Getting a fresh perspective sound necessary but not sure about hiring an outside consultant? Why would you step outside your organization to seek marketing wisdom or solve a problem? The better question is why wouldn’t you?
Making a big decision or launching a new project can feel debilitating. Far too many of my clients suffer from extreme cases of well intended tunnel vision. Namely, they’ve looked at the same thing so many times, their vision is downright blurred. Getting that outside perspective is often valuable to getting clarity. However, how to convince your boss to hire a smart outsider to complete, kick-start or help define a project when you have internal talent? Truth is, there are a plethora of benefits to hiring an outside consultant and if you’re headed down that path, you are not alone. According to Statista, the number of business consultants hired in the U.S. has steadily grown from 2012 to 2019.
Some value benefits that come with hiring an outside consultant include:
- Talent from outside brings a fresh perspective.
- An outsider should bring expertise you don’t have.
- Outsiders fill a temporary but vital need.
- Sometimes you just need someone from the outside to get sh*t done.
A Fresh Perspective
How often do you turn to friends and family to get their opinion on a personal choice? Why wouldn’t you do the same in a professional setting? Think of it this way: if you only take into account insider opinions, you run the risk of missing out on smart solutions, clever ideas or including a mistake only an outsider would catch. Even when you have the smartest team, some challenges suffer from being caught in the echo chamber of your organization. A fresh perspective helps to break old habits of thinking and might even adjust your entire point of view.
Expertise You Don’t Have
We can’t all be Renaissance men and women. I mean, wouldn’t it be amazing if we were experts in all areas and had an extensive knowledge of every aspect of our field of work? Truth is, many great employees are generalists, not specialists and frankly, you want that. An outside consultant should bring expertise in specific areas and transfer knowledge to your team. At SmartOutsider, Danica often gets hired to advise companies on building out, for example, an internal ambassador program. She has nearly a decade of experience developing programs that help define and activate key employees as influencers. Having someone who’s built out these programs multiple times, means your team doesn’t have to make the mistakes endemic in any launch. Additionally, a good consultant willingly does a data and knowledge transfer so your team can become quick experts.
Temporary but vital need
Not all internal projects require a new hire, especially when it comes to those pernicious but important “one-offs.” At Everywhere Agency, we once had a huge branding and research project that required interviewing and collecting data from over 400 influencers. We knew the data we needed to collect but were unsure how to present it in a compelling manner. Yes, we were experts at influencer marketing – however, managing a large survey and following best practices of data sorting? That fell outside our team’s skill set. We just needed to find someone skilled who could come in, look at our survey and help us make sense of it all. Three hours of consultancy helped frame up an important project for our agency and give us the assurance that we were presenting the data in a way that held up to media scrutiny.
Get Sh*t Done
What important to-do’s are on your bucket list right now? Need to finish that strategy document? Perhaps you have a tired PowerPoint presentation that needs some outside zhuzhing. (Sorry, I just love that word!) Perhaps you have a marketing challenge and are overwhelmed by the myriad of different ways to solve it. Let’s face it, as an insider, you’re often caught up by the coulda, shoulda, woulda’s. An outside consultant has no affinity to any could, should or would, is oblivious of office politics that might get in the way and can deliver an ego-free plan of attack. Outside consultants have the ability to come in blind, get clarity on your goals and help you make a smart decision, swiftly.
Of course, there are also strong financial benefits to hiring an outside consultant – especially considering you can bypass taxes and benefits. A good consultant is available when you need them and disappears into the wood work when you don’t. They also should come with a true desire to help you solve your challenges and get out of the way of you doing the phenomenal work you want to do.