1. Partner with other businesses that serve the same market as you. This can be particularly effective when you have two up-and-coming start-up companies who service complimentary, yet not competitive markets. It can also help to talk to people who work for established companies that serve the demographic you wish to reach.
2. Create free publicity for yourself whenever possible. Even if it means giving away some of your work for free. There are times when the “2 birds in the bush” are worth more than the “one in the hand”.
3. By transferring the risk to yourself and you will ultimately profit. A realistic guarantee makes it safe for potential customers/clients to confidently try your services. Very few people will take advantage of a generous guarantee compared to the extra business it will generate for you.
4. Be personable. To build relationships you have to build rapport with people. It is essential that you can be friendly without coming across as phony.
5. Be opportunistic. A career as a consultant means that you always have to be on your toes and on the lookout for opportunities whenever and wherever they may arise. Always be prepared to do business in a variety of different way and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what comes your way. By looking ou for various opportunities you also need to be…
6. Flexible. Flexibility is one of the key qualities of all successful consultants. Whilst you can never be all things to all people, it is important that you are always as “much as you can be” at any given time. Consultants are not hired on as extraneous staff for “just in case” scenarios. Consultants get hired because their client needs a specific result right now and as an experienced consultant you are the best person to deliver what they want. The best consultants get things done and they get them done quickly.
7. Don’t be too proud to give work away. There will be times, especially at the beginning of your career that you may find the need to work a little overtime without charging for it, or perhaps even be prepared to give away a complete project or two. While giving away your skills may not seem like a very cost effective thing to do, if you understood point 5 above, you will realise that a little freebie here and there can ultimately win you a lot of paid work at a later date. Generosity will definitely pay off.