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Landing huge, nationwide contracts for resume writing services and creating programs used by companies, universities, and the military are just some of the areas in which my next guest, Grant Cooper, will share start up and growth secrets as a self-employed resume writer and career coach.

There is so much gold in this interview! One viewer commented: “Thanks, Laura and Grant. Your talk will be increasing my ROI—and I’ve been at this since ‘94, too.”

Keep reading for the interview replay, tips (that differ from those in the replay), and supporting resources to start up, build, and grow your business!

In the interview Grant 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?

Grant CooperAbout Grant: 

Grant Cooper is president of Strategic Resumes®, Career Coaching & Business Plans, founded in 1994. He is a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, Career Coach & LinkedIn Profile Writer. Martin Yate, author of #1 bestselling “Knock ’Em Dead” resume book series, stated: “In 25 years, Grant Cooper is one of less than 60 people I have quoted in my entire body of work.” Grant was also honored by Laura DeCarlo with the 2015 CDI President’s Award.

He has authored 250+ columns and articles and has been selected as a seminar presenter at national conferences. He authored a groundbreaking software program, Resume Critique Writer, used by universities, military career offices, recruiters, and resume firms worldwide. For more than a decade, Mr. Cooper has been a judge for CDI’s national TORI resume competitions. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University. Grant’s clients land competitive positions at Fortune 500 firms and attract to offers.

I also liked a few of the other details I shared about Grant’s business at the end of my last show:

  • Pitched and landed a highly lucrative contract with Kinko’s to offer private-label resume services in 350+ U.S. locations (until FedEx bought them out and ended all partnerships under $10 million).
  • Won a contract with Louisiana Department of Labor to train staff in offices statewide.
  • Put three kids (scientist, sales director, doctor) through college, grad school and med school during 30 years as a self-employed career services practitioner.

Grant’s 5 Start Up & Growth Secrets (with my added commentary)

Get Your Toolkit In Order First!

I see it every day and it’s a problem of epidemic proportions that is crushing so many fledgling entrepreneurial dreams.

In fact, I’ve found myself saying to just about anyone who will listen lately, “It’s like they just woke up and said that today they have a business. Then they took a look around and just tried to emulate what they saw others doing without a clue about the foundation needed to succeed.”

That’s tough love but necessary to pivot if you want to make it!

There’s got to be some planning and strategy involved.

Whether you do that before you start or rather when you get the eye-opener that you’re floundering and something isn’t working, it’s critical to make the time for this.

Grant has it right when he says:

“Get your ’Toolkit’ in order first! This includes your website, LinkedIn Profile, other social media profiles, certifications, and all of your forms and scripts.”

In CDI we don’t leave ANYTHING to chance, and we’ve put 30 years of 6-figure success for resume writers and career coaches into providing a roadmap that you could be on.

Multiply Your Price by at Least 1.5.

Underpricing is the bane of most resume writers and career coaches!

You could be underpricing because you:

  • Are afraid you’ll lose business.
  • Think they can’t afford it.
  • Assume it will take less time than it always does.
  • Tried to raise your rates and were told no too many times.
  • Aren’t sure what your time is worth.

I’m here to tell you that if everyone is saying yes, and you’re not making enough to cover your expenses, pay you for your time, put money in retirement, and plan for vacation, then you’re underpricing.

The truth is that you can literally command any price you want – there is a market for everything – if you know how to handle a consultation to get job seeker buy in.

Yes, there are companies charging high 4-figure and even 5-figure for career services.

While most of us don’t start there, pricing determines whether you’ll make it or break it.

I love Grant’s strategy for pricing:

“Once you are certified, trained, confident, and ready to deliver resumes to paying clients, the most important business decision you are likely to make involves pricing.

My biggest tip of all is to arrive at whatever pricing level you feel comfortable with, then multiply it by at least 1.5.”

What a fabulous rule of thumb because you WILL undervalue yourself in the beginning and you will underestimate how long projects take.

Think retail and always build in the cushion!

Scroll to the bottom of this page for supporting resources. 

Look Into How AI Can Help Your Business.

AI isn’t the enemy of resume writers, career coaches, and other entrepreneurs.

In CDI’s 2023 Critical Industry Analysis Survey we ID’d that the majority of industry businesses were growing or at least staying the same.

More importantly, the majority who thought they were being impacted by AI, were really being effected by lack of updates to their marketing in the prior two years in responses to dramatic changes in how consumers engage with brands post-COVID.

At CDI we championed early adoption of AI.

If it exists and your competitors are potentially going to use it, or it represents a way to cut down your time and overhead expenses, it’s worth investigating!

AI really can create a lot of shortcuts. It can:

  • Find gems in a thick client resume questionnaire.
  • Identify keyword matches between your client and a target position.
  • Recommend other job titles to search for.
  • Create social media post ideas and content to get you started.
  • Draft all kinds of documents in seconds.
  • Analyze long copy, if you use tools like Claude, and create summaries, mini-lessons, and more.

Grant supported this when he said:

“Look into how AI can help your business, particularly for repetitive or simpler tasks that can be made more efficient through the use of AI tools. CDI has excellent information available on this increasingly important subject.”

Scroll below for links to CDI prompts and AI resources.

Avoid Trial & Error + Make Thousands.

We didn’t pay Grant to promote CDI!

As a member since the beginning (over 20 years now) when he says:

“Take a deep dive into the resources CDI provides… literally everything you need is there. There are tips and best practices that will deliver thousands of dollars of revenue and savings, as opposed to learning through trial and error.”

Well, he’s saying it from experience of benefitting from our master resources.

He’s also not alone as you’ll find this echoed through quotes from our members all across our website.

CDI membership will pay for itself the first time you put it to use and then the rest is just a big, juicy bonus full of community, included live events, winning scripts, and so much more.

Grant and I shared last week that foundation, and a roadmap, are tantamount to your success.

But who you learn it from can make all the difference.

At CDI we’re proud to provide resources that are created by, or at least vetted by, industry professionals who are award-winning, multi-certified, published, on the cutting edge, and have successfully earned 6-figures at their craft.

If you learn to do it right the first time, your path is going to be so much easier!

On Monday, 4/01/2024 we will be opening membership registration for 48 hours only to those who are on our waitlist.

If you’re not yet a member, learn more and join the list here

Master CDI’s Sales Script.

Sales Script is just a quick way of recognizing CDI’s comprehensive consultation process where you:

  • Don’t sell but educate.
  • Use show and tell to bust the DIY mentality.
  • Never have to verbally say a price.
  • Get yes to packages 94%+ of the time on the spot.

Look, I’m not a salesperson.

I’m an introvert who often marches to her own beat, doesn’t like confrontation, and wants everybody to be happy.

But happiness is about job seekers getting what they want and me being paid for my time and expertise without any drama or stress.

That’s a recipe for a win-win.

So, I created a show-and-tell educational process in my own practice in the 90s and was closing 94-97% of job seeker packages at $1200-1500 for clients of ALL levels.

I shared it with colleagues who had been struggling to get to yes at a fraction of the price and it worked like magic even when they doubled their rates.

Then I started CDI and formalized it into a script and process for today that’s magic.

I have members tell me that where the prospect couldn’t get away fast enough before that now it’s like they were ‘giving away gold’.

You can see so many success stories like that on the CDI website.

If you just learn an educational process from CDI, you’ll be golden.

Thanks to Grant for reiterating this when he said:

“Take the telephone scripts that CDI provides and practice them with a friend or family member until you can seamlessly and confidently present yourself and your offerings without hesitation.
Also, develop email scripts that are responsive to the recurring questions and issues that clients or prospects will be asking you.”

In CDI you’ll also find a Best Practices Tip Sheet of common email scripts you can use.

We are always one step ahead thinking of what our members need to succeed!

On Monday, 4/01/2024 we will be opening membership registration for 48 hours only to those who are on our waitlist.

If you’re not yet a member, learn more and join the list here

CDI and Grant

Grant has been a member of CDI since before it was called CDI. That’s about 24 consecutive years now! He has also been a member of the Career Industry Accelerator Club since 2017. Some of his favorite resources are:

  • That members came to his aid after Hurricane Katrina hit his home town and virtually decimated his business overnight, providing him with clients and even a place to stay to maintain until the area rebuilt to support his business.
  • Networking with other career professionals in CDI live events, Accelerator Club, and member communities.
  • Certification that is highly respected.
  • Access to a high level of tools and resources.
  • Visibility opportunities.

Replay & Next Livestream

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

Sandra AllisonWednesday, 4/03/2024 at 3:45 PM Eastern you’ll meet my next guest, Sandra Allison of SA Resume Services, LLC.

Sandra has been in business over 7 years and 50% of her business is Executive Level/C-suite/Founders, and 50% Board Candidates. She also works with international clients in 22 countries so far and her specialties are tech, finance, and pharma.

Her services include resume writing, LinkedIn profiles, Board and informational biographies, job application essays editing and review, interview prep, and job search strategy.

What I love is that she says she is redefining the vision of grandma in business through her knowledge, enthusiasm, and energy. And, what better place to do that then as an entrepreneur? In fact, this is Sandra’s third business and she says her marketing savvy and business know-how has allowed her to take advantage of low and no cost ways to promote her business and be seen as the best in her field.

I’ll be asking her 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.


Join the Membership Waitlist >> Membership opening to list only for 48 hours starting Mon, 4/01/2024

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 >>

AI Prompts & Posts >>

Master’s Video Course for Resume Writers & Career Coaches Who Want to Close 4-Figure Sales >>

2023 Resume Writing Pricing Survey Report + Non-Member Free Excerpt >>

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

Resume Business Roadmap Program >> (Fee)

Members Only: 

Pricing Strategies for Resume Writing, Career Coaching, and Service Packages (Best Practice Tip Sheet) >>

Done-For-You Consultation Script & Sales Strategy for Resume Writing & Career Services >>

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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