Regardless of your work, we are all in the business of selling ourselves. We consult with our inner self, with our friends and family about many decisions in life.
Always be passionate about what you do. Select your friends and colleagues wisely. How you feel about yourself is often reflected in your choice of clothing, your body language, your posture and your attitude. Yes, the first sale is always to yourself.
I am celebrating 33 years in my global consulting business. Here are some insights about branding yourself and building a successful consulting business.
Look, Act and Speak the Part
People buy from emotions and justify with logic. Look the part, act the part, speak the part. Each and every day you need to showcase yourself at your professional best. Clothing in a business environment covers about 90% of your body. Everything you wear: clothes, shoes, accessories, hair style / hair color either works for you or against you. You don’t need lots of garments, you just need a few quality, elegant outfits.
The better you dress, the higher the consulting rate / pay check you can command. A quality wardrobe shows potential clients / employers that you are successful and also boosts your confidence. Clients want to pay people who are successful and they want to bring that same success to their company when they hire you.
You are in the public eye the minute you step outside your door. People will always be assessing and judging you using their five modalities / senses. It is all about what they see, hear, feel, smell and taste. They will make a positive or a negative decision about you in just a few seconds.
Your Mode of Transportation
Yes, your car matters too. It is more important that your car be clean inside and out than to have a new car.
The Words You Speak
Words with two, three or four syllables indicate a higher level of education. Do not use slang words, incomplete words / sentences or improper grammar. I have heard several high profile consultants use the word “gig” when they receive a booking. Being well paid for a consulting contract requires a more professional word than “gig.”
Trustworthiness is essential in consulting and in life. Your gestures and body language send out the non-verbal messages of trust or distrust. Most hand gestures are considered rude, vulgar or inappropriate somewhere in the world. No hi-five’s and other inappropriate hand signals, ever.
Think of yourself as a valuable brand. The more prestigious the brand, the more successful you become. The higher-quality the brand, the better your marketing becomes.
Keep Your Overhead Low
I have always run an elegant, home-based consulting business. When I travel world-wide for clients, I work in their offices or rent a lovely hotel suite for the consulting assignment.
Pricing Your Consulting Services
Put a high price tag on yourself and your consulting services. People all over the world associate higher cost with higher value. People will consider you to be more valuable when you charge more.