How We Do It

We are a consultancy.

Sherri McLendon consciously chooses clients – and her team – based on the potential for quality, mutually beneficial relationships that result in positive change. These brand leader relationships are based on shared core values, a shared sense of presence about what we create in the world, committed leadership, respect, and trust.

We want our clients to succeed greatly.butterfly-1518060_1920

That’s why Sherri requires a strategic approach to content. While she and her team may author articles, craft an email series, promote posts, write an e-book, plan and write a launch sequence, issue press releases, or provide sales or landing page content,  or craft a white paper, our initial emphasis is on the “why,” and “who.”

Not the “what.”

Successful clients understand that when the tactic is informed by the strategy, the result is an investment, not an expense.

To be effective, our expert consultants

  • anticipate  non-hierarchical, cross-departmental access to key staff members
  • obtain the information and resources needed for successful project execution
  • work independently from our clients, determining where, when, and how we work
  • charge for access to our professional expertise, knowledge of industry standards, our proven judgment, advanced education, and wealth of experience in our field
  • require contracts, written confirmation of the Scope of Work, and timely payment

Please do business elsewhere if:

  • Flying by the seat of your pants is your  preferred management style
  • If you think a woman is a support person rather than an advisor
  • You bully your team under the guise of honesty or accountability
  • Blame others when doing things your way doesn’t lead to the desired outcome
  • You believe project management or a Scope of Work is worthless
  • Or simple human error isn’t something you can tolerate

If you’re uncomfortable with the above, rest assured we won’t be a good fit.

But if you know enough to be comforted by the fact that we emphasize benefits driven, call to action copywriting and decision-making informed by benchmarks and analysis, you’re on the right track. In fact, lead-generating, inbound, digital marketing content that returns on investment makes us happy.

flower-2587531_1920

We’re pretty sure it makes you happy, too.

The Entrepreneurial Client

As consultants, we anticipate payment in advance for those whose business will not yet support a retainer agreement. For these clients, we offer an affordable hybrid coaching model focused on building foundations for success both online and offline. We recommend monthly strategy sessions, clearly delineated next steps, and deliverables at an agreed upon pace under a Work for Hire contract.

The “hobble and cobble” approach to marketing is limited but popular due to a proliferation of start-ups or the bumpy economy. However, bursts of hit or miss marketing cost more in the long run. An abundance mindset, good strategy, and consistent follow-through are key to any marketing plan laying the foundation for future success. We work with a small number of persons each year in start-up mode. Clients with a shoestring budget should have a can-do attitude, anticipate a “do-it-yourself” approach, and commit to  “grow as you go” with focused support from the consultant. Around here, adaptable expertise counts.

The Enterprise Client

For enterprise clients, we offer retainer agreements suitable for clients with businesses cash flowing from the six figure range into the tens of millions. For those on a retainer agreement, the standard is monthly in advance. We issue a Scope of Work for each project or piece in a campaign. Deliverables not covered by the retainer are invoiced in advance.

The Profit-Sharing Client

Enterprise level clients have the option of a 50% reduced retainer in exchange for 10% of gross proceeds on new accounts originated during the consulting relationship. The profit sharing continues for the duration of the client contract, with an emphasis on client retention and lead nurturing in addition to lead generation. This arrangement works best when the customer journey is clearly mapped and mechanisms are in place to convert leads into clients.

What We Are Not

We are not freelancers. We do not sell press releases or articles as one-off pieces to those with whom we do not have established relationships.

  • The consultant should not be confused with in-house public relations or content marketing team members. (The IRS is very clear about this.)
  • We are not your “PR rep” and shouldn’t be referred to as such.
  • We are not subject to management by our clients.
  • We independently manage our own projects and project managers.
  • We provide and require use of project management solutions as part of the client relationship management service agreement.
  • We issue a Creative Brief for new campaigns which focuses the work and prevents project leadership confusion. All deliverables are accompanied by a clear Scope of Work.
  • The content creation, curation, editorial, publishing and distribution practices and platforms we use are proven to produce quality results, so please don’t ask us to change. 
  • Like any business, we don’t answer the phone, email, or text messages after business hours or in the middle of the night.
  • Remember, you may be super important to us, but you are not our only client.
  • We do not provide invoice coding for your accounts payable departments. We should not be privy to mass forwarded internal email communications. 

If you seek someone who tells you what you want to hear instead of serving your interests through applied expertise, you need a vendor, not a consultant.

Cash Flow Expectations

Fluid cash flow ensures fluid operations, which directly benefits the client.

coins-1523383_1920Fluid cash flow ensures fluid operations, which directly benefits the client.

In a consultancy, clients are responsible for terms outlaid in the consulting agreement, plus any project costs incurred while executing work or providing requested services on their behalf. 

We invoice electronically and accept and encourage prompt electronic payments by a range of means.

Since 2010, we do not absorb the client’s hard costs. We require a designated client credit card be kept on file to facilitate those transactions on the client’s behalf with prior approval. This helps us ensure ownership of assets remains with the client and ensures we are not acting as a lending institution instead of a consultancy.

Still here? Then it’s highly likely you recognize that it’s just good business to communicate up-front about money, professional ethics and the nature of the work.

Let’s talk?