A former boss of mine had a litany of favorite sayings that reverberated around the office and never seemed to die, including this one: “If you’re not training somebody to do your job, you’re not doing your job.”
Fair enough, but what about those of us who work from home offices, who have few to no employees, and who make a living by advising, and creating for, others?
I think it’s still true. Part of your job is teaching your clients. And contrary to what you may have been told, coaching your clients doesn’t make them run away because they “know it all” and can now “do everything themselves.” Successful coaching demonstrates your skill and professionalism, teaches them just how much work you do for them, and shows them how valuable your services really are.
Now I’m not suggesting you give away state secrets or anything. But offering free advice is a nice add-on service that helps your clients grow into more sophisticated consumers who can distinguish between the quality service you provide and the work performed by competitors.
What you can give, of course, depends on your business, but consider these examples:
A photographer could offer little tips on lighting, framing and other technical points on how the client can improve his own personal shots.
An editor could discuss common writing problems and grammatical issues.
A graphic designer could talk about the design principles in a proposed layout.
Do you coach your clients? What sort of advice do you provide?