Everything a Resume Writer or Career Coach Needs for a 6-Figure-Plus New Year

use this holiday time to plan and prepare for success in the new yearWould you like to ensure your resume writing or career coaching business is set to exceed your goals and position you to have a high six-figure career practice in 2020?

December marks the perfect time to start evaluating processes, prices, tools, services, qualifications, marketing, and more to ensure you are ready to dive into the new year with passion, purpose, and profit!

With the help of the CDI Education committee we have put together a checklist of 20 topics you will want to review, with deep dive lessons and a variety of tips, to get ready to make this new year the best one yet.

To make results happen, consider making a quick scan now to identify valuable topics. Then work on one each day to be ready to go!

If you are not yet a member, some of the links below will not work. You will have access to any of the items labeled “video tip” or the TORI instructions and award-winning resumes. You can learn more about membership and why CDI members typically make 2-3 times the rates of their colleagues here.

#1 – Take a tour of the CDI website to make sure you are using all the resources.

Did you even know there is a video tour available that walks you through your CDI membership to make sure you are getting the most out of it?

You can find the tour, as well as other quick and valuable links, at the bottom of your member dashboard.

Take the tour >>

While the video is in-depth and high-value, there is a quick tips list of 6 things you must do that you can also quickly read.

Get the list >>

#2 – Take stock of your wins and learning lessons from the past year.

Nothing ever changes unless we change it.

But if you are going 100 mph, you won’t ever have time to see what’s not working and what is, how to adjust for greater success, and how to celebrate wins so you don’t ultimately burn out.

So, spend a little time making a list of what you accomplished this year, big and small, as well as looking at what needs to change.

Here are the best CDI member tools for this:

10 Steps to a Competitive Edge in Your Life (1 of 10) >>

Master Resources to Plan, Work & Make “It” Happen in the New Year >>

#3 – Clean up and/or update your LinkedIn presence.

Is your headline hot or generic?

Have you added recent training, conferences, and certifications?

Are you staying active in following up with those who view your profile?

Did you leave connection requests hanging?

LinkedIn is the #1 resource CDI members reference as their source of new business, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on this one.

From reviewing 1000s of headlines, I frequently see that most resume writers say the same thing. So perhaps it’s time to reevaluate yours and spice it up!

Passive, easy tip: You won’t find this in the resources below, but it can be very helpful to join LI groups where your target client hangs out. No, it’s not so you can monitor and pop in to waste time answering questions! It’s because every time you join a group, all those members can now see your profile and your posts. So one fast and easy way to boost your visibility is to spend a few minutes on the site locating target groups and requesting to join. Clueless about where to start? Go to a savvy colleague’s profile and scroll down to interests. There you can see the groups they belong to.

Here are the best CDI member tools for this:

LinkedIn for 2019: Profiles, What’s New, Usage Tips (Best Practice Tips) >>

LinkedIn Profiles: Getting Ready for 2019 (Video Master Class) >>

#4 – Leverage your prospect lists.

Do you have an initial free offer (IFO) on your website that has been collecting names, but you aren’t taking advantage of that list to warm them up and create conversions to consults or sales?

Perhaps you don’t have an IFO at all, and need to get started. Remember that today’s savvy consumer may find you and land on your site before they are ready to buy. Getting them into the pipeline with a mailing list is critical!

When you have a list there is so much you can do with it from creating an auto responder tip series, interspersed with offers and announcements, to taking advantage of national holidays and sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can even announce upcoming price increases to get the lurkers off the fence.

Even if we just get off your list and think about the folks who consulted with you and had to think about it — are you following up? They can be set on auto responder too, although I have found a phone call at six weeks is usually perfect. They will know if their DIY attempts have failed by then and if they are still needing assistance, be glad you contacted them.

Also, don’t forget about past clients. This group needs to have you in front of them for referrals, additional services, and testimonials. It’s easy to even alter your contract to state that they will be added to your mailing lists for tips, updates, and offers.

I can’t encourage you enough to spend time this month getting an auto responder series together for your list, following up with the “think about its”, perhaps creating an offer of 10% off on resume updates in January to existing clients, or creating your IFO if you don’t yet have one.

Tip: If your sign up box on your website is simply a newsletter subscription, think of upgrading to an IFO. Savvy folks need to see strong ROI from your offer before they will give away their email address today.

Here are the best CDI member tools for this:

Does Your Website Have a Sexy IFO? (Core Lesson) >>

Newsletters are Dead – Do This Instead to Fill Your Pipeline (Video Tip) >>

#5 – Stoke up your former client referral engine.

If you’ve been assuming your former clients know to send you referrals, it’s time to take action. Referrals from happy clients can account for 55% or more of a successful practice but surprisingly, not everyone knows you accept referrals.

This time of year is a great one for reaching out to former clients, thanking them for their business, wishing them continued success in the new year, and reminding them (or telling them for the first time) that you welcome any referrals they may send your way.

You do not have to offer something in exchange for referrals, and I’ve found that it doesn’t work that great as a carrot incentive.

If folks believe in your service, they will refer. Just surprise them on the back end with a thank you card, Starbucks card, or email letting them know you’ll provide a discount on their next resume update or new service.

Here are the best CDI member tools for this:

Growing Your Business Through Client Referrals (Tip Sheet) >>

Amping Up Referrals With Client Follow Up >>

#6 – Super-charge your client testimonials and collection process.

The right testimonials can actually pre-close high-dollar sales from your website. Unfortunately, the majority of career professionals are collecting testimonials at the wrong time — before the client has metrics and proof. If this is you, it’s time to focus on this all-important engine and getting it running right.

We want to train our clients to track their job search progress (how many resumes sent out, etc.) and then be excited to share the results with us.

If you pick just one item from this list to take action on, I’d recommend this because of what I have seen strong, metrics-driven testimonials do to close sales.

Here are the best CDI member tools for this:

Get Targeted Testimonials to Easily Close Sales & Boost Your Business + Template (Core Lesson) >>

Easily Get Testimonials That Close Sales on Your Website (Video Tip) >>

# 7 – Make it rain by following up with prospects who had to think about it.

When a prospect has fallen off the radar because they had to think about it and initial follow ups on your part did nothing, don’t let it go.

A follow up phone call between six weeks and three months is well-timed to land a few that got away. This is because if they decided to go DIY and weren’t successful, your call shakes that tree and can get them back in the door since now they realize they need professional help.

Here are the best CDI member tools for this:

What to Do When Your Prospect Needs to Think About It (Video Tip) >>

Client Follow Up Strategies (Best Practice Tip) >>

#8 – Fine tune your consultation process to ramp up your close rate.

At the end of the day your consultation just has to have strategy to move prospects from their original mindset of “DIY” into embracing that your prices don’t make it a luxury but a necessity.

Did you know there is a science to this, and it doesn’t involve actually selling?

I call it edu-fearacating with proof and show-and-tell.

You will want to check out the 2-piece lesson to learn this process:

Part One, The Script: 3-Step Process to a 97% Close Rate and a 6-Figure Income (Core Lesson) >>

Part Two, Phone-Based Conversion: Closing Prospects Over the Phone for Resume Services (Core Lesson) >>

The initial iteration of part two assumed you were selling resumes as the gateway service. However, I’ve worked with coaches to adapt this, so it can be done.

Here are other valuable CDI member tools for this:

Successfully Navigate “How much does it cost?” to Close More Sales (Video Tip) >>

SWOT Analyze Yourself to Close More Sales (Video Tip) >>

Handling Prospect Inquiries: “How Much Does it Cost?” (Core Lesson) >>

Steal My Done-for-You Resume Critique and Quote (Core Lesson) >>

Sales Consultation Perception: Size DOES Matter (Core Lesson) >>

Stop Killing Sales: Use This 5-Step Framework (Core Lesson) >>

Why You’re Not Closing More Sales and How to Fix It (Core Lesson) >>

#9 – Review your prices to see if it’s time for an increase.

If almost everyone is saying yes to your prices, that can be a sure tip off that it’s time to raise your prices. (NOTE that if you are getting mostly no’s that doesn’t mean it is time to lower your prices. It’s just time to see #8 above).

During the year you likely invested in your service know-how to increase your value to clients. Between that and cost of living increases, it is likely time to raise prices. Add in that many professionals are priced too low, and it’s time.

Also, if you decide to raise your prices, make an event out of it! Let your prospects and former clients know a price increase is coming in 30 days so if they have been waiting for the “right time” to sign up, it’s now. That’s about the best non-discount incentive we can use to get people who were languishing in the pipeline to invest.

Here are the best CDI member tools for this:

Pricing Strategies for Resume Writing, Career Coaching, and Service Packages (Best Practice Tip) >>

Resume Pricing, Selling, and What Your Market Will Bear (Core Lesson) >>

2019 Resume Pricing Survey Findings (Report) >>

#10 – Review/create packages (and address the way you focus on them) to create win-win outcomes.

If you’ve been selling just what your clients ask for because you assume they know what they need or you don’t want to seem pushy, it’s time to restrategize. Also, if you have packages but clients never pick them, it’s time to change that approach as well.

No worries, we’ve got you covered!

Here are the best CDI member tools for this:

Packaging Sweet Spot for Resume Writers & Career Coaches (Video Tip) >>

Is Your Perception Lowering Your Profits? (Video Tip & Lesson) >>

What You Focus on IS What You Will Sell (Video Tip) >>

Stop Selling What Your Clients Ask For (Video Tip) >>

Freebie Add-Ons to Increase Sales and Package Value (Best Practice Tip) >>

Documents & Services Job Seekers Need You to Sell Them (Tip Sheet) >>

#11 – Fine-tune and update your CDI profile to get found by prospects.

CDI offers our members one of the most robust searchable directories for resume writers and career professionals. So it’s time to make sure you are taking advantage of it to the fullest of its abilities.

Here is the best CDI member tool for this:

Grow Your Business by Optimizing Your CDI Profile >>

#12 – Get your book listed on the CDI site.

Did you know that CDI has a resource section for job seekers and that one of those resources is a page of links to books published by CDI members? They don’t have to be free to be included.

Learn about this CDI opportunity:

Promote Your Book to Job Seekers >>

#13 – Grab done-for-you client tools from the CDI site.

CDI also offers some done-for-you materials you can share with your clients, such as tip sheets on networking, salary negotiation and LinkedIn, job search e-books, recruiter surveys on resumes, and PowerPoint presentations.

Grab these CDI resources:

Ready-to-Use Client Resources >>

#14 – Start blogging with CDI for enhanced visibility.

Did you know that CDI members have the opportunity to blog for CDI in any of our job seeker categories?

Our hottest topic posts receive over 4000 unique views!

You only have to post once a month and it can be on any of the job seeker topic categories.

Learn about this CDI opportunity:

Be a CDI Blogger >>

#15 – Make sure your website is up-to-date.

Chances are no matter what you do for networking online or in person, prospects will end up on your website.

Therefore it is critical that your website represents your brand, is professional, and up-to-date. You can’t expect someone to invest 3-4 figures with you if your website doesn’t reflect that modern image with client-attracting language and proven results for clients.

Here are the best CDI member tools for this:

Your Career Business Website: Getting Started (Best Practice Tip) >>

Easy Steps to More Clients, Website Fixes, Better Resumes >>

Does Your Website Have a Sexy IFO? (Core Lesson) >>

Get Targeted Testimonials to Easily Close Sales & Boost Your Business + Template (Core Lesson) >>

Easily Get Testimonials That Close Sales on Your Website (Video Tip) >>

#16 – Select your 2020 TORI resumes for fine-tuning.

Every January the Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) competition opens, and this is something you won’t want to miss since they are considered the most cost-effective marketing ($30-45 per category) with the highest ROI (members tell us their business doubled just from nominations).

The #1 reason writers don’t get to enter is because they think they will have time and then something comes up. So while it is open until June for entries, it’s in your best interest not to wait until the last minute to pick your resumes.

Perhaps you need to amend your client contract to state that by signing the contract they grant approval for use of their resume in fictionalized form for competition and book submissions.

Maybe you want to start poking around and seeing what resumes you want to pull to tweak between now and the deadline.

You could just look at prior winners or study the video lesson tutorials from former winners.

There are so many resources to help you get nominated or win a TORI!

Here are the best CDI member tools for this:

Top CDI Resume Writing Tools and Resources >>

TORI Award-Winning Resumes >>

TORI Award Competition >>

#17 – Clean up your client contract.

Is your client contract up-to-date?

Have you had learning lessons this year that make you know it’s time to update your agreement?

This is the perfect time to get it ready for 2020.

While you are at it, browse through all the downloadable template agreements, proposals, and release forms CDI has to offer. You’ll find ones for outplacement, subcontractors, coaching clients, resume clients, and more.

Here are the best CDI member tools for this:

Business Forms and Client Contracts – Master List >>

#18 – Get great video-based business tips from CDI’s Career Superhero Corner.

Have you watched any of the 3-10 minute tip videos we’ve emailed you about? If not, you can access them in the CDI Career Superhero Corner blog. The focus is typically around targeted strategies to get more clients, close larger sales without feeling like you are selling, overcome objections, and pre-sell clients from your website. The blog also offers a subscription feature.

Here is the CDI business blog:

Career Superhero blog >>

#19 – Make time to learn a new skill or certification.

Have you invested in a certification or course and not had a chance to complete it?

Is there a credential or new skill you’ve been wanting to learn?

Now is the perfect time!

CDI offers multiple resume writing and career coaching training and credentialing programs. We also offer business consulting.

Review these programs now:

Resume Writing Certification & Training >>

Career Coaching Certification & Training >>

Business & Entrepreneurial Consulting (Group & 1-1) >>

#20 – Grab the Ultimate CDI Success Guide to see what you are missing.

Last year we poled the CDI membership to determine what keeps you up at night.

From this we created a compendium of the high-value resources in each area, such as time management, client control and customer service, pricing and packaging, and more. There are a lot of topics not covered in the 22 items above.

This is easily accessed at any time from the bottom of your member dashboard.

Get this CDI member resource now:

Ultimate CDI Member Resource Guide to Success >>

Sign showing that following these steps will lead to successWhether you access one or all 20 resources, you are taking steps to grow your business and profits while freeing up your time in the new year.

All that matters is that you start on your path to becoming a high six-figure career practice.

Remember, you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

Baby steps are better than no steps at all.

We are honored to be your partner in this through your membership in CDI.

You can do this!

Here’s to an amazing 2020!

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