What’s Your Title? Freelancer or Consultant?

Going after success is probably one of the reasons why wanted to become a consultant in the first place right? But are you seeking to be a successful consultant or a successful freelancer? What was that you said? They are the same thing, and the titles are virtually interchangeable, you may think this but in our global information age, your informed clients may be seeking one or the other.

The formal definition of these titles gives you a clear understanding of what approach you should take in your clientele wrangling. A consultant is defined as an individual who is contracted to provide professional or expert advice in various specialized fields. Where as the definition of a freelancer gives the image of greater independence. A freelancer is an individual who sells their services by the hour, day, or job, with no desire for a long-term agreement with a single client. These definitions give you the literal vision of what the academic world believes you to be responsible for, but we need to apply these to our clients and what they may compare your title to.

A freelancer is a person that may create an advertisement for the television or radio industry. They may provide a design for business cards or brochures. Promotional items, news releases, or even branding could be projects that you would carry in your portfolio. A vendor could be considered a freelancer. A graphic designer that specializes in business cards or brochures could be considered a freelancer. Your title of freelancer gives the impression that you are an answer for a few quick projects that need to be outsourced.

A consultant is a person who may not just create an advertisement or a brochure, but an entire marketing strategy with goals and research. As a consultant, your projects might generate income and employment for several weeks, months, or even possibly years. Marketing, human resources, sales training, operational processes, accounting, law, and raising capital are a few areas a client may want an expert consultant to help guide them through.

I give you these comparisons to show you the advantages and disadvantages to these two marketable methodologies. The freelancer’s earning is based on the large number of jobs that he/she can acquire, where the sales consultant may be worked much harder by a fewer amount of clients. Also, consultants tend to be attached to their jobs and you have a greater chance to find a freelancer on vacation enjoying their time they can have without extensive projects weighing them down. So, there are negatives and positives to both titles and this will not affect the goals of success you have set before you.

You need to be aware that if your client insists that you work on site, with his/her resources, and to a strict schedule you may not be considered a contractor at all, referring to IRS guidelines. Whether you promote yourself as a freelancer or a consultant, this is knowledge you should always this in mind.

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  • Rwk mum

    great articles – to the point and informative –
    R –