The Difference Between Consulting and Done-For-You Services

It’s important to understand the difference between “consulting” and doing done-for-you. Over the last five years, I’ve done consulting gigs at companies in 60 countries. I’ve only done some done-for-you work three times in that time.


When you’re consulting, you go into a company’s offices–or get Skyped in–and train their employees on a topic. It’s a one-off (or several one-offs) training on your topic(s). Once you’re done, that’s it unless you negotiate additions to the contract. Things like licensing your online courses and/or setting up training programs (you consult on wellness so you set up a wellness program for their employees and so on for other topics).

Your obligation ends once you give the training. You don’t do the actual work. It’s important to understand that companies don’t attach a specific result to a consulting contract.

For example. They don’t say that if you consult their company on sales, they need to make an X number of sales after your training. If you consult on digital marketing, they don’t say that their digital presence has to grow by a certain number after your training. You get the point.

Companies pay a generous consulting fee for the knowledge you share–not for a certain result. They are paying you for your expertise. They understand that it’s their responsibility to implement and get the results. You give them the map and teach them how to use it, they’re the ones that drive the car and get to where they need to go.


When you offer done-for-you services to a company, you do the actual work. If it’s social media marketing, you manage the social media accounts of the company. If it’s sales, you make the calls and/or set up the Facebook ads. You get the point. Done-for-you is technically not consulting. When a company is looking at your social proof to consider hiring you for a consulting gig, seeing a lot of done-for-you gigs on your resume won’t be as strong of social proof.

It won’t hurt you, but it doesn’t convince a company that you can train their employees to do what you have been doing. Only a history of training others–and references for them to follow up with–can convince them of that.

It’s important to know the difference between consulting and done-for-you
when you’re pitching a company. It’s even more important when you’ve made it to the second round with a company, which is the proposals stage. Be very clear in your consulting contracts which one of those you’re offering/doing.

For me, I never offer done-for-you. I love how clean it is to go into a company, give a training, and walk out with a check. It’s less work, more challenging, and gives me more freedom. I love the idea that I’m getting paid to use my mind.

For you, that’s up to you to figure out. Done-for-you is a lot of work and can burn you out. But, you can also lock in seven-figure done-for-you contracts. At the end of the day, this is your life and business. Just be clear when it comes to pitching and closing consulting deals with companies. Here’s to you and getting booked this year!

Do you offer consulting or done-for-you services?

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6 comments on “The Difference Between Consulting and Done-For-You Services
  1. Tom Buford says:

    Hey Kimanzi,

    Great point about the difference between consulting and done-for-you. I’ve added some done-for-you to my business because I felt frustrated that clients weren’t getting enough done. This adds quite a bit of extra work in the end though. I need to remember that you’re responsible “to” your clients, not “for” them.

    Thanks as always for leading the way toward a simpler business model.


    • says:

      We have to find what works for us and make it happen. Cool to see you doing that 🙂

  2. Stella says:

    Hi Kimanzi!
    Great post! You said you did your first consulting gig is Spanish. Do you speak Spanish or did you have a translator?

    • says:

      I speak Spanish 🙂 I lived in Medellin, Colombia and got immersed.

  3. Thea says:

    Thank you for clarifying this. Consulting is definitely where I need to shift my focus into over the next year. It sounds like the dream – ha! I get bored easily and love the process of coming up with plans, blueprints and creative strategies. Having to stick around for the implementation is where I start to burn out and get bored.

    So what you’ve written makes perfect sense and has confirmed that I need to seriously shift my focus towards this direction.

    I’ve bought [e]books, and read tons of articles on this topic – and even came up with a name for my consulting… but have yet to take the serious leap in a corporate direction or larger scale. I need to pull the trigger and get going and stop doing so
    much of this on a small scale for free or little return. Thanks for confirmation and virtual push/kick! 🙂

    • says:

      I’m very glad the post could add value and excited for you!

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