How to Get Started as a Paid Consultant to Companies When people realize how much you know they'll want to hire you.

By Kimanzi Constable

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ezra Bailey | Getty Images

When it comes to the speaking industry, entrepreneurs tend to focus on speaking at events and conferences. It's the traditional path that is known and understood. Being a paid consultant to companies is something that intrigues entrepreneurs but there's no clear path. The lack of clarity and not enough "how-to" information keeps entrepreneurs from incorporating consulting into the services they offer.

Consulting is different in the fact that you might be giving a presentation to a few department managers or part of a company's employee workforce. The audience may not be as big, but the money tends to be better. Conferences are limited by their speaker's budget. A company tends to bring in one consultant at a time and their budget can be unlimited. In 2013, it was estimated that consulting is a $39.3 billion dollar a year industry according to Bloomberg.

Consulting is also great because mid to large companies have offices in other countries. If you do good work in one office, there is the opportunity to consult with the other offices all over the world. I'm writing this article to you from Rome, Italy. I have been here in Europe for six weeks on a six-country consulting tour for the same company. If consulting at companies is one of your goals, here is how you get started.

Related: Increase Your Perceived Value With Social Proof -- and Charge More

Build your foundation and social proof.

Your foundation consists of your website, social media presence, and your email list. Your foundation is where you will send HR managers and department heads at companies to see that you are an expert at what you talk about. Your website shouldn't be cluttered with too many pages and too much information -- you don't want to overwhelm anyone. Each page should demonstrate that what you tech is practical. Companies invest their time and money on training and strategy they can understand.

On your social media pages, you should post content that illustrates you know what you're talking about in regards to your topic. It is not uncommon for a company to follow your work on social media and your email list for some time to get a feel for you and what you do. After the foundation is set, it's time to build social proof. You can:

Related: 6 Steps to Getting Your First Consulting Contract

Start with local companies.

You're not going to start out booking consulting work at Apple or other large companies. Where you'll start is smaller, local companies. You start local because you have the opportunity to get in front of a decision maker that can write you a check. Local businesses also tend to move slower when it comes to a lot of things. If you consult on marketing or digital marketing —for example—you have the chance to book a lot of work because local businesses tend to focus on traditional forms of marketing. No matter what your topic is, there is a local business that could use what you teach on.

Look for you local business journal or scan the companies where you live. Think about your core message and how it could benefit one of those local companies. Put together a proposal to show the owner of the company. Send a welcome email, call the business, or go into the business. The goal is to get some time with the decision maker to show how what you consult on can help the business' bottom line. Back your proposal up with research and data.

Related: Local SEO Is a Perfect Match for These 4 Industries

Leverage and grow.

The hardest part will be signing that first company. Once you have one, it's easier to leverage that first one for a second one. Focus on building a local presence so that you will start to get referrals. Once you have three or so local consulting gigs under your belt, you can turn your focus to larger companies. You can leverage the work you've done and the social proof you've built as you book local work. Push for work in other offices as you start to work with large companies.

This is an intro to getting you started as a paid consultant. There are many businesses that could use what you teach. It's a matter of establishing yourself and finding the right companies, then pitching them with a solid proposal. You can book some good work that helps your business grow and gives you the opportunity to travel. Don't be afraid to dig deeper into consulting. You may not understand it all, but if you have worked hard to build your skillset, you can learn and book gigs.

Wavy Line
Kimanzi Constable

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Content Marketing Strategist

Kimanzi Constable is an author of four books and has been published in over 80 publications and magazines. He is the co-founder of Results Global Impact Consulting. He teaches businesses modern content strategies. Join him at RGIC.

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics

Business News

California Woman Arrested For $60 Million Postal Service Scam

Lijuan "Angela" Chen faces two charges that each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Business News

A Wegmans Employee Allegedly Stole Over $500,000 from the Company

Alicia Torres pleaded guilty to crimes carried out over nine years while working at Wegmans in Webster, New York.


3 Effective Strategies to Help You Generate Revenue From Your App

Learn about three effective app monetization strategies that can help you generate revenue from your app.


The Do's and Don'ts of Using Your Human Design Type in Your Marketing

Marketing yourself congruently with your human design may create a ripple effect in your business — don't be surprised if you begin attracting more clients.

Operations & Logistics

How to Combat Robocalls and Scammers With Anti-Call Technology

We're still far from eliminating scam calls, but we're adding new tools and standards. Only by adopting new technologies can call centers rebuild trust and confidence with the people they serve.