Assume the Position: Consultant or Coach?

Got a great question from a reader this week…

“Hey, Wally,” Brenda asked, “should I position myself as a ‘consultant’ or ‘coach’ in my business?”

Brenda’s sort of an advice-dispensing problem-solver who offers a crapload of services — everything from copywriting, to graphic design, to marketing strategies. She specializes in a couple of things and jobs out the rest to partners in her business network, always for a cut of the profits.

She’s what Guerrilla Marketing guy Jay Conrad Levinson used to call a “modular consulting organization … composed of a core individual and a myriad of outside services.”

That’s, like, the best “itty-biz” anybody can build for themselves.

But back to Brenda’s question: should she position herself as a “consultant” or “coach”?

Me, I don’t see a really big difference between the two terms.

But I do see a distinction between the audiences they most appeal to.

People like to work with “coaches.”

Corporations, agencies, and committees like to work with “consultants.”

Usually the coach or consultant is the same kind of animal — just going by different names.

Potato, potahto.

So my answer to Brenda’s question is (tah-da!)…

It depends.

What’s your market — individuals or big companies?

If you prefer negotiating and working with individuals, go ahead and be their coach.

If you wanna deal exclusively with the suit-and-tie crowd, serve as their consultant.

Or do a little of both.

There ya go. Just another lesson in why it’s always important to “know your market.”

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