Advisors are fortunate to have a fluid and fulfilling career path. They choose to work with clients ranging from startups to multinational corporations, setting their own hours and rates. Advisory work becomes viable when you succeed in your career and have a wealth of experience and expertise to share with others. The variable nature and high potential of advisory work makes it highly attractive for advisors and the clients who hire them. But AdvisoryCloud asks what does an advisor do, and how can they do it better?
What Does an Advisor Do?
AdvisoryCloud showcases how advisors are the seers of the business world. They keep an eye out for potential opportunities and issues and then collaborate with company leaders to create the best course of action. They provide behind-the-scenes guidance to help leaders understand the company’s strengths and weaknesses and leverage them to make smart choices.
CEOs seldom have time to conduct the in-depth analyses needed to drive strategic action. While most are well-versed in general areas of business, they often lack experience in focused areas such as social media marketing, adoption of new technology, etc. An advisor patches that hole, using their expertise to save the CEO time and drive the company forward.
Most advisors are hired from outside the company based on their experience and area of expertise. This allows them to approach every project with a fresh perspective. Free from the company’s cultural influence and traditional modes of operation, advisors provide unbiased assessments of the company’s situation. Advisors come in many forms, but the best possess standout traits that make them not only desirable on paper but effective in action.
How to Be a Better Advisor
In business, there’s always merit in growth, and advisors are no exception. Whether you’re on the fence about becoming an advisor or want to polish your skills, here are a few ways AdvisoryCloud suggests you can advance.
Define Your Area of Expertise
Rather than market yourself as a panacea to all of a company’s woes, you’ll stand out more if you specialize. Most companies need four pillars of expertise: finance, sales, marketing, and human resources. Companies look to advisors as experts with broad, deep knowledge in one or more of these areas. If budgeting and investing are your strong suits, you’re likely a financial advisor. If you have a background in advertising, you can likely propel a company’s marketing efforts. Have a knack for spotting talent? You may have a future as a human resources advisor. Pick your best suit and wear it proudly.
Stay on Top of Your Industry
The world is evolving faster than ever, and even decades of experience can’t replace a solid understanding of current practices. Read up on the latest news. Meet with other industry leaders to share perspectives and ideas. Take classes in your field to sharpen or reinforce your knowledge. Travel abroad and analyze the strategies of successful businesses in various markets. Each action you take to improve yourself is another badge on your resume. The deeper and broader your knowledge, the better your ability as an advisor.
Be More Accessible
Consider this: You’re an accomplished executive, author, philanthropist, and speaker. Yet, you’re still having trouble finding work. If clients can’t find you, they can’t hire you. Having a website isn’t enough. You must optimize your website to have it rank high in search results. You must also design it well. Does it look professional? Is it easy to navigate? Does it provide an easy avenue for clients to contact you? Do you have a social media presence? If so, do your posts portray you as a leader in your field, someone others can trust and consult? Having a professional, user-friendly, and functional advisor page can do wonders. Services such as AdvisoryCloud can empower you with the tools you need to stand out, connect with executives, and propel your career as an advisor.
Find What Makes You Unique
As an advisor, it’s your job to help companies find a competitive advantage. Before you can do that, you’ll need to find yours. What makes you unique among other advisors? Is it your philosophy? Awards, accolades, publishing credits? Philanthropy efforts? Specific examples of past projects that helped other companies succeed? It may pay to be humble in person, but you’ll want to highlight all of your accomplishments in your resume and online profiles.
Set a Competitive Rate
Now that you’ve established what makes you valuable, it’s time to define that value. What’s your ideal hourly rate? Price per project? Find out what advisors with similar experience are charging. Undercutting industry rates might help you get your first advisory gig. However, if your rate is too low, it may communicate to clients that your services are less than top-notch. New advisors may set a low rate initially, then increase it as they add projects to their resume. Aiming high can communicate confidence and quality, especially if your resume can back it up. However, going too high may put you out of a client’s budget. Your target market also plays a role. For example, a large corporation in Los Angeles will likely pay much more than a small-town startup. Do your research, set your rate, and adjust as needed.
Polish Your Communication Skills
It’s not only what you know, but how well you can convey that knowledge to others. Can you explain complex concepts to people with little to no knowledge of that topic? Can you be persuasive and charismatic without coming across as overbearing or condescending? Above all, are you a good listener? Can you appeal to a client’s ambitions while assuaging their fears and misgivings? Ask your colleagues about your strengths and weaknesses in communication. Consider taking a public speaking class to polish your skills. The better you communicate, the more marketable and effective you’ll be as an advisor.
Work With Companies You Like
AdvisoryCloud mentions that it’s no secret that helping others is one of the best ways to empower ourselves. However, the context for that sense of fulfillment is different for everyone. Some advisors simply enjoy using their expertise to help companies grow and succeed. They have no problem adapting to the needs of each client. Other advisors are passionate about specific missions, products, or services, and not so keen on others. They seek out businesses whose interests and values align with theirs. Companies will consider if you’re a good fit for them, and you must also consider if they’re a good fit for you. A good match will bring out the best in you and give you a true sense of fulfillment.
Advisory work is highly flexible and fulfilling. You have the freedom to work for one company or several at a time. You can pursue it full time or as a supplement to your existing career. Where and how far you go as an advisor is up to you.
For more information be sure to check out AdvisoryCloud’s Twitter feed, which is always up to date with news and articles about the world of corporate advisors.