For many consultants who have had the honour and opportunity of working under globally-recognised, highly sought-after consulting brands such as Deloitte, McKinsey, EY or KPMG (to name just a few), you would most likely be well aware of the door-opening power available to you simply because of the brand you represent. But for many who have chosen to step away from the corporate world and pursue a more independent approach, building and growing their own personal brand as now independent consultants has never been a more challenging task.
In a world where currently 1 in 3 US workers are freelancers, 50% of the UK’s working population is estimated to become self-employed in the next 5 years, and where 15 million Indian freelancers account for 40% of the global freelancer community, not only has it become relevant to start thinking about your future career prospects in a new way, but along with that, how you, as a corporate brand-free entrepreneur goes about creating a new offering, developing your own brand and reinventing yourself.
First things first
Setting yourself up as a now independent consultant – there will inevitably be a number of things to set in place first. For many who now work independently, no longer do you have the luxury of departments that you can run to when it’s time to invoice, advertise, design or develop. It’s all down to you now. So, when it comes to things like understanding what you charge, how you charge, how to keep track of your time, how to create an invoice, where to register to ensure you’re paying the right amount of tax – the first step to reinventing yourself as an independent consultant is all about administrative logistics – the logistical pieces that you’ve probably never considered before. Getting ready to launch yourself as your own brand means taking some time to
Deciding on who you are
Many of the consultants that we speak to regularly and who have shared their own personal journey into independent consulting, often agree on one fundamentally critical part of establishing a new independent career – and that is to understand your niche and create your own vision. For many consultants who were new to the self-employed world, identifying their key skills and niche expertise was probably the biggest overlooked activity of all: They knew they now had to develop their own business leads, so instead of first taking the time to identify exactly what their primary consulting focus would be, many simply leapt into anything and everything that presented itself – becoming a jack of all trades, but finding it incredibly difficult to answer the simple question, “What do you do?” Retrospectively, many have since scaled back and reverted to their first passion, value and belief, coupled with their extensive experience and training in certain fields. Out of that, subsequently, their niche offering setting them apart from the rest of the consulting crowd, was born.
Becoming market-ready sounds pretty easy. You’ve been there, you know the market, you know your field. Great. But when it comes to launching yourself as a new, rebranded you, how confident do you feel about knowing what to do to make yourself known? For many, you may have the good fortune of having an established network in place that knows you and validates the services you provide. But for many who now find themselves at the start of a new business development crossroads, understanding the intricacies around marketing yourself as a new brand is the biggest challenge of all. In fact, many consultants that we speak to share the same challenge, “I am a highly experienced consultant. I know my field. I know my trade. I know how to get results. But – I’m not a marketer. So, where do I start?”. Once you’ve spent some time understanding the logistical administration to running your own consultancy service, it may be time for you to consider a few marketing fundamentals that will help you to grow your network, amplify the services you are able to provide and deliver your next business opportunity.
Watch our next broadcast on 2 May at 16:30 BST where we will be discussing more about how to market yourself as an independent consultant. Get the tips you need to launch your new personal brand, and set your service in motion for business prosperity.
Marketing yourself as an independent consultant requires your attention and commitment – on a daily basis – in order to digitally connect yourself to build your network person by person, develop your own opinion and stance on key industry topics, understand the audience you’re trying to market yourself towards and most of all, clearly communicate how you, as an independent brand, can help your clients grow their own businesses and transform their functions successfully.
Talmix is passionate about enabling the independent talent community to be the best they could be. If you’d like to share your own personal branding experience with us, or have a suggestion for an upcoming live broadcast, be sure to contact your Talmix representative today.
About the Author
Katy is an independent marketing consultant and founded Fresh Brew Marketing out of her love for the cuppa. A seasoned marketer, Katy writes for several global publications and provides outsourced marketing services to businesses throughout the UK. She is a keen geocacher and rates running around in city centres dressed in Christmas lights as one of her most successful Social Media campaigns to date.More Content by Katy Roberts