Out of 26 million businesses in America, 20 million have no employees. Many of them are ‘consultants’. Add the millions more sitting in different parts of the world (India, S.America, different parts of Asia, etc.) with very good education and experience (and very cheap rates). If you thought you don’t have much competition – somebody who has ‘been there, done that’ or somebody willing to ‘work for next-to-nothing’ - think again. How do you get attention and differentiate yourself these millions of consultants so you can make a decent living?
You must stand above the noise and worldwide competition to be noticed and hired
Most consultants have one or a handful of clients who account for most of their revenues. Getting the attention of new prospects is REALLY HARD. You already know that. I know that too having been a consultant for years. For years, I went about it the traditional way – just like everybody else, working my contacts, building the network, …. it did not work well. I am an MIT alum with a business degree, been a VC in Silicon Valley and have personally started 4 companies. I have worked at large, medium and small sized companies; I’ve served clients at locations in 16 countries. By most measures, I have the creds but didn’t find the booming success that a few have. And, I know that ‘spray and hope’ is a terrible strategy unless you did not study probability theory.
I thought about it. Consultant success is not guaranteed by just pedigree, experience, etc. Prospects come to consultants based largely on the credibility of the consultant, how well a consultant is known and whether they are known for what they need. Potential employees, partners also look at the same attributes.
If you are simply an excellent consultant unknown beyond the small circle of clients or geography, you are doomed to have limited success (or failure). Based on my experience, I suspect that is the case for a majority of the consultants reading this.
In today’s noisy world, you need to define what you stand for and market your personal brand. Otherwise, the world will neither seek you out nor your idea.
I am…..(the words you put here define you and shape your future)
I have written an article about my learning on personal branding which you can read at http://bit.ly/pbblogpost. The sooner you act to define, package and promote your personal brand, the greater the likelihood that you and your consulting practice could get the attention it deserves. Your brand could be based on any number of things – your brilliance, ability to attract people, customers, partners, capital, etc.; it could be based on your credentials, location, social causes, lifestyle, rags-to-riches story, etc.
I have found (after failing to see the ‘obvious’ for years) that a person who defines and promotes himself is better positioned to achieve greater success in life than a person who does not – hands down.
Most techies, salespeople and scientists who start companies fail to recognize the importance of building their personal brand. Most people ‘assume success’, one of the threats to business success that we found from a survey of 250 business people (including 60 millionaires) – see http://bit.ly/BizRelLand. Unless you failed to study probability (and keep buying lottery tickets at 1:186 million odds), you can now see what you need to do – define, build and market your personal brand – common sense and obvious.
I researched the various elements of personal branding required (as suite of services), and assembled a group of experts to provide them. You can simply let this team build and market your personal brand while you focus on dazzling your consulting clients. You can see some of the services we’ve identified at http://businessthinking.com/personal-branding-services.
My personal mission is to help more businesses succeed, increasing successful business owners and employing more people – raising the standard of living for everybody. I’m sure you want to be among the ones left standing and be a thriving business. I hate to see 70% of businesses fail. Please reach out to me if you’d like to have a conversation.