Guidepoint Expert Network Review
Headquartered in New York, Guidepoint has expanded rapidly in recent years, opening offices in several international locations. GuidePoint is one of the many expert network services that have seen rapid growth specializing in sourcing subject matter experts for short-term consulting projects. The expert network industry caters to institutional investors (management consulting firms, private equity, hedge funds, mutual funds, etc.) conducting qualitative research through direct private phone consultations.
Sophie Fischer – Our Expert Network Specialist: Sophie is from Hamburg, Germany and is our specialist on Expert Networks. After several years of working as a top executive, Sophie is now an independent consultant and is signed up as a council member of several networks. When she is not helping HuginX write Expert Network reviews, she can often be found enjoying thrilling Nordic noir crime series.
What is an expert network?
An expertise network facilitates the matching of specialists in various industries with firms looking to expand their knowledge on a particular subject. The consultative phone conversations could include decisions about entering a market or a deep dive into a specific industry or company.
“Guidepoint connects clients with vetted subject matter experts—Advisors—from our global professional network. Our clients leverage the insights and perspectives shared by our Advisors to stay informed and make better business decisions.” Guidepoint
Short-term consulting on the phone
Phone Consultations allow for a private, one-to-one conversation between the client and a subject matter expert. Your Guidepoint Project Manager will identify the best business advisors for your project and set up your Guidepoint consultation.
How do Expert Networks operate?
New to expert networks? Here is a quick guide to 10 key steps networks take when matching experts with clients for ad-hoc phone consultations.
How to get started
Guidepoint registers and vets every advisor before accepting them into their network. Guidepoint will contact the advisor once they are accepted into the platform to discuss relevant projects that fit their experience and meet the needs of our clients. Guidepoint also has an Advisor Relations team that supports the advisors to make the most of their time with Guidepoint.
What will the consulting process look like?
If a project manager from Guidepoint has contacted you, your LinkedIn profile likely indicated that you would be a good fit for a project. Project managers generally use the following criteria to judge whether you are a good fit for a project:
- Scenario A: You used to work at a company on which the client is researching. The general rule is that you must be at least 6 months removed from the target company.
- Scenario B: You currently or used to work for a competitor, client, or supplier to a company the client is researching.
- Scenario C: You have relevant experience in a parallel industry or market or worked for a company that was a customer of the target company.
Screening for your first project
The Guidepoint project manager will send you a link to a questionnaire asking for more details on your relevant work history and a sampling of the questions the client wants to ask in the 1-hour phone consult. It’s important to understand that these questions are not meant to replace the interview; they prove that you have the knowledge and experience they are looking for. The questionnaire should take at most 10 minutes to fill out. You may also be asked to give your availability for a 1-hour call.
Criteria to get the gig
Keep in mind that even if a project manager thinks you are a good fit for the project, and you think you are a good fit for the project (based on the vetting questions), there is a chance you may not be selected for a call. The project manager will submit your profile to the client for review. There are plenty of factors that affect whether you get the project:
- Consulting rate.
- Vetting question response time.
- Time to accept the compliance document.
- Other factors outside of your control.
Even if you don’t get this project, going through these motions will register you in their database and ensure you are identified quickly for future engagements.
A detailed profile secures targeted opportunities
In talking to other experts, the team at Huginx has heard a few complaints about Guidepoint project spam – frequent consulting requests for projects that are significantly far off-topic. Making sure your Guidepoint profile is crisp and specific is an excellent way to cut down on projects you’re screened out from (and land more on-point opportunities). The survey and consulting requests I receive from Guidepoint have mostly been well-targeted in my area of expertise.
What consulting rate should I set working with Guidepoint?
Expert network consulting rates vary widely and depend on your recent experience, the depth of your experience, and your job title. Typically, you will receive project requests for experience in companies or job titles within the last 3 years. Still, the more recent your experience is the higher your likelihood of landing the client call. Similarly, the higher your job titles, the higher rate you can command.
Typically, you will be offered $100-$200 for a role below the Director level. A Director or above will likely be offered $200-$350 for participation in a call. While you can negotiate for a higher rate (and you should!), it’s unlikely that you will successfully secure more than $100 above the initial offer for your first call.
You can renegotiate
You can constantly renegotiate your rate each time you are contacted for an opportunity. You should try to gauge the demand for your experience— are you receiving a high volume of requests? — and evaluate how niche your industry or experience is to determine a fair rate. Some experts can command rates of $500- $1,000. Still, those experts are often in small or niche industries where it isn’t accessible to source experts, or they are trusted experts who have completed several successful calls and proven their worth to a network.
You should also know that your Guidepoint rate will be pro-rated (by the minute) based on the time you are on a call. If the call goes under 1 hour, you will only be paid for part of the hour. Conversely, if the call exceeds the hour, you can expect to be paid more than the initial negotiated rate. ‘
How will I be paid?
Guidepoint will remit payment via a check in US dollars or direct deposit in the currency you select. You will have the opportunity to select your preferred payment method upon submitting your invoice. Please note, for expedited payment, select direct deposit. Any payments made in a currency other than US dollars are subject to fluctuations in the currency exchange rate.
No deliverables needed
An expert network consulting call is unlike other consulting engagements in that you are not expected to prepare or generate a deliverable. The client’s questions should be easy for you to answer based on the depth and breadth of your experience in a given industry. If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to; it’s best to admit you don’t know and offer to follow up with the answer or give your best-educated opinion.
Real-life gut check
Most calls are centered on a company the client is performing due diligence on. In this case, the client will want to understand the target company’s positioning, go-to-market strategy, business model, key challenges and opportunities, and the competitive landscape. The client will likely have done extensive research on the company and industry and are getting a sense of the company’s growth prospects by testing their hypotheses against your knowledge.
Avoid compliance issues
It’s important to note that clients are not seeking proprietary information on the company. Exchanging proprietary information in an expert network consulting call is illegal and considered insider trading. Many calls are recorded and transcribed for internal purposes and subjected to compliance tests. Before the call, the compliance terms will be laid out in a non-disclosure agreement. Regardless, you should use your best professional judgment when answering questions to avoid any compliance issues.
Joining through the website
Now that you’re part of the network, you will be contacted for more projects that align with your experience. Expert networks are a great way to capitalize on your career and knowledge. If a project manager has yet to contact you, you can still register on the Guidepoint website to be added to their network by signing up as a specialist here.
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Disclosure: While HuginX is editorially independent, we may earn commissions on sign-up links.