As an entrepreneur, I am worn out from hiring “experts” who speak in voodoo then ask me, “What do you think?” I don’t have a single thought about my funnel. I don’t know what my avatar is. I don’t know what a soap opera story is, that is why I am hiring you. I honestly understood outsourcing and hiring experts allowed for me to, for once, put my intellect into time out and let my heart and passion be in the driver seat. I expect that my role is to show up, be present, know my industry inside and out and be ready to provide them with all the industry-specific content they need. I expect for them to be in the driver seat and allow for me to be told what to do, and then work within their genius and get out of the way.
At least that is my dream, for someone to be telling me what needs to be done and they take care of the “how.” I don’t need to know the “how.” But when the “what” isn’t occurring, I find myself knee deep in the “how,” making a colossal mess of everything.
In our line of work, people outsource their hiring process. Because they are wring us a check, it is my greatest goal that, after our initial Discovery Call to hear their immediate needs and long-term goals and all the logistical details, I get in the driver seat and lead. Let me give you some advice if you are an expert. Ask powerful questions vs. speaking in tongue and then asking me what I think, because I don’t know, that is why I am paying you.
If you are an outsourced independent consultant or contracted worker, here are some tips for creating a remarkable relationship based on clear expectations and communication up front that leave your client checking the box “way beyond expected” and referring all their colleagues and Facebook “friends” to you:
- Have a process for your initial intake meeting/call after being hired. Send it in writing to your client 24 hours after being hired with a subject line titled “What to expect” and a professional, graphically appealing e-booklet that includes your process and what they can expect. You can hire someone on fiverr.com for roughly $25/hour to create this;
- Schedule a meeting within 48 hours of being hired for their “getting started” call/meeting. The appointment doesn’t have to take place within 48 hours, but the very act of scheduling it starts creating immediate value, especially when they see your first payment leave their already shallow bank account;
- Take immediate charge of the call and lead the call the entire time. Lay out how long your time together will take and the agenda and goals for the meeting. Ask them if they have anything they would like to add and make sure you acknowledge their goals and let them know if you will or will not be able to address them in your scheduled timeframe. If not, ensure them you will schedule a separate time to address those or you will handle them in a follow-up email after (if appropriate and easy). Otherwise they won’t be fully present at the start of the call and will have their questions and uncertainty clouding their presence because they don’t want to forget about it.
- Debrief the call by reviewing the agenda, making sure you hit everything (including their goals), and declare the next actions and their schedule. Have them rate the effectiveness of your time together on a scale of 1-10 (highest) and if it isn’t a 10, ask them what would have made it a 10.
- Send them a recap email with a simple “roadmap” that is consistently updated throughout the project, and reference it every step of the way. That way they can see where you started, how far you have come and what is left to complete. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to share what works very effectively for us.
- Send weekly updates with “State of the Union—XXX (project name). Send any reporting, analytics, status of work in progress and what you anticipate needing from them in the next two weeks (not yesterday), as most entrepreneurs are booked two weeks out and nothing will immediately diminish their confidence and value in your company and/or services more than a request for something “ASAP,” since that communicates that their file was a “oh crap” moment at 10 p.m. on your part.
It truly is that easy. Something so simple as up-front expectations (on both parts) and consistent communication is worth its weight in gold. I would honestly never even think twice about how much I am paying any outside vendors if there is consistent communication and they are leading, so I am not forced to hop back in the driver seat. It’s when I have to send messages saying, “Where we at with” that I start questioning why am I paying you.
If you need support with how to incorporate empowered communication, where everyone leaves conversation #1 to the end of your outsourced time together aligned and on track, schedule a complimentary call by clicking here now.