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Building a Thriving Atlassian Consulting Business: Part 10

Establish Yourself as an Expert


2016 was a big year! I was one of the first Jira admins to get certified, I started my current consulting company, and I published my first book, the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook. I wrote the book because I knew I wasn’t the only admin to inherit a messy configuration. The book is not documentation, it’s about strategy.  It’s recommendations from years of cleaning up horrible Jira configurations! It’s the book I wish I had when I was learning. I wrote it in Confluence and tracked my progress in Jira.

It only took two years to write! The book was a lot of work, but it was worth it because it helped me establish myself as an expert. When I get a new lead, I don’t need to spend any time convincing the client to work with me. I just need to close the sale and do a good job.


There are many ways you can establish yourself as an expert. First, be a leader and an active voice in the community. You can do this by helping others, answering questions, and starting discussions. You can also speak at events or sponsor them. And finally, my favorite way, is to create helpful content like articles, apps, books, training courses, and other materials.

Get Your First Client


Now that you’ve done some background work, it’s time to get your first client. As this stage in your journey, you’re likely focused on outbound sales. This is pure prospecting to others who haven’t expressed an interest in your service yet. Start by informing your network that you’re available to solve specific problems. Choose a few ideal companies you’d like to work with and ask your contacts to connect or introduce you. Sometimes it’s as easy as simply asking if an organization needs your help.  And be specific.  Figure out a problem they have and pitch them on the solution.

Next, don’t forget to ask people you’ve worked with in the past for referrals for your new venture.  Anyone who’s previously recommended you might be helpful again now.

Finally, sometimes the easiest way to get your first customer is to volunteer your services.  There’s probably an organization in your community or a non-profit that could really use your expertise.  Offer help at a discounted rate in return for a future testimonial.

The key is to keep forward momentum, so your current client leads to the next.


Here’s the message I sent to clients when I transitioned my company from part time to full time. Use this example to craft your own announcement.

Consulting Announcement Example


Download this and other materials at:

Part 11: Grow Your Network



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