A lot of people think consultants have no skin in the game.
They wave their hands, give advice, and leave the client alone to implement.
But when it comes to consulting on marketing, the most effective ones combine advice with other proprietary assets.
These assets give you leverage.
They’re your relationships, expertise, and materials you’ve developed over several years doing the work.
They are battle-tested and ready to be thrown into most of your engagements—in any combination or exclusion you see fit.
Below are eight things successful marketing advisors bring outside of just their advice.
Effective advisors are educators.
They use every chance they can get to document, record, and teach others how to do what they recommend.
They turn their expertise into articles, frameworks, and recorded trainings that can be shared with clients later on.
They bring these materials to their work to avoid having to teach the same things every engagement.
Clients move faster and get more value independently while you cut down on your time investment considerably.
Advisors don’t personally execute, but they do still help implement.
Good advisors bring templates to help clients implement and get results faster.
These might include things like strategy canvases, copywriting frameworks, website wireframes, design templates, or any other things clients can fill in or use right away.
Templates save time and make implementing without you a lot easier.
Nothing teaches like examples.
Great advisors keep a swipe file with effective marketing examples from inside and outside their clients’ core niche.
This makes the creative process easier, faster, and more effective while teaching concepts at a much faster pace.
Keep a swipe file. I have a good method for this in AdvisorOS.
Advisors know what tools to use for the job and bring them to their engagement.
It might be analytics software, a survey tool, or a custom KPI calculator.
They know the best tools to use for each job and have them on hand to help their clients get results faster.
The heart of every good strategy advisor is their methodology.
Good advisors bring a process for almost anything they do. They improve their processes every time they run them with their clients.
They’re not locked to their process, though they may use them like a checklist when required.
Or, they use their methodology like a menu of options—ideas to consider and use when the time is right.
Processes create repeatability, speed, and more predictable outcomes with less work for everyone.
Even the best ideas will often require someone to help execute them.
Advisors bring a Rolodex of implementation specialists to help do the work the way they envision.
They don’t leave this job to their clients. If they don’t have the right person, they help find them.
It also works with other people they know. They may help their clients find a banker, a peer entrepreneur, or some other person of opportunity outside their core deliverables.
The best advisors are connectors and roll with a deep network.
Many veteran advisors focus on a niche.
Perhaps it’s B2B SaaS, or ecommerce, or non-profits.
When you work long enough with companies in a niche, you begin to spot numerical trends.
Things like average customer acquisition costs, payback periods, marketing efficiency ratios, first-year growth targets, and more.
Helping your clients know how you fit among industry peers is a huge advantage.
This might be a stretch to include, as it could be lumped into the “advice” category.
But I’m going to include it anyway.
A huge reason people hire advisors in the first place is to de-risk projects and ensure things go smoothly as possible. That’s what oversight provides.
It’s a constant presence and awareness of what is going on.
Some strategists manage the process as a fractional CMO. Pure advisors bring a system to help their clients do this themselves.
Either way, the client doesn’t just get good ideas—they get assurance the job is being performed correctly.
They’re also there to measure performance and help iterate until success.
Marketing advisors—like all consultants—get a bad rap for being too hand-wavey.
They can be seen as people with ideas who don’t implement them. Or people who aren’t really on the hook for results.
The reality is, however, is they do help implement. They just contribute in a different way than the people executing tasks.
And advisors are responsible for financial business outcomes—despite what some will have you believe.
Just like an employee can be fired for not performing, so too can advisors—and it happens a lot quicker!
To be successful, it helps to bring more to the table than our advice and expertise. We need to get results with every tool available.
Sure, our experience and expertise are where most of the value is derived. But value is captured through the implementation of those good ideas.
The tools described above make that part a lot easier.