Kevin C. Whelan – Digital Strategy Consultant
They teach digital marketing strategy in some schools, but I believe you can only really get good at it through experience and hard work.
My journey in the digital world started out in my early teenage years. I started out playing computer games on a 56k modem and it quickly transitioned into creating websites for friends, family, and eventually clients. I’ve been doing that now for over 15 years.
I’m passionate about my work, and I believe that is a key ingredient to succeeding at anything. Being passionate allows me to spend much of my discretionary time learning about the latest technology, tools, and strategies that helps businesses like yours to grow.
As for formal education, I have a BA in Philosophy from the University of Guelph, a postgraduate certificate in Small Business Entrepreneurship from George Brown College, and a certificate in Web Writing & Social Media Communication from the University of Toronto.
Marketing strategy is not a strict science. It is more like a combination of philosophy and human psychology. The most impactful lessons are based on ancient human traits, and therefore the best ideas withstand the test of time. That’s how I approach my work too.
My consulting approach
For the past two years, I operated my business as a distributed digital marketing agency, which has enabled me to find, qualify, and manage a team of specialized contractors and consultants from around the world.
With this business model, I created digital marketing strategies and designed corporate websites for my clients, and I would make my profit on the hours my team and I worked.
That’s when I realized two things:
- There is an inherent conflict of incentives in the agency model, and
- I was giving away my best skill for free (digital strategy)
My digital strategy advice felt a lot like sales, even though the ideas were also in the best interest of the client. The reason was that I was offering strategy and implementation, which results in the aforementioned conflict of incentives.
I prefer to be a trusted advisor to my clients, in full alignment with their success. As a result, I transitioned to digital strategy consulting under my own name instead of an agency.
I still use many of the same contractors that I worked with in my agency, but instead I put them into direct business relationship with my clients (on the Consulting plan).
That means if I ever “get hit by the lottery”, as I like to say, my clients retain their relationship with these contractors. This is is crucial to continuity and retaining knowledge over time. For those on an Advisory or Mentorship program, I’ll teach you how to source and vet these specialists yourself.
Does this sound like it might be a fit for your business? I encourage you to reach out for an initial discussion to talk about your goals and challenges.