Making the Transition from Marketing Services Provider to Consultant

Increasingly, I’m being called upon to help marketing firm leaders make the transition from being providers of commodity services to purveyors of expertise via consulting.

Usually, I get the call when people are in the middle of rehauling their website. (If you are considering this transition, note that the right time to call me is before you start redoing the website.) Why? Because the tone and voice of a consultant is very different from the tone and voice of a service provider.

In a nutshell: One gives the orders, the other takes them.

The consultant voice is authoritative and confident. It’s collaborative, but assertive. It implies, “Ignore my advice at your own peril.” Whereas the voice of the service provider is solicitous and accommodating. The client voice says “Look how high we can jump!”

If you use the service provider voice on your consultation focused website, no one will believe you are an expert. Even if everything you say points to that reality.

To the service provider, speaking with authority at first feels boastful and arrogant. After all, “Who do you think you are?” Appropriate copy will make you feel really uncomfortable in the beginning. But as you switch everything over, and you see for yourself how much evidence there is that you are the REAL deal, you will start to believe it, too.

And you know what? The most important person to believe, is YOU. Because if you don’t believe, ain’t no way you can convince anyone else you’ve got the goods. Once you do believe,  however, you will be amazed at how that belief will empower your conversations with everyone you meet, employees, influencers and most importantly, prospective customers. It’s amazing.

So, if you are making this transition from provider to consultant, give yourself the gift of a working with a professional communicator and coach who can help you see your business in this different way and hold your hand while you get used to it. You’ll be glad you did.

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