Many of you who clicked on to this, would have done so with the aspiration of striking gold. You have taken the right decision in that case. The good news is that starting a consulting business with no experience can be done. However, knowing the right things to do, makes all the difference between those soaring the skies and those who crash and burn. Simply put, if you have a workstation with a computer, phone, and a stable internet connection then, you are sorted. What is not easy is to sustain a profitable business management consultant service.
What you need to sustain yourself is the relevant experience and expertise in the area of specialization. If someone is providing digital marketing consulting services, then having no experience in the field of digital marketing would be comparable to an elephant advising on how to fly. Having a solid foundation will help you ease into the consulting domain. Understand this: Consulting is only an add-on to your existing skillset or experience. If you know the subject, then consulting comes as a product of that understanding – not before it.
Getting The Right Mindset
Consulting is like any business. If you are consulting solo, then you are essentially a business owner. The troubles of owning a business would be the same that you will have to experience when you run professional consulting services.
What You Are Getting By Becoming An Independent Consultant
- The freedom to work from anywhere in the world, and be incredibly flexible.
- Unlimited earning potential
- Ability to partner with just about any company in the industry of your choice.
With all that being said, it is a grind that you should be willing to put yourself through. For many, it is working from 9 to 5 and then coming home, forgetting about work. Running your own business will take more of your mind, but is fulfilling because all of the work that you are putting in, is directly translated to getting your life better in every way.
If you are determined to succeed, then read ahead.
Choosing Your Industry Niche
Choose a consulting role in a field that you have relevant experience in – a point of least resistance if I may say. Your life will be easier if you do something you know and expand on those learnings even more. Why? Remember, a consultant isn’t someone who gets a ‘work’ done. A consultant provides recommendations and expert advice on how to do something better – this can only stem from prior knowledge or experience that you can leverage. Even if you have zero experience, the mission isn’t impossible. Read plenty and learn the tricks of the trade. Keep in mind that you need to apply what you have learned and get your hands dirty! So, what after you have understood the ins and outs of what you want to consult on? Time to market yourself!
Marketing Avenues: Reaching Out To Your Target Customers
It doesn’t mean that you need to put in a 5 or 6-figure marketing budget, but to understand that you need to adopt a mindset on investing in your business that will pay rich dividends later on. You need to get into the mind of your clients. Your target group might be at LinkedIn or they may be on Facebook or Instagram. You may need to advertise display ads on business sites and forums that are relevant to the field that you are consulting in. You may need to design the ad in such a way to grab attention and stand out in the crowd. A combination of search engine marketing and optimization, display advertising, social media advertising, and email advertising, would be ideal. Getting in front of people requires time and money; sometimes both!
Finding Consulting Clients
Networking and having connections in the industry helps. This doesn’t mean that you need to be golfing buddies with the head honchos but it means that you know people here and there. The potential clients could be their family friends too. Learn to network and build personal relationships; this will turn your potential buyers into new clients. When you get in touch with them, set an appointment where you can talk or present what you can do for them; make them an offer they can’t refuse, and simply rinse and repeat.
Treat Your Clients Right
Keep your clientele happy. When they ask to set an appointment, don’t show up late. When they request for ongoing progress, let them see what it is that you are doing. Your clients are the lifeline of your business. The minute they feel that they are not having fun and feel your work ethic is hollow, the word will eventually get around. It will come back to haunt you.
Make sure your clients stay clients – not for weeks or months, but years!