How To Break into Consulting & Starting Mylance
Part-Time Tech Podcast Episode 6
👋 Hey all. It's the 6th episode of The Part-Time Tech Podcast! Watch on YouTube or listen wherever you get your podcasts.
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Bradley Jacobs is the Founder and CEO of Mylance, a tool that helps fractional executives fill their pipeline and find their next lead, supported by a vetted community.
Bradley launched several markets at Uber as an operations guru. After executing that playbook several times for Uber, he realized he could do it on his own for other companies. After many rejections and ups and downs, he was able to grow a successful consulting business doing $25k/month. He eventually started Mylance to help other people with the challenges of consulting.
In our conversation, Bradley had some great insights on why consultants can be extremely valuable to companies, tactical advice on how to make the transition from full-time to independent, and great details on his own personal journey. This conversation is jammed with really practical advice, I think you’ll enjoy it.
3 Takeaways from Bradley Jacobs
1. Don’t be a jack of all trades. Niche and positioning are key
When consulting, you need to provide an extremely clear value proposition to a company. For example, saying “Product Manager” is useless and generic for a consulting engagement. But if your positioning is “PM who has scaled B2B SaaS FinTech Companies from $10m→$100m” you’re doing a much better job identifying your target client.
Make your positioning and brand so clear that companies know you’re a perfect fit for their experience and context. Your LinkedIn, emails, and pitches should all reflect that as well.
Often when going from full-time to consulting, people struggle with this concept. They think in terms of titles and positions that are common in full-time rather than the clear value proposition for the company. As a consultant, you’re a one person company, and you need your company to have a clear brand.
Relatedly, a jack-of-all trades is not a useful positioning (even though you might be one). Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal clients, the problems they need solved, and market accordingly. You can always choose to expand scope after you get the job.
2. Lean on your network for your first client
The obvious but always correct advice is to lean on your network to get clients, especially when you’re first starting out.
Reach out to former colleagues, managers, friends, and acquaintances to share your new venture and let them know you’re open to work. Ask each person for leads and other intros and connections.
Bradley shared that you need to get on the phone with at least 20 people in your network and ask for their ideas and feedback, not just that you’re trying to sell. Ultimately, you’re showing that you’re available to solve a certain type of problem, and if that problem matches what the company has, they may take a deeper look at hiring you.
Bradley had tons of rejections early on but it took just one yes to get his business started.
3. Focus on Needle Moving
When starting any entrepreneurial venture (and as a consultant, yes you are an entrepreneur!) it’s easy to focus on ‘playing’ business rather than doing the things that actually get you clients and revenue.
Things like buying a domain, a pretty logo, or lots of other back end work might be important at some phase, but initially, you should just be building relationships and refining your positioning. Double and triple down on the things that actually bring in clients and de-prioritize everything else.
(0:00) Intro & Bradley’s Story
(3:20) Leaving the 9-5
(7:00) Becoming a consultant
(10:15) Positioning and value
(14:02) Experiments and side quests
(18:25) Starting MyLance
(21:35) MyLance today
(24:13) Focus on Needle Moving
(27:00) Specialize and Niche Down
(29:39) Everything’s made up
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