Online “Mentors” or “Consulting Agencies”; Why you should avoid them.

The best and worst aspect of the internet is that anyone can be whoever they want whilst online. I can be a 6 foot 8 bearded heart surgeon, or I can be an 8 year old girl selling my mum’s jewellery online; who are you to deny that I’m either?

With marketing, there’s an element of transparency that not a lot of other industries have.

When I sit down with clients and advise them about marketing, I have proof of when it has or hasn’t worked in the past. Additionally, when I am doing work for them, there’s data that will tell them if I’m doing a good job or am not.

Part of my job includes “consulting”.

Essentially, this is when I sit with a client and say to them “Look, this is what I think will work for your business”. After this (which we don’t charge the client for doing), I then proceed to put this advice into action.

Without being able to follow through with my advice, my “consulting” might as well be handing them a lucky horseshoe and slapping them on the ass as I take £50 out of their wallet.

If you haven’t gathered yet, I’m strongly opposed to online “consulting agencies” and “online business mentors”.

For the most part, I believe it’s an industry that is full of people claiming to be multi-millionaires, who aren’t. In actuality, they’re scam artists with glossy video adverts.

Not only do I base this on talking to these supposed “professional consultants” and seeing them on Facebook groups I’m part of, but also because their businesses don’t make any sense:

  1. Time is money, and if the consultant’s “self-made” story is authentic, why would they spend time talking to wannabes online instead of investing in companies and mentoring the owners directly?
  2. If they’re so rich with knowledge, why don’t they release the information online in articles or videos? Or, write a book?

Of course, the reason is money, because they can make more money consulting than actually through being a successful business owner, or investor.

Additionally, even if these consultants are authentic, they’re not omniscient. Meaning, there are limits to everyone’s ability to provide useful advice. For example, maybe they can help you learn about office leadership, but they probably can’t help a florist understand the best way to utilise different flowers in their shop window.

My alternatives to talking to a consultant for £50 an hour:

  • Try to find the answer online – through free resources such as YouTube, or through a book?
  • Hire someone who can just fix it, instead of simply talking about it. E.g. if it’s a sales issues, pay someone in that field or marketing. Or, if it’s a financial issue, use an accountant.

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