With the huge numbers of people out of work or underemployed it’s no wonder that more and more people are considering freelance or consultant work. If you have a great deal of expertise in a particular field, are motivated, reliable, connected and professional you may be able to use the loss of a “regular” job as an opportunity to launch a successful freelance or consultant business.
On the other hand, if you already own a successful creative business you may want to incorporate another stream of income by adding freelance or consultant work to your list of services offered. You can help other people build businesses based on your years of experience.
People often confuse the work performed by the freelancer and consultant.
Understanding the difference between freelance and consultant will help you decide how your relationship with your clients will look as well as how your business might run.
Let’s look at the definitions: A Consultant is paid to provide expert advice in a particular field while a Freelancer is a person who works alone, selling work by the hour, day, or job, with no intention of maintaining a long term relationship with a particular client.
While they both involve working or providing services for other people or companies there are some differences.
For instance, when working as a freelancer, your customers might think of using your services for a single project or until a specific result is achieved. A freelancer takes direction from the client and then goes off on his/her own to finish the assignment. Usually the work is done outside the company and using your own tools or supplies. The freelancer controls nearly every part of the project with little input from the client. The client needs a job done, explains it to the freelancer and then the freelancer goes off and performs the work. Once the job is done the working relationship ends unless new work is contracted.
On the other hand, as a consultant, clients may look to you for detailed information in a particular field that you have expertise in. For example, you may be hired as a online retail consultant helping to build, client set up and maintain a clients’ online store. OR if you are a marketing consultant you may be asked to apply your expertise on behalf of a retail store in order to help them increase sales. You may be hired to develop ad campaigns, write a marketing plan or do research. It just depends on your area of expertise and the kind of work your client needs. In that case, the work as a consultant may be a longer term or ongoing job.
There are some tricks to becoming a successful freelancer or consultant and we will explore those more in upcoming articles.
What about you? What field(s) are you an expert in that you might launch a new career with?
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess
You can find more of Vicki’s article right here on her profile page!