Every consultant will tell you, that one of their number one needs is to have a steady income generated by a steady amount of incoming work. How can you get yourself to that point of stability? As a consultant, you absolutely must start by building yourself a solid professional network. How do you do that? There are many ways to do this, but here are my top 5 that I recommend:
1) Connecting on LinkedIn
If you are a consultant and you are not on LinkedIn, you need to stop what you are doing right now, and create a LinkedIn account. That’s how vital this platform is for building your network.
This is a professional platform that should be restricted to professional posts. LinkedIn should not be treated like a non-professional network like Facebook for example despite the similarities. Keep posts relevant to your industry rather than talking about arbitrary things like how great the weather is in your area.
Leverage your expertise by posting content that showcases it. Everyday you need to be looking for new people to connect with. Reach out and connect!
2) Good Old Fashioned Calling
Also known as prospecting. This is especially important for consultants who don’t have a job. Per Grant Cardone’s philosophy, your number one job is to get a job. That means your number one job is working to get clients. How do you do that? By getting out your phone and calling!
3) Steer Clear of Your Peers
If you are a tax accountant for example, and you rely on your other tax accountant buddies who are also in consulting to pull in work that you can do together, you are going to end up with more problems than benefits in that kind of situation. These problems may arise in the form of misaligned times of availability. The worst problem to come out of this arrangement is the reduced rate! Nobody really wants to let someone else take their profit away from them.
4) Look for Variety
Look for three or four different types of people. Who do you sell to?
It’s no good to go out and to just start aimlessly stabbing about trying to build your network. This needs to be a step-by-step process that you set out to follow.
Going back to a previous article that I wrote called Becoming Known As An Independent Consultant, let people know what you specialize in and what you have to offer them. Explain your capabilities and tell them how you are valuable to them.
You need to be expanding your network every single day. Reach out and find active ways to connect.
If you want to know more about building your professional network, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.