This post is part of my 5-day free crash course on how to transition from execution to advisory work. (You can enroll in the full email sequence by subscribing here).
It’s all about the case for advisory services: why they’re uniquely valuable independent of hands work and deliverables.
Let’s get into it…
There are at least four core ways to package and deliver your expertise through the advisory model:
In all cases, you’re selling access to your expertise.
It’s distinct from execution work as there are no/minimal deliverables required unless you choose to include them.
Your ability to sell advice separately from execution comes down to your ability to get real business results without using your hands.
Doing that is a lot easier if you bring the right tools for the job, including:
- A documented methodology that ensures you do things rigorously
- Supporting training or instructions people can follow to implement your ideas
- A network of people you can introduce to your clients if they need help implementing
- A swipe file with examples of various strategies and tactics being used
- Templates people can use right away—things like a KPI sheet, marketing strategy, planning document, etc.
- A repeatable system your clients can use to keep going what you implement after you’re gone
Your value comes not from doing the task-work, but from knowing precisely what needs to be done, how to do it, and who to help make it happen if outside support is needed.
In other words—you’re like a results concierge. A fixer. A facilitator, of sorts.
You know what do to, which questions to ask, and how to systematically remove roadblocks that come up.
You bring the tools, resources, and experience to get the job done.
In theory, it costs your clients the same or less than hiring a unicorn full-service agency that can do it all for them.
The problem is, those agencies don’t even exist. They’re usually strong in a few core areas and weak in the rest—but still willing to sell it.
And if they did exist, they’d be blindingly expensive—even for non-expensive work.
Unlike an agency, you are deconstructing the ingredients and devising a tailored mix of channels, tactics, and specialists to do the implementation.
You’re like a nutritionist. Or a general contractor. Or an architect. Or a project foreman (foreperson?).
Not everyone is responsible for hammering the nails.
Your advice is impartial because you’re not getting paid for the execution.
It allows you to be more nimble about how you solve problems. You’re solution-agnostic. And that’s good for your clients.
Most importantly, you’re a leader, not a manager.
I won’t lie to you—selling advisory services is a tough nut to crack for the first time. Mostly because people don’t know how.
A lot of people start with managed advisory services—like fractional or interim CMO work—before phasing into pure advisory work over time.
Or they do a form of consulting which is advisory plus some form of deliverables.
Others sell single strategy calls or outcome-specific sprints for a while to test out their processes.
All ways are valid. The secret is having specific expertise in a given domain—and an ability to create value with what and who you know.
There’s a lot of value in getting clarity and guidance from a trusted advisor.
It might feel like a reach now, but you can be that advisor.
P.S. In case you missed it, you can auto-enroll in the free 5-day email course on how to go from selling execution work to advising, teaching, and training by subscribing here.