Freelancing is ‘The Popular Career’ option in 2018. Freelancing can be a permanent or temporary work, can be a series of jobs put together or a bridge between permanent roles, we all have done it. Becoming a freelance consultant and finding work today is pretty easy.
However, if you have decided to make the switch and want to know how to become a successful freelance consultant or contract consultant, it’s important that you read this blog.
Within 3 days of networking on social media 60% of Freelancers are able to find a paid job today, a survey reveals. However just any work and a well-paid reputed job are two different things. It is crucial that you set yourself in the correct way and have gone through all the practicalities of a freelance consulting career.
And most importantly you need to strategize from the very beginning to become a highly paid freelance consultant.
Here’s a step by step strategy that will help you or anyone who wants to start or restart a fresh as a freelance or contract consultant and ensure you are paid in full for your work and skills.
Becoming a Top Freelance Consultant – Step by Step Strategy
- Pick Your Market Where You Can Sell Your Expertise
We know a lot of people who do a job they know nothing about or who sell knowledge online on topics they actually are clueless about. And they get paid very less, ofcourse.
Therefore if you want to be a successful freelance consultant you have to choose an area or niche where you actually have measurable and commendable expertise.
For instance, just because you have a keen interest in Photography, does not imply you are equipped with the skill to become a renowned wild life photographer or wedding photographer.
You have to devote quality time and energy to build vast knowledge on the subject or skill. Having said that you don’t need a complete graduation degree on the subject; a part time course orinternship with reputed brand or person will do good to you.
There are many e-courses or online coaching classes that will help you broaden your skills. However, if you already are considered an expert in a niche you can choose it to pursue further.
- Set a Platform To Attract Clients
After this you will require a medium or platform through which you can present your skills and attract clients. A website will be the ultimate choice for this purpose. While setting up a website could be one of the easiest parts, the contents and the maintenance could be a tad bit tedious. But down the line buddy, the result will bear sweet fruits.
We have many online tutorials that talk about setting up websites. Some of the important aspects that your website content should include to back you up are;
- Your services or products
- A detailed explanation of your services
- Credentials if you have received
- Sample work
- Notable clients and testimonials
Freelance marketplace is a good option to set up your profile that lets clients discover you. Social media websites like Facebook and LinkedIn is a good start for freelancers. Also there are other reputed marketplaces where you can register to connect and network with clients and proficient from the same field.
- Fix Your Rates (Make Sure You Don’t Sell Your Skills Cheaper)
Once you have decided your niche and have set up your platform, you need to fix your rates. This is one of the biggest factors that determinehow quickly you can make money. It is not necessary that you have to publish this on your website. At times as a freelance consultant you can quote different prices for different clients based on their brand image, budget and requirement.
Therefore keeping your price private will provide you additional margin for increments when needed.
So what should your charges be? Don’t set your rates too low, else you will start regretting even the job that most interests you. However set your prices lower than medium sized IT or Management Consulting firms. For example, most Consulting Firms charges $295 per hour on average. As an independent freelance consultant you can charge between $175 and $220 per hour.
Always remember to treat Freelancing career as a legitimate business where you make good deals and invest in different marketing mediums so as to generate more profits. Also remember to be selective about your projects while considering the overall price, job contentment and scope.
- Networking Is The Key… The Sooner You Understand The Better
Yes, this is true. You can’t just say that your service or skill quality will speak for you, and you don’t need people to connect, you can be a shrewd business man and be an introvert.
That doesn’t work at all. Networking will not only help you grow as a professional but also help you grow as a human being. One of the best places to start networking is within your existing professional and personal circle.
Know the people who can send you clients; then send emails or brochures to them. You can also send your sample products or service coupons as goodies to your relatives, friends and your former clients. It could be a good way to let them know you are doing business and looking for connections.
Signing up with online communities related to your business and industry should be your next step. Before plunging into the online valley makes sure your professional social media accounts such as Twitter and LinkedIn are active and updated.
Networking is an ongoing process and you can’t give up on it. Some days sure may be dull but on other days you will definitely get introduced to good number of clients. Networking consistently such as uploading articles, sharing videos and sharing insights will help you stay on the limelight.
- Some Days You Should Say ‘No’
You cannot do it all. One of the biggest fears freelancers face is not having enough work. That doesn’t mean you should fill yourself with too many projects and pile too much work that weigh your skills and productivity down.
Finding clients is easy if your rates and platform are competitive. But filling your time with low paying jobs will not make you a successful consultant. That’s why you should learn to say no. Clients will ask for discounts but never underestimate your rates and skills. Your time isn’t free, so make sure any additional consulting you do are paid in full.
Likewise, if you find yourself getting busy with projects and are not able to say yes for new projects, increase your rates. Do these steps consistently if you want to be a successful freelance consultant and make money as per your rules and conditions.