at promoting their show, than the size of the audience. Because especially sometimes if you've got ... I've had some really large guests, they're not going to really share the podcasts that they've been on your show, because they're promoting their show. That's where I think someone that's passionate about their show, has your direct ideal client, and shares it and promotes it, I think there's some of the qualification pieces we have, to make sure that we're getting on the right show. I could spend forever talking about this, because we are very much aligned on how we do, and in marketing and sales, as you said, they're very much linked these days.


I don't think there is a divide anymore, and all of us as owners, are effectively wearing both the sales and marketing hats. We don't have sales and marketing teams per se. But wordsmithing, and I've struggled with this. How many times someone says, "I know what I do. I'm really good at what I do, but I just don't know how to say it to other people. I don't know how to get my messaging right, and every time I talk to an expert, they give me a different angle." For me, I've just gone and changed my genius model. It is a week or two weeks worth of effort just to change everything just because you've changed one piece of copy. Some thoughts around that one.


For me, everything comes back to what I call the positioning statement. Some people call it your value proposition, or your UVP, or various different names, but it's usually something like we help these people solve this problem, or we help these people get this result. Then you can tack onto that by doing this, so that they can do this, so that you're talking about the first half is naming what you do and who you do it for, and the second half is talking about how you actually achieve that and what the benefits are for them. That can be a really good statement to stick, particularly on your homepage and front and centre on your homepage.


If you're a service business, that if you're in professional services, there's usually some nuance to what you do. Your target market is usually a little bit niche down, so you need to explain it, and people, it's not like you're selling Nike and you can put up a pair of Nike on your homepage and people know. You need to explain this to them. I would say, “Don't get cute, don't get clever. Just say it straight out." We help these people solve this problem, or I help these people solve this problem, and that can really help. That's where I'd start with.


Like you said, we do a lot of LinkedIn postings, so that's probably where I'm sharing a lot of my great content, like I'll be sharing this podcast interview and get anywhere between 15 to 30,000 views of posts, which is fantastic coverage. Then off the back of that, the people that liked and comment, and then we reach out to them. But from an outreach perspective, there's so many profiles that are read, and I'm just like, I've got no idea what you do, and I won't go into the depths of what should be, but I think that is your headline at the top. Think of your header as the billboard, when someone drives down the road. That's the first part, and then that headline is so critical. I love what you said because, people who've got two minutes, they're incredibly busy. Everyone's [inaudible 00:26:43] and all they want to know is, is it worth me diving deeper into this profile?


If you make that hard for them, packing all your skills in your headline, that doesn't help anything. Like a podcast, if I wrote podcast or author, now people are like, “Well, so what?" Who do you love to work with? As you said, how do you work with them, and then what results do you get for them? Just do that on your line. Just coming up with that messaging. Often people say that it's hard to see that the label from inside the jar. What's been your experience with that? We have people who constantly try to do it themselves, and then they might work with someone like you and all of a sudden bang, you can see what.


I think that's why it's good. Actually that quote, I think is from the book I showed you earlier from David C. Baker, or at least he's one of the people who's repeated it. It is. It's really hard. It’s tough to work on your own positioning. It is something that you wordsmith over time, but I think you have to narrow it down to who your audience is, and at least have that part and have some idea of how you're going to try and help them. You can start to fine tune the words, and you can tweak. It's something that I would revisit maybe every two or three months, and I actually have, because I'm a geek like that, I have a spreadsheet that has a history of all my positioning statements over time.


You can see it going from being stupidly broad, to getting very, very niche, and you can see the different ways I tried to wordsmith it. At one point, I was saying rather than independent consultants and subject matter experts, I was saying authors, coaches, and consultants, or authors, speakers, and consultants. Something like that. Just different ways, but in effect, that's saying speakers, authors and consultants are usually consultants, consultants and consultants. It's just a different way of approaching it, and seeing what Jonathan Stark calls a Rolodex effect, or a Rolodex moment where you trigger where somebody goes, “Oh yeah, I know somebody like that." Then they can refer you because you've explained what you do and who you do it for, in a way that they understand. Could you explain it to your grandmother? Could you explain it to your mother? Or your grandfather or your father? Can somebody who's not technical, or who's not in your field, can you explain it to them?


Look, I just recently changed mine because I had service based business owners, and someone said, would you help a hotel? I'm like, no. I said, why are you saying service-based business owners who now have said consultants, but have also said consulting. Owners of consulting businesses, because yes, I can help solos, but I'm much better when someone's actually that next stage of growth. I've gone through all the referral stage, like you said, but now they actually need help to build a sales system to get to that next step.


The issue there is the label. Do people have a label that they refer to themselves by, because you could say B2B professional services owner, and that could be exactly and really accurate, but they don't think of themselves as B2B professional services owner. Like the person who asked you about the hotels, if they heard you say that, they're like, "What? Who the hell is that?" It doesn't resonate with anybody. Can you find something where people understand instinctively, "Oh yeah, that’s like my friend Dave," and that’s what you're trying to figure out. It's usually a label, and if they have a collective label, that's the ideal that describes them.


I think to gain, you've got to give up. You got to give up the broadness, like you spoke about before, to really say, these are specifically the people that I can help. That's scary because people, so I'm leaving money on the table, but I always say, “How many clients do you really need a year?" When you go back to that, you're not trying to fill Wembley stadium, you're just trying to fill a rower seat in within a stadium.


I completely agree with you. I had that same fear myself when specialising in it, and it is this massive fear, and it's something actually I talked to Phillip Morgan. He's a business coach of mine and a friend of mine, and we talk about this fear, it's almost visceral, this thing of I can't cut out all of these. I don't want to pigeonhole myself, and all of the things. I was recently talking to a guy called Louis Grenier who hosts another podcast called Everyone Hates Marketers. What he said is, what are you going to miss out by not specialising? When you don't focus down, you're going to miss out on credibility and expertise, because you're not focusing down on one audience.


You're going to miss out on money because people perceive expertise, so you can ask for more money. This one was brilliant. He said, "You're going to miss out on relationships with people who do stuff that's complimentary to yours. Because if you're a generalist, everybody is a competitor. But if you're a specialist, then you can partner with people who don't serve the same market, or do something slightly different." There's a lot of stuff that you're actually missing out on as well, as when you don't specialise.


Totally agree. Just remember, we're listening to Alastair McDermott from Marketing For Consultants. Just before we go onto the next section, which is the lib section, I'd like to ask you, if you got the sale system to generate that next million dollars in revenue for your business. If you're not sure of got a pulse check that helps you to come to that. There is nine questions. You're going to answer it in three minutes, but then the nine questions are found through working with hundreds of consultants, that they're the most important questions. Go to Paul Higgins, mentoring.com/pulse and complete your check today. So the next section is a little section Alastair, and what are some of the daily habits that help you successfully run your business?


I have to say, “I'd love to tell you about my million dollar morning routine, and stuff like that, but I'm actually pretty terrible at habits and things like that. I have a lot of passion for what I do. I do have my regular daily routine. I try and make time to read always. I read a lot of fiction, a lot of nonfiction. When I say I read a lot, I mean, practically while I'm stopped at the traffic lights in the car, I'm reading. Not really, but if I'm standing in a queue at the bank, or if I'm standing in a queue at the taco shop or something, I’m reading a book, or I'm listening. I'm going for a walk on the beach, I'm probably listening to a podcast or an audio book.


Maybe I'm just addicted to information, but I also read a lot. I read a lot of fiction at night because I think fiction it's almost like meditation, because when you're reading nonfiction at night, it makes your brain go haywire thinking about things. Whereas when you read fiction, it flat lines your brain, it's just down to focusing on one thing. I think it helps you sleep. I'm big into reading books, and I live in a beautiful part of the world here in the west of Ireland, so I go for walks and things like that.


Beautiful. I'm assuming summer is approaching.


Yeah, we’ve actually just had a fantastic two or three weeks of weather, it's been great. You can check out, I'll put some photos up on Twitter and Facebook and things like that, but we've just got an orange weather warning this evening, so it's a bit wintry out there tonight. It has been fantastic.


Great, and I know when we spoke, my dad's side of the family from Ireland, [inaudible 00:35:05] and I can't wait to get to that side. I've only been to-


My maternal grandmother we're Higgins, so yeah.


We're probably related some way.


North county Dublin. Good farming country.


Brilliant. The next section is the give section. What's a community, or charity that you support and why?


There's a couple of things. I'm into civil liberty type charities, because I think that they fight good fight for things that are not very sexy. There's a lot of stuff that they do to just keep politicians and people honest. There are some of those, but my big passion, I guess, would be charities that help with depression and suicide, and in particular, the cyclic and suicide here in Ireland is something I've taken part within and I've supported. I think depression is something that I've seen in my family. I've experienced it a bit myself, but not to the same degree that people who've experienced it very badly would have, but I have experienced it to some degree.


Particularly when times were tough in business and things like that. The thing that I think is particularly evil about depression is that it makes you think that you can't get out of it, and it sucks away the ability to think that things are going to get better. I know that it’s nasty. A lot of people have, I know that there's the suicide awareness, and just to know that a lot of people go through tough times, and the Cyclic on Suicides, their motto is, it's absolutely okay to not feel okay, and it's absolutely okay to ask for help, and just know that sometimes you see people and you think, they're having a great time, and you see their Instagram or their Facebook and everything looks rosy for them, but they may actually under the surface be undergoing a tough time as well. It's just, they’re hiding it better than you are. You know your own feelings. Just that people know that it's okay not to feel 100% all the time, and that go and talk to somebody if you're not feeling that way, and just share it, and that will help,


Brilliant, brilliant. Just quickly I support the Purple House, so purplehouse.org.au, and they help indigenous Australians get access to dialysis, having been on dialysis and having a transplant. I'm one of the lucky ones, but there's a lot that aren't, so it's a great cause. All the proceeds of my book Build, Live, Give, go to that, and also a portion of my total income goes to that charity as well. The next and the last section is the action section, where I ask you some questions and you give me some rapid fire responses. You're ready?


Cool. Go for it.


All right. The first is what technology is essential for your business?


Probably Google apps or whatever they're calling it. G suite or Google work.


G Cloud or whatever.


They change their name way too often. I find that things just hang together based on that. Slack and Zoom are important too, but yeah, I think that's probably the backbone.


Brilliant. The next is what sales tip would you love to give?


Read Pricing Creativity by Blair Enns.


Brilliant, and we'll definitely have the links to that in the show notes. The next is what's the best source of new ideas. I know you've talked about walking, reading, but what else? Or are they the ones?


Following smart people on social media, and cultivating your social media or curating your social media so that you're following people who are saying interesting things, rather than talking about soap operas or whatever. No offence to soap operas, but if you're following smart people who are talking about interesting things, that will usually fire off the neurons.


Look, just quickly, you and I are both love learning as you expressed before, and I think, yeah, there's just a brand of being a time where I can listen to nearly anyone on the world just by putting in some headphones and pressing play. It is an amazing time to follow those people. The last one, and it's the big one, and that's why I leave it to the end. What impact do you want to leave on the world?


I've been thinking about this and I've been thinking about my mission, my business mission and just general mission. Part of my mission is to just help people who have experienced the same problems that I've had. It’s very frustrating when you know that you're an expert in something, and you can't figure out how to get paid for that expertise. You know that you can really help people, but why is it so difficult to sell my expertise and get it valued highly? That's part of what I'm doing with the podcast and with the email list, and I’m developing the email course and things like that around it. That's part of it. The other thing just in general, is to try and make life a bit easier and a bit better for a large group of people, and just try and help people.


I think it’s very easy. You don't need to do a whole lot to just not make life worse for people. Usually doing very little, actually helps people, and then if you can actively do something, that's even better. Just trying to make life easier. If you see somebody having a tough day, and you meet somebody in a retail environment, they're having a tough day clearly, and they're not able to serve you properly because of the situation, don't double down on it. Don't make their day worse. Just say, “Hey I see you're having a rough day. Sorry about that," and just try and help and just make them smile. There's part of it is that.


Just I think that if people are not in a bad situation, if people are not acting from a place of scarcity or where they're at the bottom of the Maslow hierarchy, I think that most people generally want to help other people for the most part. Assuming they're not some horrible racist or something like that, but for the most part, people do want to help other people. I would like to just be one of those people, just helping other people and trying to make life easier and better for people overall.


Look, you've definitely done that today, so I appreciate that. I know you do it on a regular basis through your podcast, which is Marketing for Consultants. I highly recommend that. It's on my playlist. I do listen to you at two and a half times speed. It gets a little difficult at some times Alastair, but tell you what. We're listening to Alastair McDermott, thanks for being on the show, and thanks for sharing your wisdom.


Thank you Paul, and pleasure.


Cheers bye. It was great to have Alastair on the show. You can tell that we really help the same people, so there's a lot of alignment in the things that we do, but I love the fact that he's gone and done 1,000 research to 1,000 people where he's got some very specific. Obviously you can go and listen to his podcasts at Marketing for Consultants. Also, if you would like to find out if you've got that sales machine to grow your next million in annual revenue, go to PaulHigginsmentoring.com/pulse. Please take action to Build Live and Give. 

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About Alastair McDermott

Alastair helps independent consultants & experts to generate more leads without having to beg for referrals or send spammy LinkedIn messages..He does this by helping them create and execute a simple, effective authority marketing strategy that works for their business and client base.

He is a former software engineer, now a B2B marketing consultant. He built his first website on GeoCities in the before-time of 1996, and he was been hooked on websites ever since.Alastair left a “safe” corporate job in early 2007 to start and grow his first business during “the worst recession in modern history” – that was a wild ride.

Along the way he co-founded several start-ups, some of which were mildly successful, and he has written a book called “Running a Website with WordPress: A Quick Guide for Business Owners”. He has a podcast and email list called “Marketing for Consultants”.



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