I was reading an article in the New York Post yesterday (Why people are now charging to network over coffee), and it reminded me of a post a made a few years back about people asking to pick my brain.
I wrote the post, because I have long been solicited for coffee, lunch, a few minutes on the phone, etc. to answer questions about affiliate marketing.
I used say yes to everybody, and I was realizing that it was taking a good part out of my day (essentially extending my day, because my work was still there), I typically never heard again from the people I’d helped, and those few minute phone calls were never just a few minutes.
There was always “one more quick thing.”
I started referring people to my “Ask Shawn Collins” page, where they could ask a question, and I’d answer it, or else to my consulting site.
Most are cordial, but some lash out that I am not willing to sidetrack my day and projects and deadlines for their urgent problem.
So anyway, I’ve chatted with lots of folks who have run into the same situation, and some have turned to services like Clarity.fm to provide on-demand business advice on a paid basis by the minute.
Another option is Google Helpouts, which launched in November 2013. Google Helpouts provides for a more dynamic approach than the phone calls on Clarity.fm. Instead, it is a video chat, so you have that face to face experience, as well as the ability to physically show things to the other person.
I think I’ll give Google Helpouts a try and provide that as an option for the brain pickers. You can give a free first call to people or charge by the minute right off the bat.