Day: September 10, 2016

How to Become an Oil and Gas Consultant

Want to become an Oil and Gas consultant? People reach out to me all the time and ask, “Mark, how did you become an oil and gas consultant?” So let me show you how.

 

 

 

There is no magic formula and everybody’s journey will be a little bit different, but let me kind of talk you through the stuff that I think you need to pay attention to based upon our own experience. You know we’ve made a lot of mistakes and we’ve kind of figured out how to do this the right way.

So, number one is what is your motivation? This is going to be work, and this is going to be a lot more work than you working for somebody else. So you have to have some type of motivation to keep you going. So in our case we’d like to help people. It feels good, so that is our motivation to do the work that we do. The money is nice, don’t get me wrong. But our motivation is helping others. So, you need to think about what is your motivation in learning how to become an Oil and Gas consultant.

How to Become an Oil and Gas Consultant

Know Your Skill Level

Number two. You have to determine your skill and knowledge level. Now, an expert is generally considered somebody that has ten thousand hours of experience doing whatever it is they’re an expert around. And, if you look at the conventional forty-hour work week, that means you need five years of hand on real practical experience doing whatever it is that you want to become an oil and gas  consultant. That’s a lot of time.

I’m not saying that you can’t start without that five years, but you need to understand your skill and knowledge level. Oil and gas companies are not to hire you to do a job if they don’t think you can pull it off. And, one of the ways they measure that is what is your experience.

Then next you have to define your success metrics. What are the things that you have to accomplish in year one, year two, year three, year four, year five so that you know that you’re successful. Revenue is part of that, but also in our case we look at clients’ satisfaction. But your success metrics will be different than anybody else, but you have to figure out what that is, you have to write it down.

Want to Become an Oil and Gas Consultant? You Need a Business Plan.

And, speaking of writing things down, you have to build a business plan. This doesn’t have to be forty-page document and it doesn’t have to go real deep. But you need to understand what are your challenges, like  how much capital do you need, what legal support do you need, how you’re going to structure your company. Are you an LLC an S Corp or an Inc? You need to have that business plan.

There’s a lot of organizations out there like SBA, SCORE, National Small Business Association, etc to help you figure out how to build that business plan. And you can find templates out there online, but you have to have a business plan. Your building something here, so you need a set of instructions or marching orders. You can’t wing it if you want to become an Oil and gas consultant.

Finally you need a professional image for your consulting business. A quick and inexpensive way to do this is with a virtual office. No need to hire a receptionist, buy office equipment, and get telecom and internet set up.

You Must Have a Marketing Strategy

Now, and this is even bigger than building a business plan. You have to develop a marketing strategy. Marketing is everything. How do you get your name out there? How do you differentiate yourself between and the other thirty people who are doing the same thing that you do? How do you get in front of people that can help you find prospects? In front of clients? How do you build that reputation of being an industry expert? All that is in your marketing plan and if you don’t know marketing, you should take the time to learn.

marketing strategy to become an oil and gas consultantThere are books, seminars and webinars to help you. But hiring a marketing expert and, word of warning here, a marketing expert doesn’t have to be this huge multi-million dollar a year company. It can be a single person. We got our start that way with TribeRocket. But you have to have a marketing strategy. It’s probably the most vital thing to do when your thinking about how to become an Oil and Gas consultant.

You Must Learn How to Sell if You Want to Become an Oil and Gas Consultant

Then, you have to learn how to sell. Learning how to sell is vitally important because that’s the only thing that brings money in the door. A lot of people think sales is distasteful and they imagine used car sales people. Those folk that try to force you to buy something that you don’t want.

That’s not what sales is at all. Sales is about problem solving. About helping people and companies solve real business issues. You can learn sales because its a science. Thats why you can develop forecastable, predictable sales models. So a good sales person is seen as valuable by their clients, a part of their trusted advisors. This is what it takes if you want to become an Oil and Gas consultant.

There’s a lot of experts out there like Anthony Iannarino, Mike WeinbergJeffrey GitomerMark Hunter, John Spence and Ken Krogue and there are a lot of good books like The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need and The Challenger Sale but you’re going to have to learn how to sell period.  Talk to any successful entrepreneur or consultant. And at some point in their journey, even if they’re sitting on top of a $2 billion year company, they had to sell. And you’re going to have to do the same thing.

Pick a Niche

Then pick a niche. So in our case, we’re the oil and gas sales experts. Our niche is how do you help other companies sell their product or service to the oil and gas industry. You have to niche down and the more you niche down the better off you’ll be. If you want to niche down to the point that you’re an SAP consultant for upstream companies and you help them write GUI interfaces that’s perfect. But see how deep and focused that is? If you want to become an Oil and Gas consultant  you will have to figure out what your niche is.

Then, whether you’ve been exposed to it or not, you’re going to have to learn project management and time management.

Project Management to become an Oil and Gas consultantYou’re going to be strapped for times especially when you first become an oil and gas consultant.

So everything you can do to increase you workable billable hours by doing effective time management, is going to help you. And project management, no matter what you’re doing for your clients, it’s going to be a project. And you have to learn how to manage that project. There’s a bunch of good resources out there. Look at PMI, look on Lynda.com, look at online courses but no matter what,  your going to have to learn how to use project management and time management to your benefit.

You Will Have to Choose

And then, here’s a big one. Are you going to be the oil and gas consultant that advices oil and gas companies or are you going to be the oil and gas consultant that does the work? Two totally different things.

So when you’re advising, people come to you as a thought leader. They want your help, your mentoring and they want you to help them make right decisions, but you’re not actually doing the work. There’s a nice place to be, but it takes much longer to get there.

But you can also actually do the work. That’s a quicker place to get to, because maybe you’re doing work they can’t do themselves. Maybe you’re filling a position that isn’t worth them hiring staff for. Maybe they need some skills and experience that they do not have, which is all valuable to the company.

So your going to have to figure out are you going to be a consultant that advises or consultant that does the work before you become an Oil and Gas consultant.

Problem Solving to become an Oil and Gas consultant

Then, you have to spend the time to know the oil and gas industry. You have to know understand the problems that oil and gas companies are dealing with. If you want to become an oil and gas consultant, you’re going to have to be a problem-solver. And those problems are going to have to be real business problems that the companies are dealing with.  And once you learn it, you’ll have to learn again next year. And the following year, and the next. The business drivers in this industry are always changing, always in flux. So you have to truly understand the problems that oil and gas companies are struggling with so that you can offer them something of value. Which is you helping them fix their problems.

Develop Your Business Process

Then, you have to develop your own business process, how do you do contract? How do you build your milestone billing? How do you invoice? How do you do expenses? Just like you’re going to help your clients with their business process by solving problems that they have, you will have to develop your own business process and it needs to be repeatable. And it it needs to be written down and updated.

Then speaking of things written down in business process, take a look at what you’re really good at and figure out what you can outsource. We talked earlier about marketing and part of that is stuff like search engine optimization and creating content like this blog.  I could easily have outsourced this.

We chose not to, but you may choose to outsource this. Look at what is not key billable time for you, then figure out what you can’t outsource and what you can. There’s a bunch of good companies out there globally like VAT that will allow you have virtual assistance for as little as $8 an hour, take advantage and free up your time.

Then, here’s a big one. You have to be transparent in all your business dealings and you have to be detached from the deal. So when we engage with a new client, I’m not thinking “Oh I really hope I’m going to close this deal” or “I need to close this deal today”. No, no, no.

I’m trying to figure out if it’s the best fit for the client. If it’s not, very transparently I say “I’m sorry but I don’t think I can help you”. And, I’m not emotionally attached to closing that deal. Now, be real careful here. People will tell me “Well Mark, you need to be excited you need to want to do business.” Yes, but that is different.

That’s having a passion for what you do best, it’s different than being emotionally attached to the deal. If the deal is not meant to happen, you can’t make it happen. You can’t make oil and gas companies buy from you if they don’t want to. They are only going to buy when its a benefit to them. And its impossible that you can provide benefit to Everybody.

So, you want to find out quickly as possible whether they’re a good prospect. And if they’re not, you want to move on. And once again, total transparency. Everything we do business-wise we talk it through with our clients. The way we price things? We do it with them in the room as a team.  If you want to become an oil and gas consultant that is successful, you need to practice transparency and being detached from the deal.

No Need to Reinvent the Wheel

Then, why reinvent the wheel? Whatever you’re doing, I promise you somebody else has probably done it already. So find a mentor. There’s a bunch of organizations out there with very senior people looking to help mentor people. We do it as well. And if you’re going to become an oil and gas consultant, I think you have an obligation to help mentor other people. To help keep this thing alive and keep it going. Finding a mentor will help you so much, and keep you from making those really big mistakes.

Here is one we’re guilty of, but you need to build out your exit plan. You can’t do this forever, even if you build a robust oil and gas consulting business. At some point you’ll have to stop working. And you want to have ability to exit, even if its something you want to do right now. Typically what you do is develop some intellectual property. Then include your processes, and then you want to develop some technology. And that could be a simple as an app that mirrors your process. And finally train somebody in what you do.

Now you have the intellectual property, the technology and the person that can do the work. You now have something that you can sell or hand over, so you can exit. And for most, the goal is to have other companies that are bigger you’re looking at acquiring way before you’re looking to exit.

And then finally enjoy. We love what we do, it’s a passion for us and at the same time we actually can make a living at it. You need to enjoy what you’re doing. If you don’t enjoy, if you don’t have a passion for what you are doing. Its going to fizzle out and your dream of becoming an oil and gas consultant is just not going to go anywhere.

I know that I went through a whole bunch of stuff here. Like I said, people ask us these questions all the time on how to become an oil and gas consultant. Hopefully we helped talk you through this. If you found this very valuable, can you do me a favor? On the side here, can you click these social share buttons, it helps us get our message out to more people.

Landmen Building Tools for LandMen. Interview with Melissa and Jamie

To learn more about TotaLand click here 

Mark: Hey, folks let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.

All right. We’re still at NAPE. We’re sitting here with Melissa and Jamie with TotaLand. How y’all doing?

Melissa: We’re doing pretty good. How are you?

Mark: Very good.

Jamie: Really good, Mark. Thanks for having us.

Mark: Yeah. And so, this is like a tradition with us, right? Every NAPE we end up, end up running across each other having a conversation.

Melissa, one of the things that you and I are talking about earlier which I found fascinating is that even in this low-crude price environment, TotaLand and with – along with y’all are actually doing stuff to try to help people in this low crude price market. Can we talk about that a little bit?

Melissa: Yeah, absolutely. We have a new product that we are planning to release that is going to allow some of our landmen during this downturn to leverage some of the assets that they may just have sitting at home. It’s going to be an e-Bay-style fashion and it’s going to allow them to use some of their documents resell them over and over again, so  like, you know, try to help our landmen out while the downturn is going on.

Mark: And so, but the other thing I hear in there is you’re actually digitalizing something that a lot of places in the world still done manually with paper?

Melissa: Absolutely. We are going to upload all of their images so that they don’t have to have it there. They can use it as a storage base as well. You don’t have to sell them, you can use it as like a glorified Dropbox if you’d like to just put all of your images up, we’ll figure out what way we get them scanned in and they’ll store them on tele market place.

Mark: Yeah. And, Jamie you and I were talking earlier. It’s in this market, it’s – there’s a lot of people that unfortunately have been laid off or lost their jobs, but it’s starting to look like that’s starting to change.

Jamie: Right. We suddenly see a bit of an upswing of things. I’m noticing a lot of – I pay a lot of attention to social media, particularly I’m seeing companies that are starting to reach out and look for landmen to come back. I think we are starting to see more positive stuff you know the best advice I give people just keep learning all you can and it is coming back. So, we are – I mean like I said we maintained a pretty good client-based through the downturn and we’re starting to see more users come back to using our system again.

Melissa:  WE are. Our user base is going pretty well. We’ve seen a gradual upsweep in our user base and it’s just constant every week, we’re seeing more and more come on and that is definitely a positive thing for us, so.

Mark: Yeah. But, it’s a credit to your company, so these people can go anywhere, but they’re coming back to TotaLand. Why do you think that’s happening?

Melissa: TotaLand has a great team. We all work together, we have some amazing ideas and our customer service is phenomenal. We, you know, if you have an issue, we’ll help you out, let’s figure out how we can get through this. We want to get through it together and we want to be there for you when you come out on the other side.

Mark: What – what’s so amazing that actually brought you back to TotaLand?

Jamie: Well, I’ve always enjoyed using the product. I remember working in the field sometimes and struggling with using Word – Microsoft Word, Microsoft Office programs and, you know, spending all Monday morning just trying to put all these stuff together.

When I was using TotaLand, you know, simple matter of inputting all the data and a simple click of a button to generate ownership reports and turn it to our clients. It makes it real simple and I mean like I said I love the product since day one. It saves me so much time especially like generating leases.

I remember we, when we go out to buy leases, you spend half a morning trying to run that form through a printer just to line everything up, fight with everything, get all your information straight before you go get the ink.

TotaLand is simple matter of, again, inputting the data, click the generate the contract, and you can also generate other forms like your W9s and anything else to help you go. It saves a lot of time a lot of cost and I could see once as we’re bouncing back that’s going to be a major factor saving time and saving money for clients.

Melissa: Not to mention TotaLand it’s not something that you’re going to install on a computer, so you’re not going to have to come to office to utilize it. You can – it’s web-based, so you can log on anywhere. The users can log on anywhere. You don’t have to worry about formatting calculations, you don’t have to convert your fractions to decimals, we’re going to do that for you. The system is going to do it. Some people have issues with that.

Reporting, you know, dynamic reporting. Your boss is going to want the same report every Monday for the meeting. Just set it up as a favorite on your desktop and it’s going to do all the work for you, so you know.

Mark: Really, really cool stuff.

Jamie: Yeah. And, we – we also offer training. We have training webinars everyday and we also award one AAPL CE Continued Education credit for each video we offer. And, we could also tailor make different webinars, you know, if there’s specific features you – you want us to showcase, we’ll be more than happy to put that together, so.

Mark: And, I think another thing is a big strength of y’all is you mentioned AAPL, y’all have actually worked in the industry, y’all are both landmen, aren’t you?

Melissa:  I’m a seven-year landman and…

Jamie: Correct. I’ve been – right, I’ve been in the business several years. I’m also a registered landman looking eventually to go out to the next title move on, but, yeah, really keeping…

Melissa: We’re not just – we’re not just here programming or putting something together that we’ve never utilized or we’ve never seen a need for. We are landmen building the system. We work for the company, we know what you need. When you call and you tell us that you need something, we’re going to understand why it’s there and that’s what makes it so valuable is we’re landmen working for landmen.

Mark: Yeah. It’s actually one of the things I really love about this company, they’re like boots on the ground, get dirty, help their clients get stuff done.

So, if somebody wanted to learn more about TotaLand and what y’all are doing, where should they go?

Melissa: They should just go to www.totaland.com. I will point out that we have a free 45-day trial. It is completely free, no credit card required. You just come you sign up you do the trial. We’re not going to harass you. You know you make the decision you want to make.

Mark: So, folks we’ll stick a link in the show notes. If you have any interest in this company, go check out the free trial, I promise you, you’ll be glad you did.

So, Melissa and Jamie, thank you so much for your time today.

Melissa: Absolutely. Thank you. It was great speaking with you.

Jamie: Thank you so much, Mark. Thank you for having us.

Mark: Yeah. And, I’m sure we’ll see each other next time, huh?

Melissa: Absolutely. You know it.

Mark: Make this is a regular show.

So, folks I hope this helped. We will see you next time.