Tell Me. Show Me. Or Just Do It For Me.
I was just reading an article about the continued growth of consulting services and the author talked about the "Ladder of Desire." He said there are three basic rungs those of us selling consulting services need to keep in mind:
Rung #3: TELL ME HOW TO DO IT - this is when consultants/experts sell books or publish blogs telling people how to do things. In my case — which involves marketing consulting — this could include everything from me telling you how to improve your Instagram page by using better photography and the correct hashtags to advising you on improving your website content by telling you which information should go where and how to write it so it resonates with your target customer. The only problem here is that people have to read, digest the information, and then pretty much figure it out for themselves. Not always successful because some people may not have the writing talent or just don't understand social media. Sure it might be the cheapest option, but will it be the most effective?
Rung #2: SHOW ME HOW TO DO IT - with the current craze of video content, I could always do a video displaying a sample of great photography from your hotel or restaurant and show you a few Instagram pages with great hashtags and how one might search for a specific hashtag. I could also show you an article that appeared in a publication like this one below I placed for a client this week in Reader's Digest, and explain how you might go about writing a press release with a winter rate special or draft a pitch letter and then suggest media types to send it to.
Rung #1: JUST DO IT FOR ME - and then we come to the first rung on the Ladder of Desire which is just do it for me. This is for the client who doesn't have the time to read or watch videos — they're too busy running their business — and they want me to do social media, PR, or copyrighting for them. This rung is more desirable than rung #3 where you have to do it all yourself and clearly more desirable than rung #2 where I'm showing you what and how to do it, but you still need to execute the tasks.
Which is the perfect rung for you? Clearly that depends upon a number of factors.
Do you have the budget to completely outsource your marketing effort?
Do you have the in-house talent/time to take care of it yourself?
Or perhaps you have a combination -- you have someone in house to do it, but they need guidance and direction to execute it properly.
Oftentimes, the case might just be that the most effective way to go is to completely outsource it and focus on what is most important: running the day-to-day operations so what your marketing consultant is selling actually works flawlessly and is everything you say it is in your marketing materials.
Companies which have reached a certain threshold of annual sales volume need to recognize that quite often, it's time to let go of managing everything yourself (which is hard for a start-up entrepreneur to do quite often) and begin to outsource to those who are expert at it. Your job is to continue to perfect and enhance what made you so successful and let the experts continue to share it with the world.