Success as a freelance IT consultant – 7 pieces of advice from an industry expert
Many qualified people in the IT world have decided to take the step and become a freelance IT consultant and, from my experience, most of them do not regret their decision.
Here are 7 simple and concrete pieces of advice that can help you to become successful as a freelance consultant
1. Be great at what you do
Points 2 to 7 are irrelevant if you can’t tick this box off. You have to be fully confident about the fact that you are really good at what you do to be successful as a freelance consultant.
If you are in doubt, then think twice before becoming a freelancer.
2. Define your competence area
Clients and consultancies love to put people and suppliers into boxes in order to simplify their view on the world. Therefore, you need to choose one or two specific competence areas that you will focus on.
Those have to be reflected on your Linkedin profile, your website, forum debates and certifications –in other words, any place where your professional profile is visible.
3. Consider yourself a company
You should not consider yourself as a freelance variation of a ‘regular’ employee, but instead as a small company supplying specialist skills in your competence area.
Your company (you) has to think long-term and focus on having satisfied clients, good financial results and continuous development of your competencies.
Furthermore, build up a capital buffer and focus on annual results so that monthly variations will not be a concern to you.
4. Have a razor-sharp CV
Your CV is the most important (and often only) sales document as a freelance consultant, but many people downplay its importance, which leads to a bad product.
Find a good template, take a professional picture and express yourself in a short and precise way with a consistent focus on your competence areas.
5. Stay service-minded
Well-qualified freelance consultants often have the opportunity of forming a long-term relationship with clients that can continue over several different projects.
That is excellent for everybody involved, but remember that the client pays you by the hour and that it is a customer-supplier-relationship, not an employment relationship.
So remain service-minded and always deliver, in fact deliver above and beyond, on what is required.
6. Use the time when you don’t have a project wisely
The periods without a project should be regarded as a period of project change, and not as a period with nothing to do.
You should stick to a structured daily routine, where you focus on your competence development, establish relationships with clients and freelance supplier consultancies as well as other activities that can bring about your next interesting project.
7. Prioritize administration tasks
Administrative tasks can become a nightmare if you are not well-organized, or they can be simple and only take a fraction of your time if you are in control.
Spend a day focusing only on administration processes to organize them so that you can put 100% of your focus on achieving what is really important – delivering excellent results and having highly satisfied clients.
By Søren Rosenmeier, International CEO, Right People Group