You know what a consultant is. You've probably even used one. And in this age of technology, more and more of them are surfacing. It's easier than ever to be an effective consultant.
Consultants can now make themselves readily available to their clients. They can conduct meetings from anywhere in the world. They can stay connected and engaged, all from a computer or mobile device.
Being a consultant is simpler than ever; however, this atmosphere brings challenges, too. Because this field of work is highly accessible and low-cost, everyone and their brother seem to be building a consulting brand. So how can you compete in this flooded market? And stand out as a unique professional?
I'm so glad you've asked…because I have the answers you need to move forward and to succeed as a consulting brand.
Do You Have What it Takes to Build a Consultant Brand?
I have compiled a series of questions every aspiring consultant should ask him or herself. Maybe, after going through this list, you'll realise that consultancy isn't the right path for you. Or, maybe you'll feel motivated to push forward. If you do, please don't give up just because you don't answer "yes" to every question. Work harder. Learn more. Do what's necessary to get those yeses and hit the market armed with everything you'll need to succeed.
- Are you passionate about your field? As you begin, ask yourself why you want to pursue a career in consultation…and in particular, in this field. If your answer has anything to do with money or notoriety, you will not experience brand longevity or long-term profitability. You must be passionate about what you're doing, every day. Every morning, you should feel compelled to jump out of bed and get to work. You should want to help people with your unique skillset and make a pointed difference in their lives.
- Do you have first-hand experience? In order to build a prosperous consulting brand, you must be able to demonstrate empathy toward your ideal clients. In an ideal situation, you will be speaking to them as if they are your younger self…experiencing the problems you once suffered from, before you learnt to solve that problem with your unique and effective strategy (the one you're teaching now). If you do not yet have first-hand experience in suffering from their type of pain, get in there and feel what they're feeling, so you can know what they're enduring and understand what they're expressing. When your ideal clients know that you truly understand their plight, they will be far more likely to take your help and implement your advice.
- Are you willing to learn and adopt new technology? In order to stay connected with future clients, you will need to embrace the modes of technology they like to use. You will also benefit from continually exploring the types of technology that will improve the way your brand operates, making it more efficient and effective. A refusal to move forward in this way will severely cripple any consulting brand.
- Do you have the knowledge and credentials necessary for leading in your field? Anyone can say they're a consultant; however, the pretenders will be found out in short order. Is a degree necessary for gaining respect in your industry? Can experience take the place of that degree? What credentials do other consultants in your field have hanging on their office walls? Which ones are vital to your success? Making an investment in your education will not only better prepare you for competing in your field, it will show your clients that you're serious about helping them.
- Are you an organised, timely person? Your clients will rely on you to arrive (or sign in) on time, to keep your promises and to have their information on-hand. If you're a hot mess with an aversion to orderliness, you're going to experience major difficulties gaining the respect and trust of your clientele. A "no" answer to this question isn't a death sentence for your brand, however. You can learn to become more organised, with the help of a consultant, or hire a manager to handle the details for you. No matter how you make it happen, your clients must be able to establish trust in your capabilities and rely on your capacity to deliver.
- Are you willing to network? The face of networking has changed in recent years, making online networking accessible to everyone. However, your willingness to network under any circumstance (in person, in groups, etc.) will directly affect your level of success. Try to avoid letting your networking experiences of the past affect your current attitude toward networking. Networking has become more targeted, industry-specific, purposeful and accessible.
I hope this list has helped you to ascertain your interest, commitment and capability levels in the field of consulting. Should you have other questions, please contact us with your enquiries.
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