Looking back now, I can see a few big mistakes I made early in my consulting career…well, I mean, I can see a lot, but let’s talk about two.
Knowledgeable In IT, Clueless In The Business Of IT
First, I had no understanding of the business side of IT. At the time I was working as a full-time employee (FTE) and was promoted from the Managed Services Team to Consulting Team. I really had no idea what it meant to be a consultant, but I was just excited about the salary increase and the “fast paced life of a consultant”. Being part of the Consulting Team was a BIG deal: felt like I was part of an elite club with the “smartest” Oracle DBA’s. My first project was a complete disaster. What started as an on-track project quickly turned into a nightmare. I lost control of my project because I did not understand the concept of staying within my scope. I found myself working on issues and tasks that were not related to my project’s statement of work. I thought I was doing something wonderful by pitching in to help resolve out of scope tasks, but in reality I was just digging my own grave. Although, I finally completed my deliverable, it was a disaster. This fixed price project was scoped for 3 months, but I ended up spending 4 months to deliver. I practically spent an entire month working for free: the math doesn’t add up. I decided to educate myself about the business aspect of IT, consulting, and project management. I took some courses as well as alot of hours watching YouTube videos. I think every aspiring consultant should educate themselves about these three key matters before on-boarding their first customer.
Late Adopter Of Social Media
Secondly, I shouldn’t have dismissed social media. I gotta admit, I didn’t see how social media could benefit my consulting efforts. I was completely and absolutely wrong. In actuality, I’ve been able to leverage social media to showcase my capabilities (as well as drive traffic to RKKoranteng.com). My first few months (more like 12 months) as an independent consultant were rough: no projects and no idea on how to reach potential customers. It seems like common-sense now, but I should have adopted social media during my first year of consulting. It would have helped a ton in my marketing and networking. With that being said, I’m very careful as to which social media platforms I use for my consulting efforts. I’m currently active on LinkedIn and Github: I’ve shied away from YouTube only because I don’t have time to produce quality video content, but I’d like to someday get there. I’ve made some awesome connections via social media. I highly recommend for aspiring consultants to identify the right social media platforms to market their services and actively engage potential customers.