Successful Independent Consulting

Now is the Best Time to Raise Your Billing Rate

Successful Independent Consulting

Photo 50727473 / Piggy Bank © David Franklin | Dreamstime.com. 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 around the corner, now is an excellent time to inform your clients.

Ten Factors to Consider Before Jumping into Independent Consulting

Successful Independent Consulting

Being a self-employed consultant or “solopreneur” isn’t for everyone. Sure, it sounds fabulous – be selective about which jobs you take, have a flexible schedule, escape office politics, make really good money – but it definitely has some drawbacks.

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Boost Your Professionalism with a Business Logo

Successful Independent Consulting

Photo: Getty Images. As a an independent consultant you probably set your own rates. The more professional you are, the more likely you’ll be able to charge more for your expertise and services. Having a logo for your business will help you look like “the real deal” so why not get one?

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Why Your Prospect Pipeline Dries Up

Successful Independent Consulting

The most successful independent consultants find their own work by building a pipeline of leads through their own outreach efforts. Using a customer relationship management tool (CRM) can make this so much easier.

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A Recruiter’s Guide To Hiring In 2021

With vaccination rates rising, consumers spending more money, and people returning to offices, the job market is going through a period of unprecedented adjustment. As the New York Times observed, “It’s a weird moment for the American economy.” And recruiting professionals are caught in the middle. To make the most of this disruption, you need to understand the economic drivers, develop a strong strategy for unearthing valuable talent, and use the latest tech tools to get the job done. Read this guide to get your recruiting practice ready to thrive in the new normal.

How to Be an Effective Consultant on Virtual Projects

Successful Independent Consulting

Photo by Euan Cameron on Unsplash. As independent consultants, we’ve all worked remotely to some extent but now we are working virtually 100%. And likely, this isn’t temporary. Many companies are already saying they won’t require every employee to return to the workplace this calendar year.

Business Development and Networking During a Pandemic Lockdown

Successful Independent Consulting

The #1 FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) among independent consultants involves business development. Will I be able to find enough work? How can I develop a steady pipeline of leads? I don’t know how to do sales!

Supplement Your Consulting Pipeline by Subcontracting

Successful Independent Consulting

Most independent consultants have some FUD (fear, uncertainty, or doubt) when it comes to finding work. Even if you’ve been self-employed for years, dry spells between projects can still happen, and if you’re just starting out it’s especially difficult to find your own work.

Now Is the Perfect Time to Raise Your Consulting Billing 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 around the corner, now is an excellent time to inform your clients. This article offers ideas of how to do this, as well as some sample language to use.

Cash Flow Relief for Independent Consultants: the CARES Act & Other Ideas

Successful Independent Consulting

We’re in an unprecedented situation because of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and the economic fallout has been drastic for many business sectors, such as travel and restaurants. For us as consultants, the effects are likely to be more gradual but our income will likely be affected.

Reaching Unreachable Candidates

Speaker: Patrick Dempsey and Andrew Erpelding of ZoomInfo

What is ZoomInfo for Recruiters? Find and connect with the right talent to fill roles fast with more data, basic search, advanced search, candidate and company profiles, and export results. Watch this On-Demand Webinar today to see how ZoomInfo for Recruiters can work to get your talented candidates results.

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. How to determine your new rate Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. Instead, I suggest triangulating on a rate that seems fair. Look at several different numbers and then decide.

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. It’s the Gerson Lehrman Group ( GLG ), a 20-year-old international company that brings together subject matter experts (SMEs) with businesses and non-profits looking for insight on various topics.

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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. That’s why having a professional email address is a must, as is an eye-catching, effective email signature. Consider the following two examples. Who are you more interested to meet and potentially hire? Obviously, Jared’s is more professional but let’s dissect why.

Avoid W-2 Status and Extra Tax: Become a Licensed Business

Successful Independent Consulting

Photo credit: ID 8861152 © Paul Jantz | Dreamstime.com. One of the benefits of being self-employed is paying less tax than you would if you were paid like an employee on a W-2 tax basis.

Going to Market Smarter in the New Economy

In 2021, as companies continue to move more functions online, employees will take a more virtual -- and flexible -- mindset and lifestyle in parallel to the digitization of businesses. To succeed, you must change the way you conceive and build new products as a digital business. Download the report today to discover more!

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. But when you’re self-employed, even the smallest increase in your rate can translate to big bucks , particularly if the rate is for a long project, or if you’re working with an ongoing client.

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. A prospective client must see you as credible from the very first impression.

Build Credibility as a Consultant with Success Stories

Successful Independent Consulting

Photo by Allie on Unsplash. Hiring a consultant can be a difficult decision for a client, especially when they’re going to be spending tens of thousands of dollars. They need to be sure that the person they’re hiring is competent, credible, trustworthy, and most importantly, effective. Use short stories or mini case studies to build your credibility before you’ve even had a conversation with a prospective client.

Website or No Website? Answers and Help for Independent Consultants

Successful Independent Consulting

As a self-employed consultant do you really need a website? I’m asked this a lot, particularly if a consultant gets most business from referrals or they contract through agencies or boutique firms. Besides, it’s highly unlikely that a prospective client is going to stumble upon your website and decide to hire you. Surely creating a website is a waste of time and money, right?

The Forrester Wave™: B2B Marketing Data Providers, Q2 2021

In our 24-criterion evaluation of B2B marketing data providers, we identified the 11 most significant vendors and researched, analyzed, and scored them. This report shows how each provider measures up and helps B2B marketing professionals select the right one for their needs.

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. You need to be top-of-mind when the need for your expertise pops up so the client thinks to call you, or their colleague thinks to refer you. In our field this is called personal branding.

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. Here’s how I figured this out. Several years ago, as an independent consultant I did my taxes two ways using TurboTax® software.

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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. This means to earn what your services are truly worth, you’ll have to keep raising your hourly rates. But at some point, you’ll reach an invisible rate ceiling when clients think you’re too expensive, even if it takes you half the time to do the work.

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. Most of us never had sales training so this concern is understandable, but reframing how we think about business development can turn concern into action. Read any definition of business development and you won’t find the word sales.

4 AI Hacks to Make Sales Teams More Efficient

Over the last two years, there’s been a 76 percent increase in AI adoption across sales organizations. For sales teams, AI opens up a world of new possibilities, including automating outreach, identifying best-fit buyers, and keeping CRMs flush with fresh data. Read on to learn the four AI hacks sales teams need to improve their performance. Download the eBook today!

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. Benchmark so you know your rate is reasonable. There are lots of ways to do this.

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.” Yesterday, my bank finally received the wire transfer. Here’s my story, what I learned along the way, and steps you can take if you find yourself in the same situation.

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? Louis Although the question is brief, a helpful answer is not. Pricing consulting services is notoriously difficult, particularly for self-employed consultants.

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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. As a coach and champion for independent consultants, I went on a fact-finding mission to answer two important questions: Are self-employed consultants still better off being paid on a 1099 tax basis as a business or on a W-2 tax basis through a third party?

How to Overcome the Pain Points of Your CRM

CRM software is a powerful tool when used correctly, yet another obstacle to a sales team’s efficiency when it’s not. Leveraging research and commentary from industry analysts, this eBook explores how your sales team can get back valuable time by overcoming some pain points with your CRM, such as low adoption rates, integrations, and data quality.

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. It’s not enough to simply replace contractor with consultant on your résumé and LinkedIn profile. I’ve been studying the LinkedIn profiles of various contractors and consultants I know and reflecting on how they usually get their work.

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. I’ve excluded my company’s agency fee in these numbers; the actual budget was a bit larger. Clearly this was a big win for the consultant.

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. We all should be asking ourselves (and our accountants) this question: As a business owner, what can I do to lower my tax bill?

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. I’ve also expanded the original list of qualities from 19 to an even 20, and updated a few other things based the LinkedIn comments. Here’s to a prosperous 2018! Let’s face it, not all consultants are created equal.

4 Data-Driven Steps To Drive Successful B2B Demand Generation

Fact: Good data lives at the core of every successful B2B demand generation strategy. Without quality data, it’s nearly impossible to identify and segment your target audience and create messaging that speaks to their values and interests. Whether you’re stepping into a new position or you’re new to demand generation, learning the tricks of the trade can be, well, tricky. In this eBook, you’ll discover how to improve your demand generation program—and your bottom line.

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.). A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is an active member of the Supreme Court bar and an advocate for self-employed professionals. If you do not work in the United States, this blog doesn't apply.

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. Working smarter is about doing the right things, not just doing tasks more efficiently. But how do you know if you’re doing the right things? And what does “working smarter” really mean?

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. Second, when knee-deep in projects and facing deadlines, consultants are hard-pressed to find time to publish thought-leadership articles or create, launch, and manage marketing campaigns.

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? How can other self-employed consultants become wealthy too? Reflecting on my years as an independent consultant, I’ve boiled it down to five keys to success. Sidebar: People define success differently.

The Modern Customer Success Playbook

The evolution of every high-functioning, effective customer success strategy centers around three C’s: connected experiences, an engaging customer journey, and a culture built on customer-centricity. Satisfaction won’t cut it. Quarterbacking your customers to long-term success and growth is proven to combat churn and transform customer success teams into revenue-drivers. But where do you start? Download the playbook today!