How to Advise on Equity and Get Paid You Deserve

If you are paid hourly or per project as an SEO consultant, your earning potential will always be limited by the number of hours you work.

Once you stop working, money stops flowing.

Even if you manage to increase your productivity or increase your interest rate, there is always a ceiling on how much you can earn. How did you get over that wall?

Roland Fraiser recommends that you start getting paid for the value you bring to your customers to overcome this limitation and earn higher revenue.

“Don’t let your genius become someone else’s pension.” – Roland Fraser

On a recent episode of The SEJ Show, we had the pleasure of featuring Roland, an award-winning podcast host, Stanford University consultant, and head of six of Inc.'s fastest-growing companies.

Roland shares some interesting insights on alternative payment models and how advisors and agencies are starting to shift towards wealth and income generation.

Why Equity Advisory Is the Smart Way to Get Paid

Roland stresses the importance of not relying solely on traditional compensation models such as flat fees, hourly payments or revenue sharing.

From a quality of life perspective, these models are not sustainable as they require continuous work to generate income.

Instead, Rowland advises consultants and agencies to avoid the “hours to spend” trap and find ways to translate their efforts and the value they provide into equity.

The concept is to use your knowledge, skills and relationships to negotiate compensation that reflects your long-term contribution and growth in business value.

If your contributions continue to benefit the business, you should be rewarded with a portion of the profits or equity.

How to Find Equity Opportunities Consulting

Getting equity compensation takes some work. Negotiating these payment models takes time, and if you're not careful, you might not get paid right away.

Roland learned this lesson firsthand:

“When I started out in this space a long time ago, I made a few mistakes and ended up with equity in 20 businesses with no money. Most of the time businesses either didn’t generate profits or reinvested profits to grow , with very little to distribute…so, I put in a lot of work without any income. It taught me the importance of balancing income and wealth.”

To avoid this pitfall, Rowland recommends taking the following steps:

  1. Focus on businesses with existing cash flow and profitability, not start-ups.
  2. Identify areas where you can have a significant impact and add value to the company.
  3. Quantify the value you can bring, such as cost savings or revenue generation.
  4. Calculate the percentage of value you can contribute to the overall value of the business.
  5. Make a clear proposition to business owners, emphasizing the ongoing value you can provide.
  6. Negotiate terms, taking into account factors such as milestone-based or KPI-based compensation if necessary.
  7. Demonstrating your contribution as an ongoing investment increases the overall value of the business.
  8. Determine specific valuations and agree terms that reflect your added value.

One of Roland's top secrets is to maintain open communication with customers and make sure you deliver on your promises to build trust in the relationship.

Position Yourself as Fair Consulting

Unlike hourly or project revenue models, equity-based payment models require preparation, including branding, strategic positioning and demonstrating the value of providing integrated services.

1. From SEO to Growth Strategist

To avoid becoming locked into a specific role or expertise, it is critical to establish a clear brand and define where you want to be positioned.

You need to go beyond just being identified as an SEO expert.

Instead, the goal is to be seen as a strategic partner, offering broader expertise for greater value and opportunity.

2. Build strategic alliances

Align with professionals who offer complementary services to enhance your value proposition.

Working with experts in different fields enables you to take a holistic approach to problem solving and demonstrate your broader capabilities to potential clients or employers.

3. Create a unique brand identity

Throughout the episode, Rowland emphasizes the importance of branding in shaping the perception of potential customers.

Defining a differentiator to unify your various areas of expertise is critical, he says. Pick a specific focus or specialization within the broader growth landscape, such as AI for demand generation.

This niche choice allows you to stand out in a crowded marketplace by presenting yourself as a problem solver with a unique perspective and approach, bringing exceptional value to the table.

4. Content Strategy for Brand Expansion

After building a targeted brand identity, consultants can gradually expand their content strategy to cover a wider range of topics within their area of ​​expertise.

For example, Roland Fraiser moved from being recognized as an “acquirer” to exploring related areas such as exits and fundraising.

This incremental expansion demonstrates that he continues to grow and adapt while maintaining the original brand positioning.

4. Communicate your values ​​and goals

Equity consulting relies on your ability to communicate your value and long-term goals to clients.

Share your intent to achieve superior results and build lasting partnerships from the start.

And don't hesitate to express your desire to acquire equity in a company. Roland says it does four things:

  1. Clients realize that having you as a partner is an option.
  2. Customers prove they trust you.
  3. Show that customers are willing to invest in themselves.
  4. Customers understand your goals.

It also shows your long-term commitment, brings the value you provide to the forefront of their minds, and can be the foundation of a solid long-term relationship.

in conclusion

For the right SEO, marketing professional or agency, alternative compensation models such as equity or partial executive positions can be an ideal way to take your career (and income) to the next level.

Looking for more tips and insights from Roland on how to get started with equity consulting? Be sure to check out episode 308 of The SEJ Show.

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