Hey there! I'm Paul Millerd and I've been a freelance consultant for the last 3+ years. Prior to that I spent almost 10 years in the strategy consulting industry working for firms like McKinsey and BCG. While I learned a ton about consulting working in those firms, the real learning came when I took the leap to self-employment in 2017. Through my own work and work helping others take the leap and launch their consulting practices I've discovered a number of common themes that newbies seem to have questions about.
Unfortunately there are not a lot of great resources on the nitty gritty of consulting so I'm trying to create some useful things here. My personal go-to resources for my own learning are Tom Critchlow and Venkatesh Rao's writings on freelancing and the gig economy in general:
- Venkatesh: Art of the Gig Newsletter (well worth the $5 a month) & Ribbonfarm Blog
- Tom: His writing generally and his series on "The Strategic Independent"
- Shifting your mindset: connecting with other freelancers, grappling with your fear & defining what "success" means.
- Naming your practice
- How to identify as a freelance consultant without trapping yourself in that identity
Defining Your Focus
- How to think about your service offerings & positioning
- How to prototype offerings and get experience 🆕
- How to create a "sales deck" or updated project list
Finding Your First Projects
Landing Your First Project
- Creating a proposal and engaging with the client before the project🆕
- How to think about pricing and the pros & cons of different strategies
- How much free work to do before charging? 🆕
Working With Clients
- How to develop a project plan
- Communicating with the client
- Getting data from clients
- Performing interviews
- Running meetings or "workshops"
- Creating end products & getting feedback from clients
- Status calls & check-ins
- Wrapping up and engagement
- Dealing with the challenges of getting paid 🆕