If you’re looking to get into the world of consulting, you’ve come to the right field.
Granted you have the knowledge and know-how, consulting is a fantastic gig with a massive upside in terms of earning potential. Consider the big benefits of being a consultant such as…
- Low overhead: beyond a marketing presence and the ability to get in touch with clients at a moment’s notice, there’s no need for a physical location for your firm
- Honing your communication skills: there’s perhaps no better way to become a master communicator than through consulting
- Less legwork in the long-run: ultimately, selling your knowledge means spending less time in the trenches getting your hands dirty, right?
However, being a consultant isn’t all fun and games. Between cutthroat competition and the fact that there’s a lot that can go wrong for newbies, it pays to have some financial tricks in your back pocket to make sure that you stay afloat.
But what investments and corners can you cut to kickstart your consulting empire?
Prevent Unnecessary Legal Fees
Consider first and foremost that you actually have to have the chops and know-how to produce results for your clients. Failure to do so not only labels you as a poor consultant, but could also land you in potential legal hot water. That’s why it’s so important for new consultants to invest in business consultant insurance regardless of how confident they feel in their abilities.
Remember: you’re not going to hit the target 100% of the time with your clients. Furthermore, your clients aren’t always going to adhere to your advice. When it doubt, it always pays to have an extra layer of protection between you and your clients in case of a what-if scenario. Insurance is a worthwhile financial investment, especially for newbie consultants.
Use Your Network and Referrals
Although this might seem like a no-brainer, it’s crucial for consultants to take advantage of their existing networks while hunting for consulting clients. From prior bosses to former colleagues in your space, make sure to take advantage of each of the following:
- Your face-to-face network: if you have real-life relationships with people in your industry, leverage those first
- Social networking: especially through platforms and LinkedIn, you can find old and new blood alike to help bolster your business
- Email networking: as a last resort, you can always take advantage of your digital address book to see if there’s anyone interested in your services
Snag Some Social Proof
On a similar note, there’s perhaps no better way to market your business than through real results from past clients and colleagues. For example, if you’ve produced major results in terms of business, cashflow or traffic for a previous client, be prepared to use such results as a cornerstone of your marketing strategy. Social proof can help seal the deal versus your competition who haven’t produced any results for their clients yet.
Whether in the form of written reviews and testimonials to visuals of your positive returns (think: graphs and hard numbers), don’t be afraid to tout your past success.
Cast a Wider Net
One of the biggest mistakes many new consultants make is splashing cash in pursuit of clients. The fact remains that attracting consistent clients is the easiest way to grow your business and it’s ultimately more cost-effective as well.
From forming relationships with others in your space to having a consistent blog and social presence, positioning yourself a major player in your industry will ultimately pay dividends as clients come to you. While you may need to spend some cash on social or email marketing down the line, organically attracting clients represents a cost-effective alternative to throwing digital dollars at a dartboard.
Consulting is a brilliant long-term business for those with serious know-how. With these tips in mind, you can grow your company sooner rather than later.