One aspect of doing things differently is that people you speak to have difficulty categorizing it. No matter how precise your one-liner or elevator pitch was.
In my line of work, this often means being categorized as an agency. And then the attempts start to allocate me to either marketing, PR, branding, or digital/social.
As tempting as it may be, describing what I do through the agency business model is not precise enough. A more accurate analogy could be “Head of Business Development, Marketing and Communications at large”. With the important qualification that I am only the tip of a network of specialists and executors.
My focus is on helping clients generate more revenue and grow profitably. Branding, reputation management, marketing, digital and social media activities are simply a means to that end. The approach is to complement and integrate into the capabilities a client already has.
In that sense I do compete with traditional agencies. This is not to say that their contribution is irrelevant. I have plenty of experience integrating agencies into our operating model. Particularly if they bring a unique skill-set to the table.