According to a 2016 Forbes article, freelancers and consultants now make up 35% of the U.S. workforce and collectively earned $1 trillion in the past year. Upwork and Freelancers Union recently released its annual study, “Freelancing in America: 2017” (FIA), which estimates that at the current rate of growth freelancers will become the U.S. workforce majority within a decade.
Professionals are choosing to take on consulting for a variety of reasons—to have greater location flexibility, to have more control of their schedules and to break past pay ceilings. On average, freelancers make more than their in-house counterparts, and this earning potential is especially crucial for women as they are more likely to be the primary caregivers in a family, and they are increasingly becoming primary breadwinners.
When you're first exploring consulting, it can be hard to know where to start.
Do I need a website?
How will I find clients?
What should I charge?
What services should I offer?
Will I be able to make enough money?
Am I expert enough to charge for my services?
It's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the moving parts and quit before you even get started.
I've created this checklist to give you a big picture view of the major components of getting started and my suggested sequence for tackling each task. Print it out, post it up, and start taking action toward your goal.
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About the Author
Titilayo Tinubu Ali is founder of Own Your Expertise, a training company that helps women turn their 9-to-5 knowledge and experience into consulting opportunities.