OPINION - Consulting
Some thoughts on being a consultant and how to work with them.
Before I get into my post today, I wanted to quickly share that our training site has launched a new free course called ‘an introduction to digital identifiers’ in partnership with the team at ID5.
Digital identifiers are really tough to understand, as there’s tonnes of technical terminology as well as heaps of methodologies to how they are created. This course is to demystify digital identifiers, their methodologies and their value. The course is broken into 5 short-modules and there’s a quiz at the end to help reaffirm what has been taught.
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There are probably three things outside of health & friends/family that I think most about: AdTech, Man Utd and Consulting. I took to LinkedIn last week to share some thoughts on becoming a consultant and on how businesses should work with consultants. If you missed them (because the LinkedIn algorithm is unpredictable!), then I’ve copied them below. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts.
Becoming a consultant
Get paid something upfront (i.e. 50% of a project fee). This is VERY standard in consulting industry.
Keep on top of your network. There's so much value in your network from having good engagements over the years. Don't become reclusive, especially if you were a buyer or seller before and now you're not. Opportunities come from everywhere and your network will respect that (plus it's fun!).
Say no. Your time is your product - be selective in how you use your time. Everyone says this, but it's never truer than in consulting.
Understand your value. Establishing your pricing is surprisingly difficult as one person's view on 'expensive' is another person's 'cheap'. Stick to your guns and turn down clients where you can tell they aren't really going to see value or are going to negotiate you to a point of submission.
Enjoy it. Consultancy is incredibly liberating in that you get to just put your experience and expertise into creating output you truly get behind. No one project is ever the same, and the intellectual stimulation can be overwhelming, but it's unbelievably rewarding!
Working with consultants
Pay on time. Go above and beyond in your role to put pressure on finance teams to pay on-time. Consultants are usually only offering their time/expertise, they don't make money in other ways (which let's be honest, is part of most of the industry problems), they're not a bank taking a hedge. Be on their side.
Brief them properly. Consultancy deliverables can feel 'intangible' (insert joke about powerpoint decks) but if the brief isn't clear on what's expected, it's really difficult for a consultant to show where value can be generated and then the work can fall flat through no fault of the consultant.
Keep them updated. You don't really want a consultant to spend 100% of their time on your business (I think), as their wider perspectives and 'free-time' creates way more space to think. But you're in your business 100% of the time and things are always happening when the consultant isn't there - keep them posted so that their work can land in the right way.
Make them feel part of the team. Often consultants are on their own a lot or in a small group - when you make them feel part of the team it goes such a long way and will make them want to do better work (plus it's the best way to be!).
Connect them. Most consultants work is referral based, if you think they're good or think they could add value, go out of your way to connect them. It's what the ad industry is all about - good people doing good work.
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