One of the keys to standing out in the crowded world of consulting is to present and communicate a distinct point of view or set of beliefs about how results are achieved.
By developing a unique point of view, and basing all of your content and processes on it, you can change the context of how your audience views what you do in relation to your competition.
In this post I want to dive into the importance of having not only a point of view, but also a methodology. Your methodology is how you bring your point of view to life. While these elements are different, they go hand-in-hand.
Your point of view is what you do, your methodology is how you do it.
Developing a point of view
Great brands can pinpoint their unique point of view and differentiate themselves from the competition with it through everything they do.For marketing specifically, your point of view needs to run through almost every element of content for awareness, education, trust-building, conversion, and follow-up.
For marketing specifically, your point of view needs to run through almost every element of content for awareness, education, trust-building, conversion, and follow-up.
For an example of a business’s point of view, let’s take a look at my company, Duct Tape Marketing. The big idea of Duct Tape Marketing is that marketing is a system. If you install a marketing system, marketing gets a lot easier. That’s our point of view and core point of differentiation (not many people talk about marketing as a system).
Another POV of ours is that strategy must come before tactics. For us, content is the voice of strategy. We guide the customer journey through the Marketing Hourglass. These factors allow us to differentiate ourselves.
Once you’ve developed your point of view, it can be used to develop:
- One word that can be used to describe your business
- Your core message
- Your methodology
- A foundational topic – what you will build everything else from
Your point of view should be clear in everything you do.
Creating a methodology
While a point of view helps to tell a story that attracts potential clients, it’s the working method that helps a business stand out and deliver results.
When providing a service it’s essential that you are able to both demonstrate the tangible deliverables that are coming down the path as well as orient the client as to where they have been, are now and are going in the process.
To see what this looks like in practice, below are the seven stages of a successful consulting system that we use as our methodology:
- Education – When a prospect wants to meet to discuss working together, use the opportunity to do some valuable work with them rather than simply showcasing how you work.
- Conversion – Once a prospect is convinced you can help them solve their problems, you must contractually spell out exactly how it’s going to work.
- Discovery – In this stage you are working with the client to discover “what is.” It’s the audit phase of the process.
- Research – At this point, it’s time to take what you learn in the Discovery phase and start looking to turn “what is” into “what’s possible.”
- Presentation – This is the point where I “sell” my recommendations to the client.
- Implementation – Whether you or the client is going to do the recommended work, a system for proceeding here is important. You should have a series of projects and processes all plugged into a checklist road map for either of you to implement.
- Review – No matter how your consulting engagement is designed, you should insist upon some sort of review process to access results.
Every element of your methodology should be worth paying for, so you need to show the value of each step of the process.
Primary objectives of having a point of view and methodology
So, why should you care about all of this? Well, there are two primary goals you should aim to achieve by having a point of view and by creating a methodology:
If you liked this post, check out our Guide to Building a Small Business Marketing Consulting Practice.