The Power of Educational Marketing for Consultants with Jodi Daniels: Podcast #317

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Red Clover Advisors is a data privacy consulting firm that helps companies comply with the alphabet soup of privacy loss. Today, joining Michael Zipursky is its Founder and CEO, Jodi Daniels, to share her insights about the power of educational marketing for consultants. She takes us into what’s working in today’s company regarding marketing perspective and what she learned from her approach to selling that’s not sexy. Let’s dive into Jodi’s story and insights together. Tune in to this episode and discover the power of educational marketing today.

In this episode with Jodi, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use your connections to win new business.
  • Create clear and unique content to attract your ideal clients.
  • Prioritize your workload to ensure consistent growth within your company.
  • Ensure you build a business, not a job.
  • Build out your processes to onboard new employees successfully.
  • Make your engagement simple for your clients.
  • Outsource successfully using Jodi’s unique strategy.

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Red Clover Advisors

Jodi’s Book, Data Reimagined

Jodi’s Podcast

Connect with Jodi on LinkedIn

Joining Michael on the show is Jodi Daniels who’s the Founder and CEO of Red Clover Advisors, a data privacy consulting firm. Jodi’s insights and content have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fox News, along with many others. She’s also a keynote speaker and author of the book, Data Reimagined. Although Jodi has been growing this amazing consulting business and team, it took her a while to get to that level.

Here’s the thing. We can help you fast-track your success. If you’re someone who is looking to grow from 6 to 7 figures, you’re feeling swamped with all the guest work, endless hours, and those pesky slip-ups while trying to grow your consulting practice, know that you don’t have to go it alone. The Consulting Success team is offering a free no-pressure growth session call and here’s what we’re going to tackle on that call.

We’re going to dive deep into what makes your business unique. Have a real talk about your goals and whip up a success plan that’s tailor-made just for you. We’re going to help you dodge those frustrating costly blunders and save you from the headache of trying to figure it all out on your own. Lastly, you’ll get the ongoing support and accountability you need. Plus, you’ll get to join a buzzing community of successful consultants like you. Let’s be honest, growing a business by yourself can be pretty challenging at times. To book your free no-pressure growth consulting call, head over to ConsultingSuccess.com/grow.

Let me tell you a little bit more about what you’re going to learn in this episode with Jodi. First is how to use your connections to win new business, how to create clear and unique content to attract your ideal clients, how to prioritize your workload to ensure consistent growth within your business, how to ensure you build a business and not a job, how to build out your processes to onboard new employee successfully, and lastly, how to ensure you make your engagements simple for your clients. Plus, so much more. Here to share with you her story and insights is Jodi Daniels. Enjoy.

Jodi, welcome.

I’m glad to be here.

I’m looking forward to our conversation. Let’s start and have you share briefly what Red Clover Advisors do.

We are a data privacy consulting firm. We are helping companies comply with the alphabet soup of privacy laws. Some people might be familiar with GDPR. It’s the big popular one that has privacy in the regular vernacular, I would say. We have a number of other privacy laws around the globe especially in the United States, where companies have to figure out what that law means to them. Ultimately, we like to go above and beyond. There’s a law and compliance. We should do that. We firmly believe it’s all about establishing a relationship and building trust with customers.

Give us a sense of how big is the company, the number of staff, revenue, and the number of clients per year. Anything you can share to give people an idea of what Red Clover is like or what it looks like.

It was just me for the first couple of years, then I had some part-time contractors, and then I had a lot more contractors. A couple of years ago, I made the flip from a contractor model to a full-time employee model and grew and have been scaling the company in 2023. We are at seven full-time people and a couple of other contractors.

I also have all the support pieces pretty much outsourced. Though, it still feels like I do a lot. I’m sure we’ll talk about that. I have a team who’s doing finance and a variety of different marketing people. I brought someone on to help from an HR perspective. We’ve served probably about 60 clients and we keep continuing to grow and scale. Our sweet spot in terms of client base tends to be the privacy teams of 0 to 5 people. That could be a large organization that still just has a handful of people or it could be an organization that is small and has to take privacy seriously.

To hit on and reiterate, it’s the team size folks on privacy. For everyone to clarify, this is not a company of 1 to 5 people. This could be a very large company but they have dedicated people for privacy of 0 to 5.

Thank you for the clarification. Sometimes people, when they’re looking at who’s an ideal client, will say, “I need a company that’s a certain revenue size, a company that has a certain employee count, or a company in a certain industry and a variety of different factors.” For us, we have figured out the ideal that the privacy team is 0 to 5 people. That means they have no one paying attention to privacy and they should. They outsource it to us or they’re a pretty sizable organization and they have a handful of people. They just can’t get to everything and then they come to us to help them on a variety of different projects.

What’s the largest organization? Not to name names but in terms of the number of employees that you’ve seen where they may only have five people doing privacy or maybe even zero people doing privacy. What does that look like in terms size of a company?

Consulting Success Podcast | Jodi Daniels | Educational Marketing

I would know more from a revenue standpoint than an employee standpoint. It honestly can be a several billion-dollar company where they still only have a handful of people paying attention to privacy. What happens is companies tend to start with security first and they build up the security team. These privacy laws have come along. Depending on whether you’re B2C or B2B, the industry that you’re in, the culture of the firm, or the data, there are many different variables.

Even where your customers are located, then you start to pay attention to privacy and where, whom, and how companies approach that very significantly. I’m a marketer’s nightmare because my ideal customer profile is all over the place. Whoever has been voluntold or anointed, you have to pay attention to privacy.

I want to dive a lot more into that because a lot of the things you mentioned will resonate with people and they’re sharing your potential, the pain, or the feeling around how to handle that when the ideal client might feel a bit ambiguous, quite unstable, or very fluid. Let’s go back in time a little bit because you started Red Clover Advisors in 2017. Prior to that, you were with Bank of America, Cox Automotive, and AutoTrader, all on the Privacy side. You’ve been doing privacy for quite some time. What made you decide to go out and start your own firm? Why did you decide to make that leap in 2017?

Before I did what you shared, I started my career at Deloitte in finance and accounting and then stopped at Home Depot. That’s important to share because I had four big companies and a variety of different roles and I was always trying to find where I fit. I felt like I was probably the classic square peg-round hole. I was never settled. I always took roles that were creating something new. The idea of an intrapreneur has its pluses and minuses in a large organization.

At some point, I wanted more. For me, it was a little bit about when I felt comfortable making that leap. I identified a particular date that I wanted to live by. Also, I see in the future I will have younger children. One was a middle of elementary school and the younger one would be there soon. I wanted more flexibility to own my own schedule. Corporate wasn’t going to fulfill that for me.

I made a date, a line in the sand and I spent a significant amount of time off hours trying to network and figure out when the right time would be. I identified a subcontracting contract. That then took a couple of months to even fulfill but I didn’t know that at the time. I’m proud to say that I met my deadline. The deadline was the first day of school. That first day of school was my first phone call in my new role at Red Clover Advisors.

It sounds to me like you’re saying that you plan this. You also started to put in the work to establish the new consulting business before you had even left your role. A lot of networking and finding a subcontracting opportunity. Take us now a little bit more forward into that time when you launched the business on the first day of “you running” Red Clover Advisors, the first few clients. It sounds like the first actual client was a subcontracting project whereas the actual first client that you “owned” or you had direct contact with wasn’t subcontracting. Where they did come from?

They came from around the same time that I announced I was leaving. It was an attorney I had worked with who was in an outside firm in a prior role. She said, “I have this client, and they’re looking for help.” I left at a time when US companies were starting to pay attention to GDPR. I’d like to tell you I was so fortuitous and left. I knew that that was going to happen but it didn’t. I said, “I’m done,” and I left.

It was one of those when you have an opportunity, you take advantage of it. It was in the digital media space. I had experience in the digital media space. I helped that company then I continued to build relationships. The next major pivot was in communicating and reaching out to different people that I knew. Some of them were a bit strategic where, “You’re running a company. You might have a soft spot for fellow entrepreneurs. You also might be working with companies and might stumble across privacy. Let me just inform you when I’m doing.”

That particular person said, “We’re getting a lot of questions about GDPR. Can you help with that?” Sure. We then proceeded to create a blog series that then turned into a webinar series, which was one of the most popular YouTube videos on GDPR at the time. I didn’t know that was going to happen. In fact, I didn’t even know for almost ten months it was on YouTube, which would explain how so many people kept finding me.

Pay attention to privacy. Click To Tweet

As a result of all of that content and the webinar, people did reach out. I created a number of different clients from there. It was the snowball effect after that where I continued to network and build the relationship. The first year was probably half subcontracting and half my own. The following year, it was maybe 25% subcontracting and the rest my own. Subcontracting was probably only for about 15 months, maybe 18 months at most.

I love a lot of what you shared. This is classic. As part of our clarity coaching program, we work with consultants when they’re looking to get their marketing up and running. One of the first things that we do is we call it network reactivation, which is essentially what you were doing. You were reactivating your network. You’re letting them know what you’re doing.

The other thing you talked about that you did is also something that we’re very big believers in and that’s content and IP. You’re creating content, sharing your expertise, demonstrating knowledge, and giving value at the same time through webinars and blog posts. This is classic stuff that people often don’t lean into enough but when they do, good things usually start happening. That’s fantastic. Let’s now hit the fast-forward button, take us to now. You’re now several years into the business. What’s working best from a marketing lead generation perspective? How do you feel the pipeline for new clients and new business at the company?

A couple of different ways. Let me lean in on what you just shared because the content piece I believe is very important. I was competing against other firms. At the same time, a lot of people didn’t know who I was. I did privacy in a company. Who’s this Jodi person? I needed to make a name. I needed to build my own brand. I very thoughtfully didn’t always want it to be Jodi which is why the name of the company is Red Clover Advisors.

I do a lot of content marketing. I’m also in a field. This is probably true for much of the audience where what you do is special, niche, and not always understood by everybody else. I love education. It’s an area that, again, I had to convince people why they had to pay attention to privacy. It’s often one that’s boring, compliant, and confusing. They don’t want to pay attention to it and I needed to convince them otherwise.

For me, the content was blogs. Also, any type of webinar or conference that I could get in front of, I would. Sometimes people wouldn’t always do the little ones, but to me, the little ones feed the big ones and it’s a continuous perpetual upcycle. A couple of years ago, I started a show as well to help create content, help fill the community, and get to know other people.

Honestly, the show, you might find us as well but for me, I’m filling it with people who could be potential clients or potential referral partners. It’s a B2B show. I put great content out into the universe that is helping companies, other privacy and security professionals, business professionals, and marketing professionals. At the same time, I’m building relationships with each one of those people all along the way.

It was a very thoughtful approach that I made a few years ago. The next step to that was a book. Another anchor for credibility and thought leadership was to create a book, so I wrote a book. A fun fact is my show and my book are co-hosted and written with my husband who does not work in my business, but we share the other side of experience. I’m privacy and he has security experience. That’s a whole other conversation.

The book and the podcast, people will listen and I have had people come that way and say, “I’ve heard your podcast. I’ve heard your book. I like your content.” There are tons of articles on our website. All of it helps from an SEO perspective, so cold leads. Also, if someone was referred, now there’s validation and credibility which brings us to where the referrals coming from. They’re coming from old-fashioned word-of-mouth referrals that I’ve curated with specific relationships. They might be software providers. What software is in my privacy space that people are using? I’ve built a great relationship.

No different than many other software out there. Someone needs to implement them and use them. Also, who else could be referral partners for me? That might be some law firms or some other cybersecurity firms or marketing agencies. Each of those has been a very specific relationship to help feed the funnel on my side.

Consulting Success Podcast | Jodi Daniels | Educational Marketing

I got a couple of questions for you on that and I appreciate you breaking that down and going into more detail because there’s a lot of powerful stuff inside of that, massive opportunity for so many people. Whether they’re newer to consulting or they’ve been consulting for some time but they want to get their business or the pipeline to the next level, all the things you talked about can help with that.

I’ll play the devil’s advocate for a moment because many people feel this way at one point or another, which is, “That all sounds great, Jodi, but I don’t have time. I’m busy delivering on projects.” Share your mindset and also maybe approach to writing articles, having your show, or speaking when you don’t have necessarily a ton of resources, you’re in the earlier stage in your marketing or the business, and you’re delivering on projects. How do you think about fitting all that stuff in and making sure the marketing still happens even though you’re busy working on projects?

A couple of thoughts. The first is that I look at it as an investment of time and money. If I’ve hired someone to help me do any of that, I’m looking from that investment lens. There’s a great quote that says, “If you think you left the 40-hour job to just work 40, instead it’s the 80-hour job.” There’s some truth to that because if you want a lifestyle business like a true just be able to work and have a job, then you can go gig to gig and build a few relationships to be able to get that.

For me, I wanted to grow a business. I didn’t want Jodi to just have a job because then all I’ve done is have a job, which is great and lovely. In the end, I have nothing to show for it other than I just have a job. For me to be able to do that, I again had a make that investment. If you don’t spend any of the time on business development, you have the very classic cycle of up and down. That brings a different form of stress.

In my opinion, people have to dedicate some amount of time to business development and people do business development differently. Some people love going to lunch and that’s great. I don’t want to spend two hours going to lunch. I’d rather spend two hours on the content but to someone else, they might see I’ve just gone to lunch. I’m looking at it differently.

I am working a huge amount of time all over the place. Again, that’s because I’m trying to grow this business and grow this brand. However much you put in, you’re going to get a little bit more. You don’t have to put nearly as much as myself or anybody else. Only a little bit and you’re going to get significantly more reward than if you do zero. A little bit of effort to be able to do that.

I know a lot of people find the stress of that up and down. If I do know marketing, that’s stressful. If you’re able to spend a little bit of time to keep planting the seed, if you plant enough seeds, then they’re going to start sprouting. That, to me, is the other way that I look at it. I have to plant lots of seeds then the good pieces are going to sprout when appropriate because they never all come at the same time.

I’ve found over the years of building this business, the number of hours that I spend. I think back to my early days and I would burn the midnight oil. I would start maybe working much earlier or I’d still be working much later. Now, it’s very different. As the team has grown, as we have more systems and processes, it’s not that there’s less to do. I find that I’m able to create better boundaries around when I’m going to be working and when I’m not going to be working. What’s been your experience? Has it been similar or do you think differently in terms of how you’re spending time in the business?

In my mind, there’s always the in-the-business and on-the-business. Many people will say, “Outsource to things that are not in your sweet spot.” Some people will tell you certain dollar amounts. I’m in the adage of what am I not good at and what would be a better use of my time. It’s taken time for me to get to that in all places. For example, I shared I started with someone to handle some HR items because now I have a team of eight. That’s a lot of people.

I want to also make sure I have in place what they need. That was a recent one, but in full honesty, I don’t want to enter anything into ADP payroll. Long ago, I probably should have had someone help me there. Finance was one. I’m a former CPA. I’m familiar with that but I don’t want to do my own books. I’d rather have someone who knows how to do that.

Another anchor for credibility and thought leadership is to create a book. Click To Tweet

Again, for me, I found the pieces and I have identified who’s good at that because while I could learn it, do I want to? Is that the best use of my time? Where am I best? Jodi’s best at talking to clients, talking to companies, speaking, and educating. I want to do as much of that as possible. It’s been hard to give things up. That’s a probably pretty common business owner control type scenario. At the same time, I have a team and you mentioned processes.

You have to be able to build the processes and they change every time you bring someone new on. What worked for 1 doesn’t work for 2 and doesn’t work for 6. We’re continuously evaluating that. Those processes though do start to let you remove yourself from those things. You’ve communicated the brand, mission, and values. You’re that strategic advisor and then you can start to spend your time where you want it.

I pick and choose the clients that I want to have hands-on keyboard aspects because I find I don’t want to be too far removed. Part of what makes us special is I understand the delivery and the content. I want to work on some clients, so I do. The on part of the business is, “Where am I best suited?” We can certainly talk about how to make hires because I’ve made some bad ones.

Every time I make a hire, when I find the right one, it is magic and they get you. You can do so much more. Again, it doesn’t feel like the cost because they’re doing what is amazing for them. You’re going to get the benefits from the reward and now you can go and do something to make up for their cost and more. You’re probably happier.

On the hiring piece, it’s interesting because for those that are newer and haven’t done much hiring. They’re almost paralyzed by the fear of making a bad higher and thinking about all the potential negative impacts or downsides of that. The more hiring that you do and the more business you’ve built, you know that’s part of making bad hires and things that don’t work out is part. Nobody gets a 100% success rate when you hire people.

As you said, which is so important, when you find the right person, that makes up for all of the time that you spend working with people who were not a good fit. I do want to bring us back. You talked about selling privacy and marketing privacy. It’s not the sexiest thing. Most people don’t wake up going like, “I can’t wait to tackle that privacy thing.”

You and your team probably do but your clients likely don’t. A lot of consultants are in a similar situation where whether it’s privacy, compliance, or something else that their ideal clients aren’t necessarily thinking is key to their business growth. What have you learned about that? I know you’ve already talked about the importance of content and doing the podcast, blogs, and speaking. Is there anything else that you’ve learned in terms of how you approach, think, or position to sell and market something that isn’t considered that sexy?

Yes. The first is making it simple. I will share. I have hired a consultant on a particular topic in my organization and they haven’t made it simple. They’re incredibly knowledgeable and I can tell that but the communication, the process, and everything about it isn’t simple. When you get the person on the phone, super pleasant and lovely. I can tell why this was a great referral.

What we try and do is to make it simple. A lot of times for complicated or boring topics, people find it overwhelming and they want to avoid it. I feel like, “That’s fair.” How do I get you to realize it’s not going to be so terrible? Is it going to be the process? Is it going to be the language? Is it going to be the words? Is it going to be the actual deliverable that we’re giving you and how it’s a step-by-step approach?

Can you give me an example of that? I’m trying to figure it out. I want to see and understand. I get that you’re saying you make it simple. Can you offer maybe for everyone who’s joining us one thing that you do in your process or your approach that you feel exemplifies how you make things simple and that you know is effective for the client?

Consulting Success Podcast | Jodi Daniels | Educational Marketing

Take any process that you have. We’re going to have a discovery call. We’re going to send these types of assessments to you. We’re going to ask you questions and prepare a report. Even the idea of explaining the process is simple. I didn’t use too many fancy acronyms, jargon, and language that every industry has. We remove as many of them as possible.

Every single piece of paper or digital paper goes through the lens, “If I’m the customer, does this make sense? If I’m the customer and I read this, could I use it without the person explaining it to me?” We did a cookie on it. Here’s an example. We went to a website to determine. Everyone, I’m sure you’ve seen cookie banners before. They’re not all created equal.

When you said cookie, I’ve got to admit. The first thing that came into my mind was an image of a cookie. I was thinking, “Did you work with a cookie company?”

I love cookies. They’re my favorite food but here, we’re talking about digital cookies. Everyone has probably gone to the internet and seen a cookie banner pop up. Those cookie banners are not all created equal. They’re supposed to be set up in different ways depending on where you are. We will then do an audit. For this company, we did an audit to determine do they have it set up the way they want and the way it’s supposed to be?”

We took some screenshots of what was happening. At the bottom of it, we always made sure that the finding was clear, “Here’s what’s supposed to happen. Here’s what’s happening,” so that the page stood alone without someone having to explain it. Even now, hopefully, in how I explained a cookie banner, I didn’t go into explaining, “In the EU, under GDPR, it needs to be this way.” I just said they’re not all created equal. They’re a little bit different depending on where you are.

It’s simple language because most of the time, the person on the other side doesn’t know all the nuances. If they do, we step up the language a little bit more. Those are a few of the examples but the other piece that we do ties this together. We’re always putting it in the context of how it helps their business which is above and beyond the specific parts of privacy. For example, the rule is in Europe, you need to have an opt-in cookie banner. No pixels can fire or no cookies can drop until everyone says, “I accept.”

That’s the technical definition. I probably lost half the people reading, but from a business standpoint, that’s the compliance part. Let’s explain the different kinds of cookies. Here are some tweaks that we can do to help more people opt in because I know that’s what you’re marketing team wants business company. Let’s help tie it to what the business schools are of the company.

Let’s help tie to what is important to you and I’ll help you with whatever our specialty is. In our case, it was opting for cookies. That’s a big differentiator because then, everyone wants to earn more money and save money. If you have something that doesn’t directly do either of those, you have to indirectly figure out how to make it happen.

Those are two great examples. As a bit of a recap, it’s like, “Here’s what you’re doing but here’s what you should be doing.” To me, when you think about building furniture or you get something and put it together, it’ll often have a little image that shows, “Don’t do this but do this,” like the X and the check mark. It’s almost like that application but in the world of consulting and advisory which is so easy to understand. That is great.

The other one that consultants are very prone to neglect is to always put things in the business case. Especially if you’re in an area that is more scientific or maybe isn’t as business-focused. Some people think less also in the nonprofit world. It’s not about money, but there’s always a business case. There’s always something that the buyer cares about that’s going to get them to take action or to feel more excited about making that investment and doing more work with you. What I’m hearing you say is figure out what that is and make sure that you connect whatever work that you’re doing to that so they see a very clear path to having a better outcome and an impact.

Sometimes, you might not know what you need until you have a bad hire because, by then, you learn. Click To Tweet

I want to ask you about another thing because I saw this on your website. You have an offering and I couldn’t see the page. It wasn’t loading for me at that moment properly but it’s like a do-it-yourself for small business. Your focus is not on the small business but you have an offering for small business. Again, I couldn’t see what it was but I’m wondering because oftentimes consultants will have the same desire where they’re real focus is working with more established organizations.

One day, they go, “I know there are so many people out there who could benefit from my expertise but they can’t pay me $10,000, $50,000, or $500,000. Maybe I should create a course or something small for them,” but they don’t usually understand what it takes. Building is not the hard part. It’s how do you market and sell it effectively and how many of those units do you need to sell to equal the value of one client? Where is your time best focused? Walk me through your thoughts on that and your experience of having some offers for the smaller market.

I have the same thoughts as you described, “How can you package this all up, be able to leverage, scale, and do all those things?” The reality is that the smaller business does not care enough about privacy to make that worthwhile. More importantly, if they did, there’s not enough of the repeat to be able to maintain it. There’s, “Buy this,” and wouldn’t see you too often.

What was happening was that smaller companies were finding me. I still want to be able to help them. I wanted to be able to try and package up what we had in a manner that would support them at a budget that they could have. I made a very conscious decision after a lot of exploration, time, and energy that the small market was not the right market. I’m not marketing. I’m not doing anything related to that at all. It’s just there as a little bit of the good-better-best concept. The few people who have come along are from smaller organizations and want something that can help them get started.

We’re in a world where there’s a lot of uncertainty, the recession, interest rates, wars, and conflict. There’s a lot of stuff going on. How has that impacted your business, if at all?

It hasn’t impacted my business. I’m going to knock on a lot of wood now because I feel grateful. I’m a little bit of a risk-averse person. Sometimes I feel like, “Look at this huge team,” and then other times, I feel, “Look at all the other things I could have done and I haven’t done.” From a recession standpoint, if you remove people from a team, then the company still has to comply. There are still a lot of laws and companies still have to comply.

Compliance will certainly feel a dip. People might not spend as much, but they’re still going to need to do something. I feel like we’re best positioned because the model that I’ve built is to go after organizations that don’t have those big privacy teams, but they still have to do something. They likely didn’t get a full-time budget for a person. They still are set up to specifically either project work or ongoing retainer work to be that fractional fill-in-the-blank, fractional privacy work. For us, we’re in a good place.

You mentioned you could share some of your learning around making bad hires or what you’ve taken from that process. Let’s put that to the side but we’re going to come back to it in a moment. Before we did the interview, you mentioned something was going on that was like it was a lesson learned or a mistake. You were laughing about it. We’re not going to get into what it is unless you want to talk about it but certainly not the idea.

I want to understand how you think when things go wrong. In my case, in an earlier business, anything like that that popped up could feel gut-wrenching, start me thinking about all these other things, go down rabbit holes, and become a big distraction. You start questioning yourself. As I’ve developed, and as the business has developed, I have a very similar reaction to you, which is like, “I don’t know if I laugh about it,” but it doesn’t hold me back. It’s like, “That’s an opportunity. We need to fix it and we’ll keep moving.” How do you personally think when challenges come up, you lose a client, or something negative or could be viewed as being negative pops up? How do you work through that?

I didn’t always used to be this way. It certainly changed me. If I were to lose the client and it was because we did something wrong, I would take it personally because I take significant pride in the brand and the work that we’re doing. I’m thankful to say that clients we have not kept have been more because they’ve chosen to do the work internally. That’s good news. In terms of all the different types of mistakes, some of them eat me. We’re not going to talk about one but there’s one that is burning me inside and I will never let it happen again.

Consulting Success Podcast | Jodi Daniels | Educational Marketing

The short version is I trusted an organization to do something. I trusted that this was what they were going to do. It was not in my skillset, so I started to question. Their answers didn’t make sense. We’ve now parted ways. I should have listened to my gut a long time ago. I should have brought someone else in to look under the hood to unfortunately question them. The learning is I’ll never not have a specialist along the way or take them up their word for what they’re doing. I will be much more in tune.

In terms of some of these types of mistakes, maybe it’s because I’ve been doing this now for a while and I know that so much of what we’re doing is right. It’s the cost of doing business. I had someone who would say they would make $10,000 bets. They would try something for $10,000 and if it didn’t work, they move on to the rest. Some of my mistakes have been a lot higher than $10,000 mistakes because I tried something and it didn’t work or I trusted an organization and it didn’t work or I didn’t know all the questions.

Part of this is you don’t always know all the things until you do it. I bought a house a long time ago. If I think back to the Jodi and her first house compared to the Jodi who’s now owned a couple of homes and been in a home a lot longer and done more, I know so much more. I know more about what to ask all the different contractors and all the people who come through than I did before because I have experience. I love it when people say, “It’s experience,” but it a little bit is. You have to go through it and appreciate that you’ve bought yourself experience.

That’s a great way to frame it. When I talk to people about this, I give the example of any multi-billion-dollar well-known brand and you think about all of the issues that pop up when you talk to those companies. Whether it’s on the phone or you go to a retail location, there are issues and problems everywhere, even with the biggest companies that are generating. It’s like they have billions of dollars, they’re that’s successful, and they’re household names but they still have issues, problems, and opportunities everywhere. We’re no different.

Let’s now come back. Before we wrap up, I do want to get a couple of thoughts from you on what have you learned about bad hires. You talked about an experience here bringing in maybe somebody externally and that didn’t work out or trusting your gut and getting a bit more specialist support for something like that. What about internal hires? Are there a couple of things that might maybe stand out for you that you can share?

One of the pieces is sometimes that you might not know what you need until you do have a bad hire because then you learn, “I thought I wanted a skillset but what I needed was this skillset over here,” and you didn’t know that. On the next hire, you are building upon it. It’s trying to be as clear as possible what you need. There are soft skills and technical skills.

If you’re outsourcing anything that you have been doing, what will success look like for you? If you had to think about the skills that you have, what are those? If that’s what you’re looking for, then you want to ask these other candidates how they possess what it is you’re looking to replace. That would be probably one of my big ones. As you grow and you have more people to be able to also interview, then include them in the process. As we’ve grown, it’s not just me interviewing. There are multiple people because people ask different questions. They see things differently. The answers are different and I believe in the power of numbers.

Jodi, I want to thank you so much for coming on, spending time, and sharing a bit of your journey here. As you mentioned, you have resources for people on your website and articles. If people want to learn more about you, your company, and your work, where’s the best place? What’s the URL for them to go to?

Our website is RedCloverAdvisors.com. I also spend a lot of time on LinkedIn and would love to hear from you all there.

Jodi, thanks again.

Thank you.

There you have it for this episode between Jodi and Michael. If you enjoyed this episode, then be sure to hit that subscribe button wherever you’re tuning in. If you want to help support this show, I’d encourage you to share this show with a friend or colleague. Again, visit ConsultingSuccess.com/grow. That’s the end of the line for us. We’re going to be back with another episode. Until next time.

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