Successful Independent Consulting

How and When to Raise Your Consulting Rate

Successful Independent Consulting

The easiest time to raise your rate is on the cusp of something new — a new year, a new project, a new client. With the new year just a few weeks away, now might be the time. This article offers ideas of how to do this, as well as some sample language to use when notifying your clients.

If You're a SME Make Extra Money with GLG

Successful Independent Consulting

Most self-employed consultants I know have deep expertise in a certain function or industry, and nearly everyone would like to earn some extra money. If this describes you, check out what I recently discovered.

Talent 286

Consultants: Is Your Email Signature Helping You Stand Out from the Crowd?

Successful Independent Consulting

As an independent consultant, it’s vital that you convey professionalism at every step if you want to get hired at a great rate. Details matter, particularly when you’re making an initial impression.

Negotiation Tips for Independent Consultants

Successful Independent Consulting

Negotiating is typically hard for everyone, but it’s especially tough for consultants. It’s our nature to make the client happy, so negotiating for a higher rate feels awkward.

The Surprising Effects of Business Vs. Leisure Travel

*Already submitted with the first entry, please contact me if you would like me to write up again.

Be a Pro: Eliminate the Gray Square on Your LinkedIn Profile!

Successful Independent Consulting

As an independent consultant running your own business, good marketing is critical. No one is going to hire an unpolished freelancer to help solve their business problem, especially if they’re going to spend tens of thousands of dollars. Clearly, a professional image is vital.

What To Do If Your Client Doesn't Pay

Successful Independent Consulting

It was bound to happen. After 15 years and hundreds of contracts, I finally had a client that didn’t pay, and didn’t pay, and didn’t pay. For six months there was one lame update after another. “We’re We’re working on it,” or “We’ve switched to a new process.”

Why Friends Don't Let Friends W-2

Successful Independent Consulting

"As an independent consultant, does it matter how I get paid?” Absolutely! In the U.S., being paid on a 1099 tax basis as a business instead of on a W-2 tax basis like a temp worker makes a huge difference to your profitability for two key reasons: You pay less tax. You save more for retirement.

Agile 295

Why and How Personal Branding is Vital for Independent Consultants

Successful Independent Consulting

Everyone in business recognizes strong brands and understands their importance. Coca-Cola. Apple. These brands represent certain values. Their branding helps drive sales by keeping their products or services fresh in the consumer’s mind. Independent consultants need to think the same way.

Is It Time to Consider a Fixed Fee for Your Consulting Services?

Successful Independent Consulting

Generally, the more experience you have as an independent consultant, the more likely you should move from billing by the hour to a fixed fee. At some point you’ll master your specialty and work much more efficiently than others.

The Definitive Guide to Becoming a High-Growth Company

Why do some companies grow at a double-digit pace every year, while others experience nominal (or even flat) growth year over year? Discover the common attributes that your High-Growth Clients have in common as they outperform their competition in top-line growth!

Shift Your Perspective to Make Business Development Easier

Successful Independent Consulting

Most consultants I know struggle with business development, and it’s a top concern among those thinking about going independent. “ I don’t know how to build a pipeline of leads ” or “ I’m not good at sales ” are common refrains.

Quote Your Consulting Billing Rate with Confidence

Successful Independent Consulting

ID 46944176 © Dundja | Dreamstime. It takes practice to quote your consulting billing rate with confidence. The tactics in this article will help if you bill by the hour or by the day. There are other ways to bill for your talent and expertise but those will be covered in another article.

How to Figure Out Your Consulting Bill Rate

Successful Independent Consulting

Dear Liz, I have a quick question. I know a consultant who is going to do some work designing a company’s program for high-potential employees. The consultant has talent but not much experience. What hourly rate would you consider low, fair, too high? Can you ballpark this for me?

How To 238

How Tax Reform Affects Independent Consultants

Successful Independent Consulting

Adobe Stock photo #182517755 by nerthuz. Everyone has questions about the sweeping tax reform that became law at the end of last year.

Assessing the Five Styles of Enterprise Business Intelligence

The world of BI and analytics has evolved. Discover the five styles of reporting and analysis, and learn the pros and cons of each in an enterprise scenario.

How Diligent Biz Dev Led to a Six-Figure Consulting Project

Successful Independent Consulting

“ Home Run - Nationals Park ” © Gareth Milner, Creative Commons license. Recently I helped a consultant land a $420,000 consulting contract. That’s not a typo. It’s an 11-month project for one consultant: $320k in consulting fees and another $100k for travel expenses.

Take Steps Now to Protect Your Independent Status!

Successful Independent Consulting

Recent court ruling likely to impact independent consultants in the U.S. This article was written by Henry Telfeian, a labor relations and employment attorney as well as the general counsel for the Professional Independent Consultants of America, Inc. PICA Inc.).

How I Became a Millionaire as an Independent Consultant

Successful Independent Consulting

Recently I logged into my retirement accounts and was surprised (and pleased!) to see that I had crossed the million-dollar mark. I don’t consider myself rich. In fact, money is usually tight at the end of the month. Yet my bank account says I’m a millionaire. How did I do this?

Consulting's Secret Club

Successful Independent Consulting

· ID 70396708 © Anastasiia Bobko | Dreamstime.com. Last August I wrote a blog post about how labels matter , specifically that you should make more money by calling yourself a consultant instead of a contractor. But it’s not just about labels and language.

Two Reflection Exercises to Help You Work Smarter

Successful Independent Consulting

Everyone wants to work smarter, but when you’re self-employed finding time to work on your business, not just in it, is hard. You’re already so busy doing client work, where’s the time to make improvement? It’s even harder to step back and evaluate what you’re doing, not just how you’re doing it.

For Independent Consultants, Business Development = Relationship Development

Successful Independent Consulting

The biggest stressor for self-employed management consultants is business development: how to cultivate meaningful regular work. It’s vexing for a variety of reasons. First, consultants are good at helping clients solve problems but usually aren’t trained in sales or marketing.

20 Qualities of a Consulting Rock Star

Successful Independent Consulting

Photo © Vectomart via Dreamstime.com. As we close out the year, I’m reprising one of my most commented on LinkedIn articles. First published January 12, 2015, it’s just as relevant today as it was then.

Self-Employed? Prep for Tax Season to Save Big

Successful Independent Consulting

Tax season is probably the most important time for independent consultants to think like business owners. This especially means being smart about how we handle our money. Our motivation is simple: pay as little tax as possible, ideally without triggering an audit.

See Something, Say Something: 3 Three-Word Tips

Successful Independent Consulting

ID 52796707 © Cacaroot | Dreamstime. As consultants, it’s our job to help our clients solve problems and operate at their best. Sometimes this is easy, particularly when the needed correction is related to a process or operational improvement.

Using Online Platforms to Boost Your Billings

Successful Independent Consulting

Photo ID 40184079 © Ratz Attila. Independent consultants face the constant challenge of finding their next project. My last article discussed working with consulting agencies to supplement your business development efforts.

Supplementing Your Pipeline with Consulting Agencies

Successful Independent Consulting

Photo: ID 76303802 © Leowolfert | Dreamstime. Perhaps the hardest thing for an independent consultant is not knowing where your next project is coming from, or when.

Contractor, Consultant, or Both: It Matters!

Successful Independent Consulting

With the rise of the free agent nation and gig economy , there’s rampant confusion around the terms contractor, consultant, and independent contractor. If you are a self-employed consultant, you don’t want to be a contractor but do want to be an independent contractor. This article explains why.

Use Work Samples to Seal the Deal

Successful Independent Consulting

Let’s face it, consulting often gets a bad rap. It’s perceived as nebulous, too theoretical, too touchy-feely. Plus, it's expensive. To combat this bias, use work samples and deliverables to show prospective clients how you do what you do. Demystify your process.

10 Minutes and $20 to Fine-Tune Your Image

Successful Independent Consulting

Consulting is a people business. Clients hire people who are smart, proficient, affable, and trustworthy. You probably perceive yourself this way, but do others? When people see your LinkedIn photo, what do they think of you?

Study 195

Setting Up a Foundation for Consulting Success

Successful Independent Consulting

This article covers two sides of the same coin for independent consultants: how to set up your business for success and what expenses to track to pay less tax. They're interrelated. Let’s tackle the tax question first. What do I need to keep track of so I pay less tax?

Consulting and Coaching: Be Wary of Mixing the Two

Successful Independent Consulting

If you describe yourself as both a consultant and coach, this article is for you. There’s a lot of grey area and overlap between the two. Many self-employed professionals go to market as both.

Part 3: Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile with Skills, Endorsements & Accomplishments

Successful Independent Consulting

This is the third and final part in a series of articles. You can download the entire series as a reference guide here. Most independent consultants have no budget for marketing or advertising, yet they all wish they had a bigger client list.

Part 2: Telling Your Story to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Successful Independent Consulting

This is the second in a series of three articles. You can download the entire series as a reference guide here. With over 133 million users in the U.S. and another 334 million around the world, LinkedIn has become an indispensable tool and reference.

Part 1: How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Independent Consulting

Successful Independent Consulting

This is the first in a series of three articles about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile. You can download the entire series as a reference guide here.

How To 195

Do Independent Consultants Still Need Résumés?

Successful Independent Consulting

With LinkedIn and personal websites widely used to promote careers, the idea of independent management consultants having a printable résumé may seem old-fashioned. However, in most cases it’s still necessary.

Your Consulting Niche vs Jack-of-All-Trades Myth

Successful Independent Consulting

Many people who embark on the independent professional path think they should define their services broadly so they will look like a good fit for many projects. The exact opposite is true.