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Episode 187: Building a Consulting Business That Frees You—with Carlos Adell

Deb Zahn: Hi, I want to welcome you to this week's episode of the Craft of Consulting podcast. So on this podcast, we're going to talk about how to build a consulting business that doesn't just rely on you, and how to set things up in a certain way so that you can really do that work smarter harder thing, and not just feel bad because it's not working. And I brought on someone, Carlos Adell, who's going to talk about how to do that, and some of the systems and the automations and the other things that you can put in place to make it easier for you to have, ultimately, the business you want. And then we also dive into some cool things like how to do cold outreach and things like that. So let's get started. I want to welcome to my show today, Carlos Adell. Carlos, welcome to the show.

Carlos Adell: Hi, nice to be here, Deb.

Deb Zahn: So let's start off. Tell my listeners what you do.

Carlos Adell: What do I do? I'm a recovering engineer. That means that I was an engineer, but I'm not an engineer anymore. I went into coaching, I’ve been a business coach for a long time, and now I'm shifting a little. I've been shifting into the tech side of things and helping people integrate their business in a way that saves them time and money, if you will, so to make the life of the entrepreneur a little bit better and easier.

Deb Zahn: OK, well we all like that. So that's why I've got you on today, is we're going to talk about building a consulting business that does exactly the things that you've just described. So often when people become consultants, they're like, "Oh, it's just me, and I'll just tell everybody I'm a consultant." And they don't think about any of the help they might need or the back end that they actually might want to build. So what's wrong? Let's start off with, why is that not the best way to do it?

Carlos Adell: Well, at the beginning, it's great. No one tells you what to do. You don't need to deal with teams or anyone. So it's perfect. You're the king, you do everything yourself, which is good, and it becomes bad very soon because when you don't want to do everything yourself or you have too much to do yourself, then it's like, OK, now what? Maybe you left a nine to five to join your dream business and then now you're working 24/7 and you're trapped into something that you can't get out of because working with people is not easy. Finding the right team is not easy and doing all the things is good for a little while, but after a while, you want to have a life, not a business…just a business.

Deb Zahn: That's right. And you can also ding your business because suddenly someone needs a proposal, suddenly somebody needs this, suddenly someone needs this and oh, you're it. And oh, you're the IT person as well.

Carlos Adell: Of course. And you have your whole week planned with all these beautiful schedules that you plan ahead on Sunday. And then something comes up and then your whole schedule for the whole week goes to the rubbish bin because you have no one else to help you.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Carlos Adell: So yeah. It's good and bad. So you want to plan these things ahead of time. So in the time to grow your business and to remove yourself from being the... I wear all the hats kind of business owner.

Deb Zahn: Gotcha. And so that falls under that category of work smarter, not harder, which everybody talks about, but what the heck does that mean and what strategies should they be thinking about that would help them do what you're talking about?

Carlos Adell: Yeah, so it is a good question. We had a one size fits all kind of answer. I heard someone say last week on Instagram ,and I saw this post and it was saying, “You need to work hard before you can work smart.” And I went bananas. I really triggered here because it's like, "OK, so you need to bang your head against the wall to knock it down before you grab a hammer? You can grab the hammer from day one and start working smarter." So the thing is that there is this mixed misconception that we need to put it all this time and hours and work really hard before we find smarter ways of doing things. And that's not true.

What you want to do is a little bit of research and understand not only what's going to happen tomorrow, but what's going to happen in the next year. So you understand what is the process that you're going to follow. So when you hit this first year, you don't have a thousand of different things that you're handling yourself and finding a team to handle everything, it's much, much bit more difficult. So I would say that sometimes you can sacrifice a little bit of the profit or a little bit of the freedom that it gives you, being able to handle and manage everything. So getting a little bit of help from the beginning or at least ask.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. Well I'm a huge fan of help, so I have found that tremendously helpful from when I was doing it all myself. So I know one of those things that you talk about is getting systems and automations and things in place that free you up. And we talked before and I'm a huge fan of that because that has worked for me. So what are some of those must have systems that consultants need to have in place?

Carlos Adell: Yeah, good question as well. It might be slightly different depending on their niche and depending on the business model you're running. But the first thing you want is to track. You can't measure what you can't track or you can't adjust what you can’t measure. So understanding your numbers is a very important thing. Getting as much information out of your head as you possibly can. And if you're a solopreneur, a consultant, and a coach, whatever, you want to build business assets.

And some people, the mistake that I see they do is they do rely too much on social media to run their online businesses. We believe that all this content and all this information that's on social media, it belongs to us, and it doesn't. So what I would say is the first thing you want to do is build your own assets. That being an email list, it would be the first thing that I would encourage everyone to start building. And then when you get started, you might not have a lot of money to invest into your business and websites and funnels and automations and stuff, but you want to start building something that if tomorrow social media disappears, it belongs to you, and no one can take of you.

Deb Zahn: I love that. And I've heard that expression “own the racetrack.” I hate race tracking, but it's a good point because social media has whims. So suddenly they changed their algorithm and you went from all of these people loving your stuff to no one's seeing your stuff as opposed to when you own something. So I'm going to go back to tracking in a bit because I think that's really important. But if you have an email list. So for folks who are an email list, you mean my contact list? Can you say more about just for the folks who don't know what that is, what that is and how you can use it to build your business?

Carlos Adell: OK. I'll share a personal experience if you don't mind. So to make it more understandable. When I started my business as a consultant, everything I was doing was on Facebook. To build an audience, I was talking with people on Facebook. I have a Facebook group, and I had few emails that it would be collecting, but on the side without putting much attention to it. One year into the business, I was making a decent revenue for an entrepreneur and had a lot of clients. I had a big income coming in and one day wake up logging on Facebook, Facebook has deleted my accounts. Now I cannot reach out to my clients. I cannot reach out to my prospects. I cannot reach out to my audience. I don't have my content anymore. And it happened overnight without me seeing it coming.

So what I did is, OK, how can I reach out to my clients? So I had a few of them, I had their emails. So I sent an email to a bunch of them that I had the email and from there I could start building my business again. And some of them would resign with me because I would reach out to them on the email. So this was the only information that it belonged to me. And I didn't have an email to respond to any kind of tool. I had them all in an Excel spreadsheet and it would have a couple of hundred. So you can have very cheap software or any mail team or there's a lot of different tools out there that you can have to collect these emails. And the way you want to do it is everyone that you can give value on social media, you can give value to anyone interested in your business, but instead of giving it freely, you say, "Hey, what's your best email? I'll send it to you." And then you send them this email or you send them the pdf but when you have your email and your contact details because if they're interested now in something that you're doing, chances are that they'll be interested later on and they might become a client. But remove these contacts and this information from social media as fast as you can.

Deb Zahn: My goodness, that is such a sobering and it's not the first time I've heard it, I haven't heard suddenly everything was deleted. But I have heard, and they changed the algorithm and then this happened or they decided that they weren't going to let you do this anymore because it doesn't serve their business purposes. So yeah, I love that. And I know, so I have an email list, the people who are on my email list get more than anybody gets on social media, so they get extra value. I reward them for the honor of them exchanging their email with me.

Carlos Adell: Of course, yes. That's the gift. Even a list, I'm not to sell them everything but to add extra value, and so they stay and then at some point the sales going to come because they know more about you and there's going to be a call to action here and there and you can get them on a call and you nurturing the relationship free now.

Deb Zahn: I love that. And so let's go back to tracking because that's a perfect thing to talk about after this. So a lot of consultants, and I'm going to admit I was one of those when I first started 12 years ago, is, yeah, I was looking at each gig. I wasn't thinking about it relative to a whole business or a book of business. I wasn't tracking anything. I was just like, “Who's going to hire me next?” And I know that that's a really common thing that consultants do. Let's talk about what they should do instead. What kind of things should they be tracking?

Carlos Adell: Well, the first thing that I have to admit is I'm not charitable at tracking. I'm an action man, and I like to take action and go for it. And then sometimes they forget. But the thing is that conversion is one of the most important things that you should be tracking. And when I say conversion, it doesn't mean like sales necessarily. But if you have conversations with people and if you have 10 conversations with these people, what happens with these conversations over time?

Some of them might convert into a Zoom call. Some of these Zoom calls might convert into a client, maybe now in the future. So the first thing that you want to have is the database of all the people that you talk to or that you feel like they may be become a client later on. Because if you track these conversations, you'll be able to follow-up later on.

We are usually driven by the quick fix, the quick result, the immediate gratification, and we forget that the money is in the follow-up. And if you're going to do my money well, the good relationships and the good clients are in the follow-ups and-

Deb Zahn: “The money is in the follow-up” needs to be a t-shirt. That's something you should start selling. That is fabulous. And I was just telling a group of folks that yesterday you do all this stuff and then they fall off a cliff. And no wonder you don't actually make a sale.

Carlos Adell: Exactly. And one thing that's super important, and these days people are bombarded with information and messages and follow-ups and some people get offended sometimes because you send them too many messages on social media, on LinkedIn or Facebook whatever. It's OK, not everyone's going to like you. But what we are looking for is these people that say, "Hey, you know what? I love your tenacity. I love that you keep reminding of me and that I love that you keep sending me messages even though I don't reply to them." And then these are the ones that become a client because these are the ones that resonate with you and appreciate that you putting in this effort and you don't give up and they sign up with you. But if you look at the ones that get offended and they have very thin skin and they are like, "It's OK." Just ignore those ones.

Deb Zahn: Because that's what it'll be like to work with them too.

Carlos Adell: Normally. Yeah, you don't want to get caught up with the people that following up is important, you don't want to get caught up in someone who said, "Oh, I would like to join your program." And then there is no one else like that. You're going to have a follow-up process so people have you top of mind when it's the time for them to sign up with you, you don't really want to get caught up with anyone that shows a little bit of interest because sometimes one of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs do, especially when we start up and cultures and consultants, is that when someone responds to a message, we automatically believe that that's going to convert into a client.

And what do we do? We push and chase. What happens when you push and chase? You get a lot of pushback and no thank yous. So what you want is to stay there, keep them informed, keep making sure that you stay top of mind for them and don't chase because when you stop chasing and you start leaning back, what you get is leaning in. People start to say, "Hey, I really like that." It's always there, but she never forced me to jump in a call or buy from me. So they started becoming interested.

Deb Zahn: And you start to form an actual real relationship doesn't involve stalking, which is a good thing.

Carlos Adell: Exactly.

Deb Zahn: Now, one of the things that is also a system I know that is important for consultants and often they don't put it in anywhere near the beginning of their processes. A customer relationship management system, that thing that will allow them to track, that thing that will allow them to remind them of when they should do follow-up. You'll look back and see who I haven't talked to in a while. Can you describe what that is and what the utility of that is for consultants?

Carlos Adell: Yes. So basically again, if you're online and you're posting regularly, they're probably going to see your post if you do a good job online, so you're going to stay on top of mind when you talk to someone and you build this relationship. And you take the relationship a little bit further. These people are in your email list, or you've spoken with them before. One of the things that I will do when you finish a conversation with someone who is not joining now set up an exaction and this could be an agreement that you make with them. "Hey, would is it going to be OK to follow-up in a couple of months when you've finished this project see where you are?" "Yes, of course." "OK, I'll give you a call then, I'll send you an email, I'll reach out then."

And then you write a little note. And that is a manual process when you're starting out, but you can automate all this stuff. So you forget about this person now, if you send emails they're in your email list, if you're in your network, they will see your content. So they will keep top of mind and when the time comes, you want to reach out yourself or you want to set up a little automation, so it reach out to them because these are the most powerful conversations and the people who are going to be more willing to do business with you because you've been there, you haven't pushed them to make a decision, you just know that you need the right time. And then when it's the right time, you want to reach out.

This is one way. The other way is like, hey, if it's a no now and I don't know when, then that's fine. You want to set up a little reminder to just give a personal touch to these people that you've had conversations before say, "Hey, just thought of you, how's things going?" And that's enough. And I promise if you send an email to 1000 people and you say, hey, name on the subject and you write something like, "I'm just working on this new project and I just thought of you, it would be valuable for you to have a quick call and resume conversations." And 99% of the people think that it's a personal email even though you wrote the same email to everyone.

Deb Zahn: That's right?

Carlos Adell: So it's an example of how you can streamline and automate some things without losing the personal touch.

Deb Zahn: I love not losing the personal touch because again, it goes back to the relationship part. So this, I want to contrast this with what I did, and often other consultants do at the beginning, which is we try and rely on our memory or we have our posted notes. So posted notes are not a system, they're cute, but they're not a system. So that's a perfect example of if you have an actual system, it not only lets you track and pay attention to when you need to follow-up, but it can also actually automate and follow-up. So again, for those consultants who are automating what's that? Can you describe a little bit more about how that works? And you gave a great example where it might send an automated email, but can you say a little bit more about how that works for someone who maybe doesn't know anything about automation?

Carlos Adell: If you know anything about automation, I would suggest you start doing a little bit of research because it can be as overwhelming as you want or as simple as you want as well. So you want to find something that fits your needs. If when you're getting started and you might not have the budget or you might not have the willingness to get into complex systems, that's totally fine. Even at Google calendar, it will help you to set up reminders. And I still do that today. You set a little reminder in three months and you make sure that you put a note that you're going to remember them because sometimes you get this note and as who is Marrie and what do I…

Deb Zahn: Exactly.

Carlos Adell: So put a reminder to yourself that it's going to show up later so you can take this out of your mind and then you will remind when it's the time. Now, if you have a little bit of a more complex system, which doesn't need to be complicated and you have a CRM, you can send little notes or reminders and then you say, when this time comes. Send an email to this person or send a Facebook message. Send a link message. And this is something you can automate easily using a CRM, which is a customer relationship management somewhere. I believe that's what it stands for?

Deb Zahn: I always have to look up what it stands for. But yeah, that's it.

Carlos Adell: So you can automate that. Even if you're a solopreneur, there's many, many, many tools that you can easily handle. And it's going to take, of course, it's going to take a couple of minutes to set it out. When you finish the call, you want to go there, and you want to set this little note or this little automation or email that's going to go out. Most of the times you're going to feel like you are wasting your time because I'm just going to go and find the next client. But I promise if you spend this little time now, it's going to pay back in the future because, at the end of the day, what you're building is relationships that are going to last.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, I love that. And you just described the, “Forget about it. I'm going to go find the next client!” And that's a huge mistake consultants make is they feel rejected, they dust off their sandals. and they keep moving forward. They forget about all the people that they just had a really good touch point with, they've now warm them up a bit. Why let them go cold?

Carlos Adell: Yes. This is super important. And again, this doesn't need to require a lot of super extra word like an email is the word. I didn't know until I started using one in a more serious way. And when you put all these little automations…for example, a little lead mine or an email or a pdf, and I keep getting people every day that I see, they downloaded my book. A really good example this last week, they had someone book a call with me and I look at the calendar and say, "Who's these guy?" So I go on LinkedIn, and I search for him and I find him, he's not even connected with me. It's like, how come? So I hit on a call and he's like, "I read your book. Wow, you have such a journey I want to do with the same thing that you did. How do I do it?"

So I'm like, "Oh wow, OK." So this is the power of having an automation system there that remind people about you. Because this guy, at some point, he got into my email list and one of the emails that I sent out, he had the book, the book, it would give him some extra information, so I didn't even have to do the follow-up, the system does it for you. And then he ended up signing up because he wanted to work with me because and it's rewarding. You did a little bit of work and now it  moving forward.

Deb Zahn: That's right. And that often set up at the beginning and then it just purrs along, and it does what you need it to do. Now there's that front end of actually getting clients. But it also helps you on the back end of actually getting paid because the other mistake I see a lot of consultants bank, and I am guilty of it as well, is we submit an invoice and then we forget about it and the invoice is manual, we attach it to an email, the client gets one email and then we're not paying attention to whether or not we actually get paid for that. So talk about what some of the systems are or what a CRM can do to help make sure that that's also being monitored and responded to.

Carlos Adell: Yes, great question. When it comes to collecting payments, especially at the beginning when you have these conversations, and you talk to a client excited about working with you, you know what, I'll send you the email and then you pay and then we work together and then all you hear is crickets and then you reach out and then more crickets. So just a note before I get into your question, but it's super important that when you do the job, all the work, talking to someone, helping them understand, getting them in a place of excitement and ready to take action, this is the moment to take action. Because when it comes to paying money, there's things that are going to push you away from making a decision and there's things that are going to pull you towards making the decision. Paying money is one of the things that push people away all the time.

Deb Zahn: Go figure.

Carlos Adell: So the staff, when you doing all this work explaining and spending the time and getting them excited and sharing what you can do for them, it is the time to make a little commitment. Even if it's not like the full invoice, say, "Hey, why don't we put down a little deposit? I'll get you start, I'll send you the rest of the invoice and everything else." And whenever that's possible in your niche and in your industry, do it because there's a little commitment that your client's taking. It's going to warranty that they're going to take the next bigger step, that's on the one hand.

If you don't have this option and you are sending an invoice and waiting for them to pay, what I would say is like say, "Hey look, why don't we do that? Let's book the onboarding goal. We're going to get started next week. I'm going to start working on the paperwork. I'll send you the invoice, Please let me know if you have any trouble to pay, and then we get started on Monday." So now what you're setting up is the next commitment steps. So now they commit to something. It's smaller than paying, but it's already a commitment and it's much difficult that someone who's made a commitment to you say no or they back up. So this would be my recommendation.

Deb Zahn: I love those. So those are the Jedi strategies that folks learn along the way of just how human beings respond to things. And it's not being manipulative, it's being strategic because we're human beings and we respond the same way.

Carlos Adell: Yeah, it's not-

Deb Zahn: So I love that I also set up things in my CRM so that most of the time I love get an upfront payment. So really lean heavily on those payment models where you're actually getting an upfront payment as opposed to doing the work and then having to invoice for it. But if you have to do the work and then invoice for it, your CRM can also have those automations that essentially if they haven't paid within 30 days, they get a reminder. If they haven't paid within 45 days, they get a reminder.

Carlos Adell: Yes. When you have a client, I would not start working with anyone until they put the money down because you don't want to work and put a lot of effort into something unless the other person puts something from their side. But when it comes to reminders, yes, if you use stripe, stripe has integrated automations that you can run. So to remind them when their credit cards are expiring. I had a funny experience lately because I had some coaching clients that they would finishing this year and then I set up the automation on Strip and they both received the message from Strip saying, "Hey, your subscription is going to renew in October, make sure that you have money in your account." And they both reach out because it was the last payment say, "Hey, no, I don't want to renew for another year, I'm fine."

Deb Zahn: They were worried.

Carlos Adell: A reminder of the last payment, I'm not going to subscribe you to the next year. But again, it is a great tool to have for free. But sometimes you want to tweak it and you want to change the message and say, "Hey, your next payment is due on Friday, please make sure that it comes through." Something like that.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. Or if you get a failed payment, there's an automation that they get through your email system and Stripe. For those that don't know that's a payment system. I think it's a good system. So there are other consultants who love all the bells and whistles. And they go out and they get every system imaginable and they try and make it all work together and everything is held together by Zaps, which are something that actually integrates different systems and then they get quickly overwhelmed because they find out they're spending all of the time servicing these systems and not getting freed up and able to make more money because they're able to do less of this sort of backend stuff. So what advice would you give those tech hungry folks?

Carlos Adell: Yeah, look it is this, when the entrepreneurial world, it has a lot of shiny objects.

Deb Zahn: It does.

Carlos Adell: And the tech side of things, it has even more. And what you do when you start is you find the cheap solution and also the beautiful solution. And sometimes it's hard to combine the two of them and we end up buying the cheapest email responder, the cheapest final thing. The cheapest this, the cheapest that. Usually what happens is as your business grows the cheapest become the most expensive because now you need to upgrade and then you interconnect everything with a tool like Zappier here like you said, and then it becomes extremely complicated and a lot of things that you have to juggle and connect and make working together, and it gets really hard. There are tools in the market and this was one of my biggest pains, always trying to find something that is cost-effective.

It's beautiful and it integrates everything. And their solutions there, we found one, and this is something that made me shift from fully coaching into licensing a software that could help these people with this kind of stuff because it was helping me and I was referring people for free to use this software because I love that. So I decided why not making it easier for these people who are like me, and they can use something that it's beautiful, cost-efficient and easy "to use." So yeah, there's many options out there before committing to a lot of software, have a look and the solutions.

Deb Zahn: Right. And this is where it's don't chase shiny objects, but think about what are the basics that you need your business to be doing and then what is that functionality you need? And then there is a solution that works together as seamlessly as possible because at a certain point, again, Zapier which will integrate between two systems often works well. And then when it doesn't, your day is blown.

Carlos Adell: Anything works fine until it stops and then it explodes.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. And then suddenly your email Zapier doesn’t work because one of the other systems did something. They made a change and then suddenly that integration doesn't work. And again, for those who don't know, we're now speaking language you might not understand. Integration basically means if I want my email system to be working with my social media system, there is something that connects the two so that they work together. It's supposed to feel like one system and it often does until it doesn't.

Carlos Adell: Exactly. And then you have to reach out to support and support is not there, and when they don't really know what happens and it becomes a nightmare sometimes.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, no, I would agree. So this is where, and I hadn't known that these things existed before, actually you reached out to me. So your systems are working well because that's how I found you is you reached out to me on LinkedIn, but I didn't know that there were these integrated systems that you could even look at. So I would encourage people to consider that route because otherwise you're building it piece by piece and it can still work, it can free you up. But that that also comes with some additional headaches that occasion when you're going to have to deal with.

Carlos Adell: Yes. But in my case, what I did in I see everyone doing and I try, I just say, you don't do that, please don't do it. But we don't see the things until we know. Sometimes we are blind until we see them, even though someone's telling us. But what I did, we're getting always the cheapest thing so I could save some money. And what would end up happening is that the cheapest thing, as I said, it becomes expensive and then what you do is you try to find the cheapest next one, cheapest.

And then you us end up wasting a lot of time and a lot of money finding the cheapest solution and it becomes really expensive. And there is sometimes it's better to find a solution that is going to last you for the next five years than finding what's going to cover the thing for the next two months and then you'll figure it out because then you'll be busier and then it'll be more expensive and then you'll not have the time to integrate everything. And at the end of the day, time is your most valuable resource. And to save a few dollars at the end of the month, sometimes it's not worth it.

Deb Zahn: That's right. And this doesn't count as working on your business is doing this headache, inducing type of firefighting essentially that's not really working on your business. That's basically trying to keep your business from exploding. So I love that. Now you did mention earlier, and I want to hit on this as one of the last things we talk about is the human connection. So I know that people get nervous when you start to use systems or when you start to automate things that you're going to lose the human touch and the real relationship building. And you talked about you can still do that, you can still do that even with automation. So how do you approach, when you're thinking of creating either a new system or automation, how do you approach it so that it still has that human touch in it, and it still has that relationship building?

Carlos Adell: Yeah. Well the good news is that it always can be created. It always, you can create something that's personal. The bad news is that for as long as you want human touch, you want a human there. So I'm glad and people think, and I was talking to someone the other day and it's like, can you send us 2,000 targeted leads to us? And they wanted the criteria they were using, it was very personal, in personal development and a lot of criteria was super personal. I said, "Look, it is unrealistic to think that you can run ads or send 2,000 emails to people who love the opera show." Because you cannot target people using these criteria. But you can get creative and find people who meet a certain criteria, and then you can send them messages and start in a way that it's personal. Automations are artificial intelligence. They allow us to send customized messages to an extent.

And everything that we do automatically like sending emails on the staff campaigns that we might run on LinkedIn using some automated messages, which we should be very careful when you are going into platforms and using automatic stuff because you're raising your account. But sometimes automatic doesn't need to... You can outsource more than automate and you can get a VA, or we have a team of people that they live in places that the salaries are lower than here. So they still a good money for the place where they live, and they run a lot of these automations. So you can still have this personal touch before you get involved into the relationship building process. I'm always there. You probably receive messages from me that were automated, or it was my VA sending them, but as soon as there's like a human responding and someone who's interested in building the relationship, then I step in because you can't fake that.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, I could tell it was you. I actually could tell it was you when you stepped in. But yeah, I'll get things that say we've been looking at your learning content and I'm like, "Oh, give a break." I can't stand that one and I don't respond to them because I know that I'm part of an automation and you must be casting an extremely wide net.

Carlos Adell: Yes.

Deb Zahn: And you were willing to risk this not in any way feeling personal to me because you weren't doing as clear targeting as you potentially could have been doing as opposed to when you reached out to me. When others reach out to me and it's more relevant to what I'm doing, I don't really care if it's in automation.

Carlos Adell: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: You took the time to think it through.

Carlos Adell: That's a great point. There are two major components here. Key elements for cold outreach, and it's making it personal on the one hand and making it relevant on the other. If I receive a cold email that doesn't have my name, might pretend to, I know your business or stuff, but they say, "Hey, I've got this one thing that it can help you achieve this one result." And it's the one thing that I look to achieve the result, I'll respond. I don't care about the personalization, but on the other hand, if someone reaches out to me on an email and say, "Hey, and I've been reading your book, man, it's been amazing and holy cow, I would love to get you in a podcast. So I would love to do that or I would love for you to..." Then I will pay attention even if it's not relevant because they took the time. So I want to be respectful, and we humans are like that.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Carlos Adell: So if someone has the two components, then fantastic. Then you're going to get a lot of responses, but you want to have one or the other or both.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, I would agree. The not relevant, but I'm going to immediately pitch you. Yeah, no, no, no. You're not getting a response on that one. And I get those every day throughout the entire day on LinkedIn and heads up, I am not going to respond to. But if they even showed any effort to target, I respect it, like I respected as a businessperson and if it's relevant to me, I respect it even more because that means you really thought it through. But in email you were right, you said earlier if it has someone's name, which can be automated in an email system, most people, unless their other entrepreneurs don't have email lists, so they don't know that it's from an email list, they don't know that it's automated. They truly think it's just for them. And that's OK. That's the whole point of the way that you craft it.

Carlos Adell: Yeah. And you keep it personal. If I can even advise, I'm not an email expert, but the emails that work the best to say, say, hey, quick question. And then you open it because you want people to open it and say, "I'm this person, I just found your profile on LinkedIn. It's amazing." Let's say that you're targeting people who are trying to market on LinkedIn, they're probably going to have good LinkedIn profiles. They take care of the profile. So if you compliment someone and say, "Hey, Deb I just came across your profile and wow, your branding is on point, I just wanted to reach out because I got this one thing..." And just two sentences, even if you have never heard of my name and I have never heard of your name, but I am complimenting something that you feel we all like compliments.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Carlos Adell: So you might think he hasn't checked my profile, but you don't know. So what I'm doing is I'm automating something and making it personal and making it relevant. And if I have something that you might be interested, you will respond.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. Agree. I love all of that. So where can folks find you? Carlos?

Carlos Adell: LinkedIn is where I live these days, unless you're in my email list.

Deb Zahn: And of course you want to be in your email list.

Carlos Adell: Yeah. I'm not sending lots of emails these days, but there's a lot of stuff coming in so you can find me, or you think if you search the Iconic CEO or Carlos Adell, which is like Adele, but with two Ls at the end on LinkedIn, I'll be there. It's probably if you say that you come from that show or listen, I'll get my VA not to respond to you and-

Deb Zahn: That's perfect. And we will put a link to that in the show note. So let me ask you my last question. So you help other people free up their time, be able to make the income they need, have the systems they need. So when you free up your own time, what do you do with it? How do you create balance in your life, however you talk about it?

Carlos Adell: I learned that when we look for balance in our lives because we don't enjoy everything we do. So I would say that what I like this morning at 4:30, I'm like, "It's not yet time to wake up." So I waited until six and five to six I wake up because I don't need the alarm anymore. And then I came here, I sat on the computer having my coffee before it's daylight to go to the gym. And I have so much fun. I'll be going until 10:00 tonight because I love it. But when I'm not working with my wife or I'm in the bush or I'm just trying to disconnect and stay away from social media because this is true. You want balance in your life and make sure that you take care of the human who's running the business and breathe and go to the beach and go to the nature and spend time with people. Socialize a little bit, even if you're an antisocial like myself, but get all the humans, all the humans run.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. Introverts. I socialize too from a distance. That's fine.

Carlos Adell: Yeah, a little bit. But and obviously to get a little bit of this balance that's talking.

Deb Zahn: I love it. Well Carlos, I'm so glad that we were able to get on a podcast together. This has just been wonderful. Thank you.

Carlos Adell: Thank you so much though. My pleasure.

Deb Zahn: Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Craft of Consulting podcast. I want to ask you to do actually three things. If you enjoyed this episode or you've enjoyed any of my other ones, hit subscribe. I got a lot of other great guests that are coming up in a lot of other great content and I don't want you to miss anything.

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