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From a Freelancer to a Consultant, the CCC shares tips on finding your niche next month; scope

From freelancer to consultant

The difference between consulting and freelancing is having specific expertise in one area; a freelancer usually has several areas of knowledge. Most freelancers start by doing projects they are asked to do by friends, colleagues, or peers who see them as someone who “knows about this” and is someone they trust will help with this task.

At some point, a freelancer needs to decide if they want to keep trading time for money for mundane tasks because most freelancers do the work that takes time; uploading videos, creating content, scheduling social media, editing, or writing.

These are tasks that we know humans need to do, but technology is slowly taking over these kinds of functions, and in the future, we will see these kinds of jobs eliminated as innovation continues. So when a freelancer realizes that they are burned out, tired of constantly looking for low-paying clients, or have difficulty with the constant learning required, they may opt to become a consultant.

When a freelancer learns a specific skill, tool, or task and becomes very experienced within an industry, with an instrument, or in a field, this allows them to create a higher level of offerings dedicated to a core audience interested in their unique offer.

Here’s an example: A freelancer builds an online community using a community platform and then becomes an expert at that platform. The freelancer decides to get certified from the forum (because they offer a program) and builds a relationship with the employees at that platform.

Now the new consultant, an expert in this platform, can get referrals from the platform and decide how they want to work with clients, which wouldn’t be possible in a “freelancer” or a full-time role. The consultant has complete control over how and when services will be delivered and can charge higher rates than freelancers since there is less competition for their expertise.

The most significant difference between freelancers and consultants is the rates they charge. Consultants have learned a skill and have expertise that isn’t widely available. Therefore, companies, business owners, and organizations would be willing to pay more to retain the consultant for a short time to learn from their vast experience in specific expertise.

The freelancing niche is about a Zone of Genius; we sell experiences, not services.

During the Community Consultants Collective June session, the members discussed challenges with finding a niche and how some have overcome obstacles. Venia Logan shared a story about a community builder who focuses on solving problems. Adam Krisko reminded us that we aren’t selling a solution as much as the experience attached to that solution. The experience is what we “market” and what we tell people when we discuss our services, how we work with others, and how we have helped community builders, leaders, and teams achieve goals within the communities based on strategies we’ve helped guide, develop, or cultivate.

Kelly Pratt suggested that as the CCC continues to grow, we can help each other identify strengths and skills within each other. The key to making an offer is knowing what you enjoy doing and what you are good at doing, and hopefully, that is the same thing. Someone might be great at editing videos, but if that is a burnout skill (the person feels drained and exhausted after the work is finished), then this is not a great skill for that person.

You might have heard the term “zone of genius.” If not, it’s the one thing you do best that you could do right now, without any training or other experience. It’s the thing that you enjoy doing for hours and “lose track of time” because you were in the “flow” or found that you just connected to your “inner wisdom.” Either way, it’s working with what you have instead of asking you to find another course, program, or training you “need” to get that job, project, client, customer, or sell your services.

Here are a few resources to get you started:

Consultant and Freelancer Scope creep, it’s real:

An open discussion on how to avoid it.

We are excited to share new updates to the CCC! You spoke, and we listened! Please update your calendars with this NEW link for the July meeting here. On July 12th at noon Eastern, the CCC will discuss scope creep and how to avoid it as a consultant. Refine your pitch to keep clients and yourself focused on the scope.

What is the scope of a project? Your work structure is broken down to help your clients understand how you work with others. As a consultant, you may be focused on helping a client launch a community, restructure it, or help them build an audience to bring in new members. These are all different kinds of tasks that have other goals.

Scope creep happens when a client asks a consultant to do things outside the agreed-upon scope of the project. If a consultant is hired only to advise a client, but then the client asks them for actual content creation or written copy, that is a work product that isn’t included in the project's original scope. This requires the consultant to pause, and decide how to approach the client and what options to provide, if any, or how to respond. We will discuss this and more during our CCC meeting; I hope to see you there!

Stay up to date with the CCC as a member by checking out our resources:

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P.S. Do you want to be listed as a member of our directory? If you are an active member of the CCC, you are eligible to be listed on our site. In addition, the CCC board is working on plans to create services to support the growing needs of new consultants; let us know what would be helpful to you! Book a call with a board member to discuss details today.


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