Despite being booked solid the past year and a half, I will occasionally take on work outside of my areas of specialization—especially if I think I can help.
But I do have some standards about who I’ll let in.
The big ones are:
- Am I interested in this project?
- Do I connect with the person I’m speaking to?
- Do they have a reasonable budget?
- Do they have a niche/are they differentiated enough?
This fourth one is a big one.
If they’re in a niche or have a distinct differentiator, I’ll consider the project.
If not, I’ll check to see if they’re open to finding a tighter position to help them stand out to the right people.
One of the hardest things to do as a marketing consultant is helping those who are not sufficiently focused or differentiated.
Marketing to a sea of generalities is a recipe for disaster—and I don’t want to be on that ship when it hits the shore.
If the prospect’s business is interesting, I connect with them personally to a degree, it pays well, and they currently are or are willing to make hard choices to become a “Category of One”, then I’ll consider them.
Otherwise, there’s no good reason to do so—especially when I’m busy.
And thankfully, I’m always pretty busy. 🙂