Small but Mighty: Confronting Nonsense Strategy Advice

title graphic for Hillary Weiss blog post titled Small but Mighty Confronting Nonsense Strategy Advice.

Over the years I’ve helped roughly 80% of my clients develop shiny new strategies/consulting/coaching offers as part of their ecosystem.

(And the other 20% already have ‘em in their wheelhouse, we just improve ’em.)

After all — strategic offers come with the growth territory as you position yourself as a high-end expert brand.

My crew often wants/needs something that’s JUST strategy in their wheelhouse to both build credibility, and ladder up into higher-end consulting work (especially if they wanna get out of execution altogether.)

And developing these offers opens a lot of eyes and doors for them.

ESPECIALLY around what can work and sell.

Quick example: in the last week or so, a Power Position client of mine with a goal to sell her new 1-1 strategy offer to 3 tester clients landed FOUR, with more interested folk banging on her inbox door.

When she asked me how I knew it would sell so well, I chuckled and told her “Well, that’s kinda my job!” — but really?

Laser-focused Strategies Sell

It’s because the world NEEDS more awesome strategists with hyper-specific focuses, especially in the online business space.

Which is probably why, as I was scrolling IG the other day, a snippet from a total stranger’s podcast stopped me in my tracks.

It was a clip from a show directed at designers.

The topic? Designers who want to move into brand strategy.

“Delightful!” I thought. “Creative service providers gettin’ paid for the brainy stuff. Love to see it. Tell me more.”

So imagine my surprise when the interviewee said something along the lines of:

“No, I recommend staying a designer. Because if you go into brand strategy, you’re competing with huge agencies like McCann.”

—record scratch—

Um, exsqueeze me?

Sir, I’m gonna need you to take several seats…

It took everything in me not to comment (trying to practice #socialmediarestraint around strangers these days), but as you can imagine:

That statement is head-explodingly untrue for a number of reasons.

The “Big Fish” Aren’t Your Competition

Not the least of which is that not every business, or ANY small business, has the budget or desire to work with an ancient behemoth like McCann (all due respect).

Also, it’s big “old world advertising” energy to assume the big agencies are still relevant to folks outside of Fortune 500 companies and corporations with million-dollar budgets to occasionally throw down the drain.

In 11 years of my career and 2 years as a full time consultant and coach, never ONCE have I been told “Well, it’s between you and Grey’s 65,000 employees, so…”

Reason being?

Friends. We’re in an entirely different category.

Don’t get me wrong, I work with a lot of “Who am I to do this??” beliefs with my clients all the time — because, as very smart people themselves, they know there are a lot of smart people out there — but that’s a very different concern than:

“Surely I cannot do this, because I will be competing with large, dusty agencies.”

Listen to me:

If you’ve been in the online space for a while…

Your Small Business May Already Be on the Cutting Edge

If you’ve experimented with and understand the strategy that underpins the work you do and what someone else needs to act on it — i.e. funnels, design, content marketing, data, tech and automation, social media strategy, messaging, branding, launching, product dev, offer dev etc…

And ESPECIALLY if you’re uhhhh, kind of already doing strategy work, just not getting paid for it…

I’ve got some great news for you:

You’re on the cutting edge of this damn industry.

Ever wonder why your friends in more “traditional” advertising/marketing jobs look at you like you have three heads when you talk about strategies that are commonplace to your clients and colleagues?

Or why, when they talk about a ~new vital skill~ that’s the hot thing… it’s something you learned about years ago?

It’s because small business is a much more agile, fast-moving category.

We have space to do more and test more and work with small teams, where our ideas can be validated more directly.

We’ve often been on the execution side too, so we know how to hand off strategic tools and documents that are actually usable, and applicable.

We’re comfortable working directly with CEO’s and key decision makers without 235,249 layers of oversight, so we can get stuff done faster.

And we also have to adapt more quickly to the whims of social media, privacy laws, and the ever-shifting market.

All that gives you AMAZING strategy chops you might not even realize you have.

Instantly-snapped-up strategy offers play to this fact.

The Formula for a Killer Strategy

The right audience
With the right resources in place
The right goals
The right specific, urgent gap that only your sharpened expertise can fill
Presented in a way they and their teams can ACTUALLY understand, use, and apply
A killer strategy offer for small businesses and solopreneurs.

Your “Little” Business is More Agile than a Behemoth

And, as I’ve seen time and time again:

Clients are SO relieved to work with a dedicated, highly-specialized expert as opposed to a giant 100+ person team, because they know they’re getting seen and heard, and they have a solid technician under the hood.

So to that random podcast stranger, and perhaps to you, I would just like to say: The fact that big agencies exist has never mattered less.

Even after 10-20 years, the online biz world is still the Wild West.

We need experienced people who get their hands dirty every day, who know what they’re doing and have the freedom to constantly test and try new ideas and perfect older ones, to step up and help folks figure out how they’re gonna navigate it.

That’s something a big agency just can’t do.

Not to say they don’t have their place.

But truly: they’re not even in the same arena.

So please — do us both a favor, and don’t worry about it.

And move forward on that strategy offer you’re planning, by golly.

And, as always — write on,
If you want some behind-the-scenes secrets of how I put strategy offers together with my clients, I did a breakdown on my “Close Friends” on IG…

Head over there and shoot me a DM

(“add me!” is all ya need to get on the secret list) to check it out, and I’ll send you the link.

Photo by Ravi Kumar on Unsplash

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