How to know if you need a brand consultant
The initial thought of working with a "consultant" for some reason seems to strike fear into prospective clients. The term often times resonates with that of some high ranking corporate official who is just as intimidating as their project fee. However, in this day and age where everyone seems to be juggling multiple side hustles while perusing passion projects, AND launching a small business, that is no longer the norm.
Hiring a PR team to help you navigate the intricacies of brand development or to even take on your product launch can be overwhelming when your company is just starting out. Ironically enough, many of the brands we work with are often still very much in startup phase which requires more attention to development. However, in the early stages of progress, these types of full time services simply may not be in the budget. Totally understandable!
Enter: the consulting option. Think of the beauty consultant at your favorite big name makeup brand counter. You don't need her in your corner ALL the time; you can do your own makeup for a Friday night out. But you still enjoy meeting for an hour or so when there's a new product you're interested in or big event you need to look flawless for. Same goes with brand consulting. The trick is to strike a balance. A consultant is simply someone who has the information and can offer the guidance you desire, only this way it's done on your terms.
Outside of a la carte services, here's why consulting may be the best bet for your branding needs:
Most consultants will offer services based on an hourly rate, and that's perfect for YOU! When your brand is still in development phase, and the budget may be a bit strapped, it can be difficult to shell out money before you've even begun making any. Amiright? By hiring an individual or agency for consulting services, you are able to easily budget the amount of time and money you spend on these needs.
2. TIME EFFICIENT
Again, it's all about you! When time literally is money, and it seems to be just as limited, this is a great way to not only budget how much time you spend, but also keep you on track and in forward motion. At SPBX, we offer consulting services by the hour, and on your terms. There is no contract and you can stop whenever you feel comfortable. This way, clients have access when they need assistance, but are not locked in to any long term commitment. You can meet virtually, or in person, for meetings in hour increments - on your schedule! All we ask is that you stick to no less than once a month, just to keep everyone in forward motion. If you're not ready to meet at least once or twice a month, you may not be quite ready for this business venture. #coldhardtruth
3. YOU NEED IT
Let's be honest, if you knew everything there was to know about branding your business, you probably wouldn't be reading this post. Truth is, for every amazing ambition you have, there is someone who has done it before you - successfully. And that's great! Why not tap into that knowledge and gain some guidance?! Consultants are there when you need them to help navigate the treacherous waters, and then they fade into the background until called upon again.
4. NAME YOUR PRICE
Remember when you met with that PR firm and they were all pumped up to take your brand to the next level? You guys made plans for the future and you left with visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in your head? Such a great feeling! Until you received your client services agreement and began to panic at the thought of being locked in to paying these fees over a certain amount of time. By opting for consulting services, you decide how much you pay. Had a rough month? no problem, maybe you only meet once this month. Had a great month, and need extra help, or would like to speed up your launch date? Great, schedule a few extra meetings!
5. AT YOUR OWN PACE
Remember in college when you could take a "hybrid" course, or better yet, an online course? Remember how excited you were by the idea that you would have all this extra time with your friends to do the fun stuff?! Consulting has a similar effect. Yes, of course by hiring an agency to do all of the work for you, it not only takes the burden off of you , but it also speeds up the arrival to your end goal. However, if hiring full time services is simply not in the budget, consulting can get the same amount of work done, on a different time line. Think of it as meeting with your professor once or twice a month to make sure you're on the right track, and then heading back out into the wild with the new tools they've given you to make some progress on your own. At SPBX, we also keep you engaged in between meetings with group friendly project management apps like Trello to make sure the work is getting done - even when you're not in class. Accountability is key, after all!