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  • Writer's pictureMia Martin

Are You a Consultant or an Information Source?

In the day in age of Google, YouTube, endless blogs, magazines, e-books, white papers, online courses, masterclasses, and more, information is at the fingertips of its users. Chances are, if you have a question, someone else somewhere in the world has had the same question and taken the time to pursue it's answer and share.

The recipe for your favorite dinner dish or instructions for designing your own website can be found just about anywhere online. Information is being processed, redesigned, and shared at a rate like never before. Are all individuals that share information experts? Do research, statistics, and facts back the data? In many cases, sharing information is based on one's individual problem and how they worked through the situation to reach the end goal.

Often, the information shared is a platform for an individual to feel triumphant about arriving at the solution and sharing the solution to save others time. The sharing of this information, if done consistently, could position an individual as a subject matter expert or thought leader.

As a consultant, when wanting to break through the noise, the art is not continually to repurpose information but instead to identify the genuine issues that your audience is facing and to develop strategic yet straightforward steps for your audience to follow for achieving success.

For example, if you are a consultant that provides services in the area of professional branding, your audience can find millions of pieces of content to learn from online. If you, as the consultant, take the time to show your audience how to overcome an obstacle step by step, you are no longer viewed as an information source or thought leader. The lens begins to shift for you to position yourself as a subject matter expert.

It's tempting to find existing online content and repurpose it. Differentiation begins when you develop new ways to approach your audience's problems and share with them how to frame out the problem and provide action steps and measurements for success.

Let's look at two scenarios. Let's say that there are two marketing consultants. Consultant 1 researches the articles with the highest SEO ranking and engagement and then recreates the content in a new format. Though the information is valuable, it already exists.

Consultant 2 takes the same issue, applies their personal and professional experience, interviews audience members facing the problem addressed, and develops a process for working against the problem. Though this process can still be shared across all traditional mediums, Consultant 2 differentiates themselves by including the issues faced by their audience, trial and error of solutions, and performance against measurement.

When wanting to break through the noise online and differentiate yourself as a Subject Matter Expert, the art is in the delivery and creativity of a new approach.

Before designing your next piece of content to share as a Subject Matter Expert or Consultant, challenge yourself to develop a new and effective way to approach your audience's issues.

The following is a way of looking at how to break through online noise as a consultant:

-Identify one problem that your target client is facing

-Ask questions about how they have approached the problem in the past

-Find common threads in the responses of your client

-Use those commonalities to start mapping out solutions

-Develop the solutions into actions steps

-Provide the success framework to your client

-Measure success and adjust action steps along the way

-Produce consistent content based on the framework results that take a deep dive into the success framework.

In conclusion, the more insight a consultant can capture from their client about the problem(s) the client is facing, the more information the consultant has to develop their next success framework. An information source talks about and shares information about a problem. Consultants leverage effective questioning and demonstrate how to overcome a problem.

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