If you’ve ever wondered how to engage with someone to solve a problem, you’re not alone. Even with websites, it can be really unclear if you need a designer, developer, SEO expert, or something else entirely. That’s why it’s so important to know how to work with an expert to get the most out of the experience.
Often, the issue when hiring an expert is we don’t really know what to ask for. It might be the Dunning-Kruger effect, it might be the Curse of Knowledge…either way, if we don’t know who to look for, we’re not any closer to getting someone to help solve our problem.
But how do you know if you need an analytics expert, an ecommerce expert, a consultant, or coach? Do you need a book, an app? Where do you even start?
Listen to Season 2: Episode 16
Why You Work with an Expert
The whole point of engaging with an expert is to grow, improve, or add capacity. Getting clear on which one of these—or maybe it’s more than one (and in that case, knowing the priority)—will help you then determine what kind of expert you need.
You might actually need to talk to an expert to get an answer on this question. Which is why free consultations can be extremely beneficial, if you have considered what specific questions you are trying to answer going into the consultation. If you don’t, it’s just going to turn into a sales call, which can still have value. But being able to articulate your problem, or at least the symptoms you want to address, will help the consultant identify and connect the dots for you to find a solution.
Hiring the Right Expert for the Job
Many times, I’ve had potential clients come into a consultation thinking they need a web designer because they want to get more value from their website, so they want to redesign it. When we actually uncover their issues and then determine what they need, they don’t need a web designer at all. They actually need a better sales strategy, or way to capture leads, or an email strategy. It turns out to be something not to do at all with what they thought they needed.
Getting clarity on the problem you truly want to solve will help you identify the expert you actually need. Now, there are many different levels of experts, not just within people you hire but in the larger scope of resources available to you. You might need a person. You might need a book or a program, maybe even a course. In fact, there might be an app that provides you the expertise you need. Look at Noom; it’s helping bunches of people change how they’re eating so that they can achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Jumping straight to the solution when you work with an expert might not be your best bet. Investing time getting clear on what your problem is, and what resources you have available to solve it within your constraints of time, money, attention, and effort, puts you in a much better place to choose how to engage with the expertise you need.
Which Resource Do You Need?
Besides apps, which are great resources and can totally help you grow, improve, or add capacity, there are also agencies, consultants, courses, and coaches. How do you determine which one of those you need?
These are the critical questions to ask:
- How quickly do you want or need to achieve results?
- Who is involved?
- What resources do you have to spend?
Also, a bit of organization or self-awareness can help here. Because if you’re anything like me, accountability goes a long way toward getting me to actually implement. My Google Drive is full of courses that were really exciting and I never executed. But for other people, courses are all they need, because they are fully capable of putting that information into action without needing to work with an expert.
Finding the Right Solution
Once you’re clear on your problem and the resources available to solve it, do a little bit of research. This is not your permission slip to head to Google and start searching. I almost guarantee that if you don’t know how to solve your problem, you definitely don’t know what search term is going to reveal your answer. Your research consists of talking to a few people in your network you trust and who maybe have had a similar problem and find out how they solved it.
You might find a couple of experts and book a consult with them to specifically find the answers to your questions and understand how the experts offer their services. Insider tip: If the expert you want to work with doesn’t have an offering that fits the way you want to work, ask them. Recently, several of my clients asked me about setting up ongoing monthly consulting sessions. This isn’t typically a standalone service we have, but when we discussed their needs, we did go ahead and set up ongoing agreements with set monthly appointments. Don’t be afraid to ask about a different way to engage with them than what they initially offer. In fact, that’s been the catalyst for us creating our On-Demand Tech Team service.
Finding the right fit for delivering the expertise into your organization in the way that works best for the current situation means you can more quickly get to using the information and experiencing the results—instead of fighting against a delivery mechanism that isn’t going to result in the outcome you need.
In our next episode of Leverage Your Spark, I’ll be covering how NOT to work with an expert. There are actually many kinds of ways to engage with experts, but in the next two episodes, we’ll reveal the top two “hows” that flatten the possibilities of great outcomes.
Want more value from the experts you hire? At FieryFX, we know a thing or two about getting the most from working with experts. Plus, we’re experts in strategy, websites, analytics, smart business, and technology. Find out how to benefit from hiring an expert by booking a consult with us!