Collaborative Consulting and the Power of Consistency for Consultants with Jacob Morgan: Podcast #5

Powerful strategies to help you build your consulting business by being consistent, relevant, and positioning yourself for success.


Jacob Morgan is the principal and co-founder of Chess Media Group, a management consulting and strategic advisory firm focusing on the future of work and collaboration. Jacob works with organizations that are looking to understand how changes in technology and behavior are impacting the way we work. From the wide variety of new technologies available to companies, to the the millennials that are entering today’s workforce, the future of business and technology are shifting dramatically. Consultants who are consistent with their work and willing to work harder to gain clients’ trust are the consultants that are going to achieve the greatest success in this constantly changing business environment. On this episode of Consulting Success, Jacob shares the path that took him from Craigslist to clients seeking his expertise. Be sure to listen to this episode as we examine the key strategic moves you will want to make to secure your position as a sought-after and highly successful consultant.

Advisory access or consulting projects — what do clients want?

One of the biggest challenges many consultants face is the ability to establish retainer fees with clients right from the beginning. As an on-demand consultant, companies will pay monthly retainer fees to have unlimited access to the your expertise, ideas, feedback, and insights. By collecting retainer fees you can provide coaching and advisory to companies in whatever ways they may need it as various situations arise. Compared to one-time consulting projects, which focus on strategy through workshops, training sessions, and presentations, retainer fees can generate more business for you, and establish a long-lasting relationship with clients. However, Jacob agrees that both create great value, and you may be surprised to hear which approach companies tend to commit to first.

No experience, no contacts, and no credibility? You can still build your business by doing this.

It is essential that you begin building your business before, during, and after you begin working for high-value clients. Until you can find a way to prove yourself, companies are not going to be interested in your work, or be willing to commit to retainer fees. You can overcome this by establishing the value of your knowledge, skill set, and experience. Newsletters, websites, online articles, blog posts, speaking engagements, webinars and best-selling books will all work to build your business and create trust with potential clients. Listen to the work that Jacob has put into building his business that has made him such a highly sought-after consultant.

Building your business means being everywhere.

Every consultant is aiming for the day when all work comes from inbound requests from clients. Jacob has made this a reality by growing his business in a variety of very effective ways. He shares the importance of following technology trends, meeting with technology leaders, and attending as many events as possible. Every effort you make will help you build your business. Blogging can be one of the most effective ways to reach a wide audience, and sharing your opinion means that everyone is not always going to agree with you. Writing about your true opinion, even if it’s more polarizing, will be more effective than writing to please everyone. That’s one tactic that Jacob uses, and you’ll want to listen to learn more about the other approaches Jacob and I discuss for successfully building your business.

There is absolute power in consistency for consultants.

Consistency for consultants means choosing your domain, and centering everything that you want to do around that domain. Everything that you do, everything that you write about, and every way that you project yourself needs to focus on your area of expertise. By creating a brand for yourself, people will start to recognize your work and the value of what you have to offer them. Find out more about the many ways that the power of consistency creates success for high-value consultants like Jacob Morgan on this episode of Consulting Success.

Key Takeaways:

[:35] What does the the future of technology-driven work mean for consultants?
[3:07] Compare advisory access with one-time consulting projects.
[6:20] How can consultants secure retainer fees from the beginning?
[10:05] The road to success will be paved with failures, and that’s okay with Jacob.
[13:32] Jacob got his first consulting client from Craigslist, and he hasn’t stopped consulting since.
[14:41] Building your business means being everywhere — and it all pays off.
[19:08] Following technology and trends is essential in today’s business.
[21:20] Sharing your opinion as a writer means you’re not going to please everyone.
[22:37] Jacob gives proof of the power of consistency for consulting success.
[26:16] What does consistency look like for consultants?

Mentioned in This Episode:

Chess Media Group
The Future Organization


“Consultants are subject matter experts — we’re there to help businesses figure out what they should be doing.” — Jacob Morgan

“It’s not a failure, it’s a lesson learned that helped you get where you are today.” — Michael Zipursky

“Not everyone is going to agree with you all the time, and you need to be okay with that.” — Jacob Morgan

“Focus on the things you believe in and … are passionate about, and just ignore the people that are trying to bring you down.” — Jacob Morgan

“Consistency needs to be very controlled because it’s how people know who you are.” — Jacob Morgan


Develop a predictable
pipeline of clients.

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