I’ve been a freelance web-designer for a couple years now and I recently started offering consulting services. Honestly, at first I didn’t think it would help me get more design gigs, I just thought it would be one more income stream and figured I’d try it since I was already giving advice about design and usability to my clients.
Actually, offering consulting services is probably the best decision I’ve made in my freelance career so far (after going full-time freelance of course) I get more requests for design projects now than before I started offering it. Why?
There are 4 main reasons why I do consulting and how I think it helps my design business. Keep in mind that these can also be applied to any other business like writing, blogging, programming, etc…
1 – It Positions You As Someone Who Knows What He’s Talking About (an expert?)
Offering consulting services tells potential clients that you actually know your stuff. Hey, if you can design and code a website and offer advice and personalized tips and tricks on top of that, tell me why I shouldn’t hire you? (especially if you offer a package that includes both design and consulting)
There’s a huge difference between being able to just do a job and being able to suggest improvements and ideas based on your experience while doing the job. One thing I’ve learned from blogging is that you should never assume the information is already out there when you write something. It’s the same with consulting except the information you give your client is very personalized.
2 – You Can Learn A Lot By Consulting
Every single time I have a new consulting client I learn something new! Everybody wants something different and have different needs. You can learn a lot by offering consulting services, it’s a win-win thing! You learn from your clients and your clients are happy you can suggest improvements, share your ideas, give advice and help him/her build a better business.
You’ve been designing for years, you sure know a thing or two about design and usability, right? Well chances are your client doesn’t. When you work with clients in different industries you learn a a lot each time, and that knowledge and experience that you gain can help you run your business better and help other clients in the long run.
3 – It Gives You A Break From Designing
I love to design websites and blogs, but sometimes it feels good to take a little break and do something else. Consulting gives you this, it helps break the routine and then you can go back to designing with a fresh perspective and new ideas. It’s like going for a walk when you got a nasty case of writer’s block, except you get paid for it!
4 – Build A Strong Ongoing RelationShip
Ok, so you can design a website, great! But why stop there? Why not tell your client about your consulting services? It’s expensive enough to acquire new clients (advertising, marketing, etc…) why not try to keep the ones you already have?
Sure some clients just want to get the job done and you’ll never hear from them again, but others will be more than happy to spend a little more and hire you as a consultant! If you can build a strong working relationship with your clients there is a good possibility you won’t have to work as hard to find new clients in order make ends meet since you’ll have money coming in on a regular basis.
Your Turn To Talk
What do you think? Have you ever considered offering consulting services? I know consulting is not for everyone but try offering a free report or something like a 1 hour Skype consultation and see where it takes you. I’m sure you’ll like it! :)
image in this post: Thomas Rockstar