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Are you overwhelmed, overworked, and burned out, but your income still seems capped…because there’s only so much of your time you can trade for money?
Is your income feast or famine? Some months are great, but you just can’t seem to maintain it.
Are you struggling to balance the need to both serve the clients you have and find new ones? It’s even worse if you don’t know where the new clients come from.
You can build a thriving Fractional CMO practice that generates more clients who actually listen to your advice and pay you what you’re worth so you can get off the time for money hamster wheel. It’s just as great as it sounds, but let’s be clear.
Becoming a fractional CMO isn’t a:
It’s a way to create more income from fewer hours, so you can stop trading your time for money (while still using your marketing expertise).
A fractional CMO is a marketing leader who is brought into a company part-time to help the CEO set a strategy and execute critical projects. Here’s the key to a fractional CMO’s role—they don’t have to actually do the marketing work. You’re just setting the strategy and ensuring it gets implemented.
Before 2020, 16% of retail sales occurred online, and in 2021 it grew to 30+%. Even though it feels like digital marketing is old news, we’re still on the cusp of digital transformation. There’s a lot of room for growth because every business knows they need to be digital.
But, while the need is great, so is the complexity. There’s a lot that goes into the marketing technology landscape. A business can’t do this all on its own, and CMOs make an average of $200,000 per year (the highest CMOs are the best digital performers!). Companies have a massive need and budget to spend, but they can’t find (or afford) full-time marketing executives who “get” digital.
That’s where you come in…
Now is the greatest time to be a digital marketer if you know how to position yourself.
Your competition isn’t big, successful agencies. Your competition is sleazy marketers who they hired before you. They promised your prospects that they could help them with SEO…and didn’t. Now, your prospects are on edge whenever they hear the word “marketer.”
That’s where your value-first content comes in.
What is value in advance content?
By leading with content, you can differentiate yourself from being another sleazy marketer. You can deliver value-in-advance content by public speaking, email newsletters, online videos, webinars, blog posts…you get the idea.
How you deliver this content doesn’t matter as much as making sure it’s timely, specific, and actionable. For example, here’s a bad topic to cover as a digital marketer:
“Digital engagement in the new economy”: This isn’t timely, specific, or actionable. Do you know a business owner who woke up this morning and thought, “I want to read about digital engagement and the economy…” No way!
Instead, here’s a great example of value-in-advance content:
“3 Copy and Paste Facebook Campaigns that Generate Leads from Scratch”: It’s timely, specific, and actionable!”
At the end of your value-in-advance content, you need a strategic call to action that turns readers into prospects that reach out to you asking for help. This is where the Content Pivot Script comes in…
“What I just taught you is important, but it may not be the most important growth strategy for your business right now. We have identified 30+ additional growth strategies, so let’s schedule some time when we can figure out the ONE BIG THING you should do first…CTA.”
The Content Pivot Script gets your readers to convert to a free strategic consulting session, which brings you to Step 2 of the Fractional CMO Playbook.
Your strategic consult meeting will have the following goals and objectives:
Every strategic consult meeting needs 4 things:
#2: Pre-Built Presentation
You can’t just wing your strategy session. If you’re not strategic in this session, how can you expect your clients to think you’ll be strategic as a CMO? Your pre-built presentation can be used across all of your prospects with minor tweaks.
We highly encourage adding an audit to your strategy session to show your prospects what they’re missing (and how you can help them fill those gaps). Your audit can cover metrics like:
#4: Planning Framework
Strategic planning is an important part of this strategy session. You want your prospect to see what working with you would look like if you got started. DigitalMarketer Certified Partners map out the Customer Value Journey to show prospects how they can get clients.
Here’s the thing: you don’t need to dive into the technical aspect of this (you already did with your value-in-advance content). At this point, it’s about strategic planning.
A strategic planning framework is:
This is why we train and license all our Certified Partners to use the Customer Value Journey during the sales and onboarding process because your job is not to “Wow” your clients with how much you know. It’s your job to help them understand and then remove the burden of implementation.
If you followed the Fractional CMO Playbook so far, you wouldn’t need to ask anything more because your prospect can already see what they need to do—and that you can help them with implementation.
Do you believe if you can demonstrate real value in advance, qualified prospects will gladly pay you to help them implement what you show them? Certified Partner Griffin Brown followed this system to get his first client during his “practice” round of the Fractional CMO Playbook:
As a fractional CMO, you don’t want to say, “I can do that for you,” you want to say, “I can get that done for you.” See the difference? This is the key to moving from stuck and frustrated to fewer hours and more income. Your clients don’t care if you’re the one that does it or if it’s somebody else. They just want it done.
Your clients just want a beautiful symphony of growth, sales, and clients. But that doesn’t mean you have to play all of the instruments. You just need to be the conductor.
As long as you can say, “I can get that done for you,” you have all the skills to move to the next step.
The biggest mistake consultants make is trying to sell retainers too early in the relationship. It’s really tempting at this step to ask for a retainer—but we suggest holding off for now. Instead of a retainer, offer a 90-Day Paid Implementation for $10,000 or 3 payments of $3,500.
During your 90-Day Paid Implementation, you want to get them a quick win and make yourself “free” (what’s something silly they’re doing that you can fix and help them pay your invoice?), create a 90-Day Growth Plan with goals and initiatives, and establish benchmarks and metrics (this is great for retention!).
#1: Pre-Built Presentation Productizing Your Services
We recommend one full day meeting every 30-days and weekly check-ins facilitated through these pre-built presentations.
#2: 90-Day Game Plan
Make sure to define what winning looks like ahead of time, so your clients know they’re getting an ROI. Just like you want to know your investments have an ROI, your clients want to see an ROI too. Show them with your 90-Day Game Plan (or you can call it something different if you’d like).
#3: Growth Planning Framework
Chances are this framework starts with the Customer Value Journey. Bring the CVJ into your framework where clients define the 3 key goals they want to help closing the gap on (or become a Certified Partner to get the Growth Planning Canvas).
#4: Scorecard/Metrics Template
This is optional at the beginning, but it’s really great for retention. Your clients can see what’s going well, what’s not going well, and most importantly—why. If you don’t have a Scorecard/Metrics Template in your business, this is your sign to implement one.
Here’s what happens at the end of the 90-days…
Around the 75 day mark, set up a call with your client to talk about how you’ll move forward. Give them three options:
This is the beauty of a 90-day implementation. You’re not asking them to sign up for anything you’re not already doing! It makes this an easy sell. And that’s why the Fractional CMO Playbook works so well.
But, does $3,500/month seem like a lot? It is if you’re just a consultant. It’s a bargain if you’re a Fractional CMO because fractional CMOs make an average of $200,000 per year and the highest paid CMOs are the best digital performers (a.k.a you!).
$3,500/month is ⅓-⅕ of the salary of a marketing executive and half the salary of an entry-level marketer salary. Clients usually waste at least $3,500/month on things that aren’t working, and you’re just reallocating their existing budget.
A budget that needs to go towards digital marketing.
By productizing your sales and the onboarding process, it doesn’t have to be you doing everything. You don’t have to facilitate the workshops and brainstorming sessions. You can focus on the work you love most because systems equal freedom.
If you bring this into your existing agency or consultancy, you can be your own boss and do your own thing (part-time or full-time). You can add a new income stream to your existing business. Or you can build it and sell it.
Is this a business model that could work for you? If the answer is yes, here are your 3 options:
#2: You can do it yourself…
#3: You can do it with us…
You can become part of the DigitalMarketer family and get a turnkey strategy to build your fractional CMO practice. You’re invited to become a DigitalMarketer Certified Partner. As a DigitalMarketer Certified Partner, you’ll be licensed and trained to deploy our proven and proprietary models and frameworks as a fractional CMO on behalf of your clients.
The process is simple. We teach you the frameworks, you facilitate the frameworks, and you keep all of the profits!
Become a Certified Partner today and get access to our Partner Success Kit with everything you need to: