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From 6 to 7 Figures Consultancy Revenue Growth with Danilo Kreimer

April 8, 2024
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

Are you a consultant struggling to break through the six-figure revenue ceiling? You’re not alone. Many consultants face a myriad of challenges when trying to scale their business from six to seven figures.

In this episode of The Recognized Authority podcast, host Alastair McDermott is joined by Danilo Kreimer, founder of the Boutique Consulting Club, to unpack the common roadblocks and provide actionable strategies for accelerating revenue growth.

Danilo shares his “deciding, learning, and doing” framework, which addresses the three primary challenges consultants face: strategic decision-making, capability building, and execution. He also emphasizes the importance of “fiduciary advice” and understanding the unique nature of consulting as a “credence good.”

Here are some of the valuable topics covered:

  • The dangers of generic marketing advice for consultants
  • Overcoming emotional barriers to strategic decision-making
  • Quick wins for generating momentum and boosting revenue
  • The power of specialization and creating a focused brand
  • Building trust and credibility in a high-risk, high-stakes industry

Tune in to gain insights from Danilo’s extensive experience in helping consultants unlock their revenue potential and transform their business.

Show Notes

Key Insights:

  • Consultants often struggle with three main challenges: deciding (strategy), learning (capabilities), and doing (execution).
  • Specialization and niching down is crucial for standing out and attracting high-value clients.
  • Generic marketing advice can be harmful for consultants due to the unique nature of “credence goods.”
  • Building trust is essential in consulting, as clients can’t fully evaluate the service until after delivery.
  • Quick wins like reaching out to existing contacts can generate momentum and boost revenue in the short term.


  • Conduct an objective, external assessment of your business to identify growth opportunities.
  • Focus on long-term capability building while also creating short-term psychological wins.
  • Leverage personal relationships and existing networks to surface new client opportunities.
  • Invest in targeted, fiduciary advice tailored to the consulting industry, rather than relying on generic advice.
  • Prioritize specialization, positioning, and consistent content creation to establish authority and credibility.

Learn more about Danilo here:

Guest Bio

Danilo Kreimer, the founder of the Boutique Consulting Club, specializes in helping consultancies doing under $1M a year grow revenue and profitability.


consultancies, founders, clients, problem, goods, talk, business, services, strategy, people, advice, work, consultants, revenue, challenges, creating, deciding, consulting, alastair, recommend

Alastair McDermott, Voiceover, Danilo Kreimer


Alastair McDermott  00:07

It is difficult to take a consulting business from six to seven figures. There are a lot of challenges and there is a lot of maybe bad advice or missing advice or missing pieces in the advice. So today I’m going to bring you a special guest who is highly experienced in this area. And I know that you’re gonna get a lot of great advice from my guest today


Voiceover  00:30

to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott,


Alastair McDermott  00:41

today’s episode is brought to you by WebsiteDoctor, which is my other brand alongside The Recognized Authority. WebsiteDoctor is a small web design agency that focuses on creating websites for professional services, experts, consultants, and people in the b2b Professional Services expertise space. And in fact, that’s where The Recognized Authority came from. When I wanted to create a, an add on or focus on the authority building part of the puzzle. WebsiteDoctor still runs in the background, and we’ve been building websites since day one in 2007. In fact, I’ve personally been building websites since 1996. So Been there, done that and bought that T shirt. So if you’re looking for a website for your expertise based business, then check out website and schedule a call with me. I’d love to chat with you, and see if it’s a good fit. The link is in the show notes or you can visit website Doctor all spelled And now on with the episode.


Alastair McDermott  01:36

So I’m delighted to welcome today’s guest, Danilo Kramer, Dan or Danilo. It’s great to have your show. I’ve known you several years now. And I always love chatting with you. So I’m delighted that you’re here with us to talk about revenue today.


Danilo Kreimer  01:50

Yeah, thanks for having me.


Alastair McDermott  01:54

So, you run your business is called the micro, the sorry, the boutique consulting club. And you specialize in micro consultancies, and in particular, taking them from six to seven figures. Is that right?


Danilo Kreimer  02:09

Yes, correct. The main problem we solve so to say is boosting revenue and profitability for six figure consultancies.


Alastair McDermott  02:21

So, talk to me about that challenge. Like what what are the challenges that you see consultancies facing when they’re at that six figure level? And they’re trying to make the leap up to seven?


Danilo Kreimer  02:35

Yeah, so the challenges are many as you know, business is complex. So there’s a lot of pieces to this puzzle. So to say, when you when you talk about making more money growing revenue growth and profitability, but there are three main challenges. So to say that we typically see in consultancies with this size, so six figure consultancies and these challenges are mainly around the siding, learning and doing this is how we, this is how I call how or how I label this, this typical challenges, deciding learning and do we. And we can we can talk more about the source of these challenges after if, if you want to, but basically, they they are very visible. So when we talk about deciding, for example, we’re talking about strategy. Founders need help making decisions. So they don’t know how to position and specialize their consultancy, for example. So they end up as generalists or they, they struggled to decide what to offer clients. So they end up with a huge menu of services commoditize services, or they struggle to decide what are the topics that they’re going to discuss and talk about and create content around. So they end up with kind of a boring, unconventional, unconvincing pitch, or so these are all the side deciding problems, let’s say. And this is one typical challenge. The second challenge is learning. And learning when we’re talking about learning is typically improving skills, but also kind of building systems and processes. So for example, again, very practical examples. founders, they don’t know how to set and measure KPIs or they don’t have the, the tools and processes to manage the relationships and opportunities, they don’t have a CRM system, or they don’t know how to manage their time, their tasks, their team. So these are all learning problems. And the third kind of typical challenge are doing problems with which is actually about implementing kind of putting things into practice. So, kind of consultancies struggled to generate leads struggled to retain clients struggle to, they don’t know what to do to build a pipeline, they don’t know, what they should be doing on a day to day basis to reach those revenue targets. So I think that yeah, these are kind of the overarching three challenges that we see. The deciding learning and doing, and of course, the impact is very negative. To to most consultancy founders. I mean, financial stability, stress, and most consultancy founders, they, they, they trade time for money, really, and, and they would often earn more by taking a corporate job, which is a very tough pill to swallow. When you think about why you made the lip that leap into self employment or why you started the business in the first place. The vast majority of them would earn more money by taking a job. And this is something that we’re passionate that we’re driven to to help them with. Yeah,


Alastair McDermott  07:04

me too. Yeah, that that that hits me in the gut when you say that? Yeah, absolutely. I’m all about that. And I probably would earn more to I just, I’m probably unemployable. So I’m self employed. Okay, so interesting. So you’ve divided into these kind of three broad categories, deciding, which is like the strategic stuff, learning, which is all about the skills, and maybe some setup stuff in there. And then doing which is implementation execution of, of basically all of the above, I guess, mainly the strategy. The So let’s dig into some of the strategy. One of the things I noticed that you talked about was, the way it came across to me was he talked about being generalist, and it seemed to me that this is a problem with not being niche down. So if you know the topics that they’re writing, whether or bland if they have a menu of services, and somebody who used to run a full services web agency that did everything for everybody, I know all about that menu of services, because you know, it gets crazy. Can you talk to me about, you know, niching down and removing options, and maybe like paring down that menu of services, and maybe even specializing down into one market? Can you tell me how you think about those things?


Danilo Kreimer  08:26

Yeah. So I think that it’s fairly clear, when you look at the market, that if you’re not specialize in, at all, in a specific, specific vertical or a specific service practice, if you’re not specialized at all, it will be today, impossible to compete, impossible to stand out. I don’t see anyone to win this in the market. And in fact, it’s quite the opposite. What we see is that there’s a trend toward towards hyper specialization and and clients value this, I think this is important. It’s not something that well, we were missionaries, we’re trying to convince people to specialize just because it sounds great. It’s, it’s actually sound advice for most consultancies, because that’s how clients buy consulting services, they want better results than they would get by doing it by solving the problems themselves or by putting an internal team to solve those problems. So if you if your promise of value, so to say is to give them better results. That means You cannot do everything better. You can only just, you can only do a specific set of activities better than other people by definition. So you need to, you need to niche you need to specialize. And I think that most of the consultancy founders and partners, they understand that when we look at research, they understand when you when you see service and less service, they ask, do you think that further specializing or narrowing down your target in your, your your your your services would be benefit to your business? The vast majority says yes, but when they were asked, okay, are you planning to take any action? In that direction? Are you planning to further further specialized or niche now? Even more? Say no. And


Alastair McDermott  11:01

so what why is that? What like, what’s the disconnect? What’s the


Danilo Kreimer  11:04

what’s the disconnect? So that’s the that that to me. Now, after many conversations that can only talk I can only speak from from our experiences talking with six figure consultancies. Consultant consultancy founders the struggle, again, specialization is a decision and consultancy founders, they struggled to make decisions or they delay those decisions, because they fear making the wrong choice. Okay. And, and why why is that? Where does it come from? Well, they fear making the wrong choice, because there are no right answers and strategy. This, this is the key thing here. So what niche should you specialize in? And which clients? Are you saying no to? There’s no right answer. Which service? Which services will you provide? Which ones you will refuse to help clients with? What’s the best way to communicate their story? There’s no right or wrong here. There’s no right or wrong. There are certainly best practices. And starting points for you to think this decision through. But there is no right or wrong, you can make a business work the in any in any way. And I think you in a previous conversation that we had, was that you? I think you shared with me a story when you were starting. And you were in doubts over whether it’s specialized in two different segments. And you email yourself go Seth Godin.


Alastair McDermott  12:56

That’s right. Yeah.


Danilo Kreimer  12:57

What did he say?


Alastair McDermott  12:59

He said, Just pick one. Except it doesn’t really matter. Just pick one. So and I think he was


Danilo Kreimer  13:04

right. Yeah. And that’s, and that’s solid advice. Yeah.


Alastair McDermott  13:10

By the way, I also I also emailed Alan Weiss. I also emailed Alan Weiss at the same time. And he replied, and he sent me a very short play as well. He said, click here to join my paid community. And I will talk to you about this. Yeah, well, I really what I really liked about those two answers from those two people is they were both very on brand.


Danilo Kreimer  13:30

So completely.


Alastair McDermott  13:33

Yeah, sorry, I interrupted you, please go ahead. No, no,


Danilo Kreimer  13:36

no, no, but no, I think that that’s with with your personal story as well. You can see that that’s the core point, there’s no right answer and strategy. What matters is you need to make critical decisions. On what, why? And where you want to take your business to? And how do you want it to look like in the future, what kind of clients you want, you want to work with, et cetera, et cetera. And once these decisions are set, they will inform the rest of your activities which so the three typical problems, let’s say that we talked about deciding learning and, and doing they’re all connected when you think about it, because why? Let’s talk about the second problem. So systems capabilities. Why do consultancy founders and consultancies, consulting firms they struggled to learn? We can come up with a million reasons again, and I heard a million excuses. I mean, some skills are difficult to learn, like have a steep learning curve. So this is discouraging around sales, business development strategy, etc. Some processes can be complex, so you need a specialist to, to kind of help your your business, adopt them or simplify those, those processes. But when you ask any consultancy founder about building capabilities, he or she will say, I know, I need to learn how to do new things, or I know, there’s a bunch of things that I could do to grow the business, but I just don’t know what’s the most important. And why? Because they can’t decide they don’t have a strategy. So the learning problem comes from the deciding problem. And, and they work harder, which is good, great. But I mean, they completely ignore the opportunity to work smarter to, to, to learn the required skills, or to build the processes and systems that can that can help them accelerate this growth. And, and, and the same is true with the doing problem. Why do consultancy founders struggle with doing what’s important? And I say what I say what’s important, because it’s easy to put more hours, kind of an end to doing things that won’t drive growth. So administrative tasks or kind of spending dozens of hours kind of redesigning a slide deck to a client, for example, like this feels like work, but it drives zero pipeline. So again, why why do come sort of sift out the struggle to do what’s important. And, and the reason is, again, it’s the Learning Challenge. They don’t have clear goals. They don’t know how to perform the tasks that they need to complete, for example. So you say you need to generate more leads. Well, how do you do that? So it’s easy to point the finger to to a founder and say, well, you should just do more. Right, but do more what I don’t have the skills, I don’t know how to do it, I don’t have the systems, I don’t have a process I can follow. So it’s easy to do when you don’t have systems processes to kind of limit the distractions, to make it easier for you to kind of make you to make you feel energize also, when you do the work. So


Alastair McDermott  18:08

just to summarize what we’re talking about here. So we’re talking about going from six figures to seven figures. So in the $100,000 range to the million dollar range in revenue. And what you’re talking about, is he talking about the overarching challenges of difficulties, deciding learning and doing which are strategy improving capabilities, and then doing implementation. Now, what stands out to me there is typically consultants that are being brought in to help our clients with strategy. So why do we have so much of a problem in doing strategy for ourselves? Why is strategy one of the major roadblocks here


Danilo Kreimer  18:56

it’s because it’s our business I guess, you know, when it’s funny because when I started working with consultancies I, I started listing their challenges and researching and understanding more about their challenges and also fears. And this is an exercise that a few marketers would kind of suggest you to do when you’re thinking about kind of your targeting your ICP, your ideal client profile, creating personas, et cetera. What what, what do your clients fear? Right? And I added at the beginning, my hypothesis, so to say was, that they’re big Is fear is a was about missing growth goals. So they’re setting goals. And they’re not reaching them. Right. So I really wanted to do that much and, and revenue or to bring bring home that much money by the end of the year, and I couldn’t. And that happened one, one year. And that happened the second year and I just and I’m stuck. And over time I really understood that the biggest fear is not about missing growth goals, because goals are arbitrary numbers. After all, you put a goal. What informs that goal? There’s a mission, there’s a vision that you have for the future that you want, like long term wise, what I want to build what I want my life to be, what’s the life, the lifestyle that I want the business to fund? So there’s a long term vision, and based on that you set a goal. But it’s arbitrary, especially for smaller consultancies. It’s good, you don’t have investors.


Danilo Kreimer  21:26

So what I, what I believe in, after many, many, many conversations is that the biggest fear is not failing to achieve what they these goals, it’s, it’s really not achieving what, what they imagined when they started their independent practice. It’s like believing you as a founder as an individual, or a failure. Or letting family friends and the people who support you, letting those people down, because they supported you to start this entrepreneurial journey, and you’re starting this consultancy thing, and you’re not finding traction, and it’s taking longer, and you don’t know what to do and you’re stuck. And so there’s a lot of there’s a whole different emotional involvement coming back to you. To your question. When we’re dealing with our own practices, then we’re, when we’re giving advice to, to clients, of course, there are consultants who who are not so hands on, let’s say, they don’t support with implementation. So it’s easy also to give advice and say bye bye. And, and, and you’re not in you’re not following up and and helping clients actually execute and implement those ideas. But most most, for most consultancies, I think it’s really the emotional involvement that that stuff.


Alastair McDermott  23:11

Yeah, so the strategy and the decision making is difficult because, as founders, we’re so close to our own business, that it’s very difficult for us to to, and this is where like, this makes the case for having business coaches or having external advisors, or peers who support you having a group of people or having somebody who comes in and can help you steer your own ship, because it’s very difficult to steer your own ship when the work that you do is actually helping other businesses with their business problems and their strategy. Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So what I’m taking from the conversation so far is that the, the things that you’re talking about as problems and challenges that consultancies face, going from six to seven figures are myriad. There are many, many different challenges. It’s, you’ve divided them into these three groups, kind of, but within that, there are also multiple different issues within those, each of those groups. So if somebody’s listening to this, and feels like you’re speaking to them and that they have these problems, if they were to take some actionable steps to actually start increasing revenue, where would you advise them to start like where’s the low hanging fruit for you?


Danilo Kreimer  24:34

It depends on where you are in that journey. Okay. I think that what I would certainly start with, no matter where I am, is by by looking for objective on bias assessments, or at the agonal pulses, the thing is there’s so much variation in terms of what can be going on or what the low hanging fruits are, what are the resources available, depending on where you are in this revenue journey, that it becomes impossible to give kind of one single piece of advice for for everyone who’s who’s in that range. So, example, if you’re many of the many of the consultancy founders that come to me that are, let’s say, in the lower range, or in the very start their journey, maybe 100 150k A year they’re doing. They’re trying to or even closer than that, just getting started and taking the practice off the ground, they would probably the best time investment probably would be to create a clear actionable v1 strategy for their business. And this would include positioning, what problems they solve, who they who they who are they solving these problems for? The portfolio, so the the services service offerings that they will bring to market pitch with, which is how the messaging how they’re going to communicate that to the market. So it’s strategy. And and you need that to inform all the rest. Of course, when we’re working with kind of these smaller consultancies, what we’re trying to do is what we balance, long term, capability, beauty, and short term momentum building. So we need to work on things that are important that take some time to bring results, or to show the results. But we also need to create psychological momentum, positive psychological momentum, which are these quick wins that you mentioned. So these might be for example, creating a KPI spreadsheet with specific goals for your, for your, for your consulting, business, or listing all of the relationships that you have, and you’re never organized them. And you now have a list of relationships, and we will enrich them, we’ll categorize them will map them. And well, actually, there are a couple of hundreds of people that I completely lost touch with. And among those relationships, some clients, some potential clients, some people who can put me in touch with clients. Okay, so let’s start nurturing those relationships. And it’s much less scary. For example, when you start with the people you were, you already know, and who know you, you worked in the best, you will catch up, you will start to surface opportunities, your first opportunities. So these, for example, are quick wins, we can do that in 30 days, we can start creating pipeline, creating conversations. But we need to, we need to make a minimum investment into making sure that you have a decent strategy to begin with, and that you have the minimum amount of systems and processes to do the work that you’re going to do. So it really it really it really varies. But what I coming back to your to your question where I would start if if there’s one kind of recommendation for every six figure consultancies is, who are struggling to reach revenue goals, or don’t know what how to how to invest, how to prioritize the resources, that would be an objective assessment or diagnostic. And we can talk about that. But for me, it’s really important to focus on the founders to understand the importance of Yeah, fiduciary advice.


Alastair McDermott  29:58

That’s, that’s a Have a phrase I’m gonna get into with you in a moment. So it’s really interesting the things that you’ve talked about here, like you talked about on biased external assessment. And you talked about the kind of the difficulties, I think used the psychological. remember exactly what the phrase he used was, but but for me, we’re, what stands out to me is, as a founder, you’re looking at your own business. And you’re looking at it through this lens, and this prism that is clouded by your own emotions that are tied up with with it. And there are lots of, you know, mental issues with that as well. And that’s where the power of having somebody external, like a business coach, or some sort of external mentor, who can say, hey, let’s, let’s separate that, and let’s look at this in an unbiased way. And then the other thing was, you talked about, you know, quick wins, like, like, for example, simply following up with old contacts. And I’ve seen this work before, where somebody who was a client of yours at one firm has moved jobs, and they’re now at another firm. And that second firm now has the problem that the original did. So now you’ve potentially got an access to a new client, by just following up with that one person. And so yeah, I’ve seen that work really well in the past. So those are very simple, quick wins. But you talked about like having, you have to meet the minimum bar of having a decent strategy in place. And it doesn’t have to be a world beating strategy. But it does have to meet a certain bar. And so I think that’s, that’s really crucial. Let’s talk about fiduciary, because that’s the word that I like to use sometimes. And I know that some people use that in a very legalistic sense. But I think that you’re using it more like the way that I use it in that when when you take a free didn’t care approach to your clients, you are saying that you put their interests before your own? So is that is that what you’re talking about? Correct? Correct. Can you tell me a little bit more about that? Yeah.


Danilo Kreimer  32:04

Yeah. So you put the relationship before any financial transaction, let’s say this, this is how I see it. And for me, that’s, that’s key. If you want to, to level up to really kind of unblock revenue growth, especially for small consultancies. And the thing is, so I ran a ran an agency the best. And I started looking at Dos. I started looking at stories that had a very similar pattern. So out, I’ll give you true stories. Alastair? I’ll give you three true stories to illustrate the problem. And, and you tell me if you can, let’s see if you can guess what’s the similarity here? And what the answers are similar to this to this story. So first story. So it’s a boutique consulting firm. They lost their biggest client and they need to grow pipeline. Okay, we need to bring in more revenue more clients. So they hired a marketing agency to help them with lead generation invested a few $1,000 failed. It failed to produce results. I asked the partner what made you believe that generating more leads was the best solution to your pipeline problems. Okay. This was the question I made. Second story. So small consultancy, growing with four employees, a lot of work so they decided to hire two more employees full time employees. So they hire a recruitment specialist to help. So they spent time and money kind of vetting, interviewing, training the new people. The margins shrank. The partner came to me and say, I’m making less money. And now I’m kind of worried that we’re overextended. Like there’s more risk to my business. I ask what made you believe that hiring full time employees was the best solution to your capability gaps? third story, a friend solo advisor, was expecting his first child and said, I am working crazy hours. I can’t do this is not sustainable. Okay, so he hired a digital consultant.


Danilo Kreimer  35:22

And he created an online course with the idea, okay, I can sell this while I slip.


Danilo Kreimer  35:32

The course they don’t sell. And not only didn’t sell, but it also creates confusion among some larger clients, bigger clients that he has. So I asked him, What made you believe that creating an online course was the best solution to earn more while working less. So three stories. And for the three stories I made, I asked the partners, what made you believe that doing x was the best solution to Y? Can you guess what their answers were? Alastair?


Alastair McDermott  36:13

I’d say they didn’t have a good answer.


Danilo Kreimer  36:18

They didn’t have well, they had an answer. Yes. They didn’t have a good answer. You’re correct. But I mean, some of them, they really thought that they could solve those problems themselves. So okay, I’m having this delivery problem we’re growing. So the right thing to do is to hire two people. Well, this is what you think. So your self diagnose, right? And so some of them really thought that they could do this themselves. But also, what happens is they ended up bringing people. So a recruitment specialists, a marketing agency, a digital consultant, that pitch them their existing services, instead of helping them uncover the real problems. And it turns out that the quality of this advice was not that good. He was dubious. And, and I have a friend, that I have a friend that that spoke to you, I think in this podcast, Kevin, Kevin will, he talks a lot about fiduciary advice. And, and he has a great analogy that I love is imagine you want to improve your diet. Why would you ask a butcher? What’s the best thing to eat? They’re going to suggest meat.


Alastair McDermott  38:02

Great analogy.


Danilo Kreimer  38:05

That’s obvious. That’s obvious. They’re going to suggest me and again, I ran an agency in the past. So I’m not trying to imply that these people are unethical that this consultants or contractors or agencies, I’m not trying to imply that. It’s just that they don’t know better. Like, it’s like asking, it’s like asking for a budget for a diet advice. They, they only know about meat. That’s all they know about. So they’re going to find something to help you with.


Alastair McDermott  38:50

It’s like the old phrase, if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So either way, if that was Kevin Whelan, you were talking about? Yes. Yeah. He was on episode 68. Of of this and it was called Cell expertise, not your hands. So that was great conversation.


Danilo Kreimer  39:08

His his great guy and really, really competent. He has a community. It’s been a while I’ll get in touch Kevin. He helps CMOS, fractional CMOS. But anyway, he, but I think that that analogy is great. And the thing is, yeah, you cannot ignore the conflict of interest. That that’s the thing. So I think that consultancy founders need to be aware of that. Like these founders are not exception. This stories are not exceptions. They are very frequent. And they just consultancy founders, they end up wasting really hard one money and a lot of time working on on the wrong things. And,


Alastair McDermott  40:00

and you can earn more money, but you can’t get that time back. Yes,


Danilo Kreimer  40:04

yes, yes. No the time is


Alastair McDermott  40:09

that we speaking of time, we only have a couple of minutes left, I want to ask you a couple more things. One thing I and this I think ties directly what we’re just talking about, but we we briefly mentioned beforehand, you talked about the harmful the harmful effects of generic marketing advice. Can you talk about that specifically for me? Like what like, what do you think of when you think of that?


Danilo Kreimer  40:32

Yeah. So every now and then, someone comes to me and asks, okay, how, how come you specialize in and working only with consultancies? With six figure consultants? Can you? Can you not help like SMBs as a whole, like, small businesses? And and of course, they’re not implying that I should become a generalist. What these people want to know is, what exactly makes consulting difference? Like, do they really need a specialist? And I think this is a valid question. We all know that there’s a huge difference between selling products and services, for example, or b2c, and b2b. But is consulting so different, that you should be sceptic skeptical of advice from those who are not in the space? And my answer to this is based on what actually happens in the real world? This? Yes. generic marketing advice is harmful for consultancies. And I’ll try to explain it briefly. But one of the best ways I found to show to illustrate this is by explaining to consultancy founders what Creedence goods are. Do you? Have you heard that? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So it Creedence goods are part of, of the SEC, which is a classification of goods and services, that some economics, economics and professional marketers use. And it’s about information, right. So the SEC classification as EC, is based on how easy or difficult it is for for clients to get or evaluate information. Right. And, and, and the name is an acronym. So there are three categories there, there are search goods, experience goods, and credence goods. So search goods are products or services that you can evaluate before you buy, or you consume them. So commodities, like clothes, water, or podcast microphone, for example. So when when people buy those, they know what they want, what they want, and it’s easy to see and compare and measure the difference between different brands, specific attributes. So for example, if I say I’m looking for the cheapest podcast microphone, okay, I can search based on price or I’m looking for something I can easily take with me when I travel okay, I can rank microphones by size right. So, these are search goods commoditize experience goods are goods whose price quality or whatever attributes you want to measure them, they can only be they can only be discovered after you purchase them. So, for example, when you go to a restaurant or hotel or hairdresser for example. You hope that the guys you know the dress you hope the aggressor is good and you can try to avoid surprises like you look at the ratings or the people’s reviews or no platforms that aggregate information. But you can ever know you will judge after the experience after consuming now, you would judge the quality price service etc. And credence goods are goods whose quality is difficult or impossible to assess even after you hire them. Okay. And this happens because the client or the consumer, they don’t have enough expertise to make an evaluation. So this is where consult thing fits in. Okay, as well as medical services, legal services. And curious. And it’s curious because a common example of for Creedence good, it’s also a mechanic’s shot. And I think it’s, it’s a very easy way to think about that. It’s a to do illustrate a query. That’s good. So for example, last time we went, you went to a car repair shop, so your car broke, you’re having problems with your car, you go to the shop, the mechanic takes a look at the car. And he says to you, okay, you have a bumper damage problem here. So there are cracks in our bumper, you can go for a long time. Well, before you notice it, I recommend you leave the car here, and I’ll take a look at it. Depending on the size of the damage, I will have to replace the whole thing. But I’ve been doing this for decades, Alastair? So I can already tell you that for your car, your model, specifically, there are two points that we often see problems. And we need to change the whole thing. Okay, leave the car there, I’ll confirm what do you do. So you are not a mechanic. You have no idea what a bumper damages. And even if you go go or you ask AI or whatever, you will not be able to perform any checks, you know, it would be very difficult. So the information asymmetry is one of the reasons why selling consulting is a lot like selling legal advice or medical support. In all of those markets, even when we measure success objectively, and I recommend that you do with your clients. Clients don’t know how much of the service was needed, you know, or how much was actually performed. They don’t know. Because they’re not experts in this. So this means that if you’re selling credence goods, the clients have to trust the provider, implicitly, they have to trust you, they have to believe that you will diagnose the problem correctly, they have to believe that you will prescribe the right solution, they have to believe that you can do the work. They have to believe that you will generate. So they have to believe in you. It’s a trust based business. So yeah, so it got a bit long. But I really think that this idea of credence good understanding grievance goods, it’s very helpful for founders, because most of the marketing advice that you see out there, it falls short, it does not apply to this kind of services.


Alastair McDermott  48:22

Yeah, I mean, I totally agree with you. It’s intangible, it’s invisible, what we do. And typically it’s transformative, which implies risky. And it’s quite often expensive. And so we need a very high bar of trust. And usually that’s passed through personal referral. But we can also do this other thing, which is create a body of work, which is, you know, by publishing experts knowledge, and putting ourselves out there by doing things like this podcast, or live stream, writing books, and all of those kinds of things to put our expert knowledge age, so that when people come across this potential clients, that you know, they can read our thinking and start to build trust that way as well. That’s why I think the content creation part is is really important because it can help to cement that trust, even if there is a personal referral, but it can substitute for that personal referral if there isn’t. That’s the way I think about that. Correct.


Danilo Kreimer  49:16

Correct. And then cotton market is is is important also in b2b in general. It’s an important piece in your marketing capabilities. It’s just that, of course, it needs to be complemented in the case of consulting services. It’s a part of the piece of the puzzle. It’s not enough. So for example, just to give you one stat, because I know that you’re big. I mean, you’re big in marketing as a whole and you’re a bit adverse to sales or business development ideas.


Alastair McDermott  49:56

I’m not an outbound guy. Let’s put it that way. My wouldn’t be my first port of call. Alright. Yeah,


Danilo Kreimer  50:02

I’m not an outbound guy either. But I recognized the role of proactive and thoughtful.


Alastair McDermott  50:10

I can get on board with that. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.


Danilo Kreimer  50:13

Yeah. So So for example, there’s this stat survey recently that I saw that show that 81% of consultancy, or have consulting buyers, say that the quality of your one on one conversations makes them much more likely to hire a provider over another. So marketing alone content, you put out how you promote your brand messaging, etc, it can only take you so far. If you do everything right, and you get in to a one on one call a consultation, and it goes terribly. You will not inspire trust, this opportunity will be gone. This is not this is not the same as when we compared to tube b2b. Or the b2b industries, for example, or when you have a sales team who’s leading growth, or you have a product. Lead sales


Alastair McDermott  51:27

is something that’s something that maybe we should talk about another time on the podcast, because there is something interesting there. Because when we’re talking about micro consultancies, the founder is typically both the salesperson and the person who’s going to be executing. And I think that that also complicates matters. So but we don’t have time to get into things. We


Danilo Kreimer  51:50

don’t have time. Yeah, let’s get.


Alastair McDermott  51:52

Yeah, but that’s that. That is something I think, you know, just just talking about that dynamic, because it’s very different. When you can have somebody else go and sell for you. I do Sorry, go ahead.


Danilo Kreimer  52:09

No, no, no, please. Okay, so


Alastair McDermott  52:11

I do want to wrap up, because I’m very aware of your time, and I really appreciate you taking the time to go over the top of the hour with me. What is the number one tip that you would give to somebody who wants to build their authority?


Danilo Kreimer  52:26

Would I would the follow three steps? I would say pick your lane, get the knowledge and share that knowledge. I think that pick your game bigger lane. Because yeah, we can become a specialist at everything. So first step here is narrowing down and kind of really answer document. What’s the critical problem solving? Who are the people who are organizations that will help solve this problem? gather knowledge. So do research work with similar companies solving similar problems, interact with others who solved similar problems and work with similar companies in the best start documenting patterns and ideas? And also put them in practice, you know, real life so keep what works for away what, what doesn’t work? And, and share that knowledge among your target audience consistently? I think, yeah, you need to educate people about the problem. And and if they’re interested, share what you do to solve the problem. Charge if they want your help with the hall.


Alastair McDermott  53:44

I love I love that you bring it straight back to revenue as well. Yeah, you


Danilo Kreimer  53:48

have to because I mean, you need to sustain a business. It’s not charity. Yeah. But yeah. So I would say pick your lane, Gather and Gather knowledge and share that knowledge would be I don’t know compressed. What


Alastair McDermott  54:02

What I like about that, actually, and we didn’t talk about this beforehand. But that actually maps on to how I viewed the journey to authority, which is where people need to specialize. And then once they specialize, they’re this invisible, invisible specialist, they can start to do some research and then publish around that. And so like, I would see that as very much equivalent to what you’ve just talked about. So yeah, I would 100% I’m with you on that. I have two final questions. Is there a business book or resource that’s been important for you, personally, that you recommend?


Danilo Kreimer  54:36

So there’s, I love reading there’s a huge list of books that I typically recommend, specifically for for business development for professional service firms consultancies. I think that one not not specific a book, but there’s one powerful asset thing that I recommend every consultancy founder to read is from David Meister, you can find it online. It’s called the problem of standards. It’s a piece I recommend every consulting partners to read. And the idea is simple. We say that we’re committed to something, but we don’t follow through. There is not enough discipline, you can have all of the tools, all of the technologies, all of the systems at your disposal disposal, but if you don’t enforce standards, then nothing will get done. So example. I see a lot of consultancies, that kind of they, they put up a message saying they’re committed to client satisfaction, they put clients first, first, first place, their client centric. Okay. This is what you preach. But how many of your clients do you ask for feedback at the end of every project? How many clients do you asked for feedback at the middle of the project? How many clients? Do you how many client case studies you share? So you say you’re committed to client satisfaction, but you’re not doing the basic things that you need to, that you need to have in place in order to actually satisfy clients? So I think that, yeah, most firms like to preach high standards of quality or thought leadership, or whatever it is, but very few actually enforce. enforce those standards, and you get the benefit of which you actually do. That’s the idea. So I really recommend this short essay to anyone, you can find it online.


Alastair McDermott  57:10

Yeah, I’ll link to it in the show notes. It’s called the problem of standards by David Meister, or David Meister. Super, do you read fiction at all? Is there anything that you love and recommend?


Danilo Kreimer  57:22

I read fiction, yes, I’ve been reading way too much work related books recently. But I love to read good fiction. And my only my only criteria for picking up fiction is that they should be at least 20 years old. So basically, I, I apply the Lindy effect, as the lab would say, to book so the longer a book been around, the longer I can expect it to be relevant. And so for me, I want when I’m reading fiction, I want something that kind of blows my mind or like change the way to think. So I think I would recommend, like, if it’s one book, I would say Siddhartha by Emma has, which it’s about a man on a journey for kind of inner peace. I don’t know if you read? No,


Alastair McDermott  58:18

I haven’t. I haven’t. Yeah, I’ve heard of it, though. Yeah. Yeah,


Danilo Kreimer  58:21

that there’s a lot of it. But for me, it’s kind of the main reminder is that everyone’s a different journey. And you have to experience things for yourself, basically. But I mean, I’m also Brazilian. So if you’re looking for a reading recommendations, I would highly recommend also, anything by hardware, NASA, or gemara is Hawza, which are brilliant fiction authors, from Brazil.


Alastair McDermott  58:55

Awesome. Well, I didn’t know you. Thank you for all of your time today. Where can people find you if they want to subscribe to your email list or follow you on social media? Where can they find you?


Danilo Kreimer  59:06

LinkedIn or boutique consulting


Alastair McDermott  59:16

I’ll put links to those in the show notes as well.


Danilo Kreimer  59:18

Yes, and I would highly recommend all of your listeners if you’re looking to kind of if you’re stuck, or anything of these ideas, that ideas that I that I share here that we talked about resonate and I highly recommend you to watch my mini masterclass. I have a mini masterclass where I talk about the very first thing, I recommend consultancy founders to work on. I don’t require any email, opt in form, whatever. I will share the link maybe you can put in the description Alastair? They can take action From that,


Alastair McDermott  1:00:02

awesome, sounds good. Well done Miller Kramer, you are the founder of the boutique consulting club. I really appreciate that you came here today and give me an hour of your time, not just in your second language, but actually in your third language. I have so much respect for people who can come on and do podcasts and get some podcasts in, you know, in other languages like that. So thank you so much for coming on and chatting with us today. You’re


Danilo Kreimer  1:00:25

welcome, Alastair. And, yeah, let’s schedule the next one. Awesome.


Alastair McDermott  1:00:33

Thanks for listening, I know that you’ve got a choice of podcasts and shows that you can listen to. So I really do appreciate your time and your attention. If you did find this episode. Interesting. I would truly appreciate if you could take 30 seconds to rate the show in your podcast player or even leave a text review. It won’t take you long but it has a huge impact on the growth of the show. And it also helps to motivate me and continuing to do it. So it’s right where you’re listening to the show. You can also find a link in the show notes which will take you to rate and review. Thank you again. See you in the next one.

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