• The Consultant I Am Or Am I?

    If you intend to do some private work for clients it is always important to pay attention to how to describe the work you do. I am aware that a lot of my work can be described as consultancy, as it involves helping others understand my speciality. But I have chosen to use the term “Mentoring” as I believe it is more accurate. Let me explain why.

    A consultant is someone who has a perception of wearing a suit and tie and delivers presentations to the management team. It’s true I do this sometimes, but the vast amount of communication I have with a client is one a first name basis with the staff delivering their all at the front end of a project. They ask advice and I give it there and then, I don’t stick it on to power point and present it with nice graphics. This sector just moves too fast, to wait for that process to be completed. It is also true that I would have to charge for the time to create these presentations and every hour I am working on PowerPoint is an hour I am not working on solutions.

    Call Me A Mentor

    So I prefer the term “Mentor” and give the responsibility of recording all actions to the person I am helping and it takes away a lot of formality that gets in the way of progress.
    The downside, is the term “Mentorship” is not necessarily accepted in my line of work, so few people are searching for it and sometimes it can be associated with a course with a qualification. There are no official qualifications in SEO, my mentoring does not follow a syllabus, it merely looks at the issues unique to a project and teaches the solutions, or at least suggests the experiments and test we need to put in place to get those solutions.

    Communicate Remotely

    I work more using Skype Google hangouts and phone now, rather than face to face. To be honest nothing beats face to face, but it is impossible to everywhere at once, and also I find clients cancel all the time due to unforeseen work commitments. So communicating remotely does have a benefit, with a busy organisation.

    Often management don’t need to know the specific details of what challenges there are, they just want it fixed. So it is often better to leave the updates to internal staff, who can do as and when management need it.