A phrase we often hear in conversations is ‘I would like to make a go of consulting’.

It’s a position many people find themselves in, thinking there’s a chance to change their approach to work, perhaps moving to a more fractional or portfolio career. However, they’re uncertain if it will provide for them, if it will be successful, especially when many people have mortgages and families, which can be a real strain.

Often, what happens is they start to look into it but don’t fully commit to the lifestyle. They hedge their bets, seeking full-time work while trying to use their network to find consultancy opportunities. The issue is, without commitment and patience, it’s hard to build momentum. Choosing to become a consultant should be a genuine step towards setting up your own company; it requires the same commitment, drive, and strategy.

Many people worry that talking about consulting while seeking a full-time role will confuse the marketplace or cause them to miss out on a full-time position. This is where the problem arises. It’s vital to be loud and proud about consultancy if you want to make a living from it. I always remind people that if a headhunter wants you, they will approach you whether you are consulting or in the biggest and best role of your life. So, it should never stop you from promoting your services.

Here are some top tips for working professionals considering becoming consultants:

  1. Build a brand. The brand is not just the logo; it includes a professional website, a LinkedIn business profile, social media pages, and perhaps a blog. Consistency is vital so that your messaging is recognizable and stands out without explanation.
  2. Individuals always have to come up with something clever to say, but bringing your own company branding into play frees you up to advertise your services every day without worrying about people tiring of your face!
  3. Consistency of presence is key. Be seen and heard every day. There are many ways to achieve this, not always about you or your company. It could involve supporting others, sharing events you attend, promoting great content, or commenting on key themes.
  4. Make sure you are getting feedback and references to share with other prospective clients and on social media.

There are many other tips, but these are the ones that really stand out to me and need to be put into practice. Some lucky people find work without effort, but otherwise, you have to work at it and be consistent in ‘being a consultant.’

At TheZoo.London, we focus on helping those who want to choose a fractional lifestyle make a success of it. We’re excited about how many incredible people are making a living from it, driving impact with our clients, and helping to plug the senior brain drain happening across the whole industry.