How Do I Get New Consulting Assignments

I’m asked this frequently: I’m new to consulting. I’ve got a lot of experience in my field, and I know I can be a good consultant, but I don’t know where to go to find consulting assignments.

There are four key things you should have to get consulting assignments:

  • People need to know you’re out there and available to them
  • Your services have to fit a client’s need
  • You need to provide good value for what you offer
  • Potential clients need to feel confident in hiring you

In other words, clients won’t hire you if they don’t know about you. They also won’t hire you if they don’t have a need for your services, no matter how good you are.

If they do know about you and have a current need, then they have to feel that what you’re offering is at a fair value to them and that they can trust you to provide what you say they will.

What’s important is also what’s not on this list:

  • It’s not all about you.  It’s about them. Your experience is only valuable if it’s relevant to the client’s needs. Most clients wouldn’t hire a consultant without relevant experience, but they also don’t hire the person with the longest resume either. They hire the person who they think can meet their needs.
  • It’s not all about Google. Yes, clients will Google you to learn more about you, but that’s after they’ve learned about you. This is a relationship business. It’s highly unlikely that a client will hire a consultant just by googling “human resources consultant” or “marketing strategy.” It’s important to build a strong online presence, but don’t count on AdWords or search optimization to bring you new clients.
  • It’s not about low cost. You need to provide a fair value for your services, but clients don’t necessarily hire the lowest cost consultant around: they’re afraid they’ll get what they pay for. You need to price your services so that you provide good value to the client at a price level that fairly rewards you for the results you provide.We still see some consultants who price on an hourly or daily basis, but the Annual WIC Compensation Survey has shown us year after year that the consultants who are in the top 20% of respondents are much more likely to use value or project-based pricing and not hourly or time-based pricing.

How do you make clients feel good about hiring you?

  • Be able to show them the results you’ve achieved for other organizations (without revealing any confidential information of course)
  • Provide testimonials from satisfied clients
  • Ask clients for referrals.

Need more information? Stay tuned to this blog for more tips and ideas. Check out our ongoing WIC programs and events too.

About Linda Popky

Linda J. Popky, a past president of WIC and the founder and president of Silicon Valley-based Leverage2Market Associates, helps organizations be heard above the noise. She is the author of the recently released book Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing That Matters. Connect with her on Twitter at @popky

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