Consultant or coach?
What's the difference?
This week I'm excited to talk you about this topic. Special thanks to Michael Sizemore and for our conversation which helped inspire this episode.
In the realm of personal branding and self employment, the terms coach and consultant get passed around so much they end up overlapping.
Both provide a tremendous amount of value and resources for professionals but when it comes down to it they engage clients differently and set out to achieve different objective.
My hope is by the end of the episode to provide you with some more clarity behind the roles of each title and to determine which
In my experience, I had always deterred away from the connotation of coach. I always thought they were exclusive to sports or life coaches you'd see on TV.
However, in the past few years as I've entered the realm consulting/coaching I can see the immense value in both roles.
So what exactly is the difference between a coach and consultant?
-Is someone who influences behavior, provides action steps but controls nothing with their clients outcomes.
Coaches advise and provide direction/the steps to get to the end result but they are not responsible for the end result. They adopt a role closer to a mentor or advisor.
-A consultant provides solutions to complex problems and in some cases, controls the implementation. I also find that consultants will rarely consider themselves a "coach" but a coach will at times consider themselves as a consultant.
Consultants are usually specialists in one niche area, and are hired to produce a specific outcome for you.
Take a professional copywriter. Here are two examples that demonstrate the services of a "Copywriting coach" vs "Copywriting consultant".
- Offers ongoing advising
- Helps improve your copywriting
- Gives you exercises and drills
-Provides constructive criticism
-Would write the sales copy for you launch
- Is there to provide the solution
- Is there to provide their expertise not teach it
In the personal branding world, it's common to see arrangements in which someone assumes a hybrid role between the too. This is where I think many people get caught up or the confusion comes in.
If you consider yourself more of a “coach” then you will likely lean on the coaching side of things first with some level of deliverables.
However, if you consider yourself more of a consultant, then you will likely lean on the consulting side of things first and eventually offer some form of advisory to your expertise in addition to any set of deliverables that solves your clients problems.
This is why it's extremely important for you to be really clear on WHAT you are and WHAT you are offering.
Here are some important questions to ask yourself if you're still trying to figure out which title fits for you:
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