When wanting to become a freelance consultant, one must first know the difference between freelancing and consulting. A freelancer is a person who works independently, offering and selling his or her services by the hour, day, or job, not planning to work for a single employer on a long-term basis. Examples of a freelancer are writers, photographers or designers. A consultant is a person who is compensated to provide professional or expert advice on a certain subject or field whether it is in an office, online or via telephone calls.
What do you need to become a freelance consultant?
Before considering the title of a Freelance Consultant, be sure that you are as knowledgeable as possible on the subject you wish to consult about. Knowledge is after all why you offer your consulting services to the public! If you are a Computer consultant for example, you need to stay on top of all the relevant trends, new software and information that it holds.
Depending on the nature of your consulting services, you may need a license to operate a Consultation Business. Make sure that you have the correct documentation before listing yourself as a freelance consultant. You would not want to put your business in a bad light right from the start. If you are for example, a Fund Raising Consultant, you need not have special certification but you need to be certified by a legit fundraising certification company.
An excellent freelance consultant has good time management skills, can organize his or her day efficiently and can organize and dictate situations perfectly. Strive for a good work and play balance in your business. Do not take on too much work and work until the wee hours of the morning just to keep your head above water. Make sure that as a freelance consultant, you have these characteristics. Other characteristics include the ability to efficiently interact with different kinds of people, a friendly tone and an honest yet objective way of conveying an idea or thought.
Networking is the most important part of being a consultant. To get to know fellow consultants, get advice from them and share ideas is the perfect way to get your foot in the door to the consultation world! People in the same profession often give good word about a potential client that might be interested in the specific service you offer.
Decide on the rate you want to charge for your consultation services. Depending on the area and country you live in, make sure that your rate is affordable yet not too cheap as the money you get from the services you offer is the money you will feed your family with. Make sure that the type of consultations you give, suit the type of rate you wish to ask.
Decide who your main target market will be. There are a vast variety of different kinds of freelance consulting businesses, including accounting, advertising, human recourses, insurance, publishing and taxes. You need not stick to just one specialty but your knowledge of the different subjects must be of top notch in order for your consulting business to thrive.
To be a successful consultant you must be willing to be hired to identify problems, to be as objective as possible, to teach, to breathe freshness into a company or organization and to influence other people in a positive way. The more positive you are, the more likely you are to get more consultation jobs from the same company.
When becoming a freelance consultant, it is important to advertise. Advertising your services in ways such as newsletters, social media and public speaking lets people know that you are serious about making the best of your business. If you do not advertise, you are not giving your business the exposure it so much needs in order to become a well-known consulting name.
You need not be a one-man operational business. You can have as many employees as your budget allows. The rate you ask your clients for your services will become part of the pay that you give to the people that are working for you. You do however need to make sure that the people working for you have the right amount of knowledge on the subject your business is consulting on. It is your job as head and manager of the business to carry the knowledge you hold over to those who work for you to ensure a thriving and blooming freelance consultation business.
If you wish to become a freelance consultant, do not think that you will become rich overnight. Consulting takes a whole lot of time, networking, researching and planning. Each consultant has a wealth of knowledge to share, and it is that knowledge that makes the business perfect.