Found this on Google+. I laughed. Then I started thinking about what that statement, taken literally, would mean for online marketing consultants like me.
I’ll start by telling you that I’ve never been offered any sum of money for everything I know about online marketing. People mostly come to me with specific problems for which they want a specific solution. And what would all of an expert’s knowledge be worth anyway? The value of their current businesses? The last 12 years of net income from them? Or maybe it just depends on what the buyer would do with the knowledge. If you’re going to make $7 billion with it, I’d rather be a partner than a brain transplant for a set sum.
The other conundrum here is that holding all an expert’s knowledge in the palm of your hand does not equal having that expert’s mind. Experts also have to know how to take that knowledge and convert it, play with it, and apply it to different scenarios. There’s creativity to consider.
For example, a lot of people have similar sets of intel and business experience as me. It’s what I do with the data I’ve compiled, which constitutes “know-how,” that matters more. And that would obviously be a rather large upsell to the original proposition of simply buying what I know.
This concept is apparent when you consider two smart people who have completely different world views. One is not dumber than the other. Both are equally intelligent and know the same things. Yet, set them loose on a problem and they can both have very different approaches to arriving at a solution. That’s the individual application of know-how. And good know-how, or instinct, is vastly more valuable than a collection of experiences.
Knowledge can be gathered. Know-how, creativity, and common sense were doled out in wildly different proportions to each person at birth. This is why some people specialize in more analytical or technical pursuits and others excel on the creative side of life.
The person who bridges both worlds is the kind of person who makes a great consultant. In online marketing there’s tech and there’s creative. They work hand-in-hand to deliver desired results. Often people will hire two experts to work on each thing with varying degrees of success all the way to abject failure.
In the end, when you consult with someone and are tasked with delivering everything you’ve got to help them develop something of value to their company, you have to give them everything. You cannot hold back #2, as in the picture above. Not, unless, the client has only paid for #1 and #2 comes after the successful completion of #1.
This is why I always give clients more options than they asked for. I expose them to a wider set of possibilities for their marketing campaigns because they might not know to ask certain questions or that such alternatives exist. Which is another reason people hire experts.
If you’re a consultant who willfully holds back in order to lengthen the contract indefinitely, that’s actually called being an employee, not a consultant. A real consultant will relish the day they are no longer needed. When, essentially, they are fired by the client, but in a nice way. Because the job they hired you to do got done. Problem solved. Thank you very much and here’s your fee.
Good consultants get excited by being “fired” because they are only as good as the sum of their successes. And a good job helps them get more good jobs. It’s by far the best attitude to have when you do consulting part-time or full-time.