Have you ever heard this objection from a prospect?
“I don’t want you to advise or teach me. I don’t have the time or energy to do this myself. I just want you to implement.”
Personally, I haven’t heard this one in a long time. But a lot of people are hearing this, so hopefully I can help you overcome it.
The first thing to know is that if you offer advisory services alongside implementation, people will want you to implement for them—assuming they can afford it.
The problem is, implementation isn’t as profitable as strategy. Especially when you start sub-contracting or hiring out the work.
If you want to sell strategy, it’s much easier to either remove implementation completely from your site or create a brand new website dedicated solely to your advisory work.
I chose the latter approach when I phased into advisory work. I kept my agency site intact while I began a new one under my name.
All new agency leads that came via my old site were referred to my new advisory site going forward. I explained that I was transitioning to a new model and showed them how it was better for them this way.
I explained how they get the benefit of access to strategic guidance and oversight plus direct access to people I used to mark up with my agency.
And for my clients, that meant they had their own team of individual designers, developers, ad managers, and anyone they needed for much less than the hourly rate I was marketing them up at.
Eventually, they wouldn’t need me anymore. They’d be able to keep the team, systems, and structures I assembled and would benefit from ongoing cost savings long into the future.
It’s like hiring an agency at wholesale rates. They pay me to get their stuff set up, then we either transition into a lower-level advisory tier or I transition out—leaving them with a solid structure and team they could trust to carry things forward.
The second thing to know is that to successfully sell advisory services, you need to be seen as meaningfully different and non-interchangeable
If prospects “just want you to implement”, there’s a good chance they are seeing you as an interchangeable set of hands among a sea of freelancers or agencies.
It helps to have a niche or specialization you can credibly own. Something specific people can see and appreciate.
Something that says, “if you want this, it’s what I do better than anyone else you’ll find out there. If you want someone to simply implement and learn on your dime, there are an infinite number of people ready to take your money.”
The best advisors are specialists. They are facilitators. They bring more than just their advice—they bring people, examples, templates, processes, experience, and other valuable assets that you can’t find anywhere else.
You don’t need to have your hands on the keyboard to make sure your client gets help implementing.
P.S. Need help getting your advisory services off the ground? Hit reply and let’s see if I can help.