The consulting industry is a $39-billion-dollar-a-year opportunity for entrepreneurs but it’s pretty untapped. All over the world there are companies willing to pay you for sharing the knowledge you have acquired building your business but there isn’t much information available online about booking paid gigs — especially international consulting gigs.
If you’ve experienced difficulty building up a consulting business, you aren’t alone. The number of consultants in the United States has grown every year since 2012, reaching more than 637,000 in 2016. So, it’s unlikely that every one of these people will achieve succcess.
The best results are produced through collaboration, a fundamental requirement for alignment. Collaboration needs to take place both within and outside teams, throughout the organization. In particular, the action planning process requires collaboration.
How do you improve collaboration? Here are two approaches: Abide by the five principles of collaboration discussed below, and use the team reviews to erode the silos that might exist in your organization.
One of the lesser known challenges of running an ecommerce store is preventing fraud chargebacks. When a consumer doesn’t recognize a charge on their credit card statement they will dispute the charge with their credit card company, which will result in a fraud chargeback to the ecommerce store owner. The full transaction amount is deducted from their merchant account as well as a chargeback fee typically between $15 and $25.
Being booked as a paid consultant to companies is one of the highest margin services offered by lifestyle businesses. You can consult fulltime, which pays as much as $175,000 a year according to USA Today, or consulting can be a portion of your larger business. Either way can be lucrative and can lead to many other interesting opportunities all over the world. Many entrepreneurs dream of consulting at companies all over the world but few know how to do it.
There aren’t many books or much information online teaching entrepreneurs how to book paid consulting, but you won’t succeed if you don’t understand what companies are looking for. This year, I’ve booked 20 consulting gigs at companies in 20 countries. I just completed a six-country consulting tour in Europe. I know a little about paid consulting. Here are four things companies look for when hiring a consultant.
1. A foundation that shows you’re an expert on your topic.
When an H.R manager at a company is considering hiring you, they will look at your foundation — your website, social media presence and email list. They want to see if your foundation matches the expertise you claim you have.
Your website pages should demonstrate your expertise. Your content page should include blog posts, podcasts and/or videos that show you know what you’re talking about and can educate. You need “speaking” and “consulting” pages about what to expect when hiring you, what your topics were if you’ve done gigs in other places and the value you provide to a company.
2. Content on large publications.
Companies, C.E.O.’s, H.R. managers and small business owners all look to, trust and read large business and personal development publications. They read Entrepreneur, Business Insider, SUCCESS and so on for information and strategies to help their businesses grow.
When you contribute to these publications you become a trusted source who is seen as an expert. When a company can read your content on these publications, they trust you do know what you’re talking about and become interested in hiring you.
Being a contributor to major publications that everyone reads and respects is social proof which can bring you consulting gigs organically.
3. Being interviewed on podcasts on your topic.
Sharing your expertise by being interviewed on a podcast is another powerful form of social proof. A company can hear your voice and listen to your sharing your thoughts and advice about your topic area. The bigger the podcast, the more you’re perceived as an expert.
Exposure demonstrates that influential people respect you as an expert and are looking to you for advice. Get on every podcast you can. Keep your messaging and branding in the interviews focused on demonstrating your expertise.
4. They want to see you presenting.
Before a company hires you they want to see how you move and how you present. They want to be confident you present clearly in a way that will engage their employees and department heads.
If you don’t have video, you need to get some. If you have never done a speaking gig begin with a presentation at a local Meetup group, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce or WordCamp event, and get it recorded. Or, you can record training videos of yourself speaking in a quiet and tidy area of your home. The point is to get some video and get that on your website so companies can see you sharing your expertise in a way that appeals to them.
Paid consulting at companies can bring serious income and the opportunity to travel the world for free. To get there, build the foundation companies are looking for. Stack your social proof! They want to be certain you are an expert. Invest time gathering the social proof of your expertise that will get you started, and later booked for higher paid consulting gigs.
As I’m writing this, I’m preparing for my second consulting tour of the year, which will take me to five countries in Asia. This is possible for you when you do the work.
When it comes to the speaking industry, entrepreneurs tend to focus on speaking at events and conferences. It’s the traditional path that is known and understood. Being a paid consultant to companies is something that intrigues entrepreneurs but there’s no clear path. The lack of clarity and not enough “how-to” information keeps entrepreneurs from incorporating consulting into the services they offer.
Last month Cisco announced two new room video systems called the Spark Room Kit and Spark Room Kit Plus. Behind these dull names are some impressive technologies never before seen in videoconferencing.
The room kits are nearly complete videoconferencing systems, but they don’t include the displays. Each system is a single all-in-one device with camera(s), microphones and speakers. The primary difference between the two models is that the Room Kit has a single fixed-camera and the Room Kit Plus has four fixed-cameras that can cover a larger room.
EU executive vice-president Frans Timmermans presented the discussion on Hungary that took place earlier on Wednesday at the college go the Commissioners’ weekly meet-up.
“At Jean-Claude Juncker’s initiative – and I very much welcome that – the College also discussed today a wide range of legal issues relating to Hungary,” said Timmermans.
Amajority of Germans have for the first time said the country cannot take in any more refugees, according to a recent survey.
A study by the Bertelsmann Foundation found that a vast majority of Germans still say immigrants and refugees are “very welcoming, or quite welcoming.”
But the number of people who felt Germany had reached the point where it could no longer take in refugees had risen to 54 per cent, up from just 40 per cent in 2015.
The EU has outlined its Brexit strategy, suggesting trade talks could begin after “sufficient progress” on a separation settlement with the UK.
The draft guidelines, announced by European Council President Donald Tusk in Malta, advocate a “phased approach”.They will be sent to the 27 member states for approval and will set the tone for two years of negotiations.
In Brussels, the EU’s foreign policy chief suggested the EU could manage without the UK in defence matters.
The UK formally triggered the Brexit process on Wednesday after calling for simultaneous talks on exit terms and future trade ties.