An advisor or (adviser) is typically a person with more and deeper knowledge in a specific area and usually also includes persons with cross-functional and multidisciplinary expertise. An advisor’s role is that of a mentor or guide and differs categorically from that of a task-specific consultant. An advisor is typically part of the leadership, whereas consultants fulfill functional roles. (adapted from Wikipedia)
However, the use of advisors in growing and developing one’s business is expanding in our new business environment where professionals from all parts of the world can become advisors of the companies they feel passionate about.
After working with over 3000 advisors, we have identified three main types of advisors that can help you reach your next goal: Executive Advisors, Expert advisors and Customer Advisors.
Executive advisor is the most traditional advisory role. They help company leaders by sharing their opinions and views based on their often-extensive experience in a particular domain or industry. Executive advisors are often part of an advisory board that meets regularly, but the collaboration model between an executive advisor and company leaders can be quite flexible. To become an executive advisor, you should have a strategic understanding of at least one business area and/or the ability to coach business leaders in areas of entrepreneurship. As a leader, you might ask yourself “Do I have an advisor who I can turn to whenever I need advice or who is helping me reach my potential with frequent meetings and agreed upon checkpoints?” If not, you should start looking for an advisor.
Expert advisors are often exceptionally talented in a specific area of business. The number of expert advisors is growing for two big reasons:
Knowledge economy – the best professionals are moving from agencies to freelancing roles.
Insourcing – the looming economic crisis is forcing companies to be smart about their processes and staffing..
Marketing is a good example of a business area in which there is an ever-increasing number of expertise categories like SEO, media, brand building and email marketing, just to name a few. Hiring marketing personnel is a strategic decision for a company, but finding a marketing pro who understands and can execute tasks in all the needed areas of the domain is like trying to find a unicorn in a haystack. The search for an agency that has the needed expertise and can actually deliver what they promise is often hard and costly – and the expertise you need is out the door as soon as you no longer can afford their services.
Recurring advisor sessions with an expert advisor can be an effective alternative in developing your team, getting the expertise in-house and also engaging employees within your company in the long run. And we can help you get started.
Customer advisors are an emerging way to build your product and service together with customers who already buy into your mission. The “customer-first” approach is rarely taken into practice by companies stubbornly developing their products beyond the MVP phase and trying to serve it to assumed ideal buyers as a “finished” product offering.
Is there a reason why you are not building your product together with your potential customers?
Some pioneering companies have already built Customer boards and are continually working with customer advisors in developing their offering. In this situation, both parties are at the same side of the table, developing the service or product of a company into something that is aligned with the needs of the actual customers.
Finding customer advisors can happen by simply contacting your existing clientele – or turning to us for help in finding the customers who share your mission and are ready to help you. Talk to us to learn more.