Today it seems like everyone is working on one side hustle or another. Whether it’s being a part of the gig economy or starting your own music blog, there are countless ways to have a side hustle. One of the most lucrative and also most crowded types of side hustles is independent consulting.
Independent, or freelance consulting allows you to take your unique knowledge and subject matter expertise and use it to help others solve their problems. All while getting paid! But in such a crowded space, what can you do to stand out and win consulting opportunities?
Here are three strategies you can use to stand out as an independent consultant.
Launch your own website or blog
The best way to get people to understand and trust your expertise is to start a website or blog. This will give you a platform to showcase your knowledge and insight. For individuals in creative fields, this strategy should not come as a surprise – websites are the best way to showcase your body of work. But for individuals in business services or other white-collar fields where your expertise cannot be expressed visually, starting a blog can be a huge asset for showcasing your knowledge and insight on various topics. Additionally, it gives people a way to find you organically via an internet search.
Share your opinions, network!
At this point, nearly every working professional has LinkedIn. But how are we really using it? Most people would probably say they only ever check LinkedIn when they have a connection request. If you’re an independent consultant and your LinkedIn activity is limited to accepting invitations to connect, you’re missing huge opportunities!
LinkedIn is full of opportunities for independent consultants but they require engagement. Join and explore groups in your areas of expertise and engage in discussions. Share your knowledge in response to people’s posts and articles. Be a thought leader. Write and publish your own commentary. Don’t be afraid to make connections with new people, but always give them a reason for connecting. Transparency, honesty, and mutual respect will all go a long way to building relationships and earning consulting opportunities via LinkedIn.
Join consulting and freelance networks
The best way to find consulting opportunities is to put yourself in front of people who are looking for help. And that means joining each and every freelance and consulting platform out there. Most platforms are free so there’s no downside to joining. Think of each platform as a fishing line in a different pond of fish. The more lines you have in the water the more likely you are to get a bite!
Each platform varies in its approach to independent consulting and each has its individual merits. Freelance platforms like Fivver focus on assignment-based work. Projects are more task-oriented and require the delivery of a final work product. Consulting platforms like Vancery offer consulting opportunities in the form of one-hour conference calls that do not require a physical deliverable. You may favor one style over the other after trying them but it always good to stay involved with all platforms to ensure you’re making yourself available to all opportunities.