Writing as a “Consultant” – Is It For You?

Every professional writer probably at some point in his/her life considered whether to work for a company or go at it along as a consultant. There are pros and cons to both positions.

Let me spell out the #1 pros and cons of both work styles.

********** PROS

#1 reason to work as a consultant: MONEY. Consultants usually make more per hour than payroll employees.

#1 reason to work as an employee: SECURITY. Usually employees do not have to worry where their next paycheck is going to come from.

********** CONS

#1 disadvantage of working as a consultant: SECURITY. You make a lot of money WHEN you do work. But working 2,000 hours a year like a payroll employee may not be possible. Like the joke about the unemployed guy who brags that he makes $2,000 an hour BUT – he can work only one hour a year.

#1 disadvantage of working as an employee: MONEY. Yes, your job is ready for you waiting when you show up for work every day. You do not need to go out and chase your next customer. But are you making as much as you should? Perhaps you do and perhaps you do not.


MARKETING. Are you good at marketing yourself? Can you work a room or join a crowd, make easy small talk, win people’s trust and not be embarrassed about publicizing what you do at every opportunity? If you are comfortable with all that you should consider consulting. Otherwise stay with your company.

DISCIPLINE AND ORGANIZATION. Are you a good organizer? Does your desk look clean and tidy? Do you plan your days and weeks ahead of time? Do you use an organizer? Do you go to your appointments always early? Can you shut down the TV or not go to that movie when you need to finish an assignment? Then perhaps you should consider consulting. Otherwise stay with your company.

TOLERANCE OF AMBIGUITY. Can you absorb ambiguity well? Can you stay calm and not panic when you don’t know where the next check is going to come from? Can you be patient and tolerant when your customer gets flustered and creates unanticipated problems? Can you think fast on your feet and improvise at the last second and still make it look like you’ve got a plan for every contingency? Then perhaps you should consider consulting. Otherwise stay with your company.

SELF ACTUALIZATION. Is it important for you to “create” and “build” something, to leave a legacy of good works of which you are the principal author? Do you enjoy the limelight? Do you like taking full credit both for your failures as well as your accomplishments? Do you think to be your own boss is a great achievement in life, no matter how much you end up making? Then perhaps you should consider consulting. Otherwise stay with your company.

Ugur Akinci, Ph.D. is a Creative Copywriter, Editor, an experienced and award-winning Technical Communicator specializing in fundraising packages, direct sales copy, web content, press releases, movie reviews and hi-tech documentation. He has worked as a Technical Writer for Fortune 100 companies for the last 7 years.

Why Making Money As A Home Based Marketing Consultant Doesn’t Require Natural Skill Or Money

Usually, when someone comes to me asking me to train them as a home based
marketing consultant they will ask what separates the way I do things from all the other marketing consultants.

Why is it that someone with no extraordinary talent, speaking abilities or sales skills
can last for over 20 years in this game while 80% of all the other home based
marketing consultants eventually go under or make so little their business actually
costs them money each year.

In other words…what’s my secret?

There are only two.

One is I’m always marketing myself. I never stop promoting my business and going
after new clients.

The second one, however, is a bit different. And it’s what keeps me and my home
business marketing consulting students one, two even three steps of everyone else.
Even people with more natural marketing and sales talent, and even those with more
money to advertise themselves with.

You see, where I, and those I train, differ from everybody else is in our ability to go
into a small business and identify what I like to call “hidden marketing assets”.

What’s a hidden marketing asset?

A hidden marketing asset is something the business owner I’m working with has
that is immensely valuable to him and his business but he doesn’t realize it.

One example of this (and there are dozens upon dozens of them) is special
relationships the client may have with other people and businesses in the
community they can leverage off of by exchanging leads.

And what you have to do — above all else — is simply learn how to identify those

How do you do that?

Well, what I do is ask a special series of questions to every client I work with whose
only purpose is to find those hidden assets.

And once I have those assets, the marketing consulting practically works itself. The
money starts flowing in almost by magic. Even though the client isn’t spending any
extra money on his marketing. In fact, sometimes he will spend less.

And this one simple thing is really what separates us from anybody else.

Any traditional advertiser or traditional marketing consultant doesn’t care about the
business’s hidden marketing assets.

They just want to sell more advertising, and they want to sell more direct mail or
they want to sell more coupons or they want to sell more billboard space or more
radio or more newspaper ads.

When you do it my way, on the other hand, you’re going in and saying, “Hey, you
don’t need any of that, but I do need to take you through a series of questions to
see if you have what I call marketing assets. Then, I will simply take those assets
and systematically leverage them into a marketing system to create increases for

See what I mean?

This is one of the reasons why you don’t need to be a marketing and business
genius to make it as a marketing consultant in a home business.

How to Avoid a Disastrous Experience at the Hands of a Mentor-Coach-Consultant

Are you one of the many who is plumb sick and tired of working for someone whose I.Q. equals the calories in a lettuce leaf? For an organization that mouths promises about Promoting From Within, while having a dozen ads on Monster.com? Whose idea of a Good Company Person is an employee who sits for hours in fruitless company meetings, then spends the rest of their waking hours trying to get the actual work done? And who……well, you can put in your own words from here out.

The point is, you have lots of smarts, plenty of ambition and the energy to go with it. You even have a terrific idea for a business you can do from home, with little more equipment than your recently-upgraded, spiffy, speedy computer, your newish printer, and a few accessories.

What you don’t have is the marketing expertise or the technical computer knowledge that is essential to transform your idea into the money to live on.

You’ve read the hype on those websites that assure you that unless you know all about This & That & The Other essential skill, you’ll never make it in the commercial Internet world like Mentor-Coach-Consultant did by expensive Trial and Error. And you read the pages that describe all his mistakes, which culminated in his triumphant success and his $450,000-a-month-no-work-residual income.

Pages and pages of testimonials decorated with Smiling Faces assure you of the Mentor’s unparalleled professionalism and honesty and that the aforementioned Smiling Faces would never have succeeded without You Know Who.

And of course, only by getting The Person to impart his voluminous hard-won knowledge to you do you have the chance of a snail in a French restaurant to do anything but lose your shirt in the struggle to survive.

You sign up for the Free Newsletter, the Free Consultation and anything else that gives you hope.

Then start the phone calls. The first is from The Qualifier. That person’s task is to make certain that you feel moderately stupid–too stupid to find your way by yourself, but not too stupid to do it with the help of The Mentor-Coach-Consultant.

Also, to find out if you have the money to pay The Mentor-Coach-Consultant and henchpersons.

Then comes the By-appointment call from the Person Himself. From here on be on your guard; This person’s goood!

As a great believer in the real value of a good mentor-coach-consultant, I want to give you some thinking material to help you avoid the disastrous experience some of us have had.

If you have money to burn and total faith in everyone, this may not apply to you. If, however, you’re short on money or faith, and the project must be completed by a particular time, listen up!

1. Take notes and, if permissible, record every word of both the Qualifying Call and the following Sales Calls. You’ll be overwhelmed by the hyperbole and the promises and assurances, and will want to go back and check on what you think you heard, as opposed to what was actually said.

2. Before you pay money, get the specific promises and the specific steps of the project in an e-mail from Mentor-Coach-Consultant. This is imperative!

3. After you know the specific steps, request an e-mail giving a time-line for completion of each step. Most of the work will involve things you yourself have to attend to. Be willing to make a commitment for your part.

4. Find out if various parts of your project will be farmed out.
For example, if Your Mentor is to furnish you with a copywriter, find out who and how much experience he/she has and if he/she already has too many projects going.

Check to see if the Webmaster is experienced and has time to give your project the priority it requires.

E-mail those helpers and tell them your Completion Date and confirm that they’re able to make that date.

Go to the website of the Hosting Company and figure out what questions you need to ask regarding their service.
5. If there’s to be coaching about marketing your site, be sure you’re going to actually have a site in time to apply the coaching advice! I was promised a completed and SEO’d e-commerce site in three weeks (believable because my webmaster friend did hers in four days.). This took 6 months! By the time my site was actually operational, I’d forgotten much of the un-applied information, and some of it was now obsolete.)

6. Get a firm, e-mailed Date of Completion from the Mentor. Don’t let this slip!

7. Just before the subject of the fee comes up take deep deep breaths, a sip of water (if you can swallow) and have your heart monitor close at hand.

8. We’ll assume you survive the announcement of an amount of money that would keep you in house payments and organic food for 20 years.

9. Now this is the hard part; you’ve got to negotiate payment so that you pay a portion of the fee as each step is completed. If the Mentor-Coach-Consultant will not do this, think very very hard before hiring this person. The few Mentors who are the Only Ones With the Solution are as scarce as wildflowers on a glacier–and may not exist at all.

10. When Your Project is finished you may discover that you could really benefit by further services from Your Mentor. If that’s the case, be fair. Talk money again, and be willing to pay a reasonable amount. Even Your Mentor has house payments.

I hope, dear Reader, that my unfortunate experience will help you avoid having your very own unfortunate experience.

In some ways I lucked out. One of the people involved in my travesty took pity on me, and hung on ‘way past what was agreed upon for his part, freely giving me his time and his advice. The blessings of the Universe upon Shawn!

Do keep in mind that most Mentor-Coach-Consultants are dandy people, essentially honest. But in their enthusiasm to increase their own incomes, they sometimes get carried away, promising this and that, and probably fully intending to produce whatever was promised. New opportunities pop up, though, and there’s never enough time…..

And they’ve neglected to communicate the Completion Date to all the people involved in your Precious Project. Further, even though it is their responsibility, they also neglect to follow up on their Farmed-Outers to be sure that they’re not going to make a liar out of The Person by not doing their part of the Project.

The Greatest Challenges the Internet Consultant Faces!

While there are few career paths that some would call perfect, being a consultant comes pretty close to having it all. Yet while it is one of the best ways to earn a living, there are challenges and pitfalls that are sometimes overwhelming and unexpected.

When analyzing, identifying and exploring the most specific challenges high on the consultant’s list, there are probably a few that would probably be considered the greatest of all. Whether your goal is to help a client increase sales, or if your objective is to show them how implementing a new idea will make things more effective, challenges are always to be faced.

Client’s Expectations!

One very huge challenge most consultants face is dealing with a client who has lofty goals, but lacks a forward thinking attitude. Understandably, the client wants to achieve a great deal but when it comes to a client’s business, more often than not they’re fearful about spending money. Because some clients are often short-term oriented, they sometimes expect big results from very small investments. To encourage a client towards longer-term strategies, ask your client if your services are showing progress overall. It’s up to you to prove to your client that you are making a difference.

Creative Ways of Attracting Clients!

While writing letters, introducing your company, creating press releases, developing a web site and of course networking are all critical to the success of any business, in a competitive market such as the Internet, the challenge grows even greater.

What that means to the consultant is that he or she must conceive of unique measures for opening doors to their services, and that demands different approaches. As an example, if you’re a web designer, convincing your client of the importance of having a web site is critical in today’s market. Yet, often when approaching a prospective client, getting past the initial inquiry presents a great challenge. Not wishing to lose a client right off the bat, tell the client that their decision to use your services will depend upon what they actually want to achieve. Suggest that you have some great ideas that will enhance their business. Offer a first no obligation meeting or conversation to give them an idea of what you can do for them. Usually under those terms the client will agree to speak to you about your intentions giving you an opportunity to demonstrate how you can help them.

Relating to and Understanding a Clients Needs!

Because a consultant commonly seeks to offer newer and more progressive ideas to an organization, the consultant’s challenge is to relate to and understand different client’s needs. Prospects often have a difficult time grasping the full benefits of a particular strategy. As an example, if you’re interested in introducing new software, the potential client may not understand how implementing the newer idea can help augment their business. Although clients might not have a handle on the importance of adding something technical to their business, carefully researching different markets and showing proof as to why your idea will be to the client’s benefit is one way of overcoming this challenge.

There are always going to be times when a potential or existing client may challenge your suggestions or method of operation, but you have to hear and understand where a client is coming from even when you don’t agree. First listen and then show why you believe your way is best. As a consultant it is your goal to become known as a solution finder, and the only way to do that is to become aware of your client’s concerns. It’s your job to go beyond those concerns by helping your client reach their goals. As Consultants we always have the choice to either permit our challenges to defeat us or simply use them as an opportunity to transcend specific hurdles.

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