One answer is, “Thousands of EXTRA $dollars$ more in your Pocket!”
After 15 years working as a freelancer in the worlds of IT and Business & Data Modelling throughout Europe, I started branding myself as a Consultant rather than as a Contractor
After I made this change many of my peers and colleagues asked me, Why have you done that? What’s the difference between a consultant and a contractor?
My initial, slightly tongue in cheek, reply was, Thousands of extra dollars in my bank.
Although it is certainly true that operating as an independent Consultant enabled me to significantly raise my fees and generate extra revenue, the real reason I made this change was because I felt that this would enable me to have a much more productive and constructive relationship with all of my clients.
I would no longer be recruited for an assignment just for part of my skill set. As a consultant, I would be recognised for the overall knowledge, skills, experience and wisdom that I would bring to the client.
Benefits for Me
The biggest benefit for me was being able to choose my assignments with care.
The initial interviews for assignments changed from being merely a one-way process through which the client could find out all that they could about me and ensure that they were getting someone who could adequately do the task. They were now truly two-way.
They also became a means for me to find out whether or not I wanted to work with this client; a means to find out about their culture, values, attitudes and ethics and ensure that these resonated with mine.
Benefits for the Client
To serve both myself and the client, these two-way interviews were an open and constructive dialogue between both parties through which we not only found out all about each other but also explored all of the ways in which we could best work together to get the maximum, mutual value and benefits from our joint collaboration.
Presenting myself as an ethical consultant (I will explain what I mean by this term in a later article) made the relationship between me and the client very different. From the very first contact I felt valued and respected.
The clients were receptive to my open questions and eager to answer them as they felt that they offered the possibility of achieving even more from our joint venture than they at first considered possible.
To deliver what I promised I ensured that I followed a creative, structured process that enabled me to become crystal clear about what the client wanted to achieve and how I could best use all of my experience, knowledge and skills to help them bring this about.
This approach resulted in the assignments becoming much more targeted, focused, succinct and productive, delivering real business benefits in the shortest possible time at the least cost to the client and with the minimum of negative disruption.
Although I always avoid creating negative disruption I do, on the other hand, always strive to bring about positive disruption in the enterprise because I truly believe that this is the most effective way to deliver the maximum positive change and benefits for the client in the most exciting way, taking them safely, from where they are to where they want to be in the shortest time possible.
Although operating as a consultant can bring you extra revenue it will, if you carry out the role correctly, bring you so much more than just money.
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