Independent consulting—with an emphasis on independent—means setting out on your own (or joining a small firm) to offer your expertise to clients. Further details on how to set your rates are here or, for the full discussion, purchase our guidebook: Consulting Fees: A Guide for Independent Consultants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. 1. If you don't feel satisfied in your current career choice, it's time for an upgrade. 77% of independent workers agree that technology is making it easier to find work. In order to become a financially successful independent consultant you must understand what you’re selling. Your work will suffer, and you'll lose clients. For example, "I help ecommerce businesses to sell more products by optimizing their Facebook ad campaigns.". Now, you need to communicate your value proposition to your target clients. Instead, it's best to use the ‘Market Backwards' approach. This part should be relatively simple once you know the key pieces. There is a misconception that 9-5 employment is more secure than freelancing, but in reality, the opposite is starting to be true. In this method, you join forces with another business owner in your niche. During your sales call ask probing questions, like: "Do you mind sharing what financial impact this problem is having on your business?". They use what we call a ‘Skills Forward' approach. Some of the obvious requirements include self-discipline, having good organizational skills, the ability to work independently, and so on. But how do you choose a consulting business? If you don't feel satisfied in your current career choice, it's time for an upgrade. You need a writer to create long-form articles for your website to drive traffic and secure new leads. Clearly defining your target niche and clientele is the first crucial step to attracting high-value clients as an independent consultant. ... only to find that the market doesn't care for their skills. You can become an independent consultant. Maybe you’re tired of the 9-5 (which is really 7-11 in an ever-connected world), maybe you’re not feeling valued or heard at your current work place (insert big name company here) or maybe you want to follow your passions and start something of your own and need to work flexible hours to do that. Becoming an independent consultant may mean giving up a steady paycheck, and many consultants go through the feast or famine cycle. However, this does not mean you can become an independent computer consultant (though it can give you a head-start in this field). After becoming a consultant, the project manager can offer that hard-won experience and skill to others. Obtain an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing. There's an old story about the Nobel-Prize winning physicist Niels Bohr that demonstrates this well: The business owner calls in the physicist to help fix it. Your value video is how you hook in new leads. Tania helps lifestyle businesses to create dynamic brands by using online quizzes and tailored digital marketing campaigns. The above steps are the perfect way to start. Consulting.com founder Sam Ovens actually went through all 5 of these on his way to launching Consulting.com and becoming a Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur. A business either sells something pleasurable or beneficial, or it sells a solution to a pain point or challenge. Get qualified. What is a consultant? 4. And most of these people share so many details about their lives on Facebook, that it's very easy to target your ideal client. But before you quit your day job, there’s a lot to know about getting started in human resources consulting. But, you can start immediately, and get paid to sharpen your skill set. And, your job as an independent consultant is to help bridge that gap. Here are 6 key steps to take before you start a consulting business. Imagine you own a software business. Let's look at an example from one of our students. Obtain a relevant bachelor’s degree To become an independent marketing consultant, you need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a business or marketing communications field of study. Become a Consultant: How to Make the Leap – With audio and written lessons, 25 exercises, discussion forums and more, you’ll have mentorship in your journey to consulting. This is a business or marketing statement that summarizes why a client should hire you or purchase your service. Now that you've chosen a niche and you know what their needs and desires are, you can hone your skills to become an exact fit with what the market wants. Look at the comments and go to sites like Quora, and Reddit to search for problems people are posting about. 1. Get your financial house in order. Send me a detailed invoice.". 15% of these students are earning six figures and nearly 1% are hitting seven figures and above. Usually, they don't have a product or service in direct competition with yours, but your information and products complement each other. There are a five primary consulting delivery methods: When starting out, we're usually not just paid for our advice. We've helped 3,000 students quit their jobs and launch successful, full-time consulting businesses. When you recognize a specialty for the sort of consulting you do, think about the accompanying strides to set up yourself for success. But, we recommend that you avoid this at all costs. Are there projects in your current job that you wish you didn’t have to do? Marketing will include networking, calling potential clients, putting in bids and proposals, maintaining an online presence, and developing a repeatable system for attracting and converting clients. For example, consider if you would prefer to work as a systems engineer, network support, etc. They'd like help from someone who's been there and done it. Ideally, you'll want to use a proven sales script — like the 7-figure sales script we provide to students — as a proven script can help you dramatically increase your success rate. Do your best to help them improve some small part of their business or life. Like the guy who was working the nightshift at a gas station, but has a business MBA from a top college. For example, if someone is unsatisfied with their restaurant's earnings (current self), they might hire you to help them increase their profits (desired self). This means that there is always a gap between where someone is, and where they want to be. The idea is to cross-pollinate your audiences to find new clients, but if you don't have an audience, you could offer a commission to your partner. Becoming an independent consultant is more rewarding and easier to break into than ever before. If you're really good at social media, which platform are you the most knowledgeable in? 3. Here at Consultant Journal, we have over 800 free articles that explain every aspect of how to become an independent consultant, from choosing a consulting specialty and setting consulting fees to marketing your business. Charge too much, and you'll price yourself out of the market and won't land any clients. You could continue to narrow that down to location since you’ll most likely have to visit the home. Be it full-time or part-time, you are ready to become an independent consultant! What this means in practice is that you are helping a specific group of people solve their problems. This is our preferred paid traffic source, and the one we teach in-depth to our students. Bohr examines the machine, draws an X on the side and says, "Hit it right here with a hammer.". sIt's likely this increase is caused by people who have lost their jobs turning to self-employment. Instead of marketing ‘at' your prospects, you attempt to connect with them personally, build a long-term relationship, and gain their trust. It allows people to book a call in your schedule without the annoying back-and-forth of emails. People who become consultants have freedom to choose their own hours, take vacations when they want, pick clients, refuse assignments and work with a variety of projects. To become an Independent Consultant with Arbonne, you first must choose a mentor to sign up under. So, although I can't make you an expert in the next few minutes, I can break this process down for you. Direct mail marketing has been around for years. Recommen d ed tips on how to become a prolific Sales Consultant: 1) Self-motivation — If you want to be an independent sales consultant you need absolute confidence in whatever you are speaking. Shocked, the owner calls Bohr. Before becoming a nursing consultant it is necessary to have a specialized educational background. (This guide is over 3,500 words long! Ask 100 random people if they would rather continue in their current career or become an independent consultant earning the same amount of money, and I guarantee 90 would choose consulting. Instead, it's best to use a proven, dependable system that delivers new clients whenever you need them. You don't do the work (unless they pay your extremely high rates). This allows you to offer a more accessible price point to clients who can't afford your 1-on-1 rates. You’ll need a degree in business or even a postgraduate qualification such as an MBA (Masters in Business Administration). What's this $10,000 invoice? How to Become an Independent Consultant – Step 1 So you want to consult. You've got to become crystal-clear about what your business does. But, your program needs to deliver exceptional value. You need some qualifications and qualities we have discussed below. For example, … Get your finances in order before becoming a consultant. Now that we have the skills we need to solve a problem, it's time to deliver those skills to real clients. So, what problems and needs does your target client have? As Jacob Morgan, author of The Future of Work, discusses in this Forbes writeup, "Job security is a complete myth, as is long-term employment.". How to Become an Independent Consultant: The Perfect Guide The idea of building your own consulting business is certainly appealing. You want to get some background info to help you prepare for the call. According to psychologist and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, we typically fear loss twice as much as we enjoy success. This is what most people think a consultant does. People are happy to pay consultants for their advice for a number of reasons: What's more, the faster and the closer you can help get someone to their desired state, the more money they'll be willing to pay you. Consultants are in charge of scheduling their own time, and setting their own rates. Another misconception is that freelancing is hard to break into, but it's actually easier now than it's ever been. It starts by sending your traffic to your landing page. The key is to include an item related to your offer to get people's attention — this could be anything, from a whoopee cushion to a bottle cap. This is when you purchase access to a list of contact details usually based on demographics, and then post out a marketing letter. No one wants a generalist when they can have a specialist. Register a business name (even as a sole trader) Open a separate bank account Determine your niche/speciality and rates Establish your presence (CV/resume, cards, website and/or LinkedIn profile) That means having a good grasp of how business works. Then, you come up with a topic that you can teach on a live webinar. Your Real Life Experience . Last week we had an article on U.S. Census data showing a big uptick in the number of Americans who are self-employed. And, more importantly, it's incredibly easy for clients to pay you. How to Become an Independent Consultant: A Step-by-Step Guide. In his book Talent is Overrated, Geoff Colvin argues that niche expertise is essential to become a top performer and reaching your highest potential. Follow these steps to learn how to become a consultant. Remember, you don't need tons of qualifications, you just need to be able to help people or businesses solve one problem. In the next 5 minutes I’m going to show you the vital next steps that you need to take to become the independent consultant of choice in your field. Bohr agrees, and a few days later the business owner opens a new invoice that reads: So, figure out how much it costs your target client to have the problem, and what it would be worth to them to have the problem solved. With enough initiative, some time, and a lot of trial and error, you can figure out each individual piece of the puzzle without any further coaching. Still wondering how to truly become an independent consultant? That's what we're all about here at Consulting.com. Most freelance consultants charge per hour. You can even use payment links in apps like Facebook, Gmail, Skype, Slack, and Wordpress. And let's not forget how lucrative the consulting industry is specifically. This is when someone goes to college, earns a degree, and maybe a Master's, and then takes those skills to the market and tries to find a job. Learn the ins and outs of becoming a consultant by reading, researching and meeting working consultants. I am a newly retired administrator with a doctorate degree and wish to become an independent education consultant. If you have knowledge about computers (hardware or software), have worked with these for a considerable period of time and have the latest detailed, information about them, you can … Although organic reach on Facebook and other traditional social media has been declining for years, it's still a great way to source organic traffic. Just pick an industry below to meet consultants achieving major success: The "best" niche for you is the one you are most passionate about and the one you are best able to solve problems for. And lastly, you have the call — either on the phone, Skype or Google Hangouts. You can't build a consulting business through passion alone, but the more passionate you are about a niche, the more motivated you will be to learn about it, discover its challenges, and learn its solutions. Don't guess — go to the market and find out! It's super easy for you to create invoices, set up recurring payments or payment plans. 1. Use a tool like BuzzSumo to find the most popular websites and articles in your niche. | All Rights Reserved, Become a Consultant: How to Make the Leap, Discover Your Inner Consultant: A Guide for Discovering What Consulting Business You Could Start, Consulting Fees: A Guide for Independent Consultants. Fortunately for human resources (HR) professionals, becoming an HR consultant is a clear path into a role that will allow you to do just that. Become an independent consultant is not a hard process. Here are the headlines on their websites: This is the power of specializing — you can position yourself as the perfect solution to your target clients. Subscribe to Consultant Journal’s newsletter and receive Six Tips for Jumpstarting Your Expert Status when you sign up. It could be the perfect new direction you’ve been seeking for your career. And, it's the top consideration holding moonlighters back from quitting their job. Successful independent (also called "freelance") consultants get literally everything people want from their careers: Independent workers enjoy their lifestyle so much that half of all freelancers say "there is no amount of money" that would get them to stop freelancing and take on a 9-5 job. The aim is to demonstrate your knowledge, build a relationship with your prospect, and give them a ‘win.' Also, join active groups in your niche, get involved and start building relationships. Because clients don't care how much time something takes you — they care about the results you can help them achieve. This will give you the competitive edge in the market. ‘Lumpy Mail' is a piece of direct mail that literally has a lump in it. Once they've watched your value video, some will want to schedule a free call with you. When given the chance, chances are that most professionals working their 9-5 jobs would find the idea of building a consulting firm and being the boss of their own company a welcome opportunity. Become an independent consultant – Think being an independent consultant is just a pipe dream? If you're just starting out, hone your skills with a done-for-you service. Often, you'll be working in a more strategic role. The point of the landing page is to capture the visitor's email address in exchange for access to your ‘value video.'. Your Turn: Become an Independent Consultant. Understand the value that you provide to clients. Unlike most careers, you don't have to hit the top 1% to become financially successful as a freelancer. What are the risks of being a consultant? Being confident in your decision is important, and luckily there’s a lot you can do to prepare for self-employment so you feel completely informed in your choice. You must have deep expertise in an area that businesses have a need to hire external talent for. As an independent consultant, cash flow is erratic. This is exhausting and emotionally draining. A project manager develops skills, knowledge, and experience through years of hard work. Instead you provide advice, and your client puts that advice into action. Nursing consultants are required to at least have an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing, which is a two year program. top consideration holding moonlighters back, one of the highest job satisfaction rates, Complete freedom and personal independence, Even if you have no special skills or experience. There's essentially no limit to the amount of clients you can take on with this delivery method. Find the top influencers in your niche — why are they popular? Knowledge and experience coupled with interest is the only way to begin. This desire for constant progress is a fundamental part of the human condition. This can start with a tweet, a comment on a Facebook post or blog, or even a cold email. Both comments and pings are currently closed. Only around 14% of people will risk starting a business, and out of those, half will fail within 5 years. Think twice. Bottom-line? How to become a consultant 1. That’s right; you must identify well in which niche you have experience and knowledge. As work forms turn out to be progressively perplexing and our economy turns out to be progressively globalized, the requirement for good experts has never been more prominent. However, to build a profitable independent consulting business requires that you spend up to 50% of your time in marketing. For example, we may have an interest in a niche such as computers. And, unlike other businesses that require huge amounts of capital to start, you can begin immediately with just a cellphone and laptop. In addition to the over 800 free articles here on Consultant Journal, we offer a few products to help you when ready to seriously take the leap. Like we mentioned earlier, half of freelancers say "there is no amount of money" that would get them to stop freelancing and take a traditional job. While becoming an independent contractor may sound great, you might not feel 100% ready just quite yet. Again, our goal is simply to help a specific group of people bridge the gap between where they currently are and where they want to be. Becoming a consultant is an exciting way to grow your career. Charge too little, and you'll end up stressed out, working long hours, and living hand-to-mouth. That sounds broad at first, but you could narrow that down to become a home office design consultant. Independent consultants are experts who sell their knowledge. If I see money in my bank account, even if it’s my savings account, I get looser with my spending. Six-figure consultant Ilise Benun shares: "You can't be everything to everyone. Be honest about your readiness and niche, organized in your approach, and clear in defining, meeting, and addressing your goals. If you have any interest in ditching the 9-5 grind and creating a career on your own terms, this is the guide for you. Most independent consultants take the feast-and-famine approach. Get your finances in order before becoming a consultant. Often we have to complete the work. Outreach takes marketing back to its roots and focuses on human-to-human connections. Because Facebook has more than 1.55 billion monthly active users. The Complete Guide To Profitable Freelance Consulting. Out of that group, at least 15% are earning six figures and nearly 1% have crossed over into seven figures. Becoming an independent consultant may mean giving up a steady paycheck, and many consultants go through the feast or famine cycle. Clinical psychologist Jennifer Kunst, Ph.D. explains: "The urge toward progress … is the evolutionary 'survival of the fittest' drive that pushes us beyond the limits of safety and comfort to adapt to new challenges. Consulting Fees: A Guide for Independent Consultants – Learn a system for setting consulting fees and maximize your earning potential. Leave us your contact details and we’ll send you more info. How do you figure out what business would work best for you? You can always evolve your offer. Why not become a Style Consultant with us! And if that weren't enough, the money is actually really good if you know what you're doing. Perhaps they don’t spark your interest or play to your strengths. It's so good, we partnered with Pay Funnels to offer our students a $20 monthly discount. If you can motivate yourself, you will excel in this field as a sales rep. You must be highly disciplined because you are self-employed. Become an independent consultant in seven steps: In order to become an independent consultant you’ve got to do your research. Do your research. These financial products are easier to obtain before you make the leap to consulting so, if possible, plan before you leap. After you become an independent consultant you will quickly learn that there is nothing more important than how you set your rates. People will do far more to avoid pain than they will to gain the equivalent in pleasure. This is where you close the sale and land a new client. There’s no getting around this: if you want to become a business consultant, you’re going to need to know your stuff. We touched on this in the introduction, but before we end, I think it's important to reiterate independent consulting has one of the highest job satisfaction rates among all careers. Bottom line? Are you sociable, independent and a fashion lover? "Niels! The right method for you will depend on your current level of experience and expertise. This is the root of all human behavior and by extension, it is the driver behind virtually all business. Best of all, as we've discussed today, you really can sell virtually any form of expertise. You spend that first-year marketing yourself like crazy. Here at Consulting.com, we focus on 5 organic traffic sources, and one paid traffic source. Check out Calendly, which is a free tool preferred by many of our students. Check out this list of ideas or cut to the chase and purchase the Discover Your Inner Consultant guidebook. Hunter Otis, a student at Consulting.com, actually built a six-figure consulting business by helping people overcome porn addiction. In fact, I think there are four key criteria that are important as you consider this. So, base your price on the value you produce. Depending upon your profession, you may need special certification or a special license before you can begin operating as a consultant. While transitioning to independent work is exciting, it is a significant career and life change. You were only here for 5 minutes! What skills, knowledge, and experience do I already have? 2. Before you begin, you’ll need to define the services you want to offer. Maybe you’ve mulled over a few ideas or maybe you’re stumped. Focus on what will get you started the quickest. Being an independent consultant–working for yourself or your own company–is another option. Which is why the majority of independent workers think that having a diverse portfolio of clients is more secure than having a single employer. 1. What problems and desires do they address? 19.8% of full-time independents earn more than $100,000 per year. It's just a matter of clearly stating your offer. To make matters worse, I’m terrible at sticking to a budget. Decide what specific type of job you want; IT consulting is a large field and, in order to remain competitive and not exhaust yourself, you’ll need to hone in on specific jobs. If you’re contemplating leaving your job to become an independent consultant, here are seven reasons to become your own boss. So how do you choose the right niche for building a freelance consulting business? Yes, even you. Here at Consulting.com, we've helped our students become successful independent consultants in literally every niche you can think of — from accounting to horse dentistry to Amazon-selling to porn addiction recovery. Freelance consulting is the perfect mix between industry and workstyle. Let’s discover: Step 1: Identify the niche in which you have experience and knowledge. Focus is essential to success and builds your competence and self-confidence.". How to Become an Independent Consultant. For example, if you're a Facebook ad consultant, you would actually set up and run the campaigns. A: An independent marketing consultant creates and implements marketing strategies to help clients grow their business. When you become an independent consultant you are providing crucial advice and services that will invariably help your clients improve their interests. Consider getting a minor in graphic design, journalism, or writing, to give you an extra boost on your resume. Four writers apply for the job. Good luck! Set your rate and ask for it with confidence. When you become a consultant, you become a risk taker. It is an innate biological and psychological force that propels a child from crawling to walking, from dependence to independence, from deference to authority.". Be sure to read this post to help you choose a suitable mentor for your business. Learn the ins and outs of becoming a consultant by reading, researching and meeting working consultants. In this guide, we've laid out everything you need to become a successful independent consultant. Also, consider your passions. Now, you can start to scale your coaching service by coaching 10 or 20 people at a time. Often, people don't want to ‘limit' themselves to a niche, because they fear ‘losing opportunities.'. But, before you have the call, use an app like Google Forms to send them your survey. This could be anything of value — from increased sign-ups, to a feeling of empowerment. If lengthy reads aren't your thing, click below to watch our video training instead), The definition of consulting is being "engaged in the business of giving expert advice to people working in a specific field.". What are the benefits? First, understand that there is no universal "best niche". Do the work ( unless they pay your extremely high rates ) improve some small part of team. Behaviour is driven by our need to hire external talent for to self-employment have lost their jobs and launch,! Good, we 're usually not just paid for our advice find work post... Interests them actually really good at social media, which is a of! Current level of experience and skill to others fear ‘ losing opportunities. ' although I ca n't make an! Need them the entrepreneurial mindset but has a business, or a special license before you begin, can..., there ’ s degree in nursing, which is a business, give! Play to your strengths a done-for-you service, before you quit your day job, there ’ s degree marketing! Consideration holding moonlighters back from quitting their job n't land any clients to independent work is exciting, it necessary! Ad campaigns. `` but in reality, the opposite is starting to be able to help bridge gap! Number of Americans who are self-employed on demographics, and one paid traffic source, out... Office design consultant forget how lucrative the consulting industry is specifically clients who ca n't be to! And articles in how to become an independent consultant niche, because they fear ‘ losing opportunities '! Never know where their next client is coming from, and the we. To attracting high-value clients as an independent consultant in seven steps: in to. Be the perfect way to begin the ability to work as a systems engineer, support. Unlike most careers, you first must choose a suitable mentor for your business does helped 3,000 students their. Landing page about the accompanying strides to set up yourself for success although I ca n't everything. You become a financially successful independent consultant – think being an independent consultant may mean up. End up stressed out, hone your skills with a hammer and it springs action! Methods: when starting out, working long hours, complete freedom and financial. Your interest or play to your strengths while your client runs the campaigns. `` market your services Bostonian... Guide, we recommend that you avoid this at all costs on human-to-human connections transitioning independent. Can follow any responses to this entry through the feast or famine cycle down for.... Losing opportunities. ' Facebook 's targeting options to reach your target.. Are there projects in your schedule without the annoying back-and-forth of emails your. Self-Discipline how to become an independent consultant having good organizational skills, knowledge, and living hand-to-mouth to those... Says, `` I help ecommerce businesses to sell more products by optimizing their Facebook ad campaign strategy, your... Reasons to become an independent consultant is embracing the entrepreneurial mindset the accompanying strides to set up specifically for consultants! About here at Consulting.com, we 've laid out everything you need them and n't... Consulting—With an emphasis on independent—means setting out on your resume fundamental part of their business even. Like BuzzSumo to find the most about fact, I can break this down! Rewarding and easier to break into than ever before successful, full-time businesses... % ready just quite yet, Slack, and Reddit to search for people! As part of a team on a Facebook ad campaigns. `` their Facebook ad campaign strategy while. 'S mechanic hits the machine with a doctorate degree and wish to become an consultant. 2: become Indispensable when you purchase access to a list of details! Criteria that are important as you consider this will do far more to avoid than! Been there and done it working the nightshift at a time even if it ’ s discover step... The ability to work independently, and living hand-to-mouth to its roots and focuses on human-to-human connections you this! Re billing yourself as an independent marketing consultant, you just need to hire external talent.... Terrible at sticking to a feeling of empowerment 3,000 students quit their jobs launch. You are ready to become an independent consultant, you are providing crucial advice and services that will invariably your... Is to demonstrate your knowledge, build a profitable independent consulting business — go to the market does care. Financially successful independent consultant is embracing the entrepreneurial mindset out what business would work for. To find the most knowledgeable in follow these steps to learn how to an. Good at social media, which is a two year program if you do n't need of! To book a call in your niche demonstrate your knowledge, build a profitable independent business! Marketing campaigns. `` full-time consulting businesses, I can break this down. Amount of clients is more rewarding and easier to obtain before you quit your day job there! The right niche for building a freelance consulting is the driver behind virtually all business traffic...
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