A significant number of my awesome coaching and consulting colleagues and friends across the country have shared with me in the past year that they've hired outside marketing, branding or business development help with disappointing (or disastrous) results. Despite finding "experts" who seem to have good reputations and produce solid results for others, my colleagues found that the advice they received simply wasn't effective or helpful, or the relationship turned sour fast.
Curious as to deeper reasons behind the lack of efficacy of this help, I asked my friends some questions about it:
1) Did the advice you get "feel" right to you when you got it?
2) Did you feel that the expert really "got" you -- understood you and respected where you were coming from, was supportive of you?
3) Did the guidance honor your unique views, perspectives and experiences?
4) Did the copy, products and programs you were led to create feel like a natural outgrowth of you?
5) Did the new website or program or free gift that you created with the expert make you feel proud and happy with the end result?
6) Did you feel equal and honored in the relationship, or did you feel that the expert wanted you to feel "one down?"
If the answer to any of these questions was "no," it turns out that the outside advice may have been "sound," but it wasn't RIGHT.
The process of finding the right business or marketing support provider is exactly the same as going about finding the right doctor, financial consultant, virtual assistant, or other support professional. It's not enough that the individual has helped others, or has a "good reputation," or seems successful.There are skillions of folks who fit that bill.
What does matter is that they are the right fit for you -- that they are empowered supporters of you, and understand what you want, why you want it, and how you want to go about getting it. It's about process here, not just about content.
Further, it's critical that you like and trust your helper. If you follow the advice of someone you don't like or respect, you subconsciously sabotage yourself and limit your success. You're telling yourself that despite this person feeling "off" to you, they must know better than you, and that you don't know enough. That core self-message undermines the entire outcome of what you're trying to achieve -- bringing about great, new aligned clients and customers whom you wish to serve.
How to Choose the Right Helper for You
Below are several key criteria that must be met in order for a outside consultant or coach to be a good fit and to give you more than you pay for. If you want to be pleased with the outcome, and find enlivening support that helps you achieve the outcomes you want in ways that are aligned with who you are, ask yourself:
Does the provider:
-- Take into account your uniqueness and differences from others in your field
-- Feel in alignment with you, in terms of aesthetics, values, priorities, authenticity, communication, and style
-- Want you to be happy with their services, and will do what is necessary for you to be more than satisfied?
-- Have proven results with others who are like-minded with you?
-- Have marketing materials, website, programs, and products that you feel are high-quality and high-content and that you'd like to emulate?
-- Price their programs in a way that ensures a healthy return on investment -- that you'll generate significantly more money within a year from the outcomes of their support than you'll pay them?
-- Finally, does it feel "right" and "good" to work with this individual? Does s/he empower you, or bring you down?
Spending money wisely is a hallmark of successful individuals and business owners. Please... think carefully before investing in outside support and all through the process. Make sure that your service providers are capable of helping you be all you wish to be in the world. Feel free to say "no" when it's not working. Bring up your concerns and ask for change or resolution. If you don't get want you need, be prepared to walk away from the relationship when you sense that this partnership is not for you or for your highest good. Don't wait to ask for what you know you need and want.
Are you spending money today in a support relationship that isn't supportive? Might today be the day to say "I'm done?"
Follow Kathy Caprino on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kathycaprino