How To Hire a Consultant, Partner, or Worker Bee

This is what a Strategic Digital Marketing Partnership looks like.

So we need some new definitions as we try to define how to work together. Here are the three roles that most commonly arise during my calls with new and potential clients.


A hired gun required for a specific project, with a fixed budget and a timeline. In the optimal consulting engagement there is a quick start, hyper-focus on deliverables and measured results, and done. When the role moves into more ongoing projects, perhaps it’s another type of engagement you want. A consultant is often more expensive that a partner, due to the limited engagement. And if both teams function well together you wrap up the project knowing you have a new resource in your toolbox.


In this role my company also becomes a selling advantage. As a team we can combine our marketing experience and results to show a new potential client a broader skill set than we would have if we were going it alone. These projects are usually turn-key with hard edges at the start and finish. And each successful project with a partner builds trust and momentum to go after the next deal.

Worker Bee

We don’t need you to interface with the clients in any way, but we would like you to execute on our behalf and work with our account and strategy teams to deliver results. This need may be the result of a new piece of business that the company has not staffed up for, or if could be necessary during the transition of a key team member. These engagements are built on referrals by other companies who have used your “worker bee” services in the past. This is a get-r-done role. No frills and bells. Sign the NDA and get started. These roles tend to be client-based rather than project-based.

“It’s up to you, how we work together. But let’s do work together.”

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)