I work mostly with small or local businesses, charitable organizations and individuals. Instead of something sexy sounding I usually play one of the five following roles:
1) Tour Guide
“If you look to your left, you’ll see the new Facebook Timeline for pages… to your right is up & comer Pinterest”
Some people feel like they’re on safari. Each social media channel is an exotic animal even scarier than the last.
It’s my job to show the points of interest, give a little history lesson, and share vital “just in case” survival skills.
A good coach helps you develop and hone your skills. My main job is to help you make corrections to your technique to get the best results.
As a coach I can show you how to do something, but it’s entirely up to you when you step up to the plate to get it done.
Just like a fighter, you’ll do most of your work in the gym behind the scenes. A fighter trains for months before getting in the ring. Only a small percentage of what you do will actually be seen by the public.
Sometimes my clients need training in a very specific area. You must learn the fundamentals first and then the finer points. Also, you can’t break the rules if you don’t know what they are.
When I start working with a new client I do a lot of the work until they can handle it on their own. I’ll grade them with my feedback and help them in the areas they still need work on.
I often give my clients homework. I ask them to provide specific content or do some research on a competitor. This doesn’t overwhelm them by having a huge to-do list at the very start.
A lot of clients have a laundry list of things they want to do. At times I feel like I’m on M*A*S*H doing triage on the needs of my clients.
You have to solve the most critical problems first. I help determine the priorities and how to address them. Then you build on this to do the rest. You can be a world class surgeon, but if your patient dies on the way to the hospital it doesn’t matter.
My favorite thing is to suggest something to a client and watch them take it to an entirely new level. Just bouncing ideas back and forth can spark their creativity.
On the other hand, I spend a lot of time bringing their ideas back down to Earth. It’s easy to get carried away with what’s possible. It’s vital to evaluate where your time, effort and money will be spent the best.
One of the biggest challenges is to figure out what the right role is for the situation. It’s important for there to be good communication and honestly about needs and expectations from both sides when starting any project.
What is the right role for you?
Which of these roles do you find yourself filling the most? Which do you think would be the most helpful for you? Share your thoughts in the comments!