In the beginning, I provided consulting services on strategic marketing, which sounds vague because it is vague. Sometimes that meant pricing and value communication, but also brochure auditing, website renovation oversight, negotiation sparring, copywriting, campaign or infographic ideation, product naming, etc. I could do all that with a fair level of confidence in the value I was providing, but some areas were of course “thinner” than others.

Clients who trust you sometimes open up and tell you their plans. This is great, it’s just a matter of time before they ambush you with: Could you also help me with X?

In some cases, I could confidently say yes.

In others, well…

Ladies and gentlemen, the tapdance

When a client asks you to do something you have little experience with, what goes on in your head might look like a balancing act between your baseline integrity and your current level of desperation.

It’s good to learn something new, but you probably can’t do it with the same level of confidence that the client expects you to. My advice would be, you guessed it – come clean.

Say that you think you can do it, but also state that it would be a “pilot project” – a useful euphemism for “learning as you go”. Most of the time, the client will be thankful and still go through it. When this is not the case, you dodged another bullet by saying the truth out loud.


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