Do you have a skill you specialize in that is in high demand? Are you planning on teaching that skill to others? If you have then you are probably on your way to becoming an independent consultant.
There is nothing like being able to get out from underneath an employer and work for yourself. The ability to set your own schedule, go to lunch whenever you want, travel on your own time and, heck, maybe even work at home in your underwear from time to time (if you are into that kind of thing) is highly coveted. Yes, there is nothing like the freedom of being self employed and building your own business and brand. However, before you step into such a huge yet exciting adventure you must self evaluate. There is one aspect of business that separates the professionals from the amateurs, and those who are serious about their craft from those who have merely picked up a hobby. You would not be reading this article if you just wanted to take the amateur's way out, so let's dive in and take a look at this one aspect that all of the professionals seem to know.
Now that you have come up with your
business idea and are ready to manifest it you must keep in mind one thing: You are the walking representation of your business and brand. This means that you are your own billboard, and wherever you go you carry your business with you. As a consultant, your business is more than just an idea with a logo slapped on it- it is You in every sense of the word. When companies hire you to provide them with your consulting services they are not necessarily hiring your knowledge they are hiring you! Your personality, your drive, your spirit, your way of explaining things, your positivity etc. is what makes up you and that is what people want. Companies could very easily go to the internet and type in any question and get an immediate answer. However, you have a gift for helping people understand the importance of whatever it is you are offering to them. There is no one else that can do what you do quite like you. Therefore, you must give people what they want when they hire you. Give them the best you that you can be.
Now, I can tell that you are letting the first part sink in because you are continuing to read this. The second part of this business transformation is looking the part.
Everyone has witnessed the salesperson standing outside in a chicken suit (or some other mascot) trying to point people in the direction of the fried chicken restaurant off to the side of the road. You think to yourself, "Man, that person must be really hot in that suit." Then, you start thinking about chicken and how good it tastes. As silly as it may be, that restaurant got you to think about their products because of their display. As a consultant, you are the 3D model for your business. You are your own mascot. No, I am not saying that you need to wear an animal suit, but what I am saying is that when you are living what you are preaching and teaching to others you will begin to look the part.
For example, if you are a health and wellness consultant then you will look healthy, if you are a financial consultant then you would not be walking around in rags or swimming in debt, if you are a social media consultant then you would be well known on the popular social media outlets and have many followers. The point is that you are the expert in your field and people can see that what you say is actually working because you are the living proof!
When people look up information on the internet - like how to build a successful business or how to lose 10 pounds in one month - they tend to think that it is all hype because they have no visual of a person walking it out right before their eyes. They see words but no action. With you being a consultant, you are your biggest billboard. You are the big sign out in front that reads, "HEY, come to me for expert advice!" So, you look like, and live, what you are selling to others. You have to lead by example.
When you can grasp this important aspect of independent consulting then I can guarantee you people will notice because they are always watching. Once they see you thriving they will eventually ask you how you reached your success, and then you are well on your way to gaining your fist client base.
There is so much freedom in being self employed and it can be such an exciting adventure. However, before you embark on this exciting journey you must grasp the concept that you are your own billboard, and companies that hire you are not just hiring your knowledge, rather, they are hiring the complete package - YOU. Just remember, you are the expert in your field and no one else can do your job quite like you. Realizing this truth will help transform your mind from one of an amateur to one of a professional.