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Are you a Consultant or a Contractor?

Are you a consultant or a contractor? What’s the difference? Are you one of the other? Are you both? Have you been taken on as a contractor but ended up consulting? Or did you start consulting and end up contracting? Is anyone else confused?
3 minute read

Independent Contractor vs Consultant.  Which is Right for You?

Are you a consultant or a contractor? What’s the difference? Are you one of the other? Are you both? Have you been taken on as a contractor but ended up consulting? Or did you start consulting and end up contracting? Is anyone else confused?

Out here where we self-employed set our own rules, terms like ‘Contractor’ and ‘Consultant’ can blur and interchange. However, it is a good idea to have a firm grip on what these terms mean. Are you confident that you are presenting yourself clearly so you know you are getting the right work at the right rates!

Independent Contractor

You are a self employed person who ‘contracts’ to undertake work for another person or company. The client knows what they need done. They will give you a clear brief of what they want you to create. You will then use your talents and skills to realise your client’s vision in order to execute their brief.You may agree a fixed price or hourly/daily rate for respective brief and agree a deadline upfront.

 Consultant

You are also a self employed person and you may well possess the same skills as an Independent Contractor. Whether it’s for your industry experience or your knowledge specialty, your client has approached you for your ‘expert opinion’ and your know how!  You will be brought into a project further upstream than a Contractor. You are helping & enabling your client to evaluate & define their needs. Rather than creating a piece of work to an already determined brief. You are shaping and refining that brief.

Consultant Rates

Consultants tend to work to a daily rate. Advising and agreeing with their client how long it will take them to assess a project. Some Consultants charge hourly, doubling or tripling their Contracting hourly rate. Or, you may wish to charge a fixed price for the work to be completed.

And here’s the rub…what’s to say that you aren’t taken on as a Contractor, but you end up Consulting on the fly? What’s to say that you aren’t taken on as a Consultant, but you end up Contracting to execute the brief you’ve created? Nothing, and it’s great. It is more work and kudos to you!

Do take care though. It is easier to consult and go on to charge more to contract, then it is to contract and end up trying to recoup fees for having consulted on the hop. Be sure before you sign on that dotted line. The job you are being asked to do matches the job that actually needs to be done.

If you are being paid as a Contractor, but there are holes in the brief, can you flag those holes with your client and offer to Consult with them? Or do they need some more time to define their brief before it lands on your desk? When we all understand what is needed and expected, we can do our best work.

The future for contractors is bright. Traditional companies are understanding the new ways of working are here to stay. As the hierarchy of the old company crumbles they are adapting to embrace a more open source model of working. This is future proofing the work, but it is also widening the pool as new contractors come to the table. What are some of the ways you can secure your future in this dynamic, expanding market?
Show Off
This is no time for hiding your light under a bushel. If you aren’t shouting your achievements from the roof-tops you are undermining your achievements.  It is easier now than ever to make a sophisticated website, to share your successes, or to find new communities on social media. You’re last contract can increase your income stream long after your last invoice, but only if you are using the work to capture new clients.
Develop your personal contractor brand
Raise your profile by stepping forward in industry and the wider community. Putting yourself out there will bring in new clients from beyond your current remit. Is there an event you speak at, a panel discussion you can join, a journal or magazine you can contribute too?

In developing your personal brand harness your authenticity. Reconnect with what fires you up in your industry, what are you passionate about? Share your opinion.  Is there an issue you want to champion or something you want to change? Stepping forward in a meaningful way engages others & starts a dialogue which can cut through the white noise of social media. Furthermore, pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone will enhance your skill set and might even change the way that your work.
Go Analog
Networking is essential for a contractor. In our lives of hyper-connectivity we can become blaise about our online networks. Refresh how you think, try going analog. Digital recommendations fuel our perfectionism but there is much to be said for getting out there on the ground and having IRL interactions. Find events that interest you beyond your professional work. Have interesting conversations. Don’t necessarily look for your next client. Look for people who inspire you. They might become collaborators or catalysts to broaden your horizons.
Stay up to date with working innovation
We are already fluent in the ‘new way of working,’ but be sure to stay ahead of the curve. Utilize all the apps, platforms and software available to you to make yourself as agile, flexible, efficient and unrestricted as you can. Streamline your tax and expenses. Understand where you put your time. Manage and flow your projects and tasks. communicate easily and reliably with your clients. As a contractor, make yourself a speciality. You may end up introducing your clients to new systems and processes that mark you out not only as a brilliant contractor, but as an expert in the contracting field.
Also – you might like to take a read of How to Balance Life Situations as a Contractor to ensure you are balancing work and life to its optimum!The future for contractors is bright. Traditional companies are understanding the new ways of working are here to stay. As the hierarchy of the old company crumbles they are adapting to embrace a more open source model of working. This is future proofing the work, but it is also widening the pool as new contractors come to the table. What are some of the ways you can secure your future in this dynamic, expanding market?
Show Off
This is no time for hiding your light under a bushel. If you aren’t shouting your achievements from the roof-tops you are undermining your achievements.  It is easier now than ever to make a sophisticated website, to share your successes, or to find new communities on social media. You’re last contract can increase your income stream long after your last invoice, but only if you are using the work to capture new clients.
Develop your personal contractor brand
Raise your profile by stepping forward in industry and the wider community. Putting yourself out there will bring in new clients from beyond your current remit. Is there an event you speak at, a panel discussion you can join, a journal or magazine you can contribute too?

In developing your personal brand harness your authenticity. Reconnect with what fires you up in your industry, what are you passionate about? Share your opinion.  Is there an issue you want to champion or something you want to change? Stepping forward in a meaningful way engages others & starts a dialogue which can cut through the white noise of social media. Furthermore, pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone will enhance your skill set and might even change the way that your work.
Go Analog
Networking is essential for a contractor. In our lives of hyper-connectivity we can become blaise about our online networks. Refresh how you think, try going analog. Digital recommendations fuel our perfectionism but there is much to be said for getting out there on the ground and having IRL interactions. Find events that interest you beyond your professional work. Have interesting conversations. Don’t necessarily look for your next client. Look for people who inspire you. They might become collaborators or catalysts to broaden your horizons.
Stay up to date with working innovation
We are already fluent in the ‘new way of working,’ but be sure to stay ahead of the curve. Utilize all the apps, platforms and software available to you to make yourself as agile, flexible, efficient and unrestricted as you can. Streamline your tax and expenses. Understand where you put your time. Manage and flow your projects and tasks. communicate easily and reliably with your clients. As a contractor, make yourself a speciality. You may end up introducing your clients to new systems and processes that mark you out not only as a brilliant contractor, but as an expert in the contracting field.
Also – you might like to take a read of How to Balance Life Situations as a Contractor to ensure you are balancing work and life to its optimum!The future for contractors is bright. Traditional companies are understanding the new ways of working are here to stay. As the hierarchy of the old company crumbles they are adapting to embrace a more open source model of working. This is future proofing the work, but it is also widening the pool as new contractors come to the table. What are some of the ways you can secure your future in this dynamic, expanding market?
Show Off
This is no time for hiding your light under a bushel. If you aren’t shouting your achievements from the roof-tops you are undermining your achievements.  It is easier now than ever to make a sophisticated website, to share your successes, or to find new communities on social media. You’re last contract can increase your income stream long after your last invoice, but only if you are using the work to capture new clients.
Develop your personal contractor brand
Raise your profile by stepping forward in industry and the wider community. Putting yourself out there will bring in new clients from beyond your current remit. Is there an event you speak at, a panel discussion you can join, a journal or magazine you can contribute too?

In developing your personal brand harness your authenticity. Reconnect with what fires you up in your industry, what are you passionate about? Share your opinion.  Is there an issue you want to champion or something you want to change? Stepping forward in a meaningful way engages others & starts a dialogue which can cut through the white noise of social media. Furthermore, pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone will enhance your skill set and might even change the way that your work.
Go Analog
Networking is essential for a contractor. In our lives of hyper-connectivity we can become blaise about our online networks. Refresh how you think, try going analog. Digital recommendations fuel our perfectionism but there is much to be said for getting out there on the ground and having IRL interactions. Find events that interest you beyond your professional work. Have interesting conversations. Don’t necessarily look for your next client. Look for people who inspire you. They might become collaborators or catalysts to broaden your horizons.
Stay up to date with working innovation
We are already fluent in the ‘new way of working,’ but be sure to stay ahead of the curve. Utilize all the apps, platforms and software available to you to make yourself as agile, flexible, efficient and unrestricted as you can. Streamline your tax and expenses. Understand where you put your time. Manage and flow your projects and tasks. communicate easily and reliably with your clients. As a contractor, make yourself a speciality. You may end up introducing your clients to new systems and processes that mark you out not only as a brilliant contractor, but as an expert in the contracting field.
Also – you might like to take a read of How to Balance Life Situations as a Contractor to ensure you are balancing work and life to its optimum!The future for contractors is bright. Traditional companies are understanding the new ways of working are here to stay. As the hierarchy of the old company crumbles they are adapting to embrace a more open source model of working. This is future proofing the work, but it is also widening the pool as new contractors come to the table. What are some of the ways you can secure your future in this dynamic, expanding market?
Show Off
This is no time for hiding your light under a bushel. If you aren’t shouting your achievements from the roof-tops you are undermining your achievements.  It is easier now than ever to make a sophisticated website, to share your successes, or to find new communities on social media. You’re last contract can increase your income stream long after your last invoice, but only if you are using the work to capture new clients.
Develop your personal contractor brand
Raise your profile by stepping forward in industry and the wider community. Putting yourself out there will bring in new clients from beyond your current remit. Is there an event you speak at, a panel discussion you can join, a journal or magazine you can contribute too?

In developing your personal brand harness your authenticity. Reconnect with what fires you up in your industry, what are you passionate about? Share your opinion.  Is there an issue you want to champion or something you want to change? Stepping forward in a meaningful way engages others & starts a dialogue which can cut through the white noise of social media. Furthermore, pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone will enhance your skill set and might even change the way that your work.
Go Analog
Networking is essential for a contractor. In our lives of hyper-connectivity we can become blaise about our online networks. Refresh how you think, try going analog. Digital recommendations fuel our perfectionism but there is much to be said for getting out there on the ground and having IRL interactions. Find events that interest you beyond your professional work. Have interesting conversations. Don’t necessarily look for your next client. Look for people who inspire you. They might become collaborators or catalysts to broaden your horizons.
Stay up to date with working innovation
We are already fluent in the ‘new way of working,’ but be sure to stay ahead of the curve. Utilize all the apps, platforms and software available to you to make yourself as agile, flexible, efficient and unrestricted as you can. Streamline your tax and expenses. Understand where you put your time. Manage and flow your projects and tasks. communicate easily and reliably with your clients. As a contractor, make yourself a speciality. You may end up introducing your clients to new systems and processes that mark you out not only as a brilliant contractor, but as an expert in the contracting field.
Also – you might like to take a read of How to Balance Life Situations as a Contractor to ensure you are balancing work and life to its optimum! 

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