Believe it or not, most consultants are not in it for the money. Seriously. Yes, we need to make a living, of course, but we are not going to get rich from telling creatives how to improve their businesses. Not even close. Each of us could make much more money (and have yummy benefits) working for agencies or in corporate marketing departments. We do this because we love it and, more importantly, we want to help creatives be successful.
Why am I telling you this? Because there seems to be a certain group of creatives who think otherwise and it’s been a tough week dealing with some of those people. So, I just wanted to put it out there.
Do we have all the answers? Any of us consultants? Hell no. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. But we do have loads of experience and we spend a lot of our time doing research so that our info is as accurate as possible. For example, with help from the fine folks at ADBASE, I am currently doing a survey of creatives and Art Buyers about some of their likes and dislikes when it comes to photographers’ marketing. I’m collecting real-world data and learning new things (all of which will be written up in an article shortly).
Consultants do more than just give concrete advice like “don’t include that image, it’s not right for you�? or “you need to put a skip button on that Flash intro you have.�? In the process of looking at your work and talking with you, quite often we help the creative to see his/her work in an entirely new way and we often can help the client learn to believe more in her/his work (and its value) so that making those hard choices about taking a bad gig or not becomes much easier (don’t take it).
As someone on the APAnet forum said (and I’m paraphrasing here), a consultant can be a bit of a shrink, a coach, a mother/father, a nag, a cheerleader, a teacher, a shoulder to cry on and about 100 other things. The one thing we are not is an oracle. But we do the best we can and we do help lots of folks.
Just don’t accuse us of not being in it for the love of the creative work, the creative process, and the desire to help.