The New Consultant Archetype

CEO for Profitable Ideas Exchange, Tom McMakin, was recently highlighted in an article by Luk Smeyers of The Visible Authority. He is featured among other leaders in Smeyer’s list of “25 People I’m Thankful For This Year and What You Can Learn From Them as a Consultant.” Dave Bayless of Human Scale Business digs into Luk’s description of Tom as the New Consultant Archetype. What does that mean exactly and why is it more important than ever in 2021? Read on to learn more!

Originally published by Dave Bayless

I’ve written about Luk Smeyers before. He’s the founder of The Visible Authority and a fellow traveler in the world of business development for consultants.

In his 2020 wrap-up, Luk held out Tom McMakin as being an example of the “new consultant archetype,” which Luk describes as follows:

  • Transparent in their approach
  • Helpful, educative, and authentic in the knowledge and expertise they render to their audience
  • Caring, empathic, and supportive in identifying and addressing their target audience’s pain points
  • Vulnerable and real in admitting past challenges, mistakes/failures, struggles

As he puts it,

Ordinary consultants sell. Authorities share. Ordinary consultants tend to have big egos. Authorities tend to be modestly brilliant.

Luk is a 20-year veteran in the consulting business. His experience encompasses stints as CHRO, start-up founder, and practice leader. In other words, he’s been around long enough to experience real shifts in the industry.

Luk’s philosophy regarding business development for consultancies might be boiled down to three ideas:

  • Focus and then focus some more.
  • Share high quality, educational content generously and consistently.
  • Use internet tools to build awareness.

Luk makes it clear that this isn’t about “getting your business online.” Rather, it’s about using modern tools to demonstrate competence and trustworthiness. It’s hard work, and it takes time. Luk commits 25% of his time toward developing and sharing educational content, and he aims to increase that proportion to 50%.

In How Clients Buy, Tom and Doug Fletcher presented the Seven Elements—a recipe for business development success:

  • A prospective client must be aware of you.
  • A prospect must understand what you do and how you can help them.
  • In order to engender sufficient interest, your capabilities must address your prospective client’s priorities.
  • A prospect must respect your work and believe you can do the job.
  • A prospective client must trust that you will have their best interests at heart.
  • The timing must be right. That is, a prospect must be ready.

Certainly, Luk’s techniques are aimed at building awareness, understanding, and respect. The use of digital tools helps facilitate connections at the right time when there is interest. Although one can’t build or earn trust unilaterally, one can demonstrate trustworthiness over time. Generously giving value over time can’t hurt.

Additional Reading

Best Books for Consultants in 2020

Focus on Your Successes to Find Your Niche

First is Best

The Good Stuff