My prediction for local business consultants in 2016-2017

Following on from my last email...

Here are my predictions for local business consultants over the next year or more:

1. Specialisation is the name of the game. With every web design firm and SEO agency sounding pretty much like all the others it's the specialists that stand out.

If you're a lawyer do you want to work with a general agency or the lawyer marketing specialists who have dozens of case studies with businesses just like yours?

If you're looking to run Facebook ads do you want to work with a general web design company or a Facebook marketing expert who lives and breathes this stuff every day?

You need to know exactly who your ideal clients are and have solutions specific to their needs.

Sure you can hustle and get all different types of clients for all different types of projects but it doesn't scale efficiently, you're never going to be world class at everything, and the market is looking for specialists.

Exa Web Solutions -- another one of the large "we do everything" agencies here in Australia -- recently went into liquidation after 15 years of operation because they failed to see the writing on the wall.

2. Productisation and algorithms are going to erode (and eventually eliminate) the low end of the market.

We're already seeing this with website builders like "The Grid" which uses artificial intelligence to design websites based on the content you throw at it.

And M&C Saatchi just launched the world's first digital poster that uses a Darwinian AI algorithm to read peoples reactions and re-write itself based on what works and what doesn't.

(So far people are showing a preference for shorter copy and heart images.)

It won't be long until you'll be able to hit a button and Facebook will analyse your website, see who your ideal clients are, figure out the best offer to promote, create self-learning ads and landing pages that re-write themselves based on results, and deliver clients at whatever CPA you ask for.

Watch out if you're providing commodity services without strategic advice because it's a race to the bottom and the computers will win.

3. The consulting market will continue to grow but the economy is the biggest risk.

In 2015 the consulting industry was worth $450 billion globally, $200 billion in the US alone, which was up 5% from the year before. With populations increasing and hundreds of thousands of new businesses started each year you're never going to run out of potential clients.

However if we have another global financial crises then there will be a big clean out as businesses batten the hatches and get rid of what they perceive as non-essential services like consulting.

The key to surviving this scenario? Become an ESSENTIAL service. Deliver results they can't afford to lose no matter what the economy is doing.

4. Trusted advisors will be in high demand. Digital marketing is only getting more complex and most business owners are completely baffled as to what they should be doing. They're seeking thought leadership and people they can trust for advice.

The big agency model of hundreds of low-touch, low-value clients that are managed by low-level client service reps is fading fast. Too many business owners feel like they've been burned by these guys and they're looking for relationships with people who understand their business on a deeper level.

And as advanced as technology is getting it's still a long way from providing strategic advice to the mass market. The real value we as consultants provide isn't the "thing" we do but knowing which thing to do when, where, and how.

5. Results will trump everything. I've been speaking with a lot of small (under $10 million) business owners lately and the common theme is there are lots of people talking a good game when it comes to marketing but few who actually deliver the results they promise.

One guy I spoke to said "everyone says give us 3 months to prove ourselves... well I've been to the 3-month mark about five times now and I'm about ready to give up finding someone who can deliver."

Part of this seems to be because consultants are biting off more than they can chew claiming to be experts at everything from web design to PPC to Facebook to Pinterest to Adwords and everything in between.

And another part is consultants are trying to work with people in too many different markets so they're re-learning (on the client's dime) what works and what doesn't in each new market they enter.

It's a recipe for disaster and no wonder most business owners are skeptical.

Become a big fish in a small pond and get known for delivering results and you'll find you don't have to "sell" anyone because they're coming to you ready to buy.

If you want to work with me to make this happen then I've cleared some time on my calendar:

Click here to apply for coaching.

Talk soon,

Kyle Tully