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How to Become a Freelance Consultant Who Actually Gets High-Paying Projects

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Published:
July 15, 2021
Reading Time:
7 minutes
Leo Saini
Experienced copywriter who spends a lot of money at restaurants and regrets it later.

When you become a consultant who works independently, you have a lot of freedom and flexibility in your career.

Also, you could earn way more money than you did at your day job if you know what you’re doing.

However, it’s not as straightforward as it sounds. As the saying goes: If it was easy, everyone would do it.

In this article, we’ll give you the five important tips that will help you kickstart your freelance consulting career and enable you to close big clients.

1. Experience Is King

Experience comes first, and if you’re not experienced enough, then your chances of getting high-paying projects may be lower than someone who has worked in the industry for a few years. If you want to become a consultant or start a consulting firm business, you should consider learning from established companies or consultants first. This is simply because your future clients will most certainly ask you about your past achievements as a consultant. If you tell a Fortune 500 company, or any renowned business, that they are your first client, chances are, they will probably consider bringing a veteran onboard instead of a rookie like you.

Now, the question is: How to become a consultant who is highly experienced? Well, even if you spend 2-3 years working for a consulting firm, you’d probably learn way more than what any university can teach you. Sure, education is important, but don’t just rely on a degree. Seek internships early on and learn how the pros do it while you’re young.

“The future depends on what you do today.” — Mahatma Gandhi

2. Learn How to Create Contracts and Proposals

When you work as an employed consultant in a big firm, you won’t need to worry too much about contracts and agreements because these firms likely have an in-house legal team or an external legal advisor. However, when you go freelance and become a consultant who works independently, the responsibility of getting contracts right falls on your shoulder.

Whether you start freelancing or a small-scale consulting firm business, you need to be well-versed in creating project proposals and legal agreements. Forgetting to add a clause or adding unnecessary conditions in a contract may cost you a lot down the line. So, it’s better to get in touch with a legal services agency and seek their counsel. They can help you get started while you’re a newbie, but once you have mastered the art of drafting proposals and other business-related legal documents, then you could even do it on your own without any outside help.

3. Be Mindful While Choosing the Fee Structure

Whether a project is high-paying or average depends on how you set your fee structure. In fact, this is probably the most important aspect of freelancing. Having substantial work experience and being good with legal jargon doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll earn a lot of money when you become a consultant. To earn a decent amount of money, you need to be tactful with your fee structure.

Become a consultant, How to Become a Freelance Consultant Who Actually Gets High-Paying Projects

For example, if you charge by the hour, you simply multiply your billable hours by your hourly rate. The problem with this structure is that you’d be trading time for money and your income will be capped.

However, if you reconsider your payment structure, you could earn more money for the same work. Let’s consider a scenario to make this point clear. If you’re a sales consultant working for a corporation on a freelance basis, and your new sales strategy increases the company’s revenue drastically, you could get a percentage of that as a commission—given that you include this agreement in the contract beforehand.

And that’s just the gist of it. However, we have published another blog in which you can find an in-depth analysis of various fee structures that well-paid consultants choose. Here it is: Consultants, Are You Charging the Right Amount for Your Consulting Work?

4. Learn the Art of Prospecting and Closing Sales

Being aware of various fee structures is great, but making clients accept your payment terms requires a completely different skill set. When you become a freelance consultant, you’ll need to find clients on your own and it's not a walk in the park. You’re going to have to reach out to several businesses, talk to a number of executives and decision-makers, wait for their response, deal with their objections, and face rejections.

All this can be very cumbersome for one person. But there’s a remedy for that: it's called a sales pipeline. A sales pipeline helps you visualize the entire sales process. It enables you to understand at which stage of the sale a prospect is in. For instance, you could divide your sales pipeline into four different sections: Contact, Meeting, Proposal, and Closing. So, if you’re in discussion with ten different prospects at a time, you would know that you are yet to meet Prospect A and that Prospect B has already seen the proposal and is at the closing stage, and so on. See how convenient this is?

5. Reach Out to an Online Consulting Platform

As a freelance consultant, you’ve got to send your profile to an online consulting platform. These platforms are regularly visited by successful businesses that are looking for experienced freelance consultants, making them an ideal way to get high-paying projects

Here at Consultport, we have over 3,500 top-tier consultants in our talent pool. If you have experience working with big consulting firms, blue-chip companies, or leading digital agencies, then we can help you find new exciting projects.

If you think you’re the right fit, visit our website to learn more and get in touch. We are actively approached by businesses who want to hire consultants immediately. Your dream project could be just a few clicks away, so don’t procrastinate.