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Are you ready to learn resume writing and career coaching business start up and growth secrets from Canada’s only while-you-wait resume writing service, Marian Bernard of The Regency Group?

From the time we danced on stage at a CDI Entrepreneurial Success Summit to today, this fun-loving dynamo with over 30 years of successful career industry business ownership, brings a unique perspective and value to her global clientele that you’ll learn about in the replay below.

There are SO MANY golden nugget success secrets and tips in the replay to help you start up and grow!

From mindset and client control to capitalizing on local business, I can’t encourage you enough to make time to watch this! I’ve also excerpted some of Marian’s advice in the text below and supplied a variety of free and member’s only resources around Marian’s tips in the resources section at the bottom of the page.  

In the interview she answers:

  1. When did you start your business?
  2. Tell us a little about your business.
  3. What did you do before you started your business?
  4. What made you decide to start your business?
  5. At what point in your business did you find CDI?
  6. What role has CDI played in the success you’ve achieved and what has been most valuable about it? What has your membership made possible? Did CDI provide a pivotal turning point for you?
  7. What has having your own business made possible for you in your life?
  8. What’s one thing you wished you had known when you first started your business, or, If you were starting your business today, what’s one thing you would have done differently? 
  9. For those who are considering a career in this field, or who are struggling in their businesses right now, what are a few key pieces of advice you’d share with them?
  10. Is there anything else you’d like our audience to know in terms of encouragement, lessons learned, or final thoughts around being a successful career industry professional?

About MarianMarian Bernard headshot

What distinguishes Marian from her colleagues is that she operates Canada’s only while-you-wait resume writing service. Clients across all 10 Canadian provinces, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, Nunavut, 48 American states, Mexico, the U.K., the UAE, the EU, and more revel in her historically producing stand-out job search documents in under 3 hours!

She was Ontario’s first Certified Professional Resume Writer, was one of only six in Canada to earn the Certified Employment Interview Professional credential, the 1st in Canada to attain the Certified Job Search Strategist credential and the 2nd to become a Certified Online Profile Expert.

Her published work appears in the following books: Expert Resumes for Managers & Executives, Best Canadian Resumes, Gallery of Best Resumes & Cover Letters Without a 4-Year Degree, 3rd Ed, Cover Letters for Dummies, Edition #3, and Job Search Letters for Dummies.

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, loves all forms of dance (think waltz, fox-trot, cha cha, rumba, jive, and salsa), attends regular Zumba classes, which helped her lose 52 pounds in 53 weeks), and possesses encyclopedic knowledge of Top 40 music from the mid-1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s.

An Aurora resident since 1981, Marian lives with Oreo – a 22-month-old retriever/Black lab/blue heel mix who is a rescue dog.

Marian’s Start Up & Growth Secrets

While we recommend watching the interview replay below to learn more, here are five of Marian’s tips and my added thoughts: 

Set Friendly – Yet Firm – Expectations With Clients.

I remember having a really challenging client early on in my career and I had no clue what to do about her.

Luckily, I was attending an industry conference where I heard a speaker talk about boundaries and expectations.

Most importantly, if YOU don’t tell clients how things work and what to expect, they aren’t going to know any better.

They’re going to (potentially) walk all over you.

I made a lot of changes and became a champion of the topic of client education about the process, next steps, expectations, and not going back on what you said.

So, I love that this topic is one my show guest, Marian Bernard of The Regency Group, said she wished she had learned earlier in her career.

She said:

“Be ready to set friendly, yet firm, expectations with prospects and clients.

I run a home-based business (as do the vast majority of my colleagues), and I have encountered instances where some people deem it okay to show up at my place unannounced and think that I will drop everything to copy-type a resume for them from their notes.

When I gently explain that I work by appointment only, most people apologize, and we subsequently book a 30-minute Zoom discovery chat where I will share a resume that I wrote on my screen, elaborate on the services I offer, and use Laura’s ‘Goldilocks’ method of quoting.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself: “Be friendly, but firm”.

Don’t get in your own way here!

Share how it works with kindness and don’t feel the need to make excuses for your processes and choices.

This is your business and gets to work your way!

Consider Subcontracting to Gain Experience.

When you’re first starting your business, or experiencing a slow period, subcontracting might be a great next step. Marian said:

“Consider reaching out to the community to see if you can subcontract for a firm that is overloaded with client requests. Note that the vast majority of firms will require that you have at least one industry designation.”

Subcontracting can be a great choice because it can:

  • Give you exposure to a variety of client projects.
  • Boost your experience level.
  • Let you gain first-hand experience in how another firm operates.
  • Provide much-needed revenue.

But subcontracting doesn’t have to end in the start-up phase.

Some practitioners choose to make it a regular part of their business model, enjoying projects that don’t require marketing and selling.

Plus, fees are almost always commensurate with experience.

For instance, a TORI award winner is a coveted subcontractor and does have the leverage to negotiate higher fees.

You’ll find subcontracting opportunities at all price points and often for all experience levels.

As Marian said, certification does open doors to better opportunities in most cases.

CDI members can take advantage of CDI’s subcontracting opportunity announcement system to share their expertise or opportunities with all members.

Focus on Lifelong Learning.

If you want to be successful, then adopt a belief in lifelong learning. “Keep learning – and remain current – on what it takes to be successful in launching a business. These days, you have to factor in:

  • How can I build – and continue to grow – an email list in order to attract a loyal client following?
  • How can I weave SEO tactics into my website, blog posts, and social media submissions in order to attract job-seeking clients?
  • When – and with what frequency – will I post thought-provoking advice on social media so that my target clients look forward to my ramblings <LAUGH!>?
  • How can I carve out the time to learn more about what can impact the job-seeking landscape?

Not a day will go by where you will hear a discussion on AI, and I am so grateful to Laura for arranging for CDI members to benefit from training earlier this year on How to Use AI to Grow Your Career Industry Business with Social Media.”

Staying current through continuous learning is a foundation block to resiliency and success in our ever-changing world.

Keep up with trends in business, marketing, and career services.

If you don’t know, please hire someone who does, take a course, or like Marian says, learn it from CDI!

Network Like Crazy with Existing Clients to 2X Revenue!

I once filmed a video tip called, “What You Focus On Is What You Will Sell” because the package I put all my energy on was inevitably what clients purchased.

So, I wasn’t surprised when Marian shared the story of how networking like crazy with her clients let her double her revenue. She said:

“During my first marriage, I made a nice supplementary second income with my business, but it wasn’t enough for one person to live on.

However, when my husband and I separated after nearly 13 years of marriage, I was terrified – to put it mildly – because my ex drained our bank accounts.

When I – now on my own – calculated my then-earnings vs. the bills to be paid, I realized – to my horror – that I would only be able to save $25.00 a year.

That prompted me to go into overdrive when it came to networking with my existing clients.

I remember saying to each and every one of them, ‘I’ve experienced a dramatic personal change in my life, and I’m counting on you to spread the word and throw as much business as you can to me.’

As a result, I more than doubled my revenues after only one year.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was channeling the sentiments from Daymond John’s The Power of Broke book. (For those who may not know, Daymond is one of the ‘Sharks’ on ABC-TV’s Shark Tank.)

Taken from an Amazon excerpt describing his book, ‘When your back is up against the wall, your bank account is empty, and creativity and passion are the only resources you can afford, success is your only option.’ Daymond instructs budding entrepreneurs how to scrape, hustle, and dream their way to the top.”

So, don’t be afraid to focus your attention on what matters most!

Adopt a “Prove You Wrong” Mindset Toward Nay-Sayers.

When you have an entrepreneurial dream, there are going to be people who doubt you, and who often aren’t afraid to be vocal about it. Marian said:

“Embody an ‘I’m going to prove you wrong’ mindset in response to nay-sayer comments.”

If she had listened to a (now former) President of her local Chamber of Commerce almost 39 years ago, she wouldn’t have a successful business today.

That person, on hearing her vision of having a resume writing and career services practice said that she wouldn’t succeed due to:

1 – The robust local competition at the time and
2- Her youthful appearance.

It’s so important NOT to let others’ experiences define your capabilities!

Often those closest to us just want to protect us or don’t have all the facts.

Be prepared to be resilient in going after what’s important to you.

Surround yourself with people who know what it takes to achieve entrepreneurial success in your industry. (Hint: colleagues in CDI).

Then keep your eye on the prize!

CDI and Marian

Marian has been a member of CDI since 2011. Some of her favorite resources are:

  • “I learned from Laura that it is essential in getting clients to realize the impact of their achievements to their employer’s success by asking them, What would the consequences be, had you not done that?”
  • “97% success rate methodology in getting job-seekers to sign on the dotted line so that they retain me.” 2024 version: Done-For-You Consultation Script & Sales Strategy for Resume Writing & Career Services. 
  • “Opportunities provided to CDI members (e.g., the TORI awards) designed to elevate the visibility of resume writing award winners to the job-seeking public.”

Replay & Next Livestream

If you’re ready for your own start-up or growth success strategies, then be sure to join us next week.

Donna ShannonWednesday, 3/20/2024 at 3:45 PM Eastern you’ll meet my next guest, Donna Shannon (they/them) of Personal Touch Career Services.

Prior to their business becoming full time, Donna worked in HR, recruitment, and accounting in such industries as broadcasting and renewable energy. One of their more interesting jobs was within the career services department for an occupational school that trained adults in private service, who are the people who manage multi-million-dollar private estates. Half of their business today is still within this niche industry, which includes estate managers, personal assistants, butlers, and private chefs. On the fringe, they currently do stand-up comedy on the side.

Their company’s main services include resume writing, interview prep, job search strategy, LinkedIn profile writing, career coaching, and online courses for LinkedIn, interviewing, and job search strategy.

They say that two of their main claims to fame are that they help people land jobs they love in less time while earning up to 20% more in salary and they use their comedy background to inject humor into the serious deep dive into job search strategy.

I’ll be asking Donna the same questions so you can gain yet another perspective on what’s working for resume writers and career coaches today who want to start, grow, and manage a successful business. I hope you’ll join us!

We’ve streaming on CDI’s LinkedIn page, YouTube channel, and in our Facebook group every Wednesday at 3:45 PM Eastern. And, don’t forget to like, follow, and subscribe so you stay in the know!

Watch the Livestream Recording

What’s Next?

Join the Livestream on LinkedInYouTube, or in our Facebook group every Wednesday at 3:45 PM Eastern!

Want to be my guest? If you are a CDI member who has already filled out the questionnaire, we will be contacting you shortly. If you are interested, send an email to info@nullcareerdirectors.com.


Quiz – #1 Thing Blocking You From a 6-Figure Income >>

Livestream Replays >> (Visit for top three marketing strategies and more)

Join CDI’s Facebook Community >>

CDI Free Stuff >> (includes 4-figure sales video course)

Join the Membership Waitlist >>

AI Prompts & Posts >>

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SWOT Analyze Yourself to Close Career & Resume Sales (Video Tip) >>

Grow Your Resume Writing & Coaching Business by Targeting Your Local Market (Video Tip) >>

Six Steps To Your Successful Second Act As A Professional Resume Writer >> (Forbes Coaches Council article)

Members Only: 

Subcontracting Opportunity Directory >>

Growing Your Business Through Client Referrals (Tip Sheet) >>

Subcontracting from Both Sides of the Contract (Tip Sheet) >>

Setting Boundaries with Clients (Tip Sheet) >>

Train Your Clients Not to Dog On Your Business – Boundaries (Core Lesson) >>

Upcoming 2024 Live (Included) Networking & Educational Events >>

Member Dashboard >>

6-Figure Sales Resources >>

Marketing Resources >>

Join the Career Industry Accelerator Club Waitlist >>

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