How to Get Started with a Career in Consulting

 

Do you have a network that is well developed? Are you self-motivated? Are you clients happy? If these three questions have solid ‘yes’ answers, then you might be ready to start a career in consultancy. The journey to being a consultant might be hard at first, but we are going to look at five steps to help you to kick off your venture.

Follow these steps, and you will have a strong foundation of getting repeat clients as you expand your reputation and reach.

Identify your area of expertise

Be honest with yourself about what you are good at and what you are not good at. As you look at your strength, consider strengths that are outside the purview of the nine-to-five window. You might be good at design as a side hustle that has enough client base to take it to full-time work. Perhaps you are good at sealing deals online that your friends are always asking for help.

To identify your niche, ask yourself three questions:

“Do I have a different point of view?”

“is there a need for this service?”

“Can be authoritative in this industry with the experience I have?”

You have to be organized, proactive, and well-mannered to be a consultant. Before launching your website and start working with your clients, be honest about your ability to meet these demands. You might go for the perfect niche but meeting the deadlines might be tough. If you find that it gets hard to be on time or manage a billing cycle, then you might not be ready to be a consultant although consultant salary in 2018 can help you to live a comfortable life.

Set goals

When you have goals, it gives you a clear path on what you are working towards. Do you want it to be a part-time or full-time business? When do you want to hire employees? Do you want to focus on weekends or night time for your consultancy? Answer these questions to plan well.

Once your goals are identified, narrow your focus to the immediate needs. You can use SMART to do this:

 

  • Specific: expound on the details on what you want to accomplish.
  • Measurable: track your progress by setting targets and milestones.
  • Attainable: have realistic and manageable goals.
  • Relevant: have goals that compliment your business.
  • Time: set deadlines for your goals.

 

Develop a website

You cannot get by without a website. In a report by the Local Search Association, it was discovered that 63% of consumers identify businesses through a site, and 30% of the same consumers cannot do business with a company that does not have a website.

Now, if you have a website, you have more authority in your local rankings, thanks to Google. When your business is optimized with backlinks, views, and domain authority, it encourages Google to place your website in searches related to your web content.

If you are not familiar with the world of website creation, then services like Squarespace and WordPress will help you to build a website.

Get a certification

Depending on your area of expertise, are there certifications that can give you an edge? As you start planning on branching out on this venture, look for certifications that are important in your industry and invest time and money in expanding your knowledge about that industry.

As a consultant, it is vital to remain competitive and updated in your field of focus, and certifications can demonstrate that really well.

Network

Referrals are an essential way to start off your business, but they are not enough. Since you cannot operate like a large company that has a marketing team, you are the one who has to sell your services.

Join a network like Facebook groups and LinkedIn; share some blog posts highlighting your expertise, and go for conferences and meetups in your locality. Engage more with people who fit your offering. Before you go for these meetups and conferences, prepare a well-polished pitch and sell yourself at every opportunity.

Author Bio: Adrian Rubin is a graphic designer, freelance writer, and freelance consultant.

 

Comments

What Next?

Recent Articles