2020 was quite a year. The mess, the uncertainty – “overwhelming” is the term I hear most often. As we get the 2021 ball rolling, I sincerely hope that this year you’ll be able to exhale, to take everything you, as a consultant, have been through in 2020 and use it to make your business stronger, more resilient, more adaptable, and, of course, more prosperous.
I will continue to share as much of my knowledge as I can. I launched a new channel this year – free monthly webinars – to provide my fellow consultants with an additional resource.
In the meantime, here’s a quick recap of the content I’ve shared in the first three months of 2021.
1. 'The Authority', my bi-weekly newsletter
Check out the past editions of my bi-weekly 'Think Piece' newsletter for consultants - The Authority. (I’m so used to saying it’s my “recently launched” newsletter, but it’s been going strong for 9 months now!)
'The Authority' helps consultants grow their pipeline by sharing intriguing educational stories. It’s my ultimate aspiration to create a bubble of calmness with this bi-weekly ‘think piece’, a place of stillness in the face of everyday stress. A chance to reflect on what really matters in your consulting work.
In each newsletter I address the following:
A question I receive from the consultants and my answer
Consulting-related quotes to inspire those on the journey of the visible authority
A summary of my content
A book recommendation
A fact or a statistic that highlights the importance of thought leadership
A sneak peek behind the curtains of my business, be it a tool I use for social media management or how I measure the results of my content strategy
Information about the coaching programs and other services I offer
The big question I address is: "Luk, I want to start the year off on a positive note. I find a lot of value in your advice and everything you write about becoming a visible authority makes sense. But it’s a lot. Where do you suggest I start?"
The big question I address is: "Luk, you promote sharing all our knowledge. From a client value and trust-building standpoint, I understand. But what about the competition? Aren’t we feeding them with all our expertise? What are your thoughts about ‘dealing with competitors’?"
The big question I address is: "I am fully booked as a consultant but the past 2 years, step-by-step I got in the trap of 'servicing my clients to death' and it's burning me out. I have a limitless ambition to please my clients and as such, it's rewarding. But they are often misusing my service spirit and this drives me nuts. How can I work my way up to a different status, becoming more selective about clients, client requests, and projects?"
The big question I address is: "To grow our consulting business, you encourage us to call attention to our expertise, to become a thought leader who demonstrates expertise by 'giving away' valuable information. Could you elaborate a bit on the thought leadership 'concept' for consultants."
The big question I address is: "Luk, you are talking a lot about moving away from 'doing activities' for our clients to selling 'a client transformation'. Could you elaborate on that? How can we best approach such a change?"
The big question I address is: I did several consultancy virtual workshops in 2021 already. Each time we got into a lively discussion about - what I call - the contaminated ‘Default Consultancy Model’. As this is an extremely important component of transforming a consultant into an authority, I decided to discuss this further.
The big question I address is: In this newsletter, I dive into the topic of the ‘Consulting Altitude of Involvement’ one more time, given all the questions I received following newsletters #19 and #20.
Throughout 2020, I spoke to more than 200 consultants and consultancies and read close to 1,000 articles on trends and evolutions in the consulting space. I also paid close attention to research conducted in this space by such agencies as Edelman, Grist, Longitude, Hinge, and others.
This article is a summary of my findings, combined with my first-hand experience in the consulting world. It is meant to help you prepare for what this year will bring and how to best prepare for the changes brewing in the consulting space.
This is the 2021 edition of "Luk's book club." In this post, I provide a list of books that I believe every consultant should read to grow their business and feel happy and fulfilled in their professional lives.
I try to keep my recommendations well-rounded. Some focus on the strategy of business growth (how to create value proposition that actually delivers or how to generate insightful content), others are about developing certain skills and habits, and others are about working on our state of mind as a way to re-frame how we think about our business, our goals, and our clients.
My advice to consultants when developing their content strategy with the ultimate goal of growing their business is: "Keep your audience at the forefront of your mind and your goals, and use your unique story to show them how they can implement what you’ve learned to achieve similar results. That's what I did all those years."
In this article, I break down the 6 principles I developed – that have been tried and tested – to establish yourself as the ultimate subject authority.
This year, I launched a new exciting channel to share my knowledge – free monthly webinars. It's a fantastic, interactive way to connect with my audience, hear what shared concerns they have as consulting professionals, and design curriculums that address these pressing issues.
In March 2021, I hosted a webinar titled Fire Your Clients: You Can't Grow Unless You Specialize As a Consultant. The goal of this free webinar was to provide consultants with a step-by-step guide to growing their consulting business by narrowing down the scope of their work. Check out the resources I've put together (including the recording of the webinar) that those who didn't get a chance to attend can still benefit from.
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Hello, I’m Luk Smeyers and I’m guiding consultants through the journey of growing their business by helping them transform into visible authorities. I have been in consulting businesses for almost 20 years, in very different roles: as European CHRO in a global consultancy, as a startup founder in an analytics consultancy, and as a leader in a 'Big 4' consultancy, post-acquisition of the startup. I had the privilege of achieving global visibility as a consultant and I never had to sell, persuade, or negotiate as a result. I have now bundled all those experiences, expertise, know-how, research, reading, successes, struggles, and failures from managing and growing that visibility in the past years.
The Visible Authority Blueprint
The proven Visible Authority steps that will grow your consultancy business