Follow your heart – and the good things
won’t make you wait for too long.
Each person in the world, working hard and for a long period of time, specializes at least in one niche. This means that everyone is a specialist in the specific field.
They say that to become a professional one should spend at least 10,000 hours practicing a particular skill. I have being a salesperson in IT sphere for more than 5 years already, so in rough calculations it is equal to:
2,080 hours in a typical work year * 5 years = 10,400 hours
Perfect result which proves sales and managerial skills.
But in today’s climate, this is not strongly required to devote at least 10,000 hours to become a professional as some people may be good at something without having a solid experience.
I’m sure that only the problems a person resolved, goals they achieved, and pitfalls they overcame, really matter. All this shapes an individual as a good expert.
This implies that they can share their knowledge and expertise, and help businesses or individuals to grow and thrive.
If you are thinking about creating an own consultancy business, check out this step-by-step guide on how to start selling the consulting service.
1. Define your expertise, a niche and a target audience
It will be easy if you have been working in the one industry for long doing the same stuff day-by-day. Be honest to yourself on what are your strengths and the expertise.
Look wider. Maybe, you are so good at translation that your friends always ask you to help them in meeting a foreigner partner and hold a conversation as an interpreter, but you never paid much attention to this.
This can be your chance, a good opportunity to see yourself from a new angle and start working in this direction if you like translating.
2. Set consulting goals
Is it going to be a part-time job or a full-time one? Will you be the only one to consult customers or with a team who shares your ideas and practices? The clear the answers, the easier will be goals achievement.
To make sure your goal is clear and reachable, check if it is:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant) Use action words and state what you’ll do. The following questions will help you to stay concrete.
What do I want to achieve?
Who will be with me?
Where will it be?
Which resources do I need?
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
Make it clear to track the results: provide a way to track it.
- Achievable (agreed, attainable)
Be realistic and set possible to accomplish (which doesn’t mean easy) goal.
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
The goal should make sense in your group.
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)
Set a deadline for the goal achievement and make checkpoints to track own progress.
3. Make a website
Tell the world about yourself and the essential experience in a specific field on your own website. There are a lot of services such as wix.com, webs.com, webnode.com, etc. which can help you to promote, sell your services through the internet.
4. Get certified
It is quite reasonable that everyone would like to see your certificates before starting a consulting session. There are a lot of charlatans everywhere that’s why people want to have a guarantee that they will tell their stories and describe issues to the right person.
Conduct a research on the most valuable and useful certificate in your sphere and get it.
5. Set your rate, define where you’ll work
How much your time costs? How big are the expertise and your knowledge base?
Check the average rates on the market, conduct an analysis and set your price. After that, during the negotiations and partnership establishment you will start to feel market and will evaluate yourself and your expertise much better.
6. Offer value, give value
When I was asked to conduct sales consultancy sessions for one of the international IT companies for the first time, I thought not about my availability or money to get, but about the great value to bring them.
7. First give something
Don’t be afraid to give an hour of consultancy for free or volunteering. ‘First give’ is a good rule because it helps you get acquainted with people and makes you closer to them.
But do not offer any solution on the first session. Listen to, get everything clear for yourself, define if it’s your sphere of the expertise, and after then, ask if a person wants you to help them.
8. Apply discipline, persistence and consistency in promoting your own services
Now patience is your inner secret weapon. Use different channels in order to promote your service: Youtube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
At the beginning usually there is no budget to hire a good marketer. But you can do it by yourself: use the social media, engage your readers, give useful information to them.
9. Continue growing and develop your skills
There is always the next level. Set up new higher standards and strive to them. Invest in expanding your knowledge base through webinars, conferences, meet ups, workshops, trainings.
Last but not least: believe in yourself. Everything is in our mind. Whether you think you can do something or can not, you are always right.