Make more money by being Freelancer and Consultant
When you started your businesses, you dreamed of being super ultra valuable and selling crazy high-priced projects.
Even more than that, you fell in love with the idea of working on your own terms, creating your own schedules, and doing less but earning more.
Has your dream come true yet?
Mine has in ways I never imagined.
Actually, I’m in the sky writing this article after taking a week off to spend time with family in Texas. The trip was last minute, and it feels great to suddenly take a mini vacation without any stress.
When I started my business, I never thought about doing that—all I wanted was to work from home.
I’m not bragging by any means. I’m telling you this to give you a preview of what’s possible when you apply foundational principles and get creative with your business.
A money making question
Let me ask you an elementary question you’ve breezed by:
Do you consider yourself a consultant or freelancer?
You’ve never thought of this question as a money maker, but in fact, it is.
Answering this question will help you become way more valuable to your clients. You’ll discover ways to sell projects at higher prices too.
Before I explain how, let’s discuss the difference between a consultant and freelancer.
What it means to be a Consultant
A consultant is hired to give advice. Consultants educate and provide clients with solid strategies which help achieve specific goals.
Knowledge and wisdom about how something works is a consultant’s greatest asset—that’s why great consultants spend lots of time learning, experimenting, and measuring proven strategies to achieve specific results.If you’re a consultant, you’re in the business of guiding people. Click To Tweet
You’re only successful when you’ve guided clients through the process of achieving their goals.
You help people learn from the past and see the future.
What it means to be a Freelancer
A freelancer is hired for specific work or services. Freelancers do the work their clients can’t.
Skill set is a freelancer’s greatest asset—that’s why freelancers spend most of their time creating, practicing, and exploring ways to master their skill set.If you’re a freelancer, you’re in the business of relieving people. Click To Tweet
You’re only successful when you can lighten your client’s load and provide them with peace of mind.
You help people take care of the now.
You should consider becoming both Freelancer and Consultant
Okay, so you know the difference between freelancing and consulting. How is this money making information?
Understanding the difference between freelancer and consultant should expose two things:
- Why clients hire you today.
- Opportunities to be worth more tomorrow.
How Freelancers can make more money
If you’re a freelancer, you’re paid to do work people can’t. In what ways (or areas) can you guide them?
It’s tempting to try and provide guidance regarding the work you already do for your clients as a freelancer. But your clients aren’t interested in that—that’s why they hired you in the first place. They either don’t want to deal with that type of work or simply can’t.
Think about what comes before or after your work. Is your work part of a bigger long-term strategy for clients? I’d bet money it is.
Put your consultant hat on and think about the big picture.As a freelancer, your work is a piece of a bigger puzzle. Click To Tweet
How can you learn about how the bigger puzzle works?
You’ll have to do your homework but that’s where your pot of gold is waiting for you.
How Consultants can make more money
If you’re a consultant, you’re paid to guide clients into achieving their long-term goals. Is there a specific piece of work you can take care of for them?
Don’t aim to take care of the small easy pieces of work. You won’t be as valuable. It’s easier for your clients to hire another freelancer who can do the heavy lifting.
Put on your freelancing gloves and identify the most challenging work your clients face. As a consultant, you’ve already mapped out the bigger puzzle and all its pieces.
How can you develop the skills to tackle the most challenging work for your clients?
It’ll take lots of practice but that’s where your hidden treasure is.
A personal example
I’m a big fan of having a single focus in your business. Being both consultant and freelancer is not a contradiction.
The problem is when you try and master two skill sets that divide your attention and workload.
I’ll give you an example to help you understand what I mean.
I’m a freelance developer. I code what my clients can’t (or won’t). I specialize in bending SharePoint (a platform, talk about a niche, right?!) to fit my clients needs.
I don’t do web or graphic design, although it’s a tempting skill to learn since SharePoint is butt ugly and clients often want to change its look.
Why don’t I just learn how to design? It makes total sense, right?
Nope! Learning web design would take away time from keeping my coding skills at master level. It would take me forever to become a top notch web designer. Even then, I’d need to learn how to sell web design too.
There’s no sense in trying to freelance two different ways (coding and designing). It will just complicate my business, double my work, and I won’t be the best in either skill set.
Instead, it makes more sense to try and contribute to what I’m already great at. As a consultant, I need to think of the bigger picture.
And I’ve done exactly that.
I’ve learned how to guide my clients in getting the most out of SharePoint from an entire business perspective. Coding is the most challenging piece of work my clients face (if they want to bend SharePoint), and it happens to be what I’m great at.
Ironically, my clients see me as a SharePoint consultant first, then as a freelance SharePoint developer.
Do you know how valuable I am to them?
Once I established myself as both a consultant and freelancer, clients were willing to pay me double and eventually triple of what I charged when I was only a freelancer.
That’s the power of becoming both consultant and freelancer.
Warning if you’re new to business:
If you’re just starting out in business, I suggest you position yourself as solely a freelancer, or solely as a consultant. Don’t start with both.
Trying to be both right off the bat will make things difficult. Once you’ve become a top-notch freelancer, it will feel natural and easier to move into a consultant role or vice versa.
From your client’s perspective
Finding new freelancers and consultants to work with takes time. Developing trust takes even more time.Every new resource is considered a risk to your client—they never know what they’ll get. Click To Tweet
Even worse, they might lose what they value most: time and money!
Use this risk and complication to your advantage.
Be the consultant they want to educate and guide them. Be the freelancer they need to relieve them by taking care of their toughest work.
Be that rare hybrid who’s worth way more and your clients will gladly pay you more.