As a career consultant I've worked with many clients who wanted to start their own business even if it was teaching people how to create great pieces of art .
I've seen an interesting trend over the past 30 years. More and more people are not content with working outside the home. There are several reasons for this. One of them is the commute and the fact that it's getting more and more hectic on the roads. By the time you get home from work you are frazzled and exhausted. Next, you tally the hours you are spending away from your family and it doesn't seem like it's worth it.
It's like you are running a marathon.
On top of that there appears to be a lack of appreciation on the part of employers.
The good news is more and more companies are allowing their employees to work remotely. This is a topic we will dive into in other posts.
For now we are going to talk about the growing number of freelancers who chose to work remotely from their home. These freelancers can work with people from all over the world offering a variety of services.
Offering your services as a freelancer gives you the option of choosing when, where and with whom you will work.
Whether you’re just starting out in the freelance world or you’ve been at it for quite a long time, there’s one question to ask yourself that many people neglect to think about. Are you a freelancer or a consultant?
What’s the Difference?
A freelancer is a person who works on a project by project basis. They’re assigned a task to complete, they complete it and they get paid. They may have one or two primary clients or they may have dozens. A freelancer can also work for an individual or a business.
A consultant on the other hand is a person that a business or individual turns to for advice, expertise and help. They also are assigned a task and paid to complete it. However they’re given wiggle room within the project to use their skills and experience to help the client achieve their objectives.
For example, a freelance copywriter may write the copy exactly as a client has dictated. This includes the exact format, benefits and even call to action.
A consultant, on the other hand, will be asked what approach they recommend to sell a product or service. The client will trust them to make the best decisions for their sales copy.
Why Does It Matter?
There are benefits to being a freelancer only. For one, there are no heightened expectations. You’re not expected to be an expert in your industry. You’re just expected to complete a task. Freelancers don’t have the added stress of helping a client thrive and grow.
However, consultants benefit for a number of other reasons. They’re able to charge a lot more because of their expertise. Their clients are also often loyal and come back for their expert help time and time again. This means consultants may spend less of their time actually seeking clients and more time making money.
Which Is the Right Approach for You?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. Each and every freelancer has their own reasons for being a freelance professional. They have their own goals and agenda. If you want to simply work part time and make some extra money, then maybe the idea of positioning yourself as a consultant just doesn’t make sense.
However, for those freelancers who are looking to build a solid full-time business, it makes sense to position yourself as a consultant.
How Do You Position Yourself as a Consultant?
One fantastic way is simply to publish, a lot. Become a guest blogger. Publish articles on your website and other websites. Write reports and ebooks and give them away. Publication helps establish authority and credibility. Also, participate in social networking sites and offer advice to those who need your help.
Finally, you can position yourself as an expert by simply offering advice and experience to your current clients when it’s appropriate. If you’re looking to grow your business and make more money, consider adding “consultant” to your list of services and watch your business boom.
Toni Nelson is a Career Consultant, and Author or Sexy, Savvy and Successful: A Woman's Guide On How to Start a Business, Gain Financial Freedom and Buy More Shoes! and The Secret Equation To Attracting More Clients. Toni is also an Award-Winning Photographer/Videographer