Do you … have trouble getting enough clients to build the business (and life) you want?
Are you … unsure which tactics to use in marketing yourself and your business?
Would you … like to be more consistent and systematic in your overall approach?
Are you … inexplicably attracted to penguins, and/or middle-aged men named Michael who kind of look like them?
If you answered “Yes!,” keep reading. My Tactical and Practical Solo Professional Breakthrough Course (TP-SP-BC) may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
(If you answered “No,” click here to watch amusing videos of monkeys riding bicycles.)
Dear Solo Professional,
Hi, I’m Michael Katz.
And my mission in life is simple: to help people who have left their jobs become successful (and happy) as solo professionals – so that they never again have to work for anybody else.
Which is why I’ve developed a program – a six-month program – for just 15 solo professionals (are you one of them?).
The program is a six month, group version of what I do one-on-one with clients: Help them market themselves more systematically; position themselves more clearly; package their services more profitably; communicate who they are more authentically; and thrive as successful solo professionals.
It’s very practical and workshop-oriented (this will be the 7th time we’ve done it, so we’ve got all the kinks worked out). And while you’ll learn how to use and develop plenty of “tools” along the way, it’s really about learning an approach to building and marketing your business that’s both comfortable and effective. And that will earn you the money you need to live the life you want.
What I Didn’t Know When I Had a Job
I never intended to be a solo. I went to college, I got an MBA (Boston University) and I began working for other people. All perfectly fine … for a while.
Because 15 years into it – the last 12 with the same company – I knew it was time to move on. I’d grown tired of sitting in the same old meetings, debating the same old topics and pretending to care about the same old problems.
Most important, I had a strong sense that while I was “good enough” at what I was doing, I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do. So on Friday, June 23, 2000, I left.
Uh oh. I ran into big problems, almost immediately.
Even though I had 15 years of corporate marketing experience, I didn’t know anything about success as a solo.
Pricing, packaging, positioning and many other important things that don’t even begin with the letter “P,” were mysteries to me. Most of all, I had no idea how to get clients – few of the things I’d learned as a big company employee carried over to the world of working on my own.
Lots and Lots (and lots) of Mistakes
It was like starting my working life all over again. So I made a lot of mistakes.
Not disasters (usually); mostly just wasted time, wasted effort and wasted money – and lots of wasted nights laying awake worrying – as I tried to figure things out and find my way.
It was a learning experience, but I wish I knew then what I know now about being a solo. I could have gotten here much faster.
Today, thanks to an understanding of how the pieces fit together and the implementation of a systematic approach to running and marketing my business, my phone and email ring regularly – it’s the rare week that I don’t hear from two or three prospective clients who have an interest in hiring me.
But it’s actually a lot more than just that. Because my approach emphasizes relationship-building and natural communication, and because I now have a very clear vision of the work I want to do and the people I want to do it with, my clients and my work are a perfect match for me.
That means the work is good, the client interactions are enjoyable, and the need for what I used to think of as “selling,” is practically nonexistent.
“Michael’s class was the best money I’ve ever spent on my business. Not only does he provide a complete paradigm shift in regards to how to market your business, he gives you practical tools to make it happen.
“I’ve studied with a lot of business gurus over the course of my career and Michael is, hands down, the best out there. Practical, useful, and funny as hell, I recommend him to absolutely every solo professional I meet.”
Sari de la Motte
“Thanks for all your help and ideas, Michael. There is no chance that I would be enjoying the success I’m having without your assistance!”
Los Altos, California
Two Types of People
Most of the solos I’ve worked with since 2000 fall into one of two categories:
- Some hire me to work with them individually. This works spectacularly well (if I may say so), but it’s not inexpensive. Particularly if you want to keep me involved for months at a time.
- Some sign up for my online webinars. Also spectacular and waaaaaaay less expensive than hiring me one-on-one. But the webinars are one-time events: You attend the webinar, you learn some important things, and you put some new ideas into practice. Good, but not life-changing.
A New Insight
A few years ago, I began to realize that there was another, as yet underserved, group of solos who fall somewhere in-between.
These are the people who, while they understand and appreciate the benefits of my approach, don’t like either option #1 or option #2.
They want something in the middle, option #1½, if you will: More than a one-time webinar; less than a consulting arrangement – and with a heavy dose of group interaction, accountability and learning along the way.
They want to participate in a hands-on, long-term, business-building program in which they…
- Are shown a step-by-step approach that they can learn to run themselves
- Benefit from the electricity, focus and support that working in a group provides
- Have lots of access to me, but without having to commit either the time or money involved in a more traditional consulting arrangement
- Have an opportunity to meet, learn from and interact with other solo professionals
- Build their confidence as they gain clarity about the unique value they bring
- Benefit from simple, helpful, support materials and real life examples
- Have enough time, over a long enough period (six months!) to learn things, make adjustments and internalize a better approach
If this sounds like you, keep reading. (If it sounds like someone else, move over so they can see the screen.)
The fun begins on Thursday, March 31st*
(*Feel free to have fun on your own until then. View a complete program schedule here.)
“What a great time the marketing class has been.
“I remember the first time I heard about it and it sounded interesting but I was resistant. It seemed like a big commitment of both time and money. I’d only just started getting your newsletter then. I’d just left a business coaching group not long before where the focus was not so practical – it was mainly about helping people see their “blocks” to success and I was feeling a little jaded.
“And then it came up again and what appealed to me about the class was the practical and tactical aspect, that you taught us skills that a lot of solos don’t come to their businesses with. I needed someone who had curated the process from their own experience and that of others to tell me what to do and how to do it since there are a million ways I could do it.
“Yes, it was a lot of work at times and all worth doing. I learned so much from you and the group. The funny thing is, I feel like it’s just beginning in some ways. The time and effort to get some things in place and firing consistently is starting to become the new normal and it still feels like a new bike only the training wheels are off now!”
Kim LaFever, PMP
Founder, Positive Disruption
Enrollment is limited to just 15 committed, success-oriented people (a small enough group so that we all get to know each other).
Here’s what working with me over the course of this program includes:
- Live access to 6, one-hour, group “teaching calls” (one each month, $2,000.00 value). I’ll do most of the talking, but we limit session enrollment to just 15 people and keep the lines unmuted throughout, so that you have time and space for discussion and to make these as much like in-person sessions as possible. (View a complete program schedule here.)
- Live access to 6, one-hour, “office hour calls” (one each month, $1,750.00 value). These are done “round-robin” fashion with each class member reporting on progress based on our focus for that particular month. They occur in addition to the monthly teaching calls mentioned above. They are intended as a consistent way to share what you’re working on, ask questions, and get additional guidance in putting the pieces into place for your business. (View a complete program schedule here.)
- Six, one-hour (approximately), prerecorded webinars ($750.00 value), each focusing on a specific topic. These will be assigned as homework (yes, there is homework!) and shared on a monthly basis prior to our group calls. We’ll use them as a jumping off point for exercises and discussion when we meet as a group.
- Two, one-hour, private phone sessions with just you and me ($700.00 value). We’ll schedule two of these: One during the first month of the program to create your custom plan of objectives and deliverables; one at the conclusion of the program to review progress and make sure you have what you need in place to continue on on your own. These are recorded and given to you in MP3 format for review.
- A private, group bulletin board and online community just for program participants ($2,500.00 value). This is our “marketing gym.” It’s where we share ideas, samples, exercises, questions, challenges, victories and encouragement throughout the course.
- Resources, exercises and worksheets for use between calls – the same ones I share with my one-on-one clients – to help you systematicaly and steadily apply the concepts we discuss in class.
- Frequent emails from me (1 -3 each week) with short, tactical tips and insights – these keep you energized and on track, and help you to apply the things we learn throughout the year.
- A copy of all the slides and all the recorded sessions. This way, if you need to miss a session or simply want to review after the fact, you’ll be all set. These are yours to keep forever, beyond the end of the class.
- Surprise things – both fun and useful – that I will send to you throughout the year. “Like what?” Stop asking, I told you it was a surprise.
“Hi Michael: I just have to say, ‘Thank you!’ You’ve helped me take the work I love and connect with the people I like most, and as a result, my practice has flourished. Last month was my best month *ever* and this month surpassed even that. Since I entered the program, things have gone to an even higher level at a greatly accelerated pace!
“I love the classes – the material is fun, helpful, accessible, and most important, doable, and it has helped me to take actions I have been dragging my feet on for quite a while.
“Your recommendations are so natural and easy to implement. I continue to be surprised. I’ve been in other coaching programs where the recommendations didn’t quite fit, and as a result, I never took action or took such small steps that it didn’t create the overall shift I was looking for.
“Finally, a marketing system I can use! Yea!”
Brynne E. Dippell, Ph.D.
Spiritual Guidance for Heart and Soul
I Can Teach You My Approach
There’s nothing about my approach – something that combines Expert positioning, Authentic communication, Niche marketing and Relationship building – that’s particularly difficult or that will require you to become somebody you’re not. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.
And I can teach it to you. In fact, over the past 15 years, I’ve helped hundreds of solo professionals learn how to create the businesses they want, easily, naturally and effectively.
This Isn’t a “Lecture Course”
Many marketing “courses” are all about getting as many people as possible to sign up at once, packing them into an “auditorium” (virtual or otherwise) and teaching at them.
That’s not what this is about. There are only 15 people in this class and it’s very, VERY hands on and interactive. The calls are all unmuted and 100% live. We use an interactive, private group forum for sharing ideas, assignments and encouragement. I send emails to the group several times a week. Everyone in the class spends time with me, one-on-one, throughout the year.
It’s a small group, supportive, learning environment.
The Group Format Holds Us Accountable
The most difficult part about a long format course is sticking with it. Your business has ups and downs – your life has ups and downs – and to get the most out of a program like this you need to stay on track and engaged.
That’s why I offer this in a small, intimate format and why I’ve set it up in a way that keeps everyone connected, committed and moving steadily forward: We’ve got a private group forum where we post homework and share feedback; we’ve got an online tracking system for posting progress and sharing encouragement weekly; we have a “buddy system,” in which class members are paired up, on a rotating basis, for a month at a time.
In addition, all of our calls – 12 in total over the course – are live and completely unmuted, so that we can share and learn together as we go.
In short, I’ve done everything I can to support your steady, forward progress.
“I was concerned I couldn’t commit the time and stay focused, but quickly learned that it was designed for busy professionals, so it’s paced with that in mind. The course and materials are well organized so you can ‘catch up’ on your own.
“I couldn’t have dreamed that my business would be this successful before I started the program. Thank you Michael.”
TPP Global Services
“One of the things I wanted to get out of this course was ways to improve how I package and price – and sell – my services. I was just comparing this year to last and saw that I had almost a 300% increase in number of clients over that time period. THANK YOU!”
Latady Physician Strategies
I Won’t Be Making This Up as We Go
This approach works, simple as that. We’ve run the course six times previously and it’s filled with tested exercises and assignments, real world examples, and plenty of insights, all intended to help you create a simple, workable system for narrowing your focus, communicating your expertise and marketing your solo professional business.
It’s based on 6, simple “breakthroughs,” all of which work together.
Month #1: Leverage your existing relationships.
Your existing relationships are your most valuable business resource. If you’re like most professionals, however, you don’t do much to systematically stay in touch with the people you already know. This breakthrough will change all that! We cover it first in the program so there’s time to watch your relationships grow and produce over the course of our time together. We’ll cover:
- The benefits of a single, electronic contact list
- How to categorize your contacts and relationships in a meaningful way
- How to develop a simple stay in touch plan (that won’t take over your life)
- Why repetition creates marketing leverage
- Why repetition creates marketing leverage
- How to use low-tech, high-tech and in-person tools for building relationships
- And more…
Month#2: Clarify your positioning; Simplify your message.
Word of mouth – the best marketing tool ever invented – only works if I understand what you do and remember who you are. In this breakthrough, we’ll focus on techniques for boiling down the words you use to describe your business, your capabilities and your services. We’ll cover:
- How to explain what you do in a way that others can understand and remember
- Why you need to own a niche
- How to develop a compelling story that explains your business while positioning you as a trusted expert.
- How to write an effective bio
- How to maximize your LinkedIn presence
- Practical techniques for building word of mouth
- The importance of a “1-1-1 marketing message” and how to use it
- And more…
Month #3: Position yourself as a leading expert.
Being seen as an industry expert opens doors: It leads to inbound client requests, increased referrals and inquiries from the press. It also allows you to charge higher fees. In short, it takes all of your business-building efforts and makes them more effective, more efficient and more productive. In this segment we’ll focus on what it takes to position yourself as an industry expert. We’ll cover:
- How to describe who you are and what you do in a way that positions you as expert
- Why narrowing your focus is the most effective path to expert stature
- Why experts create content – and where to begin
- Getting past the fear of calling yourself “expert”
- How to get paid for your expert point of view
- How to get your content distributed more broadly
- How to avoid the mistakes that perpetual non-experts make
- And more…
Month #4: Define, find and manage your perfect client.
Nothing happens until somebody hires you – and nothing good happens until it’s the right somebody under the right circumstances. In month 4, we focus on determining the types of companies/individuals you work best with; identifying tactics for meeting and selling to them; and working easily and happily together once you do. We’ll cover:
- How to determine your perfect client and why a narrow focus is most effective.
- How to network comfortably and effectively, both online and off
- How to shake loose prospects who “disappear”
- How to sell authentically and why “hard sales techniques” don’t work
- How “client benefit stories” help prospects buy more easily
- How to deal with “difficult clients” (and get rid of them when necessary)
- And more…
Month #5: Develop profitable packages and simple pricing.
Making money efficiently is a necessary part of being a successful solo professional. It may not be the point of what you do, but it’s very much in the mix. It’s also the source of much anxiety and confusion among those of us who work alone. This breakthrough is about setting fees, developing packages and communicating easily and consistently with prospects on the subject of money. We’ll cover:
- Why and how to switch from charging for your time to charging for your value
- How to set and raise fees effectively
- How to sell comfortably
- How to create and offer a variety of service options
- How to establish a payment schedule and fee structure that makes everyone happy
- What to do about clients who don’t pay on time
- Developing residual income through product sales and affiliate arrangements
- And more…
Month #6: Storytelling and Authentic Communication.
As a solo professional, your secret weapon and biggest competitive advantage is your ability to make a genuine, human connection with clients, prospects, colleagues and others. Most solos, however, ignore (or are unaware of) this truth and instead remain anonymous and unmemorable behind a façade of bland professionalism. Month 5 will change all that. We’ll cover:
- How to develop your personal story and why it’s your best marketing tool
- How to build trust, word of mouth referrals and inbound traffic through the use of stories and natural language
- Getting past your fears of communicating authentically
- Tactics for easier, more engaging writing
- How to create consistency across all your communications
- And more…
“Thanks for everything you’ve taught and discussed. I have always found your classes thoughtful, smart, entertaining and full of sound, useful advice and direction.”
Chief Content Creator
Content Marketing Partners
“The assigned reading has really been a pleasant surprise, as much as I groan about not having the time or interest in reading business books anymore. I have gotten some of the most significant challenges to my assumptions and some extraordinary ideas as to how to approach, develop, and communicate my true purpose and service in what I offer. I would NEVER make time to read these kinds of books otherwise so I’m very grateful for the requirement in this program.”
Founder & CEO
Reimagine Your Money
Mocksville, North Carolina
OKAY, I’M INTERESTED! HOW DO I ENROLL?
Hang on, hang on, let me summarize what you get first:
- Live access to 6, one-hour, group “teaching calls.”
- Live access to 6, one-hour, group “office hour calls.”
- 6, one-hour, prerecorded webinars.
- 2, one-hour, private phone sessions with just you and me.
- A private, group bulletin board and online community just for session participants.
- 1 -3 weekly emails from me with practical tips and insights.
- Access to resources, exercises and worksheets that I share with my clients.
- A copy of all the slides and all the recorded sessions, to keep forever.
- Intriguing surprises throughout the course. (Do you like brownies??? I’m just saying…)
The entire program is just $2,970. (Click here for payment options.)
Still thinking about it?
I understand, but here’s the thing. Nothing on Earth compares to working without a job, being proud of what you accomplish every day and feeling what it’s like to thrive based on your natural skills and abilities. That’s what work is supposed to be.
But to do that, you need a system for attracting clients and a plan for building your business.
And while figuring all this stuff out may never be your first love (or even something that comes naturally), at the end of our time together you’ll be equipped with the tools you need and significantly better off than you were before.
A thousand percent better? That’s unlikely; it’s not magic and everybody’s different. But 50, 60, 100% better than where you are today? That I can do.
This program gives you the potential to make huge gains in your business. You’ll have the confidence, knowledge and hands-on practice necessary to make your business work as it should.
“He’s the perfect coach: unflappable, masterful in his use of humor to get results.”
Mariko Gordon, CFA
Founder, CEO and CIO
Daruma Asset Management, Inc.
New York, New York
(She’s right, you know. I cannot be flapped.)
“Six months is a long time. Is it really necessary?”
One-time learning events and short term programs can be great. I’ve been involved as both presenter and participant on a number of these and there’s no doubt about it, when done well, there’s a lot of value.
But they’re not habit-forming.
So while you may gain some new insights and learn some new things, many of the benefits (and most of the enthusiasm) can wear off in just a few weeks, leaving you right back where you were before.
And that’s a problem. Because when it comes to learning a new approach, habits are what you need. Little things that you do every day, every week and every month to stay visible, clear and energized.
Little things that over time – six months – add up to an easy, effective way to grow your business.
“But what if I can’t attend all the sessions?”
Chance are you can’t – life tends to get in the way. And over the course of six months, it’s a near certainty that you’ll come up against a scheduling conflict or two. (View a complete program schedule here.)
That’s why we record everything. We’ll give you all the audio and all the slides. This way you can review them, at your convenience, as many times as you like.
“OK, but what if I don’t like working in a group?”
Then this program isn’t for you. The group interaction is where a LOT of the value lives. That’s why we limit enrollment to just 15 people per session, pair people together on a monthly, rotating basis and build plenty of opportunities for connection into the class.
The group is the juice that brings the energy. Your membership in the class comes with the expectation that you are there to give as well as take. If you don’t like that, you won’t like this.
“How do I know this is worth the money?”
You don’t. At least not for sure. That’s why I offer a full-price, no hard feelings, we can still be friends, have a nice day, money back guarantee. If you enroll in the program and at any point over the first 30 days, you don’t think it’s worth what you paid for it, I’ll refund the entire thing.
“I saw on your site the notice about the next class starting, and I must say I experienced a brief pang of envy for those folks who get to embark on it anew as ours is wrapping up!
“It’s been a wonderful experience in so many ways, and I have truly enjoyed getting to know everyone in the class. As I’ve mentioned, I am decidedly not a ‘group work’ type of person, but these are very special folks. I feel like we’ve all been in some kind of fun marketing foxhole together.”
Daycare In Demand
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
“Are there any bonus materials you can include that will make this even more worthwhile?”
You drive a hard bargain. But I understand; here’s what else you’ll get when you enroll in this program:
A free subscription to my 45-part, video email course for solo professionals.
Delivered over the course of 15 weeks, I’ll send you three, (very) short videos per week, each one sharing a simple marketing concept. These are completely in line with our work in the Six-Month Course and will reinforce the ideas we cover in class.
Three of my favorite business-building books. There’s a nearly unlimited supply of books out there with the potential to help you market your business better. I’ll send you the three that have made the biggest difference for me (okay, I wrote one of them, but it did make a difference).
These aren’t e-books or free downloads either. You’ll receive a package of actual books ($44.32 value) – the kind you can hold in your hand (or use to prop open a window) – direct from Amazon. We’ll discuss and review these as part of our work together and you’ll have them at your fingertips throughout the year (and beyond).
|The Referral of a Lifetime
||The Pumpkin Plan
||It Sure Beats Working
A Solo Professional Marketing Tip of the Month
Every month, for 12 months, I will send you – via good old-fashioned snail mail – a full-color, two-panel card with a useful marketing tip, specifically intended for solo professionals. These reinforce many of the ideas covered in the course and are short and to the point.
To sum up, here’s everything – and I mean everything – that’s included in this program:
- Live access to 6, one-hour, group “teaching calls” ($2,000 value)
- Live access to 6, one-hour, group “office hour calls” ($1,750 value)
- Six, one-hour prerecorded webinars ($750.00 value)
- Two, one-hour, private phone sessions with just you and me ($700.00 value)
- A private, group bulletin board and online community ($2,500 value)
- Access to resources, exercises and worksheets that I share with my clients
- 1 – 3 weekly emails from me with practical tips and insights
- A copy of all the slides and all the recorded sessions
- Oddly amusing and often useful surprises throughout the year (Have you ever pet a giraffe? No promises, but…)
- Bonus #1: A subscription to my 45-part, video email course ($187.00 value)
- Bonus #2: 3 of my favorite business books, delivered to your door ($44.32 value)
- Bonus #3: 12 months of solo professional marketing tips via snail mail ($99.00 value)
- A 30-DAY, Money Back Guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied
Total Program Value: $8,030.32
Program Tuition: $2,970
Total Program Value: $8,030.32
“I love your group. I find you’ve given me structure and expert advice on how to set up an effective marketing approach, and I like the way we work on one thing at a time.”
Kay Corry Aubrey,
Usability Resources, Inc.
Time To Get Started
One last thing. The approach that my six month program teaches – one that relies on your existing relationships, your natural voice, your unique talents and a simple system for getting the clients you need – isn’t particularly complicated.
But I’m guessing that if this came easily to you, you’d already be doing it.
Whatever has been standing in your way – fear, confusion, overwhelment, lack of a supportive group of peers, or something else entirely – this program is about getting you past all that. It’s about teaching you a clear, systematic system for building and growing your business that you can use and rely on for years to come.
That’s my hope for this program and for you. That I can help you turn the development of your business into a natural, effective, energy-filled (maybe even fun) process.
I hope you’ll register and be one of the 15 solo professionals who join us beginning on Thursday, March 31st.
Blue Penguin Development, Inc.
P.S. I’ve offered a money back guarantee, to make this as easy and risk free for you as possible. Place your order, get started with us and see for yourself.
P.P.S. Still have questions? Just send me an e-mail or give me a call (my direct line: 508-497-0900), and I’ll be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
“For a solo professional, working with Michael is a gift you give yourself. He shares his vast knowledge of marketing generously. He coaches with humor and compassion, but tells it like it is.”
E. Starr Associates
“This class has fundamentally changed the way I approach marketing both myself and my business.”
Make Believe For Real
Nanoose Bay, British Columbia