The Client-Consultant CollaborationFeb 23, 2021
A New Wave in Consulting
So, what are the latest trends in consulting? Well, most clients are seeing less of a need for “resident consulting.” Many organizations have more professional staff, less money, less time to spend with a consultant, or some combination of these three. Therefore, there may not be a need to engage a consultant that will literally live at the organization for the entire duration of a campaign. Most organizations feel more comfortable with a consultant that is on-site for a day or two at a time, or even a week at a time than those who have the consultant in the office daily.
And, an even more interesting turn of events is the “Virtual Consultant” who is never, or rarely, on site. Several entrepreneurial consultants have come up with ways to provide low-cost but experienced and knowledgeable consultants to these organizations who need help in specific areas, cannot afford a consultant, or perhaps are in remote areas where consultant travel expenses would be prohibitive.
For consultants, it is a great way to monetize some of the materials they’ve developed and make them available to nonprofits that might not be in a position to engage a consultant. Consultants can post free samples and articles as part of their content marketing strategy. They sell valuable templates, checklists, and other documents that they’ve already developed.
The client-consultant relationship doesn’t have to stop at the download. It can be the start of long-term consulting for those who need more than just tools. And for consultants new to the consulting game, it’s an effective way to build clientele. I have found that online courses offer me a way to earn passive income, while collaborating with other consultants as affiliates.
At the end of any consulting arrangement—no matter how stellar, or not—an organization is well-served if staff analyze the process with an eye toward future outsourcing. When staff records lessons learned, that documentation can serve as key reminders next time consultant candidates march in for interviews. The more employees learn from each experience, the more equipped they become to help lead the engagement.
To learn more about consulting, take my course, Nonprofit Consulting: Get Started, Get Clients, Grow, and Evolve. Sign up here