Lots of people decide to become consultants, but only a fraction of them ever achieve success. Why? Because in most cases, these people don’t understand the ten key traits necessary for becoming a truly successful consultant.
If you’re thinking about becoming a consultant or are looking for ways to increase the success of your current consulting practice, here are the key traits you need to have if you want to achieve lasting success.
1. Business focus. You are likely pursuing a career in consulting because you have a strong passion for your field or discipline, but this passion alone is not enough. First and foremost, consulting is a business and you must approach it as treat it as such at all time.
2. Customer focus. Consultants of all kinds are out there competing for clients, so you need to set yourself apart if you want to be successful. The most successful consultants are not only experts in their field, but they also pay a great deal of attention to the needs of their customers. Customer focus and service is a critical tool for differentiating your services from others.
3. Ongoing development. No matter what field or discipline you focus on, you must always be working to improve your skills and expertise. Successful consultants devote time and energy to ongoing development so as to stay at the very cutting edge of their field.
4. Web savvy. You can’t run a successful business of any kind in today’s business environment without having a certain amount of web savvy, and consulting is no exception. You must have a web site of some sort, even if it is a very simple and basic format. If you don’t have a presence on the web you are missing out on lots of potential clients.
5. Marketing savvy. Most consultants don’t have huge marketing budgets, so if you want to succeed you need to market yourself in savvy and sophisticated ways. Try writing topical articles in your field and publishing them on various industry blogs or websites; another great way to market yourself effectively is to solicit speaking opportunities at professional conferences, workshops, and gatherings. Don’t miss out on opportunities to volunteer your services to charities and non-profits because this is a terrific way to contribute to your community while also generating positive publicity for your consulting practice.