Lessons learned from consulting and independent contracting

What I’ve Learned About Sales.

Working as an independent IT consultant requires wearing multiple hats – technologist, marketing, legal, accounting, and sales just to name a few. Obviously, most of these roles can be outsourced, however there are certain responsibilities that should not be outsourced – sales is one of them. Here are my top 5 lessons learned about selling my consulting services.

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Should I Charge My Friends Consultation Fees ?

I’ve written extensively on what it means to be an IT consultant – it boils down to getting paid for your technology services rendered. This means that the act of providing consulting services without getting paid is inconsistent with the nature of being a consultant. On the other hand, part of being a friend means that you give freely – without expecting anything in return. It seems like being a consultant and a friend can never co-exist. This statement is absolutely false, and here’s how I came to terms with helping my friends resolve their technology issues whilst also making a living as an IT consultant.

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How I Used LinkedIn To Get My First Consulting Client

IT Consulting is competitive, especially if you are going out on your own to work as an independent consultant. A few years ago I decided to leave my comfortable full time job to pursue a consulting career. My first year was rough – I was clueless about how hard it can be to secure that first project. Here are a few strategies using LinkedIn that helped me eventually secure my first client.

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How to Add Value On Every Project

IT Consulting can be challenging, especially when you find yourself struggling to show your value in a multi-vendor consulting engagement. Most companies rely on different consulting firms and contractors in order to achieve their technology goals. Although this can be very beneficial to the company, it can also be difficult and chaotic for the consultants. Embracing the chaos is a must-have characteristic for an IT consultant, followed by these three simple rules on how to provide value.

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Avoid The Employee Zone When Consulting

I’ve always considered my customer’s issues a priority, no matter how easy or challenging the issue may be. This approach has helped me establish great relationships with customers, however it has also been a source of frustration early in my career. Because of my relentless attitude towards resolving the issue, customers would conveniently put me in the “employee zone” – the zone where all their IT problems became my problem. As a consultant, being put in the “employee zone” is toxic primarily because of misaligned expectations.

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