Looking to become a freelance business consultant? This can be a profitable and enjoyable undertaking if you’ve got the career experience to support it. If you’re ready to fly solo, there are some steps you should go through from the outset to increase your success.
Here are 6 steps you can take today to become a leading freelance business consultant and build your dream career.
Step 1: Position Yourself as a Niche Expert
Positioning yourself as a niche expert makes generating clients as a freelance business consultant much more manageable. Although many new freelancers think that niching down closes the doors to potential business, in reality, it’s the opposite.
Niching down provides these top two benefits:
- Increased rates. If you’re an expert, prospects are more confident paying you the big bucks.
- Decreased competition. The more targeted your niche, the fewer fellow freelance business consultants you’re “competing” against.
Not all niches are areas where you can make money. Importantly, when picking a niche, choose one that’s growing and is profitable. Examples of growing niches include fintech, cryptocurrency, health tech, and renewable energy.
For inspiration selecting your niche, consider your career thus far. What parts of your job do you enjoy, and which companies do you like working with? Examples of excellent (and specific) niches include:
- Digital marketer for B2C fintech companies
- SEO blogger for D2C SMB health tech companies
- Technical writer for B2B cryptocurrency startups
Especially for a freelance business consultant, you need to have excellent expertise in your niche. Pick one you are familiar with inside and out.
Need more help? Read our comprehensive guide on positioning yourself as a niche expert.
Step 2: Determine Your Rates
There are a few different factors that go into selecting your freelance business consultant rates.
First, you can choose between the following structures:
- Per hour
- Per project
We strongly recommend retainer pricing. While per hour and project pricing is fixed, retainers are recurring -- typically monthly -- and allow freelance business consultants to build a reliable income based on the number of clients on your docket.
Precisely what you charge for your pricing structure depends on expertise, years of experience, and demand in your niche. Consult other freelance business consultants in your area of expertise for advice, perhaps even previous coworkers.
Step 3: Write an Effective Business Plan
As a freelance business consultant, wouldn’t you recommend any company you work for create an ironclad business plan? As a business owner yourself, it’s essential you follow your advice.
Start taking notes on the following questions:
- What is my USP (unique selling point)?
- Who’s my target audience? Perhaps even create some customer profiles and get specific, from age to education to geographic location.
- Who are my competitors? How do I stand out?
- What pain point am I solving for my customers?
- How will I conduct marketing efforts? (Here’s why we believe you need social media)
- What’s my ideal income level? How will I get there?
Detailing a business plan now allows you to measure out goals and keep yourself accountable. If you’re serious about being a freelance business consultant, don’t neglect this step.
Step 4: Start Networking
Remember LinkedIn? Whether you use it regularly or haven’t touched it in years, it’s time to dig up your password.
Update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your freelance business consultant services so potential clients can find you. Use keywords pertaining to your niche to attract prospects searching for an expert such as you.
Tap into your network, whether personal or LinkedIn, and begin talking with previous coworkers or anyone else who may need your services. You should even speak with people who show no apparent need for what you offer because perhaps they know someone who does. Set a goal for the number of people you’ll network with each week (say, 3-5?).
As a career professional, the network of professionals you built along the way will be helpful right now. The people who’ve worked with you before and trust you are more likely to give you a chance when you’re first starting as a freelancer.
Step 5: Build a Website
Potential clients need an idea of what it’s like to work with you, and LinkedIn alone is insufficient. Your website should include previous work experience (to highlight your niche expertise), testimonials from those who’ve worked with you, and a comprehensive portfolio with business results.
Since you’re positioning yourself as a freelance business consultant, the results you’ve generated in the past are significant, as clients will hire you to provide similar results for their organization.
Building a website from scratch is notoriously tricky, but it’s essential for your freelance business consulting services. Mylance simplifies website building and creates a site for you in a few minutes. We’ll help you generate business through your online presence. Learn more today!
Step 6: Stay on Top of Administrative Details
Being a business owner means there are administrative details that need handling. While many new freelance business consultants make the mistake of letting these fall by the wayside, it can cause problems down the road and slow your growth.
Here are some administrative details to stay on top of:
- Accounting software
- Project management
- Answering email
You can choose to hire these admin activities out or do them yourself. When you’re first starting, it may be appropriate to tackle all this on your own, but remember that there will come a time where you should pass it off to someone else.
Another note: make sure you separate personal finances from business finances. Use separate bank accounts and credit cards, and do so from the beginning.
That’s All For Now!
These 6 steps on becoming a freelance business consultant should give you the tools you need to launch your freelancing career. This is an exciting time, and we wish you the best of luck!
Every Mylance team member has done consulting. We're experts, and we've seen what consulting enables: more time with our families, traveling the world, more time on passion projects, or to start that business we've been dreaming about.