The consulting niche is one of the most lucrative industries in the country. The latest estimates reveal that management consulting alone is worth $250 billion per year, with the number being higher when other forms of consulting are taken into account.
If you think consulting is your calling, I’m going to show you how to go about starting your very own successful consultant business.
The answer to what consulting is relates to being an authority on your chosen subject. It’s about your reputation and how you can leverage that reputation to get people to pay you for your time and expertise.
That’s why you need to be an authority on your subject. In the beginning it may mean helping some people for free or writing authoritative guides on your specific industry, but those seeds will be the beginning of your business.
Once people know that your advice is solid, whether it be career advice or personal advice, you’ll find it easier to get recommendations and have the solid foundation for starting your official business.
LinkedIn is your number one social media platform to go to when you are first building your business. Concentrate on building up solid recommendations and connections on this site vs advertising. The demographics of LinkedIn tell you everything you need to know. 49% of the social media network consists of college graduates, with most of them being high earners.
It’s estimated that 45% of this group have incomes of at least $75,000 per year. These are the people that you want to connect with!
Look at the top consultants in the business and you will see that they’re extremely specific. For example, Brian Dean is an SEO consultant and he focuses on the technical aspects of it. Look at his website and you’ll see that he focuses heavily on data and it’s what he has become known for.
For this reason, he has become the ‘go to’ guy for technical SEO.
Be specific in what you specialize in to increase your chances of getting great clients.
You need to have a central platform. Your website is perhaps the best marketing tool you have at your disposal. Make it as professional as possible with a custom design.
The most important aspect of any website is its own domain. If you use a free domain, your credibility drops in the eyes of your target audience.
With how cheap domains can be, there’s really no excuse.
This doesn’t mean you should undersell yourself. Likewise, it also doesn’t mean you should promise your clients the world. If an SEO consultant is promising the top spot in Google for a highly competitive keyword, it will come across as them being shady.
Being realistic about what you can do for that person is the message to takeaway here.
It goes without saying that you should treat your business seriously. That means be professional at all times, as you would in any corporate job.
Go the extra mile for your clients and keep them coming back for more. If you’re here because you think you can charge $100 an hour for giving your opinion you’re in the wrong business.
The reality is that not every client is going to be perfect for you. Don’t take the money just because you think you can wing it. As a consultant you live and die on your reputation.
You’ll suffer far more because you took that client you really should have turned down than the momentary rush of getting another payday.
Despite the increasing number of consultants, you can go into business for yourself and make a good living from consulting. But it requires you to take it seriously and to position yourself correctly in the market.
The number one rule of consulting is to make sure that you have a stellar reputation as an expert in your industry. With how quickly news spreads online, one bad experience could completely derail your brand.
Do you have what it takes to be a consultant?