When you start out as a freelancer or an independent consultant, you are utilizing your past knowledge and experience, but choosing to do the work you like instead of being given assignments by a boss or superior. This can be in any field, be it writing, consulting, finance, law etc. The crux is to leverage your subject matter expertise and insights for the benefit of your professional journey as well as that of your client. However, this does require certain changes in one’s work practices.
Keep the demands of the assignment in mind. Always keep in mind the requirements of the client and focus on the deliverables, instead of going into minute particulars which may be unnecessary and time-consuming. Remember, credibility will be built from a satisfied customer, and so, do look at the assignment from a larger perspective, determine what is needed and focus on creating that at the best level possible.
Invest in your growth. It is even more critical for independent consultants and professionals to keep improving and investing in their professional development. This is a point that has been reiterated in earlier entries as well but only because it is so important. Apart from the cost advantage, companies hire freelancers because of their expertise. The upside of working independently is that you are the master of your own time so whenever possible learn a new area or refresh your prior skills.
Pick the niches well. As you grow, you will constantly be making choices as to particular functions, products, skills or types of assignment. However, keep the market conditions in mind as you thread these choices together, and pick areas for which you see sufficient demand. Your prior assignments and focused approach will hold you in good stead in front of a potential client. The corollary here is that you may need to turn down assignments if it does not match your focus segments and other parameters you may have defined.
Market your skills. Finally, it is not just enough to develop expertise but to market it as well. It is important to display your best and most recent work in your portfolio. Also, consider building a reputation by sharing your knowledge for free through tools such as blogs or videos. This will help you reach out to a larger audience, some of whom can be potential clients.
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