First things first, in order to become a consultant you need to really be an expert on something niche. As a freelancer, this sense of expertise in your craft usually requires five years of independent freelance work, perhaps three very packed years somes for some exceptional cases.
Furthermore, many freelancers find success through making their niche even more niche. For example, if you’re a successful graphic designer but your biggest strength is marketing or social media presence or public relations you can consult solely on these aspects as a way to really hone in to a demanded expertise.
There are several reasons to move into consultation – not only will you make more money, but consulting is one of the most demanded fields of modern times.
What separates successful consultants from those who perhaps find less work is simply their passion and commitment to excellence.
If you’re starting to look into consulting, you may notice how vague the industry seems. We’re here to help you out. Here are several categories of consulting that you may want to look into.
- Business consulting
Your job as a business consultant is to help identify possible areas of improvement a business can capitalize on. Your client needs help taking advantage of valuable resources, new business skills, and more importantly, saving time and money. Overall, you will need to professionally analyze the freelance business so you can create solutions that will allow a client to reach their goals.
- Marketing consulting
Consultant’s whose strength lies in marketing are great at attracting more business and developing a strong and recognisable brand identity across platforms that attracts customers and clients. As a marketing consultant, your tasks are to help organizations plan, create, and implement marketing strategies to increase brand awareness and generate leads.
- Sales consulting
If you found yourself great at conducting sales, your job as a sales consultant would be to help develop and improve a company’s sales process. It would also be beneficial if you can also conduct sales training for employees, among others.
- PR Consulting
Similarly to marketing, a PR consultant is great at bringing in a network of people interested in covering the freelancer and/or their business or product and services. A PR consultant will write press releases, do public speaking, and organize various events for the company.
- Technology consulting
This one is particularly great for Gen Z and Millennial freelancers and potential consultants as naturally you possess an array of knowledge and skills when it comes to tech that older clients may find challenging. A technology consultant helps businesses improve their operations and business performance through the implementation and use of technology solutions.
Is becoming a consultant really worth it?
Yes! And for a plethora of reasons, namely the following;
Like freelancing, the beauty of consulting is choosing when, how, and oftentimes where you work. What this means is more productivity and better work-life balance, something a lot of people are looking for these days.
- Training and developing your skill
Oftentimes, consultants who are hired by companies benefit most from this as the company tends to invest in your skill in order for you and the company to make more money and find more clients. Organizations will subject their new consultants to training and various onboarding processes to ensure that they start on the right foot.
- Exposure to a diverse clientele
Arguably, consulting offers a more diverse clientele than freelancing, reason being that as a freelancer you are hired for your artistic niche which only suits a specific demographic of clients. Consulting on the other hand is more vague and widespread allowing you to encounter a plethora of clients, companies and connections.
- Learning evermore
You literally don’t stop learning! Not just because of the training but also because teaching and consulting also develops the knowledge of the teacher as well as the student. You are also required, as an expert, to keep up to date with industry trends is part of your responsibility which means learning never stops.
Tips on becoming a consultant:
- Get a form of degree, diploma or certificate
If you’re positioning yourself as an expert, you’re going to need some sort of paper to prove it.
- Get some work experience
A great tip is assisting another consultant for six to eighteen months. Having this on your resumé is a great stamp of approval and will lead to more business.
- Grow your network
LinkedIn here we come. As with other employment opportunities, building your network is essential because this is how you get more projects and clients to work with.
Becoming a consultant is much easier said than done but with perseverance and passion it is one of the most ideal career paths for many freelancers because of its longevity, flexibility and freedom to grow.