The goal of the IT Consulting Academy is to help you create and build your own IT consulting business for many years. There are all types of different work that’s available to you in the IT field. However if you want long term customers that provide consistent monthly income you need to know the difference between IT Consultant and IT Freelancer. The word Consultant is often misunderstood because there is a distinct difference between being an IT Consultant and an IT Freelancer. Note the word Freelancer also pertains to the word contractor or sub-contractor. The reason I want to talk about this topic is so that I can help you clearly identify the type of service you will be offering your clients. I want you to go after Consulting work not Freelancer work. Let’s go a little more in-depth to clearly define the difference between the two.
Freelancers – are hired to do a specific task & deliver it. Here are some examples of an IT Freelancer:
- Freelancing is great if you are looking to make side money to augment your income from your full time job.
- Freelancing is good if you need to make money in a short time frame.
- Freelancing jobs are easy to find.
- Typically there is little to no client relationship which means there are no client referrals.
- Freelance assignments are typically transaction based with minimal repeat business.
- Freelancers typically make less money than consultants because there is more competition for the same job.
- Freelancers use various freelancing website portals to find jobs. Ultimately they have to pay portion of their earned income to the website provider.
- Freelancers are considered to be more like a labor or task implementer.
On the other hand a consultant is an adviser who works with their client to come up with a solution for a business issue that helps the company. The following clearly defines the role of a consultant:
- A Consultant is someone who partners with their client and helps them figure out a solution to client’s business issue.
- The role of a consultant is to reaffirm what the client’s business needs are. Then establish what the end result of the project is supposed to look like. Next the consultant creates a solution to meet the client’s expectations.
- It is the responsibility of the consultant is to figure out the best way to build and implement the solution to meet the client’s needs. In doing so the consultant learns to speak the language of the customer by working with them closely on the project. During this process the customer gets to know you the client on personal level thus forming a relationship of trust. Once you build a relationship of trust you will begin to have repeat business after the first project is over.
- The ability to establish long term business relationships while providing unique solutions to meet the client’s business needs is the primary difference between a Freelancer and a Consultant. Because of the client relationship IT consultants are able to continually find additional work within the client’s business. Because of the trust you have established with the client they are highly likely to continue using your services for other areas of the business.
- Consultants create consistent long term revenue by knowing their client’s needs, wants and desires.
- The downside to long term consulting clients is that it takes a lot of effort to get them. I will show you later you can identify and contact long term clients later in this training series.
The primary difference between an IT Consultant and a Freelancer is that the consultant creates custom IT solutions for a business while establishing a long term relationships. The IT Freelancer performs a task with little to no client relationship being built. Without a relationship the IT freelancer is not likely to get repeat business. It is the relationship that keeps you in business year after year. Without the relationship you will not have consistent monthly repeat business. After a while you will have a number of IT clients that consistently use your IT consulting services month after month. Building your Book-of-Business as an IT consultant should be your primary focus of your business.