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Marketing & Sales Strategist. Author of 10 books. Professional speaker.

My name is David Meerman Scott, I'm best known for "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" available in 28 languages.

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  • How do you get the most out of startup advisors? How should you treat them?

    To give some context, I am a first time founder of a startup in San Francisco. We went through Y-Combinator early last year and raised about half a million out of demo day. Unfortunately, we realized quickly thereafter that our product was not working. We just couldn't get a few customers to love us. So we pivoted. We really believe in our product now and although still young, we do have a handful of paying customers who depend on us. But we also don't want to make the same mistake as last time and have started to talk with a few experts in our space who can be advisors for us.

    I'm curious on how to best manage the advisory relationship. We are first-time founders. We want the best advisors, the most accomplished ones.

    How do I interact with someone who is a lot more accomplished than I am?Should we treat them as an employee? Should we set milestones/goals they need to reach? Should we have them in the office a set number of hours? Should we clock their hours?How do we set the right expectations?

    Thank you very much. I know you have been an advisor so any insight would be appreciated. What have companies done with you to get the most out of you?

    David Meerman Scott's avatar image.

    All I can discuss is what works for me. In my advisory work, I almost always take equity rather than cash. It aligns my work with the success of the company.

    I focus on the skills that I have and how I can add value and I say "no" to things that are asked that would not be productive.

    And I set the expectation on "rates" up front. I make $25,000 for keynote speech to an international audience. I charge $2,500 an hour for telephone coaching. So it is important for my advisory clients to know that I'm not going to be able to speak with them every day.

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    Anonymous

    Thanks David. I want to delve deeper.

    I am assuming your work with Hubspot is with equity? How does that relationship work? Do they just come to you with questions and you answer? Or are there milestones you must reach on a regular basis?