How do people become freelance consultants
Essential skills for any freelance consultant
Communication skills should be high on the list when deciding which skills to develop for your freelance management consulting career.
From presentations to leadership skills, spending some time developing your communication skills will pay off as your career progresses.
As a freelance business consultant, you are often hired to help lead teams and manage business change. Leadership skills can help you with this. As you gain experience as a freelancer and work at a higher level, your ability to lead teams will become increasingly important. As you learn to be a good leader, you will be able to get the most out of the people around you.
Many people learn leadership skills "on the job" by making mistakes and gaining years of experience. If you need to accelerate your development as a leader, you will be taking the time to read books and management literature to study the craft and you will be sailing in the right direction. If you have contacts who are experienced in leadership, it can be a good idea to use their advice as a mentor, especially if you are new to leadership.
Presentation skills can have a huge impact on your success as a freelance business consultant. The ideal solution that is poorly presented can end up being ignored, and a good solution can easily become an amazing one if presented in a good way.
Spending some time brushing up on your design skills can make a huge difference in your ability to influence your customers. You don't need to retrain to become a graphic designer, but taking the time to learn how to beautifully design and structure your documents and presentations can greatly increase the effectiveness of your documents and presentations. Being direct and concise in what you say is an absolute must when presenting to executives in a short amount of time.
It is also worth paying attention to the way you speak. Learn to speak directly, succinctly, and clearly. Work on avoiding any ‘umms’ and ahhs ’that may have crept insidiously into your vocabulary.
It can be difficult to pick up and fixate your speech patterns. You may find it useful to record yourself talking about any topic for two minutes, then listen again to discover language patterns you'd rather get rid of. For me, I found that I used ms umms ’a lot, even when I knew what it was about. It took some practice, but being aware of it set me on the right path to recovery. That is, until you ask me a question that I can't answer, then you have an uncomfortable habit of popping up again.
Influencing stakeholders is an important part of the role of a professional business consultant. Your customers pay for you to share your expertise with others. When you communicate confidently, clearly and directly, you will help your customers to trust what you are saying. Effective communication will make a huge difference in how closely people listen to you and how they react to what you have to say.
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