With the flexibility of online learning and more and more authors opting to self-publish we also have the emergence of writing coaches, consultants, and strategists. If you’re not familiar with business then it all sounds the same and it seems like you don’t need any of it, but it’s not the same difference. Most likely you will need or want to work with a coach, consultant, or strategist.
Writing may be an art, but publishing is a business and if you plan to sell your art you’re going to need help.
So, let’s breakdown the difference. To make this very clear, I’m going to treat each one like a relationship.
Coach–Long term relationship
If you hire a writing coach or business coach you two are in it together for a long period time.
Your coach will deal with the whole man. Besides helping you set up systems for your business they will make sure that you have a mindset for success, hold you accountable, and offer encouragement at the same time.
This relationship should be fruitful. Your offspring will be–a plan of action and your coach will even assist you in implementing the plan.
Consultant–The one night stand
First of all saints, don’t worry I haven’t lost my mind nor am I promoting fornication this is merely an illustration.
The consultant has one job to do and they are in and out. You probably will not be getting a call back neither will you be receiving emotional support and mindset management beyond your initial evaluation and the consultation.
A consultant has one job to do.
Consult. A writing consultant will review some or all of your work in progress, provide you with feedback and respond to your immediate concerns and after that they’re gone.
In terms of your business, they will review the parts that are non-functioning or malfunctioning, for example your marketing or branding. Next they’ll teach you a new strategy to jumpstart that broken piece and provide you with a plan to enact the strategy or strategies laid out. They may or may not do a follow up call after implementation. It’s entirely up to the consultant, but they are not obligated to remain on board throughout the duration of the project or roll out of your marketing plan.
I like to be supportive, so most often I operate as hybrid of a coach/consultant.
Strategist–That guy/girl you have in the friend zone.
A strategist has the ability and potential to be so much more, but you just want the good time and smooth sailing they can offer.
You tell the strategist your problem and they hammer out a solution with exact steps for implementation. Clearly, this person understands the business and could do more, but that may be all they’re offering or that may be the only service you want or need from them.
So, which one is right for you?
1. Do you know any thing about business?
Yes, then you may only need a consultantation to become an indie powerhouse.
No, then invest in a coach who will tell you over the course of a few meetings things that you’re going to spend hours researching on Google.
2. Are you intrinsically motivated? In other words are you a self-starter or do you need a push?
For the self-starter a consultant or strategist is all you need because you’ve already got things up and running, but your systems aren’t working well. Most likely once you get some solid directions you can move forward.
If you’re not a self-starter and tend to fall apart or don’t follow through on your own, you need a coach standing on the sidelines calling the plays to you.
Ultimately you know yourself and your commitment to the success of your book(s) and writing career. If you plan on succeeding make the investment in one or all (of course you can start with me).
I want to hear from you. Was my dating analogy good? Have you ever worked with a coach, consultant, or strategist? What was your experience like?