Consulting Survival Guide by Jacob Morgan

Consulting Survival Guide

 

 

 


We have a little treat for y’all today, Jacob Morgan from J Morgan Marketing is doing a guest post! I’m handing over the controls of the good ship Shuaism, so sit back and enjoy this great post.

As a technical SEO and Social Media Marketing consultant I have had my fair share of challenges and successes. One of the things I love the most about consulting is my freedom. I have worked for other people before and I wasn’t to keen on it. I became a consultant so that I could act on my ideas and create my own strategies, from anywhere in the world. That being said it isn’t easy to be a consultant, you are 100% responsible for generating business for yourself and you are 100% responsible for making sure the client is satisfied. Ultimately, your success or failure depends on nobody but you. I have put together a few tips for succeeding as a consultant:

  • Become a master networker. Consultants usually get a lot of business through contacts and connections. Make sure you are active online AND offline. This means going to conferences, tweetups, parties, etc.

  • Don’t be scared to reach out to your contacts. I know a lot of people with great connections, but they never use them. If you build relationships make sure you engage with them.

  • Over deliver to your clients. If you tell a client you are going to work 30 hours on a project work 35-40, show them you are worth their time and money.

  • Avoid fluff and jargon. Clients want results and actionable insight not fancy diagrams or pictures that show what you can do. I have won a lot of business from clients (against some large agencies) because I take the time to show them data and information from the very first phone call; large agencies opt for the “this is our methodology and this is what we can do” approach.

  • Ask your clients for introductions or referrals to their contacts.

  • Make use of the various social media tools out there to build relationships and look for clients. Use twitter search to see who is looking for help in your respective field, search for related jobs on linkedin, check out potential jobs on craigslist and don’t forget to put up a posting!

  • Check in with your clients frequently but don’t overwhelm them, you have to understand how fast or slow your clients can implement/work and move at their pace. You can send friendly casual emails once a week or bi-weekly to check in and see if the client needs any help, be proactive.

  • Try to be flexible on billing. Offer hourly, project, or monthly billing options. It’s usually a lot easier for you to make changes then it is for a client, so try to accommodate whenever possible.

  • Be flexible and deliver value but don’t ever let a client take advantage of you. Be firm and stand your ground when you have to. Yes, there is such a thing as a bad client, and yes you will eventually get one.

  • Don’t ever get discouraged. You will start off slow but if you work hard and create a reputation for yourself then things will pick up. Perhaps you want to start consulting with one client while you still have your day job, then you can fully transition as things pick up. Remember, if you are able to cover your expenses in the beginning, then you are already doing a good job.

  • Always look for partnership and collaboration opportunities with companies, agencies, or other consultants, relationships are a consultant’s best weapon!

  • Make yourself easy to find and easy to get ahold of. You can be the best consultant in the world but if people don’t know you exist then you won’t get any business. Use SEO to rank for your name or a keyword and use social media to build up an online presence for yourself.

What other tips or strategies would you recommend for new or existing consultants? What have you done that has helped you succeed?

Jacob is a social media and SEO strategist in San Francisco. Jacob is the founder of a company in the social media space and has worked with small, medium, and large clients on creating SEO and social media strategies. Jacob is always looking to meet and connect with new people so say hello!

 

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photo by pareeerica

 

  • http://www.jmorganmarketing.com jacob morgan

    thanks for the opportunity josh, hope your readers will find the information valuable! there are just so many tips to give…

    Jacob

  • http://www.TheVCF.com The Virtual Consulting Firm

    Great Article, Jacob! :)

    These are all Excellent Tips for the (Virtual) Consultant starting out! :)

    Please let us also Recommend that new (Virtual) Consultants Join and work with a Virtual Consulting Firm, as this provides them with an established client base, Team of other Virtual Consultants, etc. to help both promote and sell their services but also to provide a broad base of additional skills which the new Consultant can leverage on their client projects! :) you know?

    We hope this all helps!

    Thank you again for the Excellent Article Jacob and All Have a Great Day! :)

    – The Virutal Consulting Firm

  • http://shuaism.com Josh Peters

    You’re welcome Jacob and thanks so much for the post, the advice is absolutely awesome and I appreciate you taking the time to write it.

  • http://craigslistproxy.tumblr.com/ Craigslist Proxy

    Very interesting. Never ceases to amaze me what you find online or happening on the net these days.

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    Craigslist in the headlines again…

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