This is a super juicy, deep-dive post that could result in tens of thousands of additional revenue dollars for you this year. So, I’m very excited to share it with you!
As a resume writer and career coach, whether you offer interview strategies sessions or coaching at this point, it can be an extremely profitable add to your packages or service offerings.
While your clients desperately NEED these services, it will greatly benefit you as well by opening up a variety of revenue channels (and new audiences), many of which can dramatically reduce your trading hours for dollars!
We ALL want to make money while we sleep, so these new channels can be great avenues to pursue!
So, let’s explore some of the easy ways you can profit when offering interview coaching and strategy.
Very quickly, one of the reasons I keep saying “interview coaching and strategy” is because it IS NOT necessary to be a coach in order to help your clients prepare for an interview. In fact, if you use the word “coaching” with your clients, you can even run the risk of turning them off.
There is a perception that coaching is a long-term commitment that might involve feelings, emotions, and active change. Most job seekers want immediate solutions and strategies to help them win the job at the best salary now. You can help close this gap quickly and efficiently simply by sharing with them the know-how of navigating the interview, follow up, and offer negotiation process. (All things the Certified Employment Interview Consultant (CEIC) course gives you the tools to immediately do). I’m not saying these clients wouldn’t benefit from coaching, and you will likely find yourself tactfully helping some of them through common sense, body language, and personal grooming issues (yes, even at higher levels it does happen) but it won’t require a coaching hat to make it happen!
Now back to the list:
#1 – 1-1 Strategy Sessions/Packages
This is where most career professionals tend to start, cutting their teeth in the 1-1 arena with clients. By the time this list is done I am going to sound like a broken record because ideally you will put your targeted number of sessions into your popular service package and then make a point of using your consultation to guide them via my “edu-fear-acating” concept on why they need these services and how they will benefit.
My favorite approach to selling ALL interview strategy is simply asking, “What if I could teach you just one question to ask after you receive your offer that could result in $15,000 or more in added annual salary?” Who wouldn’t benefit from that? (And I teach you that question and many other strategies in the CEIC program).
I’ve found that the perfect combination in my packages is one of the following:
Combo pack – CEIC workbook (or any materials your clients can study up front to help them understand the ins and outs of interviewing) and then a single laser-focused session to dive into the areas they identified as issues while studying the workbook. This is an easy sale with lots of win-wins because reviewing the workbook gives them something to do while you are writing their resume. You get to stress to them by reviewing this it helps them cut down on paying your hourly rate for 1-1 basic learning; you’ll instead have one session where you will laser-focus on their concerns. Then you can make sure to put them at ease that if no concerns pop out that you will start with a mock interview so you can help them fine tune their answers to the questions they reviewed in the workbook but perhaps didn’t personalize to sell themselves.
Note that this can be done many different ways. Before I had the workbook I used to set folks up in another room with videos to watch before we did our 1-1. The sky is the limit with your creativity. (CEIC workbooks are available at wholesale rates to course registrants. The full-color covers can be branded to your business. You can also pick and choose from the done-for-you course materials to create your own custom packets instead of purchasing workbooks).
Three hours of 1-1 strategy – If you don’t want to supply any supplementary materials you can maximize the revenue by providing all education, mock interview practice, and fine-tuning in a 1-1 model. Please note that none of these need to be done face to face (F2F). You can do this by phone, zoom, or any model from which you want to focus. Just be sure not to take anything for granted when you educate your clients. I tell executives up front that there may be some topics they need to take with a grain of salt (take what you need and leave the rest) because I would rather teach them things they already know than make assumptions that could hurt their success. No one has EVER had a problem with that!
Be sure to cover even the most basic items such as what’s on their voicemail and if their children might answer their phone through body language, language + motivation in their words, typical questions, illegal questions, different types of interviews and how to handle them, what to bring to an interview and the value/content of portfolios, how to research the company, successful follow up after the interview, 30-second commercials, performing a SWOT analysis, proposals and strategies to reposition an offer, salary and benefit negotation, legal medications that can cause false positives on drug tests, and how to handle negatives in their backgrounds. Plus, some mock interview practice of common questions is critical. (Again, these are all covered in the CEIC modules).
NEVER think your clients can take your amazing resume and what you have taught them to create their own winning answers. Nothing could be further from the truth! Get them to tell you what they would say to some of the common questions I deep-dive with you on in the CEIC and then help them craft those answers to use the home-run-winning methodology. (Again, you’ll have this down if you pursue the CEIC).
Boot camp – I’ll detail this one separately below, but there comes a point where you recognize that you just don’t have the hours for educating each client individually. Boot camp was the strategy that let me soar into 6-figures by only adding four hours of additional work each month. You’ve just got to love that….
Remember from my prior video tips and lessons – you WILL sell what you focus on, are passionate about, and believe in! So, put what you want in your package and help your clients to recognize the value! (CDI has many member lessons on this topic if you need help. A great starting point is our 14-page Ultimate CDI Member Resource Guide to Success).
#2 – Mock Interview Sessions
Yes, I did include these in the packages described in #1 above. But mock interview practice sessions can also make a GREAT segue into helping clients realize how much additional assistance they need on the subject.
So, if you are someone who prefers to start small with your offerings and upsell clients into the next level based on their experience and identified gap, consider just including a 1-hour mock interview strategy session in your popular package(s).
During this session you will ask them commonly asked questions, listen to their answers, and then help them to create targeted home-run-winning answers as detailed in the CEIC program. (Of course, you can use your own methodology, if you have one).
I explain that these common questions that frequently get asked in interviews are the “Latin root questions”. When your clients have mastered answers to these, they can answer any derivitate that will get asked.
You see, you will take them through the CEIC home run approach where each winning answer has five easy components to piece together. They will be evident to you, if you have written their resume, but not natural to them. Once the answers are created you can suggest to them that they make flash cards or some other type of study device so that they can commit the answers and the methodology to memory. That way it will become natural to speak about themselves in terms of stories and metrics.
By taking these steps, they will be able to seamlessly spin off answers just like you will upon completion of the CEIC program giving them the confidence to nail the interview.
An hour goes fast and will likely uncover other teachable moments, leading perfectly into an upsell of 1-2 additional hours or purchase of supplemental materials (like the CEIC workbook).
#3 – Tip Sheets, Workbooks & Materials Add-ons
Not everyone wants to offer 1-1 or group services to their clients, and that’s OK. If for whatever reason it’s not on your bucket list or time schedule, consider providing them with the how-to information in a written format.
For instance our branded CEIC workbooks are 170 pages in an 8.5 x 11 size. They cover ALL the same content that you have learned in the CEIC and allow you to just add it to your package or sell it as a stand-alone. Through the years I’ve seen CEICs selling this workbook with a retail value of $49-$99. (They cost you just $11.50 each or less with volume orders). In fact, I have one client who purchases 100-200 a year to include in packages to every one of her clients.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be the CEIC workbook! You can create your own materials from the CEIC done-for-you module materials or you can use your own knowledge to put a package or e-book together. Most just love the CEIC because it’s done for you. I find so many folks with the knowledge who are not profiting in this area or educating their clients because they simply lack the time to put something together themselves!
But whatever you do, don’t give it away! Tip sheets, workbooks, e-books, pamphlets… they can all be assigned a dollar value for a la carte sales and packages. These materials make the PERFECT way to make money while you sleep! It’s one-and-done and you get to sell it over and over and over…..
#4 – Evergreen Recordings
Similar to #3, this option allows for a one-and-done make money while you sleep approach as well.
I’m listing these somewhat out of order since you could just record a boot camp (described below), but really all you have to do is record yourself doing a training and then make that available to your clients for a fee.
You do not have to have a membership site to do this! You can put them in Dropbox or Google Drive and then give paying clients the link to access.
Why is this so easy?
The CEIC is written in a unique conversational, color-coded format. That means that all you need to do is get in front of your mic or put your headset on, and start reading from a module. It will sound like you are teaching the content to your listeners. With 17 specific modules, you can easily create one recording for each topic in a single afternoon!
I use audioacrobat for my audio recordings and join.me or Camtasia for my video ones.
There is a perceived value in this kind of learning as many today prefer video learning and audio can be provided in a friendly on-the-go MP3 format as well.
So whether you translate your own knowledge to recordings, record your first group workshop and package it, or just sit down with the CEIC, this is a fabulous way to impart valuable information, get paid for it, and save those precious hours you would have lost to 1-1 services for other projects.
#5 – Transition Assistance Programs
Once I completed the CEIC program, I realized I had a done-for-you solution to part of a transition assistance workshop for companies downsizing staff worldwide.
My typical transition workshop is a half day at $5000 + travel expenses for up to 35 people.
Recipients receive my CEIC workbook, a 50-page packet for job search (a bonus available with our CP-OJSRM online job search and reputation management certification course), a small resume sample packet, 90 minute seminar on resume preparation, one hour seminar on job search, and one hour seminar on interviewing.
Again, you can create this from your own materials, or just take advantage of what’s already done for you in the CEIC (and CP-OJSRM).
I’ve been hired by corporations from software firms to grocery stores and traveled the country providing workshops for the US Treasury’s Office of Thrift Supervision. My largest check as a private practitioner came from a hybrid package to a chain of grocery stores that were closing and wanted to “help anyone who had a desire to be helped from cashiews and meat cutters to regional managers”).
At some point, almost all companies will downsize and this can be a profitable way for you to help many people at once in preparing to make their transition.
(Hint: It’s easiest to land transition program contracts by offering options. Similar to packaging, it helps you go from yes or no to yes or yes when you have options at different price points. I never just suggest group workshops but lay out hybrid options for 1-1 services, resume workshops, and group sessions so that they have varying price points. You’ll be surprised how many companies will spring for 1-1 document assistance or a individual services in addition to or in place of group seminars).
#6 – Boot Camps
I love, love, love boot camps. While my favorite, I pushed it down the list because some find it intimidating or think they will get client pushback. This is one of those things you’ve just got to jump into! If you have CEIC (and/or CP-OJSRM) materials it can be a breeze, but I still understand the perceived hurdles!
Here’s how it works:
Yes, you can still offer 1-1 services but I love to put the boot camp in my popular package that I recommend to 99% of my clients.
You are inviting your clients to take advantage of a greatly discounted rate to participate in a 3-hour group learning program instead of a 1-1 service. (Note that this can be broken down into three, 1-hour segments, or whatever approach you want).
My mentor, who taught me this in the mid-90’s continued to host a workshop for executives in her Chicago basement once a month up until her retirement last year.
When I learned it, I first started with a Saturday workshop in the conference room of my office incubator. Next, I used a classroom at the local business school for which I ran a job placement program. Then, when I became 100% self-employed and worked from home, I held it in my dining room on a weeknight. Finally, it became a bridgeline (phone-based) program held at lunchtime over the span of three days). Many of you know I have chronic pain/health issues. I’ve actually put a plank across my bathtub and taught this program while in the tub a few times! So, when I say you have options, you do….you really do!
My point is that you can do it any way you want. When it is virtual with audio or only seeing you in video, clients don’t have to worry if they have concerns about confidentiality. They don’t have to speak, share, or if they do, they can be anonymous. You can even be in your PJs (or the bathtub if you are quiet and don’t splash around). For face to face, I make a point of including some networking. (You would be surprised how much value disparate groups can actually have on each other!)
Be sure to record the program and give to your clients free of charge so they can listen again and again, as desired.
The content of this follows the 1-1 3-hour program described above and gives you the option to offer hot seat mock interview strategy to volunteers, or just to stick to strategy review.
Why would you do this?
Let’s do the math:
If you charge $527 for three hours of 1-1, for each client you will likely use 3.5 hours and make $527. You will need to close six clients a month at this rate to add $3000(+) to your monthly revenue. You will also eat up 21 hours that month to do so. You will average $150.57/hour.
If you charge $307 for each client to attend/gain access to your boot camp, you will need to close ten clients a month at this rate to add $3000(+) to your monthly revenue. However, you will only spend 3.5-4 hours that month to do so. You will average $767.50/hour and work 31 less hours that month than ten 1-1 clients would have taken you to service.
That’s kind of a no-brainer to me!
And it DOES WORK!
When I learned it from my mentor I was so excited! I came back to my office and immediately integrated it into my package. Back in the mid-to-late 90’s (I have no concept of my 20’s anymore now at 50) I started closing $1200-1500 packages to clients of all levels with the boot camp in them. People loved the idea and most of my clients bought in. The elusive 6-figure mark I’d been trying to reach for 2.5 years was hit so quick my head was spinning.
Especially because both my clients and I won. I made more money for less hours and they paid less to get access to the knowledge they needed to succeed!
One thing about the name – it wasn’t my mentor’s idea but something I tried on one day since I am just intensively stuffing them with all the knowledge they need to have and sending them off with the workbook for support – people LOVED IT. To this day, every time I call it bootcamp I see eyes light up. Evidently many of us have a hidden desire to be horse-whipped with content!
But what I know is while not sexy, the name does work so you are free to use it as desired!
There is also opportunity for more add-on revenue too!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that once you’ve completed these teachings, none (or very little) of it has been tailored to each individual. It’s like lecturing on resume writing how-to — it can be really hard to actually do it.
So, now your clients have the knowledge but can they create targeted home-run-winning answers for themselves? Do they have concerns in their background like employment gaps, illness, relocation salary challenges, or terminations they don’t know how to personally address?
At the end of a boot camp is when you get to pitch a one-time opportunity to book 1-1 time with you at a special rate.
This is as simple as discounting your hourly service and offering 1-3 hours at that special rate, and then setting a deadline for getting that special rate. I would typically suggest no more than 7-10 days.
Be sure to follow up by email with the offer and a link to purchase after the boot camp, and then again before the offer ends. Many people like to wait until the 11th hour and will benefit from the reminder. Further, they may have gone home and tried to apply the teachings and now realize they DO need your help, so your reminder will be timely.
So, if you land just two people from your ten for 1-1, you’ve now boosted your revenue even further while only adding a few hours of work to your week/month!
# 7 – Courses
Once you have the kind of in-depth knowledge that the CEIC imparts, you can pitch courses beyond the half-day or one-day workshops described above.
For instance, I used this material as part of the curriculum that landed me a 6-week course with a private university teaching each new group of graduates how to successfully find, land, and survive in their next position. I was paid a consultant’s rate and ended up parlaying it into my role as a Director of Career Planning and Professional Development for the school and it’s many programs.
I’ve also used it to teach placement professionals at universities, as well as recruiters, the how-to of interviewing.
It’s one of the things that makes the CEIC so fun in my opinion – because I used it for this purpose, I’ve woven in several optional group activities for populations who won’t readily engage. You’ll find interview poker (betting with peanuts), networking games, movie with popcorn, and even how to make attitude flags for use by participants to self-police. Because the CEIC is color-coded you know when these activities are coming up and can skip over them or plan to incorporate them as you desire.
There is no better way to engage diverse learners than hands-on experiences!
Again, you don’t have to have the CEIC if you have the knowledge, but it’s ready-made and comprehensive with these exercises along with a variety of curriculum models ranging from single presentations to entire career development course outlines.
#8 – Membership Programs
Tools like WordPress sites, Kajabi, ClickFunnels, and even auto responders found in your email programs, can let you host your educational materials.
You can either drip them out one topic at a time, or make it all readily available in a membership site.
In other words, your written materials or evergreen recordings can be part of this program, along with other tools clients are given access to.
You can add greater value by offering a group hot seat coaching/Q&A call once a month (and then archive those recordings in the member section).
You can also add my suggestion of ongoing support coaching that’s coming up in #9 below.
#9 – Ongoing Support Coaching
As I wrote above, you can include this in your membership program for an additional fee. Or, you can offer it as a stand-alone or as part of your strategy package.
This is typically a 15-20 minute, 1-1 check-in call for clients once a week/month to get help, support, motivation, cheerleading, and even coaching on issues that are coming up as they search for a job and go to interviews.
It’s a good idea to sell this as a 90-day access since most job seekers working with talented professionals will be in their new job within that time. You can always offer add-ons.
Again, this is something to put in a package. PLEASE don’t just put it on your website and assume prospects will ask for it. YOU HAVE TO SELL WHAT THEY NEED! (Go back through my Career Superhero Corner blog posts for previous videos if you don’t know what I am talking about).
#10 – Presentations
I saved this for last because it is rarely a paid presentation (although that can and does happen).
I’ve seen leaders of other career organizations who are CEICs do presentations at their conference using my content! If you have something to sell to a peer audience, you will profit financially. If you do not, it will help you grow your network and will give you something to use in your marketing to increase your perceived expertise and value to future clients.
But more commonly, you can provide presentations online, via podcast, and to groups/conferences/organizations where there are job seekers.
The beautiful thing about interviewing is that at some point almost everyone will need to have the skill; it might not be for a job but it will still be a situation where they need to use these skills to sell themselves.
What I LOVE about this topic is I use the topic of interviewing as my #1 PRESENTATION TO FILL MY SCHEDULE WITH CONSULTS.
Most think a presentation on resume writing will get them resume clients. I’ve found it gets me folks who will try to apply what I taught in DIY first and rarely become my clients.
Instead, if I do a seminar on interviewing and how to create a home-run-winning answer instead of a fly ball or popup, I can lead people to understand that this is an uneven playing field where they never get to see their competition perform. I get to remind them that there will be only ONE WINNER of the job. I get to help them see, in 15 minutes to 60 minutes, that they must be able to SELL THEMSELVES with concrete stories in order to BE THAT ONE WINNER.
When I am done, they FLOCK ME, whether I am at a job fair or a Society for Technical Communications monthly meeting, to get on my calendar for a free consultation.
My 15-minute presentation, adapted from the CEIC module on home-run-winning answers, has consistently been my fastest and most profitable way to fill my calendar. I’d never change my talk, ever, because it works. (And it can work for you).
Now, you don’t have to have the CEIC or use this topic, but why reinvent the wheel when it’s a proven winner? It’s done for you!
In fact, I’ve made my script available to CDI members, even without the CEIC. If you are currently a CDI member, you can taste-test it here.