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How to become an independent consultant

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Have you ever considered working on your own or creating your own company? Would you like to be an independent consultant? Not sure if you have the skills and attitudes necessary to run your consulting business independently? Do you want to know how to get your first customers, keep them, and never run out of income? 

You will find wholly of this and more in this mega guide to be a freelance consultant that we have prepared for you. 

When you decide to work independently or freelance, it is very easy to get carried away by the initial enthusiasm. Still, if we do not follow an action plan, we will soon see how time passes quickly without seeing tangible results.

It is very good to train with free online courses, but we recommend having at least one year of experience working for someone else to learn the trade well and have a good work methodology. There is nothing better than learning and working with professionals and getting paid for it.

Before starting.

Being your own boss and working independently is tremendously satisfying, but we are not going to fool you; it’s VERY hard, too, especially in the beginning. 

Working 80 hours a week combining your current job with your assignments as a Freelance or being a manager, salesperson, Project Manager, and accountant for your own company is not something everyone is willing to do.

But there are several reasons why a professional decides to become an independent Consultant. 

Being independent, earning more money, working less time, or at least having a little more flexibility  (and not having to send a memo to the boss to take half a day to go to the doctor) are some of them.

But honestly, there is another reason why many professionals decide to go down this path; their experience in the company they currently work for is no longer valued.

Returning, many employees consider, based on this forced situation or anticipating it, to make a more strategic decision and not go back to look for a job in another company but open their own business. 

Especially when you have extensive experience, a lot of experience in the field, or in providing certain types of services,  this idea becomes a real opportunity not only to become independent and start your own project but also many times to meet needs in the market that are neglected by large companies.

What is a freelance consultant?

A consultant is an expert professional in a subject dedicated to helping other people, companies, or organizations achieve their objectives through advice, training, and specialized knowledge.

In his case, the freelance consultant meets these characteristics and has the peculiarity that he does it autonomously and independently. 

What skills and attitudes do you have to gather?

It is a demanding job where it is extremely important to be up to date with the latest developments in your area of ‚Äč‚Äčexpertise and never stop evolving and expanding new knowledge.

But besides, there are a series of skills and attitudes that, if well developed, will allow you to achieve your dream of being a freelance consultant. They are skills and ways of working that you can develop with good training and commitment. Key elements that will make you stand out from other professionals are:

  • Insurance
  • Resolute
  • Analytical
  • Strategic
  • Communicator
  • Empathic
  • Productive
  • Motivated
  • Expert
  • Autodidact
  • Integrity
  • Experience
  • Leadership
  • Intuition
  • Planner
  • Creative
  • Persistent

Types of consultants.

Regarding the chosen specialization, although the consultant’s profession indeed emerged during the industrial revolution in a way focused on the optimization of production. The truth is that today there are consultants beyond the business field, as you can see below where we name some of the most common types of consultants. 

  • Business consultant
  • Marketing consultant
  • Sales consultant
  • Financial Consultant
  • HR Consultant
  • Personal Image Consultant
  • Nutrition consultant
  • Purchasing consultant
  • Sports consultant
  • Consultant of other specialties

How much does a freelance consultant earn?

Each sector has its standard rates depending on the specific service offered, the type of client, and the competition.

However, the rate is usually adjusted to the degree of experience and knowledge of the consultant, as well as the demand for work that he has. 

How to get your first clients?

The best way to get the first clients of your consulting business is through networking. People close to you or who you meet at professional events, with whom you can talk face to face to define objectives and priorities will allow you to know your client in-depth and offer a high-quality service. 

With the experience of developing several projects through close contacts and offering a quality service, word of mouth and recommendations will easily provide you with new clients. 

In the future, what you will need is a system to scale your business, and that is where the Internet, sales funnels, and marketing automation will come into play and take on special importance. 

Aspects to consider.

Here is the main key: what to do to start a professional consulting business based on your experience and your track record? These are the top 3 strategies you should consider:

Strategy # 1 – Choose a niche market in which to specialize.

The first step is always an important decision, although it is often missed. But this is where the greatest specialization that an entrepreneur can offer will be, and it will become a competitive advantage over what large companies may be offering.

Strategy # 2 – Find a critical and vital need to solve in your niche market.

This step is crucial for the business to be existent and profitable. If you offer a fantastic service, but it is not what your client or market needs, nobody will buy from you, and therefore you do not have a business.  

Strategy # 3 – Design a solution that is a perfect “match” with your market niche.

This step’s importance lies in forgetting about generic solutions and personalizing the services as much as possible, based on what you have achieved in step # 1 (choosing and knowing your niche market) and in step # 2 (knowing their need, more important).

It is the first step you should take if you are really considering becoming an independent consultant. Define these three keys of your business’s “cornerstone” to become independent and be successful with your professional business.
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