Independent consulting is big business, and there are more freelancers than ever. With so many qualified people looking for consulting gigs, it’s important to stand out. Learn how your brand can position you to win more business. Plus, hear the hidden risks of not investing in your brand.
- In the world of independent consulting, everyone is talking about building your brand. Why build a consulting brand? Well, independent consulting is big business and there are more freelancers than ever. According to a recent study by Nation1099, between eight and 15% of all workers in the U.S. and Europe are full-time independent freelancers, and professionals who are fit for senior roles are driving the growth of freelancing. With so many qualified people looking for consulting gigs, it's important to stand out from the crowd, and having a strong and unique brand can do that.
A brand can make your phone ring with prospective clients who already understand the value you can provide. A brand can get you invited to conversations with the thought leaders in your industry or profession. And a brand can give you a way to package your expertise and potentially sell your business when you're ready to move one. Of course, you don't have to invest in a brand to be a successful independent services provider. One of my closest friends is a product management consultant. She's worked with dozens of companies at the highest levels and she doesn't even have business cards.
She relies on her personal brand and uses word of mouth and her network to find each new client. She hasn't invested in a consulting brand. What does that cost her? She's not seen as a thought leader and isn't invited to share her expertise with others or to participate in the higher-level discussion in her profession. And each time she finishes an engagement, she has to scramble for the next client. And I think she's probably leaving money on the table because she's still a best-kept secret and not a known leader in her field.
Building and maintaining a brand requires an investment of time, energy, and money, but it can pay off in terms of the kind of work you get to do, the conversations you get to have, and the way you are compensated.
- Defining your positioning and messaging
- Choosing channels
- Nurturing your network
- Becoming a thought leader and content machine
- Making brand-building a habit