“To learn more, go here.”
Say this while pointing at the screen, which is displaying a short link to a page on your blog. That page has your list of resources – not just things you’ve written, but things you find interesting about the topic.
Why? Because you just got done presenting about a topic you love, and you’ve gotten the audience excited about it too. They already picked your session because they needed help with something, and you’ve shown a few ways to get started. Now they see you as an expert, and they want to keep the learning going.
After you drop the mic, some folks will come up front to ask you questions, but most of them are just going to file out. It’s not that they’re not interested in your topic – they just don’t have the time to stick around. If they see a URL up on the screen, they’ll write it down, visit it later, and bookmark it (yeah, people still do that.)
“And for help, contact me.”
Those five powerful words are the key to the rest of your career.
You may not be a consultant right now, but what if you developed a widespread reputation as the person who’s really good at something? You know, like the thing you just presented about? And what if dozens or hundreds of highly technical people sat in your presentations, and started calling you up to help them with that thing?
That’s exactly how I got started with consulting.
I’d presented about SQL Server, storage, and virtualization for a couple of years, pointing people to my resources pages, and I started getting more and more emails for help. Most of them were just quick freebie questions, but some of them actually wanted to pay me to guide ’em through stuff. I did a few weekend and after-hour gigs for spending money, valuable experience, and blog fodder.
Eventually a company wanted to pay me real money to be onsite with them during the week. I explained to my manager that the company wasn’t one of our competitors, and asked if I could take a few vacation days to earn some money on the side. One of my cunning arguments was that the experience I gained troubleshooting their problems would help make me an even better troubleshooter during my day job. My managers agreed, and let me do it.
Today, I’m a full time consultant doing that stuff.
It’s a long road between these points, but the first step is an easy one. Just close every talk with ten words:
- To learn more, go here.
- And for help, contact me.